Amazing Spider-Man #134 CGC 9.8 WP: 1st appearance of the Tarantula & the 2nd appearance of the Punisher in cameo on last page!

Amazing Spider-Man #134 features the 1st appearance of the Tarantula & the 2nd appearance of the Punisher in cameo on last page!

In July of 1974, writer Gerry Conway and artist Ross Andru introduced us to a new animal-themed supervillain known as the Tarantula! Inspired by the political events that were taking place in South America (especially in Chile) during the early 1970’s, Mr. Antonio "Anton" Miguel Rodriguez served as a revolutionary against dictatorship in the fictional Republic of Delvadia. However, Anton became desensitized to committing homicides and was forced to resign.

As a way to get back at the republic, he became a bounty hunter and joined forces with those he initially fought against. During this time, he developed a battle suit with retractable steel claws in his gloves and spikes in his boots that could smash through hard surfaces and eject poison into his opponents. He called himself the Tarantula and donned a huge black tarantula logo in the middle of his chest to mimic Spider-Man’s suit, but with his ultimate goal of capturing him!

At this point, the Tarantula became obsessed with killing as if it were a hobby, which he ended up assassinating a fellow officer and was banned from the country. He decided to flee South America and made his way to New York City to begin his criminal career, where he encountered both Spider-Man and the Punisher.

Although the Tarantula demonstrated exceptional acrobatic and combative skills in which he even stabbed Spider-Man with his spiked boot, he was ultimately defeated and sentenced to jail. In an attempt to use the Tarantula as a pawn to get back at Spider-Man, the Jackal broke him out of prison, which would eventually lead into The Original Clone Saga in issues #139-#150.

Overall, the original Tarantula appeared in the following ASM issues: #134-#135, #147-#148 and #233-#236. In December of 1976, he was also the villain featured on the historic front cover of Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #1!

Unfortunately, after injecting himself with the Brand Corporation's mutagenic serum, he developed superhuman powers stronger than Spider-Man’s, but became unstable to the point in which his limbs could not support weight. As a result, in ASM #236, after mutating into a giant-sized tarantula with his mental stability impaired, he committed suicide by jumping off a building and landing onto the street and begging a bunch of police officers to shoot him, which resulted in the Tarantula being gunned down to his untimely death.

Since then, there have been several characters who have taken on the Tarantula identity, which include: Luis Álvarez, Jacinda Rodríguez, María Vásquez and Kaine Parker.

The Tarantula is often considered a Forgotten Spider-Man Rogue, due to his short life span and not having a significant appeal with the readers. However, you never know what can happen if the Tarantula is one day brought to life on the silver screen within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)!

In terms of the cover art—I absolutely LOVE IT! As I mentioned in my Arachnophobia set description, John Romita Sr. is my favorite Amazing Spider-Man cover artist, and this bright and appealing 1974 battle cover between Spider-Man and the Tarantula does not disappoint! The yellow background with deep reds and contrasting black and blue highlights really POP together nicely! I also love how the two characters are battling on a cargo ship with the Hudson River in the background. The movement captured is superb; Spider-Man is blocking the Tarantula’s arm as he misses his target with his ejected spiked boot shredding into the steel ship! In addition, instead of Spider-Man’s shadow being casted underneath him, you see a shadow of a tarantula, which John Romita drew to emphasize the caption on the lower right-hand corner, “DANGER IS A MAN CALLED TARANTULA!”

UNDER VALUE ALERT! Although most collectors and investors are familiar with the Punisher’s 2nd “full” appearance in the history of comics in ASM #135; his true “2nd appearance” is contained within the last page of ASM #134! 

When I think about the reasons why this book has been slept on, it starts to make sense. For starters, the CGC label only notes “Punisher cameo on last page,” without making any reference that it is indeed his “2nd appearance.” In addition, the Punisher is not featured on the front cover, as he is on ASM #135. Therefore, when you combine not having the proper label credit with the character not appearing on the front cover, you can easily understand how this book has gone under the radar!

However, on the front cover, there is a special caption located on the lower left-hand corner that reads: “EXTRA! Don’t miss the shocking return of a SURPRISE super-villain – in this issue’s STARTLING Last Panel!” Furthermore, this caption serves as “code language” that translates to: “The Punisher Returns,” which is actually printed on the cover of ASM #135, although he first returned in ASM #134!

On that note, I believe that it’s only a matter of time until collectors and investors start catching on and placing higher demand to acquire this issue, which will cause its value to SPIKE dramatically! I view ASM #134 having a similar market growth as Incredible Hulk #180, which contains the 1st appearance of Wolverine in a cameo on the last page! For decades, IH #180 was overlooked because like ASM #134, there is no image or mention of Wolverine on the front cover. Moreover, IH #180 was constantly cast in the shadow by the follow-up issue, which contains Wolverine’s 1st “full” appearance in a famous battle against the Incredible Hulk! (Are you seeing the parallels now?)

Over the years, more and more collectors and investors realized the historical value of Wolverine’s 1st true appearance and CGC 9.8 copies went from selling around 6K to 15K almost overnight! Now, IH #180 is considered a highly valued Bronze Age Key and you will have to pay a lofty penny to acquire a high-grade copy!

With that being said, let’s put all of this into perspective; on May 2, 2021, a copy of ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP sold on Heritage Auctions for a record-breaking $33,600! In turn, on May 12, 2021, a copy of ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP sold on Pedigree Comics for a record-breaking $5,101! Since ASM #134 contains the Punisher’s 2nd appearance in the history of comics, the question is…how long do you think it’s going to take until ASM #134 skyrockets in value?

Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $120.

According to the CGC Census Report as of Tuesday, May 11, 2021, out of a total of 805 Universal copies graded, only 39 copies were graded in 9.8 with 0 copies graded higher! With these statistics in mind, this represents an impressive rarity factor of only 4.84% of the total population!

This stunning copy is WORLD CLASS in every way! It’s PERFECTLY WRAPPED and CENTERED and contains PERFECT WHITE PAGES! I have honestly not seen a nicer looking copy! This blazer has a super tight spine with no visible stresses or color breaks, deep color saturation that looks like it was printed yesterday and perfectly inserted staples! This copy truly looks MINT!

Furthermore, due to portions of the spine containing jet black ink (i.e., the Marvel Comics Strip, the circle behind the Spider-Man logo and on the bottom left-hand corner), which exposes the slightest of defects, finding high-grade copies like this gem will be difficult to acquire.

(SIDE NOTE: The scans captured multiple glares due to the inner well containing multiple ripples; it will eventually be re-encapsulated into the latest generation CGC Holder!)  (thumbsu

In closing, I purchased this pristine beauty from monk215 (via eBay) in February of 2021! The transaction and communication went extremely well and I’m proud to showcase this immaculate copy in Arachnophobia!

Happy Collecting & Enjoy the Hunt!

-Professor Pecora

ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP is featured in Professor Pecora's ASM CGC Registry Set entitled "Arachnophobia!"

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

ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP - (front).jpg

ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP - (back).jpg

0



8 Comments


Recommended Comments

Nice write up.

I feel the better comparison though is to Hulk 182 not 180.   Hulk 180 is the 1st appearance (cameo) of Wolverine. ASM 129 is 1st Punisher, 134 is 2nd Punisher (cameo). Hulk 182 is 3 app (cameo ) of Wolverine.  

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
On 5/12/2021 at 10:54 PM, MAR1979 said:

Nice write up.

I feel the better comparison though is to Hulk 182 not 180.   Hulk 180 is the 1st appearance (cameo) of Wolverine. ASM 129 is 1st Punisher, 134 is 2nd Punisher (cameo). Hulk 182 is 3 app (cameo ) of Wolverine.  

 

 

 

 

Thanks! I hear you, but like you said, Incredible Hulk #182 represents Wolverine's "3rd" overall appearance in the history of comics. In my perspective, whether it's a cameo or full appearance; technically...Incredible Hulk #180 IS Wolverine's "1st" appearance in the history of comics followed by his 2nd appearance / (1st "full" appearance) in Incredible Hulk #181.

With that said, ASM #129 IS the Punisher's 1st appearance followed by his "2nd" appearance in the history of comics in ASM #134; but it's kind of the reverse scenario from IH #180 and #181 right?...because in this case ASM #129 is also the Punisher's 1st "full" appearance with him on the cover followed by his "2nd" cameo appearance!

Either way...ASM #134 has historically been undervalued just like IH #180 has for YEARS! However, last night, a copy of ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP sold on Pedigree Comics for a NEW WORLD RECORD of $5,101! (thumbsu

-Professor Pecora

Edited by Professor Pecora
Link to comment

Hey Professor did you have much luck in that Pedigree comics ASM auction this week? I recall you had indicated you were going to participate. Well just an observation on my part but there were some real disappointing results there for the consignors despite the overall auction being fairly strong. The big keys did quite well to varying degrees with some blowing the lid off but others....not so much. Mix in several clunker results in there and you end up with sort of a mixed bag.

If I was Pedigree comics I think I'd probably be a bit disappointed with the overall results considering the strength of this market. I don't know what your sense is but if I ever decide to auction an important book I'm going straight to Comiclink or HA in a second over anyone else! I see Pedigree as being very spotty with their auction results historically. Well anyway there's my rant on that situation for whatever it's worth. Hope you ended up with whatever you were aiming for?

Link to comment
2 hours ago, MGsimba77 said:

Hey Professor did you have much luck in that Pedigree comics ASM auction this week? I recall you had indicated you were going to participate. Well just an observation on my part but there were some real disappointing results there for the consignors despite the overall auction being fairly strong. The big keys did quite well to varying degrees with some blowing the lid off but others....not so much. Mix in several clunker results in there and you end up with sort of a mixed bag.

If I was Pedigree comics I think I'd probably be a bit disappointed with the overall results considering the strength of this market. I don't know what your sense is but if I ever decide to auction an important book I'm going straight to Comiclink or HA in a second over anyone else! I see Pedigree as being very spotty with their auction results historically. Well anyway there's my rant on that situation for whatever it's worth. Hope you ended up with whatever you were aiming for?

What's up @MGsimba77! I was actually one of the top bidders on the ASM #101 CGC 9.8 OW-WP (CVA Exceptional), but I decided to pull out after 21K. I figured since I really desire a CGC 9.8 "White Page" copy to match all of my current ASM books in my Arachnophobia set, which ALL have Perfect White Pages along with being Perfectly Wrapped & Centered, I chose to let that one go for that price! It sold for $23,250, which is a new world record sale for ASM #101, and who knows how much it would have sold for if I chose to continue bidding? I know I was one of the top "3" bidders towards the end, but I feel great about my decision because I have a feeling I will eventually secure an even better copy with white pages one day! So congrats to the new owner! (thumbsu

However, I did WIN KILLER copies of:

ASM #149 CGC 9.8 WP (1st appearance of the Spider-Man clone + origin & "death" of the Jackal)

ASM #162 CGC 9.8 WP (1st appearance of Jigsaw (William Russo) & Doctor Marla Madison)

ASM #340 CGC 9.8 WP (1st appearance of the Femme Fatales)

ASM #347 CGC 9.8 WP (Classic Erik Larsen & Randy Emberlin Venom cover; homage to William Shakespeare's Hamlet)

ASM #379 CGC 9.8 WP (Early Venom & Carnage cover appearance)

So I feel super good about the above acquisitions! These copies will SHINE brightly in my collection as they are truly perfectly wrapped and centered! :) I will also eventually submit ALL of the books in the older generation holders to be reholdered into the new cases! They will present even better once that happens!

I do agree that several books in the Pedigree Auction were "spotty," but when you literally auction an entire ASM run from issue 17-700, it's kind of expected for some books to "fall through the cracks" because of several reasons. 1) Each book ends a few minutes after the previous one ends; if one is bidding on multiple books, that can become tedious. 2) Due to so many high-grade offerings in one auction, some collectors probably only targeted a few that they could afford...even though there were probably more books they would have bid on. 3) Pedigree Comics does NOT have a social media presence (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), so I believe that hurts the overall marketing and promotional aspect of Pedigree's auctions because there are lot of collectors and investors not being exposed to their offerings.

Thanks again for your message!

-Professor Pecora

Edited by Professor Pecora
Link to comment
44 minutes ago, Professor Pecora said:

I do agree that several books in the Pedigree Auction were "spotty," but when you literally auction an entire ASM run from issue 17-700, it's kind of expected for some books to "fall through the cracks" because of several reasons. 1) Each book ends a few minutes after the previous one ends; if one is bidding on multiple books, that can become tedious. 2) Due to so many high-grade offerings in one auction, some collectors probably only targeted a few that they could afford...even though there were probably more books they would have bid on. 3) Pedigree Comics does NOT have a social media presence (Instagram, Facebook, etc.), so I believe that hurts the overall marketing and promotional aspect of Pedigree's auctions by not exposing his auctions to a ton of other collectors and investors who are not familiar with his company.

Thanks again for your message!

-Professor Pecora

Yes I totally agree with those views! I had a feeling from the beginning there was too much clutter with all those ending at the same time or maybe several minutes apart. They needed to split them over 2 or 3 nights. I'd assume there's maybe some logistical reasons why they couldn't do that but it certainly would have accommodated. Add to that some of those 9.8 bronze copies were not the best wrapped. Some of those also had the marvel banner so close to the top edge the CCA stamp was half cropped. A few 9.8s come to mind that definitely underwhelmed were...ASM #s 55, 65, 39, 129...all could've done better especially that 55!

As for the 101, it's probably not the best time for that anyway. Whether you choose a 9.8 or 9.6 I think there's plenty of copies out there of both grades. It's not like you won't see another one listed within a couple weeks at any given time. 

Nice going on the others! Larsen drew Venom wonderfully at the beginning. Maybe even better than Mcfarlane? I'm thinking issues 332, 333 come to mind. His additions to the character were spot on. He drew him just right meaning not too big over the top but not too small. It wasn't until afterward where Larsen made him 10 feet tall with a mouth full of fangs and drooling everywhere lol!

I actually bought a 162 from you years ago on Ebay. I think you pointed me to it after the IH180. You had it listed as an auction with a high starting bid. Fortunately I was the only bidder but was still a good market price at the time if I recall. I still have it lol! Last but not least that 134 is breathless! Awesome score there man. Curious do you ever collect or sell yellow labels?

Link to comment
23 hours ago, MGsimba77 said:

Yes I totally agree with those views! I had a feeling from the beginning there was too much clutter with all those ending at the same time or maybe several minutes apart. They needed to split them over 2 or 3 nights. I'd assume there's maybe some logistical reasons why they couldn't do that but it certainly would have accommodated. Add to that some of those 9.8 bronze copies were not the best wrapped. Some of those also had the marvel banner so close to the top edge the CCA stamp was half cropped. A few 9.8s come to mind that definitely underwhelmed were...ASM #s 55, 65, 39, 129...all could've done better especially that 55!

As for the 101, it's probably not the best time for that anyway. Whether you choose a 9.8 or 9.6 I think there's plenty of copies out there of both grades. It's not like you won't see another one listed within a couple weeks at any given time. 

Nice going on the others! Larsen drew Venom wonderfully at the beginning. Maybe even better than Mcfarlane? I'm thinking issues 332, 333 come to mind. His additions to the character were spot on. He drew him just right meaning not too big over the top but not too small. It wasn't until afterward where Larsen made him 10 feet tall with a mouth full of fangs and drooling everywhere lol!

I actually bought a 162 from you years ago on Ebay. I think you pointed me to it after the IH180. You had it listed as an auction with a high starting bid. Fortunately I was the only bidder but was still a good market price at the time if I recall. I still have it lol! Last but not least that 134 is breathless! Awesome score there man. Curious do you ever collect or sell yellow labels?

You pointed out the ASM books that I also thought should have went higher. I was expecting ASM #39 CGC 9.8 WP to fetch over 30K and ASM #129 CGC 9.6 WP around 12K. I do think ASM #55 CGC 9.8 OW could have fetched a bit more, but not too bad at 10K for off-white pages.

Yeah, I will definitely acquire a perfectly wrapped and centered ASM #101 CGC 9.6 or 9.8 WP copy in the near future. I definitely prefer a 9.8, but for the right 9.6 WP copy...I'd go for it!

Yeah...my favorite Erik Larsen early Venom covers are ASM #346 and #347! I actually own two CGC 9.8 WP copies of ASM #346; both with custom CGC Labels: 1 with a Venom label and 1 with a Spider-Man label.

WOW!!! I do remember selling my one of my former copies of ASM #162 CGC 9.8 WP on eBay! Congrats! You see how much it has appreciated since then! I just had to come up with $1,605 to acquire another perfectly wrapped and centered white-paged copy! They are definitely hard to come by in that condition, so you have yourself an exceptional copy for sure!

Thanks on the ASM #134 CGC 9.8 WP! It truly is a pristine copy! It pairs up super nicely with my ASM #129 CGC 9.8 WP!

I used to own the 1st 50+ issues of Wolverine (1988) ALL in CGC SS 9.8 or higher! I sold all of those Signature Series copies to all of the top Wolverine (1988) collectors. As of 2021, I primarily collect high-grade Universal Blue Label ASM books, as I don't typically like Signature Series books because most of the time the signatures are placed on locations that in my opinion, deface the beautiful original artwork of the cover! However, every once in a while, if a book that I am looking to add to my collection surfaces as a CGC SS 9.8 WP copy AND if it has EXCELLENT signature placement, I may go for it!

With that said, I just added my "1st" Signature Series book to my ASM Arachnophobia collection earlier this week! You can check it out by clicking on the link below:

ASM #362 CGC SS 9.8 WP - Second Printing

-Professor Pecora

Edited by Professor Pecora
Link to comment

Congrats on your five wins in the Pedigree auction Professor! I figure the crown jewel in this auction had to be be the ASM 20 (first Scorpion ), CGC 9.8, WP Curator pedigree. Winning bid was 65,500!! Funny thing is, collectors expect the Scorpion  to be appearing in the next Spider-Man movie, but there is no verification of that. It must be nice to have that kind of spending money! Good luck with future attempts at acquiring ASM 101.

Link to comment
On 5/20/2021 at 10:24 PM, john ivic said:

Congrats on your five wins in the Pedigree auction Professor! I figure the crown jewel in this auction had to be be the ASM 20 (first Scorpion ), CGC 9.8, WP Curator pedigree. Winning bid was 65,500!! Funny thing is, collectors expect the Scorpion  to be appearing in the next Spider-Man movie, but there is no verification of that. It must be nice to have that kind of spending money! Good luck with future attempts at acquiring ASM 101.

Thank you so much @john ivic!

You are definitely correct about the crown jewel in the May 2021 Pedigree ASM Auction being the ASM #20 CGC 9.8 WP - Curator Pedigree! Yes indeed, there has been a ton of speculation surround the Scorpion's grand entrance into the MCU; so it has been heating up in all grades over the past year! We shall see in the near future what happens! I do believe it's only a matter of "when" and not "if," as the Scorpion is an integral villain in the "Spider-Verse," which Mac Gargan also eventually bonds with the Venom symbiote...so viewing this evolution of major characters on the silver screen one day should be quite interesting! :)

Yeah, I could have sold a few of my books to attain the ASM #20 CGC 9.8 WP - Curator Pedigree, which I might have seriously considered "IF" it was perfectly wrapped and centered, which it wasn't! It appeared that at least 3/16" of the front cover was wrapped on the back cover, which isn't attractive to me...especially in that top grade! I'd rather own a perfectly wrapped and centered CGC 9.4 WP copy! lol

The same would be true in regards to the ASM #101 CGC 9.8 OW-WP CVA Exceptional copy I pulled out of bidding after 21K, because for that price, I would need a "White Page" copy! In turn, if that copy had White Pages, I would have made sure I was the final bidder! Then, if I needed to sell a few of my books to help pay for it, I would have! However, that wasn't the case, so I calmly and confidentially stopped bidding. (thumbsu

Lastly, I also wish I had the type of spending money to drop 60-100K on a book! Maybe one day! lol

-Professor Pecora

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now