Spectacular Spider-Man #1 Magazine 1968

Spectacular Spider-Man #1, for those not familiar with it, was Marvel's first entry into not only a Spider-Man spin off, but in a B&W magazine format aimed at a more mature market.

Spectacular Spider-Man #1, for those not familiar with it, was Marvel’s first entry into not only a Spider-Man spin off, but in a B&W magazine format aimed at a more mature market.

Spectacular Spider-Man magazine issue 1This was a 52 page extravaganza, and the first time pairing John Romita and Jim Mooney together on the art. The artwork was done in wash tones and to my eye looked fabulous! I for one did not miss the colour and marvelled at the oversize artwork. Jim Mooney brought a finish to Romitas pencils that were far superior than the Don Heck pencils with Mickey Demeo (Mike Esposito) inks going on in the 12 cent comic.

Many of you may be familiar with the politically charged storyline which was reworked and reprinted with some minor changes in ASM # 116-118. I really thought that the Bronze age reworking did a disservice to this story. The artwork was originally done in a wash and never looked as good in color. Not only that but I always felt that changing the dynamics of the story to change the Richard Rawleigh character into the Disruptor was the wrong way to go.

This 35 cent (40 cents in Canada) book is really an undervalued book in my opinion. Original in its design and layout, the oil painting cover by Harry Rosenbaum, and the great first teaming of Romita /Mooney and quite possibly one of Stan Lee’s best stand alone stories makes this not only a nostalgic favorite of mine but a great piece of history in the Silver Age. There was also a retelling of Spidey’s origin by Larry Lieber (Stan Lee’s brother) and inked by Sub Mariner creator Bill Everett.

It is a tough book to find in 9.4 and up and when it is available you can pick it up for around $350 or thereabouts.


 

After about 8 weeks I finally received a Back Issue Price List from Robert Bell. Inside the price list, I found what I was looking for. Amazing Spider-Man # 1 was available for $20! Outrageous, I said! Who would pay that for a comic book? Inside the same envelope was another interesting item. It was the very first bag specifically made to protect comic books! I immediately stuffed $2 (Cdn) in an envelope and sent away for them.

No boards yet, just bags. Boards were another 20 years or so down the road.

Apparently, from all the dealers I have spoken to from that era, we have Robert Bell to thank for the bags that protect our 4 colour comics!

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Dennis De Pues
Dennis is an admitted "Son of the Silver Age", having grown up with the influences of Silver Age greats: Kirby, Colan, Romita and Buscema.Three decades later, he is the creator of Crash!! and Galloway Park. More is definitely on the way.
Articles: 260

2 Comments

  1. Dennis I hesitated to post anything about this book as it was pretty clear in my UV 145 spotlight I didn’t like this book/story at all. I saw a coloring book and a lousy story and you see a beautiful work of art and a great Sstan Lee story! What concerned me most is you are and artist who knows what he is talking about and I am just a fan you loves comic books LOL!! Maybe I had better leave art critiquing to yourself, our Danny Champs, and Scott.

    I stick by my post though in terms of Spectacular
    Spider-Man #2 being superior versus #1. We can agree to disagree on that.

    I can say this about Spectacular Spider-man #1. It obviously had a very powerful and positive impact on you and your art!

    Any bargains for you at the warehouse last week?

  2. Hey Mike,I remember the “colouring book” comment from your post .I thought at the time that it was such a radically different view of my recollections that I had better take another look at it!Nothing wrong however with differing opinions on artwork.That is what makes the world of comics and art in general go round!Case in point would be when Romita took over from Ditko,Kane from Romita, Buscema from Kirby etc.and everyone is entitled to their own opinion.A funny thing I found out a few years later is I am colour blind, and monochromatic artwork always is something I gravitate to.I also loved Spec #2 immensely.Again the Romita /Mooney artwork was fabulous and the return of the Green Goblin tale was masterfully done.And yes ,I picked up a bunch of nice Silver Age Avengers!

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