The Mystery behind the Cover of Amazing Fantasy #15

Spider-Man just celebrated his 55th anniversary! On August 5th, 1962 Amazing Fantasy #15 was published. If you somehow don’t know, Amazing Fantasy #15 was the first appearance of Spider-Man! The story was drawn and inked by Steve Ditko.

The cover we know was not the first. Steve Ditko drew a cover but Stan Lee told Jack Kirby to draw a new one. The cover that was published was inked by Steve Ditko but drawn by Jack Kirby.

This is Steve Ditko’s original cover:

This is Kirby’s cover that we all know:

Ditko’s cover looks cool, with Spider-Man carrying a bad guy above the ground. You see people on the ground below and even someone in an open window looking right at Spider-Man. They actually used this cover as a variant for Amazing Spider-Man #700.

Kirby’s cover is bolder and makes Spider-Man look stronger with more muscles. He also looks higher up in Kirby’s cover than in Ditko’s. There aren’t as many people in the picture, either.

One thing I noticed is that Kirby’s cover looks a lot like Action Comics #7. The cover of Action Comics #7 was drawn by Joe Shuster, one of the co-creators of Superman. Action Comics #7 is bold like Kirby’s cover, shows Superman carrying a bad guy in green on the left, just like Kirby’s cover and Superman looks really high up and there aren’t many people in it, just like in Kirby’s cover.

Action Comics #7 went on sale on October 25, 1938. In 1938, Kirby was working in newspaper comic strips. He started in 1936 at the Lincoln Newspaper Syndicate and worked there until 1939. At the same time, he worked at the studio of Will Eisner and Jerry Iger. So Jack Kirby was seriously working in comics when Action Comics #7 was released. He probably would have read it because Superman was new and superheroes were just getting started.

Could Kirby have gotten his inspiration for Amazing Fantasy #15 from Action Comics #7? My opinion is that he did. What do you think?

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10 comments on “The Mystery behind the Cover of Amazing Fantasy #15”

  1. Ed Catto

    Thanks, Carl! You are becoming quite the comics history detective!

  2. Jack

    Who drew that version of AF 15? It does not look like the original. The face?

  3. David

    I like the Steve Ditko’s more. I don’t like the webs under Spider-Man’s armpits in the Jack Kirby’s.

  4. Adam Spector

    More likely a reworking of Detective Comics #27 the first appearance of Batman.

  5. Sal Oneiros

    The image shown of the “published” AMAZING FANTASY #15 is not the actual cover penciled by Kirby and inked by Ditko. It’s a copy by someone else. Compare it to another image of AMAZING FANTASY #15 and the difference is obvious.

  6. Quinn

    I’m more of a Miraculous Ladybug fan not at all marvel


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