Dear Bronze Age Collector: Where would Hulk 181 place among the top Silver Age keys?
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I admit that Hulk #181 is red-hot right now, but it's waay down the list compared to Silver Age keys (like SA keys compared to GA keys). It's just too common a comic, regardless of Wolverine's popularity. True, Hulk 181 is in high demand, but also in high supply whereas, say, JIM #83 or TOS #39 are high demand, but low supply. It's why I like collecting the pre-hero Atlas comics; it's the thrill of the hunt. They're hard to find in decent condition, even on eBay - much less your LCS.

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On 3/5/2019 at 12:16 PM, Old_Man_Adam said:

Look at FF48 , still more valued than FF49 and both covers are just as iconic 

Yeah, I still haven't figured that one out yet. Hulk #180 is Wolverine's first brief appearance, but it's #181 that everyone clamors to get, driving up the price. Similarly, the first brief appearance of Galactus/SS is FF#48, yet their first full appearance is in #49, yet it lags far behind #48 in price.

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3 hours ago, Getoutandstayout said:

Yeah, I still haven't figured that one out yet. Hulk #180 is Wolverine's first brief appearance, but it's #181 that everyone clamors to get, driving up the price. Similarly, the first brief appearance of Galactus/SS is FF#48, yet their first full appearance is in #49, yet it lags far behind #48 in price.

FF48 is first full Silver Surfer and Cameo Galactus. 

FF49 is first full Galactus and first Silver Surfer cover  

It is not the same as Hulk 180/181 - a better comparison is likely ASM 299 and 300 for Venom  

 

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On 3/14/2019 at 5:33 PM, ComicConnoisseur said:

At least 3 because I suspect more people rather have Hulk #181 than FF#1 now.

Have times changed!

:ohnoez:

 

No doubt, despite attempts to minimize Hulk 181 with what I call the "but for Hulk 180 panel = diminished role of Hulk 181" argument. Additionally, we see arguments about "how the X-Men made Wolverine" without any consideration for the mutualistic relationship each had for another and the nature of the Bronze Age key comic book and how it differed from the earlier path taken from what happened at the beginnings of the Marvel Silver Age. We then see the position concerning how Hulk 181 cannot be compared to the early Marvel SA keys because it's not Wolverine's "first" appearance, which is nothing but another attempt to reduce 181's place in the history of the Bronze Age and the American Comic Book. Still, there are some who focus on the length of time it took for Wolverine's second appearance in GS X-Men 1 as if this raises doubt on Hulk 181? How does this argument play 45 years later? These are immaterial arguments since Wolverine is the only character among those reaching the level of icon status to grow and develop as part of a superhero team. Wolverine is amazingly, the Bronze Age irony - the anti-hero who was part of a team that depended on him. That team was of course, a group of Marvel's "strangest superheroes" who differed from the classic Marvel superhero. Which takes me back to my original question and how I want to emphasize the only way Hulk 181 can be compared in any way to the great Marvel SA keys. The comparison exclusively depends on Hulk 181 having an imaginative relative scarcity to AF 15, Hulk 1, TOS 39, JIM 83, X-Men 1, FF 1, Avengers 1, DD 1, ST 110, & TTA 27. History as defined by comic book collectors and historians of the hobby (not speculators and "fly by nighters") have determined Hulk 181's place. There are very few comic books that give rise to an icon: Action Comics 1, Detective Comics 27, Amazing Fantasy 15, and Hulk 181 are the "iconikeys." They are the greatest books of their respective ages. It is the special status of these books that gives rise to the "what if?" questions when comparing the best of one generation to that of another or where might one place in comparison to others. Such questions often arise in the worlds of sports when fans ask what if Joe Louis had fought Jack Dempsey or what if Satchel Paige had pitched regularly against Babe Ruth? Sure, there are many distinctions and there are always those who will argue "apples and oranges." That's what makes this fun.

On a side note, I'm not a big Wolverine fan (prefer the classic Marvel Superheroes) but see how popular this icon is and what he means to Marvel Comics and the history of the American Comic Book.

-john

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