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My lady is recently a Harley Quinn fan, and she has been telling me about one of her favourite characters in the Harley rebirth series she is reading, Red Tool. I wanted to get her a copy of his first appearance as a gift but have read conflicting information.

I expected Comic Vine to be a reliable source and they list Harley Quinn #3 Love Stinks (Apr 2014) as his first appearance https://comicvine.gamespot.com/red-tool/4005-128776/

However on browsing eBay I noticed someone was selling a slabbed copy of a different book citing it as the first appearance of Red Tool. Sure enough when I Googled some other sources I found them to also cite Harley Quinn #26 (May 2016) as the first appearance.

https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Wayne_Wilkins_(Prime_Earth)

Then I read the following article https://henchman4hire.com/2017/06/13/the-secret-origin-of-red-tool/

In fact, in an even more exciting twist, Red Tool reveals that we actually met him as a civilian way back at the very, very start of this Harley Quinn series!

Did you catch that editorial note in the bottom right corner?

Harley Quinn #3? That’s going way way way back!

They're talking about an editorial footnote in Harley Quinn #31, which may just be a ret-con. (Is it possible to ret-con a first appearance? Would it count?)

That then reminded me of the fact that we’ve already seen Red Tool’s origin! Back when he first appeared, in Harley Quinn #26!

Presumably #26 is his first costumed appearance, but should the character become "hot" what would collectors actually consider his first appearance?

(Not interested in speculating, really just after giving her a cool collectble)

  • I just realized that's the same thing you linked. Are you looking for an official DC answer, or are you asking our opinion? – FuzzyBoots Apr 10 at 12:05
  • I suspect official word would be #3 since that it's in black and white in the editorial note, but if there's a de-facto standard that I'm unaware of I would be happy to know. – AndFisher Apr 10 at 12:35
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    Seems like it'd be one of the ambiguous cases: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – FuzzyBoots Apr 10 at 12:41
  • I can see this being one of those ambiguous cases, but those characters do have books that are hot because they are generally accepted as fiirst appearances. reading that wiki article, my scenario appears to have a lot in common with Cable's first appearance, which judging by a quick eBay price comparisson would suggest putting a costumed appearance over a retcon. – AndFisher Apr 10 at 12:50

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