The cover of Amazing Spider-Man #121 has just sold at Heritage Auctions for $286,800.
This 1973 issue by Gerry Conway and Gil Kane, with cover by John Romita Sr. is considered one of the most important comic books of the Bronze Age. As the Heritage Auctions blurb says, “‘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.” Last year, Marvel Studios founder and producer on all the Spider-Man films Avi Arad told Hero Complex, “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.”
Romita Sr. did (penciled or penciled & inked) approximately 100 Amazing Spider-Man covers in his initial run ranging from #39-169 (1966-1977, though his run on interior art stopped sooner).
By way of comparison, Romita Sr.’s cover for Amazing Spider-Man #49 went for $167,300 in 2011, his Amazing Spider-Man #43 cover sold for $101,700 in 2006, and his cover for Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 closed at $104,562 in 2012.
The $286,800 sale of this Amazing Spider-Man #121 cover puts it within the top 5 sales of pencil and ink American comic book cover art ever sold publicly. The highest price ever paid for an American comic book cover is the $675,250 sale of the Todd McFarlane cover of Amazing Spider-Man #328 in 2012.