Before Marvel Comics began focusing on super-heroes, the company published under the brand name Atlas Comics in the 1950s and prior to that, as Timely Comics. During the Atlas era, stories often revolved around strange beings or the type of giant monsters made popular by the movie industry in the early '50s. In the late 1950s to early 1960s, anthology titles such as Strange Tales, Tales to Astonish, Tales of Suspense, Journey Into Mystery and Amazing Adventures often featured what are now referred to as "prototype characters". These prototypes are considered the inspiration for many of the heroes and villains who came along when visionaries Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and the other "Masters of Marvel" started turning their attention to the super-hero genre in the early '60s. Today these prototype issues are in high demand and upper grade comics of this type command a lot of attention.
One example of these highly coveted prototype issues is this Journey Into Mystery issue #62. Published by Atlas in 11/60, this key issue marks the first appearance of a character named "The Hulk", also known as "Xemnu the Titan". This long secluded comic has just been certified by CGC with a very favorable grade of (8.5), which places it as "1/3" at this rank on CGC's Census report, with just 3 higher out of a total Universal Grade population of 85. Label notes include "Cream to Off-White Pages, 1st appearance of character called "The Hulk" (Xemnu the Titan)". In addition to being a classic key issue with a lofty grade, this early Silver Age comic is adorned with a fantastic cover scene featuring the eponymous monster and a mad scientist proclaiming "I've done it!! I've created a living Hulk!".
This new to the market comic comes from the spectacular Maryland collection, which has been lovingly stored by the original owner for more than half of a century. H&S began the sale of this high grade collection in our November, 2018 auction and we are proud to conclude this sale in our current February, 2019 auction, Please see our "Americana/Comics" category to review the other lots from this incredible collection, including both single graded issues and several box lots.