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Spider-man - the Key Issues

The web slinger.

The web slinger.

The Amazing Spider-Man Peter Parker

Initially just a try out character in a book Marvel were about to discontinue, from 1962 Spider-Man has become arguably the most well known and beloved super hero of modern times. Below i will list in no particular order the key books in Spider-Mans history both in terms of importance and value.

Amazing Fantasy # 15

It is impossible to overestimate the importance of this comic book, it is the most important and valuable comic book from the 1960s. Published in August 1962 Amazing Fantasy 15 features a cover drawn by Jack Kirby and interior artwork by Steve Ditko, originally Stan Lee who came up with the idea for Spider-Man asked Jack Kirby, Marvels senior artist,to draw Spider-Man. Not happy with the way Kirby drew Peter Parker, feeling that he looked too heroic for a teenager, Lee gave the artist duties to Steve Ditko and the character never looked back.

Spidey swings into action for the first time.

Spidey swings into action for the first time.

Amazing Spider-Man # 1

Released in March 1963 this is Peter Parkers' first appearance in his own title.


Amazing Spider-Man # 14

A very valuable and important book, Spider-Mans most well known nemesis the Green Goblin makes his debut in this Marvel classic. It would be another 25 issues before it would be revealed that the Green Goblin was Norman Osborn the father of Peter Parkers best friend Harry Osborn.


Amazing Spider-Man # 3

Probably the second greatest villain in the Spider-Man books Doctor Otto Octavius better known as Doctor Octopus makes his bow in this issue from July 1963.

Octavius was anything but armless.

Octavius was anything but armless.

Amazing Spider-Man # 6

Curtis Connors a war veteran who has lost an arm in the war begins experiments on regrowing limbs using himself as a guinea pig. Although successful regrowing his arm, the effects of the serum cause Connors to turn into a maniacal giant lizard. The Lizard has become well known to the general public due to his appearance in the recent Amazing Spider-Man movie, he is seen for the first time here.


Amazing Spider-Man # 50

By issue 39 Steve Ditko had left Marvel and John Romita had taken over the art duties on the title. Issue # 50 has one of the most iconic covers known " Spider-man No More " it sees the first appearance of the top villain the Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, a bad guy that is not only seen in Spider-Man comics but Daredevil also.

One of the most iconic covers.

One of the most iconic covers.

Amazing Spider-Man # 121 and 122

These two issues tell the story of the death of Peter Parkers girlfriend Gwen Stacy and the death of his arch nemesis the Green Goblin. Quite shocking for the time as the death of a major comic book character had never happened before.

Two nice graded copies of these key issues.

Two nice graded copies of these key issues.

Amazing Spider-Man # 129

Frank Castle ( The Punisher ) storms into the Marvel universe in this issue. The Punisher would go on to become one of Marvels most popular characters especially with more mature readers and there has even been two ( both quite poor ) movies made about him

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Frank Castle has Spidey in his sights.

Frank Castle has Spidey in his sights.

Amazing Spider-Man # 300

Published in May 1988, issue 300, which incidentally is the 25th anniversary Amazing Spider-Man issue, has become a modern comic book classic introducing the major villain Venom.


Amazing Spider-Man # 42

Probably the best known of Spider-mans girlfriends, MJ, Mary Jane Watson is shown for the first time in this issue, although she had been mentioned before in previous issues, she makes quite an entrance.

" Face it Tiger "  " You just hit the jackpot "

" Face it Tiger " " You just hit the jackpot "

Peter meets the Prez

Peter meets the Prez

Other Important Issues

  1. Amazing Spider-Man #2 First Vulture, Mysterio
  2. Amazing Spider-Man #4 First Sandman
  3. Amazing Spider-Man #39 First John Romita Artwork Goblin Revealed.
  4. Amazing Spider-Man # 41 First Rhino
  5. Amazing Spider-Man # 101 First Morbius
  6. Amazing Spider-Man # 136 Green Goblin 2
  7. Amazing Spider-Man # 194 First Black Cat
  8. Amazing Spider-Man # 238 First Hobgoblin
  9. Amazing Spider-man # 361 First Carnage
  10. Amazing Spider-Man # 252 First Black Costume in continuity.
  11. Secret Wars # 8 First Black Costume
  12. Amazing Spider-Man vol 2 # 36 Black Cover World Trade Center Issue.
  13. Amazing Spider-man # 583 Obama Issue.
  14. Spectacular Spider-Man # 1
  15. Spectacular Spider-Man # 64 First Cloak And Dagger.

More Comic Book Stuff

  • Jack Kirby - The King Of Comic Book Art
    The co - creator of the Fantastic Four, The X-Men, Captain America, The Incredible Hulk and many many more. The master of comic art from the golden age right through to the bronze age.
  • Uncanny X-Men - The Key Books
    The most important X Books, the early years, the new x-men, Wolverine, Sabretooth, Storm and the Days Of Future Past.


Leland Johnson from Midland MI on March 13, 2018:

Nuff said- well done, sir. You really did your homework. I see you are a true fan. Spidey has been my fav since I was a little kid. One thing made me a little sad about your article. It reminded me that I had every one of the comics you showed and lost them all to a rain storm. I left a big box of my comics outside in my fort in 1975. :( other than that loved your article and looking forward to reading more.

Nathan Kiehn on October 30, 2017:

Of the Stan Lee/Ditko/Romita era, my favorites have got to be ASM 39-40 and ASM Annual 1. Like you mentioned, we get the debut of John Romita, who I really think took Ditko's original look of the Goblin and improved upon it. I think that's where we get the classic villain, not just a thug in a costume. And the story's great, with the revelation of Osborn being the Goblin. And the first Annual has always been one of my favorite stories--the introduction of the Sinister Six! It's a lot of fun, and Ditko's art work is great, especially the splash panels where Spidey takes on his foes.

Great list. These issues are all fantastic...or should I say "amazing"?

nuffsaidstan (author) on March 30, 2013:

Yeah good call

Geekdom on March 29, 2013:

Another great list of key issues. I would like to add Amazing Spider-Man 96 because of its non use of the Comic Code Authority and effect on all comics in the future.

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