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Amazing Spider-Man #41 features the 1st appearance of the Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich)! When you think of the Amazing Spider-Man title and the various reasons that make it one of the most collected titles in all of comics, you can’t help but to think of the rogues’ gallery of Spider-Man, which is considered by many comic book connoisseurs to be the greatest of all time! With that being said, most of Spider-Man’s A-list super-villains 1st appeared within the classic Stan Lee/Steve Ditko run, which spanned from issues #1-#38, with the majority of them appearing within the first fifteen issues. However, after John Romita Sr. took over artistic duties beginning with issue #39, and just into his 3rd contribution to the title, he collaborated with writer Stan “The Man” Lee and created a new A-list Spider-Man villain-the riotous Rhino! Depicted on the front cover smashing through solid stone with his brutish force, the Rhino’s colossal size coupled with his speed and nearly indestructible rhinoceros suit, make him one of Spider-Man’s strongest opponents! Although the Rhino’s origin story isn’t disclosed until Amazing Spider-Man #43, his personal background is very compelling and deserves to be translated properly on the silver screen. For instance, on May 2, 2014, the Rhino (played by actor Paul Giamatti) made his debut appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, after viewing the film, I was personally disappointed because it was like they just casually threw the Rhino into the mix to make the movie more interesting, from having Spider-Man battle multiple villains. In my honest opinion, although I like the idea of watching Spider-Man defend humanity from more than 1 villain simultaneously, I am also a strong believer in sound character development that builds up intrigue in that particular character. Therefore, as a result of his initial portrayal in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I believe the majority of the viewers perceived the Rhino as an insignificant Spider-Man villain with little substance, which is far from the truth. In fact, according to the comic books, the original Rhino was created after two Russian scientists convinced Aleksei to undergo experimental chemical and gamma ray treatments, in which they fused a molecular rhinoceros adhesive to his body. In exchange for transforming him into the Rhino, Sytsevich agreed to work for the two scientists and their criminal spy network. This was a huge career advancement for Sytsevich, as he was previously a simple street thug executing dirty jobs for the Russian mafia and receiving minimal pay. However, after a series of events, the Rhino realized that he could work for himself and attacked the two scientists in their lab facility. The Rhino continued his life of crime and became a regular foe to Spider-Man, the Hulk and many others. He also became members of various crime organizations such as the Sinister Syndicate. With the aforementioned background information on Aleksei Sytsevich that only scratches the surface in regards to his complete origin; the original Rhino clearly was NOT represented in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 film. Instead, the newer Rhino (controlled within a mechanical suit) was featured in the movie, which according to the comics, gets destroyed fairly quickly in a devastating one-on-one battle with Aleksei Sytsevich—the original Rhino! Maybe one day we’ll get to see the original Rhino featured as a main villain in a future Amazing Spider-Man film? In the meantime, I’m very optimistic that prices for high-grade copies of Amazing Spider-Man #41 will continue to appreciate to new heights! Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $1,500. According to the CGC Census Report as of Tuesday, March 30, 2021, out of a total of 2,280 Universal copies graded, only a mere 20 copies were graded in 9.6! This ratio represents a ridiculous rarity factor of only 0.9% of the total population! Furthermore, there are only 3 copies graded higher in Universal 9.8, which are so elusive that only a single copy has surfaced for sale in the public market since January of 2006! Therefore, owning a CGC 9.6 white-paged copy is virtually the very best any high-grade ASM collector can attain! This particular copy is WORLD CLASS in every way! For a book published in October of 1966, the staples are perfectly inserted and the colors are super bright! Structurally, this copy is PERFECTLY WRAPPED & CENTERED, which is another RARE aesthetic quality that you don’t see often. I won this stunning original owner copy in Heritage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction #7229 in May of 2020! It’s from The Variety Store Collection! Here is what Heritage Auctions had to say about this immaculate original owner collection: “The Variety Store Collection originated in a small Midwest convenience store during the 1960s. The store’s owner, a second-generation immigrant, became interested in the comics that were circulating through his business. He was a lifelong coin collector who appreciated art, and that influenced him to begin collecting comics. He saved the nicest copies from his stock issues, many times multiple copies of the same issue, and stored them away, taking care to keep them in the excellent condition they are still in today. He did this until the mid-1970s when the store was downsized into a more manageable hardware-based business that no longer carried comics. In the early 1980s he began collecting again with his only grandson, and together they attempted to complete the different series runs. Time has passed now, as has the original owner, and his family has decided to offer this wonderful collection to others. Heritage is proud to present The Variety Store Collection for your consideration.” I must admit that I almost folded during the final bidding battle, because the price already went up a few thousand dollars beyond my initial budget! However, with the pristine condition and rarity factor for this Silver Age ASM KEY within reach, I held in there and placed a few more bids and ended up the winner! I’m definitely honored to be the proud new owner of this gem! Thank God for payment plans! Happy Collecting & Enjoy the Hunt! -Professor Pecora ASM #41 CGC 9.6 WP is featured in Professor Pecora's ASM CGC Registry Set entitled "Arachnophobia!" Please also FOLLOW on Instagram: ----> @professor_pecora
Amazing Spider-Man #16 features the 1st Daredevil crossover + the 2nd appearance of the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime! It’s September of 1964, and the legendary duo of Stan “The Man” Lee and Steve Ditko made history once again, by featuring Daredevil’s 1st crossover appearance into another title! This historical landmark issue can easily get overlooked due to the plethora of major 1st appearances featured in the previous fifteen issues, but make no mistake that ASM #16 is definitely a legendary issue within the iconic Amazing Spider-Man Silver Age run! For starters, the origin and 1st appearance of Daredevil (Matt Murdock) took place in April of 1964; merely five months prior to the release of ASM #16! You’ll notice that Daredevil is featured in a yellow suit, because he didn’t begin donning his modern red suit until April of 1965, when Daredevil #7 was published exactly one year later! It’s important to note that the Daredevil title was published bimonthly for the first 11 issues (1964-1965), and only started being published monthly with issue #12 in January of 1966. Therefore, this means that Amazing Spider-Man #16 features Daredevil’s “4th” overall appearance in the history of comics! This is MAJOR! We’re talking about two perennial Marvel superheroes facing off against each other for the very first time! In my personal opinion, ASM #16 is one of Steve Ditko’s most striking and appealing battle covers within his 38 issue run! For example, if you scan through the first fifteen issues and view the front covers, the most close-up depiction of Spider-Man is on ASM #10, which features the 1st appearance of the Big Man (Fred Foswell) and the Enforcers. However, Spider-Man is not in battle mode, but rather shown hanging on a web with the Enforcers standing in the background. In turn, ASM #16 presents the 1st issue in which we are presented with another close-up view of Spider-Man, but in the midst of battling Daredevil, who would later become one of Spider-Man’s greatest allies in fighting crime throughout NYC! Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were also marketing geniuses of their time! To commemorate Spider-Man and Daredevil’s future alliance and partnership, in May of 1966, Spider-Man was featured in his first Daredevil crossover in <i>Daredevil #16!</i> How cool is that! These early crossover appearances laid the foundation for what would later become a cohesive and multidimensional Marvel Universe! With the aforementioned information above, Amazing Spider-Man #16 is without a doubt a significant historical issue, and is definitely one of the top 25 most valuable ASM issues of the entire run! Overstreet 2020 NM- 9.2 value = $2,150. According to the CGC Census Report as of Tuesday, March 23, 2021, out of a total of 1,738 Universal copies graded, only a mere 15 copies were graded in 9.6! This ratio represents a ridiculous rarity factor of only 0.9% of the total population! Furthermore, there are only 7 copies graded higher in Universal 9.8, which are extremely elusive and rarely offered for public sale. Therefore, owning a CGC 9.6 white-paged copy is virtually the very best any high-grade ASM collector can attain! This stunning copy is WORLD CLASS in every way! For a book published in September of 1964, the vibrant colors radiate brightly as if the book was printed yesterday! It’s definitely RARE to find copies this old that are not only PERFECTLY WRAPPED & CENTERED, but also contain MILK WHITE PAGES! I am honestly surprised that this copy did not receive the 9.8 grade! The spine is super tight and I don’t really see any color breaks! The corners are razor sharp and it’s truly an immaculate specimen! I won this pristine copy in Comic Link’s Focused Auction in December of 2020! This book goes down in history as my very 1st Stan Lee/Steve Ditko ASM acquisition, and since I am also a huge Daredevil fan and absolutely LOVE the Daredevil Netflix TV Series (2015-2018), this was the perfect early ASM issue to add to the Professor Pecora Collection! I want to give a special shout-out to Spencer of the Comic Link Billing Department for his excellent customer service skills, and to Colin Becker for providing the beautiful professional scans! Happy Collecting & Enjoy the Hunt! -Professor Pecora ASM #16 CGC 9.6 WP is featured in Professor Pecora's ASM CGC Registry Set entitled "Arachnophobia!" Please FOLLOW my NEW Instagram (IG) Account----> @professor_pecora - LOTS of GREAT Content to come! :-)