BY MATT TUCK
Sales are booming for Amazing Spider-Man #544-545 after the No Way Home trailer drop, but there’s another ASM story arc you should be watching as well.
Why are collectors swarming eBay for ASM #544-545? These issues contained the game-changing story arc, “One More Day.” After fans saw the No Way Home trailer in which Peter asks Doctor Strange to reset the timeline, it appears the movie is somewhat inspired by the events of “One More Day,” which is causing a spike in values.
ONE MORE DAY
Before the events of ASM #544, Spider-Man famously unmasked during a press conference. As part of the original Civil War crossover, Peter Parker initially joined Iron Man’s side of the superhero registration debate. To show solidarity, he revealed his secret identity to the world on live television. The problem was that it painted Spider-Man’s writers into a corner. Without a secret identity, it pulled the character away from the core traits that fans loved, mainly balancing an ordinary personal life with being a superhero.
To remedy this, the creative team needed to retcon the events of Civil War and get Spider-Man back to his character roots without Peter and Mary Jane divorcing. Enter: Mephisto.
In the story, Aunt May is once again dying. Peter turned to Tony Stark, Doctor Strange, Reed Richards, and even Doctor Doom, the High Evolutionary, and Doctor Octopus for help, but no one had a solution. Having no alternative, Peter and Mary struck a deal with Marvel’s resident devil, Mephisto. He offers to save Aunt May in exchange for the Parkers’ relationship. Aunt May would live, but Peter and Mary Jane would never fall in love. Since he’s basically Satan, Mephisto rubs salt in the wound by disguising himself as the little girl who would have been their daughter.
ONE MOMENT IN TIME
Three years later, Marvel kept the ball rolling with another plan to play devils themselves by permanently separating Peter and MJ.
During “One More Day,” Mary Jane whispered something mysterious to Mephisto. In “One Moment in Time,” Peter discovers that Mary Jane’s whisper was the makings of a secret deal with Mephisto to convince Peter to trade his marriage to MJ in exchange for Aunt May’s life. Mary Jane knew Peter would never sacrifice their relationship, not even dear old Aunt May. MJ took matters into her own hands and made a pact with Mephisto to manipulate Spider-Man into undoing their marriage. Nothing says “I think we should see other people” like secretly bargaining with the devil.
By the end of the tale, Peter goes to Doctor Strange for help, asking him to cast a spell that would allow everyone to forget that Peter is Spider-Man except for himself and Mary Jane. Despite Spidey’s best efforts to put things back to the way they were, Mary Jane still breaks up with him. Maybe he should have taken the hint when Mary Jane was making backdoor deals with Satan.
NO WAY HOME
How does all this fit into Spider-Man: No Way Home? As many fans suspected from the start, it appears Marvel Studios is looking to adapt the events of these stories as the heart of No Way Home.
Longtime Spider-Man readers have been complaining from day one of Spider-Man: Homecoming that practically everyone in the MCU knows Spidey’s secret identity. Tony Stark, Happy Hogan, Aunt May, Ned, and Mary Jane all put the pieces together. Plus, it’s not like he was hiding it very well when he jumped out of the window of a school bus in heavy traffic during Infinity War or cavorting through Europe as Spider-Man sans suit in Far From Home.
At the end of FFH, Mysterio and J. Jonah Jameson out Peter as Spider-Man, setting the stage for NWH. As we see in the trailer, Peter is under considerable scrutiny now that his secret is public knowledge. That seemingly leads Spidey to Doctor Strange as he asks the Sorcerer Supreme to reset the timeline so that everyone forgets that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Then the Sinister Six shows up, but that’s a topic for another day.
Does that mean we will finally see Mephisto in the MCU? Who knows, but it has created plenty of discussion among the Marvel fans.
COLLECTING THE KEYS
As it stands, buyers have been grabbing up all the copies of “One More Day” they can find, and it is causing a spike in fair market value. While these don’t necessarily have long term potential, at least not at the elevated prices, they are hot at the moment.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #544
“One More Day” kicked off in the pages of ASM #544. Reportedly for years, Marvel’s publishers had wanted to erase Peter and Mary Jane’s marriage from existence in order to explore new Spider-Man stories and bring the hero back to his bachelor roots. The only way to do that was to split up Marvel’s first couple, and editor Joe Quesada hashed out the plan with “One More Day.”
When the leaked No Way Home trailer made the rounds yesterday, sales for this issue immediately reached a fever pitch. The 9.8 jumped to a record-breaking $100 on Monday after hovering in the $40 range since May.
The Mark Djurdjevic variant with a lone Spider-Man against a blank background has been the more popular seller, and the raw copies have been moving fast on eBay. It helps that the values are still close to $10.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #545
The second half of “One More Day,” this issue saw Mephisto make his deals with Peter and MJ that would save Aunt May’s life. The bigger picture was that it fulfilled Quesada’s dream of breaking up the Parkers and completely deleting their marriage from continuity.
This is the bigger seller among the two issues. Again, the Djurdjevic variants are getting the most attention. His Mephisto variant graded at a 9.8 sold for $199.99 earlier today. Meanwhile, a standard cover also graded at a 9.8 tied a record high with $175. If you are looking to save money, the raw copies are generally selling for $10-$20 for both covers.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #638
As Rich Johnston at Bleed Cool pointed out, the NWH trailer appears to have more in common with 2010’s “One Moment in Time” story arc than it does with “One More Day.” That should have collectors who are looking to jump on the OMD bandwagon keeping a watch on the OMIT issues. There have not been any graded sales since a 9.8 brought $68 in May, and the raw issues are still cheap buys for around $5-$10.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #641 CHRISTOPHER NEGATIVE SPACE VARIANT
While most of the standard covers for all four issues in the OMIT storyline are selling raw for about $10, the John Tyler Christopher negative space variant is stealing the thunder. Raw copies have been earning about $50 each after they had been selling for $10-$20 only yesterday. The only 9.8 graded copy was signed by the artist and sold today for $295.
Anytime a comic suddenly flares up the market without it being a first appearance of some fashion, the flames typically die down to their former levels. After waiting all year for a No Way Home trailer, my inclination is this is all due to the sudden trailer drop and movie hype. It is hard to imagine these values holding for too long.