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When Did Ronan the Accuser First Have Blue Skin?

In "When We First Met," we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, "Avengers Assemble!" or the first appearance of Batman's giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man's face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

My pal Tom A. tweeted at me that he wanted to know when Ronan the Accuser first had blue skin. It was surprisingly longer than you would expect (well, at least longer than I expected).

The first mention of the Kree PERIOD occurred in Fantastic Four #65 (by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and Joe Sinnott) and the Supreme Intelligence sent Ronan the Accuser to mess the Fantastic Four up, and as you can see right from the great Kirby cover, Ronan was white in the comic book...

We see Ronan next in Captain Marvel #1 (by Roy Thomas, Gene Colan and Vince Colletta), but due to the coloring schemes of the era, he was bathed in a stream of pure light (green light, as it were)...

And when we next see him in Captain Marvel #5 (by Arnold Drake, Don Heck and John Tartaglione), he appears only on screens and the screens are all given a blue tint, so it tells us nothing...

In #7, likely to save some time, he's just colored solid throughout the issue, from solid blue to solid green...

In Captain Marvel #10 (by Drake, Heck and Colletta), he is back to being white-skinned...

Finally, in Captain Marvel #16 (by Archie Goodwin, Heck and Syd Shores), two years after his debut, Ronan is colored blue for the first time. And you can tell that this is an intentional thing, since he is not colored SOLID blue. His outfit is a different color than his face, making it clear that he is intentionally being drawn with blue skin...

The reason that that became so important is that the timing was perfect for that version of Ronan to be the one that the artists on the Avengers turned to when they decided to use Ronan in the Kree-Skrull War. He appears in Avengers #89 (by Roy Thomas, Sal Buccema and Sam Grainger) and he is using the look that Heck and Shores gave him in Captain Marvel #16...

That was pretty much locked in for the near future for him and the blue skin was here to stay.

Thanks for the suggestion, Tom!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book first, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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