Classic Comic Cover Corner – Amazing Spider-Man #123

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Amazing Spider-Man #123 – August, 1973

Cover art by John Romita, Sr.

Amazing Spider-Man #123 – August, 1973
Amazing Spider-Man #123 – August, 1973

Have you watched the new Marvel/Netflix series “Jessica Jones” yet? I haven’t got to it myself, but I am excited to see positive reviews regarding the show’s co-star, Mike Colter, who is portraying the “Hero for Hire,” Luke Cage.

Mister Cage made his first comic book appearance in his own original book, Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June, 1972), which was Marvel Comics’ attempt to capitalize on the popular Blaxploitation films of the early seventies; but it didn’t take Cage long to blend into the greater Marvel universe as one of its hippest and most colorful characters.

Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 - June, 1972Heck, even young comic fan Nicolas Coppola was inspired by the “Hero for Hire” to use the stage name Nicolas Cage, based on Luke’s powerful moniker. (Fingers crossed for a Nicolas Cage cameo in Netfilx’s upcoming Luke Cage series.)

After a brief cameo in Fantastic Four #133 (April, 1973), Luke made a full appearance in Amazing Spider-Man #123 (August, 1973), going up against web-head at the behest of J. Jonah Jameson. But as Spidey had just buried the love of his life, Gwen Stacy, it was a bad day to get on the wall-crawler’s bad side.

Spider-Man and Luke duke it out a couple of times in this issue, but the two heroes eventually make a connection as Spidey remembers he also started his career in the superhero biz as a way to make money.

A unique tidbit regarding this book is that it is one of a handful of times that the DC Comics universe is referenced by a Marvel character, when Luke names Bruce Wayne as an example of heroes who have an unlimited supply of money.

Amazing Spider-Man #123 – August, 1973
Amazing Spider-Man #123 – August, 1973

Can you name other instances when the big two comic publishers subtly referenced each other? Let us know in the comments below!

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