I told you it was coming: Red Hulk is finally debuting in the MCU, that is if the rumors are true that Thunderbolt Ross will transform and battle She-Hulk in her Disney+ series. Time to collect his first appearance because it looks promising.
For the past year, I have advised investing in the Red Hulk. Ever since Avengers: Endgame revealed its version of Professor Hulk, the stars have been aligning for this moment. At the 2019 D23 conference, Marvel announced its She-Hulk Disney+ series, and that only fueled my speculation. Now that the latest MCU rumor pits Red Hulk against She-Hulk, those investments will soon pay dividends.
In the comics, there have been two Red Hulks: Thunderbolt Ross (sans mustache) and Robert Maverick. Thank goodness it won’t be the latter of the two who supposedly will be brought to life on the small screen.
HULK #1 (2008)
There are really only two issues that should be on your list when it comes to Red Hulk: Hulk #1 & #2 from the 2008 series. This is when Jeph Loeb debuted Thunderbolt’s alter ego, and it could mean other big things are coming since Red Hulk can fit with an onscreen Thunderbolts or Dark Avengers.
Here you have Red Hulk’s first appearance and his first cover appearance, which makes it highly collectible. This issue is hot, and most grades are on the move. A 9.8 recently sold for $204 when it averaged just $98 in 2018.
The real money is in the Hero Initiative/Atomic Comics variant. It has always been a high-priced commodity and is still making gains. Last year, the 9.8 set a new record with a $425 sale. It’s already approaching that mark after one sold for $375 on January 24.
Even more valuable is the Ed McGuiness retailer variant. It’s basically the same cover from the Hero Initiative minus the Atomic Comics label above the title. A 9.8 hasn’t traded hands in 2020, but the last sale was for a record $500 in October.
Hulk #1 is going to be red hot (you’re welcome) when Marvel Studios makes the news official. I predict it will be so popular that you’ll want to add the second print to your collection as well. It’s already picking up steam as a 9.8 brought $70 on February 6. Before that, it had never sold for more than $50.
HULK #2 (2008)
Fans got their biggest taste of Red Hulk in the following issue. I prefer this cover over any of the Hulk #1s. With Red Hulk’s reflection in Iron Man’s broken helmet, it is reminiscent of Todd McFarlane’s iconic cover for Incredible Hulk #340.
If you’re going to collect Red Hulk keys, you’ll want this one in your collection. It’s much cheaper, which is always good. At a 9.8, the standard cover averaged $61 last year. A 9.8 sketch cover edition won’t cost you much more as it had a $69 fair market value in 2019.
When it comes to the original “Green Goliath” in the MCU, there’s not much being said. We last saw him in Endgame, and his onscreen future is unclear. Certainly, he will be back, but for now, Marvel Studios is opening the door to all its Hulks. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see the Red She-Hulk, A-Bomb, or even the Totally Awesome Hulk in the MCU very soon.
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Hello Matt, I have a question about the true first appearance of the Red Hulk. As you mentioned, collectors need to get a hold of Hulk 1&2. However, Hulk 1 is only his first cover appearance which, came before Hulk 2. However, Hulk 2 is his true first appearance within the comic pages. There are zero panels in Hulk 1 with any Red Hulk appearances. Whereas Hulk 2 he is in multiple panels and has dialogue. So, by definition Hulk 2 is his true first appearance. Hulk 1 could be considered his first cameo/cover appearance. I believe you have also talked about this issue in previous blogs. Would you agree.
Hello Matt, isn’t Hulk 2 the first full appearance of the red hulk and Hulk 1 the first cover appearance?