Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 August 2019

The comic book that's worth Dh614,335

What makes this edition of The Incredible Hulk by Marvel Comics so special?

The Incredible Hulk #1 was published by Marvel Comics in May 1962. Courtesy Huggins and Scott Auctions
The Incredible Hulk #1 was published by Marvel Comics in May 1962. Courtesy Huggins and Scott Auctions

The “silver age” of comics was an era of artistic advancement and commercial success in the mainstream comic book industry, particularly pertaining to the superhero genre, which had experienced a dip in popularity in the wake of the Second World War. Covering the period from 1956 to around 1970, the silver age saw a number of important comic book writers and artists come to prominence, including the late, great Stan Lee.

Sold by Marvel Comics in May 1962 for 12 cents, The Incredible Hulk #1, is one of the most important and elusive first issues from the era. It has earned a Universal Grade of 8.5 from CGC, which is widely regarded as the leading certification service for comic books. CGC’s Census report lists this example as “1/9” at the 8.5 VF+ (Very Fine+) level, with just 18 books ranking higher from the total 1,065 copies that have been certified by Universal Grade.

CGC’s label notation reads: “Off-White to White Pages, Stan Lee story, Jack Kirby and Paul Reinman art, Jack Kirby and George Roussos cover, Origin and 1st appearance of the Incredible Hulk, 1st appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and General Ross.”

A page from the priceless comic. Courtesy Huggins and Scott Auctions
A page from inside the priceless comic. Courtesy Huggins and Scott Auctions

The comic book was sold at an auction by Huggins & Scott Auctions last month. Its former owner reportedly read this first Hulk comic just once as a youth, and has kept it in storage since 1962.

The 56-year-old book was painstakingly examined by staff at Huggins & Scott prior to submission, and so exceptional was the overall quality (particularly the spine integrity) that the company’s resident comic “geek” proclaimed that: “Maybe the guy just thinks he read it but never actually got around to it, because it sure looks like it’s unread.”

The same consignor has a significant collection of other silver age comic books that have been in storage since the 1960s, with another batch due to go on sale through Huggins & Scott Auctions in February.

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Updated: December 12, 2018 04:26 PM

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