Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends!

by Jason Short

Spider-Man-300x157 Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends!Once upon a time, Saturday morning cartoons were a way of life for millions of kids.  In the early half of the 1980s, one cartoon rose above the competition: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.  Our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler saved the day with help from the mutants Iceman and Firestar.

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Since his debut way back in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man has been a superstar in the Marvel Universe.  The X-Men debuted one year later, following the success of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. However, they were largely an afterthought for their first fifteen years of existence.  It wasn’t until the legendary duo of John Byrne and Chris Claremont teamed up starting in X-Men #108 that the mutants really took off.  Because of the success the X-Men were experiencing, it made sense to partner Spider-Man with the mutants.  But who to pair him with?  Marvel took an interesting approach and paired him with the underused original X-Men member, Iceman, and created a new mutant, Firestar.  Having a mutant who used flames and fire and one who used ice, gave the writers some creativity and allowed the characters to play off one another.

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Firestar and the X-Men

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends #1 is the first appearance of Firestar.  Or is it?  I know what you’re thinking- another silly first appearance controversy.  While it is true that Amazing Friends #1 is the first time Firestar shows up in comics, there are a couple of things worth noting.  The world depicted in Amazing Friends #1 is not the main Marvel Universe (otherwise known as the 616 Universe); it is the 1983 Universe.  Additionally, the comic is merely an adaptation of an issue of the t.v. series.  Amazing Friends #1 has seen recent 9.8 sales greater than $500.  A cheaper, but no less important book is X-Men #193.  X-Men #193 is the main universe debut of Firestar.  This is a classic issue of the X-Men and features a great John Romita Junior cover that has plenty of action and Firestar in a prominent spot as well.  This book has been hot in the last half-year and just recently hit the $200 mark.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see this book around $400 by the end of the year, though.

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Going Supernova

Amazing Friends #1 and X-Men #193 have seen steady gains in the last half-year.  Comic speculation is at an all-time high, with people going crazy for minor characters like Agatha Harkness.  While Firestar might not be as prominent as some other notable characters, she is someone who has been both an X-Men and Avenger; and was also a founding member of the New Warriors.  The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its spin-off Disney+ shows have shown a tendency to surprise us.  Would it be a stretch to have Firestar show up in the next Spider-Man movie?  I don’t think so, and a small cameo of an alternate universe Spidey with Iceman and Firestar would be a great teaser for a bigger introduction to mutants.

Firestar’s first two appearances are definitely worth tracking down before prices climb higher.  Other notable issues are much more reasonably priced.  They include books like Firestar #4 (with a gorgeous Barry Windsor-Smith cover) and Amazing Spider-Man #7 (Edge of the Spider-Verse crossover featuring the death of Spidey and his Amazing Friends from the 1983 Universe).  Also worth noting are the debut appearances of the New Warriors team in Thor #411 and #412.

An Eye to the Future

The early appearances of Firestar will continue to appreciate in value.  It is only a matter of time until mutants join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  With such a wide variety of mutants to choose from, it would be great if Marvel threw everyone a curveball and used some lesser-known X-Men.  If that were to happen, look for books like these to skyrocket in price.

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octoberland March 26, 2021 - 12:39 pm

I like the pick of Firestar. She is an interesting character and crosses over on so many teams that it would be easy to slot her in. Thanks for some beyond the obvious choices.

– Craig Coffman

Ryan March 26, 2021 - 8:01 pm

Where does Marvel Action Universe fit in, if at all?


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