Saturday 5 April 2014

Spider-man in India

When the first Hollywood made Spider-man was released in May 2002 ,it broke all prior records in the box office of any Hollywood Movie in India and also establishing a fact that Spider-man in India is there to stay !
Does Spider-man have a history in India? Let's try to piece together this puzzle.
"Doordarshan" introduced India to Spider-man through it's hugely popular cartoon show airing on Saturday afternoons,but what about the original comic medium in which Spider-man was introduced to the world?
Every collector will agree that the most important comics in the life time of a character is it's first appearance and it's first issue of its own series.
In fact since Spider-man comics are the most collected comics around the world these books commands a record price over their heads.Going by that logic should this character débuts in a different market ,the characters origin are also published to make the new readers aware of the character's legacy which is independent of the time in which they were introduced in the new market.

India's comic culture and publication history being highly fragmented read as "multi-lingual" and been monopolized for a long time by only one player tracking the history of any character if put simply in words is an uphill task!

1.The first appearance of Spider-man in India is through Allied publishers Falcon comics which reprinted the Marvel Tales reprint of Amazing Fantasy #15 1984. After this they do not follow any numerical denomination like it's original series but in fact starts printing in self styled sequence.

From my own Collection-

Falcon Comics Spider-man Issue #1

Falcon Comics Spider-man Issue #2

Falcon Comics Spider-man Issue #3

Falcon Comics Spider-man Issue #4

2.I had my doubts over it, but research also brought me the fact that Spider-man 1 was printed in 1989 by a publisher called Modern classics,Modern classics was from the house of Chandamama and also had a line up of "Boyhood legends of Superman",but the Spider-man line fizzled out.
This print is also the only cover-to cover Indian reprint!

Collecting Spider-man #1 reprint from Modern Classics!

3.Spectrum Comics during 1986 the TOI group's new title printed a few Spider-man comics out of sequence and by 1987 they had also closed shops.

Collecting Spectrum's run of Spider-man

4.Diamond Comics a Delhi based publisher acquired the rights to publish Spider-man in 1994, These were digest format books using famous Amazing Spider-man books as covers.
 Diamond Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 reprint - 1st Print

Couldn't help noticing Spider-man's speech bubble which they dropped in their subsequent reprints!

Key Issue : Diamond Comics Spider-man #4 Reprints Marvel's The Amazing Spider-man #121 & #2 Reprints Marvel's ASM #122!

5.By far and large, Gotham Comics is the only publishing house which did justice to Spider-man in it's existence of less then a decade.They published most of the line-ups of Spider-man from Marvel Universe.They came in a collaboration with Stan-lee and Marvel to launch Spider-man India (with Pavitra Parulkar from Mumbai) which is a coupé in itself!
They also published Ultimate Spider-man line-up,Marvel adventures and Spider-man Manga series. Gotham is truly the golden period of Comics in India.

Collecting Gotham's line-up of various Spider-man Avatars like Ultimate Spider-man,Spider-man India,Spider-man Manga,Team Up!

6.Marvel Comics(marvel adventures) - Marvel finally took the plunge in the Indian market, sometime in 2010 and introduced Marvel adventures Spider-man series lasting for 30 odd issues. This was also Marvel's only direct foray!

Issue #1 of Marvel Adventures Spider-Man

Over the years not many publisher took the Indian market seriously, however the love of Bug eyed boy still lives on in India, as the old "Doordarshan" lit the fire way back and you are in it's web!


  1. Is spiderman 1 From Gotham comic india can be considered as rare and valuable?

  2. I got 3-4 spectrum comics of Spider Man published by TOI in 1986, bound together. I think it's treasure. ur say?