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If you ever wondered where Spider-man’s black costume first appeared, you’ve come to the right place! Here are the brief but historic pages from the mind of Jim Shooter and the drawing board of Mike Zeck in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8.

This is all there is to it: a little black ball pops out of a machine on some other planet. No one knew until later it was a hideous alien symbiote! Sucking on Spidey’s will to live! Trying to take him over! Eventually, separated from Spider-man, the alien symbiote would bond with Eddie Brock to formally become Venom.

We should point out that this was the first appearance of the black suit in terms of Spidey’s life, but not the first time it saw print.

The black suit first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #252, The Spectacular Spider-Man #90, and Marvel Team-Up #141, which all came out in May, 1984. Secret Wars #8 came out in December, 1984, featuring the origin of the alien symbiote. Purists will go one step farther and add that Marvel Age #12 came out a full two months before ASM #252 and featured sketches of Spidey’s new black costume. That preview of Secret Wars probably deserves the “first appearance” tag as much as any of these stories. Despite their historical significance, all but ASM #252 can be had in a satisfying Fine or Very Fine condition for about the price of a new book these days.

Collector’s Guide:
– From Secret Wars #8; Marvel, 1984.
– Reprinted in the Secret Wars TPB.