Worth the wait...
Ive been looking forward to writing this journal for the last year and half. Honestly, this is not even a set I ever intended to put together, but the way things happened I just had to do it. It started last February when I found a super sharp copy of Amazing Spiderman 300 at my local comic shop for next to nothing. That was a great day because I remember walking out of there with a NM copy of ASM 238 as well, and my son took home a VF copy of Marvel Premiere 15, all for super cheap. Anyway, I took all these with me to Seattle last March for ECCC, along with my original owner copy of Secret Wars 8. The benevolent Ronnylama was kind enough to give em all a nice press and then I handed them over to CGC for grading. To my shock and astonishment, the ASM 300 and SW 8 both achieved the coveted CGC 9.8 grade with White Pages.
Prior to getting those books back, I attended Phoenix Con last May and was on the hunt for a book that Art Adams could sign for me. I had a short list of books in mind that he had done and was super excited when I found a beautiful copy of Marvel Team Up 141 at a small booth. I snatched it up real quick and ran it over to Art for a signature...he mentioned he had been signing a lot of these lately...then it was off to CGC for grading. This book too came back CGC 9.8 with White Pages. Wow. This is when it dawned on me that I had to find the other Black Suit books in the same grade and quality, cause anything less would bug me to no end. Dont get me wrong, Im not a grade snob...I love and appreciate comics for what they are, its just in this instance I suddenly had a theme going and wanted to see it thru to completion.
It wasnt until June of this year at Phoenix Con that I found the next book for my collection, Amazing Spiderman 252 CGC 9.8 with White Pages. The seller had the book marked down from an already fair price, but I was still a bit short of cash and they only accepted cash. Thankfully Ive bought from this seller many times before and he was kind enough to let me have the book for all the cash I had left which was an amazing price. Excitedly I shared this news on Instagram letting everyone know that all I needed now was Spectacular Spiderman 90 to complete my Black Suit set. Then of course Bagofleas tells me, no you need Marvel Age 12 also since that issue features concept art for the black suit that came out a couple months before ASM 252. Immediately I went on eBay and sure enough there was one copy of this book for sale, at a great price no less, graded CGC 9.8 with White Pages. I had just spent a good sum on ASM 252 earlier in the day, but Bagofleas made a good argument that this book would give me a set that shows the complete evolution of Venom, from concept to reality, so I went for it.
The last piece of the set took me until now to find. I had been monitoring the auction sites regularly and checking eBay almost every day looking for Spectacular Spiderman 90 in CGC 9.8 with White Pages. I found a raw copy at one point that I thought looked like a good candidate, but it came back CGC 9.2. I continued to see several 9.6 White or 9.8 Off White copies on eBay and was very tempted to settle for the Off White pages a couple times but held my ground. In desperation I even went thru the Spectacular Spiderman set in the CGC Registry and started direct messaging people who had the book I needed asking if they would sell it to me, but no one responded. Then one day last week after doing my usual eBay search I saw it, and at a great price. Of course I jumped on it, and now my set truly is complete. Here they are in order...
3/84 Marvel Age 12, Black Suit concept art
5/84 Spectacular Spiderman 90, tied for 1st Black Suit
5/84 Amazing Spiderman 252, tied for 1st Black Suit
5/84 Marvel Team Up 141, tied for 1st Black Suit
12/84 Secret Wars 8, origin of Black Suit
5/88 Amazing Spiderman 300, Black Suit becomes Venom
Til next time...
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