Amazing Spider-Man #149 was one of the first Marvel comic books that I picked up off of the newsstand. At that young age, I preferred solo character comics like Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, and Magnus, Robot Fighter over team books (Fantastic Four and Justice League of America were popular among some of my friends) because a single character was easier to get to know and understand — or so I thought at the time. Because the legacy of this comic book would ultimately become incredibly complex, as its ending (spoiler alert: it is unclear whether the real Spider-Man or his clone survives at the climax of the issue) would be used as the basis for one of the most controversial Spider-Man stories ever — the 1994-1996 Clone Saga. Amazing Spider-Man #149 has been a popular key ever since, and there’s an Amazing Spider-Man #149 (Marvel, 1975) CGC NM 9.4 White pages along with many other issues of Amazing Spider-Man available at the 2021 October 17-18 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122142 at Heritage Auctions.
Amazing Spider-Man writer Gerry Conway would later explain that the original clone issues spun out of Stan Lee’s desire to bring back Gwen Stacy, who had been killed in Amazing Spider-Man #121. “Stan was doing appearances at colleges and was being pummeled by some fans for the death of Gwen Stacy. Instead of saying, ‘This is just a story, we’re happy with how it turned out,’ he said, ‘Oh, no, it was a terrible mistake, I wasn’t in the room when they decided what they were doing, I was out of town on vacation,’ and so on. So he told us we had to bring her back… It wasn’t a creative decision per se, as it was a fiat handed down by Stan Lee.”
Conway would go on to explain that the Spider-Man clone was thus taking this idea to its absurd conclusion, “The idea there was that if we have Gwen Stacy brought back as a clone, how can I up the stakes when I get rid of her? When I write her out of the book, what can I do to make that really effective and to punctuate it, to bring it to the next level? And I thought, if we can clone Gwen, we can certainly clone Peter.”
I’m going to have to pull out my copies of the original saga and re-read them, because I kind of love Conway’s inside baseball explanation of how it all came about. In the meantime, you too can get a copy of the final and most important issue of that saga in Amazing Spider-Man #149 (Marvel, 1975) CGC NM 9.4 White pages along with many other issues of Amazing Spider-Man available at the 2021 October 17-18 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122142 at Heritage Auctions.
The Amazing Spider-Man #149 (Marvel, 1975) CGC NM 9.4 White pages. Origin and “death” of the Jackal. First appearance of the Spider-Man clone. Gwen Stacy clone appearance. Gil Kane cover. Ross Andru art. Overstreet 2021 NM- 9.2 value = $225. CGC census 10/21: 189 in 9.4, 139 higher.