Undervalued Spotlight #475

Incredible Hulk #104, Marvel Comics, June 1968.

I had a little run of Hulk’s come in last week and there were some nice tight copies in the 110s and 120s to admire, these were stunning copies and we’ll send a couple down to CGC to get graded. These books reminded us of a gorgeous Incredible Hulk collection we picked up maybe 8 years ago, stunning all the way from #102 and the funny thing is we all said the same thing – “remember that #104!”. Do I ever remember it, it’s one of those comic books that I knew I made a mistake the moment I sold it. I guess there’s no suspense now, this week’s Undervalued Spotlight shines on Incredible Hulk #104.

I think that over time Incredible Hulk #104 will develop into one of the ‘must-have’ Hulk comics based on the power of the Marie Severin cover. We all know it is a cover driven market right now and things won’t be changing any time soon.

While doing the Covered 365 project here on the site I looked at a lot of Hulk covers and it’s amazing how much the cover appeal depends on the rendering of Hulk’s head and face. Marie Severin’s Hulk face and Hulk’s body are in sync with the Hulk we see in the big movies, it’s the definitive Hulk look today.

The best Hulk covers are where he is facing off against big bad bruising villains, the kind of villains that are as big and as strong (almost) as he is, this is what we want to see, Abomination, Juggernaut and famously on the cover of Incredible Hulk #104 the Rhino.

That deep dusk blue background sets the mood nicely as the Rhino charges the seemingly helpless Hulk, good composition by Marie Severin here. We don’t get many Silver Age superhero comic covers drawn by women and even a few classic covers like this on Hulk #104, I think it makes the book all the more collectible.

Incredible Hulk #104 fits nicely into that ‘affordable quality’ portion of your portfolio, we get a blue-chip character and an aesthetically equal villain combine to give us eye candy that we’d all love to show off on a wall.

On the markets, Hulk #104 is getting about Guide plus grading fees for CGC 8.0 and CGC 9.2 copies. I may be a bit late on this one as it looks like the last CGC 9.4 copy set a new high. I think the play here is a gorgeous CGC 9.6 White Page gem with high gloss, square to the corners and a clean register.

The 48th Overstreet price breaks for this book are $64/$132/$200 in the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grade splits.

Strengths that make this comic a good long-term investment are:

  • Classic Hulk/Rhino cover
  • Marie Severin cover
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Walter Durajlija
Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.
Articles: 1589

7 Comments

  1. I think Marie did a great job on this cover as well… and all you said about it may be true…but! This isn’t a first issue or even a first appearance. True its early in the Hulk run, but it just doesn’t have enough going for it to to have more than a slow steady increase unless we see these two pitted against one another in the MCU… and we already had a somewhat lackluster
    appearance of the Rhino at the end of a Spiderman movie ( the scene was all about the kid). Also, as Marie already had been drawing Hulk in TTA… the female artist shtick doesn’t apply here as strongly. For me its just one in a run.

  2. I am not going to go into a big analysis this time because I just did it for this book last week. A 9.8 (only seven in grade) sold for $1320 when I thought it should go for $2100. Sounds undervalued, right? However – why didn’t I buy it then? A lot of reasons:

    – I am being particularly picky these days, so unless I am absolutely sure in my commitment, I try to pay 70% of my estimate or less. In this case that would be around $1500, so it passed that test but of course was still quite expensive in absolute terms.
    – In this case it is all about the cover plus the scarcity _in grade_. That combination really worries me. There are plenty of these to be had in 9.2 or so, so you have to be wild about the cover to pay such a premium for that 9.8 on the case. I agree that it is an absolutely fabulous cover, but this is Hulk we are talking about, not Catman. There are plenty of fabulous covers to choose from (e.g. Annual #1).
    – Expand this argument – as we have seen over the past year, there are many many fabulous covers of all sorts. On the same night I refused to even bid $10 for one of the great modern Chaykin Blackhawks. Too much money would have been riding on others loving this cover over many many others.

    Maybe this 9.8 was a giant bargain, but more and more I think I see people avoiding putting all their eggs in one (or a few) baskets, and refusing to pay up what “should” be the price given scarcity in grade. There is no real hook with this book, so my final bid of $1320 was the sale price to somebody else. I think this should really call into question the recent 9.6 and 9.4 prices realized. That means, unfortunately, this currently _overvalued_ in those grades on the basis of the last sales.

    I still love the book, and I agree that you should look for that perfect 9.6, but you should only look to pay around $500 for it (yes I know that’s lower than the last 9.4 sale).

    Verdict: Just another pretty cover?

  3. So I’ve convinced no one, hmpfh! Look at where pretty covers were 5 years ago and look at where pretty covers are now, I think 5 years from now pretty covers will hold even more sway.

  4. I agree Walt…grades and CGC have turned comic collecting into baseball cards….Its all about the cover now…sadly I might add
    I foresee the day where comics are no longer produced as in their current format.

  5. I agree covers are driving the market as well… the question is is Hulk 104 pretty enough?

  6. First time long time and I couldn’t agree more with Walt. If you were to only isolate this as a great cover in the Hulk run one would be hard pressed to find another Hulk book that has more appeal. That in of itself lends some credo to this last pick. As a self proclaimed cover collector I think Walt nailed this one (that will cost you a coffee next time I’m in town Walt).

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