Dear Bronze Age Collector: Where would Hulk 181 place among the top Silver Age keys?
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Hulk 181 is the iconic Bronze Age key- the AF 15 of the Bronze Age. In the tradition of a great Bronze Age Marvel series that asked hypothetical questions beginning with Spider-Man joining the Fantastic Four, What if Hulk 181 was a "Silver Age" book? A "Silver Age" book defined in terms of relative scarcity to the great Marvel Silver Age keys: AF 15, which is more available than the other '62 keys- Hulk 1 and JIM 83. 

I placed this thread in the Bronze Age forum to primarily get the BA collector's perspective on where Hulk 181 would place among Marvel's greatest keys of the Silver Age. Circling back to relative scarcity and imagine Hulk 181 having a census of graded books similar to a '62 or even '63 Marvel Silver Age key. Where would the appropriate place be for Hulk 181 in the hierarchy of Marvel Silver Age keys? 

1) AF 15

3) Hulk 1

4) FF 1

It's clear that AF 15 is at the top of Marvel's SA hierarchy, followed by Hulk 1, and FF 1. Going to leave the remaining keys off the list since there will be disagreement as to where JIM 83 ranks v. ASM etc. That said, it doesn't exclude comparisons between these great keys and Hulk 181 (but does pre-empt any discussions about whether one SA key places higher than another- that's for a thread in the Silver Age Forum).

What if...

-john 

 

 

 

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At a show this weekend a dealer was talking about NM98 and saying that it was the IH181 of its' era. What do the SA dealers say...IH181 is the "xxx" of its era? I want to know the answer to this as well!

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1 minute ago, Bird said:

At a show this weekend a dealer was talking about NM98 and saying that it was the IH181 of its' era. What do the SA dealers say...IH181 is the "xxx" of its era? I want to know the answer to this as well!

As I've mentioned in my last post. Hulk 181 is the AF 15 of the BA. 

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1 hour ago, bronze johnny said:

Hulk 181 is the iconic Bronze Age key- the AF 15 of the Bronze Age. In the tradition of a great Bronze Age Marvel series that asked hypothetical questions beginning with Spider-Man joining the Fantastic Four, What if Hulk 181 was a "Silver Age" book? A "Silver Age" book defined in terms of relative scarcity to the great Marvel Silver Age keys: AF 15, which is more available than the other '62 keys- Hulk 1 and JIM 83. 

I placed this thread in the Bronze Age forum to primarily get the BA collector's perspective on where Hulk 181 would place among Marvel's greatest keys of the Silver Age. Circling back to relative scarcity and imagine Hulk 181 having a census of graded books similar to a '62 or even '63 Marvel Silver Age key. Where would the appropriate place be for Hulk 181 in the hierarchy of Marvel Silver Age keys? 

1) AF 15

3) Hulk 1

4) FF 1

It's clear that AF 15 is at the top of Marvel's SA hierarchy, followed by Hulk 1, and FF 1. Going to leave the remaining keys off the list since there will be disagreement as to where JIM 83 ranks v. ASM etc. That said, it doesn't exclude comparisons between these great keys and Hulk 181 (but does pre-empt any discussions about whether one SA key places higher than another- that's for a thread in the Silver Age Forum).

What if...

-john 

I don't think you can really evaluate IH181 in comparison to the Silver Age. Off the top if my head I can't think of any major first appearances (never mind that it's not even a first appearance) that are in other characters' books. Unless you want to count Carol Danvers's first appearance, but she's not a super-hero until later. Also, since Wolverine is the antagonist, we don't really see the Wolverine that made him popular in the story (from what I remember; it's been years since I read 181).

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Posted (edited)
53 minutes ago, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

I don't think you can really evaluate IH181 in comparison to the Silver Age. Off the top if my head I can't think of any major first appearances (never mind that it's not even a first appearance) that are in other characters' books. Unless you want to count Carol Danvers's first appearance, but she's not a super-hero until later. Also, since Wolverine is the antagonist, we don't really see the Wolverine that made him popular in the story (from what I remember; it's been years since I read 181).

Have to disagree with you. Characters that have their first appearances in another character's book is a not a distinction that makes it impossible to compare with those that have their first appearances in anthologies or in their own books.

A first appearance of a character depends more on the story in the pages of that issue and whether the character is defined enough by that story to present the reader with enough information about that character so that the reader has some initial idea as to who the character is- and further definition is provided by the role that character has in the story. This is what makes a full or real appearance superior to a one panel cameo and why Hulk 181 is Wolverine's first appearance. As for characters first appearing in another character's book, the Black Panther and Silver Surfer are two examples of characters we first discover in the pages of the Fantastic Four.

Sure Wolverine first appeared in Hulk's book. Hulk himself didn't immediately take off after his first appearance- canceled after six issues and required a guest appearance in the two most popular books at that time- ASM & FF before he eventually shared the TTA series. Wolverine has a history unlike his Silver Age predecessors- he has the distinction of developing within the greatest and strangest of all Marvel superhero teams. There are differences but this doesn't mean the question can't be raised for the Bronze Age Collector as to what their thoughts are about Hulk 181 and the Silver Age Marvel keys. 

Wolverine is an anti-hero unlike his SA Marvel Superhero predecessors. Yes, he's different. The same can be said about superheroes who had weaknesses and alter egos that everyday kids could identity with. Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Tony Stark/Iron Man, Matt Murdock/Daredevil, and Donald Blake/Thor were nothing like Clark Kent/Superman, Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Still comparisons are made - especially between DC fans and those (like me) who grew up loving Marvel.

The interest in my starting this thread is to see what BA collectors think about the greatest BA creation and how he sizes up with the core Marvel superheroes that came out of those legendary key books of the early '60s. 

Thanks for raising these points(thumbsu

 

Edited by bronze johnny

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It’s a great iconic book and someday will be worth more than its weight in gold (hopefully) but it’s no early silver key. Just check the census for the reasons why. 

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1 minute ago, ThothAmon said:

It’s a great iconic book and someday will be worth more than its weight in gold (hopefully) but it’s no early silver key. Just check the census for the reasons why. 

Don't disagree. Please read my initial post- this is a hypothetical question that's also fun to kick around.

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3 hours ago, Bird said:

IH181 is the "xxx" of itera?

I’d say ff48.  

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8 hours ago, bronze johnny said:

Hulk 181 is Wolverine's first appearance.

This is where I stopped reading. It's his first *full* appearance, btu not his first appearance.

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36 minutes ago, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

This is where I stopped reading. It's his first *full* appearance, btu not his first appearance.

That's for another thread. We can agree that we disagree.

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24 minutes ago, bronze johnny said:

That's for another thread. We can agree that we disagree.

You need to expand your list, first Wolverine isn't displacing 1st Spidey, Hulk or FF.  There are probably three or four (Xmen 1, ASM 1, JIM 83, TOS 39) that would land above it with Avengers 1/4, FF5, ST110, DD1 at or below IH 181 in an "all things SA/BA being equal" ranking. 

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, bababooey said:

You need to expand your list, first Wolverine isn't displacing 1st Spidey, Hulk or FF.  There are probably three or four (Xmen 1, ASM 1, JIM 83, TOS 39) that would land above it with Avengers 1/4, FF5, ST110, DD1 at or below IH 181 in an "all things SA/BA being equal" ranking. 

 

Please read my initial post carefully. I haven't suggested that Wolverine is replacing any of them. I didn't put the remaining keys in any order since there's open debate on where they fall in the Marvel SA key hierarchy and that will easily take this thread off-topic. That said, Hulk 181 with a comparative relative scarcity to the Marvel SA keys raises an interesting question as to where it would place. That's open for discussion and you've identified some books. The question I have for you is why wouldn't Hulk 181 displace AF 15, Hulk 1, or FF 1 since you conclude it doesn't?

Btw, thanks for sharing your insight.

john

Edited by bronze johnny

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It is an interesting question. 

Wolverine prior to the MCU was certainly Marvel's second most popular super-hero (behind Spider-Man) - since the MCU, Iron Man has risen in popularity quite a bit, as has the Hulk, Captain America and Thor.  Still Wolverine is certainly a lock to be in the top 5 Marvel Super heroes in terms of popularity.  The only thing really constraining the value of IH181 is its lack of scarcity - so in this hypothetical situation where that is removed, I see no reason that it could not be a top 5 Marvel book if it was as "scarce" as say AF15 (which is not scarce).

The real problem in this scenario is that the X-Men allowed Wolverine to be Wolverine, so without the X-Men who knows what this character turns out to be, so could you put it above X-Men 1?

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3 hours ago, Chillax23 said:

It is an interesting question. 

Wolverine prior to the MCU was certainly Marvel's second most popular super-hero (behind Spider-Man) - since the MCU, Iron Man has risen in popularity quite a bit, as has the Hulk, Captain America and Thor.  Still Wolverine is certainly a lock to be in the top 5 Marvel Super heroes in terms of popularity.  The only thing really constraining the value of IH181 is its lack of scarcity - so in this hypothetical situation where that is removed, I see no reason that it could not be a top 5 Marvel book if it was as "scarce" as say AF15 (which is not scarce).

The real problem in this scenario is that the X-Men allowed Wolverine to be Wolverine, so without the X-Men who knows what this character turns out to be, so could you put it above X-Men 1?

My thoughts exactly regarding X-Men. Without X-Men (or more specifically, without Claremont), Wolverine probably wouldn't have exploded in the same way.

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19 hours ago, ThothAmon said:

I’d say ff48.  

This is probably the closest parallel, and one that didn't occur to me when I was thinking about major characters from the Silver Age that first appeared in someone else's book

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if hulk181 was a silverage book wolverine would of just been some villain... so to answer your hypothetical question silverage hulk 181 would not even come close to any major silverage key

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14 hours ago, GeeksAreMyPeeps said:

My thoughts exactly regarding X-Men. Without X-Men (or more specifically, without Claremont), Wolverine probably wouldn't have exploded in the same way.

Do you think the X-Men would have become the greatest comic book of the last 25 years of the 20th Century without Wolverine? The chemistry required Wolverine. Wolverine was the major pillar of Giant-Size X-Men 1 and the new team - the major difference between the new X-Men and original line-up in the cancelled run that really ended when the Hulk appeared in that last issue before the reprints began. The X-Men without Wolverine or Wolverine not part of Professor X's team would have taken a much different direction. Wolverine is the most unique of the cast of iconic 20th Century superhero creations. His success coincided with the beginnings of the Mutant Age of Comics. Sure the artists and writers had a lot to do with this success but the same can be said about Lee and Kirby's SA FF run and what we owe to Ditko's Spiderman. The most amazing thing about Wolverine is how this character has managed to continue holding his place among the greatest ever superhero creations despite Marvel's numerous attempts to cash in and oversaturate him by placing him in issues just to increase sales. The Punisher suffered the same fate and has never been as popular as he was during the late 80s and early 90s. 

I'll give you an idea just how popular Wolverine is today; was a my friend's son's Halloween Party this past October and about half the kids had Wolverine costumes. The next largest batch of kids had Teen Titans Beast Boy costumes. Not Spiderman. Not Hulk. Not Iron Man. Not Thor. These kids know Wolverine and they are the future. 

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, engelhard said:

if hulk181 was a silverage book wolverine would of just been some villain... so to answer your hypothetical question silverage hulk 181 would not even come close to any major silverage key

Do you think antiheroes are villains?

Edited by bronze johnny

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On 3/1/2019 at 12:14 AM, ThothAmon said:

I’d say ff48.  

You think the Silver Surfer (my favorite Marvel Superhero) achieved the same level of success in the history of comics as Wolverine? 

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2 minutes ago, bronze johnny said:

Do you think antiheroes are villains?

in bronze age times... no

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