The controversy surrounding the first appearance of Spider-Man’s black suit continues. Which issue is the true first appearance of the black suit in Spider-Man? The Amazing Spider-Man is the most collectible superhero in Marvel, and especially anything to do with the pre-Venom Spidey back story. The Spider-Man craze has morphed into several first appearances of the black suit; this is the prequel for the entry of Venom into Marvel. The Marvel Superheroes Secret Wars #8 was the first official appearance of the symbiont that Spidey finds on the alien fight club planet. This was several months after the initial black suit appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #252. That is not the end of the argument, one amazing reader earlier in the week asked, “What about Marvel Team-Up #141?” Yet, another first appearance on this nuance to the character? Yep.
The primary key for Venom and the black suit is Amazing Spider-Man #300. It has been at the top of the heap for the last year maybe longer. The popularity of this particular book has made it an easy sell at comic book stores. I did a quick search on eBay and pulled up 359 current books for sale. Of these the majority had bidders, this book has legs, no doubt. It is also multi-key, with first the MacFarlane ink, first full Venom and of course the Special 25th-Anniversary Issue. Can we sort out this symbiotic/black suit madness without losing our sanity?
Thanks to our reader; I have included Marvel Team-Up #141 in the mix. The cover of this comic has Spidey commenting “…New Spider-Man takes over!” Another early black suit appearance culminating with Venom’s first appearance. Once, I double checked the dates I was certainly left scratching my head. This is how it plays out (real-time) chronologically:
- Marvel Team-Up #141: April 30, 1984, the (true) first appearance of the black suit.
- Amazing Spider-Man #252: May 10, 1984, the first appearance of the suit in a regular series.
- Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8: December 10, 1984, the first Spider-Man symbiont black costume.
- Amazing Spider-Man #300: May 10, 1988, the first full appearance of Venom
According to this actual chronological order, Marvel Team-Up #141 is the first appearance of the new suit. This kind of reminds me of an Iron Man key. It has more to do with cosmetics of the character than a serious change in the character’s storyline. The suit is the critical element making any and all of these key books. Let’s do a realistic look at these books from the standpoint of owning a better than average readable copy. Perhaps one that you read once and put away in your collection; for instance a grade of (7.0). Twenty years later someone is calling it a key, and the popularity of Venom is due to the Millennial worshiping this slathering monster of an anti-hero.
- Marvel Team-Up #141: grade (7.0) CGC has returned positive +12.6%
- Amazing Spider-Man #252: grade (7.0) CGC has returned positive +58.2%
- Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8: grade (7.0) CGC has returned positive +49.1%
- Amazing Spider-Man #300: grade (6.0) CGC has returned negative -22.7%
- *It should be noted this stat was obtained with only a setting of 1000 sales.
From the standpoint of a speculator in comic books the choice is clear first regular series appearance is the book to own. I think over the long-term Marvel Team-Up #141 may very well catch up. Additionally, though ASM #300 did not fare as well in this matchup; I firmly believe it has probably just gotten ahead of itself with the hype up to the movie: Venom for late last year. The turnover on this particular book and its popularity is fixed in the Modern Age. The explanation for all this is a drawn-out storyline over four years of a certain black suit with symbiotic tendencies. The fans just need to chalk it up to; what do you want to own: first black suit, or first Venom?