Planet...Thor?

Matt Tuck Sep 14, 2017
Incredible Hulk #92

Who else is more excited to see Hulk in all his Planet Hulk glory when “Thor: Ragnarok” hits theaters next month? Personally, I’m more interested to see Hulk throwing down than I am interested in Thor’s story.

“Ragnarok” isn’t just bringing attention to Planet Hulk. It’s introducing Hela, the Grandmaster, and Skurge the Executioner. As a collector, you’ll want to keep a close eye on these characters’ key issues after the movie debuts.

PLANET HULK

The Greg Pak take on a gladiator Hulk is a true fan favorite. The story finds the Hulk being sent to a planet of super-beings capable of hurting even him. Who sent Hulk off-planet? Marvel’s Illuminati, which makes me very curious if “Ragnarok” will set the stage for an MCU version of the group.

Once Hulk lands on his new home, he’s captured and thrown into a coliseum and made to fight for entertainment. The story itself isn’t bad, but the Carlo Pagulayan artwork of Hulk wearing Ancient Roman-style armor is the lasting image. Look at how excited the fanbase got when set photos of the Hulk armor was leaked online.

While there’s trade paperbacks galore for “Planet Hulk,” and even an animated feature, there’s no replacing the original comics. Go back to “Incredible Hulk” #92-105 and “Giant-Size Hulk” #1 for the issues. You can thank me later. Now that we’re finally getting a version of the Planet Hulk story in a movie, expect these titles to pick up traction. Not that Planet Hulk wasn’t popular before. A high grade “Incredible Hulk” #92 is averaging $100 at a 9.6.

HELA

In Norse mythology, she’s actually Hel, daughter of Loki, and neither good nor evil. But who cares? Thor didn’t originally have flowing blond locks, either, and that hasn’t hurt his reputation, has it?

I’d like to add that, at least in the trailers, the Hela costume looks spot-on from the comics, headdress included. You never know how these outfits will translate to the big screen (I could spend an entire article dissecting that topic), and it can actually damage the character’s popularity and the price of the key issues, so it’s nice to see that Marvel has done a good job with this one.

Hela made her Marvel Comics debut back in 1964 in “Journey into Mystery” #102. Since her debut, she’s been a frequent thorn in Thor and Odin’s sides, but our hero always finds a way to stop her evil schemes.

Sales of her first appearance are very hot right now. According to the GoCollect database, sales of all grades are on the rise. Don’t have a copy of your own? No problem. There’s plenty of sellers on eBay ready to help you out. Just be ready to pay $250 and up for a mid-grade copy. Depending on the reception of the movie, that could crack $300.

What will also be interesting is to see if Skurge the Executioner is paired with Hela in the MCU. Skurge made his debut alongside his beloved Enchantress in “Journey into Mystery” #103. Seeing that DC already used that name for one of its characters in the forgettable “Suicide Squad,” we may see Skurge turn his affections toward Hela and for her to take on some qualities of Marvel’s Enchantress.

GRANDMASTER

In the pages of Marvel Comics, the Grandmaster is a big, blue alien. For “Ragnarok,” he takes on a much more human appearance, which I feel will be to the benefit of the movie.

So who is the Grandmaster? He is an ancient alien who is one of the Elders of the Universe. He has been around so long that he’s the last of his species and spends his free time creating battles to entertain himself.

The Grandmaster made his debut in “Avengers” #69. At the moment, this comic isn’t selling too well on eBay, but that is good for the buyer. If the film ends up being a hit, which it likely will be, then interest in the Grandmaster will pick up. For now, if you are looking for “Avengers” #69, you can expect to pay over $100 for anything at an 8.0 and above. Considering the age of the comic, that’s not a bad price.

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