Marvel(ous) Lady

by Blaise Tassone

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It takes no special insight to see that Spider-man and Spider-man related comics and characters are hot right now. Whether it’s Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, Spider-man 2099, heck, even Peter Porker the Amazing Spider-Ham, values on all these characters and their key comics are rising. But one Spider-character who may not be getting her full due amidst all the Spider-verse hype is the one and only (original) Spider-Woman: Jessica Drew.

Characters in the modern Spider-Family will undoubtedly see values on their books continue to rise and fall, but Spider-Woman’s first appearance in Marvel Spotlight #32 has been steadily rising in value over the last few years.

There’s strong evidence it may very soon spike heavily.

To understand why, let’s examine the situation regarding Spider-man projects and Marvel Spotlight #32 and related comics.

To begin, let’s look at the facts.

1) Spider-Woman’s debut is a Marvel Bronze Age first appearance and these are almost all doing well. Whether we’re talking about Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, Shang-Chi, or even Iron Fist; all are selling at all-time highs.

2) Spider-Woman is a Marvel classic female super-hero. Jessica’s peers in the Marvel Universe are Carol Danvers aka Ms. Marvel and Jennifer Walters aka the Savage She-Hulk. Values on the first Carol Danvers and the first Jennifer Walters appearance are, once again, at all-time highs.

3) Spider-Woman is a founding character in the Spider-Family. Jessica Drew has been around for over 40 years. Hard to believe, but for a long time she was one of the only other Spider-Family characters (along with Peter and Madame Webb). All Spider-Family properties are highly popular, and Jessica is no exception. There are rumors that the success of the ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ film will lead to female Spider-hero sequels; since fans seem to want more female characters and since Jessica Drew/Spider-Woman is a fan favorite, she’s a natural choice to appear in a film.

At this point, let’s turn to the comics and look at the numbers.

 

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Marvel Spotlight #32 (February 1977) – First appearance of Spider-Woman; Origin of Spider-Woman

Created by Archie Goodwin and Marie Severin, Spider-Woman has an unfortunate origin. Originally motivated a lot less by creative inspiration and more by mundane money matters, Marvel didn’t want to lose the rights to the name “Spider-Woman,” so, at Stan Lee’s behest; they commissioned a story about a literal Spider-Woman. But whatever the sordid reasons for her creation, in the beginning she was said to be a human who had evolved from a spider. Hard to believe? Yes, but don’t worry she would soon have her origin re-booted. Regarding books featuring Spider-Woman the returns on this are becoming hard to ignore. Up in all grades; practically across the board. Currently 9.8 certified copies have a fair market value of $1,150.00 but that may be mainly due to scarcity of this comic in that grade, since 9.6 copies are selling at less than a third of that at $350.00. The CGC census shows that with 1, 855 copies on record, only 132 are 9.8 and 402 are 9.6. Best returns to date have been on 8.5 certified copies which are currently positive +138.8%, after 78 sales over the last seven years. Can this comic shoot up even higher? Give Jessica a movie appearance and just watch.

 

Spider-Woman #1 (April 1978) – New complete origin for Jessica Drew and mask added

If Marvel Spotlight #32 is too pricey for you, try this comic on for size. It’s Jessica Drew’s first solo-issue. Marv Wolfman and Carmine Infantino are the team that began the run on this comic, but they would soon be replaced and then the replacements were replaced, etc. You get the idea. This was an instance of too many artists spoiling the narrative broth. Although there were high points on the run (Chris Claremont’s scripts come to mind), over all the comic suffered from the rotating creative teams and was cancelled at issue #50 with the death of Jessica (don’t worry, she was soon brought back). Numbers on this comic are however not bad. Given the lower prices and the mixed returns, currently positive at the bottom and top end, this book could nonetheless flip all positive if (or should that be ‘when’?) a Spider-Woman movie appearance happens. Currently a certified 9.8 sells for $190.00 and has positive returns of +25.1% after 390 sales over the last ten years.

 

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If the above two books do, as I think they will, eventually spike and increase in value keep your eyes on Marvel Two-In-One #30, it was a transitional book that told how the old Jessica (Spider-Woman) became the new. Her second appearance, in Marvel Two-In-One #29 (last panel in a cameo), is also worth keeping an eye on.

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