Undervalued Spotlight #320

amazing-spider-man-3Amazing Spider-Man #3, Marvel, July 1963.

Every now and again I’m lucky enough to have Mike Huddleston come to the shop for a nice visit. I’m not sure what I enjoy more, catching up with Mike or the coffee and donuts he always brings. Last time he was down as we enjoyed some Boston Cremes he suggested we switch columns for a week. I told him I was in, namely because I love Mike’s Undervalued Spotlights, the man writes with conviction and from a place in the heart I’m still trying to get to. OK lets throw things over to Mike.

Today we have another Comic Book Daily first as Walter and I are trading columns for this week. Walt is going to write Overvalued Overstreet for Thursday, and I have the Undervalued Spotlight today. Walt has been wringing his hands like Scrooge looking over dead Jacob Marley’s estate, just itching to get back at the Overvalued column, and I have an itch I need to scratch over here in Undervalued Spotlight, so here we are. This should be fun!

Oddly enough, my pick for today’s Undervalued Spotlight – Amazing Spider-Man #3 came as a result of the Overvalued Overstreet column that I regularly write. Let me explain, but first the price splits for Amazing Spider-Man #2 and #3.

The 46th Overstreet price guide splits are as follows:

6.0 8.0 9.0 9.2
Amazing Spider-Man #2 $1221 $3663 $8032 $12400
Amazing Spider-Man #3 $1014 $2873 $6337 $9800

I have always believed that one of the most overvalued books in the Amazing Spider-Man run was issue #2. It was the first book I was going to write for the column until I did a little digging. I could never understand the gap in price between Amazing Spider-Man #2 and issue #3. The price gap has always been there, but over a fifty plus year time period Doctor Octopus had become so much more of an important villain than the Vulture in the canon of Spider-Man, and Marvel Universe itself. Amazing Spider-Man #3 never made any real headway in Overstreet even during the build-up to his movie appearance in the best Spider-Man movie (2) to date. Let’s look at some of the merits of the two books. Stories by Stan Lee, Art by Steve Ditko.

amazing-spider-man-2Amazing Spider-Man #2

This book features the Vulture’s first appearance in a split book. The first half has the Vulture story the second the Terrible Tinker. The Vulture goes on to be a long-standing villain for Spider-Man with a penchant for robbing banks and jewel heists. He is also a founding member of the Sinister Six. The Vulture is to appear in the most recent reboot of the Spider-Man movie franchise in 2017. This book itself has had a long- held reputation for being difficult to find in grade by collectors and dealers alike.

Amazing Spider-Man #3

This book is the first full-length story in the Amazing Spider-Man title and features the first appearance of Doctor Octopus. Johnny Storm also guest-stars. Doctor Octopus goes on to become one of Spider-Man’s most deadly foes, and the leader of the Sinister Six. He dreams big – world conquest/destruction type ideas. I personally have him placed in Spider-Man’s top three villains of all-time along with the Green Goblin. You can take your pick from the rest of his villains for number three. The book itself is recognized as a Marvel key.

A quick look at the two books via GPA and CGC census was a bit of revelation for me.

Amazing Spider-Man #2 GPA prices were consistent with current Overstreet Price values, and in fact a little higher with 9.2 copies selling for a little over $13,000. Census figures also confirmed that only 10% of the copies graded were in high grade which mirrored collector and dealer sentiment. I stand corrected – Overstreet has this book priced properly.

Amazing Spider-Man #3 GPA prices are in fact very similar to #2 with 9.2 copies also valued at $13,000 plus. Census numbers for issue #3 in high grade were a little higher than #2 (more confirmation for #2) but it is still a tough book. Dealers I spoke to told me when they have them, Amazing Spider-Man #3 copies have always sold well and above guide. In- short an in-demand book with nothing but it’s content driving demand. My kind of book as a collector and investor.

Which leads me to say that Amazing Spider-Man #3 is probably way overdue for some price appreciation in the Overstreet Price Guide as recognition for the key book that it is, and the prices it commands in the market. A tie in price with number #2 would not be out of order.

Reasons to buy this book as an investment.

  • 1st appearance of one of Spider-Man’s greatest foes – Doctor Octopus
  • 1st full issue story in Amazing Spider-Man title
  • An in-demand Marvel Silver Age Key
  • Currently Undervalued by Overstreet versus the market

Mike Huddleston
Mike Huddleston

Mike was born and raised in Cambridge, Ontario. He has read and collected comics for over 40 years. A Marvel Zombie specializing in the Silver, bronze and early copper age of comics.

Articles: 101


  1. The Vulture is one of my least favourite Spidey villains from the first 50 issues… I’d take Doc Ock any day. Despite all the rumours about Kraven, Scorpion and possibly Mysterio… I was disappointed that the next film will be featuring the Vulture. But if anyone can pull it off… it’s Marvel so I’m not complaining. Mahalo Mike!

  2. It’s also the very 1st time that Spider-Man is soundly defeated and brings Peter Parker the begining of his “Am I good enough to do this?” theme that is repeated for many years to come. I feel that Spidey #2 is tougher to find in higher grade, but in lower grade, there’s more copies out there!

  3. Your welcome Charlie, and thank you for commenting. My guilty pleasure villain has always been Mysterio. Maybe someday when they run out of a few more villains he will get in to a movie. It should be a visual feast.
    I don’t mind the Vulture either. In terms of the movie I think they will be starting off with a smaller type villain, and move to bigger threat in the following movie. Fantasy me would like to eventually see a Sinister Six movie but I am probably dreaming in technicolor on that one.

  4. Hi AFTA – I could always live with Peter Parker’s confidence in himself swings, what I grew to detest was the “I quit Spider-Man” routine that really started in Amazing Spider-Man #50 and hit the repeat button. Ditto for “The Thing” in the Fantastic Four.

    I owned a 8.0 plus type copy of this book once. It looked great. Only problem with it was the invisible 3″ feather tear in the front cover that took it down to a 5.0. Sold it a few years ago as I was too afraid to take it out of the mylar for fear of catching the tear and turning it in to a 2.0. I agree the book is notoriously hard to find in grade. I wonder why? Thanks for the comment.

  5. I personally couldn’t stand the terrible Tinkerer and that really took a lot of the luster of #2 for me.I also would pay more for a nice #3 than I would for #2.As far as the vulture, I loved the Vulture and Blackie Drago story from ASM #48 and 49.Some of the best Romita Sr. work on the series!

  6. That Vulture story in issue #48-49 was right in the heart of my (and yours too I’ll bet) first comic collecting run. You gotta love a guy named Blackie Drago!

    The first two issues of Amazing Spider-Man were both split books. I often wondered if Spider-Man was originally planned to continue in the Amazing Fantasy title as a split book with another super-hero. Marvel was still working with that wretched distribution mess they were in at the time. Or maybe Stan Lee had been writing small 4-7 page stories for so long he didn’t know how to write full books ^-^. Thanks Dennis.

  7. Yeah Mike , i came into ASM at issue 62 but fortunately began picking up the odd back issue and #48 was one of them.And then I discovered Robert Bell with his back issue catalogue and my bank account has never recovered!

  8. Mike….your column has three times the information of your average Walter Durajlija piece. Great pick and way to show the lean mean Serbian machine how to do it. 🙂
    And I think Keaton will be an amazing Vulture…..here’s hoping Mike and Charlie

  9. Thank-you Dave I’m glad you like this post. I guess Michael Keaton got in a little practice for the Vulture part in the” Birdman” movie. I do hope it is a good one and the Spider-Man movie franchise re-boot is successful. Fingers crossed.

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