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First Appearance Alert: Original Hulk

immortal hulk original hulk time of monsters

BY MATT TUCK

Is Marvel Comics introducing the successor to Immortal Hulk in the one-shot, Time of Monsters? That could make Original Hulk's first appearance skyrocket overnight. Here's more.

LET THE SPECULATION BEGIN

New characters sell comics. End of story.

If you need proof, look no further than Taskmaster #3. The Deadpool-esque, tongue-in-cheek issue was released just last week, and the "raw" standard cover is already selling for $15-$20 on eBay. Then there is the 1:25 Shane Davis variant that went from about $50 on February 10 to over $200 nine days later. In fact, the last one that sold was part of a two pack with the standard cover, and it brought $260 on February 19.

What makes this issue important to collectors and speculators is it features the first appearance of basically South Korea’s Captain America/Superman, Taegukgi. While his debut does not necessarily indicate he is guaranteed to be a major player, it does not matter. First appearances rule the market, and no one wants to miss out on the potential “next big thing," which basically means never miss a new character premiere.

Come May, collectors and speculators will have a new investment target: Original Hulk.

A NEW HULK

As Gamesradar recently reported, Marvel will be releasing a one-shot Hulk tie-in, Immortal Hulk: Time of Monsters, in which readers will discover that Bruce Banner was not the first Hulk after all.

The solicitation for the issue describes it as being set 10,000 years ago. The story focuses on a boy from an ancient time who discovers the mythical “Green Door” and what Marvel is describing as “the Original Hulk.”

THE NEW HULK IN TOWN

Throughout his famed run on Immortal Hulk, Al Ewing has created an entire Hulk mythology surrounding the magical Green Door and the One Below All. He has rewritten all the rules for Hulk, and we can be sure that Original Hulk will be part of the ongoing Immortal Hulk series in the near future. That will cause a feeding frenzy for Time of Monsters, no doubt.

What makes the standard cover even more collectible is that it will feature the newest Hulk on the cover. As we have seen in the past, those first cover appearances are the real game changers when it comes to the new character market. Here we have the first print with Original Hulk on the cover in the issue with his full debut. What more could you ask for?

We can expect to see prices jump for this issue overnight despite it likely having a massive print run. So far, I have not seen any variants for this issue, but I anticipate that will change between now and May. 

DO HULKS HOLD THEIR VALUES?

The rumor going around is that Al Ewing will wrap up Immortal Hulk at issue #50. If Marvel decides to kill off Bruce Banner again, who will take up the mantle? Between now and issue #50, could Original Hulk be positioned as the main Marvel 616 Hulk? Only Ewing and the editorial team can say for sure, but it is a possibility.

The last time Marvel tried this in Civil War II #3, Amadeus Cho took over as the Totally Awesome Hulk to a mostly mixed reception, which eventually prompted the return of Bruce in arguably his most popular form since the Silver Age, Immortal Hulk.

Even though Hulk is a classic character, the first appearances of the Hulk variants have resulted in big money. Immortal Hulk’s first full appearance in Avengers #684, graded at a 9.8 averages $113, and it has sold for as much as $242 just this month. The Amadeus Cho Hulk debuted in Totally Awesome Hulk #1, and the standard cover of that one currently has a fair market value of $97. 

Safe to say, Time of Monsters will be an instant sellout. It will be worth your investment dollars to add this one to your pull lists before then so you do not miss out.

Matt Tuck is the author of the novel, Lost Bones of the Dead. He is also a teacher, freelance writer, comic collector, and an international man of mystery. You can follow him on his Facebook page, The Comic Blog.



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