In April 2019, audiences worldwide were introduced to the new character of Professor Hulk, a merging of Bruce Banner and the Hulk. Comic book readers would know that a third ingredient was missing from the Professor Hulk recipe; that being the grey Hulk. On another tangent, has Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ever had a merged in-between identity similar to a Professor Hulk?
Back to the matter at hand, Professor Hulk. With the intelligence of Bruce and the strength of the Hulk(s), the character of Professor Hulk might seem like an unstoppable force majeure; but unfortunately, his key comic books are subject to the mortal forces of the market. Here we examine the current performance of Professor Hulk’s first appearance in comics.
In the “Honey, I Shrunk the Hulk” story, the psychiatrist “Doc” Samson has an intense therapy session with Bruce Banner. After confronting his inner demons, Bruce Banner finally finds his peace which results in the combining of Bruce Banner, the green Hulk, and the grey Hulk to form one Professor Hulk.
First, let’s take a look at the overall picture of the market for the book. Following is sales for CGC 9.8, which represents a rather large 31.3% of the top of the CGC census.
In the 5 years from late-2013 to mid-2018, the sales prices for The Incredible Hulk #377 were at best flat, leaning slightly towards a negative growth rate. This all changed around the release of the feature film Avengers: Infinity War (2018). Coupled with rumors of Professor Hulk set to show up in the followup movie Avengers: Endgame (2019), the sales value of the book sky rocketed.
Unfortunately, this upward trend did not last. When we zoom in to the sales data in 2019, can you spot when Endgame was released?
Hulk #377 peaked in late April and has been falling ever since. The latest selling prices have the book down over 50% from the highs of $260. With the upward spike in value tied directly to Endgame, there is still room for the value to fall. In addition, no other positive catalyst is in sight; it would not be surprising if the book’s value broke under the $100 level in the next few months.
No conversation about The Incredible Hulk #377 is complete without including the most valuable version of the issue, the 3rd printing. With a limited print run of the cover with a yellow-ish background, issues graded in CGC 9.8 rose to a staggering FMV of $2,400.
Due to a limited volume of sales, below we will examine the book in CGC 9.6 and 9.2, which represent the top 17.9% and 48.8%, respectively:
In the above charts, the pre-movie sales data has been separated out, colored in orange. Due to the limited volume of sales for the 3rd printing, the decline in 2019 isn’t as pronounced as the 1st printing; but nonetheless, it does point downwards. With much of the issue’s value derived from its limited print and the declining value of the above 1st print, this 3rd printing issue does not offer good prospects for investment. The 1st print has already fallen close to the pre-movie levels; is it worth the risk when this book might also do the same? The potential for upside growth is very minimal; while the downside risk is very high. I cannot emphasize this enough; it’s like risking 50% in hand for maybe 10%.
THE BOTTOM LINE
- The Incredible Hulk #377 – SELL
- The Incredible Hulk #377 (3rd Printing) – REDUCE/SELL
“The only distinction that I hold is that I am the only actor to ever play Banner and the Hulk” – Mark Ruffalo