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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Marvel Canadian Newsstand Key Comics, Debuts & Origins Part A

I know a few comic collectors out there who like them Canadian Editions or Canadian Newsstand Price Variants. Shout out to Sean M, and I do admit I like 'em as well.

Yes, I do hunt for them here and there but this is not to pump or hype anything up. Some would like a reference list to help 'em out on their hunt and some could care less about these.

Up to you. This is just a reference list but they are not full lists whatsoever and will just have covers to some keys, debuts or origins. They may not even be 1st origins and can be extended origins or retconned origins also.

I think the 75 and 95 cent variants to these are the easiest to recognize, especially the 95 cent versions since there weren't any U.S. edition comics that had a cover price of 95 cents. When you get to the annuals or Canadian newsstands that had $1 or $1.25 or $1.50 cover prices or above, it gets a little harder to know what's what. Well, at least, I think so.

Anyway, here's kicking off this beast with those Marvel titles starting with the letter A. For those on the hunt for these Canadian Price Variants from the 80s, I hope you enjoy!


Alpha Flight #1 
1st iss self-titled series
Alpha Flight #2
Origin Alpha Flight
Alpha Flight #3
Origin continued

Alpha Flight #6 
Origin Shaman
Alpha Flight #7
Origin Snowbird
Alpha Flight #11
Origin Sasquatch

Alpha Flight #33 
1st Lady Deathstrike
Alpha Flight #34
1st full Lady Deathstrike

Full list (I'm aware of so far) that covers Alpha Flight Canadian price variants or newsstand editions from this era Alpha Flight issues #1 through #37 including Alpha Flight Annual #1.


ASM Annual #16
1st Monica Rambeau
Amazing Spider-Man #238
1st Hobgoblin
Amazing Spider-Man #239
2nd Hobgoblin

Amazing Spider-Man #241
Origin of Vulture
Amazing Spider-Man #252
1st black costume
Amazing Spider-Man #253 
1st Rose

Amazing Spider-Man #255
1st Black Fox
Amazing Spider-Man #256
1st Puma
Amazing Spider-Man #258 
Costume symbiote reveal

Amazing Spider-Man #259
Origin Mary Jane
Amazing Spider-Man #265
1st Silver Sable
ASM Annual #19 
1st Alistair Smythe

Amazing Spider-Man #272
1st Slyde

Full list I'm aware of that covers Canadian price variants or newsstand editions from this era are Amazing Spider-Man issues #233 through #279 including Amazing Spider-Man Annuals #16-20.


Avengers #221
She-Hulk joins the Avengers
Avengers #227
2nd Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel
Avengers #234
Extended origin Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch

Avengers #236
Spidey attempts to join
the Avengers
Avengers #238
1st origin story of villain Blackout
Avengers #257
1st appearance of Nebula

Avengers #263 
Jean Grey Cocoon found
Prelude to X-Factor
Avengers #264
1st new Yellow Jacket

Full list that I'm aware of that covers Canadian price variants or newsstand editions from this era and Avengers title are  Avengers issues #224-270 including Avengers Annuals #11-15.

Alright, here's my outro. Yes, this kick starts this series for Marvel Canadian Newsstand Editions or Price Variants and keys, debuts or origins for titles that begin with the letter A.

As usual, what you see here is what my limited knowledge knows of so far, so if you have others to contribute under the A category, feel free to do so and would be appreciated. Also, I could not find cover images to some of these beauties so if you got any, send them my way and help a brutha out. Would be also much appreciated.

To top off this Part A, there is the Canadian newsstand of the A-Team.

Yes, that A-Team, based on the TV show where Mr. T, bless his heart, pitied everyone because he thought they were fools. The first known comic of the popular TV show (yep, I use to watch it religiously) is this one, and it did have a Canadian newsstand edition.

Cover is to the left over there, and the limited series lasted 3 issues to my knowledge. There is also Annie #1, but guess what? That issue is a reprint of Marvel Comics Super Special #23. Actually, issue #2 also reprints the story in Marvel Comics Super Special #23.

Now let's talk about the infamous Avengers #263. Overstreet for the longest time has touted that issue as the 1st appearance of X-Factor.

I'm an X-Men fan, but not really big on the X-Factor series. Oh, I did grow up reading the series for sure, but I admit that I was a casual reader here and there.

When I first heard Avengers #263 was supposedly the debut of X-Factor, I questioned it but didn't really care all that much. I have no idea who convinced who over at Overstreet and the debut has been listed in the 2001 OPG.

It's been noted that for a while, but it's just not true. Avengers #263 discovered the cocoon that's been holding Jean Grey. It reveals Jean Grey at the end but guess what? No X-Factor.

From Avengers #263

No X-Men in that issue either. Not in flashback, not in main story. Just Avengers and cocoon that reveals Jean Grey inside of it at the very end.


Then the story continues in Fantastic Four #286. Overstreet notes it as the 2nd appearance of X-Factor, and it does have me scratch my head as to why also.

So, like Avengers #263, let's take a look at this issue. Even though it is not a 2nd appearance nor any appearance of X-Factor, that does not mean that Fantastic Four #263 is not an important issue to the eventual birth of X-Factor and the character of Jean Grey.

You'll find out what I mean as we go along. In the issue of Fantastic Four #286, Jean Grey returns. She is revived and the Fantastic Four go on this journey of remembrance with her.

So, the wonderful panels above show that the cocoon hatches and the real Jean Grey stands up and pops back into the world of Marvel Comics. After finding out who she is, the Fantastic Four and Cap and some Avengers discover what this former X-Men remembers on her own.

Basically recaps X-Men #98 through #100 in quick comic book fashion. What really happened to her after her escapade as Phoenix and then Dark Phoenix? 

Jean Grey's true last appearance was in X-Men #101 and this issue retcons the events moments before her debut as Phoenix or explains it in detail.  Here's how this goes down...

In the above panels, Cap searches the Avenger's files for a bit of info on Marvel Girl and comes across this entry by good ole Beast. This goes through a really quick recap of the character of Jean Grey and what seemingly happened to her on the surface.

After freaking about a bit, Jean Grey pleads with the Fantastic Four and one Hercules to take her to her parents' house so she can remember what the hell happened to her. She finds the crystal ball that holds her essence, which was given to her family by Lilandra of the Shi'ar at her funeral in X-Men #138.

As you can see the crystal is about to bring back all sorts of memories and reveal what really happened to her. Herc, Reed and Sue get a front row seat to witness the event.

Looks like the wrong costume was used for this retcon or explanation in that end panel. It's the Dark Phoenix costume, but whatever.

So, we learn that Jean Grey did not arise from the water after the plane crash in X-Men #101. Instead, and as revealed in this issue, she made a deal with the Phoenix Force in order to save her team mates. It was Phoenix who arose while Grey was in a state of suspended animation.

Note: Fantastic Four #268 retcons the Phoenix origin, explains what happened, and has the official return of Jean Grey. This issue also reveals for the first time that Jean Grey and Phoenix Force are actually two different beings since she was clearly replaced by the cosmic entity.

Let's end this Fantastic Four #286 (January, 1986)  review with the very last panel to the issue. Mr. Fantastic is gonna make a phone call and it is revealed in X-Factor #1 who he is calling as the end ad hypes up.

All panels in this section from Fantastic Four #286

Once again, no X-Men in this issue except for the flashback scenes. No reunification, no formation of anything either.

More proof that Avengers #263 and Fantastic Four #286 do not debut X-Factor is the issue of Defenders #152 (Feb 1986), which takes place in-between this issue and X-Factor #1. Beast, Angel and Iceman are members of the Defenders in that issue, and that issue shows the Defenders disbanding before X-Factor #1 happens.


That disbanding of the Defenders is also mentioned in the very first issue of X-Factor. 

Who does Mr. Fantastic end up reaching in X-Factor #1? Well, none other than Angel or Warren Worthington III, and it is X-Factor #1 that sees the reunification of the original X-Men. 

We shall show that reunification as we review this issue further. For now, here's the scenes where Reed gets in touch with Angel.

Angel rushes out in a hurry after the call and a few panels later Reed and Angel meet and Warren discovers just who it is that has come back from the grave, which we should;ve pieced together if we read Fantastic Four #286. No biggie.

So Warren reunites with Jean off-panel. X-Factor #1 does not show their reunification but it does show Scott and Jean meeting again. The issue also shows Hank and Bobby reuniting with Marvel Girl later in the issue.

Of course, Scott is pretty frazzled about Jean's return, but then he gets his shit together and they form X-Factor as depicted in the panels below:

Then they go off on there first mission and history is made. Avengers #263 is clearly not the debut of X-Factor. Fantastic Four, though pretty important to Jean Grey and Phoenix, is not the debut of X-Factor, nor the 2nd appearance of the team.

It's pretty clear that the original X-Men all reunite with Jean in X-Factor #1 after her return in Avengers #263 and Fantastic Four #286. They officially form the team in X-Factor #1 as well.

I think Overstreet needs to change their notations. CGC has X-Factor #1 right.

Anyway, I didn't mean for this to be debunk either. Just kinda went that way when it came to Avengers #263. Don't care if the market already decided on Avengers #263 either. There's no X-Factor in that story.

Speaking of Fantastic Four #286 and X-Factor #1, they too have Canadian newsstands also, and they are displayed here. They'll be seen again when I get to those titled posts as well.

Who knows? Maybe you've already got a few of them in your collection without realizing it? 

Fun to just have a looksie. Have a good one and see ya at Part B. Hope you enjoyed and just click the link below to continue.


  1. This is such great right up - love the Canadian price Variants and the book reviews were fun to read - never paid much attention to xfactor before - interesting to find out they were the return of the original xmen team

  2. I usually try to snag these Canadian Price Variants when possible. Mainly on key issues only. There fun to try to locate with some being pretty rare or hard to find. Especially in high grade. These type of books is what makes comic collecting fun.


  3. Excellent article. :-)
    Maybe add the New Mutants Canadian Price Variants also. Just a thought.

  4. Hey crew,

    remember the Next Men 21 I just bought? Man,
    I was surprised to find out that the first appearance of Hellboy is in a San Diego Comic Con Special! Allthough it' s black and white and probably just a short cameo, Overstreet notes it as 1. appearance. What do you think, Mayhem? Is this something for your DEBUNKED special?


    1. Here ya go Ace. He 1st appears as a prototype character on the cover of Dime Press #4. Then makes his 1st comic appearance in a short story in SDCC Special #2. With both being low printed books. Then his 1st appearance in color on the cover and inside of Next Men #21. I've yet to snag a copy of Dime Press #4. Hope this helps ya.


    2. Hey Ace,
      There is nothing to debunk when it comes to SDCC Comics having the first appearance of Hellboy. It is only black and white but it is a multi page story and shows him go up against a pretty big baddie. Mignola himself also says that SDCC Comics #2 is the actual first appearance of Hellboy, and who am I to argue with the creator.
      ~Gerry D

    3. Flight Commander Ace, SDCC Comics #2 is Hellboy's 1st appearance. 4 page story but in black 'n white and Mignola backs that comic as his debut. DO NOT DISCOUNT Next Men #21, though.

      1st color appearance of Hellboy and it is his 1st x-over (he appears in the Next Men story). I am on the hunt for Next Men #21. I hope to snag a high grade copy at Stockton Con.

  5. Oh man, now I got to get that Dime Press 4 and SDCC 2 as well... that' s going to put a hole into my pocket!

    Anyway, thanks guys, always a pleasure!

  6. Relax, Ace. Dime 4 is in magazine size and SDCC 2 has not such a great cover. Next Men 21 stays king of the hill for me!

    Max Rebo