It’s been a good couple of years for original art sales, but the sale of the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #121 is big even by the lofty standards of the time. The Heritage auction blurb nails down the importance of this 1973 issue by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane, with cover by John Romita Sr.: “Some say the death of Gwen Stacy marked the end of the Silver Age of comics. ‘This was the end of innocence for comics… it remains one of the most potent stories ever published,’ was Arnold Blumberg’s comment in Comic Book Marketplace.”
Combine that with the high regard that art collectors have for John Romita Spider-Man covers in general, and the potential for some very well-heeled bidders, and you’ve got the makings of a spirited auction.
Back in June, Avi Arad, founder of Marvel Studios and a producer on all the Spider-Man films, told Hero Complex that this was his favorite Spider-Man cover:
My favorite cover is “The Night Gwen Stacy Died.” This is a classic story where our hero is doing all the right things, willing to jeopardize himself, and give his life for justice, yet, inevitably, creates a complication and danger to people around him. He’s just a boy. He cannot anticipate all the dangers that come with the territory. Peter and Spider-Man have to learn that the hard way. The loss of the most beloved girl in his life will take away his ability to become comfortable with relationships, always thinking about the death of Uncle Ben and the night Gwen Stacy died.
Bidding on the Heritage auction of the cover of Amazing Spider-Man #121 by John Romita Sr. begins on February 2, and the live auction takes place on February 21.