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Saturday, March 4, 2017

Bronze Age Spider-Man Key Issues Part 6



BRONZE AGE

COPPER AGE

MODERN AGE
Alright, before we get into the Bronze Age key comics of Spidey in Part 6, I did add two new Spidey key issues in Part 5. They have to do with the Green Goblin, and even though I mentioned that Dr. Bart Hamilton does become the 3rd Green Goblin and those issues were on my radar, they seemed to slip past me during crunch time.

So if you're a Green Goblin fan, you might want to use the menu to the left and go back to Part 5 before preceding, or you can always do that after reading this Part 6. Just letting ya know what's going on and the new additions are probably somewhere near the end of Part 5.

This part will definitely have some keys that recently heated up due to movies, rumors, or TV shows. I'm sure you can already guess what's in store, but I always take it a bit further and try to find 2nd and 3rd appearances for some characters at least.

Alright, enough yappin' and let's see what else Spidey has snared in his web.





PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #27
1st Frank Miller Daredevil artwork

Yeah, I know, this one again and it's more of a Daredevil key, but dag dammit, it just so happens to be in a Spidey comic series. Actually, I don't even think this one is in the Daredevil Key Issues series. 

Oops! Another 1st artwork of a legendary comic artist and I've already mentioned this comic before somewhere.

Like said before, this 1st Daredevil art by Frank Miller just happens to be in this titled comic series, and Miller is hailed as a fan-favorite Daredevil writer and artist. Actually, most of what we're watching in the Daredevil Netflix series has contributions made by Frank Miller and the darker, grittier tone that he brought to the comic hero.

Before any of that ever happened, Miller did pencils on this here issue and the next before heading on over to the Daredevil comics. 

Concerning this issue, there is a different edition. Once again, not sure about these Whitman editions concerning Marvel Comics and some were sold in pre-packs.

Some call these Whitman editions and some say they are not true Whitman variants. Most, not all, are recognized by the diamond logo and blank UPC.

As far as I know, they are considered 1st printings or I haven't found any information that suggests they aren't. Because of that, some argue they are just direct editions since they were distributed in the direct market.



Oooooo a 9.9 of this comic in the registration. That bad boy has got to be going for some bucks.

As of this writing, CGC nor Overstreet doesn't make any distinctions between the regular newsstand or so-called Whitman editions or direct copies. There is a JC Penny reprint with an image of Spider-Man in the UPC box as shown to the left hand side of this post.

I'll showcase one just so ya'll can see what they're about if you have no clue like myself. If you do and know exactly whether the difference between direct edition and so called Marvel Whitman editions are, feel free to do the edjumacating in the comments below.

I figure what's the big deal if both were distributed in the direct market, right? Oh, well, just my opinion. 

Regardless of this edition or that, Spectacular Spider-Man #27 has recently become one of the more sought-out and valuable keys in the Spectacular Spider-Man comic series and has the cover date of February, 1979.





THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #194
1st appearance of Black Cat
1st appearance of Walter Hardy


Alrighty, alrighty. Felicia Hardy, who made her first appearance on screen in Amazing Spider-Man 2. When that was announced, Amazing Spider-Man #194 shot up in demand like nobody's business.

I remember reading about it and then texting Gerry to ask him if he had this issue. He replied, "Yep." The character of Felicia Hardy did show up in Amazing Spider-Man and was played by actor Felicity Jones.



When Sony announced that they were considering a Spider-Man spin off flick a while back that involved a female character, it was speculated that the movie would involve Felicia Hardy suiting up as Black Cat.

No word has been mentioned of it since Sony decided to reboot the Spider-Man franchise. Now for the actual comic character.

Felicia Hardy was created by Marv Wolfman and artist Keith Pollard. Black Cat has become one of the more popular Bronze Age Spidey characters and is often cosplayed at comic cons.

Wolfman was inspired by the character on a Tex Avery cartoon "Bad Luck Blackie" and the black cat that brought misfortune to anyone in close proximity. He also wanted a female foil for Spider-Woman and created the character for the super-heroine.

Although many have believed that Black Cat was inspired by DC's Catwoman, Marv Wolfman has denied this. Felicia Hardy is the daughter of world renowned cat burglar Walter Hardy and dons the Black Cat costume in this debut with the intention of breaking her father out of prison.

She does meet Spidey in this issue and has a few scraps with him within the issue.

Since then, Black Cat does have a similar relationship to Spider-Man that Catwoman and Batman have. She is a foe, seductress, and a romantic love interest for the wall-crawler at times also.


While Black Cat originally debuted without any powers, it would later be revealed that she had the psionic ability to affect probability fields and basically produce bad luck for her enemies. She also highly trained in hand to hand combat and thievery.


Not surprised that the CGC Census is up there. Okay, maybe a little bit. This issue does have a mostly black cover, but there's quite a bit of 9.8s and 9.6s despite this.

There's a direct market edition for this book also. Didn't see any other different covers for this issue, so no idea if they've popped up somewhere or not.

I'd still like to see this vixen in the new Spidey reboot somewhere down the line. If done right, she could be a good foil for Spider-Man, but I think the hard part would be in not making her too much like Catwoman for the audience. 1st appearance of Black Cat in Amazing Spider-Man #194 has the cover date of July, 1979.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #195
2nd appearance of Black Cat
Origin of Black Cat


Amazing Spider-Man #195 has the 2nd appearance of Black Cat, and this 2nd appearance key issue got a slight bit of heat back in 2014.

It's still pretty over-looked in the market. So a 2nd appearance and origin for Black Cat for this issue and double the key issue goodness.

It's actually a pretty short origin and not all that compelling.


That's pretty much it. No joke.

The origin would be extended upon by later comic writers. In Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil that Men Do it was revealed that Felicia Hardy was raped when she was a freshman at Empire State University and this propelled her in learning self-defense and fighting tactics in order to kill her rapist.

 


CGC Census is drastically different looking than Amazing Spider-Man #194 for sure. Low total submissions but already quite a bit when it comes to the number of 9.8 slabs.

Perhaps the mostly black cover for Amazing Spider-Man #194 does make a difference. Once again, there are direct editions for this key issue and they have the diamond logo and the slash through the UPC barcode.

Over-all, still a pretty over-looked key currently that hasn't blown up in a crazy way, and Amazing Spider-Man #195 was published August, 1979.








SPIDER-WOMAN #20
1st meeting of Spider-Man & Spider-Woman


Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later but a bit surprised it took a little over 2 years. Spidey finally meets the female version of his character in this action-packed issue of Spider-Woman #20 and the cover even boldly states so.

So the two actually first meet when Peter Parker is in his civilian identity. Thinking she's a crook, Peter changes into Spider-Man and pursues until Spider-Woman finally meets Spider-Man. 


It's established that the pair don't know who the other are, and they do have very brief skirmishes here and there in the issue. Not really what I'd call a battle.

I doubt this is a well-known issue. Overstreet just notes this issue as a Spider-Man appearance.

Although Spidey does show up again in Spider-Woman #28 and #29, the creatives then didn't really see fit to establish a closer relationship between the two. I think they actually meet again for the 2nd time in issue #29 of the Spider-Woman comic series.

Spider-Woman did appear in a story in Marvel Team-Up #97, but that is one of the few issues that did not have Spidey in it. She teams up with the Hulk in that comic.

To make a long story short, Spider-Woman does not have many appearances with Spider-Man in the beginning. She is killed off in issue #50 due to the series being cancelled because of poor sales.

Fans were outraged and Ann Nocenti and Mark Gruenwald would feel remorse about the decision. Spider-Woman would be revived in Avengers #240 and #241 but would be limited to guest appearances here and there. Jessica Drew even became a non-superhero supporting character during for quite a while.


Popularity for the character would be revived in 2005 when the character reappeared in costume again as a member of the New Avengers. This comic is definitely an over-looked moment for both Spider-Man and Spider-Woman by fans of either and most likely still a cheap buy.

Spider-Woman #20 and the first meeting between the wall-crawlers is cover-dated November, 1979







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #204
1st appearance of Dawn Star
3rd appearance of Black Cat


Dawn Star is a very minor character that barely appears in the Spider-Man comics over-all. Her 1st appearance is definitely not worth listing, but this issue does see the 3rd appearance of Black Cat.

Basically, the 3rd appearance of the Black Cat is the only reason why I'm listing it here and it's more for fans of the character who want to know or collect her very early appearances.

Not much really to say about this issue except for that. CGC Census is shown below.


Black Cat's 4th appearance is in the next issue of Amazing Spider-Man #205. That one I won't feature or list and just give it a mention. 

There isn't much in regards to key issue notations regarding that issue except for her 4th appearance. Both issues #204 and #205 have direct market editions if you're interested in them, and Amazing Spider-Man #204 is cover-dated May, 1980.






PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #43
1st appearance of Roderick Kingsley

Will the real Hobgoblin please stand up? Okay, so it's not revealed that Kingsley is Hobby in this issue and Hobgoblin hasn't even appeared in comics just yet.

Roderick Kingsley does debut before the villainous Hobgoblin appears in comics, and in his debut, Kingsley is a successful fashion designer. Whoa, no scientific genius?

Apparently not. The character being the real Hobgoblin would be retconned by Roger Stern whom he created Kingsley with comic artist Mike Zeck. John Romita Jr. co-created the  Hobgoblin with Stern, and his father John Romita Sr. may also have a hand in the creation of the character also.


Pretty sure this 1st appearance debut is under the radar or just not all that cared about in the secondary market currently. CGC Census is pretty light by the looks of it.

No sales of slabbed 9.8s on eBay for 2016 or 2017. It did get a very slight boost in 2015 and finally broke the $100 range.

It does seem that this issue has cooled off in respect to CGC copies. Raw copies may be doing better, but most are gunning for the 1st appearance of Hobgoblin for sure.

Regardless, still a Spider-Man and Hobgoblin key issue for those who are fans of the villain. Would love to see this villain make it to the big screen someday.

Month on the cover of Spectacular Spider-Man #43 is June, and this comic came out in 1980. Cover is by both John Romita Jr. and Sr. Pencils by John Romita Jr. and inks by his father on this key issue.






MARVEL TEAM-UP #95
1st appearance of Mockingbird

Initially created by Gerry Conway and Barry Windsor-Smith, Bobbi Morse was first seen in the pages of Bronze Age Ka-Zar stories. The character was later developed by such creative visionaries as Roy Thomas, Neal Adams, Mike Friedrich, Archie Goodwin, George Evans, Steven Grant, and Mark Gruenwald. 

The later development of her character was far from the character that first initially appeared in Astonishing Tales #6.

When Len Wein got hold of the character, she was morphed in a scientist named Dr. Barbara Morse who was working on a project called Project: Gladiator. This research project attempted to recreate the Super Soldier Serum given to create Captain America. It was also the same research that Ted Sails was previously working on that turned him into the Man-Thing. 

Later the character of Bobbi was morphed into the Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. called Agent 19 until she finally appears as the costumed super-heroine the Huntress

She would make her debut as Mockingbird in this issue and this is her more well-known and popular superhero identity. She would become a member of the Avengers and known as the wife of Hawkeye at one point in time.

This comic did see heat when the character was confirmed and cast for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series. Despite hype for the character making her way to TV, the debut of Mockingbird on the CGC Census is pretty mild.




Demand has took a slight dip since then. Highest sale for CGC 9.8s was in the $500 range but mostly selling within the $300 range during it's peak. 9.8s sold on average in the $250 range during 2016.

UK pence copies have surfaced for this key issue. Only one 7.5 so far registered at the time of this writing, but there are raw pence copies out there somewhere still. Price is 15p for those.

Adriane Palicki played the character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. An ABC spin-off series for the character was announced which also would've had the character of Dominic Fortune but it's been reported as dead.


Who knows if this character will make a comeback somewhere in TV or the movies. It's already on the radar of most although demand has fizzled a bit for this debut.

If you're a fan, might be a good time to pick one up cheaper since hype has died down. There are direct market editions for this comic as well, and Marvel Team-Up #95 is cover-dated July, 1980.






THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #209
1st appearance of Calypso

Eh, I'll throw this one in real quick even though I think Calypso is a pretty minor character and doesn't really have that many appearances in comics over-all. She was created by Dennis O' Neil and Alan Weiss.

Calypso is a Haitian voodoo priestess and is a psychopath. Hey, you can't go wrong with a villainous psychopath that does hoodoo voodoo on peeps.

Damn, that just reminded me of the Skeleton Key flick. So Calypso is often associated with Kraven the Hunter, and he appears with Calypso in her debut issue.Calypso seems to be a character that easily manipulates Kraven often.

Todd McFarlane used this villain as a major threat to Spider-Man in the first few issues of the 1990s Spider-Man comic series.



Demand isn't massively strong for this debut issue, but it is on the radar of some fans for sure. Over-all CGC 9.8s struggle to break into the $100 range and sustain there. 

Once again, a pretty high number of 9.8s for such a low total number of submissions. No restorations for any of the grades either. Wow. Direct market copies are probably mixed in with those if you care about that kinda shiz.

Yes, there's direct market editions for this comic also, and October, 1980 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #209.







THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #212
1st appearance of Hydro-Man

Believe it or not, Hydro-Man actually has quite a bit of appearances all around but he is more known as a Spider-Man foe. Even though he has quite a lot of appearances, he really isn't the most major of Spider-Man villains but he isn't  the most minor of them either.

Morris Bench is the original Hydro-Man and was created by  Dennis O'Neil and artist John Romita, Jr. Bench was a crewman on the U.S.S. Bulldog and was knocked over by accident when Spider-Man and Namor were going at it.

Bench fell into the water right when an experimental generator was being tested in the ocean and the radiation from it helped to give him his powers. He then had a choice to use his newfound powers for good or for evil, and he chose to use them in order to get revenge on Spidey for turning him into a freak.

Hydro-Man is considered a low-rent criminal in the Spidey world of comics and definitely not the brains of any of the super criminal groups he joined like the Sinister Syndicate or the Frightful Four. Like his name suggests, Bench can transform his body into a watery or liquid substance.

He does have high control of his powers, being able to transform certain parts of this body into liquid while retaining the rest of his human form. He can also expand his mass to create tidal waves and tsunamis.

I remember picking this one up for a buck in the back issues bin a long time ago back in the late 80s. Probably not in the best of shape now though.



Not really that much of a sought-out key or super sought-out currently. A CGC 9.8 will run you about a $100 bucks. Mild total number of copies graded in the CGC Census but a pretty alarming number of 9.8s so far. 

Yes, there are direct editions of this comic. Dunno about pence copies. January, 1981 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #212, and this comic was released in late 1980.








MACHINE MAN #19
1st appearance of Jack 'O Lantern


Before Jack O' Lantern entered the pages of Spider-Man, he debuted in Machine Man #19. Jason Macendale was the original Jack O' Lantern and was created by Tom DeFalco and Steve Ditko.

Macendale was an ex disgraced CIA agent who ended up becoming a mercenary. Macendale as Jack 'O Lantern would often team up with Hobgoblin as well as scheme against Hobby as well.

Later in Spidey comics, Macendale would become the 3rd Hobgoblin. As Jack 'O Lantern, Macendale has several weapons like wrist blasters and several forms of grenades. He also rides on floating disc.


The character of Jason Macendale has been cast in the upcoming Spider-Man Homecoming movie and will be played by actor Michael Barbieri. Would be interesting to see how this character is twisted from panel to movie screen, and it looks like Jason Macendale will be in high-school with Peter Parker for the flick.

Still and despite the character being cast and in the highly anticipated film, this 1st appearance of the villain has seen very little heat for CGC graded copies currently.

Not sure about raw copies though or if more collectors or speculators have been snagging more of this issue up or not. Doesn't really seem like it or to an extent that has affected slabs. 



Pretty low CGC Census as well for this one. Gerry has written about this comic over at Graded Key Comics as well. You can click the link to learn more about this key comic.

There are direct market editions for this key comic. They have a Spidey image in the UPC box with the diamond for the issue number and price as shown in the image, and you can click the image to see a larger version for better viewing.

The regular copies are still the newsstands during this time and those had larger distribution. Direct market distribution was sort of still in it's an infancy.

Machine Man #19 has the cover date of February, 1981 but probably was in reader's hands in later 1980.







MARVEL TEAM-UP #107
1st She-Hulk cross-over
1st time she meets & teams up with Spider-Man


Very recently listed in the She-Hulk key issues series, Shulkie makes her first cross-over and it happens to be in the Marvel Team Up comic series starring Spider-Man. Yep, she first meets the web slinger in this issue and further plants herself in the over-all Marvel Comics universe, although she already met Iron Man and Man-Thing in her own titled series.

So Jennifer Walters ends up in good ole New York City to represent her client Hildy Dawes, a fanatic anti-government activist, who has turned herself into the law. Of course, being a newspaper photographer, Peter Parker is there to take a few snap shots of the even.

Eventually, a militant feminist terrorist known as Man-Killer ends up on the scene to free Hildy Dawes and gain more exposure for her militant group. This would have the Web-Head and She-Hulk cross paths for the first time and even duking it out for a bit.




In typical comic book fashion, the two end their scrap and end up teaming up to stop Man-Killer, although the villain does escape with Hildy Dawes. Not wanting to be freed and to atone for her terrorist activities, Dawes ends up electrocuting herself and Man-Killer.



While Dawes is dead, it is assumed that Man-Killer is dead as well. Not the case though, and the militant villain does reappear in comics after this issue. 

Marvel Team-Up #107 is cover dated July of 1981.








PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #56
  • 2nd appearance of Jack 'O Lantern
  • 1st meeting & battle with Spider-Man

Probably an over-looked key issue as well. Jack O' Lantern is more known as a Spidey foe and even a Hobgoblin foe as well in later comics.

So in the 2nd appearance of Jack 'O Lantern, he does meet the web-slinger for the first time and the two do battle each other. 

Will this ever play out on the big screen since Macendale is part of Spidey's new cinematic universe? I dunno, but we'll see how well the new Spidey reboot does.




CGC Census is pretty low, so not really sure if this one is flying under the radar or just not an all that cared for Spidey key issue. As the census lists, there are pence copies for this issue and there are direct market copies as well.

I'll show you the UK pence copy as it does have a different price on the cover. Click the image to enlarge it if you're on the hunt for these.


With the cover date of July, 1981, Spectacular Spider-Man #56 has the 2nd appearance of Jack 'O Lantern and the first meeting and battle between the villain and the web-slinger. This issue begins it all for Jack 'O Lantern as a recurring adversary for Spider-Man and even for some of the wall-crawler's deadliest of villains.







PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #64
1st appearance & origin of Cloak  & Dagger


We have the debut of the team of Cloak and Dagger, two more Marvel characters who will be seen on the small screen in their own TV show on freeform. I hear that they have started shooting and actors Aubrey Joseph and Olivia Holt will be playing Cloak and Dagger.



Before consideration for TV, Cloak and Dagger made their first appearance in pages of Spectacular Spider-Man. Their debut also saw their origin revealed as well.

Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson were both runaways. While Tandy was from a wealthy family, Tyrone was from south Boston.

In the origin story, both runaways were subjected to the experimental drug D-Lite. It was a new designer drug that was being funded by the Maggia. They somehow survived while other runaways died. 



These drugs also gave them strange powers. Tyrone could manipulate and channel the Darkforce, and his body is a portal to the Dark Dimension. A pocket realm of that dimension is ruled by the Predator and Tyrone is linked to that pocket realm.

Because of this, Tyrone has a great urge to feed off the life forces of other beings. Tandy's light powers can temporarily satisfy this craving. Because of Tyrone's connection to the Dark Dimension, he can also move himself through it and emerge back on earth in a different spot from his origin point.

This gives him the ability to teleport, and he can do so at great distances. Tandy has the power of light, but this light is actually a living life force.



Actually thought the census would have a higher total to be honest. Seems to be a bit of 9.8s and 9.6s though. I wonder by how much this census grows in the next two years or whenever the TV show airs.

The origin of them gaining their power has been altered over the years, and they were later made mutants with the drug D-Lite awakening their mutant abilities instead of giving them

Looks like these two are on their way to the small screen, and the cover date for Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #64 has the cover date of March, 1982.






CAPTAIN AMERICA #272
1st appearance of Vermin

Ahhhh, so nice to type something other than "Amazing Spider-Man" or "Spider-Man" or "Marvel Team-Up" or " Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man". Marvel's version of Lord of the Ring's Golem. Well, not the movie, but the animated movie. 

My best-friend growing up was a huge Lord of the Rings fan, the book and the animated movie. I wasn't a fan of either but watched that animated movie more than I care to admit.

The way Vermin talked with that hissing reminded me of Golem. So before he meets the wall-crawler, Vermin was a pest for good ole Captain America.  

Anyway, I first saw this character in the Spectacular Spider-Man, Web of Spider-Man and Amazing Spider-Man comics near the late 80s and always thought he was kind of a cool character.

Cannibals kind of freak me out anyway. At the same time, I kind of felt sorry the character as well. 

Vermin was created by J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Zeck and would appear more in Spider-Man comics after his first early appearances in Captain America and a few other titles. I believe his first encounter with Spider-Man was in Marvel Team-Up  #128 which guest starred Captain America.

Edward Whelan was a geneticist working for Baron Zemo and Arnim Zola, who was really Primus I in disguise. Whelan underwent forced treatments that mutated him into a rat-like humanoid creature.

Because of the mutation, Vermin does have heightened strength and agility though not at superhuman levels. He does have acute senses and can communicate with rats and even dogs.

In his Vermin state, his brilliance as a geneticist is reduced to a childlike yet cunning intelligence. Vermin also suffers from paranoid delusions.


Although he isn't the most popular or fan-favorite of villains, Vermin has appeared in comics quite a bit. Not a major Spidey villain or 1st appearance key even in the Captain America comic series, and I think the CGC Census reflects this.

I doubt this comic is rare and the low census most likely has more to do with most believing this 1st appearance isn't worth getting graded currently. Probably not the top of list for Sony to introduce in the Spidey flicks, but Vermin would be a fresh and interesting departure.

He has been known to serve or team-up with Kraven the Hunter against Spider-Man. Anyway, that's just my opinion.

Captain America #272 has the month of August on the cover and was released in 1982.






PETER PARKER, THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN #69
2nd appearance of Cloak & Dagger


I might as well put in the 2nd appearances of Cloak & Dagger. If the TV show is a hit, these early appearances of the characters just might get more sought-out.

Dunno how much or to what extent, but there is always that possibility in the secondary market. Who knows? Perhaps, you have this one already and may want to sell if this 2nd appearance gets a bit more heat and rises in value either slightly or by a significant margin from what you bought it at.

So the duo make their 2nd debut in a Spidey comic series, and this time their quest to exterminate New York's drug dealers brings them to Silvermane of the Maggia. 


Cloak & Dagger would next appear in Spectacular Spider-Man #70 and that issue would mark their 3rd appearance. Cloak and Dagger were created by Bill Mantlo and comic artist Ed Hannigan.

Direct editions exist for both this issue and the next, and the cover date for Spectacular Spider-Man #69 is August, 1982.







Alright, there some 1st and 2nd appearances of some keys that are on the radar currently and there's some minor ones that aren't so much. Also some origins as well. 

Around 15 comic issues in Part 6 if you're wondering why it takes so long to complete these. There will be a Part 7 and I think that'll be the last one for Bronze Age Spider-Man keys.

Gonna keep this outro short and have a brief intermission so I can get a break and talk about something else for a tick. So, see ya soon and hope this has been helpful or entertaining for ya.


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