Spider-Man celebrates 60 crimefighting years

by MATTHEW PRICE

From the Aug. 19, 2022 edition of The Oklahoman

Marvel Comics celebrates 60 years of Spider-Man this summer, with two different anniversary issues, action figures, and more. 

Peter Parker was introduced in 1962’s “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. A regular series, “The Amazing Spider-Man,” followed. The character has starred in multiple animated series, a live-action television series, and headlined eight major motion pictures. Millions of comic books starring Spider-Man have been sold.

August marks 60 years since “Amazing Fantasy” #15, and Marvel will celebrate the anniversary with “Amazing Fantasy” #1000, a super-sized issue celebrating the wall-crawler. While the issue numbering is a little suspect, the anniversary timing and all-star creators make this an intriguing celebratory issue. 

Neil Gaiman, creator of “The Sandman” comics that recently spawned a well-regarded Netflix adaptation, joins with artist Steve McNiven (“Civil War”) for a story of Spider-Man inspiring a young fan. 

Popular cover artist J. Scott Campbell (“Danger Girl”) has crafted variant covers for the “Amazing Fantasy” #1000 release. 

“It’s a thrill and an honor to create cover art celebrating the 60th anniversary of characters that have become so iconic and ingrained in our culture,” Campbell said in a news release.

“Amazing Fantasy” #1000 is set for an Aug. 31 release. 

That’s not the only anniversary issue Marvel is releasing to celebrate this important date. On sale now is “Amazing Spider-Man” #6 of the current volume, which Marvel is also recognizing as the 900th issue of the “Amazing Spider-Man” series. 

In that issue, series writer Zeb Wells teamed up with artist Ed McGuiness (“Superman/Batman”) for an extra-length milestone issue in which Spider-Man battles the all-new Sinister Adaptoid, who has the abilities of Spider-Man’s greatest enemies.  

Also in celebration of the anniversary, Disney+ has released additional Spider-Man content on the streaming service, including the five films originally released under the Sony/Columbia banner from 2002-2014.

Hasbro’s Marvel Legends line will celebrate the 60th anniversary with a line of action figures, including a 6-inch scale 60th Anniversary Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man inspired by Spider-Man’s legendary Marvel Comics premiere in “Amazing Fantasy” #15. The Marvel Legends Amazing Fantasy Spider-Man figure features Spidey’s original black-and-red costume colors and underarm web wings as drawn by co-creator Steve Ditko. 

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewlprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Amazing Fantasy #1000 from Marvel

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