Abomination: Abominable Keys for a Returning Hulk Villain

by Matt Tuck

070121A-300x157 Abomination: Abominable Keys for a Returning Hulk VillainAbomination is proving to be the star of the latest Shang-Chi trailer, and his keys are feeling the magic of the Ten Rings. 

It’s been over a decade since Abomination has been on a movie screen. The last time we saw Emil Blonsky, he had taken a beating in 2008’s Incredible Hulk. Since then, Hulk went on to even greater heights with the Avengers, while Abomination was written off as a stepping stone villain.

Then came the She-Hulk news that Tim Roth would reprise his role as Blonsky/Abomination for the Disney+ show. While that was intriguing, it didn’t exactly set the world on fire. That didn’t happen until last week when Abomination made an unexpected cameo in the most recent trailer for Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

In the footage, Abomination appears to be having a cage fight with Doctor Strange’s Wong. That has taken the MCU fandom by storm, and it has made the gamma villain’s keys red hot in the process. 

tales_to_astonish_90-199x300 Abomination: Abominable Keys for a Returning Hulk VillainTALES TO ASTONISH #90

At the top of the Abomination collecting list is his debut in Tales to Astonish #90. Back in 1967, the Hulk needed some competition. Marvel created another gamma-powered being.  Emil Blonsky transformed into a grotesque version of the Green Goliath. Over the years, other characters would take up the Abomination name. Still, the original always holds a special place in fans’ hearts.

Ever since the She-Hulk announcement, this has been a highly sought-after key, though the Shang-Chi trailer has turned up the heat. Back on June 17, a 9.6 Tales to Astonish #90 sold for a record-high $4k. Before 2021, it had never sold for more than $767. 

It’s not just the near-mint grades that are feeling the effects of Abomination’s burst of popularity. An 8.5 recently sold for $1,000. For those collectors on a budget, even with the rising prices, you can still get everything up to a 7.5 for less than $400.

Tales-to-Astonish-91-198x300 Abomination: Abominable Keys for a Returning Hulk VillainTALES TO ASTONISH #91

If you are looking to get your comics graded, slabbed, and displayed, Tales to Astonish #91 is the way to go. This is the first cover appearance of Abomination, and it features a classic showdown between two popular characters. Even better, it is much cheaper than Tales to Astonish #90.

Granted, this the second appearance, but in the age of cover hunting and grading, it’s hard to go wrong with Tales #91. In May, a 9.4 sold for $493, which is less than half the price of those four-figure sales for the first appearance. 

The highest grade sold this month has been the 8.5, selling for a record $300. Compare that with the $1k price tag for an 8.5 Tales #90, and this is the better option for collectors on a tight budget.


No details have emerged regarding how Abomination will be utilized in either She-Hulk or Shang-Chi. For all we know, what we saw in the trailer could be the extent of his appearance in the film in a glorified cameo. Likewise, he could be more or less a background player in She-Hulk. Despite the hazy prognosis, Marvel Studios should take notice at how much buzz Abomination is generating, and that should help fans see more of him going forward.

Footer_LevelUp_12.3.2020 Abomination: Abominable Keys for a Returning Hulk Villain

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Howard Schultz July 3, 2021 - 11:07 pm

Marvel Super Heroes #46, featuring Hulk and Sub-Mariner, published in 1974 is a second version with the exact same cover and story. Any chance it will become valuable too?

Howard Schultz July 4, 2021 - 12:28 am

Any chance Marvel Super Heroes #46, Featuring the Hulk and Submariner 46 from 1974, which is the same story and cover of Hulk vs Abomination, getting some of Tales to Astonish 90’s love? If not, can you explain why these second versions that Marvel did years ago, including books like Marvels Greatest Comics #56 featuring the Fantastic Four (a reprint of FF 74) from 1968, with Galactus and Silver Surfer on the cover?) aren’t treated in the same fashion as variants are now? After all, these are bronze age comics that are 46/45 years old and are only 7 years behind the first printing.

Matt Tuck July 6, 2021 - 3:30 pm

That’s a good question, and I don’t have an exact answer for you. I think they’re looked at differently because its a reprint in a totally different title rather than a second print run or having variant cover art.

Howard Schultz July 6, 2021 - 4:47 pm

So? It’s not like Tales to Astonish has the Hulk in the title? And in fact as it relates to “Marvel’s Greatest Comics Featuring the Fantastic Four” , it is a clever play on “The Fantastic Four, The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine”. That alone should be worth some love!


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