The original art for the very first appearance of Wolverine sold for $657,250 on Friday — tying the highest price ever for a single piece of American comic art.
The final page of Incredible Hulk #180, as drawn by Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel, featured a final panel that saw Wolverine crashing a fight between the Hulk and the villainous Wendigo. The page sold to an anonymous collector through Heritage Auctions in Dallas.
Todd McFarlane’s cover art for Amazing Spider-Man #328 — which ironically also features the Hulk — sold for that exact amount back in 2012. Heritage Auctions notes that the Hulk page set a “world record price for any page of interior comic art, by far.”
“We knew when this artwork surfaced that is was, without doubt, one of the most significant pieces of original comic art ever drawn,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “It has now brought a final price realized commensurate with that status.”
Trimpe gave the artwork to the former owner in 1983, when the then-teenager visited the artist. In honor of Trimpe’s generosity, the seller has designated a portion of the sale to the Hero Initiative.