Speculation has gone a bit wild regarding all things Spider-man lately. With the recent price surge of Amazing Spider-man #212, we saw that even flimsy rumor can inspire a rise in prices in the Spider-man comics. Are there any other Bronze Age sleeper keys left in the ASM series, like Spider-man #212, that we should keep our eyes on?
You bet. There’s actually many, but here I want to nominate Amazing Spider-man #210 (cover dated: November 1980), which is the first appearance of the enigmatic Madame Web.
Created by Denny O’Neil and John Romita Sr., Madame Web was born Cassandra Webb in Salem, Oregon. Born also with the degenerative condition of myasthenia gravis, which left her completely blind, Cassandra developed powerful psychic abilities and then became a medium. She showed the extent of her powers when she calls Peter Parker informing him that she knows he is Spider-man even though the two had only previously met briefly one time. In the ensuing years she would often help Peter out in the course of his adventures as Spider-man, as well as interact with many of the biggest names in both the Spider-man comics and later throughout the Marvel Universe.
Madame Web has already been featured outside the comic book page, with notable appearances in the 1994 series ‘Spider-man: The Animated Series’ (voiced there by Stan Lee’s late wife, Joan). Having established herself as a recurring character in Marvel comics, she’s definitely here to stay. The important question is: will Marvel ever do anything with this character in a live action venue? At this point, an answer to this question is really quite difficult to give.
Some might categorically deny that the character will ever be used in a Marvel movie. But think of it this way: we know Marvel wants to introduce more female characters, we know they are planning more Spider-man movies and may even want to introduce more Spider-people (Spider-Woman and/or Spider-Girl are quite likely to appear in the MCU at some point). Madam Web would fit the expressed trajectory of the Marvel Spider-verse. I don’t think Sony will feature her in their Movie Universe, although I might be wrong, but the Marvel cinematic cosmos already has the existing ingredients necessary for bringing in a character like Madame Web.
Those ingredients are two: (1) a cosmic perspective and (2) magic. With ‘Doctor Strange’, Marvel introduced magic, and with Thanos and the Phase Four movies, including the soon to open ‘Captain Marvel’ movie (not to mention the imminent appearances of Adam Strange and the Eternals), the cosmic angle is also being prepared.
So, all it will take is a Spider-man movie that digs into the cosmic side of the Spidey stories (one aspect of his comic through the years, even if hated by some), and Madame Web will be off and running. In other words, in speculator terms, Amazing Spider-man #210 is a comic that should be on your radar.
Amazing Spider-man #210 is already trending with a fair market value of $325.00 in 9.8 grade after 25 sales over the past three years. Even without a movie plug, this is a higher value than ASM #212 (first Hydro-man, but that might change if Hydro-man actually appears in the next movie). The last Ebay sale of a 9.8 graded copy of ASM #210, last month, was for $449.95. Given this kind of movement, without anything even approaching an announcement or suggestion that she will appear on screen, I think if even a rumor is squeaked, this comic may very well explode in value. Although 9.8 grades are up +48.5% over the last fifteen years of recorded sales, the best returns have actually been seen on 8.5 graded copies with a positive + 69.4% increase in value over the last seven years.
All of this is a good portent that the future looks bright for Madame Web.