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AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963-98; 2003-13) #101
CGC FN: 6.0
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COMMENTS: white pgs
Gil Kane cover/art, John Romita cover; 1st app. Morbius; film starring Jared Leto
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white pgs
Gil Kane cover/art, John Romita cover; 1st app. Morbius;
film starring Jared Leto
Marvel’s cinematic output has the power to turn a somewhat overlooked comic into a key issue overnight, simply by mentioning an upcoming project, and this book, ASM #101 is one of the lucky issues to be granted this lofty status. Back in the early 70s the CCA lifted their ban on supernatural content in comics, for years vampires, mummies, zombies and the like were not allowed to be featured in comics unless they were overtly benign and childish, but once moral straightjackets started loosening, Marvel was quick to jump at the chance to unleash their modern monsters upon the comic reading world with relish. Mere months after the ban was lifted, Roy Thomas and Gil Kane created Morbius, the Living Vampire, Thomas was actually the first writer besides Stan Lee to work on ASM, in this very issue he broke Stan’s 100 issue streak, and another point of interest, Kane based Morbius’ look on actor Jack Palance, whose chilling demeanor is known by many a fan of cinema. This first appearance features the origin story of Dr. Michael Morbius, whose bloodlust is sparked not by a vampiric attack, but a science experiment, meant to cure a blood disease, gone awry. The character would go on to star in the B&W magazine Vampire Tales and continues on throughout Marvel history as a tortured antihero. The recent announcement of the Jared Leto “Morbius” movie has driven prices of this book into the upper echelons of Bronze Age books, now is the time to invest in this popular and accessible key.

Artists Information

Frank Giacoia (July 6, 1924 – February 4, 1988)[1] was an American comics artist known primarily as an inker. He sometimes worked under the name Frank Ray, Giacoia made the rounds to almost every Golden Age publisher, notably working on Flash and Batman stories, he also worked at Timely during this period. In the Silver Age Frank worked on many Jack Kirby pages, particularly in Captain America, and he also notably inked the first appearance of the Punisher in AMS #129.

Gil Kane was a Latvian-born American comics artist whose career spanned the 1940s to the 1990s and virtually every major comics company and character. Kane co-created the modern-day versions of the superheroes Green Lantern and the Atom for DC Comics, and co-created Iron Fist with Roy Thomas for Marvel Comics. He was involved in such major storylines as that of The Amazing Spider-Man #96–98, which, at the behest of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, bucked the then-prevalent Comics Code Authority to depict drug abuse, and ultimately spurred an update of the Code. Kane additionally pioneered an early graphic novel prototype, His Name Is... Savage, in 1968, and a seminal graphic novel, Blackmark, in 1971. In 1997, he was inducted into both the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame and the Harvey Award Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.

John Romita was one of the driving forces behind Marvel's Silver Age, he took up the reins on Spider-Man following the departure of Steve Ditko with issue #38. Romita's run on Spider-Man would be long and significant, introducing characters including Mary Jane Watson, The Kingpin and many others. He would be a major contributor to the entire Marvel line throughout the 1970's including designing the look of The Punisher.