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Monday, July 28, 2014

Wolverine Key Issue Comics List

Due to a suggestion or a request by Hugh, here's a Wolverine key issue comics list. This list will be a bit more of an in-depth look at the keys specifically pertaining to Marvel's most popular mutie runt and will span across various titles as Wolverine did start out as a supporting character that spent most of his early comic career in the pages of the Uncanny X-Men.

Although there will be major important keys, there will also be some minor ones. I'm not going to list every single one as there are a boatload of unimportant key issues pertaining to Wolverine since he was pretty much used in everything when his character became extremely popular. Also, the first appearances of his rogues will be extremely limited as well in this key comics list, or I'll just pretty much be doing a second version of the X-Men key issues list.

This list will eventually lead to his self-titled series. I apologize in advance because many of these keys you've already seen on other key issues list on here, but some will be new as we further progress in this key comic list series.

  • First brief appearance of Wolverine
This bad boy has been mentioned on Total Comic Mayhem numerous times and for good reason. This comic was pretty much a back issue bargain for quite a long time until recent years when a big enough beef by fans brought to the attention that Wolverine is fully shown in the last panel of this comic. 

The industry now recognizes Hulk #180 as the first brief appearance of Wolverine or 1st brief cameo even though there those out there that believe this should be Wolverine's full first appearance. In past very recent years, this key issue Wolverine comic has sky rocketed in demand and value and quite quickly as well. Much like Incredible Hulk 181, this comic is now one of the best Bronze Age comics to invest in and will pretty much remain so since fans just can't get enough of Logan.

Definitely a solid comic book investment, this is one every comic investing fan or Wolverine fan should be considering for sure.

mycomicshop - One CGC 9.4 NM copy that happens to be a Signature Series signed by Stan Lee. Three unslabbed copies available with the top one being a solid 6.0 FN.

eBay - No problem finding unslabbed copies here, and a pretty decent selection of CGC copies as well. A whopping CGC 9.8 is the highest here. Two 9.6s and a few 9.4 NM slabs at the time of this writing.

ComicLink - CGC copies available for snagging at ComicLink. Highest copy is only a VF/NM 9.0, though. 2nd copy is an 8.0 VF followed by a 7.5 low VF. No unslabbers of this issue here yet.

ComicConnect - Three CGC copies, two of them are high grade copies. The highest is a CGC 9.2 low NM and the second highest is an 8.0 VF. Third copy is a CGC 6.5 FN+ Signature Series signed by Herbe Trimpe. Two raw copies here as well. Highest is an 8.0 VF and the other copy is a VG/FN 5.0.

  • First full appearance of Wolverine
Here we are with the famous first full appearance of Wolverine and definitely one of the best Bronze Age comic investments out there to own. This investment comic has a solid track record and has been sought out and in-demand throughout the years. They really weren't kidding when they stated on the cover of Hulk #181, "The World's First and Greatest Canadian Super-Hero!"

Created by Len Wein, Roy Thomas, and designed by John Romita Sr., there's no doubt that Wolverine has become one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Universe as well as the X-Men comics. Incredible Hulk 181 is one of the most valuable and expensive comics from the Bronze Age in super high grades. I've mentioned this comic so many times on here that I'm just going to keep it short and leave it at that.

mycomicshop - Only two very low grade copies at the time of this writing. Highest is a 1.8 low GD. Other isn't worth mentioning, but peeps are bidding on it.

eBay - Absolutely no problem finding this super key issue comic on the mighty eBay at the moment. Quite a few unslabbed copies and quite a few CGC copies as well. Saw an 9.8 and 9.6 as well as other NM range options and mid to low grade CGC slabs also.

ComicLink - Quite a few options as expected for CGC copies, but no raw ones. A 9.4 NM is the highest one so far and the only copy in the NM range. 3 VF 8.0s and 3 in the low grade range.

ComicConnect - No shortage of copies here for the first full appearance of Wolverine. Highest copy is a CGC 9.8 that goes up for auction in August of this year. There's also a 9.6 NM+ and a PGX 9.9! Other CGC options as well and two unslabbed copies with the highest an 8.5 VF+.

  • Cameo of Wolverine
The industry recognizes this issue as simply a cameo, and I'm not entirely sure why they don't note it as the 2nd brief appearance of Wolverine. He is shown in this issue after all, and why the title isn't bestowed upon this issue has yet to be addressed by those who designate key issue statuses in the industry. 

Regardless, this comic has seen growing demand as it is a very early appearance of the mutie runt, Wolverine. Hulk 182 has definitely and recently become a great comic book investment to snag and will probably remain so as the decades roll on by also.

mycomicshop - Three CGC 9.4 NM copies of this key issue located. One 9.2 low NM and a raw unslabbed copy at a FN 6.0 present for the meantime.

eBay - Another Wolverine key issue with a decent amount of options on eBay. A few raw copies available, but no trouble finding a CGC slab to snag. A beautiful 9.8 is present as well as 9.6 copies. Plenty of copies in the NM range to mid to low grades also.

ComicLink - Two CGC 9.2 low NMs and one of them was just recently listed. One unslabbed copy at a 7.5 low VF.

ComicConnect - Five copies here. Two copies are CGC graded. 9.6 NM+ is the highest followed by a 9.2 low NM. Three unslabbed copies at the time of this writing for sale here. Highest is a 9.4 NM followed by a 9.0 VF/NM. Lowest unslabber is a 6.5 FN+.

  • 2nd full appearance of Wolverine
  • Wolverine joins X-Men team
Although this comic has a boatload of other important key issue statuses worth mentioning, this key comics list will only pertain to Wolverine and why it's a key issue for the most famous Canadian superhero in comics. Fair enough, right?

No doubt that Giant-Size X-Men #1 is another extremely important and sought after key issue, and it's one of the top Bronze Age key comic investments. Giant-Size X-Men #1 sees the 2nd full appearance of Wolverine as well as the character joining the X-Men team. 

It would be this X-Men team that would catapult the mutant team into one of the most popular titles in the Marvel catalog, and it would be in the X-Men titled comics that Wolverine's popularity would flourish tremendously. Still a solid comic investing choice! Next year will mark this issue's 40th anniversary.

mycomicshop - CGC goodness is in attendance here for now. A high grade 9.0 VF/NM is the highest slabbed copy for now. A VF 8.0 is the second highest. Two unslabbed copies also on the menu if you could care less for slabbed comics.

eBay - This bad boy will be no problem finding here also. Plenty of unslabbed copies to choose from and a good selection of CGC slabs if you want to take the more sure route. Quite a few 9.8s on here and other high grade NM copies.

ComicLink - The folks at ComicLink provide the high grade CGC copies of this super key issue. Highest is a CGC 9.8 with quite a bit of others that fall in the NM range. There's also some lower  and mid grade copies if you're more on a budget. Lowest is a solid GD. No unslabbed copies yet.

X-MEN #94
  • 1st Wolverine in X-Men title series
Another huge Bronze Age key issue, and it's no surprise this Wolverine key is in another X-Men title. This is the first time the new team appears in the regular titled X-Men comic series, and also makes it the very first time Wolverine is in the comic series that made him immensely popular. 

This early appearance of Wolverine in X-Men #95 is a solid comic investment and has been so for quite a few decades. Extremely sought out through the years and extremely valuable as well in higher grades. Definitely one of the top ten Bronze Age comics to invest in. Publishing date is August, 1975.

mycomicshop - Seven copies here, all are on consignment and only one is a raw unslabbed copy. A decent 8.5 VF+ is the top grade so far with an 8.0 VF coming in a close second. Two PGX 7.0 copies available. Raw copy is a FN.

eBay - Not disappointing here! Great selection of both raw and slabbed copies for this super key issue. Pretty decent selection of CGC slabs but no 9.8s at the moment. Highest is a 9.6 and only one. Most seem to be 8.0 for CGC.

ComicConnect - Quite a few CGC copies here. Some are under the Modern label which is a bit strange. Highest here is 9.8. Only two unslabbed copies at the time of this writing.

ComicLink - No problem finding CGC copies for this super key here also. Highest is a 9.6 NM+ and there are two copies, one being a PGX. Two 9.4 NM slabs as well as two 9.2 low NM. Plenty to consider at the time of this writing.

X-MEN #95
  • 2nd Wolverine in X-Men titled series
Strangely only toted for the death of Thunderbird, X-Men #95 is often overlooked as the 2nd time Wolverine appears in the X-Men titled series. As it is the 2nd time Wolverine appears in this comic series, it's also the 2nd time the new team of Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Banshee and Thunderbird also appears in the X-Men titled comics as well.

This is one I would definitely say is quite under-valued, especially in 9.6 NM+ grades. Like I mentioned, quite one of the most over-looked Wolverine key issues out there, and should be a great investment comic in the near future.

mycomicshop - All are CGC copies as of this writing with the highest being an awesome 9.8! Four 9.4 NM slabs available as well, in which two are Signature Series. Both are signed by Stan Lee, but one is double signed with Chris Claremont. Two 9.2 low NMs for sale also. Nothing but high grade copies present at the moment.

eBay - Quite a few high grade CGC copies for this issue. One 9.8 and a few 9.6s and 9.4s available as of this writing. Some unslabbed, raw copies to browse through also.

ComicLink - A few copies here so far. Most are CGC slabs and the highest are two 9.4 NMs. Also a 9.0 VF/NM, and the lowest slabbed copy is a 5.0 VG/FN. One raw unslabbed copy at a 7.0 FN/VF.

ComicConnect - Three CGC copies and three raw copies in stock at ComicConnect. Highest CGC copy is a 9.4 NM. Highest raw copy is a 9.2 low NM. All high grade copies here so far.

As expected, no problem finding CGC copies for these early key issue Wolverine comics. Raw copies a different story. Most of these are well-known and all in Part 1 are super key comic investments and many are some of the best bronze age comics to invest in. Many are already pretty up there in price. Snikt! Snakt! Ka-ching!

Part 2 to this Wolverine key issues list is ready so just click the link below for more bezerker madness! See you at Part 2, Bub!


  1. just got back my hulk 181 I bought for 550 at a show from CGC and it came back a 5.5 so I guess I can sell my 4.5 now. thanks for the list bub it is awesome. JW

    1. Looks like you got a decent chunk of instant return on that one JW! Congrats, man!

  2. I don't get why people have Stan Lee sign Wolverine books. I thought he had nothing to do with Wolvie? Am I mistaken? Or are people just trying to cash in on a popular book with a popular autograph?

    1. Stan Lee is pretty much Marvel to the majority of comic fans, he is the face of the company and most likely will always be. Even though he didn't create or co-create Wolverine, most fans just want his signature on any Marvel comic book, since he is a huge part of why the company became a huge success. Yes, people are also trying to cash in a little extra on a popular book with a popular autograph.

  3. Very interesting set of books. Do you know of any early Wolvie apps outside of X-Men and Hulk?

    1. Amazing Spider-Man 161, Marvel Team-Up Annual 1, and Iron Fist 15 are all 1970s Wolverine appearances outside of Hulk and X-Mem.

  4. X-men 98 is the first appearance of Wolverine without his mask.

  5. Hi Mayem, for investment purposes, would you rather purchase a high grade Hulk 181 graded 8.0-8.5 or an X-men 1 graded 3.0-4.0? Reason I'm asking is because I'm considering one of these two to pickup as my next key book but wasnt sure which one would be a better investment. Can you please help me with my decision? Thank you.

    1. X-Men #1 4.0 due to CGC Census. 365 compared to 855 or 810 for Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 8.0 or 8.5 copies.

    2. Thanks, Mayhem!

  6. Hi Mayhem,

    I've been debating for the longest time if I should invest in a higher grade Hulk 181, more specifically a grade 8.0-8.5. Most that I have found in those grades are in the mid to high $2000 mark. Do you think it's overpriced and also is it worth investing if it's for the long term? Your input on this is much appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Tough call. 8.0s have been bouncing around the same values for a while now concerning CGC Hulk #181s at that grade. If you can get one cheaper or find a time when there are multiple CGC 8.0 or 8.5 copies up for bidding auction around the same time, you might be able to snag a copy cheaper.

      Going after a raw copy that's under-graded is another option or one that is around a 7.0 and can be pressed and cleaned to an 8.0 is another option.