Three Keys to Watch: Spider-Woman

by Matt Tuck

Spider-Woman-panel-276x300 Three Keys to Watch: Spider-WomanWith the box office success of Into the Spider-Verse, the Spider-Woman keys are booming.

Sony hasn’t revealed much, but the company has made it public that sequels and spinoffs of Into the Spider-Verse are in the works. One of the more talked about ideas is having an all-female Spider-Verse film. Although nothing is official at this point, the rumor is that Sony is developing the idea around Spider-Woman, and that is what is driving the market for her key issues.

Marvel-Spotlight-32-194x300 Three Keys to Watch: Spider-WomanMARVEL SPOTLIGHT #32

As the story goes, the original incarnation of Spider-Woman came about from Stan Lee wanting to establish copyright for the character’s name. Reportedly his thinking was that the name “Spider-Woman” was so obvious, considering the popularity of Spider-Man, that if Marvel didn’t use the title, another company would do so (such as DC’s Wonder Woman and Marvel’s Wonder Man).

Initially she was meant to be a villain who evolved from an actual spider into a human. Her origin was profoundly different from Peter Parker’s as a means of having fans see her as a new character and not a cheap ripoff of Spider-Man, which also explains her wearing a yellow and red suit as opposed to blue and red.

The fanfare from Into the Spider-Verse gave Spider-Woman a major boost in popularity. From 2017 to 2018, prices for Marvel Spotlight #32 were up universally, and in the case of the 9.8, the fair market value almost doubled from an average of $803 in 2017 to a 90-day average of $1,340.

While values are still climbing into 2019, particularly the higher grades, the 90-day averages have slowed from that pace. On the bright side, the mid and lower grades have stayed reasonable, with everything from an 8.0 down selling for less than $100.

Spider-Woman-1-192x300 Three Keys to Watch: Spider-WomanSPIDER-WOMAN #1

When Spider-Woman debuted, what the company didn’t expect was for Marvel Spotlight #32, originally meant to be a one-off, to sell as many copies as it did. In response to that popularity, Marvel gave her a self-titled series a year later in 1978. Maybe it wasn’t a flagship comic, but Spider-Woman was popular enough for a respectable 50-issue run, and she even starred in her own cartoon show.

By no means comparable to Marvel Spotlight #32, this is still an important key in the history of the character. On the bright side, it’s also much more affordable. Prices are increasing across the board, and the 9.8 has even seen a new record high sale of $275 this year, but that’s much lower than MS #32. You can drop to a 9.6, which is still a great-looking copy, and keep your overhead at just $87.

 

Secret-Wars-7-201x300 Three Keys to Watch: Spider-WomanSECRET WARS #7

Although Spider-Woman was initially meant to be separate from Spider-Man, the 1980s brought about a new version of the character whose Spider-Man influence was undeniable.

In Secret Wars #7 – a full issue before Peter Parker donned his symbiotic black suit – Julia Carpenter took the mantle of Spider-Woman, this time wearing a black and white suit. Eventually the title would be given back to Jessica Drew, but Julia has been kept alive in the Spider-Verse as the most recent Madame Web.

With the Spider-Verse popularity booming, the values for Secret Wars #7 have exploded. Two years ago, a 9.8 averaged $65. Last year, it increased to $147, but over the past 90 days, its fair market value is pushing $200. In fact, three of the past four sales of a 9.8 have been for between $191 and $206, and one copy set a new record with a $300 sale on January 1. Of course anything below a 9.8 is much more reasonable, and even a 9.6 drops to $65, so it is no budget breaker.

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