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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silver Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 3


Welcome to Part 3 of this Spider-Man key comics section, and, yes, we are still in the fantastic Silver Age. Marvel really revolutionized comics during this era with all the different and more complex characters they introduced.

While comics were still seen as kid's stuff during this time and what most publishers geared and marketed their properties to, Marvel was honing in on more of the teen readership when it came to the superhero genre. More complex characters with actual real life problems produced more complex stories

Spider-Man comics during this time greatly displayed this and something quite different for comic readers and fans. So far we have covered a few of Spidey's iconic villains, but there is surely more to come.

I've also seemingly caught an appearance mistake that I can actually confirm with hard evidence. Do not take this as a rip on Overstreet or anything near that vicinity.

I greatly admire and respect the work they do, and with the internet, it's extremely more easier to share and obtain information concerning this stuff than before. Besides, I've made quite a few mistakes on this site due to lack of information out there at a particular time.

Heck, we're all human and anyone who goes around toting that they know it all is full of it. Alright, let's start webslinging some more Spider-Man key comic issues! 

1st appearance of Sinister Six
2nd appearance of Mysterio 
3rd Sandman, Vulture, Electro & Kraven
4th appearance of Doc Ock

Sony was dropping the names all sorts of movies a while ago before they made that deal with Marvel/Disney, and a Sinister Six movie was one of them. However, with Spider-Man Homecoming coming out soon, things have quieted down concerning news of this spin-off flick.

Guess they want to see how well their new Spidey reboot does first. Makes sense to me.

Movie hype or no, Sinister Six is definitely a fan-favorite that teams up some of Spidey's iconic foes. The original Sinister Six was formed under Doc Ock and only had a single appearance in the Silver Age with no other new appearances in the Bronze Age.

This team of Spidey baddies would resurface in the Copper Age of comics and in the middle of 1990. The line up was changed due to Kraven already having died prior to their reformation.

Vulture is in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and many still think that this will branch off to a Sinister Six movie. The original Sinister Six are Doc Ock, Sandman, Electro, Vulture, Kraven and Mysterio.

Even though they formed the Sinister Six in this issue, the baddies still choose to fight Spidey individually. Vulture is the only one with the sense to try and fight them together, but it doesn't happen that way.

Overstreet notes ASM #18 as the 3rd appearance of Sandman, but this issue's copyright date actually precedes that one by two months.

This should be Sandman's 3rd appearance, and it should be Mysterio's 2nd published appearance, disregarding the retconned 1st appearance of Quentin Beck as some nameless dude in ASM #2 that a much later comic writer established. ASM Annual #1 also has the 3rd published appearances of both Electro and Vulture, and the 4th appearance of Doctor Octopus in an actual story.

Okay, let's look at actual continuity here. In Amazing Spider-Man #12 which has Doc Ock's 3rd appearance, he goes to jail at the end of that issue. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 has him break out of Jail in order to form the Sinister Six.

There's a bit of continuity glue right there but doesn't prove much. Let's bring up another point here and in this issue Vulture states that Spidey beat him twice before and that the third victory will be his. The last time Vulture and Spidey fought was in issue #7.

So we know that this issue occurred after the 2nd appearance of Vulture in Amazing Spider-Man #7. A little more continuity glue there.

The above panel specifically references ASM #11 and #12, when Spidey and Doctor Octopus met and fought each other for the 2nd and 3rd time. So, this takes place shortly after those issues as well and obviously after ASM #15, 1st appearance of Kraven.

So this leaves issue #16, #17, and #18 in question and just where in continuity Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 falls into place, right? Is it before #17 and #18 since #16 had Daredevil and Spidey with no Sandman?

This will make more sense when we get to issue #18, which the Sandman and Spidey meet and battle again. That listing will have the final verdict as to why this is the Sandman's 3rd appearance in comics.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

When it comes to the Canadian version of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 or any of the super early Marvel annuals, there's a bit of debate. Collectors in Canada swear that when they collected comics during the time this annual hit the stands in Canada they were exactly the same as the U.S. cents copies.

However, there are versions of this comic that have a blank inside cover and blank back cover. These are supposedly considered the Canadian editions and CGC has been noting and registering them in their data base as shown below.

Some dispute them as Canadian editions and some support them as such.  I am definitely no expert on this subject and could not find out if any of this was actually verified nor concrete evidence as to why there are versions that apparently did not use the ad space for these blank pages. 

Cover-dated 1964, Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 has the copyright date of June 11th.

2nd appearance of Green Goblin
1st unnamed cameo of Norman Osborn
1st appearance of Goblin Glider
1st appearance pumpkin bombs

While the 1st appearance of the Green Goblin is already pretty darn valuable, his 2nd appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #17 is still valuable but a bit more affordable in at least the 8.0 to maybe 8.5 CGC grade range. That also depends on what you deem affordable, but high grade copies 9.0 are definitely in the thousands as of this writing at least.

The Human Torch guest stars and Spider-Man and the Torch team up against Green Goblin. In Gobby's first appearance in ASM #14, he is shown riding something that looks more like a rocket, but in this issue we do see the famous Goblin Glider as we know it. Very different than the rocket-like version we first saw in Gobby's first appearance.

Also, while he did throw stun-bombs in that first appearance, they were not pumpkin bombs. This issue we finally see the iconic pumpkin bombs and two panels of an unnamed and unrevealed cameo of the character that would become Norman Osborn.

In the end and after a 2nd battle with Gobby, Spidey has to take off, and it looks like to others that he is chicken and running away. This incident would be carried over into the next issue of #18.

Human Torch is left to battle Gobby, and our iconic villain would make his escape as well. Spidey is seen as a coward by those who witness the event, which J.Jonah would delight in reporting about in the next issue.

CGC Census U.S. Cents Stats

CGC Census UK Pence Stats

Definitely love this cover, and the graded copy that Gerry has is really rich and vibrant in colors. Just beautiful! I'll display the pence cover since I could actually find an example of it.

Price is still 9d for pence copies.

Issue #18 would establish the ASM Annual #1 would actually precede issue #18 as Sandman's 3rd appearance. Panels are used as reference as evidence. Amazing Spider-Man #17 has the cover-dated October, 1964.

1st appearance of Ned Leeds
4th appearance of Sandman 

This issue is noted by Overstreet as the third appearance of the villainous Sandman. I am questioning it due to copyright and continuity.

I've explained a little bit of it in the Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 listing prior.  Before I get into that, let's talk about something that is definitely clear. 

This issue boasts the very first appearance of the character of Ned Leeds, but he only shows up in two panels in this comic. I believe he is unnamed as well. As we comic geeks all know Ned Leeds ends up becoming the future Hobgoblin....sort of

He was apparently kidnapped and brainwashed to believe he was the Hobgoblin. Actually, it's quite a story about how Ned Leeds was revealed to be the Hobgoblin.

Roger Stern created Roderick Kingsley and initially he was to have the character be revealed as the Hobgoblin. However, Stern left the series and those who took it up felt that Kingsley was a weak choice.

Therefore, Ned Leed's was unmasked as the Hobgoblin in The Amazing Spider-Man #289. However, Roger Stern was not happy with the choice of Ned Leeds and retconned this in the comic series Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives, which revealed that Roderick Kingsley was the original Hobgoblin and Leeds was a brainwashed fall guy.

Still, Ned Leeds character has been important to the Amazing Spider-Man series as well as the character of Hobgoblin. In the comics, he is a reporter for the Daily Bugle and is a rival of Peter Parker when it comes to the affections of Betty Brandt

Looks like Ned won and the two actually end up getting married in the comics.  The version of Ned Leeds in the upcoming Spidey film strays quite a bit from the comics, and the character is a high-school classmate of Peter. Leeds is played by actor Jacob Batalon

This issue has cameos of Green Goblin, Kraven, Doc Ock and Vulture. Gobby shows up in the beginning splash page and two panels but isn't really much in the main story. Vulture and Kraven show up in two panels in this issue with 2nd ones in flashback.

Okay back to continuity concerning why this is Sandman's 4th appearance as opposed to his 3rd appearance. The above panel should be a clue.

Gobby fought Spidey in the previous issue of #17. In that issue, Spidey is forced to leave the fight and have the Human Torch take over for him.

So this issue's continuity is continued from issue #17 for sure. Alright, I'll stop monkeying around. Here's the final nail in the coffin that the events happening in this issue are indeed after Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1. The panel below proves my point.

Panels from Amazing Spider-Man #18

So both ASM #17 and #18 happen after ASM Annual #1, and Sandman is definitely in this comic to merit a 4th appearance. Sandy has another glorious and pulse-pounding battle with the Web Head as well. 

I am thinking it's Sandy's 3rd skirmish with ole Spidey. There's just a little snippet above. Their 3rd encounter doesn't last all that long as Spidey has no wish to tangle with Sandman. Actually, all he does is avoid his blows, so not really a battle.  

Onward to all the cents and pence CGC data. Covers are still the same with the exception of the country price.

CGC Census U.S Cents Stats

Actually, there has yet to be any recorded data for UK Pence copies in the CGC Census. Couldn't find any example covers either and won't go huntin' for them.

Amazing Spider-Man #18  has the cover date of November, 1964 with the copyright date of August 11th, two months after ASM Annual #1.

1st cameo appearance of MacDonald Gragan
2nd brief appearance of Ned Leeds?
3rd appearance of Enforcers
5th appearance Sandman

Before he became the Scorpion, MacDonald Gragan did appear as himself one issue prior to costumed villainy. He actually only shows up in three panels at the very last page and is not named until the next issue.

In this issue, he is seen wearing a purple suit and a purple hat, but in the next issue, he's wearing a purple hat with a green suit. However, it is MacDonald in issue #20 and he is seen spying and tailing Peter Parker at the end of this issue.

We do not see who Gargan is working for in this issue. He is in shadow, but we do learn uncover that mystery in the next issue. The next issue would also see the first appearance of yet another iconic Spider-Man foe and basically the first full appearance of Mac Gargan.

Here's the CGC Census stats for U.S. copies. No info on pence copies as of yet.

In the 5th appearance of Sandman, he teams up with the Enforcers and captures Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four. 

Human Torch does end up breaking free and joining the fray in yet another Spider-Man & Human Torch team up.


The duo end up defeating the villainous team up and Sandman is nabbed by the po po at the end of this issue. Ned Leeds is finally named in this issue and meets Peter Parker for the 1st time.

Leeds only shows up in 6 panels on two pages. The Amazing Spider-Man #19 has the cover date of December, 1964 and was copyrighted September 8th.

1st & origin of the Scorpion

So the mysterious man who Mac Gargan is working for is actually none other than J. Jonah Jameson, and J. Jonah Jameson actually has a hand in creating the Scorpion! Such a dumb man.

Upon reading about a scientist who can create mutations in animals, J. Jonah brings private investigator Mac Gargan to Dr. Farley Stillwell and pays him off to make Gargan stronger than Spider-Man. The procedure works and the Scorpion is born.

So this issue is the 1st full appearance of Mac Gargan and him as the Scorpion. The procedure will have the side-effect of turning Mac Gargan more and more evil as Dr. Farley Stillwell discovers shortly after the procedure.

Although mainly a foe for Spidey, Scorpion would meet and battle several of Marvel's superheroes like Captain America, Ms. Marvel, and the Avengers just to name a few. 

Before I ever starting skating to the tiny, hole-in-the-wall comic shop downtown on my Lance Mountain skateboard, I remember seeing the Scorpion for the 1st time in an episode of the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon. Yes, it was a re-run, and come to think of it, I believe the series was where I was introduced to the Green Goblin too.

I remember thinking, This guy's got a tail that can smash through stone? Awesome! 

No info on pence copy submissions in the CGC Census as of this writing. I'm sure there are raw pence copies out there somewhere, but I'm also pretty sure they're more scarce as well.

Copyrighted October 8th, January, 1965 is the cover date for The Amazing Spider-Man #20.

1st appearance of Spider-Man robot
2nd appearance of Kang the Conqueror
2nd Spider-Man in Avengers series

There is debate about this one, and the cover is misleading on this one. Kang the Conqueror creates an exact duplicate of Spider-Man or a robot Spider-Man to infiltrate the Avengers. This robot Spider-Man ends up trapping and battling the Avengers.

The real Spider-Man is in this comic and battles the robot Spider-Man. However, the real Spider-Man doesn't interact on-panel with any of the Avengers in this comic.

Captain America is seen in a panel with Spidey, but Spidey is far away and floating on a parachute made of webbing in the distance. When I first discussed this comic, I got my info from Marvel wiki and it states that this is the 1st meeting between Spider-Man and the Avengers as the cover and title of the story states also.

However, after reading the actual issue, I see no interaction between the real Spider-Man and Avengers, so I apologize for the mistake when it comes to this issue. This is not the only appearance of the Spider-Man robot though.

The robot would battle the Avengers again and meet with the Ben Reilly Spider-Man later in comics. This issue also holds the 2nd appearance of Kang the Conqueror, even though his future self of Immortus debuted in the previous issue #10.

So far pence copies are pretty elusive. Could not find a cover example either.

Still a worthy key issue and Spidey cross-over in the Avengers comics, the date on the cover of Avengers #11 is December of 1964, but it has the copyright date of October 8th. I am placing this after ASM #20 since #19 and #20 continue the same story.

2nd appearance of the Beetle

Following his debut in Strange Tales #123, Abner Jenkins as the Beetle makes his 2nd appearance in this issue. Dissatisfied with his boring, low paying job as a master mechanic at an aircraft parts factory, Abner designed a magnanium alloy crafted battle-suit and sought adventure, fame and wealth.

He believed that defeating the Fantastic Four would garner him such rewards but was defeated himself and sent to prison. In his 2nd appearance in this issue, Jenkins is released from prison and carries out his plot for revenge on the Human Torch by kidnapping his girlfriend Dorrie.

With another fight between Torch and Spidey, Amazing Spider-Man #21 also has another team up between the superheroes against the Beetle as well. Jenkins would design various suits and change alter egos as well.

He would become Mach-1  in Incredibile Hulk #449 and then various versions of the Mach name such as 2, 3, 4, etc. in the Thunderbolts comic series.

However, Abner Jenkins was first known as the Beetle and was a villain. With the copyright date of November 11th, Amazing Spider-Man #21 has the date of February, 1965 on its cover.

1st appearance of Princess Python

Zelda DuBois is a snake charmer and pretty much a minor villain currently. I say currently because who knows what comic writer or artist can use this character and make her a fan-favorite today or in the near future.

She has made several appearances in comics and even lasted into the Modern Age. Her villainy would include memberships in such teams as the Circus of Crime and later the Serpent Squad, Serpent Society. 

A younger version of this villain became a member of the Masters of Evil later on. Not sure if this younger version is the same character or a different one just yet, but I'm sure I'll find out when we get to later Spider-Man keys.

Princess Python has appeared in Punisher comics, and had a romantic relationship with Johnny Blaze. She has been married to Stilt-Man and Gibbon, the ape-like mutant.

In Modern Age comics, it was discovered that Zelda DuBios is the mother of the character of the Executioner from the Young Masters of Evil in the Young Avengers comics. Like her son, Zelda has no super powers and was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

The date on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #22 is May, 1965 and this comic has the copyright date of December 4th, 1964.

3rd appearance of Green Goblin

Amazing Spider-Man #18 had a cameo of Gobby in it, but industry doesn't accept that issue as the 3rd appearance of the character. He only shows up on the beginning splash page which isn't really part of the story and on the page after that in a single panel that somewhat recaps his previous fight with Spider-Man.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 also has a pin up of Green Goblin after the main story. So Overstreet notes this as the 3rd appearance of the Green Goblin, and the maniacal villain is in the actual story and goes up against Spidey again for the 3rd time.

This issue sees Gobby try to take over a mob run by Lucky Lobo, and, of course, the mobster and his thugs tell Gobby where he can shove it. Gobby then obtains a list of businesses that Lucky owns but the IRS has no knowledge of.

Gobby then secretly leaks it to J. Jonah Jameson. Spidey ends up stumbling across all this, and as you can expect, the two don't play nice with each other.

No CGC Census for pence copies as of this writing, and with the copyright date of January 12th, Amazing Spider-Man #23 has the cover date of April, 1965.

3rd appearance of Mysterio

After his 2nd appearance in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, Mysterio comes back for another shot at Spidey. This is a tricky one to note as Quentin Beck is not suited up as Mysterio.

In fact, he is in disguise as psychiatrist Ludwig Reinhart. Vulture and Sandman and Doc Ock are just his illusions in this issue and don't actually appear. These illusions do freak the hell out of ole Web-Head, though.

In the end, Spidey finds out that Quentin Beck is behind his so-called madness or hallucinations when he unmasks him. Yet another loss for poor ole Mysterio. Perhaps he can cast the illusion that he won? 

So far no current data for pence copies concerning CGC, but there's a high chance some raw copies might exist out there. 

Cover dated May, 1965 with the copyright date of February 11th, Amazing Spider-Man #24 is not noted as being the 3rd appearance of Mysterio by either Overstreet nor CGC currently.

1st cameo Mary Jane Watson
2nd unnamed cameo of Norman Osborn?
1st appearance of Spencer Smythe

There is some interesting things in this issue. Norman Osborn is supposedly seen in a single panel visiting J. Jonah Jameson.

Overstreet notes this as a Norman Osborn app. and so do some sources like Marvel wiki. He is unnamed so I'm not 100% sure it's him or not. Perhaps, there is a retcon happening here, but I've found no info about that either.

If that is indeed him in the panel above, he is shown and not in shadow. It's such a minor and unnamed appearance that I don't think it's a super big deal anyway.

Mary Jane Watson is mentioned by name in this issue, and although she is physically in the story, her face is covered by some huge flower. By this time, Peter has a love triangle of sorts with Liz Allen and Betty Brant. Classic panels when they meet Mary Jane for the first time.

Time to up your game, gals! A new lady is in town and right next door to ole Peter Parker.

As for Spencer Smythe, he debuts in this issue and has created some kind of robot that can destroy Spider-Man. Of course, J. Jonah Jameson is eventually interested.

A pretty minor character and villain, Smythe is responsible for creating the Spider Slayers, which are robots designed to hunt down Spider-Man for the purpose of either capturing or killing our hero. The 1st Spider Slayer obviously debuts in this issue as well.

Although I clearly established that Amazing Spider-Man #18 is after Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1, it's not so clear cut when it comes to Kraven the Hunter. His 2nd appearance is noted in Tales of Suspense #58.

cover image of Tales of Suspense #58He appears in 8 panels on 2 pages in that story, but the copyright date for Tales of Suspense #58 is July 9th, 1964, which is almost a month after annual #1. However, the story in ToS #58 definitely follows the events right after Amazing Spider-Man #15 and his first appearance.

At the end of ASM #15, he and the Chameleon are shown as being deported. In ToS #58, Kraven mentions deportation and the two are obviously coming back to U.S. shores.

Because ASM #15 and Tales of Suspense #58 establish continuity, I don't question ToS #58 as the 2nd appearance of Kraven the Hunter since no continuity is referenced or hinted at for the character in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1.

The story in ToS #58 obviously takes place before ASM Annual #1. After all, how the hell did fight Spidey without coming back first to the NY shores. 

So it's not always such a clear cut case when it comes to using copyright dates or which issue hit the stands first. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 could've very well came out before Tales of Suspense #58, but the stories obviously has the events of ToS #58 happen before.

Still, if we are going by which actually hit the stands first based on the Library of Congress copyright date, then ASM Annual #1 might be the 2nd appearance of Kraven the Hunter. Oi, the confusion of it all.

What is known is that his first appearance and debut without any later retcons is Amazing Spider-Man #15. That was featured in Part 2.

I decided not to be a douche and included scans with the category columns for the CGC Census screen shots. Once again, the order is super easy to remember and I do suggest that you do since it's one less thing to constantly have to refer to when looking up the data.

I've found that less time is spent researching possible buys when you know the CGC Census column categories, but that's just me. 

Also, concerning the next appearance of the Sandman after Amazing Spider-Man #19, it is in Fantastic Four #36 which also holds the 1st appearance of Medusa and the Frightful Four. Spider-Man is sort of in that story. Actually only his hand is seen in one panel, and he is stealing a piece of cake.

We've got more Silver Age Spider-Man key issues to go through, so see ya at the next part! 

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1 comment:

  1. Hey Vic, so far this is a great post. I can't believe the amount of time it must have taken to research all of this great information. I, being a huge Spidey fan, love it. However, I don't have a copy of ASM #17....yet. I think you have it confused with ASM #122. The colors are very similar so I can understand the mistake. Man, I'd be stoked if I had an 8.5 of #17. Guess I'll have to start saving my pennies for one.