Multiverse rumors and set photos of Toby McGuire have speculators focusing on all of the Spider-Verse characters making an appearance in the upcoming Spider-Man film. However, a Spider-Verse movie is only possible with the multi-versal powers of Doctor Strange. Doctor Strange serves as the lynchpin that allows all of the other Spider-Verse characters and former film actors to enter the MCU. This leaves open the possibility to speculate on the main storyline of the film as opposed to just specific characters. Although both Spider-Man and Doctor Strange are based out of New York City, they have seldom crossed paths in a comic series. This could be that Doctor Strange’s magical and mystical realm is on the polar opposite end of reality from Spider-Man’s street-fighting tales and skills. However, despite the drastic differences between the two characters, Marvel is putting them together in the upcoming movie and there are some books from Marvel’s past that are worth looking at.
Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2
Released in October of 1965, Spider-Man first encountered Doctor Strange on the streets of New York City in this book. The villain of Xandu made his first appearance as well, stealing the Wand of Watoomb from Doctor Strange. Xandu explained that with the wand he can open up portals and doorways to other dimensions, a reference to Marvel’s multiverse which the MCU wants to bring to life in upcoming films. Though Xandu and the Wand of Watoomb are major players in this story, they could possibly be exchanged with another character such as Shuma-Gorath. This would still maintain the overarching story of Doctor Strange and Spider-Man combatting inter-dimensional threats while traveling through the multiverse.
Although a CGC 9.8 copy of this book has a fair market value of $13,000, only 4 exist total at that grade which means the entry point for all collectors and speculators of this book will be a lower-grade copy. A CGC 8.0 sold in September of 2020 for $400, making this book both worthy for speculation and inexpensive enough for collectors to find an entry-level grade of this book.
Marvel Team-Up #21
Released nearly a decade after Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2, Marvel Team-Up #21 continues the storyline of Xandu’s inter-dimensional and multiverse battle against Spider-Man and Doctor Strange. This issue contained Xandu’s attempt to merge the earth dimension with the death dimension, in addition to his use of the ruby of domination to try to take control of the Hulk. Xandu ultimately explains that he acquired the Wand of Watoomb not to conquer the world but to bring back to life a former lover.
In a CGC 9.8, this book has a surprisingly low value of just $180 with a total of 4 in existence on the census. A CGC 9.6 carries a fair market value of an ultra-affordable $85. Keep in mind, this issue was reprinted in Doctor Strange Vol. 1, issue 179.
Marvel Team-Up Issues 50, 76 and 80
The following three issues of Marvel Team-Ups are the least likely to hit the big screen due to their obscure tales and non-resonance with the MCU’s multiverse. In issue 50, Spidey and Strange team up to identify the villainous figure named “Wraith.” The two additionally enlist the services of Iron Man in this quest. One reason why this story will most likely not be in the Spider-Man sequel is that Doctor Strange is meant to replace Iron Man as Peter Parker’s older leader and guide in the MCU, not work together.
In issue 76, Spider-Man and Doctor Strange combat the Silver Dagger to save the soul of Clea. To save her soul, the two had to engage in multiple tarot card readings, which is more about future prophecies as opposed to inter-dimensional multiverse action. Finally, issue 80 was a continuation of their previous team-up, only this time Doctor Strange was cursed by the werewolf spell, transforming him into a wolf that would disrupt Peter’s dates with women. It’s highly unlikely any of these stories appear in the MCU and their general lack of key worthiness reflects their affordable and low fair market value.
While speculators and collectors are honing in on all of the first appearances of various Spider-Verse characters, now may be the time to look at other collectible books related to the upcoming Spider-Man film. Although it’s good to focus on characters for speculation purposes, plot devices and main storylines still play an important and contributing role to the film. Especially so in the case of a Spider-Man multiverse film that cannot occur without the powers of Doctor Strange. Will the Wand of Watoomb come into play? Will Xandu be the ultimate villain? These questions are still up in the air, but just as Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 depicts, the first foe of the Spider-Man and Doctor Strange tag-team will have to be an inter-dimensional and multiverse threat to tie all of the Spider-Verse characters together.
That Amazing Spider-Man Annual 2 also has Canadian and UK Editions which are harder to find, especially in high grade.
You can rarely go wrong with Silver Age Spider-Man.