A 60-year-old comic book starring the Incredible Hulk – in which the superhero is depicted in his original gray, rather than his signature green – has sold for almost half a million dollars.
The rare copy of Incredible Hulk # 1, which was released in 1962, was purchased by a private collector for $ 490,000 (£ 360,000). Comic Connect, an auction site that handled the sale, said it was the most expensive copy of the first Hulk story ever sold.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the comic reveals the Hulk’s origin story, in which scientist Dr Bruce Banner is exposed to toxic gamma rays, and now transforms into the Hulk when he loses his temper . When first released, the Hulk is shown with gray skin, but Marvel changed the coloring to his now iconic green for the second issue, as the four-color printing process at the time meant gray came out differently on different pages.
The number is rated “very good / near nine” on the comic book rating scale. “High-quality copies of Hulk No 1 are notoriously hard to find, due to the cheap paper used and the gray color smudging on the front cover,” said the comics site’s Vincent Zurzolo. Zurzolo predicted that the show would “continue to rise in value”. “The values of vintage comics keep increasing,” he added.
The Hulk has a long way to go, however, before breaking the record set by his Marvel teammate, Spider-Man. In September, a copy of the 1962 Amazing Fantasy # 15 comic book, in which Spider-Man made his debut, sold for $ 3.6million (£ 2.5million).