Sometimes a classic comic book cover is just a cover. Sometimes it’s a classic cover not only because of the awesome and effective cover art but because of the story inside.
The 39th issue of “The Amazing Spider-Man” was a classic inside and out.
Back in the day, Marvel knew how to play the long game. The Green Goblin had been introduced in the pages of the Spidey comic in issue 14 in July 1964. But it wasn’t until issue 39, with a cover date of August 1966, that the true identity of the villain was revealed.
At the end of this comic, which saw the Goblin not only best a flu-weakened Spider-Man, the Goblin himself was revealed as Norman Osborn, businessman and father of Peter Parker’s friend, Harry.
Just look at that cover, by John Romita. If anything, it might have promised even more than the comic inside delivered. If that’s possible.
Comic book urban legend says writer and co-creator Stan Lee’s decision to make Osborn the Goblin so offended artist and co-creator Steve Ditko that Ditko wanted out of the series. At any rate, Romita completed the issue and gave us this classic cover.