Variant Alert: (She-)Hulk #1 (Ed McGuinness)

I am late in posting on this variant as it has been circulating online since about late 2016/early 2017. I say online cause this variant is made in collaboration with Hall of Comics and sold exclusively online. So you won’t be finding this at your local comic shop. hoc_hulk_cvr_a_1024x1024

This cover is an homage to the classic Incredible Hulk #181 cover which was the first complete appearance of Wolverine and of their first epic meeting. This cover takes that composition and substitutes the new Wolverine (X-23) and the She-Hulk (who is looking a bit different due to emotional/mental factors).

Admittedly I have not been a fan of this new (She-) Hulk series. The overall concept was interesting, but its execution has left a lot to be desired. I bought this issue for the cover and that’s it. I felt it was unique enough to be worthy to join the collection; and to have some female Hulk representation included. Also, I like McGuinness’ work.

I think it’s an attractive piece of art, but I do kind of wish Ed utilized the background a bit more rather then settle on a flat red background.

I would be remiss in mentioning that there are not one, not two, but THREE versions of this cover. One is as seen here. The second version (dubbed the popcorn version) includes Deadpool eating popcorn while riding on the back of the Wendigo. The third version is the popcorn variant, but in black&white (except Deadpool).

The issue originally sold for $65 and is still available as of this writing. Though it does seem to have a limited printing. Looking at Ebay any issues being sold have spiked to $85 or higher.

If you like covers, especially homage covers featuring Wolverine or She-Hulk then this one is for you. Otherwise you might just wanna skip it.

Incredible Hulk #6

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Writer: Stan Lee / Cover: Steve Ditko / Artist: Steve Ditko

 

Here is one of the prize gems in my comic collection, Incredible Hulk #6. Released in March 1963, this was the last issue in the original run of the Incredible Hulk. Mean green would continue to exist in the Avengers or in Tales to Astonish until 1968 when Incredible Hulk #102 would reintroduce him. Yes, my issue is bit beat up but to own any of these old issues costs a small fortune. A beat up copy is sometimes the only way to have them all.

Sadly this comic has the weakest story of the run and some of the strangest moments I think most Hulk fans would rather forget. This issue proves that Stan Lee was really trying everything with this character and seeing what stuck.This is also the first issue where Ditko takes over the art direction from Kirby.

 

hulk maskFor example in these early issues Banner can only change to Hulk with the aide of a Gamma Machine (or the Moon). However, during one transformation, it isn’t completed. He is changed, except for having Banner’s physical head and face. So the Hulk has to wear a mask to disguise himself completely so no one knows he’s Banner. An interesting twist. I had never considered a disguise being an issue for someone who changed his body at the molecular level.

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In addition the Hulk is much smarter and outsmarts the metal master using a gun. A gun! I won’t spoil how. But its a pretty low-tech solution.

hulk6angry

 

 

And finally we get to see another moment that does influence the future of the character and become canon…but in reverse. In this issue Hulk becomes so mad that he actually reverts back to Banner without the use of the Gamma machine. In future issues it would be anger that would bring out the Hulk. I’m sure this moment would inspire future Hulk writer Peter David to bring this idea back and give us the ‘Savage Banner’ .

The comic ends with Metal Master defeated with the help of the Teen Brigade (First appearance) and Banner hoping to leave the Hulk behind him.

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Average eBay Value:

  • $130-350+ depending on quality (8/2/16)

Lead Hulk Figurine (Specials Issue #1)

lead hulkThis small figure was released as part of a long series (The Classic Marvel Figurine Collection) spanning from 2007 to 2013. These figures were packaged along-side a magazine series published by Eaglemoss Publications. Each figure reflecting the magazine in question. In this case I purchased a magazine about the Incredible Hulk which included, this Hulk figure. Around 200+ magazines with figures have been released for various Marvel characters ranging from Spiderman to Blade to M.O.D.O.K.

Typically the figures stand around 9 cm tall. However some figures, such as this Hulk figure, are known as specials and are a slight bit bigger. There are even some figures known as Mega Specials which stand even bigger and include the likes of Galactus. Some are even double packs of related figures.

What makes these figures truly unique is how they were made. These figures are cast in lead, giving them some hefty weight. This hulk figure in particular is quite heavy for its size. In addition the figures are painted with a lead-based paint. The same paint known for causing cancer. So it’s best to wash your hands after handling one of these guys. In my research it seems the company responsible for these figures prohibited selling them to American buyers. The lead in these figures may be the reason why. Though I must say that this hasn’t stopped most comic stores I have visited from having any.  Tons of these guys sit in wait on shelves or still in their packages with their original magazines.

In addition to the green hulk shown here, a gray variant is also available. All the figures and magazines retailed for $20.99. I think I purchased this guy with his magazine and everything for around $20-25 back in 2011 or 2012.  The figure itself is sculpted fairly nicely, if not a bit chunky in certain spots. The paint job is somewhat detailed, but a tad sloppy in certain places. Overall a neat little addition to the collection. Hard to find. Unique production value. Comes complete with an attached base.

The green hulk is on ebay for:

  • $30-50 (3/16/17)
  • $30-50 (4/27/16)
  • $55 (6/10/15)
  • $50 (9/1/14)
  • $20-50 (9-3-13)

The gray hulk is on ebay for:

  • N/A (2017)
  • N/A (2016)
  • $40 (6/10/15)
  • $60 (9/1/14)
  • $25-45 (9-3-13)