When is a First Appearance of Gambit Not a First Appearance of Gambit?

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The debate over which comic book first featured the appearance of the X-Men character Gambit is a highly contested one. There are two contenders, Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 and Uncanny X-Men #266. Now, be in no doubt, chronologically, it's X-Men #266. That was definitely meant to be his first appearance, written by Chris Claremont, drawn by Mike Collins with a Jim Lee cover.

However, Uncanny X-Men Annual #14 by Chris Claremont and Art Adams was published first by mistake. Featuring his second appearance – and a mystery to readers who hadn't yet been able to read Uncanny X-Men #266.

When Is A first Appearance Of Gambit Not A First Appearance Of Gambit?
When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?

And then Gambit became very popular, turned up in a movie and there was even talk of a spinoff X-Men film from Fox. Which didn't happen. But it did put a focus back on Gambit as a collectible commodity and the wars began to rage over which was his first appearance. Heritage Auctions, in this listing for Uncanny X-Men Annual #14, have tried to have their cake and eat it, calling Gambit's appearance here as a first "cameo" appearance.

X-Men Annual #14 (Marvel, 1990) CGC NM 9.4 White pages. Cameo first appearance of Gambit. Fantastic Four appearance. Arthur Adams cover and art. Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $48. CGC census 5/21: 341 in 9.4, 1327 higher.

At time of writing, it is beating guide price, currently at $78.  With all waiting for the X-Men to be introduced to the MCU, Gambut has to be a favourite for a movie or a TV show at some point. Here are his appearances in Uncanny X-Men Annual #14, you be the judge whether this is a full first appearance or a cameo.

When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?
When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?
When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?
When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?

When is a First Appearance Of Gambit Not a First Appearance Of Gambit?

Say, where did he get that X-Men costume under his coat from?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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