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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silver Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 6


SILVER AGE
BRONZE AGE

 COPPER AGE 

 MODERN AGE
Ah, my Spidey Sense is tinglin', and it's telling me that there is going to be one part after this one to this Spider-Man key comic section that deals with the Silver Age. Don't worry, we still have the Bronze Age, Copper Age and Modern Age to go through.

I did say this was going to be massive, but once again, I'm trying to have it organized so it isn't a total cluster or cluttered mess of 30 or more on-going parts. In case you haven't noticed, I've smooshed more key issues into each part and will continue to do the same for the next following sections of eras.

We are still on the John Romita Sr. era of Amazing Spider-Man, and Part 5 had already detailed some of his co-creations like Mary Jane, Shocker, Rhino, Robbie Robertson, and Kingpin. We will be seeing more of the iconic villain the Kingpin, and yet another classic Spider-Man character and his first appearance.

Alright, get those web-shooters ready as these might be more keys you Spidey fans will maybe want to snag in your web. Here they are.





THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #4
4th appearance of Mysterio


It's a Wizard and Mysterio team up and another brawl and team up with Spider-Man and the Human Torch in this issue. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4 sees the 4th appearance of Mysterio and 3rd in his actual iconic costume.

Of course, I am discounting the later retcon that the Tinkerer paid Quentin Beck and some other out of work actors and stuntmen to dress up like aliens in Amazing Spider-Man #2. If you missed the low down on that, you can click that blue link to catch up.

Also discounting any pin ups the character may have had prior. Mysterio is actually in the story of this issue and also graces the cover but in shadow.

I do not think anyone is noting this issue as Mysterio's 4th appearance. At least Overstreet and CGC don't yet. So it's no surprise to me that it has a low CGC Census total.




Once again, this is really called the Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special #4, but it's known as just an annual nowadays. Couldn't find any info on UK pence copies, and this issue pencils and cover is the artwork of Larry Lieber with inks by Mike Esposito.

November, 1967 and August 1st is the cover and copyright date for this issue with 4th appearance of Mysterio.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #56
1st appearance of Capt. George Stacy


 Captain George Stacy is the father of Gwen Stacy and is first seen as a respected and retired former member of the NYPD police department. The character was created by Stan Lee, John Romita Sr. and Don Heck, and despite Spidey being a masked vigilante operating outside of the law, he was seen as a supporter of the Web-Head.

In this issue, Spider-Man is somehow tricked or brainwashed into helping Doc Ock steal some kind of Nullifer. John Jameson brings Capt. Stacy out of retirement to investigate.


Peter does not meet Gwen's father in this issue, and Capt. Stacy only appears in 4 panels on 2 pages in this comic. He will meet George Stacy in the next issue as Spider-Man.

As Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #59, Capt Stacy finally meets Peter and interviews him. He immediately likes Parker and encourages him to continue to see his daughter Gwen.

The character of Capt. Stacy was portrayed in 2 of Spidey's film franchises, beginning with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3. He was played by actor James Cromwell and the character a long with Gwen Stacy was supposed to appear in the cancelled Spider-Man 4.



Capt. George Stacy was also a character in Marc Webb's rebooted Amazing Spider-Man and was played by Dennis Leary. This version is more the Ultimate version, but unlike both comic versions, Leary's Capt. Stacy was not a supporter of Spider-Man and considered him a threat and a criminal.

He was also seen as not that supportive of Peter and Gwen dating in the film. Upon realizing that Peter is Spider-Man in the flick, he does change his opinion about Spidey but makes Peter promise not to see his daughter anymore in order to keep her safe. 

That would definitely play out different in the issue where Capt. Stacy dies, but that is during the 70s which will come later. Copyright is October 10th for Amazing Spider-Man #56 and the date of January, 1968 is on the cover to this issue.








THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #57
1st full or 2nd Capt. Stacy
1st meeting & battle between Spider-Man & Ka-Zar
1st meeting Spider-Man & George Stacy



Once again, I'm not 100% sure the standards of a 1st appearance that industry green lights, so this issue here is either Capt. Stacy's 1st full appearance or just his 2nd. He appears in more than 13 panels and on more than 4 pages in this issue.

But whatever, and either way, this issue has more goodness to it than that. While I doubt this will ever play out on the big screen but Ka-Zar first meets Spider-Man in this issue.

Yep, it's true. Spidey states that he doesn't know who Ka-Zar is in the panels below


As usual J. Jonah Jameson is behind Ka-Zar hunting down our friendly neighborhood wall crawler.

Issue also has the first meeting of Capt. Stacy and Spider-Man. He would be an ally of Spidey until his apparent death.


Now onto the CGC Census for U.S. copies. So far no information for UK pence versions.



I am sure that there were UK pence copies printed up for this issue, but I was unable to find an example cover online. Not sure if the price is still 10d for this comic or not.

Since the cover date is early in year at February, 1968 for Amazing Spider-Man #57, the copyright date for the issue is November 9, 1967. The comic probably hit the stands in late 1967.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #59
1st appearance Brainwasher?
1st cover appearance Mary Jane Watson
Cameo of Kingpin 


Finally M.J. gets her own cover spotlight with this issue. Seems a bit strange she didn't get one sooner since after she was fully shown.

Then again, M.J. did get a cover spotlight before Gwen Stacy, and Gwen definitely appeared fully sooner. Still, there's more than meets the eye concerning this comic.

Although I did not note it, this issue sees the first time Capt. Stacy and Peter Parker as himself finally meet face-to-face when he is brought in to be questioned about Spider-Man's strange behavior.




So very different how this actual first meeting played out in the comics than in either movie. In Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man, Peter and Capt. Stacy meet for a pretty tense dinner when Pete contradicts Capt. Stacy's assessment of Spider-Man as being a masked menace.

In Spider-Man 3, I believe Capt. Stacy first meets Peter to tell him that Flint Marko was the one who actually killed Uncle Ben.

This story in this issue aside from Peter first meeting Capt. Stacy is interesting in a goofy way. I guess, this issue was an attempt at more of a thriller/suspense type story.

Yes, I am going to ruin it for ya. So throughout the comic, you see a bunch of henchmen refer to a character called Brainwasher.

This issue even sees the Brainwasher talking but is never shown. Not sure why this is considered a first appearance of the Brainwasher when he's never shown throughout the story, but it is what it is.

In the end, we finally find out that the Brainwasher is actually the Kingpin in a one panel cameo. 


Definitely became more sought-out when collectors realized recently that it was the 1st cover appearance of Mary Jane. The census for CGC graded copies look like this so fart.



Kinda goofy and weird story to be honest and feels weird to note it as a "1st appearance of Brainwasher" as well like Overstreet does. 1st Kingpin as Brainwasher maybe?

I don't know. I just work here, and it's the only appearance of Kingpin as the Brainwasher I think. Kingpin last full appearance physically within and part of the main story was Amazing Spider-Man #52.

Amazing Spider-Man #59 is cover-dated April, 1968 and was copyrighted January 9th.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #60
2nd Kingpin cover
4th full appearance of Kingpin



The Kingpin of Crime finally gets his 2nd cover in his 4th full appearance, 5th if you want to count the cameo in issue #59. Since it was revealed that the Kingpin is the mysterious Brainwasher in the previous issue, we have another epic confrontation between the Web Slinger and Wilson Fisk, and I believe that it may be their 3rd battle.


It's a pretty short fight that lasts around four pages. Captain George Stacy is still brainwashed in this issue and attacks Peter later in the comic.




In the end, photos reveal that Capt. Stacy was stealing police records. The drama unfolds and continues in the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man.

2nd cover with the Kingpin on it in comics ever and his 4th full appearance, Amazing Spider-Man #60 has the cover date of May, 1968 with the copyright date of February 8th, 1968.







MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #14
1st Ross Andru Spider-Man art

One of the reasons this sucker is on here is because it's the first published Spider-Man artwork by Ross Andru. As we know, Ross Andru also drew the first published Punisher, and he would have a near consecutive run on the titled series during the Bronze Age of comics.

Andru would nearly produce illustrations on Amazing Spider-Man from issues #125-185 with a few gaps here and there. While there are not really any significant 1st appearances with the exception of the main villain's 1st and only appearance of the Sorcerer and the Synthetic Man, this issue is worth noting here for Punisher fans.

Apparently this story saw publication because John Romita Sr. sprained his wrist or something according to the credits on the splash page to this story. Here's the reason this story came about as written in that arrow on the page below.



Before this issue, Ross Andru was mainly doing for DC Comics. He did Marvel artwork for Not Brand Echh #1 and two issues of The Uncanny X-Men #36 and #37 in 1967 before getting this assignment.

He was also still doing art for DC Comics as well before this comic issue. So Spidey and Ross Andru fans, this one is featured here and Marvel Super-Heroes #14 has the cover date of May, 1968 with the copyright date of February 8th.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #61
1st Gwen Stacy cover
1st Capt. Stacy cover
5th full appearance of Kingpin 



Well, M.J. got her first cover appearance and now it's time for Gwen Stacy to get hers. This issue is it and it also has the 1st Capt. Stacy cover as well. 

Obviously a bondage type cover with Gwen and Capt. Stacy all tied up. The story arc comes to a head in this issue and Kingpin captures both Gwen and her father but Spidey saves the day. That means yet another confrontation between the wall crawler and Kingpin.

Norman Osborn is beginning to regress from his amnesia and starts to obsess about the Green Goblin. This would play out in issues after this one until he eventually becomes Gobby again later.


Capt. Stacy is cured of his brainwashing and absolved of all responsibility of his prior crime.

Wraps up all nice and neat. Sort of.

Under the brainwashing of Kingpin, Gwen's father did attack Peter in the last issue, and he did defend himself. Unfortunately, Gwen walked in and got the impression that Peter attacked her father, in which her father also claimed.

While Spider-Man is in good graces with Gwen for saving her and her father at the end, Peter Parker is still in the dog house with his Gwendy at the end of this issue.



 

1st covers of important characters are desired by collectors. Might be a good one to consider for Gwen Stacy fans. Don't think this one has taken off to ridiculous prices just yet or at the time of this writing for some NM grades, but they're probably expensive at 9.8s and 9.6s. 

With the copyright date of March 7th, the date of June, 1968 marks the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #61, and it is a really cool action cover by John Romita Sr.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #62
1st Spider-Man & Medusa meeting


Time to expand Spidey's experiences in the Marvel Universe, yeah? So far, he's met quite a few super heroes such as Ka-Zar, Avengers, X-Men, Daredevil and Fantastic Four. The Inhumans or an Inhuman?

This issues sees Spidey first encounter Medusa of the Royal Family. He did encounter Crystal in Fantastic Four #61, but he only saw her and did not interact with the other Inhuman.


Is it an issue that's a game changer? In my humble opinion, not really.

The two aren't really all that connected after this issue, but it is a fun first meeting between the two. I think it's a pretty classic cover.

Due to typical misunderstandings, Spidey and Medusa do clash in this comic. One's a brief skirmish at the beginning and then a more formal bout later in the issue. No team up though.

So far no data for any UK pence copies of this issue and could not find a cover example. Here's the regular U.S. cents stats as of this writing.

 
Having the copyright date of April 9th and the cover date of July, 1968, Amazing Spider-Man #62 is also the first time Medusa appears in the Amazing Spider-Man titled comic series.








SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE #1
1st issue to Spider-Man magazine
1st Spider-Man spin-off 
Updated retelling of Spider-Man origin



Before the actual title became a spin-off on-going series for Spidey, Spectacular Spider-Man was a 2 issue comic printed in Magazine format. This might be Spider-Man's first magazine format comic. 

During the Bronze Age, Marvel begin using the magazine format to go around the Comic Code Authority so they could print stories that were more violent or contained partial nudity. That reason is not the same concerning the Spectacular Spider-Man Magazines that came in 1968.

Supposedly, Marvel felt that Spidey was popular enough at the time to have spin-off titles for the Web-Head and this series was an experiment in that regard and for Marvel to venture into the black and white comic magazine format that Warren Publishing successfully pioneered. So, it wasn't about going around the Comics Code Authority like some of the other Marvel magazines during the 70s are most noted for like Conan and Marvel Preview.

This series, although being only 2 issues, is the first intended Spider-Man spin-off publication. The 2nd was Marvel Team Up in the early 70s believe it or not.

While John Romita Sr. did the layout for the cover, it was painted by artist Harry Rosenbaum with acrylic paint on illustration board. The first story "Lo, This Monster!" in the spin-off mag was penciled by John Romita with inks by Jim Mooney.

The second story "In The Beginning!", was penciled by Larry Lieber and inked by Bill Everett. Larry Lieber is the younger brother of Stan Lee. 



As you might of noticed, there is a strange 40 cent price variant for this comic that not too many know about. Some are saying that it's specifically a Canadian price variant, and the regular U.S. cover to this magazine also has 40 cents noted for price in Canada.

Kinda strange that Marvel would have both the price for the regular cover and then one specifically just with the Canadian price, but I really have no clue why that was done. CGC doesn't note it as a Canadian price variant just yet as displayed in the CGC Census, but these copies do exist and they have a low census so far. 

Interesting stuff for price variant collectors out there. Never even knew about these before. 

So this issue does retell Spidey's origin but begins at the funeral for Uncle Ben and expands on Peter's guilt for his murder as well as some other untold events in discovering his new-found powers.  







The origin then pretty much plays out the same after those panels. In the original telling in Amazing Fantasy #15, Petey discovers his super-strength after scaling the side of building and crushing a steel pipe on the roof by accident.

This issue's interior was done in black and white, but the 2nd issue was done in color. Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #1 has the same copyright date of April 9th like Amazing Spider-Man #62 and with the same cover date of July, 1968.







AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #63
Return of Adrian Toomes as Vulture
3rd appearance Blackie Drago as Vulture



The new Vulture or Blackie Drago as the villain does not last long. This is his 3rd appearance of him as Vulture after Amazing Spider-Man #49, where he and Kraven fought each other and Spider-Man.

So the last we saw Toomes in Amazing Spider-Man #48, he was dying in a prison hospital bed. This issue reveals how he beat the illness, and it's pretty far-fetched and lame in my opinion.




Eh, who says miracles still don't happen. One just needs a strong desire for revenge to overcome death!

In this issue, Toomes returns to claim his throne and Blackie and him scrap it out for the right to be the Vulture. 


Once he bests Drago and Spider-Man shows up, the comic sets up another confrontation between the original Vulture and our web slingin' hero. They don't scrap in this issue but do so in the next issue. It would be Toomes 5th full appearance as the Vulture.

This is technically the 5th ever appearance of Toomes as the Vulture counting the cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #18. However, it is the 4th full appearance of Toomes as the Vulture if you disregard cameos like Overstreet and CGC normally do.


This issue has a pretty low over-all census total, but this comic does have a mostly black cover. Could it be scarcer in higher grades like Amazing Spider-Man #28 and the first appearance of Molten Man?
 
Might be and could be one to think about. Like mentioned before, it does have a low total of registered copies. ASM #28 has a total of 1,422 as of this writing with no 9.8s.

Gonna keep an eye out on this one and see how the "black cover" theory plays out for this issue. Amazing Spider-Man #63 has the cover date of August, 1968 and was copyrighted May 9th during the year.







SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN MAGAZINE #2
2nd issue to Spider-Man magazine
Return of the Green Goblin

In the previous issues leading up to this one, Norman Osborn cannot get the Green Goblin out of his mind and the mentioning the name makes his worse. He keeps seeing memories or flashbacks but does not understand why.

It is literally driving him insane and as the visions of Gobby and Spider-Man uncontrollably keep spinning around in his mind, Norman Osborn suddenly realizes and remembers that he is the Green Goblin.


Welcome back Gobby! Well, sort of. 

The two do fight once again and it's a pretty epic battle and Spider-Man is burdened of what to do since he doesn't want to end Norman Osborn but is concerned that he knows his secret identity.


Finally, the ole Web-Head gets an idea and uses the special psychedelic vapors from one of the pumpkin bombs and some hypnotic suggestions to make Norman Osborn fear both the Green Goblin and Spider-Man. Somehow this also makes Osborn forget who Spidey really is.










So Norman Osborn once again forgets Spider-Man's secret, but Peter wonders for how long. We shall wonder for a bit as well, but we'll get to that issue in the Bronze Age section. It is a historic comic book for other reasons. 




Wow, surprised at how may 9.8s this issue has in the census for far and none of them are restored. One 9.9 copy also. Looks like collectors kept this one is pretty great shape over the years.

I love the cover to this comic magazine, and it's one of my favorite Spidey covers. I just love the colors and how they're rendered, but the layout and perspective really brings the viewer right into the action. I think it would've made an amazing 3-D cover. 

So this is the last issue to the experimental spin-off Spidey title in magazine format, and Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2 has the cover date of November, 1968 but was copyrighted August 1st of the same year. 

Copyright wise, this magazine predates issue #66 and Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 by only a few days.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #5
1st appearance of Richard Parker
1st appearance of Mary Parker


Well, it's about time we see Peter Parker's parents Richard and Mary Parker. As readers, we've also known that Pete was adopted by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May.

Created by Stan Lee and his younger brother Larry Lieber, Peter and Mary's origin was never explained nor why Peter was raised by his uncle and aunt. 

In this story, Peter finds newspaper clippings about his parents being traitors and demands Aunt May tell him who his parents were.

Aunt May explains to Pete a little bit about his parents, and their 1st appearances are in flashback as well, of course. 



However, Pete's aunt either doesn't know the full story or refuses to tell him so Peter as Spider-Man investigates on his own and goes to Algeria.

His detective work leads him to none other than the Red Skull. I do believe this is the first official meeting between the two and apparently the iconic villain is tied to Parker's parents.

 
Eventually, one of Red Skull's henchmen ends up spilling the beans.

 

So apparently both Richard and Mary Parker were agents that were sent undercover to bring down the Redskull, and the Redskull had them killed. This tale would be expanded on in later comics and even had Logan (Wolverine) be the first to offer congratulations when Mary and Richard discovered they were pregnant with Peter.

This issue is the origin how Peter came into the care of Richard's older brother Ben and his wife May. Once again, art by Larry Lieber and Mike Esposito. 

Red Skull and Spider-Man would battle in this issue as well. Pretty cool comic and definitely a key issue worth noting and having. Also not that well-known either, and this sort of played out on the big screen. Well, Parker's parents dying in a plane crash was mentioned in Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man flick, although Richard Parker was a scientist that stumbled onto some secret he didn't want falling into the wrong hands.

Richard Parker was played by Campbell Scott and Mary was played by Embeth Davidtz. The character's version in the film is more closely based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comics version.

  
Cover dated November, 1968 with the copyright date of August 13th, The Amazing Spider-Man King-Size Special or Annual #5 is a Spidey key I have yet to discuss on this site. 







One more part to go for Silver Age Spidey keys, and it's been a long ride for me at least. When it comes to the villain of the Chameleon after Tales of Suspense #58, he starts appearing in Tales to Astonish as menace for ole Hulk. 

I believe the master of disguise has his 4th appearance in Tales to Astonish #62 and then appears in issue #63, #64, and #66 in cameos I think. In Tales to Astonish #62 he impersonates General Ross.

Chameleon would not appear again in an actual story in the Amazing Spider-Man comics until the beginning of the 70s. Once again, getting a bit ahead of myself here.

Continue onward for the final part to this Silver Age Spidey section or go back if you missed the others. Navigation numbers below will swing ya to where ever you like. 

When I start completing the other comic era sections to this series, you'll start to see the links turn blue instead of black.


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SILVER AGE | BRONZE AGE | COPPER AGE | MODERN AGE

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