Original Spider-Man/Venom art sold for a staggering $3 million

We knew Venom was popular, but we didn’t know he was this one popular. Through USA today, we learned that a single page from a 1984 comic book has just sold for the staggering $3.36 million at a Heritage Auction. Yes, your eyes have not deceived you. We said three million. So why did Marvel’s? secret wars #8 for so many sales? One word: poison.

Now we’ve reported on certain comic books that sold in the millions before. Not so long ago, Spider-Man’s first appearance sold for a record amount. But this is just a single page from a comic which isn’t very important in the grand scheme of things. You can see the very expensive Venom art page here:

Mike Zeck's art for the first appearance of the black costume Spider-Man, from Secret Wars #8.
Heritage Auctions / Marvel Comics

Artist Mike Zeck’s artwork for page 25 of Marvel’s classic event series secret wars’The eighth issue features the first appearance of Spider-Man’s black suit. This costume, which was actually a living alien symbiote, would eventually bond with a certain reporter named Eddie Brock and become Venom. So yes, this proto-Venom artwork has historical significance. We all know how big of a movie star Venom is these days. Although that is much more popular than Spidey or Batman? debatable.

The previous record for an interior page from a comic was $657,250. This was for art from 1974 The Incredible Hulk #181, the very first appearance of Wolverine. Whoever bought this artwork is counting on Venom to be more popular than Wolverine in the long run. At a cost of nearly three million dollars. Whoever you are, hopefully you’ve just made a wise investment. Or maybe you’re just the world’s biggest fan of black Spidey costume and want the world to know how much. We understand it.

Cover art for Secret Wars issue 8, from 1984.
Marvel Comics

Not only was the identity of the buyer kept private, but also that of the seller. Some comic book industry professionals, like Gary Frank and Bryan Hitch, were hoping that artist Mike Zeck had just made himself rich. But unfortunately Zeck didn’t make millions from his own art. Via TwitterZeck said, “I’ll crush that hope…I’m not. If you see one of my original artworks up for auction, you can be 100% sure I’m not the seller.” Too bad it would have been nice to see an artist take advantage of a character’s pop-cultural popularity, we think it’s far too late for a long-suffering comic book artist to finally start making money.

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