Unmasked By Doctor Octopus: Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man #12 Splash Original Art Sells For $137,425

The opening title splash page from Amazing Spider-Man #12 (1964) drawn by Steve Ditko has just sold at Heritage Auctions for $137,425. While it is sometimes difficult to discern record prices in the original art market, where closely-held private transactions are common, this is one of the top 5 prices ever paid for a line-art interior page from an American comic book for a sale in a public venue — and the highest price paid for a Ditko interior page at public auction.

By way of comparison, Bleeding Cool told you about the all-time record for an interior page of original art when this Dark Knight Returns page by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson sold for $448,125 in 2011. A Jack Kirby Fantastic Four #55 interior page sold for $155,350 earlier this year, and the original art collecting world was stunned when the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #328 by Todd McFarlane sold for $675,250 this past July.

Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man #12 Splash Page 1 “Unmasked by Doctor Octopus” Original Art (Marvel, 1964). You could scarcely ask for a better tableau of all of the Spider-Man cast of characters, and this “twice-up” page displays well, to say the least. In this early Marvel classic, Peter has the 24-hour flu when Doctor Octopus captures Betty Brant in hopes of luring Spider-Man into battle. As all True Believers know, Doc Ock beats the under-the-weather web-head and unmasks him, but everyone thinks it is just Peter trying to be brave by impersonating Spidey. Once the wall-crawler has recovered, he battles through the wild animals Doc Ock has released from the zoo, to take on old six-arms himself. The whole blamed yarn is spectacularly symbolized in this montage by two of the House of Ideas’ most important architects, Stan “The Man” Lee and “Sturdy” Steve Ditko. Throw in fab shots of J. Jonah Jameson and the rest of the ASM cast, and this superb splash is nothing less than a swinging’ sixties sensation. ‘Nuff said. This Ditko delight has an image area of 12″ x 18″, and the art is in Excellent condition.

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