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Monday, February 6, 2017

She-Hulk Key Issues Part 1


Time to take care of another requested key issues series, and we are going to take a look at She-Hulk. Interesting story behind why this character was created to begin with and it had to do with the Bionic Woman TV series and the success of the Incredible Hulk TV series back in the late 70s and early 80s.

Yep, that Bionic Woman show starring Lindsay Wagner and was a spin-off of The Six Million Dollar Man show. If you grew up during that time, you probably remember both shows.

So, the story is that the success of both shows prompted Marvel Comics to create a female character of the Hulk before the TV network did, which ensured that Marvel owned the rights if a female Hulk character did happen to pop up on TV.

The reason She-Hulk was created pretty much had to do with owning rights. The character was one of Stan Lee's last character creations for Marvel, but Ravage 2099 was also created by Lee in 1992.

Alright, so I don't expect this to be a very long series whatsoever, but it surely won't be that short either. Let's explore this powerful and beautiful, green lady.






THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #1
1st appearance & origin of She-Hulk

The awesomeness begins here and with this issue. The character of Jennifer Walters debuts in this issue as well as her alter ego She-Hulk.

So Jennifer Walters is the cousin of ole Bruce Banner also known as green-rage-monster, the Hulk. While Banner became a doctor or scientist, Walters became a criminal lawyer.

Well, unfortunately, she is defending a gangster by the name of Lou Monkton, a rival of Nick Trask who holds a vendetta against her client. Nothing good can come out of that, and here's how it plays out.



Well, Jennifer is critically injured and needs a blood transfusion. Apparently there's little time to wait for an ambulance so Banner goes searching for a doctor's office nearby in order to find the equipment needed to perform the procedure.


With Banner's gamma infected blood pumping through her veins, she now has the same reaction in her body that causes her to Hulk-out in certain stressful circumstances. She-Hulk is born when the goons make another attempt on her life!



This issue does have Direct and Newsstand editions or copies. Now, it's true that during the early direct market years, newsstands had a higher percentage of distribution.

However, newsstands were returnable if they did not sell and that left them to be repackaged and sold to all sorts of other markets. The remaining issues that didn't sell were most likely sold for pulp, basically destroyed and recycled.

Direct market was distributed to comic shops who sold mainly to comic readers and collectors. Any unsold copies were up to the comic dealers to figure out what to do with, so they might of not been destroyed on a larger scale and kept as back stock. 

Some say that this might be the reason most direct editions were kept in better shape than newsstands or are more plentiful in high grades. I'm not sure so I can't really comment either way.

What is clear is that this issue has a high amount of CGC graded 9.8s, but some of those are newsstand editions. CGC is beginning to recognize and label some newsstand comics. I'm not sure about this particular issue with the newer labels though.

Because I was requested to do so by some readers, I've began compiling CGC & CBCS graded newsstand data behind the scenes. Of course, nothing is solid and it's virtually impossible to get an accurate amount of numbers between newsstands and direct editions unless everyone graded them and shared them all at once on a forum or community page. 

Here is the data I came up for this issue at least a few months back. It probably looks different now and I wouldn't doubt it if it does:


CGC GOCOLLECT EBAY PAST SALES

9.8 NS | 9.8 DM
26 | 221

9.6 NS | 9.6 DM 
63 | 194

9.4 NS | 9.4 DM 
20 | 83

9.2 NS | 9.2 DM 
28 | 50



Now, I've only done 9.2s and up, because newsstands are not really rare during the early 80s. Also, 9.0s barely have many sales in even a 4 year period on ole eBay. However, there appears to be a disparity between direct and newsstands concerning higher grades, but once again, this is not a conclusive finding

Furthermore and it should be noted that I cannot determine exactly how many of the exact same slabs re-entered the market during a 2 to 4 year span on ole eBay. 

Some may be double or triple counted because of quick reselling or flipping during this period, but I am assuming anymore than 3 times is highly unlikely. Also, I would not assume that 80s high grade newsstand copies are more rare than direct market if my findings hadn't found disparities between them for more than one grade and for more than one issue.

But, take into consideration, that the number is still a small percentage of the CGC Census. For example, 200 sales of 1,000 9.8s registered in the census is only 20%, and some of those sales included CBCS and they are a newer grading company.

 

It's just some info if you're interested in it. If not, ignore it. I don't particularly make a huge deal when it comes to newsstands vs. direct market when I'm on the hunt.

I do notice them now, but they have not widely affected my purchasing decisions except for one guilty pleasure and that comic is neither Marvel nor DC. Cover date is February, 1980 for The Savage She-Hulk #1.     






THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #2
1st cameo of Morris Walters
1st appearance of Nick Trask
1st appearance of Dennis Bukowski
1st appearance of Danny & Jill Ridge
2nd appearance of She-Hulk 

Despite being the 2nd appearance of She-Hulk, this issue does have a bunch of 1st appearances of what would be She-Hulks main supporting cast at least in this comic series. Stan Lee did write the first issue, but it was the only one.

David Anthony Kraft would helm the titled series when Stan left after issue #1. So, lets' begin with Sheriff William Morris Walters. He is Jennifer's pops but does not know what happened to her in terms of becoming the She-Hulk. Unlike General Ross who knows Banner is the Hulk, Morris doesn't know that his daughter and the She-Hulk are the same person.

He only shows up in two panels in this issue.

 
Daniel Ridge is Jennifer's childhood friend and closest confidant in the titled series. When he was a kid, Jennifer babysat him and they grew up next door to each other.

No surprise that Jennifer was his first love and this infatuation even continued well into adulthood. This would even evolve into an infatuation with She-Hulk. Like her father, Daniel Ridge is one of She-Hulk's main supporting characters that followed the character outside of her titled series after it was cancelled but not all that much.

Daniel's sister is Jill Ridge or that's her maiden name. She is Jill Stevens in the series but also grew up with Jennifer Walters and is her best-friend. Despite her friendship to Jennifer, she doesn't really seem to show up that much or in Marvel Comics over-all.

Nick Trask, of course, is the whole reason why Jennifer Walters needed the blood transfusion from her cousin, as it was his goons who injured her in the first issue. He would recur as a villain in this comic series but only for a few issues. 





According to Overstreet, Savage She-Hulk #2-5 and the last issue of 25 are all valued at $10 for 9.2 raw copie, and the month of March marks the cover of Savage She-Hulk #2 that came out in 1980.



THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #3
 2nd appearance of Danny Ridge
3rd appearance of She-Hulk
3rd She-Hulk cover


Pretty obvious when it concerns this issue here, and there's really not much to talk about concerning key issue notations. 3rd appearance of She-Hulk, 3rd She-Hulk cover, blah, blah, blah.

Pretty boring and no one new or even remotely important characters debut in this 3rd issue of Savage She-Hulk. She  does battle and destroy the She-Droid in this issue, and that would set up the premise for when Iron Man crosses over into the comic series and the two first meet and team up.

Other than that, not really much else to say. Not sure if any of these early She-Hulk comics had Canadian Editions or not, but there are regular U.S. newsstands.

April, 1980 is the cover date for Savage She-Hulk #3.






THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #4
1st full appearance of Walter Morris?
3rd appearance Danny Ridge
 4th appearance of She-Hulk
4th She-Hulk cover



Once again, She-Hulk's early, numerical appearances are pretty easy since the character only stayed in her titled series for quite a while before she ever has her first cross-over. Very much the same for her cover appearances as well, so this is her 4th cover appearance.

When it comes to Morris Walters and Danny Ridge and their appearances, I'll just stop here with the notations. Both are still supporting characters for She-Hulk after her 1st titled series and do pop up in her other headlining comic volumes here and there.

Over-all their appearances aren't much on a grand scale. In the other volumes of her titled series after, it seems that creatives would give her different supporting characters that recur during each different volume.

Sheriff Walters is in this issue a lot more than the previous two. In issue #3, he only showed up in 4 panels. This issue may have his 1st full appearance, and he does meet She-Hulk for the first time.


He thinks that She-Hulk killed his daughter, so he is unaware that they are the same person. Pops put out the word to capture his daughter dead or alive.

Savage She-Hulk #4 does have newsstands if you're interested in them, and the cover date is May, 1980.






THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #6
1st meeting & team up with Iron Man
1st appearance of Ralphie Hutchins
6th appearance of She-Hulk


Welcome to the Marvel Universe, She-Hulk! That's right, and this issue here establishes her as part of this great, wide world when she first meets none other than Iron Man.

Of course, this would be a great first meeting as She-Hulk is known as a member of the Avengers, and Shellhead would be a future team up. They do have a very short spat in this issue.


Seems like Trask is still causing trouble for She-Hulk. Iron Man flies to Los Angeles to investigate the death of a truck driver named Jake Fox at the behest of Fox's wife.

Fox was killed when Trask employed robots that tried to hunt down She-Hulk, and Iron Man, unaware of a female Hulk, is shown a photo of a dead Jake Fox in the arms of She-Hulk.

The hunt is on and the two do meet. Iron Man is surprised that this female version of the Hulk has still retained her intelligence. She-Hulk explains the culprits are robots that she fought in the previous issue, and Iron Man takes her word for it.

The two's team up is actually searching for the robot's busted up parts as evidence. It's not really an action-packed team up of any kind, and they end up finding the robot's head.

This issue also has the first appearance of Ralphie Hutchins. Although a friend of Zapper, he later ends up in league with Doc, a geneticist who wanted to capture She-Hulk to do experiments on. Ralphie ends up being mutated into several creatures during the titled comic's run.

Over-all he's a pretty minor villain in the Marvel Universe, and even though there are some 4th rate villains that do debut in this issue, I will actually discuss the character of Ralphie and how he vexes She-Hulk throughout the series.


Not because he's a cool character or his debut is a great investment, but to make the example of what kind of villains to expect that debut in this titled comic series. In my speak, it means don't expect much.

Actually, Ralphie only appears in 4 panels on two pages in this comic, but the character is so minor, I'm not even gonna worry about full appearances for Ralphie.

Bob Layton's cover is actually pretty darn cool for this issue. Like the reflection of She-Hulk off Shellhead's helmet, and cover date for Savage She-Hulk #6 is July, 1980.







THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #8
1st meeting & battle with Man-Thing


If you're not a Man-Thing fan, you might not know the name of Richard Rory. Actually, the character has been around since he first appeared in the pages of Man-Thing.

Before he became a supporting character for the 1st She-Hulk series, he was in such titles as Daredevil and Defenders previously. In issue #7, Rory debuted in the titled series of Savage She-Hulk and became a recurring supporting character until the series was cancelled.

With Rory entering the pages of this comic series, it's only natural to bring in the Man-Thing soon enough, right? Well, that happens in this issue and She-Hulk and Man-Thing have a brief fight of sorts.

So She-Hulk does meet some other Marvel characters in her 1st comic series. She would also meet Michael Morbius in this series as well. 

With the cover date of September, 1980, Savage She-Hulk #8 isn't really that sought out of a comic and should still be a cheap buy.







THE SAVAGE SHE-HULK #9
1st appearance of Ultima
1st appearance of The Word
9th appearance She-Hulk


First, She-Hulks early appearances are easy to figure out. Her first 10 appearances are all in her first headlining comic series and are in numerical order by each sequential issue. I'm not going to list or feature all numerical appearance if that's the only thing to really discuss, meaning there really isn't all that much to discuss.

So this issue is the 9th issue and her 9th appearance in comics. She meets and fights a pretty minor character or villain in this issue.

Didn't really need to even put her 1st appearance on here. Sure, it is a first appearance, but is it really a key or an important issue other than the 9th appearance of She-Hulk?

Not really. Ultima would appear for the 2nd time in issue #10, but in their next battle, the villain would be crushed by a car and severely injure her spine. 

The Word is Ultima's father and another very minor villain.
He is Jack Wordman and is a cult leader and isn't really that much of a baddie,.

When a member seeks Jennifer Walters help in trying to leave the cult, this would have the lawyer enter the life of both Ultima and Wordman. Ultima gets jeaslous and sees Jennifer as a rival for her father's affections.

A clash between She-Hulk is the obvious result. The Word would eventually be able to revive or restore his daugher back to peak physical condition and the pair would meet the Thing in Marvel Two-In-One #89

She-Hulk is not present in that issue, and I think that's about it concerning the comic careers for both The Word and Ultima.

Michael Morbius makes a cameo in this issue, and Morbius would finally meet She-Hulk in issues #11 & #12. He is not in his vampiric state, and actually creates a serum that saves She-Hulk from some kind of deathly illness.

Cover date is October, 1980 for Savage She-Hulk #9.




If we are talking about key issues as important to a character or the Marvel Universe, it is pretty lack luster when it comes to 1st appearances of villains or even supporting characters in She-Hulk comics, and I was conflicted about even mentioning most of the issues so far.

So don't have much to say about the caliber of supporting characters created for and debuting in her various comic series, except that there will be more minor characters and 1st appearance key issues in Part 2. See ya there.




5 comments:

  1. Hey Mayhem-San,

    love She-Hulk. Great character by Stan the man! Did you see the performance of Briggs Land? The comic seems to be on the upswing because of an announced AMC show. Grab yours cheap while you can! Any knowledge of key issues in that series? I ordered number 1 - 4.

    Ace

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  2. I love this website and the work that you dot...BUT this She-Hulk key issues might be the weakest one I've read. Issues 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... There have to be some other books of significance?

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    1. For Savage She-Hulk? The series ONLY lasted 25 issues with a host of REALLY crappy and laughable villains and terrible plots. Even her Sensational She-Hulk title didn't produce any memorable characters or villains. This is NOT a great character to search for significant keys!

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  3. Cool. Thanks for not getting bent out of shape and giving me a real answer. I love this site and I can spend a lot of time just pouring through the incredible amount of research.

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    1. Whoa! Are peoples fighting already? I haven't even replied yet. Bwah ha ha!

      Well, to the comment above Crespi's, I unfortunately have to agree and I've written this in later posts to the series. She-Hulk is a popular character, but most of her supporting cast aren't really iconic or even that well-known.

      She's a tough character to do a Key issues series since most of her significant villains or even characters are shared with the Hulk. I mean, Savage She-Hulk #25 is only valuable because it's speculated as having a low print run, not really for any significant key issue debut or origin or whatever.

      Much of her later series are constantly changing supporting characters, so they end up falling through the cracks whenever a new series is launched by another writer. Kind of a shame since consistency is pretty much smashed with this character. I wish that would change, but it is what it is.

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