Watch: Comics great John Romita Sr. on his favorite Spider-Man issues

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Jun 15, 2017, 10:17 PM EDT (Updated)

In the pantheon of artists who have worked on the Amazing Spider-Man, there is NO ONE whose legacy looms larger than John Romita Sr. His clean lines and muscular depiction of our wall-crawling hero turned him from the idiosyncratic outsider portrayed by Steve Ditko into Marvel's top-selling character ... and a global sensation.

For several generations of fans, Romita's spin on Spidey is the quintessential version. As Marvel's art director and Stan Lee's trusted right-hand man, Romita created not only hundreds of covers featuring the web-spinner but also many of the Spider-Man images seen on Marvel-branded merchandise of the 1970s and '80s.

Now, for the first time, a special exhibition will display much of Romita's iconic artwork, alongside his other Spider peers. "The Art of Spider-Man" is an exhibit taking place at the Society of Illustrators in New York City that opens June 9. It will feature what is believed to be the largest collection of original Spider-Man art ever displayed publicly. Along with many classic Romita pages, work by esteemed artists such as Steve Ditko, Todd McFarlane, Ross Andru, John Buscema, Gil Kane, Ron Frenz, Keith Pollard and John Sr.'s son John Romita Jr. will be showcased.

Syfy Wire contributing editor Mike Avila scored a rare interview with John Romita Sr. ahead of the exhibition's opening. The comics legend isn't much for talking up his own legacy, but he opened up to us about replacing Ditko on the title and the gradual change in art styles he brought to Marvel's flagship hero. Romita also reveals which issues of his landmark run on Amazing Spider-Man are his favorite.

We hope you enjoy this interview with one of the true giants of the comics biz!