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First appearance of Wolverine original art sells for record price

Contributed by
May 19, 2014, 1:20 PM EDT (Updated)

Wolverine is one of the most frequently drawn comic-book characters of the past four decades, but that doesn't make his first appearance any less valuable.

The original art from the first comics page ever to feature Wolverine just sold at auction for a whopping $657,250, tying the record set by Todd McFarlane's cover to The Amazing Spider-Man #328. That makes it one of two pieces to fetch the highest (public) selling prices ever for original comic-book art. 

Drawn by Herb Trimpe and inked by Jack Abel, with a script by Len Wein, the art was the final page of The Incredible Hulk #180. Today, Wolverine's arrival in the Marvel Universe is considered one of the most important moments in Bronze Age comics, since, you know, he went on to become one of the single most popular characters in superhero comic-book history. Today he's a member of both the X-Men and the Avengers, has starred in multiple animated series and has appeared in more live-action films than Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America or, of course, any other X-Man. And it all started here.

To add an extra layer of good news to the story, it seems the record sale will also benefit a comics-related charity. According to Heritage Auctions, the co-signor of the item will donate a portion of the proceeds to The Hero Initiative, which helps comic-book creators in need. 

"In 1983, as a teenager, our consignor was given this artwork by Herb Trimpe — and it has remained in his possession ever since. Since he has not been an active collector, it was never known with certainty if this page even existed — until now.

"Inspired by Trimpe’s generosity over thirty years ago, we’re very pleased to note that the majority of the after-tax proceeds from the sale of the artwork is being donated by our anonymous consignor — including a large portion to the Hero Initiative."

(Via Bleeding Cool)

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