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I finally completed my write-up for my newly acquired world class copy of Incredible Hulk #181 CGC 9.8 W for my CGC Registry Set entitled, "Enter Wolverine!" Just wanted to share with the larger CGC Comic Collecting Community! Enjoy!! -Professor Pecora [AND NOW...THE WOLVERINE!] Incredible Hulk #181 showcases the 1st full appearance of Wolverine and his 2nd overall appearance in the history of comics! Moreover, there are only a handful of comic books that have literally stood the test of time and have reigned over any other book of its era; Incredible Hulk #181 is one of those exceptions! If you were to think of a single comic book to represent the most sought-after, most valuable and most significant issue of an entire age, it would be Action Comics #1 of the Golden Age (1938-1955); Amazing Fantasy #15 of the Silver Age (1956-1969); and Incredible Hulk #181 of the Bronze Age (1970-1984). In other words, the 1st appearances of Superman, Spider-Man and Wolverine have superseded the importance of any other character of their respective time periods! With that said, the world was introduced to the claw-slashing, berserker-raged mutant Wolverine, who made a long-lasting first impression during his debut in November of 1974, as he battled the most powerful character in the Marvel Universe—the Incredible Hulk! However, Wolverine wasn’t anything like the major superheroes before him; instead, he was ill-mannered, hot-tempered and walked the earth with a tortured soul, as he would later struggle with his origins and the purpose of his creation. He was a government experiment—the perfect weapon—Weapon X! As a direct result, the “anti-hero” was born! Wolverine was originally created by writer Len Wein and designed by Marvel Art Director, John Romita, Sr. However, in October of 1974; it was the late Herb Trimpe (May 26, 1939 – April 13, 2015) who first drew the character for publication in a last panel cameo featured in the Incredible Hulk #180. The following month, Wolverine was depicted on the front cover lunging in midair and slashing through heavy chains to attack the Goliath Green Machine! In my personal opinion, this is by far the most badass 1st appearance entrance in the history of comics! Wolverine battled the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe head on, so the story title, “AND NOW…the WOLVERINE!” served as an impact statement as if to say, “move over Hulk…another badass is in town to take on all challengers!” With that being said, Herb Trimpe’s classic cover of Incredible Hulk #181 forever remains etched in the hearts and minds of all Wolverine fans and collectors, and is easily recognized and revered worldwide by any comic book collector or connoisseur! Roughly 8 months later in the Summer of 1975, Wolverine made his 2nd “full” appearance in Giant-Size X-Men #1 and became a major addition to the new X-Men team. While Wolverine was kicking a** and talking trash in the process, he became increasingly popular with avid X-Men readers and became the most popular character on the X-Men roster! From this success, Marvel would later feature Wolverine in his 1st solo comic; in a classic four-part miniseries, which was published from September – December of 1982. Fast forward a little over six years ahead, and Marvel finally catapulted Wolverine into his own monthly series in November of 1988! Furthermore, in the 43 years of his existence, Wolverine has become the most popular character in the entire Marvel Universe, next to the franchise’s marquee character—the Amazing Spider-Man! In the Marvel cinematic world, Wolverine has been characterized on the silver screen by famed actor Hugh Jackman for an astonishing 17 consecutive years in a total of 9 films! With the start of the new millennium in the year 2000 up until the year 2017, Hugh Jackman (as Wolverine) has been featured in the following Marvel films: X-Men (2000); X2: X-Men United (2003); X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009); X-Men: First Class (2011); The Wolverine (2013); X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014); X-Men: Apocalypse (2016); and Logan (2017). To say that Hugh Jackman has had success towards making Wolverine and the X-Men a viable movie franchise would be a gross understatement! Rather, he has ventured into “legendary status,” with almost 2 decades of filmmaking and helping to contribute a Worldwide Box Office Total of OVER 5 BILLION DOLLARS! As a direct result, copies of Incredible Hulk #181 will only continue to appreciate and rise in value annually, making it not only the most coveted book of the Bronze Age to collect and showcase, but one of the most secure long-term investments! According to the CGC Census Report as of December 12, 2017, out of an impressive total of 9,989 copies graded, only one (1) freak of nature was graded (WAY BACK in April of 2001) as a Universal MINT 9.9, which sold for $150,000 on Comic Link back in February of 2011! Furthermore, only one hundred four (104) copies (including my copy) were graded as a Universal 9.8 and only ten (10) copies were graded as a Signature Series 9.8. With these statistics in mind, the rarity factor for a CGC Universal IH #181 in 9.8 is only 1.04% of the total population! That’s extremely rare! Considering the vast number of copies that have already been professionally graded and the fact that many 9.8 copies are stashed away in private collections, it is going to become increasingly difficult to locate any 9.8 examples; raw or professionally graded! On that note, this particular CGC 9.8 copy sports PERFECT COVER WRAP, PERFECT CENTERING, and PERFECT WHITE PAGE QUALITY along with being PERFECTLY cut! (okay, if you want to be a snob...99.9% perfect! ) The color saturation is deep and bright and the corners are razor sharp! Of MAJOR significance is the absolutely PERFECT CENTERING & REGISTRATION ALONG THE SPINE! It is extremely RARE even in the 9.8 grade to find a copy in this immaculate condition, which makes the Professor Pecora Copy of Incredible Hulk #181 one of the finest and most valuable copies in the world! I purchased this PRISTINE GEM in March of 2017 from the same auction house where the single CGC 9.9 MINT copy last exchanged hands—Comic Link! I had to bid very aggressively in the final seconds of the auction to secure it, along with auctioning off the majority of my CGC 9.8 Bronze Age Marvel Key Collection in the Pedigree Comic’s April 2017 Grand Auction to pay for it, but at the end of the day...it was all WORTH IT! In closing, I would like to thank Mr. Doug Schmell of Pedigree Comics for helping me to acquire this MEGA Bronze Age Key! -Professor Pecora
eBay Link ---> Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 9.6 W (1st appearance of the Punisher)!! Looks 9.8!! ATTENTION: PM me on the CGC Boards with an offer I can't refuse and I will END the eBay listing immediately (IF NO BIDS ARE PLACED) and the book is yours! Happy Holidays! -Professor Pecora Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 9.6 W (1st appearance of The Punisher)! • BRONZE AGE HOLY GRAIL!! • 2nd HIGHEST GRADED!!! • PERFECT WHITE PAGE QUALITY & COVER WRAP!! • FRESHLY ENCAPSULATED & CENTERED in the NEW CGC Holder!! PERFECT DISPLAY! •One of the BEST CGC 9.6 W copies you or anybody will ever see!! Looks like a CGC 9.8 W copy!! The Punisher is KICKING on Netflix!! If you haven't watched the new Punisher series yet, do yourself a favor and WATCH IT!! This KEY Bronze Age book will only continue to appreciate and RISE in value! If you do not have +15K to purchase that perfect looking CGC 9.8 W copy, THIS copy is the BEST solution to owning a copy that presents just like a perfect looking CGC 9.8, but at a fraction of the cost! Just look at how BRIGHT the colors POP on this copy! Look at the PERFECT REGISTRATION along the spine! Look at how BRIGHT WHITE the back cover is! (Looks MINT!) Look at how SHARP those corners are! This PRISTINE CGC 9.6 W copy is 99.5% PERFECTLY CENTERED; just a slight run-off (where it says "Approved") on the upper right hand corner where the "Comics Code Authority" Stamp is located...but it is VERY MINOR!! This blazing copy is by far "Professor Pecora Approved!" On that note, my BIN price of 7.8K for this beautiful and perfectly registered and BRIGHT CGC 9.6 W copy is reasonable for the PREMIUM CONDITION this particular copy exhibits! The value and DEMAND is only trending UPWARD so the sky is the limit! Or...throw in a bid at the last seconds of the auction and maybe you'll get lucky and win it for 6K!! It's up to you! If you don't want to risk losing it to another bidder; your option would be to Buy It Now! If my former World Class Copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 9.8 W (1st appearance of The Punisher) sold for 15.5K on September 3, 2017, don't you think this PRISTINE WHITE-PAGED COPY (2nd Highest Graded) which looks just like a CGC 9.8 W copy is at least worth 8K? When you put it in that perspective, acquiring this World Class CGC 9.6 W copy between 6K and 7.8K is GOOD! This World Class copy hails from The Professor Pecora Collection, which is from my personal collection! I am a well-known and established (and highly particular) CGC Collector who only buys and sells THE BEST books in the world!! This copy looks flawless!! I do not use any auto correct or brightening in my scans (as many other sellers do); so what you see is the REAL THING! The colors are super bright on this particular copy! Just take a good look at the high-resolution scans for confirmation! I have great relationships (over 5 years now) with ALL of the Major Comic Book Auction Houses: (Heritage, Comic Link, Comic Connect, Pedigree Comics, High Grade, Pristine Comics, World Wide Comics, etc.), so rest assured you are dealing with a seasoned professional (just as you were to purchase from one of the auction houses / comic websites mentioned above!) With that said, you can rest assure that you you will receive your high-end product in BOMB PROOF professional packaging and will be shipped within "1" business day of cleared payment via PayPal. FREE SHIPPING & HANDLING!! Check-Out my previous e-Bay feedback! Trust me, you won't be disappointed!!! This immaculate copy of Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 9.6 W will make a powerful addition to any advanced Amazing Spider-Man collection, Bronze Age Key collection, Punisher collection, or 1st appearance collection! Or, it can serve as a GREAT (tangible asset) Long-Term INVESTMENT to your investment portfolio! KEY Bronze Age CGC books in top-graded condition and PERFECT STRUCTURE just don't show up very often...so act now while you still have the opportunity!!! Please Check Out my other world class CGC eBay listings: ---> Professor Pecora's CGC Comic Book eBayListings Happy Collecting! -Professor Pecora _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For additional information on Amazing Spider-Man #129, please enjoy the following write-up taken from my CGC Registry! "Amazing Spider-Man #129 showcases the 1st appearance of the Punisher (Frank Castle) and the Jackal! The Punisher was created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr. and Ross Andru, with publisher Stan Lee providing the name. The classic cover art displaying the “Different and Deadly” Punisher was drawn by legendary artists Gil Kane and John Romita. The most lethal hired assassin is featured in his iconic skull-imprinted black suit with an arsenal of weaponry, including an automatic assault rifle in which he is unloading a full clip of ammunition directly at Spider-Man. The close up view of the Punisher’s sniper scope depicts a defenseless and aerial bound Spider-Man avoiding bullets exploding against the surrounding brick buildings, with cross hairs aimed precisely at his heart! Couple this action on a commanding bright yellow cover, and you have one of the most sought-after and treasured comics in the history of the Amazing Spider-Man title! As a matter of fact, ASM #129 is considered one of the top 10 most valuable Bronze Age (1970-1984) comic books of all-time and remains a contender for one of the top 5 most valuable Bronze Age Marvel Keys! For instance, sales for ASM #129 in CGC 9.6 and 9.8 have already begun surpassing that of what Giant-Size X-Men has been selling for in grade. In terms of the Amazing Spider-Man title, ASM #129 is “The” most valuable and expensive issue of the entire Bronze Age! Moreover, what made the Punisher truly unique is that although he was originally created as a villain; he was gradually developed into a crime-fighting antihero. It was characters like the Punisher and Ghost Rider (1st introduced in Marvel Spotlight #5 in August of 1972), that would influence the industry in creating more violent and grittier material. Since the Punisher’s inception in February of 1974, he has starred in 3 feature films. The first Punisher movie premiered in the USA on July 8, 1990 at the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention, and was characterized by actor Dolph Lundgren. It wasn’t until 14 years later; on April 16, 2004, in which The Punisher had a reboot and was played by actor Thomas Jane with John Travolta playing the antagonistic character Howard Saint. The setting took place in Florida, which was not true to the comics as Frank Castle’s origins take place in Queens, New York. The most recent installment, Punisher: War Zone, released on December 5, 2008, was played by actor Ray Stevenson. In addition, actor Dominic West played the Punisher’s arch enemy Jigsaw (William “Billy” Russo), which is true to the comics as Jigsaw was introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #162 and plays a significant and enduring role throughout the Punisher’s storyline. Unfortunately, none of the aforementioned Punisher films were successful. There were a number of reasons why none of the films gave the Punisher’s character justice; they ranged from inconsistencies in the comics to corny representations of the characters to not finding the “right” actor to emulate and embody the Punisher to perfection. Fortunately, after decades of failed attempts to portray the character and build a successful franchise, in March of 2016, the Punisher was played by “The Walking Dead” alum Jon Bernthal (Shane Walsh) in season 2 of the critically acclaimed Netflix Daredevil series! Prior to his big screen debut and adding fuel to the hype, Marvel Head of Television Jeph Loeb said in the initial announcement on Marvel.com, “Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences. Castle's appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.” Since then, the Punisher has been kicking and captivating the audience into his psyche that depicts pain and vengeance amidst his fragmented memories of being a former loving husband and father of two, before they were tragically killed by the mob. Furthermore, on November 17, 2017, the Punisher was officially integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the release of his own self-titled series on Netflix! Finally, it looks like the Punisher is getting justice on the silver screen! In turn, this has translated into increased demand for high-grade copies of Amazing Spider-Man #129, as the Punisher’s stock has significantly surged!" -Professor Pecora
X-Men #94 CGC 9.6 W - World's Most PERFECTLY Wrapped, Cut & Centered Copy! (Up for auction on Pedigree!) X-Men #94 will always remain one of the scarcest Marvel Bronze Age Grails in super high-grade condition, due to the unforgiving dark green and partial black ink that surrounds about 75% of the cover and exposes the slightest of defects! For example, according to the CGC Census Report as of March 28, 2017, out of a staggering total of 5,078 copies graded, there are only twenty-eight (28) copies graded as a Universal 9.8 and three (3) copies graded as a Signature Series 9.8! That means that an X-Men #94 in CGC 9.8 represents a rarity factor of ½ of 1% of the total population! With these statistics in mind and considering the vast amount of collectors who would love to own a top-graded example, it’s no wonder why CGC 9.8 copies have been selling upwards for around 15K! This particular copy is unbelievably PERFECTLY CUT, WRAPPED & CENTERED and sports unblemished SNOW WHITE PAGES! The ink reflectively is extremely bright with intense color gloss and looks like it came right off the printing press! It also has a solid spine, perfectly inserted staples and with the exception of a minute corner blunt on the top left-hand corner of the front cover…it contains RAZOR SHARP EDGES! With that said, the next viable option for most serious collectors or investors would be to acquire a CGC 9.6. However, there are only a total of seventy-five (75) copies (including my copy) graded as a Universal 9.6 and eight (8) copies graded as a Signature Series 9.6! Keeping in mind the total number of CGC graded copies is currently at 5,078, the rarity factor for X-Men #94 in CGC 9.6 is only 1.6% of the total population! To put this in perspective, X-Men #94 in CGC 9.6 is rarer than Giant-Size X-Men #1 in CGC 9.8 by a factor of 0.5%! Without a doubt, this immaculate CGC 9.6 copy looks better than just about any CGC “9.8” that has previously hit the market, as most are either off-centered or wrapped crookedly with parts of the back cover appearing from the front. Of particular note, pay close attention to Nightcrawler’s tail and the tip of the right missile on the plane; you will notice on this pristine copy that it is completely visible on the cover! Now take a close look at any other X-Men #94 CGC 9.6 or 9.8 copy (or in any grade), and you will witness this part of the cover art obstructed off the page like 99% of the time! Therefore, this copy truly stands in a class of its own and earns the title of being the “World’s Most Perfectly Wrapped, Cut and Centered X-Men #94” known to exist! In addition, you rarely see copies that contain PERFECT WHITE PAGE QUALITY for some reason on X-Men #94s. For any serious collectors or investors looking to acquire an EXCEPTIONAL HIGH-GRADE COPY of X-MEN #94 with PERFECT STRUCTURE & WHITE PAGE QUALITY...THIS IS THE COPY FOR YOU!!! Feel free to click on the following link to place your bids ----> https://www.pedigreecomics.com/auction/comic/058302/x-men-94-cgc-96-w-professor-pecora-collection The Pedigree Comics April Grand Auction will commence tonight (4/3/2017) at 8:00 pm EST, and lots will begin closing on the eve of Wednesday, April 12th. I am wondering who will be the new proud owner of this world class copy of X-Men #94 CGC 9.6 W!! It's an excellent alternative to purchasing a CGC 9.8 for like 12-16K + this copy is practically guaranteed to present way better than almost any other CGC 9.8!! Happy Collecting! -Professor Pecora