January 21, 2009 in City

Spider-Man comic with Obama draws customers

President collected Marvel title as child
By The Spokesman-Review
Colin Mulvany photo

Matt Reynolds, manager of The Comic Book Shop, loads a shelf up with fresh copies of the Amazing Spider-Man comic books that have President Barack Obama on the cover. The store at 1401 N Division received 150 of the books, now in their second printing, on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009.
(Full-size photo)

Marvel Comics wasted no time in offering its help to President Obama, and in the process, the comic book publisher may have created a new cult classic.

Its latest edition of the Amazing Spider-Man has Obama being saved from a lookalike imposter.

Obama is pictured on the cover, and the edition is headed to a third printing.

The original $3.99 edition with Obama on the cover is selling over the Web for as much as $150.

“There’s a hype and a mania so prices have skyrocketed on the first printing,” said Craig Barnett, owner of the Comic Book Shop at 1401 N. Division St. and at NorthTown and Spokane Valley Mall.

Barnett received a shipment Wednesday of 150 copies of the second printing of the Obama cover. It has a gold background to distinguish it from the first printing’s blue background. Another printing next week is expected to have an American flag on the background.

Copies were selling quickly, and Barnett put up a sign limiting sales to two per customer. He had filled a waiting list for about 50 of the books on Wednesday and expected to sell out his supply by the end of the day.

John Waite, owner of Merlyn’s Science Fiction-Fantasy Store, 19 W. Main Ave., said he sold 20 of the first printing and was waiting for a shipment of another 60. Meanwhile, he had 20 customers on a waiting list.

“It really turned into this giant thing overnight,” he said.

Marvel decided to feature Obama because the president has said he was a collector of Spider-Man as a child.

Waite said the fact the president collected comics “is great for a store like ours because he’s a comic book fan.”

The story starts when Spider-Man’s alter ego, Peter Parker, goes to the inauguration and spots two Obamas. He knows the real president will need his help. He springs into action and uses basketball to sleuth out the imposter, one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes.

According to Marvel.com, the story teams up “one of the world’s most recognizable political figures with the world’s greatest super hero as President Obama joins Spider-Man in ‘Spidey Meets the President!’”

Mike Prager can be reached at (509) 459-5454 or by e-mail at mikep@spokesman.com

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