Comics : Database Notes

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Here you will find the explanation of the various symbols, categories and keywords used throughout this database:

Inclusion Guidelines

What is included in the Complete Spider-Man Comics Database? Here are our guidelines. Please read them well and understand them before mailing us about any "missing" appearances.

We will actively work to include all comics, books, colouring/activity books, and other forms of sequential art containing:

  • All appearances of Spider-Man (or Peter Parker or Ben Reilly). This includes guest appearances and cameo appearances, and appearances on the cover even if not actually shown inside the comic.
  • All appearances of 'alternate' forms of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. This includes Spidey 2099, Spider-Man 1602, and other alternate timelines such as What If, Earth X, Exiles, etc.
  • All appearances of Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, Venom, Carnage, Arana, Mary Jane, and/or May or Ben Parker in their own dedicated title or limited series.
  • Any "fake" Spider-Man is included - e.g. an animated robot, a burglar wearing a Spider-Man costume. The test is "does anybody, including the reader, believe at any time that the appearance is the real Spider-Man?" If so, the appearance accounts as a Spider-Man appearance.

We will include the following, as and where we come across them:

  • All U.S. Reprints of Spider-Man titles.
  • Non-U.S. Reprints of Spider-Man titles (but only if near-complete information is available for that title).
  • Spider-Man Articles and Previews.
  • Spider-Man Profiles in Marvel Handbooks and Guides.
  • Spider-Man References (e.g. Spider-Man shown on a T-Shirt inside a comic book story).
  • Spider-Man Parodies.
  • Guest or Cameo appearances of Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, Venom, Carnage, Arana, Mary Jane, and/or May or Ben Parker.

Specifically excluded from this database are the following types of items:

  1. Compilations/Reprints of guest or spin-off appearances.
  2. Notepads, drawing books or stationary that are essentially blank.
  3. Books in "Library Binding" format if a regular Hardback also exists.
  4. Loose-leaf colouring sheets (even if contained in a pouch or folder).
  5. Sticker pads with no additional material.
  6. Advertisements and Catalogs like Marvel Previews, CSN, etc.
  7. Signed cover variants.
  8. Remarked variants.
  9. Printing error and recalled variants.
  10. Newsstand variants.
  11. Online comics.

Variant Covers

The extra-ordinary explosion of artificially rare variant covers from 2010 onwards has severely tested the patience of many formerly "completist" collectors. Here at SpiderFan, we're not particularly keen to encourage this ridiculous proliferation of variant covers. However, we do feel some responsibility to track "all" Spider-Man comics. Accordingly, we have made the following compromise:

The SpiderFan comics database will include all Variant Covers for all issues with cover date up to and including June 2010 (including issues in any limited series which began on or before June 2010).

The SpiderFan comics database will include a greatly reduced set of Variant Covers for July 2010 and later, according to the following absolute rules:

  • After July 2010, we will include Variant Covers for "core" Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Universe 616) titles. This includes limited series featuring Spider-Man (Peter Parker, Universe 616) as a headline character.
  • After July 2010, we will also include Variant Covers where the "variant" is specifically a Spider-Man variant, e.g. the "Spider-Man in Motion" variants, and the "50 Years of Spider-Man" variants.
  • Core Spider-Man "Trivial Vanity" Variant Covers of any kind with cover date of July 2010 or later will be represented by a single "example" cover. A "Trivial Vanity" Variant is when multiple sponsored versions of a comic exist that differ from each other only by differing text, coloring and/or logos.
  • Venom, Spider-Woman, Spider-Girl, Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Ham titles will not considered "core titles" for the purpose of including variant covers in the database from July 2010 onwards.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man titles will be considered "core titles" for the purpose of including variant covers in the database – up to and including the 2014 Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man title. But subsequent Ultimate Universe Spider-Man titles will not have variant cover information.

Title Graphics Key

The title indexes use the following graphics icons to indicate the completeness of the available title information.

(All/Some) entries have cover scans.
(All/Some) entries have cover date information.
(All/Some) entries have artist/writer credit information.
(All/Some) entries have been reviewed.
Title is a reprint, reviews are not applicable.

Appearance Levels

Each entry in this database is graded into one of the following appearance levels, of increasing importance. If a comic qualifies for two categories, then the highest applicable catagory prevails.

  1. No Spider-Man: Spider-Man does not appear in this book/comic.
  2. Backup Only: Main story included because Spidey appears in a backup story.
  3. Review (No SM): We have reviewed this story, though Spidey does not appear.
  4. SM Reprint: Spider-Man appears in a reprint title.
  5. SM Reference: A reference only, e.g. "Spidey on T-Shirt", "Spider-Man Photo".
  6. SM Preview: A preview of an upcoming story, e.g. in Previews or Wizard.
  7. SM Article: A non-fiction article concerning the Spider-Man character.
  8. SM Parody: A satirical parody of Spider-Man.
  9. SM Spin-Off App: A Spider-Man spin-off character guest stars.
  10. SM Spin-Off: A Spider-Man spin-off character owns this title.
  11. SM Cover: Spider-Man appears only on the cover of this book/comic.
  12. SM Cameo: Spider-Man has a single-panel appearance.
  13. SM Guest: Spider-Man appears in a series not essentially his own.
  14. SM Title: A title predominantly concerned with Spider-Man.

Note: Many Spidey collectors do not collect "Spider-Man References", but we include those that we come across. We may add more references over time, though references are NOT included in our counts of "issues needing review".

Comic/Book Values

Values where shown are typical approximate 'Near Mint' values in U.S. Dollars. Comics grading and valuation is a specialist subject, and comics prices may vary greatly over time and for a number of other factors. No guarantee of accuracy, timeliness, or fitness for purpose is given or implied with these indicative values.

Our near mint value estimates are compiled from many sources. Pricing for current 'in-demand' titles is adapted with kind permission from ComicsPriceGuide.Com - a great on-line comic valuation web-site. Valuations for commonly available modern titles are typically given at or around cover price.

Other prices, particulary for odd-ball items like commercial giveaways, coloring books, etc. is based on information provided by specialist Spider-Man collectors on our staff, based on private trading prices, convention prices, and prices from auction sites such as eBay and Amazon.

In the final analysis, a comic is worth whatever somebody is prepared to pay. Dealers will typically sell at these listed values, adjusted for Comic Grade. Dealers will typically purchase for 20%-70% of sale value. Enjoy collecting, buy and sell with care.

Please do not contact us with questions on Grading and Valuation - we do not have the resources to help. Please do not contact us with requests to Buy Comics, the comics shown on this site are not for sale.

Review Ratings

One Web: This book sucked big time. Don't waste your cash unless you're a devoted completist. Probably the plot was stupid and the art was unimpressive.

Two Webs: This book was a bit lame, with very little to redeem itself. Probably a formula plot with dumb villains. If you're a casual Spidey buyer, you'll probably want to miss it.

Three Webs: Average stuff. No shame in receiving three webs - since it is often relative to the current quality of a title. A three web book is an average, competent issue.

Four Webs: A good comic book - intelligent plot with good art. Something noticibly better than the rest. Well worth the money to have a copy to read a couple of times.

Five Webs: Excellent stuff! One of the best books of the year. The kind of thing which can restore your faith in comic books!

SMURF Codes

A SMURF code is a Spider-Man Universe Reading Flow code. It is of the form of a pair of three digit numbers NNN.MMM which define the reading continuity typically relative to Amazing Spider-Man. Usually, Amazing Spider-Man receives the 500 sub-code. e.g. The SMURF code for ASM #207 is "207.500". The best-recommended reading continuity is then in numerical order of SMURF code.

In general, no two issues should have the same SMURF code, unless the two stories interweave to the point where they effectively take place at the same time. Note that the SMURF code for a backup story will be different than for the main story in an issue. Variant covers should inherit the same SMURF code as the standard cover. Issues which have no correlation to the "mainstream" Marvel Universe are not covered by this system.

We are currently in the process of setting up our SMURF code system, and we have a "work in progress" Spider-Man Continuity Guide. Please Mail Us if you are willing to help enter SMURF codes for issues which do not currently have them.