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Thursday, October 19, 2017

Modern Age Spider-Man Key Issues Part 4


COPPER AGE

 MODERN AGE
I am going finish covering this decade here with some key events that defined 90s Spider-Man. That doesn't mean this will be good or chalk full of key comics that are great comics to invest in or comics to collect.

We will kick off with two issues that are pretty questionable, but when it comes to the plight that's going on with Marvel currently, I'd say the issue and what happens is somewhat historically relevant. Like it or hate it, this is continuing to happen.

As for many of these "keys", this is the mid to later 90s and Spidey did have a lot of low points during this era. Regardless, these events did happen and some did change the character significantly enough to where we are still seeing the affects of it currently. 

When it comes to these markers of an era, I do like to dig into them further to find out how it all plays out and how it influenced the character or even the trend of practices in comics. That influence, of course, can be both negative or positive.

Since many of these are sleepers or just downright ignored because they are seen as low points for Spider-Man, no need to look at the CGC Census for most, if not all, of these issues. Alright, here's the next batch.





AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #405 & #406
1st cameo and full appearance of Dr. Octopus (Carolyn Trainer)

J.M. DeMatteis and Angel Medina created this female protege of Doctor Octopus, who was killed during the Clone Saga. Since deaths have become pretty much inconsequential in the world of comic books and they always seem to come back anyway, I didn't list the comic in which he is killed by Kaine in the Clone Saga.

If that appeals to you, the issue is Spectacular Spider-Man #221 that sees that uneventful event happen. Of course, that is just my opinion about it being "uneventful".

So right now, there seems to be an issue with "diversity" in comics. Females taking over the mantle of Thor, Wolverine, and other races taking the mantle of blah, blah, blah.

Yes, a female Doctor Octopus was introduced in issues #405 and #406 of the Amazing Spider-Man. Break out your wetnaps 'cause I'm sure this will want to make the comic fans of then still want to upchuck today. 

This may be the first time a female character took over the mantle of a major Spider-Man villain and possibly even a major "Marvel" villain in the mainstream Marvel universe of Earth-616. 

Yes, the keyword there is "major". Okay, so the character herself and the actual story aren't looked upon too kindly by fans who grew up on comics back then.

Who knows if that perception will change or not. I don't like to say never but who really knows?

After all, the first appearances of Ann Weying and her as She-Venom heated up in interest recently. Speaking of that, Venom Sinner Takes All #2 and #3 have the same cover dates as this comic, but ASM #405 and #406 came out earlier than the Venom issues. 

Another pretty cool coincidence is that both character's first full appearances have their first cover appearances as well. Issue #406 is Carolyn Trainer's first cover appearance as Doctor Octopus.

Both of these issues are still sleepers for sure. Sicne we've already seen a male version of the character in Spider-Man 2, my favorite Spidey flick to date so far, could Sony try to shake things up and have a female Doc Ock instead?

Anything's possible. September and October, 1995 are the cover dates for Amazing Spider-Man #405 and #406.







SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #0
1st Ben Reilly as Spider-Man
Ben Reilly takes Spider--Man mantle
1st appearance of Jessica Carradine
1st appearance of Shirley Washington & Dayton Lewis


I suppose this is technically correct and incorrect. In Amazing Spider-Man #149, he debuted as Spider-Clone but Spider-Clone was basically suppose to be Spider-Man also.

I do understand that the notation is suppose to mean that Ben Reilly takes up the mantle of Spider-Man for this issue. I get it that a 1st appearance as sounds much better, right?

So Peter is out and wants to settle down with a pregnant Mary Jane, but Reilly is up to the task to take on the legacy. Like most shake ups that involve removing the original character from active duty, this really didn't go down very well then.

Like mentioned before, some view this time favorably and some really, really dislike what went down with Reilly taking over. It's a mixed bag and I stopped reading ASM comics a little bit before all this went down.

However, do I actually see any of this material being used for future films? Yes, I surely do.

With super hero comic book movies in an experimental phase currently, I don't see why these stories or the Clone Saga would be exempt from consideration. If translated successfully from page to screen, would attitudes about the original comics change for collectors? Maybe.

Hard to say. Things change and attitudes or perceptions change also.

So, much to the disdain of many, another took up the mantle of Spider-Man and it was Parker's clone, Ben Reilly. A sort of new supporting cast was built around him.

I mean, super-heroics don't exactly pay the bills for most heroes in the Marvel Universe. Parker had to sell photos and it looks like Ben Reilly gets a job at a coffee shop called the Daily Grind. Enter Shirley Washington and her son Dayton Lewis as supporting cast members.

This is also the 1st issue to yet another on-going Spider-Man comic series, so there is a lot going on with this comic. Like it or not, it is still part of Spider-Man's mythos and history, as well as Marvel Comics' history also, for good or bad.

Bring in the variant covers. Sensational Spider-Man #0 had a 0B cover that was limited to 3,000 and the webbing was red. Once again, there is another version without the lenticular gimmickry glued on the front cover.

Peeps are pimping it as a "newsstand" when the UPC still says "DIRECT EDITION". I'd be wary of those. The image is of the limited to 3,000 cover, and although I see premiums on prices for those, I don't really see those selling at those prices.

However, if you can catch one in the wild in a bargain bin or for super cheap because a dealer doesn't know what they have, it just might be a cool and not-so-well-known find yet.

Begins a new but short-lived chapter for Spider-Man and builds on the Ben Reilly mythos. He has returned to comics as Scarlet Spider recently, so the mark is there and this issue is a key if you're a fan of Ben Reilly.

Jessica Carradine is the girlfriend of Ben Reilly for a short while. That is until it's revealed in later comics that her late father is the burglar who killed Uncle Ben.

As a spec, I doubt the regular covers are very expensive. Sensational Spider-Man #0 has the cover date of January, 1996.






AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #410
  • 1st Spider-Carnage

As a key, I'm not so sure. Spider-Carnage seems more like a novelty during the era than something that became significant. A few fans have brought more attention to this book in recent years and it is on the radar of quite a few, so I dunno.

Overstreet has yet to recognize it, and I do not think CGC yet notes it either. Not so sure about CBCS, but it's not like any of the other "keys" in this here Part 4 are spectacular. This one might be one of the more memorable ones in this Part 4 so far.

Nate H brought this up and reminded me of it, and since Carnage has become a very hot character and this does happen in the main ASM title, I don't think it hurts whatsoever to plop this one here. I don't think it's a major key though...at least, not yet. Like I mentioned before, it's not like any of ones in Part 4 are "major keys".

That could change in time or not. We shall see. This comic is simmering up a bit now. Not hugely sought after yet, but that could change as well.


Newsstand
This is part of the Web of Carnage story arc that ran through the Spidey titles of Spectacular, Sensational, Spider-Man and Amazing. I believe Web of Spidey was cancelled by this time?

Not 100% sure of that. Okay, so Carnage possesses Ben Reilly as Spider-Man in this issue and creates what's known as Spider-Carnage. 


Actually, Carnage also possessed John Jameson as well. Amazing Spider-Man #410 has the cover date of April, 1996 and might be a cool pick up for fans of Carnage. As far as I know there are only Direct Market and Newsstand Editions that are known but there could be other foreign editions out there.







AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #418
Re-intro of Norman Osborn
Death of Peter and M.J.'s baby


Norman Osborn was in the issue of Spectacular Spider-Man #240 as an unnamed but unrecognizable figure in Part One of the Revelations story line. Yes, this story line was to fix quite a bit of things that fans most likely didn't take too well back in ole 1996.

He also showed up in Part Two of this story line in Sensational Spider-Man #11, but he was just an unnamed shadowy figure. Yes, he was to be a mystery puppet master and there was very little hints or clues to who the mystery villain would be prior to this issue.

Well, that was until this issue of Amazing Spider-Man #418.

This issue reveals that Norman Osborn is in fact alive and well. He is actually seen in this third part to the Revelations story line and in this very issue. He is also actually named. Here's his re-intro or return.



Anyway, I think this is the actual return of Norman Osborn as he is actually seen and named. He does return again in Spectacular Spider-Man #249 but I am not going to list that in Part 4 of this Modern Age Spider-Man key issues section. To me, this one carries the weight as the important issue that brings back Spidey's iconic foe after a long hiatus.

This issue would also be a spring board for another character in Spidey's mythos. Yes, the baby girl that died at birth in this issue would be spun-off to exist in a different universe.

You probably already know who I am talking about, but we'll get to her in a bit. Oh, and, no, she is not seen in this issue whatsoever.



And this event will later spawn the whole is story arc about whether Peter and M.J.'s baby is alive and well and held hostage by Norman Osborn.

Then, it slaps readers in the face with the important return of a long-time supporting Spidey cast member. Yes, it is Aunt May since we all know that the baby did die in mainstream continuity.

Amazing Spider-Man #418 has the cover date of December, 1996.






SPIDER-MAN #75
Norman Osborn returns as Green Goblin
Ben Reilly revealed to be clone
Apparent death of Ben Reilly
Peter returns as Spider-Man



Yes, this story line was to fix quite a bit of things that fans most likely didn't take too well back in the 90s. It was highly anticipated then and probably the most anticipated Spider-Man event during the time.

This issue sees Norman Osborn return as the Green Goblin, in actual present time of the story. No flashback here, and the issue also reveals that the iconic Spidey villain is the mastermind behind a couple of things that have plagued the character recently.

Gobby drops the bomb that he manipulated Parker into thinking he was the clone and reveals that Ben Reilly is in fact the clone. Not really that surprising looking back on it, but I don't think that most fans expected Marvel to milk it for as long as they did.

Some say that Norman Osborn died in this issue at the end and thus a later comic is the real return of Norman Osborn. I'm not really so sure he dies or that the story confirms that he dies.

After all, he reveals that the Goblin formula also gave him an accelerated healing factor in this very issue. Yep, looks like Wolverine's influence didn't just extend to Deadpool during the 90s. 



Overstreet does note this issue of Spider-Man #75 as the return of the Green Goblin, but this comic is still pretty much a sleeper currently. Most likely for a good reason because there's quite a bit of low points for the character of Spider-Man during the 90s.

Who knows? Maybe perceptions will change about it in the future but so far it doesn't look like it will any time soon.

Spider-Man #75 or Peter Parker Spider-Man #75 has the cover date of December, 1996.







SPIDER-MAN: HOBGOBLIN LIVES #1 & #3
1st appearance Daniel Kingsley
Return of Roderick Kingsley
Death of Jason Macendale
Original Hobgoblin revealed as Kingsley (#3)



I've already mentioned this before concerning the character of Hobgoblin. Creator Roger Stern left the title before the big reveal and there seemed to be a bit of dysfunction junction concerning who Hobby should be.

Ultimately, Stern was not happy with the choice of Ned Leeds and came back to mop up that mess. Yes, this is the comic series that revamps all this. Issue #1 sees the first appearance of Roderick Kingsley's twin brother Daniel Kingsley.

After all, there had to be a twin brother to help confuse the Hobby's identity of being Roderick, right? Oh, Jason Macendale is snuffed out in issue #1 as well and Roderick Kingsley as Hobgoblin returns.

Now the big reveal happens in issue #3, and I suppose the correct notation for issue #3 could be the true origin of the original Hobgoblin. It pretty much undoes a lot and explains how he brainwashed Ned Leeds and framed him.

Here's Kingley's big reveal in this issue:


This entire series is still highly over-looked. As Hobgoblin keys, they're still pretty much bargain bin buys.

Regardless and for the character of Hobgoblin, they are nonetheless significant and important. Then again, there is the thought that villains don't make great specs or comic investments but this is a Spidey villain and a pretty popular one at that.

Then again, these don't seem to be very hard finds at the moment either. Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #1 has the cover date of January, 1997 and Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives #3 has the cover date of March 1997.







WHAT IF? #105 VOLUME 2
1st appearance of Spider-Girl
1st appearance of MC2 universe
1st appearance of A-Next


I actually like this character and don't mind her whatsoever. So just like every What If? story, this answers the question of what if Peter and Mary Jane's baby had lived.

Well, she would've been called May Parker and grew up to be Spider-Girl. Since she died in the mainstream continuity, Marvel decided to later run with the character in the MC2 universe.

Anyone remember the MC2 universe? You know, the alternate universe in comics where Hope Pym was plucked from?

Well, that universe began with this character and Earth-928 or MC2 universe first appeared in this comic. There's a lot of goodness in this comic actually, and I am not surprised that interest in this comic is beginning to simmer up.

I barely flat out recommend comic investments anymore, but as a fan of the What If? comics and Spider-Man, I do have to say that this is definitely a good one to consider getting.

A-Next are the Avengers of this alternate world. Tom DeFalco had originally planned that Peter and M.J.s baby would survive and be returned, but DeFalco left before that happened and we all know the results that Howard Mackie and John Byrne delivered.  Yes, that one and only John Byrne.

There is a lot of cross-over appeal with this comic if you're a Spider-Man fan or What If fan or even a fan of the MC2 universe. This comic is near the tail-end of the comic series so it may have a lower print run. Mostly white cover might have kept this issue hard to have kept clean or more susceptible to foxing. 

February, 1998 is the cover date for What If? #105 volume 2.






AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #441
1st full appearance of Martha Franklin
Last issue before relaunch


Okay, this is the 1st full appearance of Martha or Mattie Franklin who ends up becoming the 3rd Spider-Woman and she did debut in the actual Spidey titled comics. She supposedly has a shadowy cameo in Spectacular Spider-Man #262 but I didn't see her in there.

Well, this issue she's definitely in there and she is part of the Gathering of Five. So Norman Osborn has a piece of some magical item and needs the other pieces in order to perform some kind of ceremony that endows it's participants with some kind of gift or curse.

Martha took the place of her father and is shown in this issue. The Gathering of Five story line has been ridiculed as one of the top dumbest moments in Spider-Man comics.

However, it does see the full appearance of Martha Franklin. Martha as Spider-Woman was a supporting character for Spidey in his new relaunched series as well as Silk's short on-going comic series.

I am definitely paying more attention to female super-hero characters as possible comic investments, especially Spidey-based ones. That's just me, though, and November, 1998 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #441.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 VOLUME 2 (1999)
1st issue to relaunched series
1st Mattie Franklin as Spider-Man
1st appearance of Tri-Corp Research Foundation

Oh, the end of the 90s was upon us and remember that Y2K scare we had back then. Well, looks like Marvel decided to relaunch the Amazing Spider-Man title almost a year before a world-wide crash was suppose to happen.

I think we all know what really crashed. Anyway, not a huge key nor even one that I wanted to include but Mattie Franklin is actually Spider-Man in this issue. Yes, Peter Parker quit for a very brief while again.

What were they ever thinking then. So there is a mystery Spider-Man and it is later revealed that Mattie Franklin is the 3rd character to ever take up the mantle of our famous Webhead.

Yes, Mattie took it up very briefly. I think some lesson was learned with Ben Reilly.

Anyway, it's revealed in issue #2 that this new Spider-Man is actually a Spider-Girl or Woman and that is Mattie Franklin. She is depicted as being an ultra fan of Spidey and she convinces Peter to suit up again as Spidey in issue #2 to defeat Shadrac.

This is the 1st appearance of Mattie Franklin as Spider-Man. She is also Spider-Man in the volume 2 series of Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 and, yes, that title is strange.

The Peter Parker Spider-Man #1 issue came out November 18th and Peter is back to being Spidey in issue #2 of that comic series. Peter slingin' photos for the Daily Bugle is out and it looks like his big brain will finally be put to use at Tricorp Research Foundation.

Pretty logical step for Peter Parker, but there aren't that many appearances of Tricorp over-all. Variants? That's a no-brainer as I'm pretty sure this relaunch was about hyped up then as much as the whole Marvel Now and then All-New, All-Different relaunches were recently.

Let's get the Dynamic Forces signatures and exclusives out of the way. They were limited to 2,000 copies and signed by Howard Mackie. Then there's the DF alternate cover and that also came with a signed edition that had John Romita Jr.'s handcock on it and was limited to 7,500.

Stan Lee also had a signed DF version of that alternate cover and was limited to only 1,500 copies. As usual, all them came with COAs.

However, there is another variant for this issue and it's the Marvel Authentix variant sketch cover. Word is that it was limited to 6,500 but there were extra Dynamic Forces editions that had sketches by Romita Sr. to add to that total.

You can find out more about these at Rare Comics. They are pretty cool. Just giving credit where credit is due.

Released November 11th of 1998, Amazing Spider-Man #1 volume 2 or the 1999 series has the cover date of January, 1999.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 VOLUME 2 (1999)
1st Mattie Franklin as Spider-Woman
1st Mattie Franklin Spider-Woman cover
1st appearance of Charlotte Witter


Like I already mentioned beforehand, Mattie Franklin does end up becoming the 3rd Spider-Woman and no surprise since she is a huge fan of Spider-Man. That little Gathering of Five gave Mattie some powers, spider-like powers to be exact.

So, she gives up the mantle of Spider-Man and decides that she'd still like to super-hero around as Spider-Woman. No worries about a cameo or a first full with this issue. She shows up more than enough as Spider-Woman in this very comic.

It won't be long after her debut as Spider-Woman when the character is spun-off into her own self-titled and on-going comic series. She is the 2nd character as Spider-Woman to have an "on-going" comic series.

Julia Carpenter had a four issue limited series as Spider-Woman. Back on track here, this issue has a double debut going for it and Charlotte Witter as an evil Spider-Woman has her very first appearance in this issue as well.

Charlotte is the grand-daughter of Madame Web (Amazing Spider-Man #210). She would become a genetic plaything of Doctor Octopus and do his bidding in exchange for human blood.

Yes, Doc Ock does come back by this time. He was resurrected by the Hand in Amazing Spider-Man #427 and with the help of Carolyn Trainer. 

Charlotte Witter's origin is revealed in the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man #6 volume 2. Just gonna give that a mention and not feature that issue. Alright, maybe I'll feature a cover gallery for them in this listing.

Amazing Spider-man #427
Doc Ock resurrected

Amazing Spider-Man #6 Vol 2
Origin Charlotte Witter



 So 1st appearance of the 3rd Spider-Woman and an evil Spider-Woman that's related to Madame Webb. May, 1999 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #5 volume 2.



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Once again and no offense, but this really isn't my favorite era of comics. To me, it really seems like creatives struggled with the title then. Maybe with superhero comics in general.

We are still seeing things from then carried over into today such as lenticular covers and variant gimmicks like that, but not just superficially. We also begin to see it in the actual stories with clone Ben Reilly being real Parker and then not true and bringing back Norman Osborn and killing Doc Ock and replacing him with female baddie and then resurrecting him with help from The Hand.

Then there's the whole what did Norman Osborn do to their baby. Did he kidnap her or kill her and then it ends up Aunt May isn't dead and she returns. 

In fact, the Aunt May who died in Amazing Spider-Man #400 was an imposter or actress hired by none other than Norman Osborn to mess with Peter Parker. Aunt May returned in Peter Parker Spider-Man #97 or simply Spider-Man #97, which is Part 2 of the Final Chapter story arc.

That story arc is pretty roundly bashed on as well. Some look upon this era favorably and some don't. I fall into the latter group.

Not saying that these are worth or not worth collecting or even investing in. Just saying that some of these were the actual highlights in Spidey comics from this particular decade, and it did produce some good things.

I mean, c'mon, it wasn't all bad. The actual need for "established" alternate universes in Marveldom did begin to unfold during the 90s. Once again, "established" means a particular world created to set the stage for continuous stories in a titled comic series outside of Marvel's mainstream continuity and titled books.

Perhaps "imprint" is the better word for it. The 2099 series, Marvel Knights, and MC2 series hit the 90s and paved the way for the Ultimate series in 2000.

Some fans were first exposed to Spidey via the 2099 series or the MC2 or even the Ultimate series before ever touching the regular Spidey titles. Quite a few were first exposed to Spidey via the 90s cartoon that aired back when.


Alright, now for the issues that deserve a mention of sorts that were not featured above. Of course, there is an issue where Peter quits being Spider-Man and that is Spectacular Spider-Man #229.

Then shortly after that move and before Reilly took over as Spider-Man, there was a brief hint or lead up that saw Scarlet Spider debut in his own titled comics. Web of Scarlet Spider #1 was the first and is Part 1 to the story line Virtual Mortality. 

I am not sure if the creatives originally planned to just have Scarlet Spider comics replace the Spider-Man titled series since the Scarlet Spider comics did have two issues for all four titled comics. Kinda odd to plan to only put out 2 issues to four Scarlet Spider titles.

The issues are seen below. Actually, I think I'll just put all the mentions below.


Spectacular Spider-Man #229
 
Peter quits
Web of Scarlet Spider #1
Part 1
Amazing Scarlet Spider #1
Part 2
 



Scarlet Spider #1
 
Part 3
Spectacular Scarlet Spider #1
 
Part 4
Spectacular Spider-Man #241
 
Daniel Berkhart Jack 'O Lantern
 



Amazing Spider-Man #430
 

Amazing Spider-Man #431
Cosmic Carnage
Amazing Spider-Man #408
Direct Market White var





I am going to add Nate's suggestion of Cosmic Carnage. I don't know exactly how significant the character ever became or if this was a one-time gimmick that saw Silver Surfer get possessed by the Carnage symbiote, but a few fans are or have made a big deal about the issues. 

Dunno really. I find it ironic because I stopped reading Spider-Man comics right after the Cosmic Spidey story line.

Another of Nate's suggestions was Amazing Spider-Man #408 white variant. I'm not sure if the issue itself is a key or what's significant about it, but it seems that there are Direct Market Editions and Newsstands. I believe this comic came polybagged as shown in the Direct Market Edition image in the gallery. The one to left or embedded in this paragraph is the Newsstand version that does not have the words "DIRECT EDITION" in the UPC.

I am not sure if the Newsstand Edition came polybagged and with the Camelot Music cassette sampler like the Direct Market polybagged copies. These are limited editions but no info on exactly how limited.

However, Overstreet does note that high grade copies of the ones that came with cassette tapes are more scarce due to damage from the cassettes does make sense. Just saying.

Anyway, thanks to Nate for those suggestions. A little more information never hurts when it comes to comics. As always, I'd rather have you decide on what's worthy or not to add to your collection or even speculate or invest on if that's your deal.

Okay, one last one and this is more of a Venom key issue than an all-out Spidey key. This is part of the Planet of the Symbiotes story line that happened in the 90s. Venom Super Special #1 gives a bit of back ground on Venom and how he was seen among his peers or other symbiotes.

Actually, he was an outcast because he preferred to bond with its host instead of simply feed off them and ultimately kill them. Still, Ben Reilly, Peter Parker and Eddie Brock as Venom venture to a planet of symbiotes in that issue. I think it was Ace who brought up the Planet of the Symbiotes story line a little while back.

Alright, this was tedious at best. Part 5 will be in the near future. I think I got another request for Spider-Woman and Runaways? I may be able to complete those a bit faster than this beast.

Alright, until next time. Be safe and happy hunting!


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Friday, October 6, 2017

Dr. Doom Key Comics & Other Issues Part 2


We are at Part 2 to this Dr. Doom key comics series, and although this may be the first time you're reading it, this is the 2nd time I wrote it. Perhaps, it'll be better the 2nd time around.

Gonna keep this intro short. If you missed Part 1 just click that link.





ASTONISHING TALES #1
1st Marvel villain solo feature series
1st appearance of Rudolfo Fortunov


A great perception among speculators and quite a few comic investors is that villains are not good comic investments. I believe that whenever there is a debate, Ultron's first full appearance in Avengers #55 is almost always brought up to support it.

Personally, I could care less. I do love me some villains and absolutely Dr. Doom.

Some villains don't make great villains for other superheroes, but Dr. Doom is easily the exception when it comes to this. Sure, most know him as the iconic Fantastic Four foe, but Doom has caused a lot trouble for a variety of heroes and can easily cross-over.

I've always said this about comic villains, but the great ones really make our heroes shine.

Without a great character to put a so-called "hero" to the test and drive them to the breaking point, they and their adventures in the pages in whatever comic book would basically be meh. Alright, let's get to this issue here.

The first issue to Astonishing Tales has the 1st time a Marvel villain got his or her own on-going solo feature. No surprise that it is none other than Victor von Doom (iconic villain).

Who woulda thunk it, right? An all-out villain like Doom as the main protagonist of his own solo feature?

This is the Bronze Age though and early Bronze Age key as Astonishing Tales #1 came out in 1970. Joker headlined his own comic series in 1975 that lasted only 9 issues.

Astonishing Tales did also expand on the mythos of Dr. Doom and his Latveria back ground. Hey, bad guys need bad guys of their own that hit close to home, and in Victor von Doom's case, his baddies are the Fortunovs.

Doom does get revenge on Vladimir for being responsible for the death of his father and obviously takes over Latveria, but Vladimir does have descendants. No surprise that they would try to reclaim their royal birthright.

So Rudolfo Fortunov is the first descendant of Vladimir to appear in comics, and, of course, he is head of a rebellion against Doom. Rudolfo and his rebellion would continue to be Doom's adversaries in most of the 8 issues that his solo feature ran in Astonishing Tales.


In terms of Doom and his back story, there really is a richness that would absolutely make a great film completely independent of the Fantastic Four, as weird as that sounds. I surely hope that they do draw from these type of stories concerning Doom.

I mean, revenge, rebellion? Got a solid basis right there.

How to make a tyrannical villain, who basically wants to rule the world and believes that the world under his rule would be better place to live, a likeable character for the audience to care about? Three words for that: Alexander the Great.

It can be done and I hope it happens. For the most part, this is a key that's historical for Marvel and also for Doom who is still considered an all-out villain. He is not an anti-hero like the Punisher nor Namor are considered. Well, at least, not yet anyway.

Also for the most part, this key comic is pretty over-looked. Not saying that 9.8s are cheap. Just saying for the most part. 

Here's some data to consider, and yes, I'm starting with the CGC Census and then some GoCollect stats for this book.



I could not find examples of pence copies for this specific cover but I think they exist. Issue #2 through #7 have them and the price is 1/- on the cover. Go figure that I also could not find them for issue #8 as well.

So, definitely a must-have for Doom fans. Specubating or investing in comics? All I gotta say is that villains are being considered for movies like Sinister Six, Joker, Harley Quinn, Gotham City Sirens and recently Dr. Doom.

The nerdo-o-sphere has yapped about a Thunderbolts movie, and Suicide Squad, though not very good, already sort of paved the way. Catwoman did get a flick quite a bit before that band of villainous miscreants. 

Astonishing Tales #1 has the cover date of August, 1970 and hit the stands around May, 1970.






ASTONISHING TALES #8 1998 SERIES
1st cameo of Cynthia von Doom
Last issue to Doom solo series

When it comes to Dr. Doom stories, this is always mentioned as a classic or a must-read. I believe it does set up a recurring concept concerning the villain and does humanize him a lot more.

In terms of Cynthia von Doom and her debut in this issue, don't get too excited as it is only a one panel cameo. Here it is below.


Yes, Cynthia is Doom's mommy and we see her for the first time in this issue. Don't get excited about a first full as her earlier appearances that follow this issue are all obviously in flashback and only in a one panel cameo.

They also recap the events that took place in this issue here. So, every year, Victor von Doom gathers enough strength to battle the Devil, later retconned to be Mephisto, or his minion of choice, for the soul of Cynthia von Doom.


This is the last issue to Doom's on-going feature in the comic series. Not sure if that was planned or if it was because the concept of a Marvel villain being the main protagonist of story feature bombed at the time.

Don't care, but this story is a classic and pretty important to the character of Doom. After all, he would seek powerful sorcerers or sorceresses quite often to become more powerful himself so he can win back his mother's soul from Mephisto. 

Morgana le Fay would one. For the most part, I think this comic is a hugely over-looked Dr. Doom key issue currently but that is my opinion.





So, come up with your own conclusion concerning this issue. Another early Bronze Age key and important to the character of Doctor Doom. This issue also has the 3rd appearance of Bobbie Morse, the character that would later become Mockingbird.


 Astonishing Tales #8 has the cover date of October, 1971 and was released in July of the same year.






FANTASTIC FOUR #198
1st appearance of Zorba Fortunov

Once again, we have another Fotunov. Concerning Latveria and Doom, the Fortunov family are major characters that bring mischief to Victor von Doom quite often.

I think most would probably sweep this character into the minor bin currently. Sure, maybe as a Fantastic Four key over-all, but I would digress when it comes to this being a "Dr. Doom key".

The Fortunovs are not only tied to Doom's origin, but they are also tied to the very nation that Doom took from the family. There is, or was, a major feud between Doom's family and the Fortunovs prior.

Zorba Fortunov is the son Vladimir and brother to Rudolfo.

No surprise that Zorba is also part of a rebellion in Latveria, against the tyrannical Doom to reclaim his families royal right. With the Fantastic Four's help, Zorba even succeeded in doing so, and he would even prove to be more tyrannical than Dr. Doom.

The issue where that happens in coming up soon, but this issue, Fantastic Four #198 has the cover date of September, 1978 and was released June, 1978.






FANTASTIC FOUR #247 
1st appearance of Kristoff Vernard
Death of Zorba Fortunov

I love this John Byrne cover. Not saying it's a classic or anything. Just saying I've always liked this cover.

Okay, let's recap a little bit here. So remember Zorba that we just talked about in the listing right before this one?

Well, I did mention that his rebellion was successful in ousting one Victor von Doom from the throne of Latveria. Yep, and that happened in Fantastic Four #200.

Well, as mentioned before, Zorba proved to be even worse than Doom. Fantastic Four Annual #15 saw Latverian revolts against Zorba begin to happen.  

You can read all about it over at marvel.wiki.com in the "notes" section at the bottom. Gonna sidetrack a bit here.

John Byrne's run with Chris Claremont helped to revitalize the X-Men as we all know. However, John Byrne also has a fan-favorite run on Fantastic Four in which he wrote, penciled and inked.

Byrne also made more strides in humanizing the villain, and we can see that in this issue. Although arrogant and a narcissist, Doom does seem to care for the people of Latveria and has a strange sense of loyalty and soft spot.

So Latveria is in turmoil since Zorba took over. Doom swallows his pride and seeks the help of his arch enemies, the Fantastic Four.

They return to the nation and a woman loyal to Doom updates the Fantastic Four on what a mistake they all made by ousting Doom.



So Doom may be a cunning liar in order to steal powers (Silver Surfer and the Beyonder) and he may be seen as a tyrant, but according to this story, Doom kept his people safe from crime and didn't let his people go hungry.

Another depiction of Doom's strange sense of loyalty is when Zorba kills the woman and Doom is pissed about it, as she was under the "personal protection" of him.




So the Fantastic Four help Doom to regain Latveria, and Doom has a showdown with Zorba which ends with the death of Vladimir's son. This issue debuts Kristoff Vernard, and he is the young boy of the mother who was under the "personal protection" of Doom in this story.

Byrne also had Doom adopt Kristoff as his ward, and the character would end up becoming somewhat a foe for Victor von Doom and even impersonate him. That happens later, however.

Released in July, Fantastic Four #247 has the cover date of October, 1982.








FANTASTIC FOUR #278
1st Kristoff Vernard as Doctor Doom


The great Dr. Doom dead? Well, his Doombots thought so and did some really funked up stuff to his ward Kristoff to make him think that he was the real Dr. Doom.

As mentioned earlier, Kristoff Vernard assumes the mantle of Dr. Doom and keeps the villainous legacy alive and well but first he needs a bit more information before he can attempt the task at hand.

Yes, Kristoff is still a boy but it matters not to the Doombots. So they transfer the memories of Victor von Doom into the brain of Kristoff and this is a good excuse to retell the origin of Dr. Doom.


I think Byrne did change some things in the origin. Doom's face was but scarred in the college explosion.

I think origins before had that moment as the time Victor's face was horribly disfigured, but not in this origin. In this origin, his face was horribly disfigured when he first put the Doom mask on.


Uh, yeah, they didn't wait for it to cool off first. Okay, so Kristoff, as a little kid, gains the memories of Dr. Doom and assumes the mantle in this issue.

For the record, he only shows up as Doom in four panels, one of them fully, two on a computer monitor, and the other is just a profile shot of his face in the Doom mask. The Fantastic Four would confront Kristoff as Doom in the next issue of #279 and discover that he's just a kid.

He's a kid who now happens to believe that he is the real Dr. Doom and thus Victor von Doom. Yes, this would cause trouble not only for the Fantastic Four but for Doctor Doom when he returns.

Just another notch in his mythos. Hey, even villains sometimes wish to have a successor and Kristoff is just that for Doom. 

May, 1985 is the cover date for Fantastic Four #278.






MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #49
Dr. Strange earns title of Sorcerer Supreme
Extended origin Cynthia von Doom


Was going to put this in the outro but decided to feature it. As mentioned before, Doom is always looking for other powerful sorcerers to help him win back the soul his mommy.

What better sorcerer than Dr. Strange, yeah? Actually, the Aged Ghengis has summoned all the most powerful sorcerers to a gathering that would test and determine who would be the Sorcerer Supreme.

And there will be two left - Dr. Strange and Doctor Doom in a magical battle for the ultimate honor. If you're a fan of the magical and mystical side of Marvel, this is definitely a read for you.

Doctor Strange is the winner and I believe this is the very comic where he earns the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Strange has to fulfill a wish or "boon", and Dr. Doom seizes the opportunity to get the new Sorcerer Supreme to help free the soul of his mother.

So, off to Mephisto's domain and the two would team up to battle him but not before an origin of course. After all, Doctor Strange does not know the story of Cynthia von Doom, and at this time, I don't think readers knew too much about it at the time either.

Well, we know that she made some kind of pact and the devil has her soul but Marvel Graphic Novel #49 goes into quite a bit more detail. The devil is in the details, after all.

I think this is the first extended origin of Cynthia von Doom which reveals that an evil Baron had tormented the gypsies, especially Doom's parents. I'll let the actual comic tell the story a bit.








Alright, jumping in here as required, and as we all can assume, Doom betrays Strange and makes a bargain with Mephisto. Yep, for the life of his mother or so it seems on the surface.

However, it seems that mommy has a problem with that.






Sorcerer Supreme and Doom then team up against the evil of Mephisto in a pretty bad ass battle. Did you recognize the artist?

Some Mike Mignola goodness here. Really great read and this comic actually sheds a lot more light on Cynthia von Doom for the first time and thus expands on Dr. Doom's origin as well.

I won't ruin the ending or what happens next for those who are Dr. Doom or even Doctor Strange fans but have yet to read this graphic novel. Quite a bit going on as the origin of how Dr. Strange becomes Sorcerer Supreme and a full Cynthia von Doom origin.

 Marvel Graphic Novel #49 has the cover date of July, 1989.






MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #118
1st appearance of Doom 2099 (preview)?

Okay, so Overstreet and most likely the third party grading companies note this as the first appearance of Doom 2099, which is actually Victor von Doom from Earth-616. Yes, this is also an 8 page preview.

Some believe a preview should count and some don't. This is a comic book for sure, but it also does state it is a preview in the table of contents.

The preview contains the first 8 pages that was originally created and primarily intended for the 1st issue of Doom 2099 #1. I don't like previews that do this, and I usually consider the issue that the actual preview was intended for to actually tell a story and not sell the issue the "1st full".

I know! I know! All that cameo, minor, brief, 1st full bugs the crap outta me too. 

Okay, I'm lazy so I am going to do this all in the same listing. If you actually read the post, which is why I actually write stuff under the listing heading, you won't miss much. If you're a lazy ass specubator who just looks at the title and image...oh, well.

So Doom 2099 #1 goes here, and I consider it the full appearance of Doom 2099. Now, this might be highly arguable and even debatable but I also consider this Doom's 1st ever self-titled on-going comic series.


If you know this series and read it back in the day, you might see where I'm coming from with this. If you don't, you may be scratching your head or maybe you could care less.

Humor me a bit while I explain my position here. Most of the 2099 characters are different than their original counterparts because the timeline is in the future.

We all know that. Miguel O'Hara in 2099 took up the mantle of Spider-Man and Jake Gallows is the Punisher in 2099.

However, the running mystery in the first half of the Doom 2099 comic series was whether this Doom in the future is another dude or the original. Like I said, I'm going to spoil it and we learn in Doom 2099 #25 that this Doom in 2099 is not a different guy but is fact the original Victor von Doom.

Yes, Victor von Doom from the mainstream universe of Earth-616 but just in the future and obviously doesn't start off remembering much of his past. He does remember it in issue #25 of Doom 2099 though.



Panels above from Doom 2099 #25


So if it's the same character, isn't Doom 2099 technically the first on-going comic series that bears his name in the title?

Not to say that Doom 2099 #1 is a great spec or anything. I wouldn't doubt if that issue was over-printed back in the day. 

Yes, there are newsstands of the first issue of Doom 2099 and supposedly newsstand distribution would be around 15 to 10 percent back in 1992 according to Chuck over at Mile High.

Doom 2099 did last like 44 issues or close to that. Marvel Comics Presents #118 is cover dated December, 1992 and came out 21 days before Doom 2099 #1.



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I originally had this book featured above but changed my mind and will put here in the outro as an honorable mention. Iron Man #150 does have the 1st meeting between Doctor Doom and Morgana le Fay.

As mentioned in Part 3, Doom and le Fay did have a daughter together in later comics. In this issue, Doom seeks out Morgana to somewhat help concerning the whole having mommy's soul ordeal, and Doom does recap his yearly scraps with the Devil in this issue.  

I highly doubt that most of these are that well-known concerning Doom's mythos. Just because they are not that well-known does not mean they are not good or they are not significant to the character.

Gonna keep this outro short. Gimmie a break. I had to rewrite all this again from scratch. There is a Part 3. Just click the link to continue this Dr. Doom key issues series. Click the Part 1 link below if you missed that.