Amazing Spider-Man #700
Steve Ditko Variant Cover
Marvel Comics, February 2013.
This is a variant of the last issue of the Amazing Spider-Man featuring the "death" of Peter Parker. The cover, by Steve Ditko, was unused art from the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15. This had been reprinted previously (e.g. within Marvel Tales # 137), however, this is the first time it had been used for a cover since it was created, 50 years before the production of ASM #700!
On Stan Lee's 90th birthday (December 28, 2012) around 99 copies of the variant issue were signed by Stan Lee and graded on the Signature Series programme, which resulted in 89 copies graded at 9.8 and 10 grading lower (these were submitted on two separate CGC invoices: the first with a number of other variants of #700; the second with 90 copies of the Ditko variant!). Normally this would not be particularly significant, however, CGC decided to give these comics special commemorative label text:-
Killing off Peter Parker was a controversial decision by Marvel and writer Dan Slott, leading to an interesting Twitter conversation between Lee and Slott on the eve of Stan's 90th birthday:
Dan Slott @DanSlott: Wishing an early Happy Birthday to my #Generalissimo, "The Man", the Myth, the Amazing: @TheRealStanLee! The Greatest Comic Scribe of All!
stan lee @TheRealStanLee: @DanSlott what a gift, some guys give a nice cigar, a watch, but no not you, I get a dead #PeterParker Thanks for the bday wishes my friend!
Dan Slott @DanSlott: @TheRealStanLee HA! Printing that out now. THAT'S goin' up on the fridge! I am NEVER taking that down!!!! :-D
Below: Peter Parker is seemingly dead within the body of Doc Ock:
The specially labelled CGC comics initially went for astronomical prices with some going for over $3,000 but prices eventually settled to below half that amount by mid June 2013. The variant edition, without the special signing label, is a lot cheaper but is still a pretty expensive purchase.