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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Copper Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 2

Spinning more threads to this Copper Age Spider-Man key issues section, and we are at Part 2 of this beast. We definitely have some sleepers or over-looked keys in this post.

Some might be somewhat important and some just might be minor as minor can be. Well, at least, for now.

Who knows what key will all the sudden be hot because of whatever? There will definitely be some 1st appearances, origins and a few deaths here and there we'll see.

By this time, Roger Stern had left the title and Tom DeFalco became the regular writer for the Amazing Spider-Man comics. Also, Jim Shooter was Editor-in-Chief of The Amazing Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up, and Spectacular Spider-Man titles.

Peter David would take over writing duties from Al Milgrom on the Spectacular Spider-Man comics during this time. Louise Simonson would helm the new Spidey spin-off, Web of Spider-Man.

I know I've been featuring newsstand, direct market, and Canadian Edition Price Variants a lot in Part 1, but I am going to ease up on them in Part 2. Just know that every issue featured below has them even if you don't see a cover image shown.

I will let you know if the Canadian Newsstand Editions have a price change. The navigation or menu at the right can direct you around this Copper Age Spider-Man key issues section, but if you missed Part 1, you can click that link to swing on back!

Origin of Mary Jane
1st Philip & Madeline Watson
1st full Gayle Watson Byrnes

Wow, did it really take that long for Mary Jane Watson to get her origin story? Did she really need one?

Whether you think she does or not, Amazing Spider-Man #259 lets us Spidey fans know more about Peter's eventual wife and her back ground. Even though Peter and M.J. have known each other for so long, she never told him about her parents.

The abusive father bit was used in Sam Raimi's first Spidey flick but they really didn't explore all that much into it. However, that influence is from the actual comics as shown in this issue, and M.J.'s parents Philip & Madeline Watson make their 1st comic book debut in this very issue and her sister Gayle Watson Byrnes makes her first full appearance. All three only appear in flashback in this issue.

Spider-Man also reverts back to his original costume for a brief time. Remember that Venom hasn't debuted yet so I don't really consider that a big deal.

I only depicted the first half of M.J.'s origin. It does run through most of the book, and we do learn that there is more to her than a pretty face and why she is the way she is. This origin definitely makes her less one-dimensional.

I believe that once she opens up to him, their relationship does reach a whole new level since both know each other's deepest secrets. In the chapter of Peter and Mary Jane, this is a pretty important key issue and most likely over-looked currently.

Hobgoblin makes another full appearance in this issue and even She-Hulk is in this comic as well. Hobby and Spidey do not battle though but do so in issue #260.

As the CGC Census states, there are Canadian Price Variants for this issue. Submission totals for regular U.S. copies aren't too crazy yet but there are quite a bit of 9.8s and 9.6s in the census already.

December, 1984 is the cover date, but Amazing Spider-Man #259 has the on sale date of September, 1984. As of this writing and the post's publishing date, the origin of Mary Jane and this key can be snagged for under a hundred bucks at 9.8 grades.

Web of Spider-Man #1 comicWEB OF SPIDER-MAN #1
1st appearance of Vulturions
1st issue to new titled series

Okay, let's be honest here. This issue does have the first appearance of the Vulturions, but that's like a big whoopty doo! The real reason people gun for this key Spider-Man issue is because it's a first issue to another Spidey spin-off title. Wasn't really a big fan of this series and had as many issues as I could count on one hand.

However, this copper age key is still around the $100 mark for CGC 9.8s and hasn't really moved since the last time I spoke of it. It does have a pretty impressive CGC Census already, but as mentioned before, the numbers for the regular U.S. editions represent both direct market and newsstands.

CGC does have Canadian Editions registered in their census also. Here's how both look at the time of this writing:

Cool, one 10 MINT recorded in the census and 11 9.9s. Holy, moly!

Got some high grade Canadian Editions as well with one CGC 9.8 and three 9.6 copies already clocked in. Three 9.4 copies for these price variant Canadian Editions as well, and the price is 75 cents for those. I do have an example cover to show ya if you're on the hunt for those.

This is also the issue where Spidey remembers that the symbiote costume is sensitive to harsh sound vibrations as depicted in Amazing Spider-Man #258.  Therefore, the creature is removed from his body by the ringing of large church bells. Here's how it played out in the actual comics.


The scene is pretty classic and was translated from panel to screen in the movie Spider-Man 3

Remember that back in the day? Love this comic cover by Charles Vess, and this issue was written by Louise Simonson. 

Web of Spider-Man #1 was on sale December 25th of 1984 according to Marvel Age #24 and has the cover date of April, 1985.

Web of Spider-Man #2 image
2nd issue to new titled series
2nd appearance of Vulturions

Well, at least the Vulturions weren't a one hit wonder and did end up coming back to cause more trouble for our favorite Web-head. Still, though, not the greatest of Spidey villains to have been created or graced his titled comic series. 

This is also the 2nd issue to the Web of Spider-Man titled series, always a nice thing to know. Besides, it's yet another Spidey spin-off title during the time, and I believe three were running at this time since Marvel Team-Up was cancelled.

Not necessary, but nice. I think I still may have this in one of my junk boxes. Not sure if I sold it or not. 

I probably did. Not that really in demand just yet, and I can't really picture this issue becoming huge for any real good reason. Newsstands and Canadian Editions do exist for this comic if you're worried about rarity for these Copper Age key comics.

Web of Spider-Man #2 has the cover date of May, 1985 and the on sale date of January 22nd 1985.

1st appearance of Silver Sable
1st appearance of Mortimer
1st appearance of Wild Pack

So Black Cat and Silver Sable movie, eh? It is an odd pairing if you actually think of the pair in comics, which they do not have much in common or connection with.

Well, except that they started off in the Spider-Man comics. I do think Black Cat is quite a bit more popular and well-known.

I'm not even sure about Silver Sable or know that much about her to be honest. She is Silver Sablinova, a mercenary that sometimes tracks down war criminals.  Alright, I'm sold there. 

This leader of Silver Sable International and the Wild Pack was created by Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz. Sable's father was a Nazi hunter and the Silver Sable of World War II who started the Wild Pack that she later inherited. Yes, this also has Wild Pack's first debut.

Both Silver Sable and her father Ernst are from the fictional country of Symkaria. Symkaria is a small eastern European country within the Balkans and has close ties with Doctor Doom's Latveria.

Although her methods are sometimes quite ruthless and questionable, she is an ally of Spidey and other heroes like Hawkeye, Puma, and Paladin in the Marvel Universe. Mortimer is the brother of Silver's mother and is her assistant.

Mortimer is an important supporting character for Silver Sable and was carried over into her first head-lining comic series. He also makes his debut in this very issue as well, and Silver Sable does show up more in the actual comic than the panels I'm presenting here. Below is our first look at the character in this comic.

Once again, not sure if this 1st appearance key issue is still a sleeper or not or if the market in general could still care less about the debut of Silver Sable. CGC Census for this key 1st appearance has a pretty low submission total so far but quite a bit of 9.8s and 9.6s already.

Dang, already two 9.9s for regular Amazing Spider-Man #265? I wonder if they be newsstands?

Once again, this comic has newsstand editions and Canadian Editions as well. Canadian Edition has a 75 cent cover so not all that difficult to spot.  

Judging from the amount that #252 has comin' out of the woodwork so far for Canadian Editions, I wonder if how #265s will compare. Then again, a new black costume?  

I wouldn't be surprised if Marvel printed a boat load of Amazing Spider-Man #252s - newsstands and direct market editions both. Anyway, debut of Silver Sable in this issue of Amazing Spider-Man #265.  

Either this one is still under the radar despite movie news or the market has had enough and dismissed this Spider-Man key issue. I do see a ton of possibilities with this character hitting the big screen. 

This could open up the Spidey movie-verse to more espionage-type or military/superhero films like Black Widow has the potential of doing for Disney/Marvel. After all, I think Agent Venom might be owned by Sony, and it would not be all that hard to tie Agent Venom in with Silver Sable or even Black Cat.

Getting Spidey actually in those movies is a different story though. On sale date is March 5th and cover date is June, 1985 for Amazing Spider-Man #265.

1st appearance of Sin-Eater
Death of Jean DeWolff

Gotta admit that I do have a soft spot for gun-toting vigilantes that take it to the extreme. I mean, most know that I'm a Punisher fan for sure.

Sin-Eater? I actually really liked this coo-coo when I first was introduced to him in this comic. I do believe I found this one in a back issues bin back in the day.

So Sin-Eater dispenses his brand of vigilantism on those who abuse their positions of authority. This dude kills his girlfriend Captain Jean DeWolff and then offs Judge Horace Rosenthal.

As a detective, Stanley Carter is also assigned to the murder case of Jean while secretly Sin-Eater. Of course, Spidey finds out and beats the guy viciously.

Not really a great choice. This would make Stanley a bit more coo coo.

Carter as Sin-Eater is tied to Eddie Brock and Parker ruining his journalistic career in the actual comics. Carter's identity as Sin-Eater was revealed by Parker and this conflicted with Brock's previous articles that interviewed a certain Mr. Emil Gregg who claimed to be the Sin-Eater.

I'd love to see Sin-Eater in the Punisher Netflix series somewhere down the line. I think having those two go at it would be pretty fun to watch. Marvel Age #30 has this issue's on sale date as July 16th, and October, 1985 is the cover date for Peter Parker, Spectacular Spider-Man #107.

1st appearance of Alistair Smythe

Created by Louise Simonson and Mary Wilshire, the villainous character of Alistair Smythe is the son of Spencer Smythe and would take up the legacy of his father. If you forgot, Spencer Smythe is the genius who invented the Spider Slayers in the very early Amazing Spider-Man comics.

Not surprising that Spencer's Spider Slayers were first commissioned by J. Jonah Jameson, but Alistair initially worked for the Kingpin. Of course, this villain would break away from the Kingpin of Crime and go it solo in exacting his hatred for the web-slinger.

A minor but notable Spider-Man villain, I highly doubt if this debut is on the radar of most collectors currently. Not sure if that will change or what, and as expected, CGC Census is a bit dry at the moment.

Although there is not any submitted data for Canadian Editions or Price Variants, they do exist out there and the price is $1.50 on the covers instead of $1.25 like on the U.S. newsstands and direct market edition covers.

Not sure but direct market distribution may have been 40 to 50% during this time. It was apparently 50% in 1986.

November, 1985 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19, and this issue was on sale August 13, 1985 according to Marvel Age #31.

1st appearance of Slyde

Slyde is another minor villain in both Marvel Comic and the Spidey mythos and does not have that many over-all appearances. Slyde is Jalome Beacher and was created by and was created by Tom DeFalco and Sal Buscema.

Like most villains in the Spider-Man mythos, Jalome Beacher is a smarty pants and a chemical engineer who created an amazing non-stick coating that could be applied to anything. Strangely, he was luckily fired by his employers instead of being totally exploited and having his brilliant invention stolen.

Creating a suit that was coated in this amazing non-stick substance, Jalome could slide across floors quickly and used this ability for a new career in robbing banks. Stick it to the man!

Slyde became a member of both the Masters of Evil and Thunderbolts. He was apparently killed by Hammerhead's enforcer, Underworld, during Civil War as an example to those who dared refused to join Hammerhead's organization. 

Despite not having any CGC Census data nor an example cover, Canadian Newsstand Editions do exist for this issue and have the price variant of 75 cents on the cover.

Cover date is January, 1986 for The Amazing Spider-Man #272 and this issue was on sale October 1st, 1985.

Origin of Sin-Eater
Spider-Man learns Daredevil's identity

Definitely remember this bad boy from back in the day and it was one of those stories I read over and over again. Spider-Man goes mad, and the target of his rage is Sin-Eater. 

Yep, Sin-Eater's identity is revealed previously and Spidey is none too happy about who it is. Not happy at all!

It doesn't help that for some strange reason Sin-Eater decides to go after Betty Brant. Not a good idea at all since Betty Brant was a very early love interest for Peter Parker.

Sin-Eater or Stanley Carter gets a mad whompin' from our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and it's so bad that Daredevil has to interfere. This causes a pretty classic battle between the web-slinger and the Devil of Hell's Kitchen also.

Direct Market
So we learn in this issue that Carter was in Research and Development over at none other than S.H.I.E.L.D. They were injected with modifications of PCP to see if users could enhance their strength without going nutzo.

Obviously, it didn't work too well and the experiment must of unhinged Stan Carter's mind. Unfortunate for Jean DeWolff and Sin-Eater's victims.

Back in the day, this story arc was one of my favorites as it did test Spidey's morality or convictions. Near the end of the story, a crowd awaits outside of the police station to give Stanley Carter mob justice.

Spidey is confronted by Daredevil while the mob gets more riled up and violent as police try to escort Carter to a police transport van. Even Jean's father is part of the mob.

Daredevil dives in to keep the mob from killing Carter or hurting police during the riot but ends up getting jacked and beaten. Spidey watches from above the roof top and faces that crossroads.

Of course, Spidey jumps in and saves DD and even Carter from the mob. I've always liked these stories, because they always made me think and question what would I do or how would I handle it.

I definitely always fail in contrast to the heroes in these kinds of stories. I would've let mob justice prevail, and I'm surprised the Punisher wasn't there to be honest.

I think it's good to know thyself as much as possible. These stories kinda help in finding stuff like that out somewhat. 

Definitely a key issue that isn't known and is currently seen as not worth getting graded just yet. So, other than the origin of Sin-Eater and the conclusion of the Death of Jean DeWolff saga, Spidey learns that Daredevil is Matt Murdock in this very issue.

Here's the panels in which this revelation happens for the wall-crawler. Apparently The Man Without Fear knows Spidey is Peter Parker.

Although there is no data for Canadian Newsstand Editions in the CGC Census just yet, they are out there even if I could not find any example covers either. They have the price variant of 75 cents for those who are interested.

Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #110 has the cover date of January, 1986.

1st full appearance of the Foreigner
Sabretooth vs. Spider-Man

Okay, the Foreigner shows up briefly in the previous issue of #115 and he is mostly in shadow or is never fully shown. Actually, I think half of his face is shown in issue #115.

He is finally fully shown in this issue and readers do actually get to see the dude. So, 1st full appearance is this issue.

For some reason, collectors like this issue and Overstreet has it as one of the more valuable issues in the Spectacular Spider-Man comic series. They do not note it as the 1st full appearance of the Foreigner though.

So Foreigner is yet another mercenary and assassin in Spidey's mythos. How many does that make so far?

Anyway, Foreigner seems to be the former teacher of Sabretooth as revealed in this issue and Sabretooth wants to impress his old teacher by killing the Black Cat. Of course, if Sabretooth is successful, he will gain admittance into the world's top assassin's organization run by none other than the Foreigner.

Of course, this arrangement would bring Sabretooth in conflict with our hero Spidey. The character of the Foreigner was once married to Silver Sable and was created by Peter David.

Editor Jim Owsley favored the Foreigner as the character who was to be revealed as the identity of the Hobgoblin, but David objected to the decision.

So this character is connected to Silver Sable and Sabretooth in the actual comics. CGC nor Overstreet note this issue as having the 1st full appearance of Foreigner, so it's still pretty much a sleeper in that regard.

Definitely not a whole lot of copies registered in the CGC Census currently. Not that surprising concerning that.

Once again, there are newsstands, direct market and Canadian Editions of this issue, and it is an early appearance of Sabretooth if you're a fan. One 9.8 Canadian Edition copy so far, but I'm sure there are others hiding out there somewhere that'll pop up sooner or later.

Canadian Editions have the price variant of 95 cents as opposed to the price of 75 cents for the U.S. newsstand and direct market editions. Once again, you can click the cover images to see a larger versions.

First cover image is a direct market edition and does not have the UPC code on the cover as is customary during the 80s and early 90s. Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #116 was on sale April 15th and has the cover date of July, 1986.

Okay, better let this bit of information known even though I missed it in the Bronze Age section. So speaking of Mary Jane's mom and pops, she does have an older sister as well.

Yep, Gayle Watson is M.J.'s older sister and first debuted in Amazing Spider-Man #246. The cover date for that issue is November, 1983 and M.J.'s sister shows up only in a dream in that issue.

Yes, it is a cameo and Gayle only appears in one panel during a crazy dream sequence of sorts. Actually, I think the whole issue is a bunch of characters daydreaming. 

The keys in this here Part 2 are definitely sleepers or quite under the radar, so if you're into that, you won't be disappointed in finding some new cheap buys to add to your Spidey collection. In terms of any heavy hitter comic investments, I wouldn't get your hopes up in that regard.

Still, not to say that any of the key comics below aren't worth their salt or worth knowing about. I'll let you decide on whether they're worth snagging or not.

Part 3 to this Copper Age Spider-Man Key Comics series is ready. See ya there for more comic goodness.

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  1. Even though it wasn't featured here. I was able to win a ASM #261 Canadian Edition CGC 8.5 SS Signed by Charles Vess off Ebay. It's the only copy on the census.

    1. I thought it was a great deal since the only other sold listing was for a non SS CGC 7.5 and got mine for around the same price. Also just snagged a VF/VF+ copy of ASM #265 Canadian Edition as well for lower than what most standard VF Direct Editions are selling for. I think some people are still not in the know on how rare some of these Canadian Editions are.

    2. Awesome snag! I think people are a bit wary about how rare they are or might not be. I've actively begun hunting some of them Canadian Editions down, but not in a hardcore way or anything. I do agree that these have great potential...besides, they're fun to try 'n hunt for, especially VF and up copies.

    3. Yep. They are hard to find in higher grades. I've read they are around 2% to 8% of the total print run. I think they are really fun to collect just like the Marvel 30 and 35 cent variants, tougher DC Whitman's, Whitman Pre-Pack comics from 1980 and 90's to current key newsstand editions. Especially when you can find good deals on them.