There is no mightier superhero than Wolverine to stride out of the Bronze Age. Perhaps the X-Men as a team is close, but Wolverine is the lone standout. It got so bad in the 80s we really started to hate this character with his bombastic, “I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very nice!” Yep, after twenty years of this character, I was done with him.
Then Hugh Jackman took the helm in the X-Men movies (it doesn’t matter which they all have the same storyline) and lit a fire under Wolverine. His transformation of Wolverine into a living breathing person was fun to watch and made me like the character again. Wolverine first appeared in Incredible Hulk #180 in a cameo; then a full appearance in Incredible Hulk #181. In a head to head matchup which has the best trend returns, cameo, or full appearance?
The first full appearance of Wolverine was in Incredible Hulk #181. He has been the King of the Bronze Age all these many years. It is the ultimate key for a Bronze Age collector. This Bronze Age antihero lead the pack of anti-heroes into the Marvel Universe and someone forgot to close the door. Yep, anti-heroes are a dime a dozen now in every story. Back in the 70s, it seemed very cutting edge; but now simply boring and formulaic. Incredible Hulk #181 was written by Len Wein with pencils by Heb Trimpe and the inks of Jack Abel in 1974. Considering this book is the first full appearance, we can expect to see big sales data in our spreadsheet.
The first cameo of Wolverine is in Incredible Hulk #180. This comic was also written by Len Wein and pencils by Herb Trimpe and is a very strong key in its own right. How will it match up against its younger brother, the most powerful comic of the Bronze Age?
|Title||Grade||Last Sale||CGC Census||Return|
|Incredible Hulk #180||9.8||$14,250 on 5/27/20||49||+119.2%|
|6.5||$550 on 6/13/20||351||+63.7%|
|Incredible Hulk #181||9.8||$31,200 on 3/8/20||134||+108%|
|6.5||$3,300 on 6/11/20||981||+67.4%|
What I find truly interesting about this matchup is that the cameo has better returns (slightly better) and the first full appearance has 100’s of more books in inventory. My analysis is that there are 13,238 books in CGC Census inventory is probably all she wrote for Incredible Hulk #181. I know there are a ton of owners of raw copies but those rarely hit the market, most of the issues are circulating the CGC highway (eBay). This leads me to the conclusion that the cameo Incredible Hulk #180 has more room to run; hence, it will continue to outpace the returns of the first full appearance. Though it will probably never catch up in value. It is very interesting to note you can make slightly greater trend returns with the cameo at half the risk.
The comic book Incredible Hulk #180 first cameo of Wolverine has a lot of room to run. If we assume that same amount of outstanding books as Incredible Hulk #181 then we should see similar results overtime even in terms of narrowing the price gap.
If you think about it these cameos were not as popular 8 years ago. We were still in the height of Marvel MCU mania but only when the Millenials started buying second appearances, and cameos did these books catch on. For instance, a 9.8-grade Incredible Hulk #180 sold for $1,613 back on 7/27/2012. I know it makes you want to scream into someone’s hat, doesn’t it?! Many of us just missed the opportunity.
Do not underestimate the Millenials, they are a different breed closer to the WWII generation (this is a compliment) with great ability and foresight perhaps more than any generation before or since. Ignore them and their buying habits at your peril. Wolverine is still the mightest of the anti-heroes but now we need to be a tad more respectful of his cameo, you got that bub?!