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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silver Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 2




The saga of Spider-Man continues with this key comics list. Once again, this is a character specific key issues series and will most likely be massive.

I will organize it by era (sections) and tried to even put a little navigation list to the ole right of this post so it'll be a tad more easier for you ladies 'n gents to bounce around to where you want to go. Hopefully, it does not look all screwed up on mobile phones.

So as well all know, there's a ton of keys in the Silver Age for Spidey, and it is one of the few Marvel characters that has had such a vast and well-received amount of supporting characters and villains that have become comic icons. It is truly a remarkable feat and most likely the reason why Spidey comics are so beloved and desired.

I've mentioned plenty of times that I am a fan of this character and still remain one. He is in my top five favorite comic characters of all time, and he is above the Punisher for me. I'll get to the reasons why when we enter the Bronze Age.

While I've been requested to expand or go into more details with this Spider-Man key comics series than the Collectors Most Important series I did prior for the character, I aim for this to be as detailed and fun as possible purely out of fandom.

All in all, this will be a massive key issues series and will take me some time to complete. Here's the next few Spider-Man key issues.

1st appearance & origin of Electro

So many classic Spidey villains and Electro is just another one of them. Most any Marvel fan knows of this villain, and he has battled not only Spidey but many other heroes like Daredevil for instance.

1st appearance of Electro! Is there anything more to say about that? Like his name suggest, this original Electro has the power to control electricity after being hit by lightning.

In the original origin, Maxwell Dillion was an electrical engineer and lineman when he was hit by lightning in a freak accident while trying to repair a power line. A classic and iconic villain would be born and comic history made.

As a living electrical capacitor, Electro is an original member of the Sinister Six and has joined other super villain teams like the Emissaries of Evil.  Theoretically, he can discharge up to one million volts of electricity, more than enough to fry your bacon and eggs and one wall-crawlin', web-slingin' Spider-Man.

Maxwell Dillion is a long-time foe of Spidey and one of his most dangerous as well. Francine Frye would be the 2nd character to take up the mantle of Electro, but we'll get to her much, much later.

Electro was the villain for the 2014 Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie and was played by Jamie Foxx. Despite the long ended movie-hype for this 1st appearance and origin of Electro, Amazing Spider-Man #9 is still one of the best early Spider-Man key issues to get or own.

CGC Census U.S. cents is 1,498 and the UK Pence total is  13.

My earliest memory of this character was seeing him in a re-run of the Spider-Man cartoon series back in 1967. My brother and I would watch this series as often as we could.

I'll throw in a youtube video of the cartoon just for some fun nostalgia. If it ain't showing, somebody came around and had it taken down.

Bringin' back good ole memories. Copyrighted November 12th in 1963, February, 1964 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #9.

1st appearance of Big Man
1st appearance of the Enforcers 

Before Kingpin, there was Big Man and the Enforcers who tried to gain control of New York's criminal gangs. This would be a recurring theme among various Spidey villains including Kingpin and various members of the Maggia like Hammerhead and Silvermane.

Although not the most iconic or well-known villains in Spidey comics or Marvel Comics, this group has teamed up with the likes of the Green Goblin in his 1st appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #14 and later with the Sandman. They have also battled the likes of Daredevil and Dazzler.

The original Enforcers are Fancy Dan, Ox, and Montana. Although they are muscle for hire and were hired by Green Goblin in the story that debuted his first appearance, Big Man employed the gang in his and their first appearance. Despite his name, he is diminutive in height unlike strongman Ox. 

With the civilian identity of Fredrick Foswell, he is actually an employee at the Daily Bugle who led a double life. As Fredrick Foswell, he is often a supporting character at the Daily Bugle that shows up often during the Silver Age.

The Enforcers are not super-powered villains, but each have a skill in combat. Fancy Dan was trained in martial arts and Montana is proficient with a lariat or lasso. 

Ox is just a strong brute and stands at almost 7 feet. Ox is Raymond Bloch and he has a twin brother named Ronald Bloch who becomes the 2nd Ox later. 

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats


So first time Big Man debuts a lon with the Enforcers and I believe this is the 6th appearance of Betty Brant. December 9th is the copyright date for Amazing Spider-Man #10 and this issue is cover-dated March, 1964.

 1st appearance of Bennett Brant
2nd appearance of Doctor Octopus

Some don't really care for 2nd appearances. I understand that 1st appearances are more desirable, but I think of it this way: Without a 2nd appearance, there would be no 3rd and no later appearances to establish a growing fan base for the character.

Doc Ock is definitely an iconic and fan-favorite Spidey villain. His 2nd appearance is no slouch in terms of value either, and this issue sees the classic 2nd published time these two meet and duke it.

This issue also sees the 1st appearance of Bennett Brant, the brother of Betty Brant. Although he apparently dies in this issue, it would later be revealed that he indeed became a later incarnation of Crime Master.

Don't think the big screen movies introduced this, but I think issue #11 also sees the first appearance of the Spider-Tracer. If my memory serves me correct, that little gadget was used on the Spider-Man 1967 cartoon and the 1977-79 Spider-Man TV series.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats


With the copyright date of January 10th, Amazing Spider-Man #11 most likely hit the stands around then and was taken off the racks around April, 1964 as dated on the cover. This issue also has the 2nd Doc Ock appearance on it's cover.

3rd appearance of Doctor Octopus

The cover is not misleading for this issue. Doc Ock is one of the first villains to actually unmask Spider-Man.

Yep, and it's done in front of J.Jonah Jameson and Betty Brant. Sick from a virus, Peter foolishly takes on Doc Ock and loses.

After he is unmasked, he does discover that Peter Parker is underneath the costume. However, like Betty and J.Jonah, Doctor Octopus does not believe the weakling Parker is our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. He would find out in later comics that this is true though.

So while Spider-Man is unmasked and these characters do see Peter in the costume, they don't believe he could possibly be the heroic Web-Head. When word gets around of his bravery and how he impersonated Spider-Man, Liz Allen suddenly wants to date him.

Parker is confused and a bit bitter since she wouldn't even give him the time of day before. She follows him around, but Doc Ock strikes again, and Peter slips into his Spidey costume to battle the iconic foe for the 3rd iconic time.

After defeating him, Parker returns back to his civilian identity and his high-school crush Liz Allen asks him out. He refuses her and states he's got a date with a certain Betty Brant and disses Flash Thompson in the process.

There are CGC census data for both the regular cents and pence copies of this issue. Any other foreign edition reprints, there's no real info worth mentioning but it's pretty common knowledge that the market for superhero comics were smaller than the U.S.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

So technically, Doc Ock does reveal Spider-Man's true identity although those who witness it don't believe it. A long with Doc Ock's 3rd appearance, Spidey and Doc Ock meet for the 3rd time and obviously have their 3rd battle ever in comics.

Amazing Spider-Man #12 with the 3rd appearance of Doctor Octopus was copyrighted February 11th and dated May, 1964 on the cover.

Amazing Spider-Man #13 - First Appearance of MysterioTHE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13
1st appearance & origin of Mysterio

Still an early Amazing Spider-Man comic and key issue, the first appearance of Mysterio was hot when Sony announced the Sinister Six movie and it looked like this character was to be a part of that. Mysterio is an original member of the super villain team that formed to rid of the web slinger.

Although Sony and Marvel struck that deal recently to make Spidey part of MCU, it seems that a Sinister Six movie isn't completely dead or Sony has yet to officially can the flick with a confirmation. Despite that fact, Mysterio is a classic and early Spidey villain who has recurred to cause all sorts of trouble for our hero.

I am not really sure why I like this villain so much. It may be his costume which I always thought was more alien-like than a master of hypnotism or illusions. His suit carries a wide array of personal weapons, most notably hallucinogen gases.

Mysterio's real name is Quentin Beck and he was created by none other than Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. His character started as a special effects designer for the movie industry.

In fact, he was the most accomplished special effects designer in the industry. Wanting to be a movie star and frustrated by his lack of recognition, Beck realized that his mastery of illusions could make him an effective criminal.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats


One of the most elusive of foes for the web crawler, Mysterio's first appearance and origin in The Amazing Spider-Man #13 has the cover date of June, 1964 and the copyright date of March 10th.

1st battle between Spider-Man, Giant-Man & Wasp
1st Spider-Man, Giant-Man & Wasp team up

An early meeting between Spidey and two more Avengers happens in Tales to Astonish #57. I believe this is the threesome's first meeting, and this issue came out before Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 or has an earlier copyright date.

It's apparent that Spider-Man knows of the Avengers long before this issue and knows that Giant-Man and the Wasp are members of the mighty superhero team. However, Giant-Man and Wasp are not sure of Spider-Man and vice versa, so they do go at it.

We've already seen Scott Lang played by Paul Rudd grow to Giant-Man size and go up against Tom Holland's Spidey in Civil War this year, and it was a really cool moment in that flick. Here's how their first bout played out in the comics, and Spidey has a little skirmish with the Wasp first.

Once Spidey breaks his fall and is safe, he webs up the Wasp. This would get Hank Pym as Giant-Man into the fray.

When the threesome realize that Egghead is the real culprit, the three then go into a classic team up against Eggy and his cronies. 

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

Copyrighted April 2nd, July, 1964 is the cover date for Tales to Astonish #57.

1st appearance of Green Goblin
1st Spider-Man vs Hulk battle
1st meeting of Spider-Man & Hulk
2nd appearance of the Enforcers

Now everyone knows that this issue is the first appearance of the Green Goblin, and he's one of Spidey's most iconic and classic of foes. That notation is the primary reason this comic is so sought-out and in-demand.

His first appearance is kinda comical. Green Goblin dupes the Web-Head into thinking that they're shooting a movie, and then the battle begins.

For the most part, Spidey battles Gobby's goons, but there are action scenes where Gobby takes some shots at our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man with some pumpkin bombs.

Outnumbered, Spidey does retreat to a nearby cave where the baddies follow and the battles ensues.

In their first ever battle, Spidey mainly eludes Green Goblin's stun-bombs. I don't think they ever trade blows.
We all know that the Green Goblin was later revealed to be Norman Osborn in this comic series, but Gobby's creepy look and cool gadgets struck a chord with fans. His Goblin Glider and pumpkin bombs, grenade like weapons in the shape of mini Jack-o'-lanterns, became iconic and synonymous with the character. They do not officially appear in this issue.

Razor bats were also weapons that became iconic to the character of Green Goblin as well. Although this key issue is excellent with just Spidey's first encounter and battle with the Green Goblin, those fine folks at Marvel decided to throw an extra something special into the mix as well. 

Enter: the Hulk who just happens to be in the cave hiding out, and this is the first time Spider-Man and the Hulk and battle as well.

Not the last time Spidey would go up against the Hulk either. In the end Spidey escapes the cave and has a short and brief altercation with Gobby again before the baddie escapes.

The Norman Osborn Green Goblin played by William Dafoe is so far the only big screen live action version of the character. There has been two versions of the Harry Osborn Green Goblin on the big screen though. Dafoe's Green Goblin is still the best portrayal on the big screen to date in my opinion.

This story is a double whammy battle issue. Not only does Spidey go up against the Green Goblin for the 1st time, he also goes up against the Hulk.

Yes, Amazing Spider-Man #14 has the 1st meeting and battle between the Web Slinger and the Jade Giant. Hard to keep away from the Hulk when it comes to early Marvel classic battles.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats 

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

Definitely a classic battle issue and Steve Ditko art. This one is full of key issue goodness, and it is definitely an Amazing Spider-Man comic to consider investing in. I think it's a must-have for any Spidey fan who can afford it. 

Amazing Spider-Man #14 has the cover date of July, 1964 with the copyright date of April 9th.

Amazing Spider-Man #15 - 1st apperaance of Kraven The Hunter
1st appearance of Kraven the Hunter
1st mention of Mary Jane
2nd appearance of the Chameleon 

The first appearance of Kraven The Hunter is a well-known Spider-Man key issue comic book. After all, Kraven is an original member of The Sinister Six, along with baddies Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Electro Vulture, and Sandman.

Early Amazing Spider-Man keys have proven to be good investments in high grades. No doubt that Spidey is one of the most iconic villains with a stable of memorable villains.

Kraven is just one of them, and the character's 1st appearance is in this issue here. It was later revealed that Kraven is the half brother of
Dmitri Smerdyakov, known as the Chameleon.

Kraven's goal is actually pretty simple. He is a maniacal big game hunter who believes that if he defeats Spider-Man it would prove he is the greatest hunter in the world. 

Although definitely a maniac, Kraven does have a sense of honor and will only hunt his game fairly or what he deems fair. He generally rejects the use of guns or bow an arrows to hunt.

Of course, Kraven and Spidey do end up tangling with each other but Spidey wins. At the end of the story it's seen Kraven and Chameleon being deported, an important scene that actually establishes continuity concerning his 2nd appearance.

Always loved this character. The story line Kraven's Last Hunt was the first time I was introduced to the character and I loved that series when I was kid. It's still my favorite Kraven story in Spider-Man comics.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

Kraven is Sergei Kravinoff, and Amazing Spider-Man #15 has the cover date of August, 1964 and mentions Mary Jane for the first time.

1st meeting with Daredevil
1st Spider-Man & Daredevil battle
1st Daredevil cross-over & 4th appearance

We may not see Daredevil and Spidey meeting on the big or small screen for a while, but I wouldn't say it can never happen. I mean, Daredevil and Hulk actually met live-action in the The Trial of the Incredible Hulk TV-movie back in 1989.

Unfortunately, Sony still has the film rights to our beloved Web Head. Still, this is a classic cross-over and 1st meeting, and I do believe the two go at it briefly in a first battle and then team up after DD breaks the Ringmaster's spell that controlled Spidey.

It's also Daredevil's 1st cross-over in comics and his 4th appearance. Spidey is the 2nd Marvel superhero character that Daredevil met ever. The first was the team of the Fantastic Four in Daredevil issue #2. 

Daredevil and Spider-Man battle until Daredevil frees Spidey from Ringmaster's control. Daredevil tears into some of Ringmaster's goons until Webslinger asks to be tagged in.

Spidey cleans up while Daredevil changes back into this civilian guise and rejoins the crowd in the circus.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

First meeting and battle with the Man Without Fear from New York's famed or infamous Hell's Kitchen, this is definitely a classic Spider-Man key issue for sure. Spider-Man and Daredevil would next meet in Daredevil #16. With the copyright date of June 9th and the cover date of September, 1964, Amazing Spider-Man #16 has lot's of goodness going for it.

Much like Superman and Batman, Spider-Man does have an intricate web of supporting characters that interweave with each other pretty seamlessly. If you think about all the comic characters that have had supporting characters that became iconic, there aren't really that many.

I'm talking about characters like Jimmy Olsen, Perry White, Lois Lane, Commissioner Gordon, Alfred, Dick Greyson, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, Betty Brant, Barbara Gordon, and the likes. Although there are obvious tweaks, the one thing I do appreciate greatly about the Sam Raimi Spider-Man flicks is that they are the most faithful to the early Spider-Man comics and the relationship between Peter and his supporting cast.

Just for the sake of being a bit more thorough, Daredevil #2 is double whopper of key issue goodness. It has the 2nd appearance of Daredevil and the 2nd appearance of Electro.

Once again, I did not feature it as an actual listing since Spidey is not in the actual story. It's still an important issue concerning Daredevil and Electro, and Daredevil is obviously the 2nd superhero the villain tangles with publishing-wise, despite whatever retcon may have changed this. I featured that comic in the Daredevil Key Comics series a while back, and it's also the first battle and meeting between the Man Without Fear and Electro.

Swing on to Part 3 of this series by clicking the blue numbered link below, Spidey fans!

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1 comment:

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