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A Real-Life Spiderman Panel Sells For a Record $3.4 Million

With NFT’s making all the news lately, physical art showed it still has clout this past week, especially when it comes to comics.

A 1984 Spider-Man comic book page sold at auction for $3.36 million on Thursday, January 13, a record sale for any inside comic book work. The Mike Zeck-drawn art is from Marvel Comics’ “Secret Wars No. 8” — the first introduction of Spidey’s symbiote black suit, which would eventually lead to the emergence of Venom. The record bidding started at $330,000 and quickly soared past $3 million in a vicious (and expensive) bidding war during Heritage Auctions’ four-day comic event in Dallas.

#HERITAGELIVE: #SpiderMan can spin a 🕸 any size, but this page from #SecretWars caught collectors just like flies. After a heated battle, Mike Zeck’s original from No. 8, featuring the origin story of Spidey’s #BlackCostume, just sold for…

$3,360,000.https://t.co/vvnRJrcSO4 pic.twitter.com/NJYBb3kK0F

— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) January 13, 2022

The page follows Spider-Man’s attempt to create a new suit after damaging his disguise in battle. Thor hooks him up with what they think is a futuristic fabric. Spidey gets a surprise, however, when an inky sphere emerges from the box, engulfing his hand in black goo.

This lead-up to his complete transformation (page 24) sold for $288,000 in a separate lot just before the new record was set, earning Heritage a total of $3.7 million for two pages of comic art.

“Well I’ll be an eight-ball’s uncle,” Spider-Man says on the page. “That glob just spread out and became a costume — and dissolved away the tatters of my old one in the process! Not bad! Different … but not bad!”

Apparently, the creators were big on exclamation points. And this Spider-Man version was a bit more naive than future generations. The suit might not be evil per se, but it’s going to cause a lot of issues down the road for the web-slinger as well as eventual new host Eddie Brock, who will become antihero Venom.

The previous record for an interior comic book page was $657,250 from a 1974 issue of “The Incredible Hulk” that featured a tease for Wolverine in his first graphic appearance.

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Incredibly, Spider-Man wasn’t the only comic hero to sell for over $3 million that day. One of the most sought-after comics, Superman’s launch in Action Comics No. 1, sold for $3.2 million, another new auction house record for the title. Dubbed the “Rocket Copy” because this particular version, one of the few surviving copies, has a rocket stamp on the cover put there by its original 13-year-old owner. Not bad for a 1938 comic that originally sold for 10 cents.

#HERITAGELIVE: Until today this copy of #ActionComics No. 1, featuring #Superman’s first flight, belonged to a single owner since its purchase in 1938. Today it found a new home — and became one of the world’s most valuable comics, selling for $3,180,000https://t.co/wU4RO2H7s1 pic.twitter.com/UOGYhfqh8q

— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) January 13, 2022

For its part, this only further affirmed the viability and demand for classic comics to Heritage Auctions.

“Today’s results prove what we’ve long been saying: Comic book art is as beloved and valuable as anything put on canvas,”  Joe Mannarino, Heritage’s New York director of comic art, said in a statement.

Spider-Man also holds the current record for an auctioned comic book, a $3.6 million September sale of Amazing Fantasy No. 15 (1962), the web-slinger’s original on the scene.

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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