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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bronze Age Spider-Man Key Issues Part 2


BRONZE AGE

COPPER AGE

MODERN AGE

Onward with this Bronze Age Spider-Man key issues section. This is part of the Spider-Man key issues series, and in case you didn't notice, there is a navigation menu to the right of this text and over to the right.

You can click the Silver Age section of this series if you missed all the goodness of Spidey key comics that era has to offer. So we shall a few more contributions that Gil Kane made during his stint on Amazing Spider-Man, and two issues are very classic story lines from the Bronze Age of Spidey comics.

John Romita Sr. isn't done yet, and there are a few more contributions that legendary comic artist still made also. He did make a great name for himself on this series for a reason.

Alright, so if you did not miss the Silver Age section and want to continue to get your wall-crawler on, let's continue this adventure and feast on some more Bronze Age Spidey keys. As usual, some are more major than others in this list. 






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #101
1st appearance of Morbius

Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane, Morbius was definitely a different approach to the vampire monster character. Instead of being part of the undead and super-natural traditions of vampires, Morbius is actually living and was created from a scientific formula rather than a super-natural or magical curse.

Morbius and his vampire-like abilities is actually a side-effect of this formula, which was initially created as a cure for a rare and fatal blood disease that the Nobel Prize winning biochemist, Michael Morbius, had somehow developed. Although an antagonist for Spider-Man, there were also differences between Morbius and traditional vampires as well. 

He was not pure evil and strangely a sympathetic character. He just had problems controlling his urge to feed. 

So the Wall-Crawler and The Living Vampire do have a first meeting as well as a battle in this issue. The below panel is how it all begins between these two.





Actually, the Lizard is also in this comic and Dr. Conners as the Lizard would also meet the Living Vampire for the 1st time in comics as well.

So more than meets the eye with this issue. Morbius would go onto become a tragic anti-hero of sorts in his own story features and even teamed up with other popular super-natural characters like Werewolf by Night and Ghost Rider often. The 1st appearance of Morbius in Amazing Spider-Man #101 is a Bronze Age Spider-Man key that's definitely on the radar of most fans and comic collectors.



The CGC Census does record that this issue has recorded pence copies, and I could even find a cover example. Wow, highest is a CGC 9.6, and the 2nd highest a 9.4 with both of them Universals.

Actually, the 7 total registered UK copies in the census at the time of this writing are all Universals. Not bad.

Only 28 CGC 9.8s so far for the regular cents copies? Not high at all for this early Bronze Age key issue, and in case you can barely make out the cover, you can click on the image to enlarge for better viewing purposes.  

Gil Kane art and cover! I actually love the cover. Morbius back-handing six-armed Spider-Man. 

The fun doesn't stop here though. Gil Kane would have a few more contributions to the character of Spider-Man, and Amazing Spider-Man #101 has the cover date of October, 1971.









THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #102
2nd appearance of Morbius
Origin of Morbius


Continuing with the story line from issue #101, Amazing Spider-Man #102 sees the 2nd appearance of Morbius the Living Vampire and also tells the character's origin of how he becomes the blood sucker. This is shown via flashback, of course, and Spidey still has his freaky extra arms.

Moreover, Lizard and Morbius have a go at it for the 1st time as well before the vampire's origin is finally told.




Morbius and Spidey do have a 2nd but very brief battle in this issue. I guess, it's also a 2nd meeting between the two as well. 

Like issue #101, this 2nd appearance issue is already also pretty valuable in high grades. A CGC 9.8 sold in March of 2013 for $2,050. Back in 2011, a 9.8 sold for $3,600.


In August of 2015, a CGC 9.8 sold for $2,031.50 at Heritage Auctions. There's not that many in the census of this comic just yet, and only 10 CGC 9.8s recorded so far.


I do believe this is a pretty well-known Spidey key so far, or at least it should be. Compared to Morbius' 1st appearance, this issue just might get submitted less? Just guessing here.

Alright, there weren't any census data for UK pence copies, and I didn't find no cover examples out there to share. However, there are probably UK editions for this issue since #101 has a few out there and recorded in the CGC census.

So definitely a must-have key issue for Morbius and Spidey fans as well. Amazing Spider-Man #102 has the cover date of  November, 1971 and pencils and cover are by Gil Kane. Roy Thomas scripts this issue as well.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #103
1st appearance of Gog


Another creation of Roy Thomas and Gil Kane is Gog, and in this issue. Spidey finds himself in the Savage Land and meets up with Ka-Zar. Raised by Kraven when his spaceship crash landed in the Savage Land, Gog kidnaps Gwen as ordered to do so.

This is just part of Kraven's dastardly plan, but the hunter's ultimate plot is to conquer a piece of Ka-Zar's beloved home. Gwen is to be Kraven's queen. I think Gog is a pretty minor character in the grand scheme of Spidey and Marvel villains.

There are pence copies for this issue and they have the variant price of 6p. So far there is no CGC data for pence copies of this issue, but there are cover examples out there online.



Low total amount of CGC copies so far registered, but that has more to do with this key issue not being all that sought-out. I wouldn't assume this comic is rare because of the census.

Just for reference, I'll feature the cover to the pence edition for this comic if you're on the hunt for them. I think this issue begins the pence price of 6p.

Issue #102 has a pence price of 8p since that issue was double-sized. Gog's origin would be told in the next issue or issue #104 of the titled series, and The Amazing Spider-Man #103 has the cover date of December, 1971.







MARVEL TALES #33 VOLUME 2
1st all Spider-Man reprints in title

When Marvel Tales first started, it was a comic series that reprinted a bunch of stories from all sorts of different titles. For example, the first issue to this series reprinted the story in Amazing Fantasy #15, a story in Incredible Hulk #1, Tales to Astonish #35 and #49, as well as other reprinted material.

This would pretty much continue until this issue. From here on out, Marvel Tales would mainly be a comic with Spidey reprinted stories. Sometimes it would have new material on occasion or feature another character besides the Webhead.

The series had a pretty long run even when Spidey reprints predominantly took over comic. Not really a spin-off or should be considered one.

While this comic featured two reprinted Spidey storeies, the format would later switch to just tell one reprinted Spider-Man tale which would take up the entire issue. Marvel Tales #33 reprints two stories that were told in Amazing Spider-Man #45 and #47.


I debated about putting the CGC Census screen shot on here. I mean, I figured this issue wouldn't have that many copies sent to get graded and don't really expect a whole boat load of more to suddenly start popping up in the near future.

I put this issue on here more for detailing how this title switched to mainly a Spider-Man reprint series. I did have a few of the later Marvel Tales comics when I was a kid, so I figured why not at least give this issue a nod where the series became Spidey centric. 

Not really a Spider-Man key or anything but still part of Spidey history in Marvel Comics. This will most likely be the only Marvel Tales comic I discuss in this series.

Doesn't really need to be on here, but it is a significant change for the Marvel Tales comics at least. Date on the cover of Marvel Tales #33 is February for the year of 1972 but this comic hit the stands back in 1971.






MARVEL TEAM-UP #1
1st issue to titled series
1st major Spidey spin-off series
Retconned debut of Misty Knight


While this is noted as the 1st major Spidey spin-off comic series, it was not the 1st Spidey spin-off series. Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine was the first, but this could be semantics. So to clear things up, this is the 2nd spin-off Spidey series, but the first one to become a major one.

Marvel Team-Up ran for 150 issues, and it was a comic series that started off with ole Web-Head being the main team up character. He is not in only 10 issues.

So, this is the expansion of the character for Marvel, and as we all know, it would not be the last spin-off title for the web slinger. Not by a long shot.

Well, looks like this Spider-Man key issues series just expanded as well and added a new comic title to explore. Let the madness continue.

Not that surprising that the first team up in this comic series is with Spidey and Human Torch. After all, Spidey's 1st recurring team up adventures with another Marvel superhero was with Johnny Storm.

So Webhead and Hothead would both face the Sandman in this here tale of adventure and intrigue. Yes, Misty Knight was retconned to have debuted in this issue. She is the nameless character that has a tantalizing conversation with Spider-Man and shows up in around 6 panels on 2 pages.

Thing is Roy Thomas wrote this issue and Ross Andru drew it. Last I checked, Misty Knight was created by Tony Isabella and Arvell Jones. The retcon was done by Chris Claremont, and we will get to that issue which connects to this issue probably in a later section.

So here's Misty Knight's retconned debut, and I'm just going to show the first panel of the nameless woman who was later identified as ole Misty Knight. As mentioned before, I'm not big on retconned 1st appearances

Misty Knight's 1st appearance is and still be should considered Marvel Premiere #20. This retcon connection to this issue is actually in a Marvel Team-Up issue, and if you're curious without having to wait for my slow ass to get to it, that issue is Marvel Team-Up #64. 

Screen shot of the CGC Census at the time of this writing just to see how the numbers will change in the near or later future. There is currently no data for Marvel Team-Up #1, and I am not sure if there are UK editions that have popped up for this key. If so, I've yet to find a cover example.



I am wondering if the low amount of 9.8s have to do with all the black in this cover. May have made this issue harder to keep in better shape.

The total in the census isn't extremely high, but compared to other census totals we've seen in this part, 9.8s are quite a bit less compared to other keys that have an even lower CGC census total.

Take from that what you will. Who knows, maybe some hoarder has a bunch of 9.8s stuffed in his or her closet.  

Cover month for Marvel Team-Up #1 is March, 1972 but this comic came out around December of 1971.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #108
  • 1st appearance of Sha-Shan


Wasn't sure whether or not I should put this in even if Overstreet does note it as the 1st appearance of Sha-Shan. The character isn't really a major one even if she later became the girlfriend of Flash Thompson for a brief spell.

So while soldiering in Vietnam, Thompson would be saved by a local monks and the leader's daughter was Sha-Shan. However, the village would be bombed and destroyed by American aviation attacks.

Because of this, some natives believed Flash to be responsible and swore revenge by creating some secret organization to hunt down Flash Thompson. Sha-Shan is only shown in flashback when Flash reveals what happened back in Vietnam to Spidey in this issue.

Before becoming Flash Thompson's brief girlfriend, Sha-Shan became a minor Spidey villain and the wife of Brother Power and formed the villainous Legion of Light cult. She does have quite a few appearances in Spidey comics, particularly in the Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man spin-off series.

Sha-Shan's 2nd appearance would be in the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man #109, and she shows up in the present to try to help Flash after he is captured by her father and his group. I won't be featuring her 2nd appearance on here, but I will give it a mention as already done.



Not that sought-out of a key issue or even a Spidey key, but there are more graded copies than I thought there would be in the CGC Census. Pretty high amount of 9.8s for only a total of 355 submitted copies.


Aside from the pence copies there are also the National Bookstore variants of this issue. National Bookstore is the most famous bookstore in the Philippines. No data for CGC concerning these National Book Store variants and not all that much info on them either.

Their covers are slightly different and I think that example image has a price stamped onto it. Some of these National Book Store variants had blank price boxes, and I'm guessing that's to allow National Book Store to stamp their own price on these comics.

Don't really know much about these or whether they are considered 1st printings or not. Mycomicshop has given the few National Book Store variants on sale in their market place the same cover dates as 1st printings.

Anyone know more about these? Educate us in the comments section, and it would be greatly appreciated. I believe the next issue of #109 also has a National Book Store variant as well, and Amazing Spider-Man #108 has the cover date of May, 1972.






MARVEL TEAM UP #3
3rd appearance of Morbius


As presented in the short but sweet Morbius Key Issues list done last year in 2016, Marvel Team-Up has the 3rd appearance of the Living Vampire and goes up against the team-up of Spidey and the Human Torch yet again.

I mean yet again as in another team-up of Spidey and Torch. I believe this is the 1st time the Human Torch meets Morbius since none of the members of the Fantastic Four were in Amazing Spider-Man #101 or #102.

When it comes to the 1st Marvel Team-Up series, issues #3 and #4 are in the top four most valuable comics in the titled comic series according to Overstreet. That is discounting the 35 cent variants.



Cover to this issue is by Gil Kane, but the pencils are done by Ross Andru. Script is written by Gerry Conway. According to Mike's Amazing World, this comic hit the newsstands April 4th, and the 3rd appearance of Morbius in Marvel Team-Up #3 has the cover date of July, 1972.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #110
1st appearance of Gibbon


Remember Gibbon? I spoke about him in the Silver Age Spider-Man Key Issues section under the debut of his future wife Princess Python. I do admit, Gibbon isn't the most notorious of Spider-Man or Marvel villains whatsoever.

Gibbon is actually a sad character and depicted as a loser among heroes and super-villains a like. His real name is Martin Blank, and in his debut, Blank is a mutant is who has an ape-like build with similar abilities and agility. 

Martin becomes an acrobat and wears a gibbon suit as part of his act. Initially, Martin wanted to be a hero and partner up with Spidey, but the Webslinger politely declines.

Being made to feel like a freak and tired of being rejected, Martin dresses up in his gibbon outfit and offers again to be Spidey's partner. Unfortunately Spidey laughs at the idea and Gibbon doesn't take it so well.


Guess ole Spidey could've done without the jests, but, hey, even superheroes have a bad day. So Spidey helps to turn Gibbon to a life of crime in which he isn't so great at performing. 

Gibbon would join a super villain team called the Legion of Losers a long with the Kangaroo after all. Once again, pretty much a minor key if it really should be considered one at all since Gibbon isn't really a villain that produced any major story arcs. Pence copy did change the price to 6p on the cover.

Not entirely sure why there's two different listings for UK copies. I didn't find any different UK cover or price variant for this issue, nor issue #3.




If anyone knows the deal about that, ejumacate me about it in the comment section. Maybe it a mistake or maybe not. I honestly dunno.

So, as shown in the image and like issue #103, UK copies for this changed to 6p. With the release date of April 11th according to Mike's Amazing World, July, 1972 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #110, and Gibbon was created by John Romita Sr. and Roy Thomas.  



MARVEL TEAM-UP #4
4th appearance of Morbius

The 1st three issues of Marvel Team-Up had Spidey team-up with the Human Torch, but it was time to expand on this and have the famous wall-crawler share some adventures with some other Marvel super-heroes.

Enter the X-Men. The Human Torch first met Morbius in the previous issue, but now it's time for this vampire to meet Marvel's mightiest mutants and have their first battle in comics. 

So far there are no pence copies of this issue that has surfaced and some sources say no comics were distributed in the UK for this title concerning issues #1-23. Word is that there are pence copies after issue #24.

Gil Kane does the cover and interior pencils for this issue, and Marvel Team-Up #4 has the cover date of September, 1972. 






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #113
1st appearance of Hammerhead

Ah, a known member and leader of the one of Maggia Crime Family is the character of Hammerhead. He is another crime boss intent on ruling organized crime in ole New York City.

I've already showcased Hammerhead's first appearance in the Maggia Crime Family Keys series a little over a year ago, so I'll just cut and paste what I wrote there while adding a few more details here and there. 

This just might be the first brief appearance of Hammerhead since he only shows up in three panels throughout the entire issue. Not the best of Marvel villains, so I don't see too many making a big fuss about it.

In his initial 1st appearance in this issue, it's established that Doc Ock and Hammerhead's gang are fighting each other to become the big boss of New York's criminal underworld. Apparently, Kingpin had been knocked out of that position.

Although sources claimed that Hammerhead was always a Maggia member, this nor the Maggia are referenced in his early appearances. He is shown as the boss of a gang, but his connection to the crime group must of been retconned.

Actually, the earliest reference I could find concerning Hammerhead as a Maggia member is in Fantastic Four #233 where Johnny Storm implies that Hammerhead was a sub par villain and got lucky to have risen to the top of the Maggia.

Hammerhead models himself off the gangsters from the 20s and 30s like Al Capone. Usually, his gang is a revolving door of forgettable goons.

Despite being referenced as a pretty hokey or subpar villain, Hammerhead is a villain that often shows up in Spidey stories that deal with gang wars in New York City. He may not be the most popular of Spidey villains, but he's also no slouch either.


In terms of value, this isn't one of the more valuable ASM Bronze Age key issues according to Overstreet. So far it's guided at $110 for a low NM.

CGC 9.6s barely sell in the $200 range from 2011 to present. Most recent sale back in December of 2016 sold for under $200.




CGC Census isn't spectacular by any means and didn't expect it to be for this comic key issue. Not sure if most owners of this issue feel a great need to get their raw copies slabbed at present.

Already 22 9.8s with a total registered copies of 507 currently makes me wonder just how many raw 9.8s are out there in collections. Maybe quite a few or maybe not many at all.

Issue does have UK editions or pence copies. Cover is slapped over to the left for your reference. Not into them? Just ignore 'em then.

It's all good either way. So, 1st appearance of Hammerhead in this issue, and his origin is presented in the very next issue of this comic series. 

Hammerhead was created by Roy Thomas and John Romita Sr., and Romita Sr. also did the cover and interior pencils for this issue. Amazing Spider-Man #113 has the cover date of October, 1972.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #114
1st full or 2nd appearance of Hammerhead
1st Hammerhead cover
Origin of Hammerhead


Either this is a 2nd or 1st full appearance of Hammerhead. Overstreet notes #113 as his first, but like mentioned before, he only shows up in 3 panels in that issue.

Hammerhead definitely shows up more in this issue for sure, and whether this is a 2nd or 1st full, Hammerhead's origin is first told in this very issue.

Apparently Hammerhead was a gun man found lying beaten in an alley by a Jonas Harrow. Harrow was a quack surgeon and scientific genius.

He would take the beaten gunman and replace his skull with steel. Janos Harrow's first appearance is in this issue. The character has been seen infrequently from time to time.

Because of the damage done to Hammerhead's brain, he does not remember who he exactly is in his earlier appearances. Thus, his civilian identity isn't revealed until much later.


 
Pretty short origin, but that is the jist of it for this villain. Not sure in what issue Hammerhead regains his memory of who he was before he was turned into Hammerhead. 


Even though there are UK editions for this issue, none have yet to have been slabbed or listed in the CGC census. Cover reference for the pence cover is the 2nd image below the regular cover.

 
Still a very low over-all census for this key, so I am going to assume there are plenty of raw copies out there that have yet to been submitted. Already 10 CGC 9.8s, though.

Hammerhead would next appear in Amazing Spider-Man #115. I'm just gonna mention that 3rd appearance and not feature it since there's nothing really significant about that key other than that. Hammerhead is not featured on the cover of issue #115 either.
 
Amazing Spider-Man #114 has the cover date of November, 1972. I don't think this issue is noted as the origin of Hammerhead in Overstreet or by CGC.






MARVEL TEAM UP #8
1st appearance of Man-Killer
4th appearance of the Cat?
1st meeting of Spider-Man & the Cat
1st Spider-Man & the Cat team-up



Alrighty and we are at a very unknown key issue for sure. For those who don't know who The Cat is, she is Greer Grant Nelson.

For those who don't know who Greer Grant is, she's the character who first debuted as The Cat but later became the Avenger known as Tigra. Yep, that Tigra.

So Greer Grant first debuted as the Cat in The Cat #1 back in late 1972. The 3rd issue to The Cat has the same cover date as Marvel Team-Up #8, but an earlier LoC (Library of Congress) copyright date. 

I think that 3rd issue may have hit the stands earlier than this here issue. Anyway, that's not the only goodness that this over-looked key has. As mentioned in the notes above, the character of Greer Grant (Tigra) would first meet and then team-up with Spidey in the story contained within Marvel Team-Up #8.

Actually, it seems that Spidey is the first Marvel super-hero that Greer met. I didn't note it, but it is also Greer Grant's first cross-over ever.

I believe I just recently mentioned Man-Killer in the She-Hulk key issues list, and she is Katrina van Horn. Katrina is a fanatic feminist radical. After a skiing competition accident left her crippled, she was outfitted with an exoskeleton suit that gave her extraordinary strength, durability and agility.

She first debuts in this issue, but Man-Killer isn't a widely regarded villain for Spidey. However, and  another reason why I decided to feature this key issue is because Man-Killer is also present when She-Hulk & Spider-Man meet for the first time in comics as well.


Not a very well-known comic for sure judging by the CGC census and most likely not much cared for. Still, I think it's an interesting one for the character of Tigra more than for Spidey or Spidey fans.

Not like Man-Killer is a widely regarded Spidey villain, or Tigra is a well-known associate of Spider-Man. Greer as Tigra would team up again with Spidey later in the comic series. The villain would be Kraven the Hunter in that issue.
 
Spidey is not present when Greer Grant first becomes Tigra in Giant-Size Creatures #1 though. April, 1973 is the cover date for Marvel Team-Up #8, and I almost missed including this one.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #121
Death of Gwen Stacy


There have been deaths in comics before, and there are tons of deaths that really don't mean all that much to collectors or fans in comic books. Jason Todd's death in A Death in the Family story line is viewed as a classic and fan favorite, but what makes the death of Gwen Stacy still a classic and sought out key issue?

Glad you asked, because this story did break the mold in the world of comics. In looking back, Stan Lee gave the go ahead to Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and John Romita Sr, but it was in an absent mindedness state. Lee recalls that he was in the process of packing for a business trip in Europe when the creatives asked if they could kill Gwen Stacy. Just wanting to finish packing and get them out of his office, Stan gave them the go-ahead and history was written.

When he came back and found out about it, he was curious as to why Gerry or anyone would even do that? Spidey fans were in an uproar during the time, but this comic became significant over time for various reasons.

Some claim that this issue marks the end of the Silver Age and beginning of the darker and grittier Bronze Age era of comics. The Death of Gwen Stacy did shock the world of comics since it was nuts or unthinkable to kill off a such a popular and supporting main character.

Also, no superhero had previously failed so miserably in saving a main character, and the way and manner in which she died had never been seen in the world of comics. In the story, Gobby hurls Gwen off the Brooklyn Bridge. In shooting a web strand that saves Gwen from hitting the waters below, the action actually breaks her neck from the sudden stop.

There it is with that "SNAP" sound effect. Once again, this kind of scenario was never seen for a comic book superhero. Sure, Peter was burdened with the guilt of his Uncle Ben's death, but this was different since the act of trying to save her actually caused her death.

In the comics, Spidey is unsure of whether her neck was already broken by whiplash or by Gobby prior to her fall but still blames himself for Gwen's death. The cause of death being whiplash was confirmed in Amazing Spider-Man #125.


Absolutely no surprise that this key issue has a pretty high total census. Definitely one of the more sought out of Spidey Bronze Age keys, and this story line is still considered a fan-favorite classic.

At the time of this writing, Amazing Spider-Man #121 is the second most valuable Amazing Spider-Man key issue from the Bronze Age. This is, of course, at the time of this writing.

Gil Kane art with a cover by John Romita Sr., The Amazing Spider-Man #121 has the cover date of June, 1973.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122
Death of Green Goblin


This is the issue I got mixed up as Gerry having and really liking the cover colors. Losing my memory in old age, but this cover does not have Human Torch on it.

Anyway, so this is the iconic story line that sees the death of Norman Osborn as Green Goblin. This event would also set up Harry Osborn in taking up the mantle in later comics as well.

So this story continues from the last issue, and Spider-Man does go after Green Goblin shortly after Gwen Stacy's death. After a battle, Green Goblin is run-through by his own glider. This death was later depicted in a similar manner in Sam Rami's Spider-Man. 

While the Amazing Spider-Man 2 film once again revisited this classic story line and actually had Gwen die, Harry Osbourne replaced Norman Osbourne as the Green Goblin and did not have the portray the classic comic book death scene in the film.



Like issue #121, this issue is a sought-out key issue, and even though Norman Osborne does come back in the comics, the story line is considered a landmark classic. Like it was considered crazy to off a major supporting character, killing off a major villain was not too common either at the time.



Also should be no surprise that the total graded copies in the CGC Census is pretty hefty for this issue as well. This issue is the 3rd most valuable Bronze Age Spider-Man key comic according to Overstreet values.

CGC values may be a different case in terms of this issue against other Bronze Age Amazing Spider-Man keys. Can't really think of another one that would logically rival this one as the 3rd most valuable ASM issue from the era though. 

Another cover by John Romita Sr. with interior pencils by Gil Kane, July, 1973 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #122.



THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #123
1st meeting & battle between Spider-Man & Luke Cage
Funeral for Gwen Stacy


It was soon to happen. Luke Cage is a Bronze Age character and operates in New York City like Spidey does, so these two street-level heroes running into each other early on isn't a shocker.

For those of you who are into 1st meetings between heroes and 1st battles, this one might take your fancy. As for this playing out on the big or small screen in the near future, I highly doubt that will happen anytime soon.

In the world of comics, however, J. Jonah Jameson visits Luke Cage and hires the Hero for Hire to bring in Spider-Man dead or alive.

Panels below these next few paragrapsh clearly show a first meeting between the two, at least publishing wise. Not sure if a retconned first meeting was written later, but I wouldn't doubt it.

If you wanna be ultra nit-picky, this is the 1st Luke Cage in the Amazing Spider-Man title, but it's not like Cage guest-stars often in this comic series or has a fan-favorite conflict like with the Hulk and Thing. 

I wouldn't place this 1st meeting or battle anywhere near the significance of the 1st meeting between Luke Cage and Iron Fist for example.


According to some sources, ASM issues #121 to #214 were not distributed in the UK, so there is supposedly no pence copies within that issue range. Not entirely sure about the validity of those claims, meaning I'm no expert when it comes to pence copies or their history.





A pretty minor key if even considered one at all, and The Amazing Spider-Man #123 has the cover date of August, 1973. 





THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #124
1st appearance of John Jameson as Man-Wolf


Man-Wolf? I guess they had to do something with John Jameson other than being the astronaut son of obnoxious J. Jonah Jameson. 

Might as well have him find something strange during his space travels, right? So, John ends up finding an other-dimensional ruby while on the moon, and this ruby attached itself to him.

Activated by moonlight, this jewel transformed John into a lycanthropic creature and the Man-Wolf was born. Believe it or not, John Jameson as Man-Wolf does pop up quite a bit in  Marvel Comics.

He was used as a pawn of Morbius and would later learn more about his other worldly ruby, becoming Stargod in that dimension. Still, I don't think this is a super sought-out key issue.



Overstreet pegs this key issue at $130 for low NM. In reality, CGC 9.2s have been selling on average for this issue in the last years at $119 on eBay. CGC 9.4s have been mucking around the upper $100 to mid $200 range since late 2014.

Not the best and not the worst either concerning Bronze Age Spider-Man key comics, but we shall see how this one further progresses nor not in the market. CGC Census screen shot is below for reference. 

Gerry Conway is credited for creating Man-Wolf and the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #124 is September, 1973.





THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #125
 2nd appearance of Man-Wolf
Origin of Man-Wolf
Ross Andru begins in titled series


How in the hell does John Jameson the III become the Man-Wolf? Better question is why?

Remember not too long ago when I wrote about how the horror genre started coming back a bit during the Bronze Age. Werewolf by Night debuted in very late 1971 (not the cover date), Dracula debuted in Tomb of Dracula #1 during 1972.

The supernatural Ghost Rider even debuted during 1972 as well. Honestly, what else were they gonna do with the character of John Jameson? It was either make him a super-hero or make him a Man-Wolf.

So, this issue does have double goodness and it is the 2nd appearance of Man-Wolf and the very first time his origin of how he became this beast is told.


When it comes to this issue, I must admit that I am surprised that there are as many graded copies in the CGC census at the time of this writing. I thought there would be less.

A bit odd that more people sent this issue to get graded than Man-Wolf's 1st appearance in issue #124. Then again, I think this is the issue where Ross Andru begins penciling the Amazing Spider-Man comic series.

Aside from a few gaps here and there, Andru did have a pretty long stint drawing Spidey in this 1st on-going series. Maybe this has something to do with it?

The Amazing Spider-Man #125 has the cover date of October, 1973.
I'm pretty sure you can guess what important key issues we'll be looking at in Part 3 of this Bronze Age section of Spider-Man. We are getting near to a character that I have talked about quite a lot on Total Comic Mayhem.

I think I'm gonna keep this outro short, since it will make getting Part 3 done that much quicker. So, until next time and hope you enjoyed this Bronze Age section so far. If you missed Part 1, you can click that PREVIOUS link below to swing on back. 

See ya soon!

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4 comments:

  1. Hey Mayhem. What about ASM 119 & 120 with the Hulk appearances. With Spidey now in the MCU those should become more popular key issues.

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  2. What about the first Hydro-Man? A better villain than Gibbon..

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    Replies
    1. Haven't gotten to him yet. He debuts in the early 80s

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    2. I realized that right after I sent the comment, sorry bout that. Great list so far!!

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