Will is an avid comic book collector based in Denver, Colorado. He is Crazy About Comics!
Amazing Spider-Man #9 featured the first appearance of Electro.
Movie rumors drive interest in Electro's first appearance
Is Sony considering a stand-alone movie featuring Electro?
Rumors to that extent are driving interest in the villain's first appearance, in 1963's Amazing Spider-Man #9.
Electro is already confirmed to appear in the upcoming Spider-Man movie that will be part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's the continuation of the Tom Holland franchise that started in 2017 with Spider-Man: Homecoming and continued in 2019 with Spider-Man: Far From Home. The movie is yet to be titled.
The twist is that Electro will once again be played by Jamie Foxx, who portrayed the character in the 2014 flop The Amazing Spider-Man 2. That franchise, which stalled as a result of the lackluster performance of this sequel, featured Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger.
The upcoming third movie in the current MCU franchise will also feature characters and actors from the original Sam Raimi trilogy which started in 2002 with Spider-Man and continued in 2004 with Spider-Man 2; and concluded in 2007 with Spider-Man 3.
It could all be very confusing for all but the most fervent Marvel fans. In a nutshell? There are an infinite number of alternate realities out there (commonly referred to as the Multiverse) where all these various character iterations exist - usually separate from each other. But machinations to be revealed over the next few MCU projects will allow for a variety of crossovers.
It's all very similar to what DC Comics is planning for their own movie universe - a contrivance that will allow Michael Keaton to return as Batman and share screen-time with the current actors involved in portraying the Dark Knight.
So why is the price of a 1963 comic book suddenly on the rise? Let's dig a little deeper.
Comics featuring first appearances of characters are called "Key Issues"
If you're not familiar with comic book collecting, you may not know the meaning of the term "key issue." It really just means that the issue in question has some significance that causes it to be more desired by collectors.
Action Comics #1, for instance, features the first appearance of Superman in 1938. Detective Comics #27 (1939) introduced the world to Batman. Spider-Man took his initial bow in Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962). All of these books are extremely valuable, not just because of these key first appearances - but also because of their relative rarity. It's a classic double whammy.
If you have a comic book that features a character's first appearance, and then that character makes significant gains in pop culture awareness (such as being featured in a major motion picture), you usually get immediate gains in value.
The book spiked in value in late 2020 when it was announced that Foxx would be reprising the Electro role in the upcoming Spider-Man movie. It seems to be spiking again now, upon news of the potential stand-alone Electro movie. A copy of the book in decent condition would probably cost you about $800 right now (and remember, this comic book had a cover price of 12-cents).
When it comes to "key issues," the original Amazing Spider-Man comic book run had its fair share. Remember, a book doesn't have to feature a first appearance to be considered a "key." Key factors can also include a character's death, or the origin story of a character. If the hero debuts a new uniform, that can be a "key factor" also.
Let's take a look at some of the other key issues in the original Amazing Spider-Man series.
Other "key issues" in the Amazing Spider-Man original series
Spider-Man got his own solo comic book series in 1962 with the launch of The Amazing Spider-Man by Marvel Comics. This was after the web-crawler debuted in Amazing Fantasy #15 and quickly became one of Marvel's most popular characters.
Amazing Spider-Man #1 features four "key factors": 1) It is Spider-Man's second appearance; 2) the issue features the first meeting between Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four; 3) the first appearance of Spidey enemy Chameleon; and 4) the first appearance of J. Jonah Jameson.
Amazing Spider-Man #2 is noted for being the third appearance of Spider-Man, but it also has some additional "key factors" - the first appearance of Vulture; the first appearance of the Terrible Tinkerer; and the first cameo appearance of Mysterio.
Amazing Spider-Man #3 features the first appearance and origin of Dr. Octopus, who would go on to become one of the most popular Spidey enemies of all time.
As you can see, "key factors" can cover a wide variety of important occurrences within any given issue. A great example of another kind of "key factor" is found in Amazing Spider-Man #4 - where Spider-Man refers to himself as "the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man" for the first time.
We know that Jamie Foxx is revisiting the Electro role in the upcoming MCU Spider-Man movie. The rumors surrounding a stand-alone Electro movie are just that at this point. Regardless, Amazing Spider-Man #9 will see a lot of interest over the next few months.
It may be time to go digging through that box of childhood comic books and see if you have a copy of this classic issue squirrelled away.