A pivotal moment in Spider-Man history has just become the most expensive page from a comic book ever sold at auction, thanks to a single page from a Marvel comic.
According to Heritage Auctions, the page depicting Spider-first Man’s time donning the notorious all-black suit earned $3.36 million at auction earlier this week, making it the “world’s most valuable page of original comic book artwork.”
A page from the same comic was sold for $288,000 in another auction. According to Heritage Auctions, the two pages of Spider-Man history sold for a total of $3,648,000.
In a statement, Joe Mannarino, the head of Heritage Auctions’ department of comics and comic art in New York, said, “Today’s results prove what we’ve long been saying: Comic book art is as beloved and valuable as anything put on canvas.”
The winning bidder was not revealed by the auction house, but whoever it was knew their Spider-Man history. The pages were from Marvel’s “Secret Wars,” a crossover series in which beloved heroes battled classic villains on a planet named Battleworld. Spidey meets an alien symbiote — sound familiar? — who gloms onto his conventional red-and-blue armour, which he damaged in fight, in the eighth part of the limited series, released in 1984.
“That glob just — just spread out and became a costume — and dissolved away the tatters of my old one in the process!” On the 25th page, Spidey exclaims.
But once our web-slinger puts on his new armour, the symbiote transforms him into a “vengeance-fueled vigilante,” according to Marvel.
After the conclusion of “Secret Wars,” Spider-Man splits from the symbiote — a long storey, but Mister Fantastic himself needs to do some science to remove it off Spidey for good — and the alien goo finds a more suitable host in Eddie Brock, who goes on to become Venom.
The black outfit was also worn by the film version of Spider-Man, however the combination received mixed reviews. Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker wore the symbiote suit and grew snippy with his beloved Mary Jane in “Spider-Man 3,” causing their relationship to suffer. It also boosted his ego to the point where he danced in the streets of Manhattan, an unsettling yet indelible part of cinematic history.