Spidey By The Numbers

This chart shows the number of Spidey comics that a dedicate Spidey fan would buy during the first month of each year, from 1962 through to 2001.

Specifically, it counts the January dated issues of Spider-Man titles, including limited series, and spin-offs like Spidey 2099, Spider-Woman. Alternate covers are also counted.

You can see that through the 60's, there's basically just one title, with the occasional guest appearance, giant size, or other special.

During the 70's, there is a steady build up of titles (Spectacular, Marvel Team-Up, Spidey Super Stories, Spider-Woman) to a steady 4-5 titles per month. This level is pretty much maintained through the 80's and early 90's. MTU, Super Stories and Spider-Woman disappear, and are replaced by Web, Spider-Man, and such.

The big jump occurs in 1995, where January would see a dedicated Spidey fan coughing-up for 9 comic books, including a glut of limited series stories. From that point onwards, the Spidey Shopping list is pretty hefty, with 8-12 issues being the norm.

The peak is a whopping 17 issues, in January 1996, as you'll see in our Comics - 1996 index page.. That doesn't leave a lot of room in your average kid's allowance for many of those X-Men titles!

Is it any co-incidence that the glut in Spidey books overlaps with Marvel's financial woes? At a time when the Fox TV program was a roaring success, with merchandising spin-offs aplenty, they allowed their greed to glut the comic book market so much that they ran the risk of alienating their comic-book buying fans.