Investing in Villains!

Hey everyone! A.J. Diesel is back and I’ve got t-shirts for everyone! It’s been a great last month or so, and although after the wedding and honeymoon, I’m nearly 20k in the hole, I’ve still managed to get my hands on some fine books. I was able to use a small portion of my gift money to snag a copy of Fantastic Four #48 (first appearance of the Silver Surfer). The book that I believe EVERY Marvel comic collector should be trying to scoop. I understand it’s already a steep book, but once an announcement is made, or trailer drops with him in it…curtains.

Moving on the point of this article. Spider-Man is my favorite comic book character (no disrespect to The Sentry), and two years ago I wrote a piece on diversity in comics the week before the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming. This particular piece will have absolutely nothing to do with that…with the exception of the fact that I called a Hydro-Man cinematic appearance, and what do you know???

A couple weeks ago a buddy of mine and I were looking through each other’s boxes of comics, and I saw that he had an Avenging Spider-Man #9 (first appearance of Ms. Marvel as Captain Marvel). I didn’t have this book, so I proposed a trade. I love trading when a deal can be advantageous for both parties. Not being a DC comic’s guy, I offered my F+ copy of The Flash #114 (NM value of $1,150). My buddy also eyed up a copy of Amazing Spider-Man #500; a great J. Scott Campbell villain’s cover. I accepted the two for one deal, and we were both happy.

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First Ms. Marvel as Captain Marvel

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Second Captain Cold

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The overall gist of this particular article


I got to thinking about Spider-Man: Far From Home, and how Spideys rogues gallery rivals Batmans in my opinion. So I began pondering about investment worthy villains. By investment, I mean books that you can both buy cheap and have room to grow, or books you can buy raw in high grade, get slabbed, and cash in. So yes, The Joker, Doctor Doom, and now Thanos have left the building of this argument…as well as many other early Batman villains, and Spider-Man villains for that matter. It just has seemed more and more apparent that villains are more of a turn and burn, then a long term hold (sans some obvious exceptions). Hell, even General Zods first appearance, arguably Superman’s second biggest foe doesn’t merit big money. Is this because there are hardly any villains in comics anymore? I’m talking to you Venom and Harley Quinn.

But for the sake of this article and in anticipation of the new Spidey flick, I’ll be covering the rogues of Spider-Man, more specifically, the villains whom appear on ASM #500. And just an FYI, Carnage, the character everyone is losing their mind over, didn’t even make the cover…but Morlun did…take that in and realize the ebbs and flows of comic books. Here’s the breakdown;

Chameleon– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #1. Unattainable for the average buyer, and it’s certainly not because of the Chameleon appearance.

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First Chameleon and first Spider-Man titled comic book. Mild Significance.


Doctor Octopus– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #3 is one of the wall crawler’s biggest baddies. He made an appearance in the heavily appreciated Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2. I had the opportunity to get a detached copy of this book, but I can’t have those in my collection. Doc Ock is a tier 1 Spider-Man villain. This will always be a hard book to get your hands on.

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First Doctor Octopus


Sandman– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #4, this is my earliest ASM key. Sandman made in appearance in the god awful Spider-Man 3 film, and looks to appear again (as a ruse IMO) in the upcoming Far From Home. This follows the trend of early Spider-Man villains are tough to get a hold of.

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First Sandman


The Lizard– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #6, he was already butchered with CGI in The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield, who portrayed Spidey as much more comparable to Ultimate Spider-Man then the 1960’s Peter. Attainable, but will cost you.

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First Lizard


Electro– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #9, he has one of my favorite costume designs ever! It’s a classic Spider-Man cover, but with the butchering and overacting of Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, his book dropped quite a bit…but even that drop, is expensive for most buyers.

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First Electro


Mysterio– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #13. The man of the hour, way too sweet to be sour! He’s so hot right now. Hansel hot. But aside from his role in the Old Man Logan story arch, he’s been virtually useless in the grand scheme. Now is certainly not the time to buy, as he is the big bad in Far From Home.

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First Mysterio


Green Goblin– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #14, as far as Spider villains are concerned, he’s the one you should be after. Even with two questionable big screen portrayals, they’ll eventually get it right. His covers are great (ASM #39 and #40 especially), and Norman Osborn (although appears later as such) is a huge player in modern Marvel. If you can find it for a couple hundred…buy it.


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First Green Goblin


Kraven– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #15, I’ve been high on this guy for years. He’s a great cinematic antagonist if done correctly, and can still be purchased at a fair price ($125-$175). Fair prices require hunting of course, both cons and online, although I prefer the former. A very reliable source on the inside has been telling me there are talks of him being in Venom 3? I didn’t see the first Venom…I’d be shocked if it made it to a threequel. I still strongly urge you to invest in Kraven. Bad*** character with one of the coolest story arcs in the Spider-Verse.

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First Kraven


Scorpion– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #20, he’s a good backup dancer. Scorpion is always a bridesmaid never a bride, like many of the rogue gallery listed here. Gargon even becomes Venom briefly. His brief appearance in Homecoming, was a nice Easter egg, and if my sources serve me correctly, he will be a player in a future Sinister Six film. Now is a good time to buy.

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First Scorpion

Rhino– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #41, he’s a character that always felt out of place to me. Any character that is a co-villain to Spider-Man and the Hulk just doesn’t make much sense. His appearance in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was one of the most cringe worthy comic book roles in recent memory.

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First Rhino


Prowler– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #78, I think this is a great investment book. Buy a nice raw copy, and get that thing slabbed. Prowler being in the animated movie, and his ties to Miles are great. He has MEGA potential.

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First Prowler


Morbius– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man #101, he’s a cool character. Marvel has already dove into cosmic and magic, why not monsters next? Oh yeah…because Jared Leto is playing him in a solo movie being developed by Sony….ughhh, wait for the movie to come out. His book will drop drastically, and scoop it then.

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First Morbius


Jackal– First appearing in Spider-Man #129…the first appearance of the Punisher. Sorry Jackal, no love.

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First Punisher…and Jackal


Hydro-Man– First appearing in Spider-Man #212, in my article two years ago I stated he would be a good one off character. His books haven’t sky rocketed, but they have seen a nice increase. Buying raw a few years back and getting a high grade would have been a good idea, but don’t worry, this book will cool off quickly.

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First Hydro-Man


Venom– First appearing in…I don’t know? Web of Spider-Man? Amazing Spider-Man #298 and #299? Obviously his true market first appearance being ASM #300. The model cover swipe book. He’s a modern top tier Marvel. There may be a lot of them out there, but the supply will never meet the demand for a character that has reached his heights.

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First Venom


Morlun– First appearing in Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #30. Umm he was project by Straczynski, and I guess with all of these new Spider-characters out, it might be cool to see the Inheritors traveling through dimensions and time collecting heads. Lacks a big following, this issue does in fact have a large print run. Right now it can be bought for cheap. If movie news is ever mentioned, it could jump to $30. Speculative buy right here!

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First Morlun


A special congratulations to villains of the likes of Carnage, Kingpin, Shocker, Tombstone, Hobgoblin, and Vulture. Your cultural and comic book significance in December of 2003, couldn’t get you on a milestone issue, which featured 16 villains. You all should be ashamed of yourselves.


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What it feels like to be an established villain, but still not make the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #500


Thanks for stopping by the City Supreme. If you read The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #7, you'll see that Mr. Diesel himself had a letter to the editor published! A small victory in an otherwise meaningless conquest. I hope everyone  goes out and helps Avengers: Endgame beat Pocahontas Reloaded (although Flight of Passage in the Animal Kingdom was next level). Also get to the theaters next week and enjoy the finale to the epic that is “The Infinity Saga.”


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  • Avatar

    Very nice roll-up and presentation of the firsts for many of SM’s top villains. You brought-up something that I have been hoping to get some advice on for the past several months, and that is comic book trading.

    I have a current collection that comprises over 1,600 Venom, Carnage, and Spider-Man black suit/symbiote comic appearances. While eBay selling figures (based on raw, ungraded copies) over the past 3 years estimate this collection to be worth around $15,000, I understand that a trade or bulk sale would come well below comparable value for this collection. I’ve maintained a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to note various factors (e.g. whether the issue is a variant, condition, etc.), so that should help those interested in making a decision, but I don’t really know where to go to solicit a trade.

    What would you (or anyone for that matter) suggest?

    • A. J. Diesel

      Trading can be tough because someone is always trying to get the better of someone else. First thing first is you have to be realistic about the collection. Book value isn’t a true value, it’s all about current market value.

      I’d post them in CL that you have a collection to trade and see if anyone is interested. Otherwise I believe CBSI has another site where selling and trading is acceptable, but I’m not 100%

      • Avatar

        Thank-you so much for the advice and taking the time to reply. It is very much appreciated. As I’m fairly new to the website, I just have two questions…what is CL and which is the other website that you are referring to?

        • A. J. Diesel

          Craigslist or you can shoot me an email directly my friend.

          • Avatar

            Sure! Let’s move forward and leave the replies more directly related to the main gist of the article. How can I send an email?

          • Avatar

            Hey A. J.,
            Just following-up. Let me know how I can reach out to you and I’ll send an email with a list shortly thereafter.

  • Avatar

    Ben C did an article years ago that had marvel and dc comics tier I and II books to purchase from the silver age. I wish that list would be updated with the additional books from the bronze age characters. This was an awesome article in that it focuses on only a particle group that is more specific to a group of characters. Very insightful.

    • A. J. Diesel

      Thanks for the kind words. I’ve been developing Marvel Tier characters for sometime now. I’m going to reach out to the team and see what their thoughts are. Appreciate you reading!

  • accustomfigures

    Nice article, and all my favorites. It’s interesting how little of his rogues have been used juxtaposed Batman’s. So much more color and flavor with Spidey. Oh, and whomever is selling first Kraven and Green Goblin’s for $200, send them my way. I’ll take them all day long at that price. An ASM14 CGC 2.0 sold for $700, and several raw Fine- #15’s sold in the $400+ range last week alone.

  • natethegreat80

    I think ASM 15 has the biggest potential here. Kraven is the best Spidey villain that hasn’t been used yet in a movie. I can see a classic story like “Kraven’s Last Hunt” if done right would be really bad ass over a full movie or multiple films. I ended up snagging a VG copy for $130 last year.

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