Amazing Spider-Man #50 features the 1st appearance of the Kingpin (Wilson Fisk)!
The Kingpin was created by writer Stan “The Man” Lee along with cover and interior artist John Romita Sr. The famous cover has been paid homage to many times over the years, making it a certified classic, which depicts Peter Parker in an unusual and highly vulnerable state of being. With his head casting down into his shadow and his body hunched forward as he walks alone in despair, we see a discouraged Peter Parker abandoning his superhero duty as the large caption reads, “Spider-Man No More!”
What? No more Spider-Man? How could the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man just decide to call it quits? This cover imagery is a lasting one not only in the Amazing Spider-Man title, but in all of comics as it shows that superheroes, like every day human civilians, experience bad days and can even battle with internal issues such as self-doubt and depression.
Although Peter Parker was frustrated with his dual life and decided to resign from his Spider-Man duties, criminal activity increased throughout NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen, and a new threat emerged that would motivate and compel Spider-Man to come out of his early retirement.
After assassinating his former gangster boss Don Rigoletto, the man known as Wilson Fisk took over his criminal empire and became the biggest and most feared crime lord throughout the city—the Kingpin was born!
The Kingpin’s initial story arch would continue into the next two issues, with Amazing Spider-Man #51 featuring his 1st cover appearance. In addition, the Kingpin would not only plague Spider-Man as a recurring adversary throughout the years, but would also become known as the archenemy to Daredevil and a formidable foe to the Punisher.
Speaking of such, Wilson Fisk has been portrayed on the silver screen by actors John Rhys-Davies in The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) and Michael Clarke Duncan in Daredevil (2003). However, it wasn’t until actor Vincent D'Onofrio embodied the Kingpin to perfection in the critically acclaimed Daredevil Netflix TV series (2015-2018), that left viewers with the chills after witnessing his twisted and dark childhood upbringing that influenced his cold-hearted and homicidal nature!
If you have watched Daredevil on Netflix, you know exactly what I am talking about! We get to experience an adolescent Wilson Fisk who is exhausted and tormented from hearing his alcoholic father verbally and physically abuse his mother in a separate room, grab a hammer and smash his father’s skull to a pulp! As a grown man, after a Russian crime associate named Anatoly interrupted a dinner date with his future wife Vanessa, he had his right-hand man James Wesley pull over the SUV on a dark quiet street, where Wilson Fisk gave him a brutal beating followed by repeatedly smashing his head in between the car door and ultimately beheading him! The Kingpin is no joke!
Published in July of 1967, Amazing Spider-Man #50 is not only one of the most valuable ASM Silver Age (1956-1969) Keys, but it is “The” most valuable issue in the post Steve Ditko era! We can even take it a step further and argue that ASM #50 is one of the top 15 most valuable issues of the entire 700-issue Amazing Spider-Man run! For instance, on April 30, 2020, Heritage Auctions sold a CGC 9.8 WP copy of ASM #50 (1 of 7 in CGC 9.8) for a record breaking $55,200! In that same auction, a CGC 9.8 OW-WP copy of ASM #12 (3rd appearance of Doctor Octopus) and only 1 of 4 in CGC 9.8, sold for $19,200! Therefore, ASM #50 can definitely compete with some of the early ASM issues in top grade!
Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $3,000.
According to the CGC Census Report as of Tuesday, April 6, 2021, out of a total of 3,963 Universal copies graded, only a mere 53 copies were graded in 9.4! With these statistics in mind, this represents an impressive rarity factor of only 1.3% of the total population! Furthermore, there aren’t many copies graded higher; only 22 to be exact! For instance, there are currently only 15 Universal 9.6 copies and only 7 Universal 9.8 copies graded, which makes Amazing Spider-Man #50 a highly sought-after and coveted comic book!
I noticed this particular copy was special at first glance, but it was confirmation after reading the lot description: “An original-owner copy of the key first appearance of the Kingpin. You'll have to look very hard to find something to criticize on this very sharp example!” From this description, I knew that this copy was an “exceptional” CGC 9.4 WP example, so I had to bid aggressively during Heritage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction #7224 in March of 2020 to acquire this pristine beauty!
On that note, this PERFECTLY WRAPPED & CENTERED copy is WORLD CLASS in every way! It is by far one of the cleanest and brightest examples in existence! Just look at how vibrant the colors pop on the front cover! Take a good look at the milk white background of the “Marvel Comics Group” section, “The Amazing Spider-Man” title, the background of the “Spider-Man No More!” caption and the “Comics Code Authority” stamp; they are super WHITE as if the book was perfectly preserved since July of 1967! The back cover looks MINT! It’s very RARE to find copies that radiate colors as beautifully as this gem!
In closing, although I would love to eventually upgrade to a perfectly wrapped and centered CGC 9.6 WP copy, I have been reluctant to pull the trigger, because I still have not seen a 9.6 copy at auction that looks more exceptional! With that being said, I’m very thankful and blessed to proudly showcase this immaculate 9.4 WP copy in Arachnophobia!
Happy Collecting & Enjoy the Hunt!
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