Amazing Fantasy #15

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2015-06-26 11:13:45

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Amazing Fantasy #15

Amazing Fantasy #15 is the first comic book to feature Spider-Man, one of the most popular comic book superheroes of all time.

History

The comic started life as ‘Amazing Adventures’ in June 1961, which then changed to ‘Amazing Adult Fantasy’ by issue 7 in December of that year. The motto on the cover read “The magazine that respects your intelligence”, and the stories were often more off-beat and sophisticated than many other similar titles of the time.

The books were collaborations between writer Stan Lee and artist Steve Ditko, who created the character of Spider-Man to appear in the 15th issue. As it was due to be cancelled, issue #15 turned out to be the final issue of the now re-named ‘Amazing Fantasy'. The cover was drawn by Jack Kirby as a last-minute replacement for Ditko’s original cover art.

The character of Spider-Man was given the following introduction at the start of his first story:

"Like costumed heroes? Confidentially, we in the comic mag business refer to them as "Long Underwear Characters"! and, as you know, they're a dime a dozen! But, we think you may find our Spider-Man just a bit…Different!"

The character’s origin story sees teenager Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider whilst on a school trip to a science exhibition. He then develops superhuman abilities, but struggles to balance his new-found powers with his everyday life. The story features the line that came to dominate the Spider-Man mythology: "With great power there must also come great responsibility!".

It was Lee’s naturalistic approach to the storytelling that made Spider-Man stand out from many other characters at the time, and led to his enduring popularity. Although Amazing Fantasy was cancelled, the character of Spider-Man had proven so successful that he was brought back several months later in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man #1’ (March 1963).

Notable sale

In 2007 comic book dealer Comicconnect sold a copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 graded CGC 9.4 for a record price of $227,000.

In March 2011 ComicConnect announced the sale of a near mint copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 for $1.1m. The copy is currently the most expensive Silver Ager comic ever sold at auction.

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