Today I am shining the Overvalued Overstreet spotlight on one of my favourite Amazing Spider-Man Ditko covers, and the Green Goblin’s third appearance. It is an early Spider-Man; however, Overstreet does have this book overvalued to the current market. Let’s see if we can come up with some of the reasons why.
First for me anyway is the decreasing popularity of the Green Goblin himself in Silver and Bronze Age comics. Amazing Spider-Man #14 the Goblins first appearance is, of course, immune to the descent. It seems almost bulletproof in its appeal in all grades. The second appearance in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #17 is a book Walt and I have discussed from time to time. Walt sees this book as Overvalued and I see it as a tread water type of book, more or less holding its own in guide especially at the 9.2 split. Almost all early appearances of Amazing Spider-Man do. The cracks in appeal begin to show in the 9.0 and lesser grades. We’ll skip our pick of the day for now and move on to the 4th and 5th appearances of the Green Goblin and the 1st Crime-Master. I love this two-part story and it tends to hold up close to guide. Amazing Spider-Man #39 and #40 are up next. The descent in the Goblins appeal really takes hold here. For many years Amazing Spider-Man #40 was the go-to book of this pair. This is no longer the case. Amazing Spider-Man #39 is seen as the awesome landmark book that it is, first John Romita art in the title, great cover, one of Stan Lee’s best-told stories from page 1-20, and Peter Parker’s and the Green Goblin’s identities revealed. Amazing Spider-Man #40 features the Green Goblins origin and defeat. This book has slipped behind Amazing Spider-Man #39 and #41 (first Rhino) in both the guide and the market. Skipping past the Green Goblin’s next appearance in Spectacular Spider-Man #2 magazine, as most of Spider-Man fandom did, we arrive at Amazing Spider-Man #96-98 the drug stories that also featured the Green Goblin. Amazing Spider-Man #96 gets most of the love here usually making guide, the other two forget it. Finally, Amazing Spider-Man #121-122. Again, it is Amazing Spider-Man #121 and the death of Gwen Stacey at the hands of the Green Goblin that gets the higher place than the “death” of the Green Goblin in Amazing Spider-Man #122. Norman Osborn returned in 1996 and has been back almost as long as he was “dead”. I expect this gap between the two books to widen and Amazing Spider-Man #122 to fall in the coming years.
Second, the two movie appearances of the Green Goblin are way in the back of the rear view mirror. I don’t see another appearance in the near future in movies, which does tend to lead to spikes in comic speculation.
Finally, the book Amazing Spider-Man #23 itself. It is the definition of an OK run book for me. Not much really happens in this book except Fredrick Foswell (the Big Man Amazing Spider-Man #10) gets out of prison and is rehired by J. Jonah Jameson at the Daily Bugle. It’s early days for the Green Goblin and his clumsy efforts to take over the underworld in New York. He fails in this book to take over Lucky Lobo’s gang as they are captured by the police, with a big assist from Foswell. The Green Goblin has a lengthy skirmish. I wouldn’t call it a battle – they both throw things at each other until they run out of Goblin tricks and Spider webs and then they go home. They don’t hit each other with anything! It does advance the storyline of the Green Goblin trying to take over the underworld, but it is a pretty weak effort and a forgettable story all around. I like Steve Ditko’s cover which won’t hurt it in the CGC slabbed world.
The current 48th Overstreet Price guide splits are 6.0 $138, 8.0 $368, 9.0 $834, 9.2 $1300. I think a 10-15% haircut in prices is due for this book at Overstreet. In the meantime this is a book that can be picked up under guide often at the 9.0 grade and lower, I am just not sure it would be called a bargain.