Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Inaugural Post - Would You Rather...?

Doug: As we do around here from time to time, we'll throw something up against the wall and see if it sticks. The conversation prompt we're going to test drive is a play on that wonderful teenage game "Would you rather...?" For example, as I was searching for some images to use in the logo to the right, I came across one meme that queried, "Would you rather lick the pole on the subway or would you rather let five people on the subway kiss you?" Man... talk about a choiceless choice!

Doug: We'll take it just a bit easier on you here on the BAB. Today I'm going to ask you about two of the most famous, most valuable, and most significant comics of the Bronze Age. Now some of you may have had (or have) both of them, so you'll have to find your way into the conversation through your own experiences and perceptions. But considering the hobby of collecting, of monetary value, and of cultural significance, today we want to know --








Would you rather own Incredible Hulk #181 or Giant-Size X-Men #1?




24 comments:

J.A. Morris said...

Well, I already own a non-mint version of the Hulk comic, so this is an easy choice for me. But if I didn't own it, I'd select 181. Because Wolverine is a more interesting character than the other X-men. And without googling comic prices, I'm betting Hulk 181 is more valuable than Giant-Size X-men #1.

Colin Bray said...

I don't own either comic but would argue for the GS X-Men #1.

As a reader there are simply more pages to read and as a continuity buff the GS X-Men introduced enough new story and character potential to transform the MU.

Did anyone here buy either comic off the stands and if so do you still own that copy?

Colin Bray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edo Bosnar said...

GS X-men #1, without question. Looking at it from the standpoint of myself as a a kid back 1970s, I would have definitely gone with X-men, because a), as Colin noted, it's a bigger issue, and b) it's a group book, with tons of colorful characters. An additional consideration would be c) Wolverine appears in GS X-men anyway.
Even now, from my adult standpoint, I would still rather have GS X-men #1, because I was such an X-fan and that book is like a Holy Grail. And unlike J.A., Wolverine was never my favorite X-man...

Martinex1 said...

Never owned either. I passed on Giant Size X-Men at an early age at a good price...doh! Even though the X-Men would make my run more complete I would opt for The Hulk 181. I find it more interesting, better looking, and consider the first Wolverine more valuable.

Great idea by the way Doug. Subway people I think ... As long as someone I trust picks them ... I don't know maybe pole...

Colin Jones said...

GS X-Men #1 because the "all-new, all-different" X-men were so, so, so much better than the original ones. And the Wolverine that appears in Hulk #181 isn't really Wolverine just the earliest draft of the character, the debut of Wolverine proper is in Giant Sized X-men #1.

Redartz said...

I bought both of these off the stands waaay back when;The GS X-Men was later signed by Len Wein and Dave Cockrum at a convention. Sadly, both books were sold many years ago with the vast majority of my former collection. Which brings us to today's question; I must go with GS X-Men. It was perhaps not the most memorable story, but it's importance is obvious. It has fine Dave Cockrum artwork, and features the debuts of Storm and Nightcrawler (two favorites) as well as Colossus. And as Colin noted, the Wolverine in Hulk 181 was not yet the Logan we later came to love...

david_b said...

Frankly neither.., but if I was under duress, perhaps Hulk 181. I'd agree with Colin about Wolvie in ish 181.

Seemingly uninspired at that point, Logan here would probably give Bob Brown's edgier Gladiator a good fight.., but nothing more until his stride was hit in GS X-Men.

Importance is fine, but I'd prefer a good, enjoyable story.

William said...

I'd have to go with GS X-Men #1. Based mostly on the fact that it was a better (and longer) story, with better art. It was also a self-contained story, whereas Hulk #181 was the second part of a two-parter. So, you get an incomplete story with that one.

Also, I really liked some of the other characters in the X-Men - most notably Thunderbird. He was actually my favorite member of the "New X-Men" (so naturally he was killed off a couple of issues later). I also like Nightcrawler (and Wolverine of course).

So, regardless of how much they are "worth" today, with GS X-Men, you just get more bang for your buck.

Anonymous said...

Interesting question, I've recently started buying some of the missing bronze age issues I need for my collection again after years of just buying reprint collections, and I need both of these. But the one I'm pursuing first is Hulk 181, and I don't have a really logical reason since I kind of think GS X-Men is the bigger classic.

Though maybe it has something to do with enjoying the oddballs...Logan was sort of a prototype here (I seem to always collect all the "variant" costumes in general), and it was a Hulk issue. Something that was never intended to be an important, yet on a "first appearance" technicality became a cool piece of history.

Dr. Oyola said...

GSX#1 no question.

X-Men is more in my wheelhouse of the kind of work I am doing these days, and I already own a reprint of 180 and 181.

The All-new All-different X-Men were the first effort by Marvel to "internationalize" a team that actually worked and ha long-term effects. . .. I find that fascinating

dbutler16 said...

I already own GS X-Men #1, and that is also my answer to the question. I've read Hulk #181, and it's a good story, and obviously very important, but I have to go with the Dave Cockrum art, the first appearance of four X-Men, plus no less than thirteen X-Men, plus it's a Giant Size, whew! Atop all that, the GS X-Men #1 evokes more nostalgia with me.

Humanbelly said...

I do have both-- purchased at the newstand. Well, not actually the "newstand" of course, 'cause who in the world had ever seen one of those in a small mid-western town in the mid-70's? Hulk 181 was off the spinner rack at the grocery store; GS XMEN 1 was from the magazine/comic wall rack at Gohn's (newly re-built) Drugstore. Both have been read and re-read into a condition of very dubious collectibility. . . heh.
Even though I'll yield that GSX#1 is objectively the better book. . . Hulk 181 remains an absolute sentimental favorite for me. And even that early iteration of Wolvie caught my fancy at the time-- he was the subject of several drawings and a "poster" of my own that I hung on my wall. I know that we tend to view this original appearance in the light of what he later became-- but I do distinctly remember being drawn in by this odd little mystery man from the very start. And then it was GREAT to see him pop up again in the X-Men reboot as I leafed through the pages, considering whether to purchase it. But I'm a Hulk guy to the bone, so give me that book if a choice must be made.

Boy, both of those books were at the heart of period of time where I was loving comics the most, and really surrendering to the delight (and diversion) they provided. The worn condition of my copies bears proud and unrepentant testament to that, in fact.

HB

Anonymous said...

GS X-Men 1, simply because Nightcrawler is my favorite X-Man.

- Mike Loughlin

Anonymous said...

I've never owned either of these (except in reprints), but I've read both and I'd have to go with Giant Size X-Men; the story is just better in general.

Mike Wilson

pfgavigan said...

Hiya,

Actually I do own them both.

Both of them were good, solid reads for the era. Trimpe's rendering of Wolverine really did establish a good, compacted muscularity of the character and a fairly unique physical appearance. In his own manner Cockrum definitely picked up on that look and ran with it.

pfgavigan

ps, bought both books straight off the rack. not as collectables.

William Preston said...

I bought both, probably around the same time, maybe 1977. (The first X-Men issue I bought was 100, so I just missed the initial X-citement about the newbies, but I caught up soon after I started seriously reading and collecting.) I sold both sometime in the late '80s or early '90s, when prices on old comics were at their peak.

I'd take the X-Men. I interacted with Dave Cockrum several times at conventions, and I was quite fond of him personally and as an artist (having first fallen in love with his work on the Legion). Nightcrawler was my favorite X-Man.

Karen said...

Another old-timer here, I got both when they came out. The Hulk issue came as a subscription copy, and was -UGH!- folded down the middle; the GSXM #1 I still remember getting, when out running errands with my brother on his motorcycle. While I love them both, if I had to choose between them, no question, it's the all-new, all-different X-Men for me. For many years that team and that book was special to me. A combination of great creators coming on right when I was in my tweens and early teens, it had a lasting impact on me and I look back with great fondness on that book, even if that first issue was rather weak.

Doug said...

I never owned either of these comics, but like others have reprints of both. However, back in the day (as they say) I had playmates who owned each of these. Hence, I was able to read them some short while after publication.

Like most here, I'd choose the G-S X-Men. I really like Professor X turning up at all of those exotic locales, and how each sort of stereotypically defines the new hero's nationality/ethnic background. It's probably all politically incorrect nowadays, but back in more innocent/insensitive (now there's a conversation...) times it was pretty neat to 10-year old me.

Thanks, all, for playing along! I had already taken the liberty of scheduling another post in this vein, so look for it next week.

Doug

Anonymous said...

Great idea for a post guys! Doug, am I allowed to look up the monetary value before answering?...because that might decide it for me. This was my hay day (or is it "hey" day?). I bought both when they came out and love them both.

One of the cool things for me was having reading the Hulk book so that when the new X-Men came along I could say "Hey...I read about that Wolverine guy. I wonder if he'll be any good...". The whole Marvel Universe thing.

If I had to vote ($ value aside), it would be GSXM #1. Again, the MU thing...Banshee was in the Cap Secret Empire story, I think Sunfire had made a few other recent appearances. Also, the great new characters - Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler. I like all of them more than Logan...but he's great too.

Thanks again for the memories.

Tom

HB - I'm impressed that you can remember exactly where you bought those books. I had my "stomping grounds" too, but there are very few that I can remember at which particular spot I bought them. Bravo, Sir!

Martinex1 said...

While I am a fan of the X-Men of that era and the lineup of great new characters, I never really liked that cover. I know it is iconic but it just doesn't appeal to me and still affects by decision.

Anonymous said...

While I love both Wolvie and Hulk as standalone characters, I gotta go with GS X-Men #1 here. Some might argue Hulk #181 is historic in terms of being the first appearance of our favourite clawed mutant, I would counter that GS X-men is just as historic in being the first we see of the all-new, all- different X-team. As both Edo and Colin so astutely observed, we have Wolverine in the X-Men anyway, and the early version in the Hulk's issue is not the one which millions of fans would come to love later on.

It also begs the question - if Wolverine had not become so popular later on, would we even be having this discussion? If, say, another character like Sunfire or Banshee had become enormously popular, would the first issue where they appeared also be worth a lot both in terms of monetary value and geek appeal? Hmmm ....


- Mike 'new meme - have five people lick the pole instead' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Humanbelly said...

Oho-- the answer to your last question there, MikeFromTnT, is an unqualified "YES, THEY MOST CERTAINLY WOULD!"

I've probably brought it up a time or two 'round here, but Rocket Raccoon's first in-continuity appearance was (ironically) in the Hulk as well. In my opinion, a rather forced, so-so, obvious pet-project for Bill Mantlo. And that issue was almost immediately fodder for the 4-for-a-buck bin. Now that Rocket has. . . rocketed to popularity via GotG? The value of that issue has mega-tupled-- really, to an absurd level!

HB

BobC said...

X-Men, hands down. I remember being on a bus as a little kid and reading that issue. I knew it was going to be huge and I was right. I instantly loved the new team.

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