Search This Site

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Incredible Hulk Key Issues Part 1

It's about time we smashed our way into some Hulk key issues here at Total Comic Mayhem. This list does only deal with many of the major key issues within the title. Here we go, folks!

 | Part 1 | Part 2 >>

Incredible Hulk #1 coverIncredible Hulk #1  
  • First appearance of Hulk (Bruce Banner)
  • Origin of Hulk 
  • First appearance of Betty Ross 
  • First appearance of Rick Jones 
  • First appearance of General Thunderbolt Ross

A monster of a comic concerning Marvel first appearances, it isn't a wonder why this is the holy grail of Incredible Hulk key issues to get as a comic book investment. In just this one key issue we get all the major players within the Hulk mythos. Of course, the most important is the first appearance of Hulk and Dr. Bruce Banner, but we also the get the first appearance of Betty Ross, his sidekick Rick Jones, and the Hulk's first and earliest nemesis General Thunderbolt Ross.

This is an expensive and not so easy catch to find. The Incredible Hulk #1 was published before Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man). It's truly one of the earlier Marvel Comics published, even beating out Thor, whose first appearance was in August of 1962 like Spidey's. Bruce Banner and the Hulk came out two months earlier in May.

mycomicshop - Lower grade copies are available, but they are CGC graded. Not cheap either, but don't expect this first issue key comic to be. It's one of the top investment comics from the Marvel silver age.The highest is a 3.0, which is only a GD/VG.

ebay - A few low grade copies and some CGC, but as expected, not many. Will be quite the hunt in high grades. 

Incredible Hulk #2 comic image
Incredible Hulk #2
  • First green skinned Hulk
  • 2nd issue of title series

If you didn't notice in Incredible Hulk #1, the Hulk wasn't our favorite Jade Giant just yet in that issue. He happened to be grey instead of green. Initially, Stan Lee chose grey so the color couldn't be suggested with any particular ethnic group. 

Colorist Stan Goldberg had problems with the grey, and the result was various shades of grey for the Hulk in issue one. After Incredible Hulk #1 was published, Stan Lee saw the issue and decided to change the Hulk's skin color to its iconic and favored green. The result is this silver age key issue.

The Incredible Hulk series back then only went to 6 issues before being cancelled. The Hulk would guest star in various other titles, and then finally tried out again in Tales to Astonish. Click the link to see my list of Tales to Astonish key issues for Hulk and non-Hulk key comics. Once the Hulk gained enough popularity, he smashed back into his own titled series again.

ebay - Not many copies on the mighty ebay, mostly unslabbed lower grade copies.

Incredible Hulk #102 cover pic
Incredible Hulk #102
  • Titled series starts again

After the Hulk proves himself in the Tales to Astonish comic series, which he costarred with Namor the Submariner, Marvel once again decides the Hulk is hero enough for his own titled series, which first left off at issue 6 in case you forgot. Incredible Hulk #102 is the issue that starts the titled series again and takes up where Tales to Astonish #101 leaves off.

Once again if you're looking for more Hulk key issues, there are a few within the Tales to Astonish key issue list I have. You can teleport there by clicking the blue link portal.

mycomicshop - A super high grade CGC graded 9.8 is on the menu at mycomicshop. Pages are WHITE and a high grade copy of this key issue isn't easy to locate. It's not easy to buy as well, since it costs well into the thousands. 

ebay - Quite a few more options for this issue. A good selection of unslabbed as well as CGC graded copies worth checking out. Click the link to view the ebay search results for Incredible Hulk #102.

Incredible Hulk #122 image
Incredible Hulk #122
  • Hulk vs. Thing

Who doesn't love the classic Hulk vs. Thing in Marvel Comics? I know I do. Everybody likes seeing who's strongest within the Marvel universe, and I do believe that the Hulk has beaten The Thing the majority of times they've squared off.

This issue isn't the first Hulk vs. Thing. That actually happened in the Fantastic Four comics, and I do have a list of the top Fantastic Four key issues as well that reveals the first classic battle if you wanna check it out.

This issue is the first Hulk vs. Thing within the Incredible Hulk comic series, however. So, not a bad key issue for the Hulk series.

mycomicshop - Lot's of high grade CGC copies available. One 9.8 and 9.6, but three 9.4s, in which one is a PGX copy. 

ebay - No problem finding this issue on ebay. Wide selection with quite a few high grade CGC options as well. 

Incredible Hulk #126 comic pic
Incredible Hulk #126
  • First Barbara Norris (Valkyrie)

The character Valkyrie in the comics...Yes, the one in the Defenders...actually has been bound to a lot of hosts. This Asgardian female warrior, much like how Thor was bound to Dr. Donald Blake, was bound and hosted in the body of Barbara Norris. The Valkyrie was reborn in Barbara Norris for a brief period of time.

Overstreet Guide has this issue as the first appearance of Barbara Norris, but a few online sources has Incredible Hulk #125 as her first appearance. I'm going with OG on this one. 

Newkadia - There's only one copy of a VG+ for this key comic. However, this is an extremely affordable sleeper. Guide has a 9.2 at only $65. As an investment, I personally wouldn't buy a low grade or even mid grade copy of this issue, but that's just me.

mycomicshop - Can we say NM+? That's correct. There's a CGC 9.6 graded copy for those who won't settle for anything but high grade key comics. It won't cost you an arm and leg, but probably a few fingers. 

ebay - Surprisingly not that great of a selection for this key issue on ole ebay. A few unslabbed and one CGC graded copy. That could or may not change by the time you read this, though.

Incredible Hulk #141 image
Incredible Hulk #141
  • First appearance of Doc Samson

A pretty popular supporting character within the Hulk universe for sure, Doc Samson is another Marvel character who gains his power due to gamma ray exposure. He has become a well-noted antagonist of the Jade Giant throughout the years, and the character even cures Bruce Banner of the Hulk but then drives him back to becoming the green monster again. Oh, I forgot to mention that he is also a psychiatrist.

This issue is in moderate demand and is quite up there in value for high grade CGC graded copies. It's one of the most expensive Hulk bronze age issues. However, lower grade and unslabbed high grade copies are much cheaper than their CGC counter parts, so this book isn't on the hot burner. 

ebay - A few options available for this Marvel first appearance key issue. Quite a few unslabbed and a few CGC options.

Incredible Hulk #142 comic cover

Incredible Hulk #142
  • First appearance of Samantha Parrington (Valkyrie)
Before Barbara Norris took up the mantle of Valkyrie, Samantha Parrington was the host for the man-hating, Asgardian warrior, Brunnhilde. The Enchantress turns her into Valkyrie to get revenge on the Hulk. The Samantha Parrington version of Valkyrie is more well known by comic fans, and she is the one who is depicted in the early Defenders comics during the bronze age. She joins the Defenders in Defenders #4 and becomes one of the mainstay characters for the team. 

ebay - Definitely a sleeper and not very sought out, there's not much of a selection for this issue on ebay. CGC options are quite limited. Don't get a low to mid-grade copy of this key. It's a bronze age comic and one that's not that high in demand either.

Incredible Hulk #162 pic
Incredible Hulk #162
  • First appearance of Wendigo

Yes, Wendigo! That mythological creature was bound to end up in the Marvel universe at some point, and his first appearance is right here in Incredible Hulk #162.

Hey, the Hulk was desperate for more beasts and monster to fight, so why not a supernatural creature covered in fur that roams around the Canadian forests feeding on humans? 

This bronze age key issue isn't in high demand. You can still get a VF CGC copy for well under a hundred bucks. A CGC 9.4 copy may run you around two hundred at the most.

mycomicshop - Unslabbed copies with the highest being a FN- 5.5.  

ebay - A few unslabbed, raw books, but skimpy on the CGC graded selection. Saw a 9.0 and 9.6 on there.

We're not done yet. There's another part to this Incredible Hulk key issues series which holds one of the most major Marvel first appearances from the bronze age! Be sure to click on the link below to read Part  2.

 | Part 1 | Part 2 >>


  1. Great list! U should post more often lol last post before these was october 5! Oh well it's worth it! And one other thing, wouldn't the rest of the original 6-issue hulk series be good investments? They are quite hard as well, great art and early marvel.

    1. That's what I was thinking...any of the first 6 will be pure gold in about 20 years. Alos, they are very hard to find in decent conditions. Great List as usual. Keep up the good work!

    2. Thanks and sorry for the lack of posts, but it's been a busy few months so haven't had much time to write. As for the Hulk volume 1 and the other four issues, I neglected to include issues 3-6 because the key issue status of those comics were repeats of the origin and the first appearances contained in those issues were extremely weak. Yes, they are great investments, but as key issues, pretty lame...such as the first appearance of the Ring Master.