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Saturday, January 7, 2017

Silver Age Spider-Man Key Issues Part 7


SILVER AGE
COPPER AGE

MODERN AGE
Welcome to Part 7 to this Silver Age Spider-Man key issues series and this one here will be the last part dealing with the Silver Age. John Romita's long run is somewhat coming to an end and John Buscema will be brought into to help with layouts and pencils for a few issues.

Romita would still contribute on the Amazing Spider-Man title and still did many covers during this particular time. I think he was made art director for the titled series or something.

During the 70s, Gil Kane would also be brought in on the Amazing Spider-Man title, but we'll get to that after this here part. We're not quite there yet Spidey fans.

We still got a few more characters that Romita contributed to the Spidey mythos as well as the beginning of some of the contributions John Buscema contributed as well.

To recap, since I'm publishing this Silver Age era all at once, there will be screen shots of the CGC Census for all comics featured. Some of them will have UK pence data if they provide it. 

Within the listing, the U.S. CGC Census screen shot will be first followed by the UK census screen shot. They will not be updated ever since I am using the data as a marker or reference to see how the numbers have changed over time.  

Pence covers will be displayed if they can be found, so not all the listings here will have them. Alright, enough of the yabberin' and let's sling some of these key Spider-Man issues out why don't we?




AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #66
5th appearance of Mysterio

While Mysterio was on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4, he was in shadow at the very bottom right hand corner and billed as one of the two mystery guest villains on that cover.

So this may very well be Mysterio's 4th cover appearance. I like the dramatic pose Mysterio is in as he points at Spidey with his other hand wide open like he's about to give the wall crawler a smack.

Here's a continuity reference in this issue to signify the last time Spider-Man and Mysterio last met and battled in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4 or King-Size Special #4 if you want to be technical. Image is in flashback indeed.

Whatever you think about cover appearances and what counts, this is Mysterio's 5th appearance in comics, and he is the main baddie of the story and up to all his mastery of illusions yet again to give Spidey a smack down.







Not 100% sure, but this might be Romita's first Mysterio. Amazing Spider-Man Annual #4 credits Larry Lieber as penciling the entire issue. Romita may have done touch ups or something on that issue. Some sources credit Romita for ASM Annual #4 and some don't.

Romita and Don Heck are credited with pencils on this issue, and the date of November, 1968 is on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #66 but was copyrighted August 8th.








THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #67
1st brief appearance of Randy Robertson
6th appearance of Mysterio


Expanding more on the supporting cast of Spider-Man and the character of Robbie Robertson, his son Randy Robertson is introduced in this issue. Unlike his even-tempered father, Randy Robertson is a hot-head but is willing to stand up for the issues he believes in.

A student at Empire State University, Randy joins student activism early on and his character was a way for the creatives to add a real sense of what social changes and concerns were actually going on and addressed in the U.S. during the era to make Spider-Man comics more relevant to its readers. Taking the advice from his father, Randy befriended Peter Parker.

He would eventually marry Amanda Batavides, a Jewish woman, and the two would be one of the first interracial married couples in Marvel Comics during the 80s. Iron Fist and Misty Knight were an early interracial couple during the 70s but never married.

Randy Robertson only shows up in 5 panels on one page in this issue. He makes a more fuller appearance in the next issue of #68. 


Randy Robertson has yet to make a live-action appearance but the character has appeared on the 1994 Spider-Man The Animated Series and the Spectacular Spider-Man animated television series from 2008.

The epic battle with Spider-Man and Mysterio continues in this issue. Somehow Mysterio has made Spidey only 6 inches tall beginning at the end of the previous issue. In this issue, Spidey fights what seems to be a giant Mysterio.



Of course, Spidey figures out Mysterio's tricks and defeats him. Kind of a goofy explanation of how Spidey thought he was small and Mysterio was so big, but this is comics after all.

 

Watch out for them post-hypnotic suggestions. They can get ya doing or thinking things you wouldn't believe. 

The character of Randy Robertson was created by John Romita and Stan Lee, and December, 1968 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #67. This issue was copyrighted September 10th.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #68
1st full or 2nd appearance of Randy Robertson
1st Randy Robertson cover
6th full appearance of Kingpin?



This may be the 6th full appearance of the Kingpin. As mentioned before, he does show up in a cameo in Amazing Spider-Man #59, where it's revealed he is the Brainwasher.

Kingpin also shows up in a one panel hallucination in the Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2. He is not "physically" in that story, though.

Kingpin is actually in this issue's story and he is seeking the Lifeline Tablet. This strange tablet has a secret formula carved into it, and once deciphered and concocted into a potion, it will supposedly enhance someone into a God-like being.

As mentioned before, Randy Robertson shows up more fully in this issue and meets Peter Parker for the first time. Randy appears in well-over 15 panels and on more than five pages in this story.



During this time, it seemed that the character of Randy was brought into the fold to depict the element of real world student activism and protests during the time. Just like what was going on in real life in the U.S. during the era, race and social issues also seeped into the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man to make the comic relevant to readers.






So while the kids protest the ex hall being handed over to the alumni instead of providing affordable dorms to its students, the Kinpin arrives to steal the tablet on exhibit there. 

Randy helps Spidey when Kingpin gets the upper-hand over the Web-Head in battle, giving the hero a second to recover. 



Despite his heroic deed, Randy is arrested as a suspect for stealing the tablet.

We all know who really did it, and at the end of issue, Spidey trails Kingpin as the crime boss tries to make his escape. 

This issue also has the first appearance of Josh Kittling. Both him and Randy Robertson's characters would be used to voice how black Americans supposedly felt during the time. This was not common in comics at the time. The Civil Rights movement had started prior but was still going on by the time this comic hit the stands.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 was enacted April 11th and provided for equal housing opportunities regardless of race, creed, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.”

The feminist movement during 1968 was still growing strong and is historically known as the 2nd wave of feminism. In September of 1968, a group of 400 protestors, many students, gathered outside the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City and burned bras, false eyelashes, high-heeled shoes, curlers, hairspray, makeup, girdles, corsets, and other items the protesters called "instruments of female torture". 

Guess that idea has mainly faded. Cosmetics is a billion dollar industry today after all, and probably got an ever bigger push when all-male 70s and 80s rock/glam bands started wearing make up. Just some history there and some events that happened during the year this comic came out. 

This time is a piece of American history where people fought for rights agaisnt social injustice. For many today, it's still a continuing battle.



I don't think Peter is ever seen joining in protests in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man. Sources say he was too busy fighting crime as Spider-Man, but in the actual stories, he just wasn't interested. 

Martha Robertson, the wife and mother of Robbie and Randy, does show up in a photo in one panel of this comic. This issue of Amazing Spider-Man #68 was copyrighted October 10th of 1968 but has the cover date of January, 1969.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #69
3rd appearance of Randy Robertson
3rd Kingpin cover
7th full appearance of Kingpin?



This issue is the 3rd cover that the Kingpin graces and also has the 3rd appearance of Randy Robertson. In this issue, we get a hint of the struggle that some young African Americans had concerning their elders or those who were to afraid to stand up to the establishments injustice towards them.

Marvel doesn't hint at choosing any side concerning this, but merely brings up the dilemma without really answering whose right or wrong. Even when Robbie questions Randy's thinking, his son seems even more confused.




However, the character Randy doesn't stop his activism, and in a later issue, he tries to get Peter Parker to join an air pollution protest. Peter once again refuses in that story.

Gwen Stacy protests the protesters in this issue when they gather outside the police station demanding that the other arrested protesters be set free.


I guess Gwen Stacy thinks that people exercising their right to assemble peaceably will only makes things worse, despite the 1st amendment stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It is nice that she's willing to stick up for her man, though.
 



So Kingpin is the main baddie in this continued story, and Spider-Man ends up besting him. Kingpin is caught by the coppers and Spidey ends up with the tablet.

In issue #70, Randy is let go and we find out that the dean of E.S.U. was actually on the protester's side. Why did he let it go down then? Well, he thought the students should be "seen and not heard". Kingpin also may have made his 8th full appearance in issue #70, and he ends up breaking out of prison.

I do like this Kingpin cover and probably one of my favorites from the Silver Age era involving the villain. Amazing Spider-Man #69 has the cover date of February, 1969 and was copyrighted November 12, 1968.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #72
2nd appearance of the Shocker
1st John Buscema work in titled series



While John Buscema had a short stint on Amazing Spider-Man, John Romita Sr. was still doing work on the title. Sometimes Romita would provide layouts that John Buscema would finish or Romita would provide touch ups to pencils done by other artists and even ink a few issues during this time.

Romita did many of the Amazing Spider-Man covers still as well. Amazing Spider-Man #72 is the 2nd appearance of Herman Shultz as the Shocker, and the villain only had two known Silver Age appearances. The first was in Amazing Spider-Man #46.

This issue, which has the villains 2nd cover appearance, has a mostly black cover, so let's see if this one is scarcer in higher grades since black comic covers are seen as harder to keep in better condition.



Well, not sure if that applies to this particular comic in terms of being scarcer in higher grades, but then again, there's only 486 total registered copies for the regular cents copies.

There's even a 9.0 VF/NM for UK copies in the census. Eh, we'll see about how this one develops in terms of high grade copies in the next few years as well.

So, now it's the Shocker who is after the Lifeline Tablet in his 2nd appearance in comics. This, of course, has the villain cross paths with Spidey once again.

 

Actually, Shocker and Spidey have two battles in this issue, one in the beginning and one at the end where Shocker is defeated. Next known issue that Shocker appears is in Spidey Super Stories #5.

Amazing Spider-Man #72 has the credits of John Romita and John Buscema on pencils with Jim Mooney on inks. Cover is done by John Romita Sr. with the date of May, 1969 and copyright of February 11th.  


THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #73
1st appearance of Silvermane
1st appearance Mountain Man Marko
1st appearance of Caesar Cicero



Not long ago I did a key issues list of the ever confusing Maggia families and their key issues. Silvermane is a boss of one the powerful Maggia families, and his outfit of the notorious organized criminal group in Marvel Comics is named after him and known as the Silvermane Crime Family.

While the Maggia first appeared in Avengers #13 headed by Count Nefaria, I believe Silvermane started out as a Maggia leader in his 1st appearance also in this issue. Silvermane is Silvio Manfredi, a notorious crime boss in the Marvel Universe. His son is Joseph Manfredi other wise known as Blackwing and Silvio's son first appeared in Daredevil #118.

I'm not sure if Silvermane started out as a super-powered villain though. He did eventually become a cyborg in later issues.

One of his earliest henchmen was Man Mountain Marko, basically his enforcer who had an obsession with becoming stronger and more powerful. Man Mountain Marko was also under the employment of Hammerhead as well when the 2nd Eel was first introduced.



Caesar Cicero is the Silvermane Family lawyer and 2nd in command. Cicero would eventually become a boss. He, a long with Silvermane, are prominent members of the Maggia and what's known as the Manfredi Family.

CGC has both regular cents and pence data in the census at the time of this writing. There's an example of the pence copy for ya.


 
Silvermane, Mountain Man Marko and Caesar Cicero were created by Stan Lee and John Buscema. At the end of this issue, they have captured Dr. Curt Conners in order to translate the Lifeline Tablet. June, 1969 is the cover date, and the copyright is March 11th for Amazing Spider-Man #73.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #74
2nd appearance of Silvermane
2nd appearance of Mountain Man Marko
2nd appearance of Caesar Cicero


The drama continues and the plot thickens. Silvermane and the Maggia reveal that Conner's wife and kid are in their grasp to make sure he does their bidding and translates the Lifeline Tablet.

With Dr. Conner's big brain, he is able to crack the formula on the tablet and provide old Silvermane with a potion. When the old Maggia crime boss downs it, he turns younger and stronger again according to Mountain Man Marko.



 
Just like in issue #73, Spidey and Silvermane do not meet face-to-face in this here issue. Lizard also does not appear in this issue, but does so in the next issue and fully in the story. 


So only one 9.6 NM+ UK copy in the census so far. U.S. total is still pretty low, but I'm wondering if it's just a comic seen as not worth getting slabbed in a big way just yet.

Regular U.S. 9.6 copies aren't even selling over the $300 mark anymore as of this writing. I am not sure why comic issues numbered in the 70s in this title are easier to find pence cover examples for than ones numbered in the 60s.

John Romita is credited with pencils and cover art with Jim Mooney inking. With the copyright of April 10th, the date on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #74 is July, 1969. 







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #75
3rd appearance of Silvermane
3rd appearance of Mountain Man Marko
3rd appearance of Caesar Cicero
4th full appearance of Lizard


While the Lizard does technically show up in issue #72, it is a flashback and recap of their last battle. This comic does reference issue #45 in the flashback scenes involving the Lizard.

So instead of flashbacks and foreshadowing images, Dr. Conners does turn into the Lizard in the story and fights against Silvermane's Maggia goons in order to escape.





This is the comic issue where Silvermane and Spidey meet for the 1st time, at least publishing date wise. Not sure about any later retcons.



Despite his youth, Silvermane is no match for Spidey in their first encounter.


However, the real problem is that Silvermane is still continuing to grow younger and younger. Dr. Conners did warn ole Silvermane that it could be dangerous before he downed the potion, but what do doctors know, right?


I guess the end is either vanishing or deciding to take off all your clothes and run around naked. This meeting with Silvermane has Spidey find his clothes but the bad dude nowhere in sight.


Of course, this is not the end of Silvermane. He does go all cyborg in later comics, but I am curious to if they explained what happened to the baddie.


The over-all tale does end with the Lizard becoming full-on monster. Guess we'll see the villain again in the next issue. John Romita does the pencils and cover for this issue and not sure if John Buscema is credited or not.
 
On the cover of comic is the date of August, 1969. This issue of Amazing Spider-Man #75 was copyrighted April 15th, but Mike's Amazing World says this issue was released or on sale May 13th.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #76
5th full appearance of Lizard
4th Lizard cover


So as explained before, the Lizard does appear in a type of foreshadowing behind the face of Curt Conners at the end of issue #73. He doesn't Lizard-out in issue #74 either but comes close. It shows his hand becoming scaly but Conners gets it under control.

Just like Amazing Spider-Man #75, the Lizard does physically show up in this issue, and it is his 4th featured cover appearance and 5th full appearance.

This time the monster has fully taken control, and though Spidey was too busy fighting the Maggia in the previous issue, the two enemies do get meet up to catch up on things in this story here.


Their battle is actually pretty long in this issue and it does continue into the next issue, which the Human Torch and Spidey team up against the scaly villain. Issue #77 would have the 5th Lizard cover appearance. 




John Buscema pencils this issue with Mooney on inks. Cover credit goes to John Romita and the date on it is September, 1969. Copyright is reported to be May 20th for this issue and Mike's Amazing World pins the date of June 17th when Amazing Spider-Man #76 1st hit the newsstands. 







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #78
1st & origin of the Prowler
1st Prowler cover


At the time of this writing, it is rumored that actor Donald Glover is playing Hobie Brown, also known as the Prowler. He first appears as a villain, sort of.

He was created by Stan Lee, John Buscema, and Jim Mooney. John Buscema's 1st work in the Amazing Spider-Man titled series was issue #72.

So Hobie Brown is a smart fella and actually an inventor that had little luck getting a break in that world. Hobie use to work as a window washer, but was discouraged that he was going nowhere and becoming a nobody.


Having a bit of trouble with the Mrs., Hobie eventually quits his job and makes himself a costume and invents weapons for his new career as the Prowler. Here's how his origin further plays out in the comics.



Hobie Brown would become a recurring character in the Spide-Man mythos and even befriend Peter Parker later.

Hobie as Prowler would even gain his own limited series and the Prowler would become a hero instead of a villain in later comics. There are UK pence copies of this issue with example covers I could find, so they are out there for Amazing Spider-Man #78.

The price is different and looks like 1/- in the ole price box. No longer 10d. Click the cover image to the left there to get a better enlarged view if interested in these sorts of things.

CGC Census has both U.S. and UK data for this issue.


Not exactly the most sought-out of 1st appearances or characters. We shall have to see who Donald Glover is playing in the film, and if it's Hobie Brown, this comic might see a bump in demand or interest.

November, 1969 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #78, and this issue was copyrighted August 12th.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #79
2nd appearance of the Prowler
1st Spider-Man & Prowler battle
2nd Prowler cover


2nd time the Prowler appears in comics and it's also the 2nd Hobie Brown as well.While the Prowler did meet Peter Parker in the previous issue, he did not meet him as Spider-Man until this issue.

The two do have their first battle with each other as well. Later in the issue, they have another battle.



In the end, Spidey unmasks Prowler and learns that it's Hobie. Realizing he's just a scared kid like him, Spidey lets him go.






Was able to find an example of the UK cover, and there it is to the left. You can click the image to get a better and larger view although the only difference is that it has the 1/- in the price box instead of 15 cents.

Hobie Brown would next appear in Amazing Spider-Man #87, where he dons the Spider-Man suit in order to help keep Peter's identity as the web slinger a secret. This issue is referenced in issue #87 since he owes Spidey one for not turning him in. Hobie does not appear as the Prowler in that issue, but it is his 3rd appearance as just himself.

John Buscema is credited with the pencils and John Romita the cover. Jim Mooney inks this issue. With the registered copyright date of August 19th, The Amazing Spider-Man #79 bears the date of December, 1969 on it's cover and is reported to have 1st been on the stands September 16th.





You might be wondering why I spent so much time talking about the student activism or the panels involving race at the end of Part 7 to this Silver Age Spider-Man key issues. Historically, comics have been pretty relevant.

They are like a time capsule to what the general mind frame was like during an era at least in the U.S. With war comics, there was a lot of anti-German, anti-Japanese, and anti-commie sentiments in the comics that dealt with World War II and later the Korean War after.

Concerning the late Silver Age, diversity in the pages of comics was beginning to happen a bit more. It did set up the Bronze Age when diversity in comics continued to boom and stories involving race and drugs permeated and affected a few comic characters.

While Amazing Spider-Man touched on the subject already by the late Silver Age, Denny O'Neil over at DC spear-headed DC's acknowledgement of those issues in the pages of Green Lantern co-starring Green Arrow by the early 70s. Yes, in comic history, this would be a stepping off point for the Bronze Age of comics and a new age bloomed from it.

Comics would not be immune to the darker subject matter that were real word concerns of American society at the times. The Bronze Age would continue to grow this as you'll soon see.

Up next is Bronze Age Spider-Man key issues. I am doing this massive key comics series by sections of era - Silver Age, Bronze Age, Copper Age, Modern Age. Because of that, the Bronze Age Spider-Man series might take some time before it's published. After all, it took me a lot longer than I expected for the Silver Age section to this series, which I do apologize.

I am currently working on it, but it will not drop until the all the different parts to the Bronze Age Spidey series are completely done. That way, I can finish some other requests that will take lesser time to do.

So, I hope you enjoyed the Silver Age series and understand why I'm doing it this way. Thanks for your patience and see you again for more Spider-Man keys hopefully coming sooner than I think.

<< 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 >>

SILVER AGE | BRONZE AGE | COPPER AGE | MODERN AGE



11 comments:

  1. Well Mr. Mayhem, you certainly did 'ole Spidey' some justice! Absolutely awesome detail and feelings of nostalgia by adding the adding the cartoons. "Amaze Balls". Interestingly, have been considering a parallel pence copy run, after all am I am British. However, am unsure about the desire for these on a global basis! What are your thoughts on this, as an investment?

    VAL

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    Replies
    1. Pence collector's are growing and some of the more important keys are already getting up there in price. Some are even rivaling cents copies in value or being sold.

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  2. For those living in NYC and want to pick up some Pence comics, Midtown Comics has quite a few Bronze Age titles on the wall in their Downstore Store.

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  3. MMMAAAASSSIIIVVVEEE!!! Hope everyone can appreciate what you did here. As for me, I just need 3 more spidey keys to be happy - to be precise, first puny, death of gwen and first kingpin. Allow me 2 more questions. I got a Birds of prey 8 which has been folded on the cover, so that you can still see a bit of that. Otherwise its fine. What grade could that be? Second, New Gods 2 - whats your thought on this one? Can NG1 pull it up?

    Thanks for everything says

    Ace

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    Replies
    1. My opinion on New Gods 1 & 2 is they are close in value in the market. I like New Gods 2 just a little better because of its the first time Darkseid appears on a cover and it's also is 2nd full appearance as well. How long or major is the fold on the Birds of Prey 8? Front or back cover? Does it affect any inside pages?

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  4. Hi,

    thanks for the quick response! The interior pages are not hurt. It' s just the front cover from top to bottom. Gonna check the price development for NG 2, but I think you' re right...

    Ace

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    Replies
    1. If the fold is from top to bottom on the front cover. Probably a fine at best. You can also look into getting it pressed to see if that will help increase the grade.

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    2. Depending on the depth of the crease, you can get that shiz pressed out. I had a book that had a corner crease that ran through the entire book and it was pressed out...every page including cover and back cover.

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  5. Thanks for this series of posts. You caught issues I wasn't even aware of!

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  6. Fantastic...... love the review of my favorite character.
    Thanks for all your work!!!

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  7. Long time reader, first time poster.
    As always, fantastic research on these.
    Just came in to comment on how surprised I am that there is a six year gap between Shocker's 2nd and 3rd appearance

    ReplyDelete