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Comic Book Cash, Issue #004 -- Focus on Incredible Hulk #1 as an Investment
September 06, 2014

Comic Book Cash #4 -- Focus on Incredible Hulk #1 as an Investment

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One of our long-term readers asked me this question the other day:

"How much should I pay for a Hulk #1 CGC 1.0? Is it a good investment long-term?"

I've had a couple of experiences with Hulk #1 over the past year or so. I think they will help to illustrate what a hot comic book Incredible Hulk #1 really is.

Is Incredible Hulk #1 the New Amazing Fantasy #15?

I'm beginning to think so, and certainly my contacts in the comic book industry feel that way. Here are my personal stories, and some stats to back them up.

My First Hulk #1: A Total Rag!

I was still really excited to get my hands on this Hulk #1, despite its condition. There are plenty of reprints of the classic Marvel first appearances, but there's nothing quite like reading an original copy of the first ever issue of a superhero.

Especially the Hulk. He was so cool in the 60s. The gray skin just seemed to add to the mystique. The collection also had a ragged Hulk #6. At the time, I took a picture of both, with a fairly abrupt editorial slant...

Hulk 1, but not as you know it

This copy was as ugly as Hulk himself, with tape holding the cover on, more tape on giant tears in the right of the book and so much wear, it was barely purple anymore. But it was complete and unrestored! CCG gave it a 0.5.

Somehow it looked WORSE once it was in the holder...

Hulk 1, but not as you know it

Comiclink sold this for me in an auction in January. It fetched $1,756!

My next Hulk #1 was already processed by now. Part of a much higher grade collection, though unfortunately Hulk #1 itself was not of the same standard.

This copy of Hulk 1 was way nicer, and I thought a bit unlucky not to get a 4.0

I was a tad disappointed with a 3.5 for this one. I figured it might sneak a 4.0. But it was heavily creased, and the small tear to the bottom right front cover probably held it back half a grade.

This one fetched $5,100, also at Comiclink.

Hulk #1 in the Raw

My third Hulk #1 was actually a UK edition.

A UK edition of Hulk #1 which I sold for $2,000

I was offered it for $700 and flipped it on eBay for $2,000. Later I was told the same buyer resold it for $3,000... Oops.

I believed it was probably a 3.0 (bad spine wear), and was on the fence about submitting it to CGC because it was a UK edition.

Typically UK editions of Marvel comics (identified by the price in old pence, "9d") don't sell as well to US collectors. Depending on the issue and grade, the price gap can be steep. Hulk #1, it seems, is becoming an exception to that rule, as collectors seek anything they can afford.

So what do these examples teach us about Hulk #1 as an investment opportunity?

If You're in the Market for a Hulk #1, Now is Probably a Good Time to Buy

Let's presume you have $5,000 to invest in a vintage comic book. Would you choose a Hulk #1, or an Amazing Fantasy #15?

The last sale for an AF #15 in 0.5 (entry level for unrestored grades, but you've seen from the Hulk #1 above how ugly these books can look) was $4,995.

To put that into context, you could instead own THIS MBG roadster

MGB roadster, $5K. Amazing Fantasy 15 in 0.5, $5K.

Returning to the topic of Hulk vs Spidey, what lessons can we learn about the future prices of Hulk #1?

If my ugly 0.5 sold for nearly $2K, and an equally ugly AF15 sold for $5K, the Hulk probably has plenty of room for appreciation.

Your theoretical $5K cannot afford you both books... but it can afford you a much nicer copy of Hulk #1 than AF15.

We're seeing some strange prices on Hulk #1. $5K sales recently:

  • CGC 3.5, August 7th
  • CGC 2.5, August 18th
  • CGC 2.0, July 17th
  • CGC 1.5, August 29th

Which would you rather own -- 3.5 or 1.5? But some people will overpay just to get that elusive first appearance.

Here is a graph showing how Hulk #1 has appreciated in recent years. We'll focus on the more affordable, $5K and under market segment, looking at how VG (4.0) examples have performed.

The rise and rise of Hulk #1 in VG

Compare today's entry level of $6,000 in VG to the AF15 VG entry level of $11,000.

We still feel Hulk #1 has a long way to go up. If you're looking for a copy to invest in, then here are some suggestions.

Further Reading


Ashley Cotter-Cairns Editor, Sell My Comic Books

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