Spider-Man is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero. The character first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), and was created by scripter-editor Stan Lee and artist-plotter Steve Ditko. Lee and Ditko conceived of the character as an orphan being raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben as an ordinary teenager, having to deal with the normal struggles of youth in addition to those of a costumed crime fighter. Spider-Man’s creators gave him the ability to cling to walls, shoot spider-webs using an invention he had created, and react to danger quickly with his “spider-sense,” enabling him to combat his many foes, including Doctor Octopus, the Sandman, the Lizard, the Green Goblin and the Venom.
Pictured right: Amazing Fantasy #15, as the debut issue of Marvel’s most popular character, is among fans and collectors one of the most important and valued comic books. In September 2000, a comic book dealership brought the only known CGC graded 9.6 (near mint plus) copy to market and sold it for $140,000. In October 2007, a near mint copy sold for $227,000 in an online auction on ComicLink.com.
When Spider-Man first appeared in the early 1960s, teenagers in superhero comic books were usually relegated to the role of sidekick to the protagonist. The Spider-Man series broke ground by featuring Peter Parker, a teenage high school student to whose “self-obsessions with rejection, inadequacy, and loneliness” young readers could relate.
Pictured left: Amazing Spider-Man Issue 300 featuring the artwork of Todd McFarlane. Issue #298 (March 1988) was the first Spider-Man comic to be drawn by future industry star Todd McFarlane. McFarlane revolutionized Spider-Man’s look. His depiction – large-eyed, with wiry, contorted limbs, and messy, knotted, convoluted webbing – influenced the way virtually all subsequent artists would draw the character. McFarlane’s other significant contribution to the Spider-Man canon was the design for what would become one of Spider-Man’s most wildly popular antagonists, the supervillain Venom. Issue #299 (April 1988) featured Venom’s first appearance (a last-page cameo) before his first full appearance in #300 (May 1988). The latter issue also featured Spider-Man reverting to his original red-and-blue costume.
Unlike previous teen heroes such as Bucky and Robin, Spider-Man did not benefit from adult mentors like Captain America and Batman and had to learn for himself that “with great power comes great responsibility” — a line included in a text box in the final panel of the first Spider-Man story, but later retroactively attributed to his guardian, Uncle Ben.
Pictured right: Spider-Man Bust Bank in his original red-and-blue costume. This collectible is currently available at MarvelShop.com
Marvel has featured Spider-Man in several comic book series, the first titled The Amazing Spider-Man. Over the years, the Peter Parker character has developed from shy high school student to troubled college student to a married teacher and a member of the superhero team the New Avengers. In the comics, Spider-Man is often referred to as “Spidey”, “web-slinger”, “wall-crawler”, or “web-head”.
Pictured left: A Spiderman bodysuit – A one-piece Spiderman costume, the close-fitting full bodysuit in royal blue red stretch jersey. Costume unlabelled but apparently made by the Eaves-Brookes Costume Company for publicity purposes to promote the 1970s television series “Spiderman.” With a copy of a letter concerning the provenance and a corresponding color still. This sold in the Bonhams Rock ‘n’ Roll and Film Memorabilia auction, 20 Nov 2005, Los Angeles for $2350.
Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes. As Marvel’s flagship character and company mascot, he has appeared in many forms of media, including several animated and live-action television series, syndicated newspaper comic strips and a successful series of films starring actor Tobey Maguire as the friendly neighborhood hero. Spider-Man was named Empire magazine’s fifth greatest comic book character.
Pictured right: ‘Spiderman’, 2002, : a prop ‘Daily Bugle’ newspaper,
with front-page photograph and headline ‘Spider-Man: Super Hero Or Super-Zero?’, 29 x 38cm (11½ x 15in). This sold in the Bonhams Entertainment Memorabilia auction, 18 June 2008, London for £192.
Comics and Action Figures are the most popular collectibles but their is a massive range of items for collectors to choose: from movie tie-in related merchandise to statues, and from toys & games to bobbleheads and watches. Some collectors collect certain eras, artists, and some concentrate on a particular Spider-Man villain. The MarvelShop.com web site has its own Spider-Man
range divided into 18 sections and includes die-cast, Might Mugg figurines, lunch boxes and artwork.
For higher end items and movie memorabilia auction houses such as Bonhams and Christies run regular entertainment auctions. Items in the past have included original costumes, movie props, movie house quad posters, statues, and autographs. Whatever your interest their is something for al collectors on all budgets.