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Monday, March 6, 2017

Bronze Age Spider-Man Key Issues Part 7


Finally, we are at the last and 7th part to this Bronze Age Spider-Man key issues section. It may be a shorter one than in some previous parts to this Bronze Age section of Spider-Man keys.

Once again, I had to add another key issue to Part 6 that slipped my damned mind again. It's Marvel Team Up #100 and the first appearance of Karma from the New Mutants.

I was going to say screw it and just keep it on this one since it is a shorty, but I decided to move some of the last listings in Part 6 to Part 7. Don't be surprised if you see those again.

So, you can probably tell that we will see the debut of the Hobgoblin in this last part of Bronze Age key issues of Spider-Man, and I will provide a generic list at the bottom of this post for many of the other minor 1st appearances that I decided not to feature and skipped over.

Alright, if you just newly stumbled upon this, that navigation menu over the right will take you to any part of this Bronze Age section of Spider-Man key issues you wanna go to. Otherwise, here's the last batch.  

Marvel Team-Up #100 1st appearance of Karma
1st appearance & origin of Karma

So another Marvel mutant more associated with the X-Men world makes her debut in this Spidey spin-off series, and it is Karma from the New Mutants. Karma is Xi'an Coy Manh and one of the few Vietnamese or Asian superheroes in comics at that time and even now.

She is a mutant with telepathic and psionic powers and can mass possess individuals simultaneously and even remotely from a distance while still maintaining consciousness over her own body. 

This issue also tells the origin of Karma.


With all the hype about the New Mutants TV show and then movie, I'm pretty sure this key issue has taken off somewhat in the past. Over-all, it's still a pretty over-looked key issue judging from the CGC Census and that this key issue at CGC 9.8 has bobbing in and out the $100 range for the past five years or so.

Kinberg has recently confirmed that a new draft of the New Mutants screenplay is on the way to the studio and that director Josh Boone has been prepping. Karma is an original New Mutant that appeared as part of the team in New Mutants #1, and she is the only one of the original team who debuted prior to Marvel Graphic Novel #4.

Still, just because she is an original member doesn't mean FOX will use the character. Movies have been known to switch stuff up and especially the X-Men cinematic world.

Karma was created by Chris Claremont and Frank Miller, and the cover date to this Marvel Team-Up #100 issue is December, 1980.   

1st appearance & origin of Monica Rambeau

Another creation by Roger Stern and John Romita Jr., Monica Rambeau became the 2nd Captain Marvel. I grew up reading this character in pages of the Avengers. I wasn't really a big fan but I do remember the character.

Exposed to extra-dimensional energy, ex police lieutenant from New Orleans, Monica Rambeau was able to transform herself into any form of energy. She would become the first black female superhero to become an Avenger, but she was left mainly as a guest or supporting character.

Rambeau does have many appearances in comics, but Marvel really didn't do much with the character. With no connection to the original Mar-Vell, the 2nd Captain Marvel kind of became an obscure character or fans didn't really take to her in a big way.

She has undergone quite a few code name changes since her debut. She debuted as Photon in Avengers: Unplugged #5, Pulsar in New Thunderbolts #9, and then as Spectrum in Mighty Avengers #1 volume 2.

Monica Rambeau's origin is told in this issue, and it's actually longer in the issue than what I'm featuring. I'm just showing when she gains her powers.

So she suddenly transports outside of some warehouse that stores costumes, and that's pretty much how she gets her super hero duds.

And she's off to save the day! Origin is told in flashback and Monica did meet Spider-Man earlier in the issue before.

Not a highly sought-out of Bronze Age Spider-Man key issues currently, but this debut has sold on average over at eBay in the $200 range for CGC 9.8s. 

CGC 9.6s finally hit the $100 range in November of 2016, so there is some interest in this key.

Canadian Newsstand Editions do exist for annual #16 and they have a $1.25 cover price versus the $1.00 cover price for regular U.S. direct and newsstand editions.

No records on the Canadian Edition in the CGC Census just yet. The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 was released or first on sale around August of 1982.

Amazing Spider-Man #238 1st Hobgoblin cover pic
1st appearance of Hobgoblin

Concerning the Bronze Age of Spider-Man key comics, this is one of the more valuable and in-demand 1st appearances. Issue #238 introduces yet another fan-favorite villain and he is the Hobgoblin.

Much like Green Goblin, the Hobgoblin was very much a mystery character that had fans speculating on who the villain really was. We once thought he was Ned Leeds, but this call was made after Roger Sterns had left the series.

Apparently Roderick Kingsley was originally suppose to be the Hobgoblin as Stern had envisioned, but there was a lot of disagreements. When Tom DeFalco came on board, he asked Stern who the Hobgoblin was, and when Stern told him Kingsley, DeFalco didn't find that too fitting.

Furthermore, when James Owsley came on as editor of the Spider-Man titles, he asked DeFalco who the villain was, and DeFalco lied and said it was Ned Leeds. Owsley didn't quite think so and apparently killed off Ned Leeds in the one-shot Spider-Man vs. Wolverine. 

Owsley then instructed Peter David to reveal the Hobgoblin as the Foreigner in the pages of The Spectacular Spider-Man. David objected and claimed that the only character who fit the clues was Ned Leeds.

Because Owsley had already killed off Ned Leeds in Spider-Man vs. Wolverine, the identity revelation had to be written posthumously for Hobgoblin. Fans were not thrilled with the way it was done, and Roger Stern was unhappy with the decision of Ned Leeds.

Although Stern told DeFalco that he should feel free to choose whoever he wanted after not being able to agree before the big reveal, Stern later retconned Hobgoblin to be his original choice Roderick Kingsley in the three issue limited series Spider-Man: Hobgoblin Lives in 1997.

Holy moly, dysfunction junction. Regardless, that's seemingly the history of the Hobgoblin behind the scenes and the rest is really history. Roderick Kingsley is the accepted and original Hobgoblin and Ned Leeds was just a fall guy or patsy.

So there's the introduction of the Hobgoblin. He would first meet and battle Spidey in his 2nd appearance in the next issue. 

Even though I am a fan of this character, Hobgoblin is pretty much a spin-off of the Green Goblin and uses much of the same equipment and weapons like pumpkin bombs and a glider. I do like his look better than Gobby's though.

If Sony wants to use new villains in their Spider-Man reboots, I surely hope they consider this character. Anyway, this issue came with the Tattooz insert, but Overstreet says that these Tattooz inserts were not included in the Canadian Editions of this issue.

CGC does have some graded Canadian Newsstand Editions in their census.

So there are Canadian Editions for this issue that have a 75 cent price opposed to the regular 60 cent price for both U.S. newsstand and direct market copies. 

For those who are wondering about the possible rarity of high grade U.S. newsstands, I do have some info regarding that but only for CGC 9.8s that sold on eBay from May 6th, 2012 to January 9th, 2017.

There were a total of 104 CGC and CBCS 9.8 sales recorded by GoCollect during that period. Here's what they look like at the time of this writing.

 18 | 84 

Not meant to be a conclusive answer of whether newsstands are more rare in higher grades than direct market, but from the numbers I've already presented in other recent key issues lists that addressed this topic, take from it what you will.

By the way, my copy that I scored last year of is a direct market edition, and, no, I'm not sitting on a huge pile of newsstand editions from the 80s. No doubt that the CGC Census has some numbers to it for this Spider-Man key comic.

March, 1983 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #238, and it is one of the more valuable Bronze Age Spider-Man keys disregarding 35 cent variants. One of the cooler ASM covers also.

2nd appearance of Hobgoblin
1st Spidey & Hobgoblin battle

This is pretty much an over-looked Spider-Man key issue. Sure, it's just he 2nd appearance of Hobgoblin, but this issue does have much more going for it than just that.

As mentioned in the notations, this issue sees the 1st meeting and ultimately the 1st battle between Spidey and the Hobgoblin. Here's the panel where the wall-crawler and Hobgoblin first meet each other

I'd say this one is definitely a Hobgoblin key issue to snag for fans of the villain. They do have a pretty long and entertaining battle, and I love the artwork by John Romita Jr. The panel with Hobby tossing the Razor Bats at ole web-head is pretty bad ass.

CGC 9.8s are only selling in the lower $100 range on eBay currently, and the CGC Census does report Canadian Editions as seen below.

Canadian Edition CGC Census is the bottom image.

Here's one of them 9.6s for the Canadian Edition and they are the 75 cent price variant if you're interested in these. You can click the image to enlarge it and get a better looksie.

Who knows? Maybe you might even have one of these in your collection without even realizing it. 

I'll be looking for a nice copy of this key next time I'm on the hunt. Doesn't really matter to me what edition I come across. By this time Marvel was using the "M" logo for direct market editions to further distinguish between them and newsstands.

This issue of Amazing Spider-Man #239 has the cover date of April, 1983 and it is the 2nd Hobgoblin cover as well.

Origin of the Vulture

Did the Vulture seriously go on this long without an origin story since his debut in Amazing Spider-Man #2? I'm not 100% sure, but it surely looks that way.

So we may finally get the first origin story of Adrian Toomes and how and why he becomes the winged villain. Looks like some business partner he had screwed him over big time. 

And then Spidey busts in to try to stop Vulture's revenge on his former shady-ass business partner. With the Vulture in Spider-Man Homecoming, I do think this key issue is pretty over-looked for the most part.

Even though some sources say the Vulture's origin is in Amazing Spider-Man #2, I do not see any mention of an origin in that issue. Also the character of Gregory Bestman, Toomes' business partner, was first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #240, one issue prior.

I think this is the first time the Vulture's origin is revealed, and if true, this is a pretty over-looked key issue currently. CGC 9.8s are only selling on average in the $50 range on eBay.

Raw copies at locals or cons might still even be cheap at high grades as well. CGC Census is pretty up there for this issue though. Wow, one 10 and  four 9.9s.

As seen above, Canadian Newsstand issues has surfaced for this issue as well, and they still have the 75 cent price change. I'll show both the direct market and Canadians beside each other this time around.

Might be a good key to pick up on the cheap. Amazing Spider-Man #241 has the cover month of June and hit the stands or comic shops in 1983.

1st appearance of Lefty Donovan 
3rd appearance of Hobgoblin (cameo)

Overstreet notes this as a 3rd appearance of Hobgoblin and also notes it as a cameo also. He only appears in 3 panels of this story and is visible in only 2.

Lefty Donovan is Hobgoblin's goon and minion. He would be a pawn for Hobgoblin but would only last for two issues, this one and the next one.

I originally was not going to list this one and just mention it but decided to anyway. I highly doubt this is sought-out currently and probably not on the radar for most comic collectors or speculators as well.

Not that impressive just yet in the ole CGC Census, but there's already quite a bit of 9.8s already rockin' out there. Once again, that number most likely incorporates both U.S. direct and newsstands. 

So take your pick of which one, and I'll feature the cover of the direct market edition for the hell of it if you prefer those.

Then again, they do have the 75 cent Canadian editions out there somewhere in the world. You may stumble upon one of those somewhere in which the seller hasn't realized it. Even better if it's a high grade muddah. 

Only one 9.4 Canadian newsstand edition and it's a restored copy in the CGC Census! Kinda gave me a chuckle when I noticed that. 

Not much love for this comic in the secondary market currently and slabbed 9.8s are selling on average for $57 bucks for the last 2 years. 

That's on eBay of course. Pretty sure raw copies out in the stompin' grounds just might be purty cheap. Haven't really checked though and a 3rd appearance cameo doesn't really get me all excited in putting this one up there in my want list.

Amazing Spider-Man #244 has the cover date of September, 1983.

Lefty Donovan as Hobgoblin
4th appearance of Hobgoblin?

In this issue, Roderick Kingsley tricks Donovan to experiment on the Goblin formula which ends up blowing up in his face. Because of that, he gains the Green Goblin's super-human strength.

Unknown to the reader, Donovan dresses up as the Hobgoblin and goes out to fight Spider-Man. He is defeated and it's revealed that it's Lefty Donovan impersonating the villain.

Overstreet notes that this is the 4th appearance of Hobgoblin as a cameo once again. He is barely shown in 3 panels and not really. You see his hand and the Hobgoblin mask sitting next to him in the frame. 

Here's what it looks like. 

Just like issue #244, this one is not overly sought-out either and CGC 9.8s have yet to even break the $100 mark in terms of sold slabs on eBay. 3 panels of Hobgoblin's hand and two of his mask also doesn't have me put a high priority on this issue either.

However, it might for you, so if you didn't know about this one before, now you do and can go hunting for it where ever you prefer to buy your comics at. Here's the cover to the direct market edition.

Even though it's not Roderick Kingsley as the Hobgoblin, the character does show up quite a bit in this issue and has yet another battle with Spidey. Kingsley would not yet gain the Green Goblin's super human strength but he will soon.

Lefty Donovan does die in this issue. Poor Lefty.

Hobgoblin would next appear in Spectacular Spider-Man #85. Canadian Editions do exist, and since I could find a cover, I might as well feature it on here. 

So there that beauty is up above and you can click the image to enlarge it. Nothing different except the price of 75 cents with the Canadian Newsstand Edition during this era at least.

October, 1983 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #245.

 5th appearance of Hobgoblin
Hobgoblin gains superhuman strength

Getting his hands on the Goblin formula prior to this issue and testing it on poor Lefty Donovan, the mysterious Hobgoblin has still been trying to develop the perfect means in delivering the formula into his system. In this very issue, he finally succeeds and gets super as shown in the pages and panels below.

So Hobby finally gets super and this issue recaps went on in the previous issue of Amazing Spider-Man #244. With his new-found strength, Hobby suits up again and is off to cause some mischief and become a supah star. Hobgoblin does show up fully in this issue and the original even battles Spidey for the 2nd time.

Some more cool artwork by John Romita Jr. in this issue also. Definitely a Hobgoblin key issue to own and it's his 5th appearance ever but could be considered his 3rd full appearance. 

Pretty over-looked so far since 9.8 slabs have yet to hit or cross over the $100 mark. One copy came close back in 2013. Pretty cold key issue right now, so could be an over-looked Spidey key to consider if you don't have it or are a huge fan of Hobgoblin.

With the cover date of December, 1983, there are Canadian and direct market editions out there for Spectacular Spider-Man #85 if you're a completionist like that. 

Alright, so this concludes the Bronze Age key issues of Spider-Man, and I did skip a bunch of very minor and minor debuts. Mostly debuts in Marvel Team-Up. I'll rattle off a generic list for those I skipped over in case some of you out there want to do some hardcore speculating.

Marvel Team-Up #12 - 1st Moondark.
Marvel Team-Up #16 - 1st Basilisk.
Marvel Team-Up #19 - 1st Stegron.
Marvel Team-Up #21 - 1st Melinda Morrison.
Marvel Team-Up #23 - 1st full Equinox.
Marvel Team-Up #68 - 1st D'spayre.
Marvel Team-Up #81 - Death of Satana
Marvel Team-Up #87 - 1st Hellrazor.
Marvel Team-Up #89 - 1st Cutthroat.
Marvel Team-Up #91 - 1st Gorilla Girl.
Marvel Team-Up #92 - 1st Mr. Fear (Alan Fagan).
Marvel Team-Up #93 - 1st Dansen Macabre.
Marvel Team-Up #110 - 1st Magma (Jonathan Darque).
Marvel Team-Up #117 - 1st Professor Power.
Marvel Team-Up #121 - 1st Frog-Man.
Marvel Team-Up #131 - 1st White Rabbit.

In Peter Parker Spectacular Spider-Man #25, I skipped over Carrion's first appearance or better known as the clone of Miles Warren. This is not Warren Miles version who later briefly appears in the Web of Spider-Man comics and is married to the Gwen Stacy clone.

I'll mention that one as well. Aside from that, I pretty much already did a Spectacular Spider-Man key issues series that has most of the minor keys. I'll put in another generic list for those that I skipped over from the Bronze Age or you can click on that blue link above to see that series if you've yet to do so. 

Spectacular Spider-Man #32 - 1st Iguana
Spectacular Spider-Man #33 - 2nd Iguana and origin 
Spectacular Spider-Man  #60 - Origin retold with new facts

In case you're actively looking for the Bronze Age Canadian Editions for Amazing Spider-Man, here are the ones that I know about.

Amazing Spider-Man #233 - 279 (#275 has a $1.50 cover) and Amazing Spider-Man Annuals #16 - #20 (#20 has a 1.50 cover and the others before it have $1.25 cover prices)

Marvel Team-Up #122-150 (#150 $1.25 cover)  and Marvel Team-Up Annual #5-7 (all $1.25 covers)

Spectacular Spiderman #71-117 (#75 & #100 $1.25 covers)

Spectacular Spiderman Annual #4-6 ($1.25 covers but #6 has a $1.50 cover price variant)

So when the cover price change to 75 cents for the regular U.S Marvel Comics, the regular Canadian editions changed their prices to 95 cents. Once again, those are just the ones I know or have heard about.

Alright, that concludes the Bronze Age key issues of Spider-man, and there were around 83 issues covered. The next section of Copper Age will be coming in the near future.

Have a good one all and happy hunting or selling!

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  1. I got to meet Roger Stern many times as He lives about an hour from me. I went to a comicon many years ago and Roger was wearing a Marvel Bubblegum Jacket with a giant Marvel Logo on back and Spider-man crawling. After he signed my comic, I asked about the jacket. He told me it was from the Bullpen Days and asked if I wanted to purchase it. I was shocked and said Yes! right away. A few years later, I wanted to get the jacket authenticated, so I called Roger and He drew up the paperwork and I went to see him. He posed for a photo holding the jacket and the COA. I still have this amazing Bullpen Jacket (1 of 12 ever made) and it still looks brand new! Roger and his wife Carmela are Awesome People! lk

    1. Super cool story LK! I'd love to meet Roger Stern and John Romita Jr and Sr. If they ever do a con this way, I'd definitely drop by. From the artists and writers I've met so far, the majority are super nice. Some aren't or may have been having a bad day, but most are cool peeps. You ever wear that jacket, LK?

  2. Hiya bro' s,

    like the first comics on that list! Are you going to do a modern pidey list as well? Just asking cause I recently bought A.S. 529 for 10. I think the iron suit has potential if Mary Jane or another classic spidey character dons that suit. I also heard that the print run is not so high. Can you confirm that? Thanks for reading.


    1. I will cover Copper Age and Modern Age Spidey keys each in their own sections. ASM #529 does not have a low print run. It's around 90,381.

  3. Would love to have a high grade Canadian Edition ASM 238 to go alongside my high grade ASM 238 signed by John Romita Jr. I also agree that ASM 239 is a little overlooked in the market right now.

    1. I'll be on the hunt for ASM #239 since I have the first appearance of Hobgoblin already. It is the first time he meets and battles Spidey, and for me, it'll be a nice key issue have as a fan of the web-slinger. Finding a Canadian Edition out there for regular price would be pretty awesome!!