No matter the Hulk you get, whether it be green or grey, smart or dumb, Hulk is a beloved character who engages the fan base and is a standard-bearer for Marvel. For being a founding Avenger and a notable property for Marvel, I actually thought Hulk comics would be more of a treasure to collectors. It appears that Hulk comics are not as collectible as some of the other Marvel characters. This seems to have been translating to comic prices for years but I think that rule has been gamma charged, let’s check out why.
If you have been following my blogs, you know that I am a bit miffed at the character arc for the Hulk. The introduction of Professor Hulk in End Game was quite the departure from the normal smash-bang Hulk the world is used to…and seemed like a weird, forced wrap-up to the character. If you ask a child to imitate the Hulk, you will inevitably hear her roaring “Hulk Smash!” followed by some action demonstrating the same. Why can’t we leave our Hulk the way he was intended…free-range and organic, smashing his way along the country, walking the line of friend and foe to citizens? I hope most Hulk collectors would agree.
Recently, a 9.8 graded copy of Incredible Hulk #162 sold for over $2,300 at auction. This was a bit surprising, as the last copy I witnessed sold less than 2 years prior for just over $1,000. Quite the jump in such a short span of time, which is great for any seller, but terrifying for buyers. The book does include the first appearance of the Wendigo, which is a somewhat popular character among collectors but has no real speculative ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or future offerings that would normally cause a significant price jump based on rumor. It is not even what I would consider an extremely rare book, with the CGC census noting 20 copies at a 9.8 grade. I paired this fact with a quick mental review of classic Hulk books on the market and came to some conclusions.
Classic Hulk books are rare on the market in high grades but often see incredible gains between sales because of the Hulk’s overall popularity. Older Hulk comics have been a shining example of smart speculation and increased value for the past few years. The reason they may have been sliding under the radar and proving out massive price jumps may be due to the relative rarity of the Hulk series and the demand by collectors who are completely immersed in green.
Be on the lookout for Hulk books when they hit the market. A few other first appearance books and keys that may hit your list include Hulk #111-first appearance of Galaxy Master, Hulk #122-famous Thing battle cover, Hulk #141-first appearance of Doc Samson, and Hulk #163-first appearance of Gremlin. No need to mention Hulk #181, as every collector and speculator is trying to get their hands on a copy of that one. When reviewing these books, take special note of the census to determine just how rare some of these comics are.
Are you keeping your eye out for old Hulks? Do you think the big green is done being a feature in Marvel movies? Drop your comments and join the speculation!
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