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A rare copy of Marvel Comics’ The Incredible Hulk #1 smashed a world record when it was auctioned for $490,000.

ComicConnect.com, which handled the sale, said the comic book, which was sold to an anonymous buyer, is a rare object for collectors. The auctioned comic is made all the more rare by its 9.0 Very Fine/Near Mint quality grading.

“Highly-graded copies of Hulk #1 are notoriously hard to find, due to the cheap paper used and the smudging of the gray color on the front cover,” ComicConnect.com Chief Operating Officer Vincent Zurzolo said in the company’s announcement.

Zurzolo said there are only seven copies of the same issue known to exist with higher ratings, and it is extremely rare to find one offered for sale.

“The new owner of this book now owns a special piece of American mythology that will continue to gain in value,” Zurzolo said. “It will be a cornerstone of his collectible investment portfolio. Hulk will only continue to get bigger with time, if you know what I mean.”

Zurzolo said the sale represents the highest price ever paid for a copy of The Incredible Hulk #1. He said the sale is part of a growing trend in vintage comic book sales.

“Vintage comic book values just keep going up across the board,” he said.

A copy of Action Comics #1, which contains the first appearance of Superman, set the world record for a comic book sale in April 2021 when it was auctioned for $3.25 million.