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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Copper Age Spider-Man Key Comics Part 3

Can we say Part 3 to this Spider-Man key issues section? Part 3 is still going to see the era of Tom DeFalco as writer on The Amazing Spider-Man until about issue #286.

Word has it that Jim Owsley did not get along that great with the creative team of Ron Frenz, and Tom DeFalco. Yikes! That's not good.

In the end Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz were removed from the Amazing Spider-Man title by Jim Owsley. The then editor stated that both DeFalco and Frenz continually failed to meet deadlines, but the creative duo stated that Owsley was the cause of this by constantly changing production schedules.

Whichever story is true, editor-in-chief, Jim Shooter, has said, "I fired Jim Owsley because his tenure as an editor was a train wreck. When I fired Jim Owsley, he thanked me. Seriously. He said, 'Thank you.' He admitted that he just wasn’t good at the administrative stuff (i.e., schedules)".

Well, there ya go with that. So, if you missed Part 2, that link will bring ya back if you give it a little clickie click. If not, let's continue onward with more Spider-Man key issues.

2nd full appearance of Silver Sable

Since a Black Cat and Silver Sable movie is in the works, I might as well throw in Silver Sable's 2nd appearance or her 2nd known full appearance to date. Yes, she does show up in Marvel Age Annual #1 prior to this comic, and I wouldn't even put the "full" in the notation for this ASM comic. I basically think this should just be called her 2nd appearance.

However, before someone brings that up without knowing even much about Marvel Age Annual #1, that issue is a preview for one. Two, that comic only has Silver Sable in two measly panels in Marvel Age Annual #1, and despite how much one thinks that's a full appearance, industry will not note it as such so preach it elsewhere. 2 panels is considered a cameo or brief or minor appearance.

3rd reason Marvel Age Annual #1 is not her 2nd full appearance is because the panels with Silver Sable and Spidey in that issue basically recaps the meeting between the two that happened in Amazing Spider-Man #265. Sure, it does have some new dialogue between the two but still the exact same event.

But, hey, if you want to count 2 panels and recapping the same event that took place in her debut issue, I ain't going to argue with you. To be honest, don't really care enough to.

Besides that, this comic is still pretty much a sleeper for sure. Not sure if Silver Sable's debut has taken off yet but it has been a sleeper for quite a long time as well.

Here's how the CGC Census looks so far for this comic and I don't expect it to be anything impressive. Most likely still not a book worth getting graded on a huge level.

I think this is the last Amazing Spider-Man issue to have a Canadian Edition. The price variant is 95 cents, and pretty much the same as the regular U.S. newsstand with the UPS code.

Price is just different. No CGC data on the Canadian Price Variants or Editions.

I'm guessing they've yet to come out of the wood work, or collectors have yet to see the point in getting this one graded currently. On sale date for this issue in Marvel Age #40 is April 29th, but August, 1986 is the cover date for Amazing Spider-Man #279.

1st appearance of Sinister Syndicate
3rd full appearance of Silver Sable

For some reason Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz decided to band together a team of Spider-Man's more lesser foes or lesser known. I think most of these villains didn't catch on with fans, but the Sinister Syndicate was probably an attempt to do so.

Who knows? This is the original group and formed by Abner Jenkins when he was still known as the Beetle. The original line up consisted of Beetle, Hydro-Man, Rhino, Speed Demon and Boomerang.

Have to note this but Speed Demon was originally the Whizzer, but became Speed Demon in Amazing Spider-Man #222. That issue is a debut that was not included in the Bronze Age section. 

More key issue goodness for this issue is that it has the 3rd appearance of Silver Sable, and Spider-Man and Silver Sable are thwarted by the Sinister Syndicate in capturing Jason Macendale as Jack 'O Lantern.

I think the Shocker joined the team later, but over-all, the Sinister Syndicate doesn't have a whole lot of appearances. Then again, neither does the Sinister Six from their debut to this issue here.

Unlike the Sinister Six, the Sinister Syndicate was not formed with the single-minded goal of destroying Spider-Man. Instead the Sinister Syndicate is basically a mercenary group who works for the highest bidder

Once again, I highly doubt that this debut is all that sought-out currently. Don't expect a very high CGC Census either and CGC doesn't even note this issue as the debut of the Sinister Syndicate as of this writing.

Marvel Age #41 has the newsstand date for Amazing Spider-Man #280 at June 3rd and the issue is cover-dated September, 1986.

Web of Spider-Man #18 pic
1st Venom (Behind the Scenes)

Overstreet Guide also says this is a first appearance of Venom behind the scenes. Whatever that means. 

I pretty much think this should be noted as a cameo, or just Venom behind the scenes. I don't know and I don't really make a big deal about this issue.

At the end of this story Peter Parker is pushed in front of a subway train by a mysterious figure. It would later be revealed that Venom did it in a later Spidey story.

This issue was very much a sleeper when I first wrote about it in the Web of Spider-Man key issues a while back. Comic collectors seem to know this one a lot more currently but not when I first mentioned it. 

Not exactly a huge key when I first mentioned this one a few years back, but still a Venom key issue somewhat and nonetheless and before the character makes his first full appearance. If you're a fan and have to have all his early appearances then this issue is definitely one.

Cover date for Web of Spider-Man #18 is September, 1986.

Web of Spider-Man #19 comic cover
1st appearance of Humbug
1st appearance of Solo

Not a whopper of a key issue comic either, though it does the first appearances of both Humbug and Solo, whom are extremely minor characters in the MU. 

Humbug, Buck Mitty, started off as a villain, but ended up becoming a hero. Yes, he can communicate with insects, and in later comics gained the ability of super strength, speed, agility and senses. 

James Bourne, a.k.a. Solo,  is a bit more used in Marvel Comics and once even had his own limited series. He is a counter-terrorism operative with short distance teleportation abilities. He uses military style weaponry.

Definitely not a hugely sought out comic right now. Not sure if it will ever be, but in my opinion, it probably won't.

Even if these two hit the big or small screen, I don't see this comic blowing up in a huge way. Key word is "huge" there.

Then again, who knows what obscure characters blow up on the secondary market. Heck, Squirrel Girl did, right?

Web of Spider-Man #19 has the cover date of October, 1986.

1st appearance of Alfredo Morelli

When it comes to Richard Fisk as the Rose, Alfredo Morelli is a somewhat important supporting character for the son of Kingpin. Not really a huge supporting character, so this is a very minor key issue first appearance.

However, Alfredo is the friend of Richard Fisk, and Alfred, Richard as the Rose and the Hobgoblin schemed to overthrow the Kingpin. At the time, they thought Hobgoblin was Ned Leeds, but in later comics, this proved to be untrue.

Although failing, the trio would try a second attempt and Alfredo would get his face surgically altered so he looked like Richard Fisk. That's pretty crazy, and you know that's a set up for disaster.

As with anyone with two bits of common sense rollin' around in their brain, Alfredo did betray Fisk and eventually took over his identity. That act paved the way for Kingpin's son to become the bloody and violent vigilante known as Blood Rose.

As Gauntlet, Morelli would battle Blood Rose in later comics as well. With all that excitement, it's a wonder why this villainous debut isn't more sought-out, right? Anyway, here's the CGC Census for this comic at the time of this writing.

Amazing Spider-Man #282 has the cover date of November, 1986.

Death of Ned Leeds

Had absolutely no idea that Ned Leeds died off panel in this issue. I remember scoring this issue because of the whole Spider-Man vs Wolverine on the cover and totally geeked out.

Don't think the issue really made an impression on me all that much to be honest. So this issue has the death of Ned Leeds and shows that his throat has been slashed.

As mentioned before in this extended Spider-Man key comics series, the death of Ned Leeds happened before he was originally revealed to be the Hobgoblin. Owsley wanted the Foreigner to be revealed as Hobby and instructed Peter David to reveal him as so in The Spectacular Spider-Man comics, but David refused.

Because it was already too late to undo Leeds death, his big reveal as the Hobgoblin was done after his death and in a less dramatic way in Amazing Spider-Man #289. Just a recap of things already discussed when I talked about the debut of Hobgoblin in this extended key comics series.
We'll visit this topic again when we get to Roger Stern's take and how he rewrote or retconned Hobgoblin's real identity to be Roderick Kingsley. In the meantime, here's how this issue looks in the CGC Census.

There are newsstands and direct market editions for this comic. Not sure if there are Canadian Editions or price variants for this issue.

If you notice in the price box on the regular U.S. newsstand copies, they do have the Canadian price on there. Same with the direct market editions inside the little "M".

February, 1987 is the ole cover date for this Spider-Man vs. Wolverine one-shot.

2nd cameo of Venom?

Not entirely sure what to note this issue as well. It seems that Venom makes another kind of cameo appearance where he's not fully shown. This comic just sees his black arm come through a window and grab Peter Parker.

I'm not really sure how that would count as an appearance or even a cameo since it's just an arm.'s Venom's arm! Let's get all excited about that!

Well, I guess David Michelinie did build up the character of Venom before his big reveal in Amazing Spider-Man #300. Although this issue doesn't really have much of Venom, it is kind of cool. 

Besides, this is all told in Amazing Spider-Man #388. Not sure if it was revealed in an earlier issue or not, but David Michelinie writes ASM #388 also.  

The first appearance of Venom's arm in Web of Spider-Man #24 has the date of March, 1987 on it's cover and was on sale November 25th of 1986 according to Marvel Age #47 or November 27th according to Amazing Heroes #105.

1st appearance of Dina
Rose revealed as Richard Fisk

It's the infamous Gang War story line that saw multiple of underworld baddies in the Spidey mythos clash. Baddies like Hammerhead, Jack 'O Lantern, and even Silvermane are dragged into this war to control all crime in NYC.

As Richard Fisk, Alfredo and Hobgoblin scheme to take down Kingpin's organization, it seems that Richard has a little time for romance. In this issue, he meets a gal named Dina.

She is a very confident and upfront lady and quickly becomes Richard's girlfriend, even if he does reveal that his father is a big crime boss and he is trying to take down the organization from inside. This issue does reveal that Richard Fisk is the Rose, as we do see his mask perched on a dummy head.

The character of Dina is not a huge or remotely a major character whatsoever. She does not have that many appearances. Rose is revealed as Richard Fisk in this issue is a bit more important and it's Part 3 of the Gang War story line.

I hope Netflix does something to this effect. I know they can't have Hobgoblin or Jack 'O Lantern or even Spidey, but the Gang War definitely could involve the Hand and Kingpin is a given. Also, what about the Maggia?

Joseph Manfredi already appeared in Peggy Carter Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., so I know some Maggia characters aren't owned by Sony. Actually, I think Joseph Manfredi first appeared in a Daredevil comic so that might have something to do with it.

Well, Count Nefaria first appeared in the Avengers comics and Madame Masque in Tales of Suspense. They should be good to go perhaps.

Have a feeling Silvermane and Hammerhead are probably owned by Sony still and out of the question. Hell, maybe even Joseph Manfredi and Madame Masque as well since ABC may still have the rights? 

Anyway, I thought it would be cool if they went this route. Besides, with the Defenders and the Punisher already in the hero roster, you'll need more than just the Hand to give these good guys a challenge.

Damn! Sorry about that. My mind just took over with that one.

So, definitely and most likely not that sought-out of a key, and I wouldn't be hard pressed to call this one a minor key currently. An impressive CGC Census worth looking at is doubtful but here it is anyway.

Damn, that's a lot of 9.8s already for such a low over-all submission total.

With the cover date of March, 1987, The Amazing Spider-Man #286 was released or hit the market around December 2nd of 1986 according to Marvel Age #47 and Amazing Heroes #105.

1st Jason Macendale as Hobgoblin
Ned Leeds revealed as Hobgoblin

So before Roger Stern came back to rewrite what he saw was a mistake in the Hobgoblin's true identity, it was originally decided that Ned Leeds was going to take the blame for the Hobgoblin's crimes during this time. However, Ned Leeds was already dead according to Spider-Man vs. Wolverine.

No problem, Hobgoblin was unmasked posthumously in this here issue. It was a very unpopular way for the readers to find out the identity of this villain.

Hobgoblin was popular with fans at the time and the baddie's identity reveal had been built up for quite a while and kept fans on edge to who he may be. Here is how Peter David finally revealed Hobby's identity to the world.

And there it is! You can imagine that this less than typical comic book villain reveal was less than popular with Spider-Man fans back in the day. 

Don't really see the big deal as it's done in flashback. In 2009, Peter David did defend how he chose to achieve the big reveal.

David argued that being unmasked in a climactic battle was typical comic book fare that readers had seen countless times before but having an arch villain finally exposed in a flashback after being brutally killed was unprecedented and shocking. Nonetheless, exposed by the Kingpin of all Spidey foes.

Dunno, comic history is born either way and then would be changed later by Roger Stern. Anyway, this issue does see Jason Macendale drop Jack 'O Lantern and become the next Hobgoblin.

Well, it doesn't exactly see that in this issue. The new Hobgoblin's identity was revealed in a later comic but not that much later.

That event is Inferno and the character to come from that concerning Hobby would eventually become Demogoblin. We shall get to how that happens soon enough. 

Definitely a little more recognized key issue for comic collectors and even comic investors. As of this writing, CGC 9.8s still have yet to hit or cross the $200 mark.

Marvel Age #50 has the on sale date as March 3rd for Amazing Spider-Man #289, and the cover date  for this issue is June, 1987.

Black Cat new costume

Ai ya, ya! I wasn't going to list this one again, but it is in the Spectacular Spider-Man key issues series so what the hell. Black Cat gets a new costume in this issue, and it's extremely goofy looking. 

No way better than her original look, which is probably why they eventually went back to it. Thank the heavens for that.

No way is this really an important key issue for Black Cat or even Spidey to be honest. She actually looks a bit like Mockingbird.

Don't know why but since I've done this for all the other issues in this key Spider-Man comics series, I might as well show the CGC Census for this issue as well. 

Cover dated July, 1987, Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man #128 is a super minor key and is even debatable as to be considered a key issue. I'll let this one barely slide by but would not be surprised if you weren't so lenient.


Origin of the Rose

Although Richard Fisk was revealed to be the Rose earlier, this issue reveals all sorts of things. First, it does explain how Richard and his pal Alfredo hook up with Hobgoblin and hatch their scheme against the Kingpin.

Of course, Richard retells all this with the notion that Ned Leeds is the Hobgoblin. As mentioned many times before, Roger Stern would later retcon the real identity of the Hobgoblin and pretty much say that Leeds was just a pawn of Kingsley in this issue.

Either way, Richard Fisk tells all and even goes to see mack daddy Kingpin because he knows he's screwed. 

Pops shoulda had this fool whacked. Can't stand peeps who've got little or no loyalty to family.

Michael Corleone had his brother Fredo whacked for doing the stupid. Don't get why Kingpin didn't get all Godfather crazy on his spawn. 

I believe Canadian Edition or Canadian Price Variants are done by now, or at least the ones from the good ole 80s. There are still newsstands and the distribution for them might be around 50 to 40% in 1987.

Web of Spider-Man #30 has September, 1987 as its cover date and was released on May 26th according to Marvel Age #53. The newsstand date of May 28th is given in Amazing Heroes #118.

Peter Parker & Mary Jane marriage

We finally have the big day for both Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson who have known each other for years. The wedding of Peter Parker and Mary Jane has pretty much solidified Mary Jane as one of the most recognizable, if not the recognizable, partner or love interest for Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

And there has been many for the web-crawler. This issue is pretty cool as the direct market cover and the newsstand cover are different.

No, not just UPC or no UPC different. There's actually two different cover designs and the direct market has Peter Parker while the newsstand edition has Spider-Man on the cover.

Well, once again, those CGC numbers are a mixture of both direct and newsstand copies. This issue should be defined differently as there are two very different covers.

I'm actually surprised there aren't two CGC listings for this annual in their census. Even the labels don't really note the difference.

I mean they do state that two covers exist, but I'm wondering why one isn't considered a variant or newsstand variant. I mean, there is a noticeable difference.

Anyway, I'm dwelling on that a little too much and it's starting to annoy me. Price difference wise, newsstand or direct market don't really have a difference. 

I see quite a bit of newsstands on eBay right now and they are high grade. Not so sure if newsstands have a lesser disparity than direct markets for this issue.

Cover dated 1987, but The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 was on sale June 9th.


First issue with titled shortened to The Spectacular Spider-Man
Sin Eater released from prison

Stan Carter is released from the crazy ward and tries to fend off his Sin Eater personality. Never knew this was the issue that had first switched to the shorter title, or if I did, I didn't remember that info. 

You learn something new everyday but that was back when I first wrote about this issue in the Spectacular Spider-Man key issues series done May of 2014. Still, I'm glad that I can now just type the shorter version of the title.

Not a very sought out key issue yet, and a pretty minor key issue. Might even be debatable for some to consider it a key issue to begin with.

Great story, regardless. Think I'm gonna search for this in my junk collection and give it another read.

I remember really liking this cover as a pre-teen back when. I think Sin-Eater might actually be a good villain for the Punisher in a later season. 

Be interesting to see two extreme vigilantes in conflict with one another and maybe give Frank Castle a reason to question his own modus operandi or crazy. Talk about a pretty dark and violent season that would be.

Just thinking outside the box there. Spectacular Spider-Man #134 has the cover date of January, 1988.

Web of Spider-Man #36 image
1st appearance of Tombstone

An Albino African American, Lonnie Lincoln grew up a bad apple on the streets of Harlem in New York City and eventually became a hitman for Kingpin, going by the name Tombstone. Later, at an Osbourne chemical plant, the fumes absorbed into Lincoln's bloodstream and gave him superhuman abilities such as superhuman strength and resilience.

The first appearance of Tombstone is an often over-looked first appearance during the Copper Age. This issue is not his first full appearance, according to guide, nor his origin. 

Overstreet notes this as his first appearance. No brief or minor even though he only appears in 4 panels as shown below, but Tombstone's debut immediately reveals a connection with Robbie Robertson.

I remember the character and liked him somewhat while growing up. I think he has great potential as a Luke Cage villain or just a villain in Marvel's Netflix world. Not sure if Sony owns the rights on him though.

This is very much a sleeper or was when I first wrote about it. Hard comic to find in CGC (when I first wrote about it), most likely not many bothered to submit this issue, but I think more copies have come out since then. 

Update: Not sure how much of a sleeper this one is at the moment, but the CGC Census is pretty thin currently. 

Marvel Age #59

According to Marvel Age #59, this issue has the shipping date of November 3rd and the newsstand date of November 24th. Yes, I did highlight the listing in that page above, and the Web of Spider-Man #36 listing is not originally highlighted.

As the page in Marvel Age #59 states, the on sale date for this comic is November 24th. Cover date is March, 1988 for Web of Spider-Man #36.

And that is it for Part 3 to this Copper Age section dealing with Spider-Man key comics or key issues, whichever you prefer to call them. Not exactly the most exciting of keys and quite a few of the ones in Part 3 are minor or pretty over-looked.

I don't consider any of them overly expensive buys. Even the Canadian Price Variants aren't really hugely sought-after just yet. 

As for having more time for this site, things are progressing. My family member is slowly getting better but nothing is ever easy when one has to deal with the law in any shape or fashion. 

Anyway, hope you and yours are doing great out there. See ya at Part 4 when you ready.

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  1. Hey,

    really like the covers to A.S. 279 and 289 and have them and most of the other comics in my collection. Nice to have but you won' t flip 'em quick. That' s the bad nowadays - only major keys count, the rest is only sellable if you make bargain offers. Whatever, just wanted to report about the GOTG 2 movie. Who hasn' t seen it yet? It' s great. It even sparked some investment interest in a cool character that was offed at the end. Don' t worry, won't spoil it here.

    Speculation Jones

  2. Yeah, the movie was all right! The Racoon jokes were a little overused plus the Groot baby was sometimes giving to much of a childrens movie feeling, other than that, I got really fond of Nebula and Mantis. Cool characters with potential! Hope that Mayhem can report his opinion as soon as his family matters are in
    order again...

    Max Rebo