Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 9.8 WP: 1st appearance of the Punisher (Frank Castle) and the Jackal!

Amazing Spider-Man #129 features the 1st appearance of the Punisher (Frank Castle) and the Jackal!

The Punisher was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr. and Ross Andru, with publisher Stan Lee providing the name.

The classic cover art displaying the “Different and Deadly” Punisher was drawn by legendary artists Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. The most lethal hired assassin is featured in his iconic skull-imprinted black suit with an arsenal of weaponry, including an automatic assault rifle in which he is unloading a full clip of ammunition directly at Spider-Man.

The close up view of the Punisher’s sniper scope depicts a defenseless and aerial bound Spider-Man avoiding bullets exploding against the surrounding brick buildings, with cross hairs aimed precisely at his heart! Couple this action on a commanding bright yellow cover, and you have one of the most sought-after and treasured comics in the history of the Amazing Spider-Man title!

As a matter of fact, Amazing Spider-Man #129 is currently ranked #10 on Overstreet's Top 25 Bronze Age Comics list.

Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $1,900.

In terms of the Amazing Spider-Man title, ASM #129 is “The” most valuable and expensive issue of the entire Bronze Age (1970-1979)! For example, on May 2, 2021, a copy of ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP sold on Heritage Auctions for a record-breaking $33,600!

Moreover, what made the Punisher truly unique is that although he was originally created as a villain; he was gradually developed into a crime-fighting antihero. It was characters like the Punisher and Ghost Rider (1st introduced in Marvel Spotlight #5 in August of 1972), that would influence the industry in creating more violent and grittier material.

Since the Punisher’s inception in February of 1974, he has starred in 3 feature films. The first Punisher movie premiered in the USA on July 8, 1990 at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, and was characterized by actor Dolph Lundgren.

It wasn’t until 14 years later; on April 16, 2004, in which The Punisher had a reboot and was played by actor Thomas Jane with John Travolta playing the antagonistic character Howard Saint. The setting took place in Florida, which was not true to the comics as Frank Castle’s origins take place in Queens, New York.

The most recent installment, Punisher: War Zone, released on December 5, 2008, was played by actor Ray Stevenson. In addition, actor Dominic West played the Punisher’s arch enemy Jigsaw (William “Billy” Russo), which is true to the comics as Jigsaw was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #162 and plays a significant and enduring role throughout the Punisher’s storyline.

Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned Punisher films were able to cement the character’s image and brand to the likes of Hugh Jackman playing Wolverine. There were a number of reasons why none of the films gave the Punisher’s character justice; they ranged from inconsistencies in the comics to corny representations of the characters to not finding the “right” actor to emulate and embody the Punisher to perfection.

Fortunately, after decades of failed attempts to portray the character and build a successful franchise, in March of 2016, the Punisher was played by The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh) in season 2 of the critically acclaimed Daredevil Netflix TV series! Prior to his big screen debut and adding fuel to the hype, Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb said in the initial announcement on Marvel.com: “Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences. Castle's appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”

Since then, the Punisher has been kicking and captivating the audience into his psyche that depicts pain and vengeance amidst his fragmented memories of being a former loving husband and father of two, before they were tragically killed by the mob. Furthermore, on November 17, 2017, the Punisher made his highly successful debut in his self-titled series on Netflix!

Finally, it looks like the Punisher is getting justice on the silver screen! In turn, this has translated into increased demand for high-grade copies of Amazing Spider-Man #129, as the Punisher’s stock has surged!

According to the CGC Census Report as of Tuesday, May 4, 2021, out of a whopping total of 11,635 Universal copies graded, only a mere 143 copies were graded in 9.8 with 0 copies graded higher! With these statistics in mind, this represents an amazing rarity factor of only 1.23% of the total population! That’s pretty rare! Considering the vast number of copies that have already been professionally graded and the fact that many 9.8 copies are stashed away in private collections, it is going to become increasingly difficult to locate pristine 9.8 examples like this gem!

Furthermore, a significant percentage (I would say over 80%) of ASM #129 copies were wrapped at an angle in which you can see part of the white back cover from the front, which is the culprit of most copies displaying the classic Gil Kane and John Romita Sr. cover off-centered. In contrast, there are many copies that do not display any part of the back cover from the front, but if you view the back cover, you’ll notice part of the edge of the front cover on the back. This “miswrap” often displays the “S” in Spider-Man (green font) located on the bottom left-hand corner to be obscured, as well as a part of Spider-Man’s boot near the upper left-hand corner. In addition, there are lots of copies that have a black ink smudge where it reads “The Punisher,” which also takes away from the aesthetic appeal of such a beautiful cover. If you are interested, just browse through all of the current lots and past sales of ASM #129 on eBay and on other various auction houses; you’ll see for yourself that it is very RARE to locate a copy that doesn’t exhibit these manufacturing flaws.

With that in mind, this particular CGC 9.8 copy sports PERFECT COVER WRAP, PERFECT CENTERING, and PERFECT WHITE PAGE QUALITY along with being PERFECTLY CUT! The color saturation is deep and bright and the corners are razor sharp!

On the back cover, there is an arrival date of “11-4” written in blue pen on the upper right-hand corner. Although it’s very minute and unobtrusive, I actually appreciate it because it gives the book “character” and differentiates the “Professor Pecora” copy from any other CGC 9.8! It’s definitely an “exceptional” copy that perfectly represents one of my favorite covers in all of comics! I will cherish it for a long time to come!

In closing, I won this pristine beauty during a Pedigree Comics Grand Auction in April of 2020! I was very blessed to end up with the winning bid and I’m looking forward to watching it appreciate in value each year! 

Happy Collecting & Enjoy the Hunt!

-Professor Pecora

ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP is featured in Professor Pecora's ASM CGC Registry Set entitled "Arachnophobia!"

Please also FOLLOW on Instagram ----> @professor_pecora

ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP - (front).jpg

ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP - (back).jpg

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Bravo professor!!!...Bravo! Yes this is a chronically miswraped issue probably one of the most along with ASM 106. Most of them are miswraped in either direction or have the blue marvel banner way to close to the top edge or crooked to some degree. Most bronze age marvels are highly miswraped but 129 seems to be on the extreme. Wonder why?

Btw, The letters section here features reviews of ASM 125 with a cool little depiction of the splash page of 125 in there. 

Spectacular looking copy there Professor!

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19 hours ago, MGsimba77 said:

Bravo professor!!!...Bravo! Yes this is a chronically miswraped issue probably one of the most along with ASM 106. Most of them are miswraped in either direction or have the blue marvel banner way to close to the top edge or crooked to some degree. Most bronze age marvels are highly miswraped but 129 seems to be on the extreme. Wonder why?

Btw, The letters section here features reviews of ASM 125 with a cool little depiction of the splash page of 125 in there. 

Spectacular looking copy there Professor!

What's up @MGsimba77!

Thanks for your comment! YES indeed! The Bronze Age of Comics had a LOT of issues horribly miswrapped, that's why it's a special treat whenever myself or other collectors acquire high-grade, perfectly wrapped and centered examples! They are definitely a treat to stare at in person! :)

Although manufacturing flaws such as cover wrap, staple placement, cover (print) alignment and the book's cut are NOT included in a book's overall grade, because they are "manufacturing" flaws, I see the market shifting in the near future to place more emphasis on these "flaws," because it's quite evident that copies that present more aesthetically appealing tend to sell for much higher premiums compared to their less appealing counterparts! This is why companies like CVA have a place to thrive in the hobby by placing their CVA "exceptional" stickers on outstanding presenting copies!

I'm not sure if I am familiar with the "letters section" that you referred to...hm I will have to check that out because that little depiction of the splash page of ASM #125 sounds interesting!

Thanks for sharing! (thumbsu

-Professor Pecora

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6 hours ago, Professor Pecora said:

I'm not sure if I am familiar with the "letters section" that you referred to...hm I will have to check that out because that little depiction of the splash page of ASM #125 sounds interesting!

If you have a raw copy its easy to find. All ASMs have it. Its around the middle of the book or so titled "Spider's web" letter page. It pretty much reviews ASM125 from the reader's point of view. 

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20 minutes ago, MGsimba77 said:

If you have a raw copy its easy to find. All ASMs have it. Its around the middle of the book or so titled "Spider's web" letter page. It pretty much reviews ASM125 from the reader's point of view. 

Thank You! I actually do not have a raw copy to sift through! I'll have to check it out when I can get my hands on one! (thumbsu

-Professor Pecora

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