For comic book fans young and old, Spider-Man is one of the most pivotal characters in the hobby. He’s been a mainstay in the comic book world since his initial appearance in 1962, and with multiple movie adaptations and his recent inclusion in The Avengers universe, Spider-Man remains a relatable and lovable character whose popularity isn’t likely to wane anytime soon. For those interested in selling Marvel comic books, Spider-Man comics are some of the most sought-after.
Spider-Man came after the success of the Fantastic Four superhero team that debuted in late 1961. Marvel Comics head writer Stan Lee had noticed a recent surge in teenager’s interest in comic books. During that time, teenagers featured in comic books were often relegated to sidekick roles and weren’t seen as the main protagonist, but Lee had faith in the power of a teen being the main superhero.
Despite his young age, Spider-Man is indeed called “Man” instead of “Boy.” Lee stated that he wanted the series to grow with the character into adulthood and did not want the new hero to seem inferior to other protagonists. The dash within the name is also of note, as Lee wanted to differentiate this new hero from the similarly named Superman.
Once Lee had his initial concept, the only thing standing in the way of publication was the approval of Marvel publisher Martin Goodman. While Goodman was hesitant at first and instigated many arguments with Lee about the character, he did finally agree to a tryout of the new Spider-Man. Spider-Man first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15, renamed from the anthology series Amazing Adult Fantasy. Goodman accepted this trial as it had already been decided that this comic would be the last issue of Amazing Fantasy.
There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding the roles of Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko. Regardless of how influential each man was in the final design, Amazing Fantasy #15 was a smash hit when it released in August 1962. Spider-Man’s first appearance is one of the milestones of the Silver Age of Comic Books.
Spider-Man was such a big hit because younger audiences felt they could relate to the young, sometimes awkward character. The new hero was so popular that he quickly earned his own series, with The Amazing Spider-Man #1 debuting in March 1963. This title was a huge success as well and eventually became Marvel’s top-selling series.
Spider-Man has branched out from his original series to be included in other works. Extra-length stories were featured in The Spectacular Spider-Man, the character paired with other heroes and villains in the Marvel Team-Up series, and his origin was revamped in the limited series Spider-Man: Chapter One.
Today, Spider-Man is the world’s most profitable superhero and is America’s highest-grossing comic book superhero.
Spider-Man’s first solo venture in The Amazing Spider-Man #1 is easily the most valuable issue and has previously sold for over $1.4 million. Arguably the next most valuable Spider-Man comic is The Amazing Spider-Man #4, which introduces the villain Sandman and has sold for $1.3 million. Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man’s first appearance, has sold for more than $1.1 million in recent years. Amazing Spider-Man #9 introduced the villain Electro and can fetch more than $50,000 in mint condition, and if you have a mint copy of Mysterio’s introduction in Amazing Spider-Man #13, you might be able to sell it for upwards of $100,000.
Whether you’re new to comic book collecting or have been interested in the hobby for decades, you likely have at least one Spider-Man comic in your collection. If you’re thinking about selling your comic book collection, contact Collectibles Investment Group for a free, quick, and accurate appraisal today!