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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Undervalued and Sleeper Comics Part 17

Returning back to this series and we've got four more to go through. Two are still pretty much sleepers and one of them is a bit questionable. Not sure why a certain guide is noting that one as such.

I did guess and assume but still uncertain. There are two that can be seen as under-valued. The first of this batch I am basing it off the merits of the comic, how it contributes to a character's comic history, and stacking it up to another hottie that blew up big simply because of a certain movie called Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

That movie was not very good yet that certain comic the movie was loosely based in part from has the same legendary writer and continued to sustain even after the flick left theaters with it's bad reviews lingering. Anyway, the key issue presented in Part 17 I believe is quite over-looked.

The other over-looked or arguably under-valued key does have a lot going for it in terms of key issue goodness. I am comparing his debut with the debut of another big bad whose 1st appearance skyrocketed since it was announced he would be the Biggest Bad of the upcoming Marvel/Disney flicks.

With that, I'm pretty sure you may have an idea of what debut comic I'm talking about. So, if you missed Part 16, click the link and check it out. If you're good to go, let's dive into these other under-valued or sleeper key comics. Hope you enjoy!

1st Modern Catwoman
1st appearance of Holly Robinson
1st appearance of Carmine Falcone
New-Earth Batman & Catwoman origins begin

Is this a sleeper to a certain extent and is this Copper Age goodie under-valued? Here's the thing about this comic or story for this issue: There's a lot of key issue goodness contained in Batman #404 that isn't really recognized or that well-known.

Sure, Batman #404 begins the classic Year One story line by Frank Miller, but it also retells or reboots Batman's origin Post-Crisis. Yep, this issue begins the New-Earth Batman origin and sees the 1st Modern appearance of Catwoman.

Frank Miller definitely gave Selina Kyle a more grittier origin or back ground Post-Crisis, and this tone for the character of Catwoman was established by Frank Miller and did influence later writers even to this day. Selina is first seen in this rebooted continuity as a prostitute working for a dirt bag pimp named Stan in the East End of Gotham.

She watches over a young Holly Robinson, who makes her debut in this comic. There's a big one right there - Holly Robinson! I expect her character to be making the big screen soon and most likely in Gotham City Sirens while not as the 2nd Catwoman like the character is in the comics. Well, you never know, right?

While the whole prostitute deal for Selina was later erased from continuity and the character instead was schooled as a thief on the mean streets of the East End, the character of Holly Robinson remained a long-time supporting character for Catwoman and even took up the mantle in later comics. Here's some more influences this comic had.

Mob boss of Carmine Falcone also sees his 1st appearance in this issue, and the character did make his live action debut in Batman Begins played by actor Tom Wilkinson. Falcone has appeared in the New 52 but not sure about the Rebirth stuff.

Post-Crisis definitely changed some things around for Barbara Gordon, but the Barbara Gordon in this issue is actually James Gordon's wife. The New-Earth continuity had James Gordon as Batgirl's uncle and adoptive father unlike she was during the Silver Age in which she was Gordon's biological daughter.

So, basically, his niece (Barbara Gordon as Batgirl) had the same name as his wife Post-Crisis. In Pre-Crisis continuity, James Gordon's wife was Thelma Gordon and the mother of Barbara Gordon.

Weird, but this version of Barbara Gordon as James' wife was also a character in both Batman Begins and the Dark Knight. The character was played by Ilyssa Fradin in Batman Begins and Melinda McGraw in The Dark Knight

Also, another character that was plucked from the Frank Miller's Year One story and used on the big screen was James and Barbara's son James Gordon Jr. Actor Nathan Gamble played the character as a young boy in Christopher Nolan's Batman flicks.

This is an influential comic and story line that has obviously influenced quite a bit of elements for both Batman and Catwoman that have carried over to this day. Don't really have to say that this is an important Batman Copper Age comic and is pretty over-looked if you compare it to another Frank Miller classic -  Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1.

I mean, this rendition has influenced later incarnations of the  character of Selina Kyle in which having a hard childhood and growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in Gotham seems to be the accepted back ground or origin for the iconic thief and sometimes anti-hero. Many are speculating that this back ground will play out in the new DCEU as well as Gotham City Sirens.

Definitely a Copper Age Batman key issue that should be considered, but as usual, I leave that up to you. This issue is something I am gunning for within my stompin' grounds.

For those who are interested and more concerned about rarity when dealing with these Copper Age keys, there are regular U.S. newsstands of this comic and also Canadian Editions or Canadian price variants with the $1.00 cover price. As of this writing, newsstands do seem to pop up less on ole eBay. Well, let me restate: high grade newsstand copies seem less abundant on eBay so far and at the time of this writing.

Once again and for reference, here are the CGC Census numbers currently or at the time this post was published. Could be different by the time you look at them. 

Batman #404 has the cover date of February, 1987.

1st full appearance of Darkseid
1st appearance of Forever People
Debut mother box and boom tube
1st Darkseid & Superman meeting

Instead of propel whether this issue is actually under-valued or not, I actually just wanted to talk about it since it is such an interesting debate. Most already know about Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 and that issue is still more sought-out than this one currently even if it only has a one panel cameo of Darkseid.

I've heard claims about how it's ridiculous that Hulk #181 and the first full appearance of Wolverine is vastly more valuable than his first cameo in Hulk #180, but Darkseid's first full is vastly less valuable than his first cameo. Some arguments in regard to that is both Hulk #180 and #181 are pretty similar in regards to availability while Forever People #1 does seem to be quite a bit more abundant than Jimmy Olsen #134.

So Jimmy Olsen #134 is more rare than Forever People #1, but as blasphemous to either a Marvel or DC Comics fan, I'm actually going to compare this issue with Iron Man #55 and the 1st appearance of Thanos. Well, okay, the issue that is still recognized as the debut of Thanos.

I don't even want to get into that. Iron Man #55 is definitely a valuable key now and there's no doubt that his first appearance key issue got extremely hot because of all the movie stuff. While we do know Darkseid is going to be a main baddie for the all the DC extended stuff and most likely go through a similar build up like Marvel's Thanos, hype for his 1st full has seemed non-existent to pretty darn weak.

You don't need to be a DC Comics fan to know that Darkseid is a major villain in the actual comics. He is at least within the top 10 on most greatest DC comic villains of all time lists, and Darkseid ranked #2 on my Top DC Villain poll. You can click that link to check it out or vote if you feel like it.

So what's the deal with this issue here? It's barely making a dent.

Let's see how these are performing. Data below is from GoCollect and is the 2 year average of sales on ole eBay for CGC and CBCS.


Jeez, Forever People #1 and the first full appearance of Darkseid is highly under-valued compared to the 1st appearance of Thanos in Iron Man #55. Comparing 9.6 copies of the two is a bit shocking.

Maybe so or maybe shouldn't be so. Let's look at the CGC Census for these two bad boys. First up is Iron Man #55.

And now Forever People #1.

Wow, I don't see where that argument holds any water. Iron Man #55 has 43 more 9.6 copies than Forever People #1, and 36 more 9.8 copies in the census. Now, that isn't a massive disparity concerning census numbers but check out the total there.

That's a disparity of total submitted copies, and a 1,794 difference so far. I'm curious to see how much those individual grade numbers move up once more copies are submitted for Forever People #1.

So is Forever People under-valued, or is it just the market saying they don't care too much for the first full appearance of Darkseid? Well, it is apparent that Iron Man #55 is considered a more desired book right now. That is quite apparent and might even stay that way even when and after Darkseid gets his big screen debut.

But take the scope of Darkseid as a villain in the DC universe of comics. He's a pretty big Big Bad, and compared to Iron Man #55, this comic is shockingly quite a bit less valuable and less abundant.

The only problem is that most are willing to sling Forever People #1 in the secondary market, instead of holding on to them, so they are easier to acquire in correlation to demand. Still, Forever People #1 should not be considered a slouch when it comes to key issue goodness. 

Alright, here's what else this issue has going for it. This key also debuts the Forever People so it has double key issue goodness. No, it actually has more than that. Five of the main Forever People debut in this issue such as Beautiful Dreamer, Big Bear, Mark Moonrider, Serifan, and Vykin the Black.

How are these guys significant? Well, let's explore that, shall we?

Well, let's talk about Apokolips and New Genesis. So Highfather of New Genesis is where he and the Forever People reside. His evil counterpart and the evil counterpart to New Genesis is the ruler of Apokolips known as Darkseid.

Now, I know that Hollyweird can twist the movie from the comics, and the Forever People could be completely neglected. It would be strange to have an Apokolips without a New Genesis, but that's my comic geek mind taking over.

Besides, who is to say that Earth isn't considered a type of New Genesis in the DCeU? However, it is clear that elements from the comics or Jack Kirby's Fourth World are being used in the DCeU.

Forever People #1 also introduces mother boxes and boom tubes. Also sees the debut of another character called Infinity Man. First meeting of Superman and Darkseid too, and you know that will play out on the big screen. They don't brawl or anything in this issue though.

There's a lot going on in this issue. I'll leave this one up to you, but I think you can guess I'm leaning towards a certain side on the scale. 

Forever People #1 is cover-dated March, 1971.

1st appearance of Murk
1st appearance of Dead King

Sleeper and might as well put this one in here for all of you that missed that bit of movie news. Yep, it seems that this character will be joining the Aquaman movie, and Murk is a pretty new character in the world of Aquaman comics.

So Ludi Lin from the Power Rangers movie has been cast as this Atlantean warrior. Well, he's actually one of them military leaders who first starts off loyal to Orm or Ocean Master, Aquaman's rival half-brother.

Murk has served Aquaman, but his loyalty for Orm is extremely strong. I expect this one to be an eventual right-hand man for Patrick Wilson's Orm.

There is tension between Aquaman and this character from the get-go. Here's Murk's debut in this issue seen below.

And then when some annoying human decides to get fresh with Aquaman, Murk takes matters into his own as seen below:

So, this one is a sleeper or it's such a minor character in the eyes of collectors, speculators or comic investors, Murk's debut is not cared for by most in the secondary market. Variant? Of course, this comic did come out in 2013.

Regular cover has an estimated print run of around 58,578. The sketch cover variant is a 1:25 deal, so estimate for the variant is somewhere around 2,343 or less.

Variant is a tad more pricey for some reason on eBay. Maybe find one locally for cheaper if interested. Aquaman #17 of the New 52 2011 series has the cover date of April, 2013.

1st full appearance of Tombstone?

Okay, let's talk about this one here, because it's pretty whack. Well, at least, trying to figure out why Overstreet notes this issue as the first full appearance of Tombstone is a bit whacked.

So recently I did Part 4 to the Copper Age Spider-Man key comics series and it listed Spectacular Spider-Man #138 as the first full appearance of Tombstone. Once again, that was done so because Overstreet notes it as such.

However, the mucked up thing is that Tombstone appears in the previous issue also and for around the same length as Spectacular Spider-Man #138. So, in the previous issue of #137, Tombstone appears in 8 panels on one page.

Here's how he appears in issue #137 below.

From Spectacular Spider-Man #137

From Spectacular Spider-Man #137

And there it is for Tombstone's appearance in issue #137. Onward!

Okay, now let's look at this very issue of #138, and Tombstone appears in 8 panels on three pages. Actually, one of the pages is a panel that has a newspaper photo of him. Alright, better that you see yourself and here's how he appears in Spectacular Spider-Man #138 below.

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 11
From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 15

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 15

From Spectacular Spider-Man #138 page 16

I am going to guess that it's because Tombstone is on more than one page, although the amount of panels are around the same. Might be that Tombstone is also shown more clearly more often in this issue of #138 also.

Issue #137 has two panels where his back is turned and one at a pretty far distance. In that issue, he's only clearly identifiable in five panels really. 

I dunno, and I'm just guessing here. Don't really know what the deal is.

Right now Web of Spider-Man #36 is the Tombstone appearance to get. He only shows up in four panels in that issue, though, as shown below. He is named, however.

Tombstone's debut in Web of Spider-Man #36

I think this one is pretty much a sleeper and kinda deserves to be since there can be more confusion surrounding why Overstreet notes this as Tombstone's first full appearance.

Hell, your call to make on this one but I think it's still pretty much a sleeper for a reason. Spectacular Spider-Man #138 has the cover date of May, 1988.

Forever People #1 still forever remains a mystery why it's not as desirable as the debut of Thanos in Iron Man #55. If we're talking about scarcity of high grades in the census, there's quite a disparity when it comes to that but not huge (concerning the top high grades of 9.8 and 9.6). 

Batman #404 is still widely over-looked over-all. So far Canadian Editions are pretty scarce finds in the secondary market, and the majority in the market place currently are direct market copies. 

1st appearance of Murk? Well, announcement for the character joining the Aquaman flick is pretty recent. If you're not sure who Ludi Lin is, it's this homie to the left over there.

However, so announcement is pretty recent, but the announcement of Dolph Lundgren cast as King Nereus is also pretty recent as well. His debut is pretty on-par with Murk right now.

So what is King Nereus' debut in comics? Not surprisingly he is a creation of Geoff Johns and debuted in Aquaman #19 of the New 52 series beginning in 2011. That comic is still over-looked as well, but thought I might as well mention it. I already did in the Google+ community a while back, and this issue not surprisingly has a 1:10 variant also and known as the Mad variant.  

Regular cover for Aquaman #19 from the New 52 series has an estimated print run or North American sales from Diamond Distributors to ole local comic shops as around
53,700. 1:10 Mad variant should be 5,370 or less.

Gonna leave this outro a bit shorter this time. Still dealing with family troubles and it's mostly legal shiz.

Legal means it takes a while and eats up everyone's time. Will try to have more comic goodness soon. See ya next time!


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Venom & More May Comic Movie & TV News Round Up!

Here's reviewing the latest movie or TV shows based off comics that recently came out in the later weeks of May and I've yet to yap about. First order of business and the news is hot!

Tom Hardy is Venom. Not Flash Thompson Venom, but Eddie Brock Venom.

Yes, the original Venom, the one who debuted the character and kicked the comic world on it's friggin' ass!

But, hell, this is the movies, though, right? Who is to say that they can't switch shit around and have Eddie Brock as Agent Venom in the cinematic world?

You bet they can twist things up like that, and I'm sure there will be a huge fan backlash on that but whatever. Let's talk about this because I'm a Spidey fan.

How else do you all see Venom playing out? Alien symbiote or a biologically engineered symbiote created by military research and development?

Okay, so far, I've yet to hear any news that Eddie Brock is going to be connected to the world of Spidey. I am pretty sure they are in the same cinematic world for sure.

I am not denying that, but so far, reports are saying that the Venom spin-off will be Spidey-less? That kinda doesn't make much sense at all.

If that is true and Venom were to go the Spidey-less route, my feeble mind can only think of Venom being some military biological experiment gone wrong. Well, it's that or Eddie Brock is a Daily Bugle news reporter who somehow comes in contact with a symbiote that mimics Spider-Man.

Where does this symbiote even come from and why does it mimic Spidey's powers? See the concern here?

Or, will Sony try to shake things up and go the horror route? They could still use the science project gone wrong and have Venom take Eddie Brock as a host and run around doing whatever.

Then again, if they went that route, Agent Venom would make less sense unless Carnage was the monster terrifying all the kids in the neighborhood and the government went into this small town to kill all the symbiote spawns that Cletus was creating as Carnage. Bam! There it is and you can make that check out to me pronto, Sony!

Agent Venom has go into this town infected with the symbiote and make sure it doesn't spread out of this town. On top of that, he has to kill it before the air strike nukes this town and all the innocent civilians living...Wait! That was the premise of Outbreak. There it isn't.

Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, though? I'm definitely okay with that, and it actually makes the film a bit more legit. Well, until they announce that Eddie Brock is Agent Venom and a huge fan uproar has Tom Hardy pull out of the role.

Just kidding! Kinda...seriously, who knows where they're going to go with this Venom flick. Expect the worst or hope for the best, right?

Remember that TV show that Greg Berlanti said he was developing. Black Lightening?

Well, apparently, the show based off the DC Comics super-hero is actually happening and a trailer just dropped for it. Seriously, and here it is below in case ya missed it.

I'm 100% sure this TV series will receive a heap load of stupid and ignant comments like the Luke Cage show did such as, "Why is the Luke Cage show so black?" Ask that kind of a question, you may as well ask why the TV show Friends was so white?

Oh, my, God, Becky...Look at her butt. 

Looks like it will be pretty similar to the actual comics. I'll give this one a try and the show stars Cress Williams in the titular role.

The show does feature more characters from the actual comics also. Black Lighting's wife is played by Christine Adams and his two daughters Jennifer and Annisa are played by actors China Ann McClain and Nafessa Williams.

I already did a run down on these character comic debuts in a past announcement for this show. You can click on this Black Lightning link to see these 1st appearance key issues.

In case ya didn't know, "ignant" is worse than ignorant. Ignorant simply means you just don't know any better. Ignant means you know better but choose to be a dumb ass.

More Spider-Man cinematic news or should I say news for his expanding spin-off flicks. Venom ain't the only bad ass to spit more game in the movie-verse. Black Cat and Silver Sable snagged themselves a director and a new title.

Looks like Gina Prince-Bythewood will helm the Spidey spin-off flick now titled Silver and Black and apparently will rewrite the script penned by Chris Yost. No newcomer to the super-hero genre, Gina just finished directing the pilot episode to Marvel and Freeform's Cloak and Dagger TV show. Word has it that this Spidey spin-off will be Spidey-less as well.

Justice League Dark? News of this movie being a live-action anything has been around a long time and it seems they're still having problems. So now Doug Liman has dropped out and the studio is now eyeing director Dami├ín Szifron.  

Sorry, but I lost interest in that movie yesteryear. Next flix!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Copper Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 4

Part 4 to this Copper Age Spider-Man key issues section will definitely have some highlights in terms of stand out Copper Age Spider-Man key comics. After all, we are hitting the time of Todd McFarlane and his famed run on the comic series.

As we all know, this would also mark one of the...if not the...most popular and important spin-off character for Spider-Man during this era. Maybe even well after the Copper Age as well since not a single debut of a Spidey character or villain afterward doesn't even come close to this comic without it being some artificially rare variant.

This character was spun-off and carried as well as expanded on his own mythos also. He also created several spin-off characters of his own.

I'm sure you already know who I'm talking about. Legend David Michelinie also takes over the writing chair for the Amazing Spider-Man title during this time. Some beautiful stuff will be made with the creative team of David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane.  

If you missed Part 3, that link will swing you on back. Otherwise, here's the next batch.

First brief appearance of Eddie Brock
First McFarlane Spider-Man begins

Created by David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, Eddie Brock is the 2nd host for the alien symbiote and would later become Venom. The debate on who created the character was challenged when David Michelinie wrote an open letter in a 1993 issue of Wizard stating that he was the sole creator of Venom and that the idea or concept of the character was being discussed long before McFarlane acquired art duties for the titled series.

Whatever, and it could hold water. Michelinie did plan to introduce Venom earlier. Web of Spider-Man #18 included that teaser scene in which Peter Parker is pushed off a waiting platform and almost gets hit by an on-coming train. 

That was supposed to Venom, and I believe the build-up and final reveal of Venom was originally intended to be in the Web of Spider-Man comics. Michelinie left the series before that happened and could not get back round to it until he took over writing duties for the Amazing Spider-Man title.

But what is true is that without Todd McFarlane's artwork on Venom the character would have not become so popular or commercial. Eddie Brock's look was also designed by Todd McFarlane and Venom did originally take Brock's physique.

Anyway, Eddie Brock was a reporter that covered the Sin Eater murders and was fired from the Daily Bugle after it was revealed that the person Brock interviewed was not the real Sin Eater but a compulsive liar when Spidey brought in the real murder. 

After the scandal, his wife also left Brock, and this is where his resentment of Spider-Man comes from. After the church bells dispel the alien symbiote from Peter Parker, it attaches itself to Brock, whom was also there but below the confrontation.  That part of Venom's origin is detailed in his first full appearance and not in this issue.

Here's Eddie Brock's cameo in this issue:

So this comic has a mostly white cover. Whoa, where did that come from? 

Well, you'll see in the next few listings, and I'll just skip right to it and say Amazing Spider-Man #301. That issue still boggles my mind, but here's the CGC Census for this issue of Amazing Spider-Man #298.

Hmmmm? This issue doesn't seem to have a problem with white covers at high grade 9.8s copies.

I do wonder if there is a disparity between newsstand and direct market editions.

Marvel Age #59
The rest is history, and the date on the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #298 is March of 1988 but it has the shipping date of November 10th and the newsstand date of December 1st according to Marvel Age #59 as shown above.

Death of Sin Eater (Stan Carter)

Loved this comic as a kid and wished they hadn't killed off Sin Eater. Great story. Read this multiple times. 

They should bring back Sin Eater for the comics and use him in a Punisher show as a villain. Don't know who owns the rights to the villain though.

A key issue but not a very well-known or sought out key issue, at least for now. Could change. Could not. Definite sleeper.

Eh, I know the CGC Census will be spare, but I'll show the screen shot just for future reference. You know, that is the reason why I am showing them screen shots for.

Marvel Age #59

With the cover date of March, 1988, Spectacular Spider-Man #136 has the shipping date of November 24th and the newsstand date of December 15th. Source above is from Marvel Age #59.

First brief appearance of Venom

Definitely a Venom key issue to get and has had a good track record of being desirable and sought out. Amazing Spider-Man #299 holds the first brief appearance of Venom in actual costume.

More of Todd McFarlane's great artwork is in this issue, and you could say it is an early work of his on the series. This comic should be a Venom key to consider as well as Venom's first full appearance in the next issue. Both have seen an increase in demand and value for the past several years. 

Here's Venom's brief appearance in this issue:

Eddie Brock as Venom has already made his live action debut in Spider-Man 3 and was played by actor Topher Grace. Both fans and critics widely panned that film version of Venom and maybe even Eddie Brock too.

I definitely don't think Topher Grace was terrible, but the film's take on the character didn't get this fanboy to geek out in a big bad way. Still, I can actually watch and enjoy the film now.

Topher Grace played Eddie Brock and thus Venom as well.

So with all the "white" cover hard to find in high grade condition toting in speculation land, this issue has no problem with high grades in the CGC Census despite color cover.

The first brief appearance of Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #299 has the cover date of April, 1988. There are newsstand and direct market editions of this issue, so those numbers in the CGC Census include both.

First full appearance & origin of Venom
First battle with Venom

In terms of Holy Grails concerning the character of Venom, Amazing Spider-Man #300 is it, and it has been sought out since the early 90s. This issue, of course, holds the first full appearance of Venom and it also has the first battle between Spider-Man and Venom.

Not to mention that the cover is a classic and definitely one of my favorites from the era. I've talked quite a lot about this comic and you've probably read quite about it if you've been a long time reader.

In typical comic book fashion, Eddie Brock reveals how he became Venom and why he has such a hate on for Spider-Man, so Eddie Brock's origin in becoming Venom is revealed in this issue.

Venom is created by David Michelinie, Mike Zeck, and Todd McFarlane, or, at least, those are the artists so far credited with the character. As we all know by now, the character did evolve from an alien costume to "Venom", as the merging of Eddie Brock and the alien symbiote first established.

This is the only comic on this Venom key issues list where I would say gunning for a 9.4 would be an acceptable investment if gunnin' for newsstand copies.  

Problem with this key issue is that too many collectors believe it is too plentiful in the market. Over-all that may be true, but there are direct market and newsstand versions of this comic.

Not to make a big deal of that, but expect future CBCS copies to note the difference. I have a feeling CGC will come around soon after.

For now, CGC census does not reflect the difference so here's what the U.S. CGC Census looks like so far and at the published date of this article.

Holy moly that's a pretty big total of 13,390. Remember that both newsstands and direct markets are mixed in the total of that number and by 1988, Marvel's newsstand distribution might of been around 30% since 1986 was around 50% and 1990 was around 15%.

Terry Hokness has Amazing Spider-Man #300 at an estimated print run of 270,000 over at his site. If that is true, the guess of 30% distribution of that number is an estimated 81,000 copies for newsstands.

The CGC Census does have a Philippines Edition clocked in, and I have no idea about these or whether they are first printings or what. Since they are listed with the regular U.S. copies, and I am assuming they have the same cover date and are 1st printings.

Not too sure about that though, but I'll show ya the cover just in case anyone is interested in them. Not that hard to distinguish from the others, and you can click the image to see the larger version.

Most of the information about this key issue here, as in this particular listing, has been written prior or a few years back. This stuff is new.

Amazing Spider-Man #300 is still on fire and is even nearing the 2k mark. Actually, it has gone over it twice this year.

A lot of people made a big deal when it was barely crossing into the 1000 dollar range only a few years ago, myself included and I admit that fully. I was curious as to why this key got even hotter and wondered if it was because of the recognition of newsstands.

The latest 9.8 ASAM #300 is a CBCS newsstand copy. It sold for $1850 in April 27th of 2017 on eBay. The sale before it is a direct market edition and sold on April 24th of 2017 for $1650.

Another ASM #300 direct market edition CGC 9.8 also sold on April 24th of 2017 for $1675, so I don't think the extra juice this comic is getting has anything to do with direct market or newsstand. It is just a hot Copper Age key that collectors seemingly want.

For those who are interested, I do have information on the amount of sales of CGC 9.8 and 9.6 on eBay between direct market and newsstand copies. Here's how it looks and it covers 6 years:


9.8 NS | 9.8 DM

14 | 248

9.6 NS | 9.6 DM 

63 | 194

Once again, Venom did appear in Spider-Man 3. Word is that Sony is working on bringing Venom to theaters again in a solo joint of his own and Tom Hardy was cast as Eddie Brock or Venom in super recent news. 

Not hoping too much when it comes to Venom's big solo outing live-action, but Tom Hardy does give that project some extra umphff! I do feel a little better about it so far.

May, 1988 is the cover date and Marvel Age #61 has the shipping date as January 12th and the newsstand date of February 2nd for Amazing Spider-Man #300.

1st full appearance of Tombstone?

Okay, I guess we get the first full appearance of Tombstone here, and the one in Web of Spider-Man #36 is a first brief appearance or just a 1st appearance? Web of Spider-Man #36 does predate this issue and has Tombstone in four panels on one page. Overstreet notes this issue as his first full appearance, though, and Web of Spider-Man #36 as his first appearance.

Not a very well-known key issue at the moment and very much a sleeper. CGC still does not note this as the 1st full appearance of Tombstone just yet, and I do question why Overstreet notes this issue #138 as a 1st full since Tombstone does show up in #137 as well in the same amount of panels.

Issue #137 just has Tombstone only on one page when this issue spreads him out over three pages. Does that really make that much of a difference?

This issue has a pretty dry CGC Census currently or at the time of this writing. Here's how the sucker looks.

While Marvel Age #61 has the shipping date for this issue at January 26th and the newsstand date of February 16th, Web of Spider-Man #138 and the apparent first full appearance of Tombstone is cover-dated May, 1988.

Classic Cover
Reverts back to Red & Blue Spidey Costume

Okay, a classic cover I'll buy. A key issue? Eh, if that's the case I don't consider it a majorly huge key.

Spidey goes back to his original design or Spider-Man costume when Mary Jane just gets too creeped out when looking at the black costume. Actually, the costume reminds them too much of Venom.

Understandable for sure. I do love this McFarlane cover, but the actual art isn't really what I wanted to discuss. Okay, I believe sometime last year or maybe the year before, 9.8s of this comic shot through the roof.

I had absolutely no friggin' clue why. Was there a key notation missing that collectors suddenly caught onto?

No clue, so I inquired about it on here. Someone said that super high grade copies of these or 9.8 and up are scarce or hard to find, possibly because of the white cover.

Now, I didn't dispute that was the reason why people were paying crazy prices for 9.8 copies. I did question that this issue were more scarce just because of the mostly "white" cover. Giant-Size X-Men #1 is a mostly "white" cover.

Let's take a look at the strangeness of it all on the ole CGC Census. Okay, 9.8s aren't outrageously humongous in the census and there are quite a bit of 9.6 copies. Now, if the big deal was keeping the white cover clean, there is the method of cleaning a cover that often comes with pressing services.

Sure, Amazing Spider-Man #301 could have had more copies messed up from the exposure of light that causes foxing or yellowing/browning. Quite a few of the comics I have with mostly white covers seem to have this tanning problem.

That does make more sense to me than the ability to keep white covers "clean". I mean, hell, if that was the biggest problem of reaching super high grade, I'd crack, clean and press those 9.6 copies and then get 'em regraded to see if I can bump that grade up slightly.

However, and once again, going to bring up both Amazing Spider-Man #298 and #299 and how they don't seem to have the same problem. And should I be wondering why Amazing Spider-Man #298 and #299 have so many 9.8s compared to this comic? Pretty interesting and something that strikes my curiosity but I don't think it's as complicated as it seems. 

Look at the over-all submission total of this comic and compare it to the total submission of 3133 for ASM #299 and the total submission of 4159 for ASM #298. There is a sizable difference.

So, not buying the "white cover" harder to keep clean so less abundant in higher grades for this issue. Still, if you wanna ignore the point I brought up about sizable difference in CGC total submissions concerning this issue and #298 and #299, that's cool too.

June, 1988 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #301.

1st appearance of Speedball

Speedball is also a long-time member of the New Warriors and has been largely associated with the comic team in the comic books. However, Robbie Baldwin first appeared as Speedball in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22. I always thought the name was funny as it's the name of a concoction of drugs also, namely the mixing of cocaine and heroin.

This character came out when I was still collecting and actually reading comics, and since I'm a Spidey and Daredevil fan, I picked up this comic up. I immediately thought Speedball was lame with him bouncing around all over the place like a buffoon.

This power was actually a kinetic energy field that surrounded him and could absorb any other type of kinetic energy it came in contact with. It basically protected him from harm of any kind.

Speedball is another Steve Ditko creation. Oh my!  
Tom DeFalco also co-created the character. I actually gave the character a 2nd try with his 1st limited series, but to no avail.

Perhaps the character got better when he was able to control his powers. Dunno, issue #2 was the last of his 1st comic series I followed, before spending my dollars elsewhere.

There is a different incarnation of Speedball as well, but I'm not even going to get into that. The character of Speedball has been confirmed to be in the main line up of the TV show about the New Warriors and actor Calum Worthy has been cast to play Robbie Baldwin.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #22 has the cover date of September, 1988.

1st appearance of Styx & Stone

Well, every character or villain can't be fan-favorites. There's gotta be a few that just don't cut it with fans.

As much as I love Todd McFarlane, Styx & Stone aren't the greatest of villains for the Web-slinger. They aren't exactly the worst either, but no where near the best.

So Styx and Stone are obviously a criminal duo and they go hand-in-hand like peas 'n carrots. Kidding, sort of.

So Gerald Stone was a smartie-pants scientist (Jeez, aren't they mostly all in Spidey villain lore?) who conducted a highly illegal experiment to cure cancer on Jacob Eishorn. This experiment turned Eishorn into a living cancer and spawned the villain known as Styx.

Stone felt guilty, as he should, but his guilt led him to build some fancy weaponry and become Styx's crime partner and form their special mercenary duo. Then again, not to say that Stone isn't without a heart, he did plan to use their mercenary money to eventually find a cure for Styx.

Of course, that blasted menace known as Spider-Man would get in their way.  Since their debut, Styx and Stone would cross paths with the Web-head here and there, but they don't show up that often in Spidey or Marvel Comics.

Didn't really expect the CGC Census to be remotely impress for this debut 1st appearance key comic, but there's a lot more than I thought there would be. I seriously thought it would be quite a bit more dry, but it is part of Todd McFarlane's ASM run, right?

Amazing Spider-Man #309 has the cover date of November, 1988, and speaking of covers, I use to really like this one and draw Mary Jane's face quite a bit back in the day.

1st appearance of Kristy Watson

Bring on some more minor key and yet another relative of Mary Jane Watson. Oh, I'm sorry! I mean, Mary Jane Parker.

I actually remember Kristy Watson while geeking out on McFarlane's Amazing Spider-Man run, in which I had to get every copy of the titled series that had his artwork. This obsession also extended to Web of Spider-Man and Spectacular Spider-Man even if the titles didn't have McFarlane's artwork.

So Kristy Watson was the cousin that was later revealed to have bulimia. For those who don't know what this is or how it was and still might be a problem, here's the definition of this disorder:

Bulimia - an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.

While Kristy Watson never really became a serious or major character in the Spidey comics, bulimia is a serious eating disorder that can seriously mess you up, meaning it can be fatal is left untreated. 

Since this isn't really anywhere near a major key, CGC Census is slim for this issue as expected. I am curious to whatever happened to this character?

So, Spectacular Spider-Man #145 has the cover date of December, 1988 and the issue most likely has a cameo appearance of Kristy Watson. However, the character is so minor does anyone really want to make a big fuss about a "full appearance"?

Alright, so there's Part 4 and there's pretty much no real surprises, at least I don't think so. Amazing Spider-Man #300 is still the major key issue to get out of the Copper Age Spidey key comics, but I do think Amazing Spider-Man #298 and #299 are Venom keys worth considering.

Tom Hardy has been cast as Eddie Brock for the Venom movie, and I think that will only fuel more interest in the character. Definitely good stuff on that end. Gonna keep this outro short.

Hope you enjoyed and hope this has helped you on your hunt or on your dump. Dang, that sounds all sorts of wrong, but thanks for reading. I'm trying my best here to publish stuff and take care of family stuff also.

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