Hulk Has Left the Building

Totally Awesome Hulk #22

The Weapon X program is out of control, creating the Hulk with claws in Totally Awesome Hulk #22. This issue hit number one for this last month as the most popular recent comic per (GoCollect). Hulk gets Wolverine’s claws and DNA, yeah I know scary thought. Since this book arrived in stores in August 2017, this issue had gone up over 22% for a 9.4 grade. This title has writer Greg Pak at the helm and Artist Robert Gill creating this Franken-Hulk. Amalgam heroes are not my thing as there is more to a character than their primary powers.

However, it reminds me of Super-Skrull; a Fantastic Four villain who could imitate all the FF’s powers at the same time. Super-Skrull is relevant even today, and so is this new take on Hulk with Wolverine’s claws. Weapon X program goes astray, to say the least, but perhaps out of the amalgam; this beautiful butterfly emerges, HULK SMASH!  Sorry, couldn’t help myself.

Any possible catalyst for this issue of Totally Awesome Hulk #22 is unknown at this point. It could be years before the Marvel folks run out of ideas and push this out as a TV series. The current cost of this issue is about $50 (eBay) for a raw copy, and a 9.6 recently sold for $65 (GoCollect). It would seem to be your typical recent comic: rising due to limited printing and then falling prices after the initial release.

However, let’s look a little closer. This particular issue, Totally Awesome Hulk #22 has been in the number one spot for the last month. Within a little more than thirty days of release it shot up to $200 in a grade of 9.8! For those of you with the foresight to own it, excellent return on that comic. The issue has shown about a 10.7% decay rate, or decline in value on average since. Despite the decline, this book sold 97 copies of a 9.8 grade. Totally Awesome Hulk #22 selling 97 issues is an enormous feat; considering The Walking Dead #171 and Supergirl #12 in 2nd and 3rd places respectively, only had 25 sales of 9.8’s (GoCollect). We will all be watching how long T.A.H. #22 maintains its number one status. I would say this story establishes the comic as a Marvel key and perhaps the folks buying a grade of 9.8 realize this as well, Excelsior to them.

The horse might be out of the barn on this one. But it is still a promising issue for continued growth as a key Marvel comic. Perhaps Hulk has already left the building, but that doesn’t stop you from buying a raw copy and trying your luck to CGC this new key, and who knows maybe you will get a near mint grade.  

The Wrightson Effect

Unfortunately, Bernie Wrightson artist on House of Secrets #92, passed away this last year. But he left us some genuinely macabre memories, for all of us. Don’t forget this guy created the first cover appearance of the Swamp Thing. His cover work creates an impression, even on someone not into comics. This masterpiece issue has art by Bernie Wrightson, script by Lynn Wing, and Jack Kirby among others. Wrightson’s work: he is quite simply the most celebrated artist of horror to come out of the 1970’s, or maybe ever. His art and comics are to be collected, revered and saved; or as my uncle puts it, “Buy them all, they aren’t making any more of these!”  

House of Secrets #92, ranks 68th most popular Bronze Age book (GoCollect). It has risen an astonishing 53 spots over the last three months. Most important of all is the greenlight factor; this comic has no downtrend grades over the past two years, entirely green price increases, with no red declines in price. The numbers are virtually telling us the price is going straight up, for House of Secrets #92. Unfortunately, with Wrightson’s passing in March of this year, you can see a definite surge in price. Currently, it will cost you $455 for a copy of grade 5.5 on eBay.  I don’t see this trend stopping anytime soon.

Did we all just miss the party? Not entirely; Wrightson’s work is still out there and available. He also did the #1-10 of Swamp Thing! Furthermore, he worked on several issues of House of Secrets. All of these are in limited supply and are essentially his best-known issues, not to mention the excellent covers. If you can’t afford House of Secrets #92, try Swamp Thing #1. Currently, on eBay, you can buy an 8.0-grade copy, for $118.  Don’t get lost in the Swamp, buy something of Wrightson’s now.

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