THE DE­CODER

... was the price paid at auc­tion for this comic book. Here’s what makes it so spe­cial

The National - News - Luxury - - CONTENTS -

The first edi­tion of The In­cred­i­ble Hulk sells for Dh614,335

The “sil­ver age” of comics was an era of artis­tic ad­vance­ment and com­mer­cial suc­cess in the main­stream comic book in­dus­try,

par­tic­u­larly per­tain­ing to the su­per­hero genre, which had ex­pe­ri­enced a dip in pop­u­lar­ity in the wake of the Sec­ond World War. Cov­er­ing the pe­riod from 1956 to around 1970, the sil­ver age saw a num­ber of im­por­tant comic book writ­ers and artists come to promi­nence, in­clud­ing the late, great Stan Lee.

Sold by Marvel Comics in May 1962 for 12 cents,

The In­cred­i­ble Hulk #1, is one of the most im­por­tant and elu­sive first is­sues from the era. It has earned a Uni­ver­sal Grade of 8.5 from CGC, which is widely re­garded as the lead­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion ser­vice for comic books. CGC’s Cen­sus re­port lists this ex­am­ple as “1/9” at the 8.5 VF+ level, with just 18 books rank­ing higher from the to­tal 1,065 copies that have been cer­ti­fied by Uni­ver­sal Grade.

CGC’s la­bel no­ta­tion reads:

“Off-White to White Pages, Stan Lee story, Jack Kirby and Paul Rein­man art, Jack Kirby and Ge­orge Rous­sos cover, Ori­gin and 1st ap­pear­ance of the In­cred­i­ble Hulk, 1st ap­pear­ance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and Gen­eral Ross.”

The comic book was sold at an auc­tion by Hug­gins & Scott Auc­tions last month.

Its former owner re­port­edly read this first Hulk comic just once as a youth, and has kept it in stor­age since 1962.

The 56-year-old book

was painstak­ingly ex­am­ined by staff at Hug­gins & Scott prior to sub­mis­sion, and so ex­cep­tional was the over­all qual­ity (par­tic­u­larly the spine in­tegrity) that the com­pany’s res­i­dent comic “geek” pro­claimed that: “Maybe the guy just thinks he read it but never ac­tu­ally got around to it, be­cause it sure looks like it’s un­read.”

The same con­signor has a sig­nif­i­cant col­lec­tion of other sil­ver age comic books

that have been in stor­age since the 1960s, with an­other batch due to go on sale through Hug­gins & Scott Auc­tions in Fe­bru­ary.

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