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Rare and valuable piece of superhero history on sale at Moncton comic book store

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There’s a piece of superhero history inside a downtown Moncton comic book store that many may not be aware of.

The Amazing Fantasy #15 features the first-ever appearance of Spider-Man inside its covers.

The Comic Hunter employee Shelley Lewis said it’s very cool to have it inside the St. George Street shop.

“Everybody knows who Spider-Man is, even if you’re not into comic books,” said Lewis.

Store manager Rémi Vienneau LeClair said the Marvel comic was released in the summer of 1962 and was written by the legendary Stan Lee.

“At the time Marvel would have been trying out new things. They had books that were actually like dumping grounds for new characters to see what stuck and what didn’t,” said Vienneau LeClair. “Spider-Man had a ten-page story in that one, or eleven page I think. He stuck and in 1963 he got his own book and it’s been the most popular character in comics since.”

A copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 in mint condition sold for $3.6 million a few years ago, a far cry from the 12 cents it cost in August, 1962.

The edition at the Comic Hunter is listed for $60,000.

Comic book collector Brad MacDonald called it the “holy grail” of comics, saying it’s extremely rare and only a few other compare to it in value.

“Action Comics #1, your first Superman, or your Detective Comics, I think it’s #27 which is your first Batman. Then you have this. There’s three grails of comic books and those are the three,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald has been collecting for 30 years and owns around 30,000 comic books.

It’s the only one he knows of in Atlantic Canada and he thinks it will go up in value, but he’s probably not going to be buying it anytime soon.

“Ah, no. That’s a lot of money,” laughed MacDonald.

The Comic Hunter bought it from a collector a few years ago and Vienneau LeClair said he likes having it around.

“It draws up interest. It’s a cool thing to have in the store. At some point when someone buys it we’ll be happy because it will pay some bills, but it takes the right person,” said Vienneau LeClair.

Spider-Man comics are one of the stores top sellers and the lovable teenaged crime fighter remains one of the most popular superheroes of all time.

“I think it’s just because he’s your every day kind of guy. He’s a nerdy guy. He’s not someone who stands out that gets to be special,” said Lewis. “The other thing is he gets to wear a full mask, so anybody can pretend to be Spider-Man.”

But not everyone can come see the rare gem for themselves.

Vienneau LeClair said interested buyers who are considering purchasing the piece of history should call the store in advance if they want to see it.

“It’s locked up,” said Vienneau LeClair. “If someone is serious we can book an appointment and I’ll take it out of storage.”

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