Best of 2022 | 1980s Spider-Man comic book page breaks auction record at US$3.3m

After more than two years of pandemic lull, the auction industry is bouncing back from the crisis to pre-pandemic levels – if not better. In fact, 2022 has been a stellar auction year where numerous records were set. As we ring in the new year, let's look back on the "best of 2022" in the auction world.

In December 2021, the Marvel movie Spider-Man: No Way Home was released and became the highest-grossing film of the year. Within two weeks of its release, the Marvel film has earned over US$1.6 billion  at the box office worldwide, making it the first film to exceed the billion-dollar mark during the pandemic.

This enthusiasm for Spider-Man continued at the beginning of last year, when a page from the 1984 Marvel comics sold for a record-breaking US$3.3 million at Heritage Auctions, United States. It became the most expensive comic page ever sold at auction, depicting a scene of Spider-Man wearing a black suit for the first time.

Marvel Comics' Secret Wars Issue 8 features Spider-Man in a black suit

Spider-Man: No Way Home was the highest-grossing movie of 2021

Mike Zeck and Others | Marvel Secret Wars Issue 8, Page 25
Created in 1984
Auction House: Heritage Auctions
Auction Date: 13 January 2022
Sold: US$3,360,000

Bidding for the comic book page started at US$330,000. After more than 10 minutes of intense bidding, it was sold at US$3.3 million – more than 10 times the starting price and became the most expensive page of comic art. 

This illustration originates from Page 25 of the 1984 Marvel Comics Secret Wars Issue 8. Entitled Invasion, it is part of Marvel's Super Heroes Secret Wars 12-issue comic book series. The story was written by Jim Shooter, with the artwork by Mike Zeck and inks by John Beaty, Jack Abel and Mike Esporito.

It depicts superheroes Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Mister Fantastic and Professor X amongst other Marvel characters fighting against villains.

The symbiote once attached to Spider-Man's suit led to the birth of Venom

The red and blue suit worn by Spider-Man was damaged during the battle. In a laboratory on an alien world, he discovered a machine that can be used to repair battle suits. Unexpectedly, an alien symbiote in the shape of a black ball emerged from the machine. After the machine was activated, the symbiote was attached to Spider-Man's suit, changing it from red and blue to black and white.

After returning to Earth, Spider-Man discovered that the symbiote attached to his new suit tried to manipulate him during his sleep. With the assistance of Mister Fantastic, the symbiote was driven away.

As the symbiote left Spider-Man, it searched for another host. In the end, it ended up on journalist, Eddie Brock, which led to the birth of Venom.