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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Venom Key Issues List

Due to a request, we're gonna dig into some Venom key issues, and I'm gonna review all the way from the first appearance of the black Spidey costume to Eddie Brock and even the others who have taken up the mantle of Venom. So basically, the important key comics relating to Venom and the symbiote.

With the Venom Carnage movie, these keys should be garnering more interest in them. Some are still quite under-valued even in super high grades, and most won't be investment worthy under 9.6 NM+ grades. Most, but not all as you'll soon see.

Believe it or not, there will be several parts to this key comic series and quite a few comic investments worth noting and snagging. Alrighty, let's get this on and discover some key issues for this popular Marvel creepy crawler.

First appearance of black costume

The black costume idea and a fan-favorite Spidey look was designed by a Marvel Comics reader from Illinois named Randy Schueller. Marvel purchased the idea for $220 and Mike Zeck modified Schueller's design to become the costume we all know today.

Amazing Spider-Man #252 is the first appearance of the new black costume in the titled ASM series, and it does tie with Marvel Team-Up #141 and Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90 as having the same cover date. However, it does not tie as the first appearance of the black costume with two other comics. 

Amazing Spider-Man #252 is the first appearance of the black costume, because this issue hit the stands and comic shops before the other two comics. Here's the proof of that in Marvel Age #11 shown below.

Of course, this black costume would lead to the very strange, but popular Copper Age character that we know as Venom. 

Amazing Spider-Man #252 has been a sought out comic for quite a while, but with the Venom Carnage movie in the works, this comic is a definite comic investment to snag.

eBay - Absolutely no problem finding an unslabbed or slabbed copy of this issue here, much like everywhere else. Plenty of high grade 9.8s and 9.6s, a lot of Signature Series copies as well. Easy snag to find if you're hunting down this one.

mycomicshop - A boat load of copies here and quite a few are CGC or PGX graded slabs. A few Signature Series and the only 9.8 that isn't one is a PGX slab. No problem finding raw copies here as well, but they aren't high grade enough in my opinion.

ComicConnect - One CGC 9.8 up for auction here that ends in about 2 days. Two more CGC copies at a 9.6 NM+ and a 9.4 NM. Two unslabbed copies here as well.

ComicLink - Quite a few CGC copies available here. Highest is a whopping CGC 9.9 followed by a few 9.8s. Three of the 9.8s are Signature Series slabs. A few 9.6s as well as other options, but all are in the high grade range.

2nd appearance of black costume

Marvel Team Up #141 has been wrongfully thought as a comic that shares the first appearance of Spider-Man's black costume, before it went all alien and symbiote. 

The key issue status for this book is still not all that well-known even now. Way too much confusion, and the problem is that just because comics have the same cover date does not mean they were released on that date.

Actually, cover dates were to signify when comics were to be collected by distributors and then shipped back for refunds if they did not sell. Yes, this issue does share the same cover date as Amazing Spider-Man #252, but it came out or hit the stands after.

Actually, Marvel Team-Up #141 hit the market the same time that Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90 did. Here is the Marvel Age #11 page that confirms this.

This comic has been steaming up in the last few years, and it has the cover date of May, 1984 but was on sale February 14th of 1984.

eBay - CGC copies here and there are a few 9.8s. Regular Universals are nearing the $200 mark and 9.6s should be just a tad over the $100 mark but not for long.

mycomicshop - Two CGC copies but both are Signature Series. No regular Universals. Quite a few unslabbed copies but highest is a 9.2 low NM. Every unslabbed copy after are grades lower than that.

2nd appearance of black costume

Spectacular Spider-Man #90 ties with tMarvel Team-Up #141 as the 2nd appearance of the black costume but does have the 1st black costume in this title.  Once again look a the Marvel Age pages in the Marvel Team-Up #141 and Amazing Spider-Man #252 listings above if you haven't already.

Spider-Man is shown in the new black costume in the last page of this story, so wouldn't it be more like a cameo?

Who knows? Black Cat is also in this issue, but this issue isn't as sought out or in demand as Amazing Spider-Man #252. It is steaming up in higher CGC 9.8 grades though. 

This Venom key issue also has the cover date of  May, 1984.

eBay - Leave it to eBay to bring the CGC goodness. No 9.8s but there are 9.6s and only one that's reasonably priced under the $100 mark. Some 9.6 Signature Series copies also and copies lower than 9.6. Plenty of raw copies here.

mycomicshop - Only two unslabbed copies here in stock at the moment. One is VF and the other a FN.

ComicLink - Two CGC copies with the highest being a CGC 9.6 and the lowest a 9.2 low NM.

Black costume revealed as symbiote

Here's where things get good and start progressing towards Venom. In this issue, Mister Fantastic discovers that Spidey's new costume is a living symbiote. Mister Fantastic also learns that the alien is trying to permanently graft itself onto Peter. Driving it off Peter's body with a sonic blaster, Reed places the symbiote in a special container.

Spider-Man would return to his original costume in the next issue. November, 1984 was when this was published and it is still a sleeper by all accounts.

eBay - Only three CGC copies here and two are 9.8s, one with a Best Offer. CGC 9.6 also available as well as plenty of raw copies.

ComicLink - Only one copy here, but it is a CGC 9.6 NM+.

Origin of alien symbiote

A comic that's been talked about a few times on here, Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8 details the origin of the alien symbiote and how Spider-Man finds this thing. The whole Secret Wars limited series is a fan-favorite storyline and takes place on a world called Battleworld created by the Beyonder to pit Earth's superheroes against its supervillains.

This is still a highly under-valued comic in CGC 9.8s and 9.6s, and grades below a 9.6 aren't worth investing in. It was published December, 1984.

eBay - Okay, plenty of high grade copies of this issue on the mighty eBay at the time of this writing. There's even a CGC 9.9 copy and more 9.8s than I care to count, so I wont. Raw copies galore for this issue also.

mycomicshop - A lot of copies here for this issue which is no surprise. Quite a lot of 9.8 CGC slabs and 9.6s also. Plenty of raw copies also to choose from.

ComicConnect - Four slabbed copies here with two being PGX comics. Highest is one CGC 9.8 and one PGX 9.8. 2nd highest is a CGC 9.6 NM+ and the lowest is a PGX 9.0 VF/NM.

ComicLink - No problem finding high grade CGC copies for this issue here. Quite a lot of 9.8s and only three copies below that grade for the moment.

Peter breaks free of Symbiote
1st issue to new series

This the famous story where Spider-Man battle the symbiote who once again tries to attach itself onto Peter Parker. Must like in the movie Spider-Man 3, Parker uses the church bell to drive the symbiote off his body.

Web of Spider-Man #1 has broken the $100 mark and dropping a bit above it, but in terms of being a key issue involving Venom, this is one and a first issue to a new series as well.  April, 1985 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Quite a few CGC 9.8s and a lot of them are Signature Series, which I see no reason why there's so many SS copies for this issue. Actually kind of annoying, but there are plenty of slabbed copies for this key issue. Some are decently priced, most aren't. Oh, yes, raw copies are also plentiful as well.

mycomicshop - Six CGC copies with three graded 9.8. Two of the 9.8s are Signature Series with only one a regular Universal. Also three CGC 9.6s with two of the being Signature Series as well. Raw copies present at the moment.

ComicConnect - Only one CGC 9.6 NM+ slab copy. Two unslabbed copies with the highest also being a 9.6 NM+.

ComicLink - About seven slabbed copies here at the time of this writing. Most are 9.8s as expected. Only two 9.6 NM+ slabs.

All of the issues here a pre-Venom key issues and most are not hard to find at all whether they are unslabbed raw copies or slabbed graded copies. Not surprising since all are in the Copper Age of comics.

This is only Part 1 to this Venom key issues list, and there are more that directly has the Venom character in them. Part 2 is ready so just click the PART 2 link below to continue.