Saturday 30th May 2015,
Comic Booked

Heritage Auctions Sells Incredible Hulk #181

Comic Booked Guest Writer 07/19/2011 Features, Reviews

Once a week, Heritage Auctions has um… well…  an auction that relates to comic books as well as other collectible items, but let us stay on the subject of comic books. Every week I get a reminder that an auction is about to occur and every week I look over the books that they have listed. Some I just follow because I want to know how much they go for. Some I follow because I want to see if they are close to my threshold.

This week there were a few comic books that I wanted to look over. They are in order of an alphabetical nature copies of:

Amazing Spider-Man #194 (9.8 Off-White to White Pages)

Amazing Spider-Man #252 (9.8 White Pages)

Daredevil #168 (9.6 Off-White to White Pages)

Incredible Hulk #181 (9.4 White Pages)

Nick Fury Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. #6 (9.0 Off-White to White Pages)

Uncanny X-Men #121 (9.6 White Pages)

Uncanny X-Men #141 (9.8 White Pages)

Uncanny X-Men #143 (9.8 White Pages)

The Nick Fury book I watched because I think Jim Steranko does a great cover, and the Uncanny X-Men books because I would love to add those to my collection. The Daredevil book is a number I want but no less than a 9.8 White Pages (that is right, a 9.6 is not good enough for me). My copy was graded a 9.2.  I was just curious as to what the 9.6 would sell for.  The Amazing Spider-Man’s are both issues that I want. The #252 is falling into the price range I want to buy but the #194 is a book that I would also like to have white pages.

We can talk about the white pages another time; right now the importance is the grades. I didn’t mention The Incredible Hulk in the paragraph above because I want to dedicate the rest of this article to that issue alone. A 9.4 is also considered Near Mint or NM for short. My theory is that all books off the shelf whether that is from a convenience store, books store, or your LCS should always be at least a 9.4. This book should be able to go to CGC to get graded and be no less than this grade, with white pages.

Every new book I buy I put in a bag with a board. Others are a bit more extensive. This is something I will go into detail another time. As I mentioned this is about Incredible Hulk #181. I have to say 95 percent of all collectors know this is the first appearance of Wolverine… or as the cover stated “the” Wolverine. The book was published in October of 74, and why my Parents never got this for me as an early Hanukah gift I will never know. Then again the chances are they never got it for me was because I was two.

No one knew this book would be as valuable as it is today. The first day it was up for auction the bid was at $550. Even if I could bid on the prestigious book, it was already out of my hands. This is what Heritage Auctions had to say about the item:

The Incredible Hulk #181 (Marvel, 1974) CGC NM 9.4 White pages. First full appearance of Wolverine. Wendigo appearance. Herb Trimpe cover and art. Jack Abel art. Overstreet 2010 NM- 9.2 value = $1,650. CGC census 7/11: 237 in 9.4, 214 higher. From the Michael Scheer Collection.

Hulk, Wolverine

Overstreet guide even said this book in a 9.2 should be $1200. Overstreet grades their books raw, they do not take into account of third party grading.  If I am wrong on this please notify me as such on twitter @CGCLee.  The second day the bidding reached $650. Not much higher but it was climbing. The gears in my head started to turn at the thought of placing an impossible bid. (An impossible bid in my world is a bid that you place on a book that you know you will be outbid on.) The third day I didn’t even bother checking, but on the fourth day the bid more than tripled to $2200. I didn’t want to watch this auction too closely for the fear of making an impossible bid possible. On Day six the price didn’t move.

Heritage Auctions also has a Buyer’s Premium. I do hate this, but the auctioneer (in this case the company) has to make money as well. Any book over a certain amount also pays an additional percentage.  Under a certain price the buyer’s premium is a straight $14. I just placed a bid on a book to verify this.Daredevil

After the bid reaches a certain amount, somewhere above eighty dollars that flat $14 changes to 19.5 percent, and that adds up. So as of this day, the book is going for $2200 plus the buyer’s premium of $429 which would bring the total to $2649.  After a full week this particular copy of Incredible Hulk #181 sold for a total price of $3107. That includes the Buyer’s premium.

The last copy Heritage Auctions sold of this particular book was in an auction that ended May 5th.  It sold for $2868 including the buyer’s premium. This is one of those books in a 9.4 that does keep going up when they become available. There is another auction coming up with another Incredible Hulk #181 that is also graded by CGC as a 9.4. This is an older one and is also considered a variant due to a “star” stamp on the cover. Come back in August when I cover that one.

As for the other books I was watching, what price did they reach?


Amazing Spider-Man #194 (9.8 Off-White to White Pages)                $286.80

Amazing Spider-Man #252 (9.8 White Pages)                                        $158.94

Daredevil #168 (9.6 Off-White to White Pages)                                    $227.05

Nick Fury Agent of S.H.E.I.L.D. #6 (9.0 Off-White to White Pages)    $79.00

Uncanny X-Men #121 (9.6 White Pages)                                                $179.25

Uncanny X-Men #141 (9.8 White Pages)                                                $179.25

Uncanny X-Men #143 (9.8 White Pages)                                                $101.58

So I would have spent $4318.87 on eight books if I won at these prices.

By the way, Heritage Auctions currently has a copy of Incredible Hulk in an 8.0 White Pages, my guess is somewhere around $785.


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  1. Tom 07/19/2011 at 5:37 am

    For what it is worth, the Hulk #181 is an overpriced comics at any level. When visiting any comic book show or shop several of these issues appear on the dealer's walls. At one show a dealer owned 7 or 8 slabbed issues in various grades for those collectors with financial limitations. How can the comic book be worth any real money when so many are available at any given time? Yes it is the first appearance of Wolverine and CGC graded 9.4, blah, blah, blah. My question is with so many issues available why the high price? I'd rather spend my hard earned $$$$ on other rare issues like House of Secrets #92. In all my years of searching comic shops and shows that HOS issue is hard to find. I've even owned several copies of Hulk #181 and sold each one but HOS #92 remains elusive. Is HOS #92 worth more that Hulk #181? Probably not but locating an HOS #92 is the challenge. Other comics are equally difficult to locate and worth less than the Hulk #181. Next time you visit a comic show count the Hulk #181 issues you see and I'm sure there are more hidden in boxes or under the dealers tables.

    • CGC Lee 07/19/2011 at 9:38 am

      I don't disagree. The thing is this was purchased through an online auction. There is a good chance that the winner of this book does not necessarily have the means to visit a local comic shop or even a convention. I remember when Philadelphia had a drought before Wizard World stepped in. I had a copy of this and I sold it. It wasn't the greatest copy and I did vow to get a better one someday but it is not on my immediate need list. New Mutants #99 is another overpriced book. Sure it isn't as high as Incredible Hulk #181 but it isn't as old either. A 9.9 Signature Series of this book sold for $6,601. The first 9.9 copy of this book sold for over $12,000 and that was a universal grade. Once again overpriced, although you don't see many of these at conventions. There are certain books that people tend to overpay for just to have it. I know I did on a New Mutants #1 in a 9.9 As for your HOS #92, I have seen this around through the convention circuit as well, but I will tell you what, the next time I see this book on an auction I will follow it and report on it like I did The Incredible Hulk. Mind you though I am not a huge DC fan so if you find one on auction let me know. You can reach me through Facebook at CGCLee.

      Thank you for responding.

  2. CGC Lee 10/17/2011 at 7:18 am


    I know this took a while but it is hard to find a high grade copy of HOS #92. There was one at the NYCC selling for $30,000. It was a 9.8 white pages. This is the highest grade of this book. Hope that helps.

    CGC Lee

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