Thanks to a partnership between Marvel Comics and the New York Public Library, patrons will be able to swipe up a limited edition library card featuring the image of Spider-Man himself. The special-edition card celebrates the 60th anniversary of the superhero’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and the launch of the Library’s Open House week. The Spider-Man card will be available at NYPL branches throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island beginning on Tuesday, October 11, 2022.
Images of Spider-Man—alongside Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, two other iconic web-slingers—will be featured on the card, as well as on banners outside the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library on 5th Avenue and Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Details about the card and related activities are available online at this LINK.
Plus, if you pick up your Spidey card at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library on 5th Avenue, you can visit a nearby location with a cameo appearance in a crucial scene from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. According to two The Marvel Comics Guide to New York City by Peter Sanderson, a scene in 2002’s Spider-Man, the first entry in the Tobey Maguire-headlined trilogy, was shot across the street from this branch of the NYPL. The scene in which Peter Parker’s uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) was shot and killed was filmed at this location.
Spider-Man Visits NYPL
It isn’t the only recent crossover between Marvel Comics and the NYPL, either. In October 2021, the NYPL indefinitely waived all late fines for returns. This real-life development was celebrated by a story in June 2022’s The Amazing Spider-Man #900, “Better Late Than Never” by Daniel Kibblesmith, David Lopez, Nathan Fairbairn, and Joe Caramagna. In this story, Peter takes advantage of the NYPL’s updated late fines policy, which removes barriers to accessing the Library for all New Yorkers, to return a whole sack full of books. However, he soon learns that while late fines may have been waived, fines for damage to books have not—and when you are checking out a book to figure out how to beat the Lizard or Doc Ock, there’s a high probability that those tomes are going to get a bit of battle damage!
“Reading is a superpower—one that provides everyone with the ability to learn, to be inspired, and understand the world more fully,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “At The New York Public Library we remain dedicated to providing books and resources that help New Yorkers reach new heights and working with Marvel on this exciting, limited-edition Spider-Man card reinforces the exceptional accomplishments people can achieve when they have access to information .” According to the NYPL website, there’s a “multitude of Marvel graphic novels, plus free programs, events, and more for all ages at your friendly neighborhood library.”
If you’re planning on swinging by one of your local NYPL branches to pick up one of the Spidey cards for yourself, you’ll want to make sure you mark 10/11/22 on your calendar because these limited edition cards will only be available while supplies last, and everyone from J. Jonah Jameson to Doctor Octopus will want to get their hands on one (and Doc Ock has a lot of hands)!