CGC Registry

IMJ's Spider-Man (1990) McFarlane Set

Set Type: Spider-Man (1990) McFarlane Run LEGACY
Owner: IMJ
Last Modified: 10/29/2021
Views: 219

Rank: 33
Score: 659
Leading by: 13
Points to Higher Rank: 13

Set Description:

I caught on to the McFarlane train very late as a kid. I remember a Summer day when a buddy of mine and I were going swimming and we stopped at a Convenient store for sunscreen and chips on the way. He picked up a Spider-Man #1 from the spinner rack. The book looked cool at a glance, but we were on to bigger and better things that day and I didn’t think much about Spider-Man for the rest of that year.

It wasn’t until months later where the book caught my interest again when McFarlane’s art was mentioned at the LCS I was going to. Like everyone else my age, I grew up loving “Spider-Man & His Amazing Friends,” but I had never read any Spidey in print. I wanted to get on board, but at that point every McFarlane book at that LCS was already priced for the wall display. At the time, five bucks a book was a big commitment and I hadn’t quite jumped into the back-issue world yet.

I left the LCS and meandered down the street to a grocery store where I found Spider-Man #10 on the spinner rack. Over the next few months I bought the rest of the “Perceptions” arc off of those newsstands until it had wrapped up.

McFarlane’s run on the title was simple enough – “Torment” was five issues of urban destruction against the Lizard and Calypso, “Masques” and “Perceptions” were the gratuitous Ghost Rider and Wolverine guest appearances of the era, much like the run-ending “Sabotage” book with X-Force. Only “Sub-City” with Morbius felt like a full-on Spider-Man story as opposed to Todd’s version of Marvel Team-Up. And it becomes apparent early on when reading the series that Todd was doing his best to channel a bit of a Frank Miller vibe with Spidey – for better or for worse. Usually for worse…...

But although the words on page carry the story with varying degrees of success, the art still shines as visual eyecandy featuring compelling figures and story-driven panel construction.

This Spider-Man series was a big moment for comics at the time. Arguably the most renowned comic artist of all-time was given full creative control of the biggest comic character by the biggest comic publisher on Earth. And the book was also given the biggest monthly cover price up until that point. McFarlane’s Spider-Man run is symbolic of 1990’s comic book culture in many of the best ways and a few of the worst as well. This series is not comprised of the best Spider-Man stories. But this series is an archetype of the era, beautifully illustrated and looked back on fondly by the kids who were there.

Building the run here as 9.8 slabs is a fun deep-dive back into the 90’s “Rockstar art” mania. But that deep-dive also comes with large prints runs that have translated into a lot of 9.8 slabs in the community. The current CGC census shows that issue 1 has been universally graded as a 9.8 3,288 times. Other issues, like #14 has seen 9.8’s show up 132 times – much less frequently but still enough of them out there to make building the run not too difficult. Which means that the only way to truly differentiate a set is to chase the harder-to-find, high-grade newsstands that survived convenient store spinner-racks, grocery store magazine shelves, and the Cheeto-cheeze-lined fingers from kids reading the books in the back of the car on the way home. And so, this set is not only being built for prestige as 9.8 Newsstands/UPC editions, but also because those newsstands compliment that 1990’s aesthetic as much as this series itself does. For better or worse.

Slot DescriptionCert #GradeScore
Spider-Man 1 No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Gold Edition No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Newsstand Edition No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Platinum Edition No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Poly-Bagged Edition 2081179019 9.8100 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Poly-Bagged Silver Edition No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 Silver Edition 2081179021 9.865 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 1 UPC Gold Edition No Comic    Shop eBay
Spider-Man 2 3694709015 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 3 3838742006 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 4 3720300012 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 5 2068950006 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 6 3712231004 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 7 3798286013 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 8 3697606008 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 9 3838742012 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 10 3712231005 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 11 3712881014 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 12 2564477011 9.839 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 13 3729705005 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 14 2057299005 9.835 Shop eBay
Spider-Man 16 3948303021 9.835 Shop eBay

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