Cool Comic Covers: The Spectacular Spider-Man 200

How has this feature been running for months without spotlighting a chromium cover? Let’s fix that right now:

Yes, you can see my reflection in the holofoil!

As you might expect, The Spectacular Spider-Man 200 released squarely in the 1990s. (1993, to be exact.) And while you might see its chromium (or maybe holochrome) spider web cover treatment and think to yourself, “What a gimmick,” that gimmick is certainly part of what got me to buy this book. I don’t recall exactly what back issue bin I was diving through when I found Spectacular 200. But I can tell you that while there were a bunch of Spider-Man books in that bin, only one had a cardstock, holographic cover.

So yes, this cover’s flashy chromium and “Hey, it’s an anniversary issue!” banner were what initially drew my eye. However, what secured my purchase, and what I still love most of all now, is the angularity in artist Sal Buscema’s renditions of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin (Harry Osborn in this issue). The Green Goblin’s ears look like they could be used as a lethal weapon. The ends of Peter’s feet could likely put your eye out. But this slightly-exaggerated style gives the cover a sense of character and kineticism that many “non-gimmick” covers lack – and with just two characters set against a solid background! This image of Spidey tussling with the Green Goblin has lived rent-free in my head ever since I picked up Spectacular 200, which is a testament to Buscema and colorist Bob Sharen’s skill at crafting iconic images (within what I’d imagine was a heck of a constraint).

(Want to check out more posts in the Cool Comic Covers series? If so, click here.)



  1. That is not only a fantastic cover, but the story inside is one of the best Spidey stories, too. It’s pretty tough to think of another ’90s gimmick cover issue with a better story than this one… Spectacular Spider-Man #189 (another JMDM/Sal Buscema joint) and Silver Surfer #50 are the other contenders I can think of off the top of my head.


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