The Incredible Hulk #377 (1991)

The Incredible Hulk #377 - 1st Print

So, I have sort of a treat today – I was going to post the new WWH minimate – but I just got this in the mail and I have to talk about it!  I will post the minimates tomorrow – but today, let’s talk about this landmark issue, shall we?  I mean, who hasn’t read this issue?  One of the most popular issues of the Hulk… well, ever!  It sold out and they released a 2nd print – and the 2nd print cover, although the same, the new colors were WAY cooler!  But a funny thing happened… I’ll get to that in a minute –

First I will discuss what happens in this issue.  Samson, with the help of the Ring Master, was out to “cure” Bruce Banner.  So, into the mind of Banner Samson went to talk to Bruce, Green Hulk and the Grey Hulk.  The three battled for control of Banner’s mind – and we follow along as they remember Bruce’s childhood, and his abusive Father – who ultimately killed his Mother – and his alienation of his formative teen years – even his suppressed college years.  In the end, Banner’s Mother was the figure who convinced the three personalities to merge into one body – and thus was born – the”Smart” Hulk!

The Incredible Hulk #377 - 2nd Print

This was in the plans for some time – from the very beginning of PD’s run he said that this was always his intent.  Now, PD didn’t lay the ground work for the abusive Father or even the Grey Hulk’s return – that was all writers before him – but it was PD who put all the history and continuity of the Hulk to great use.  The “Smart” or “Merged” Hulk – I prefer “Merged” – dominated the comic for years to come – some people love that incarnation – while some purists were soured on PD’s writing of the Hulk ever since…

Now back to the copies of this book.  As you can imagine – this book coming out in such a popular time for comic books in general – this is not a rare book – in fact, the second printing is pretty common as well.  You can find both pretty readily.  It’s only when Gary Miller helped me a bit in compiling the COMICS pages that I was told about an extremely rare 3rd printing of the book.  That’s right – a 3rd printing!  I was immediately skeptical, as I had never heard of such a book existing, and even inquired with every comic book shop owner I knew.  NO ONE HAD HEARD OF THIS BOOK!  It’s not even listed in Overstreet, which is odd – but, are you ready for this?  Scroll down, take a gander at this:

The Incredible Hulk #377 - 3rd Print

That’s right!  It’s the elusive 3rd printing of #377!  Anyone who has this issue has a rare piece of Hulk history.  I did find it listed in the Comic Book Data Base – but the information on the site isn’t exactly correct.  See, if you look at the little price box at the top, the original price was $1.00 – but the 3rd printing was released much later – and has a price of $1.75.  In fact, if you look at the copyright information – the original is dated 1991 – but the 3rd printing?  1994.

 

Three years later?  I would love to know the story behind WHY this was released so much later.  It’s an oddity to be sure – and I am really excited to finally have one on my collection!  Hope you guys are as impressed as I was about this little known comic in the Hulk series!  So, thank you Gary Miller for making me aware of this great issue! – boy it was a hard one to track down!  And good luck to anyone out there who is now on the hunt!

All three copies! Side by side!

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24 responses to “The Incredible Hulk #377 (1991)

  1. King Hulk Marco

    Wow! That is incredible I only got the first printing. Never seen the other printings before. Never saw them released over here.

  2. I love that you posted this, because I believe this is exactly what is going to happen with the Hulk in the avengers movie. They basically introduced us to Samson in the movie, though no one would have picked up on that if they didn’t know the story. But yea, I’m sure they’re going to introduce a “merged” hulk as he progresses through marvel’s little cinematic project.

  3. Wow the 3rd printing is truely awesome, ive been trying for so long to track down a copy any pointers(ebay have none).
    I have the first and second print, but must have the third.
    That really has cheered my day up.

  4. King Hulk Marco

    I don’t think so. Has each actor gets older & asks for more money they will be replaced younger, cheaper actors to play the lesser known Avengers, Hawkeye, Vision, Scarlet Witch etc. Marvel have no interest in promoting Hulk above the other characters. That is slim at best. Samson belongs in a Hulk movie. That can’t do a merged/Professor Hulk until they make Hulk talk, introduce Grey Hulk etc. Fact is Hulk as had two blockbuster movies made, neither film have had the impact of Iron Man, Blade 2, Spider-Man 1 & 2, X-Men 1 & 2 etc.

  5. Merged Hulk is one of my favorite incarnations. Some people as you said Ratchet,did not care for him. In fact some compared him to Superman. I disagree with that. David has said in interviews this was his favorite incarnation. This leads me to ask why he didn’t stick with him. 425 introduced Savage Banner which was the start of the end. Does anyone why David did this? He said still had the merged hulk but why did he want to change things?

  6. Wow, I am once again humbled. WTG on finding one of the few 3rd printings the Hulk’s ever had! It took me a while to find this one also, so don’t feel bad.

    Count me firmly in the anti-Merged Hulk camp. The first few issues used the concept well enough, but I quickly tired of a Hulk who would never transform back to Banner, and had none of the inner turmoil (IMO) that distinguished the Hulk from every other superhero out there. The Hulk’s book should NEVER be “just another superhero comic,” and that’s what it became after the merger in this issue.

    ~G.

    • It was a hard one to track down – but man, am I glad I did!

    • Gary,I guess you probably didn’t like a good portion of Mantlo’s run either. I am looking forward to reading your updated blog tonight. I agree with you on most points about the current mysteries involving the Red Hulks. It is interesting to see where this story will go today.

      • Believe it or not, I enjoyed most of Mantlo’s Banner Hulk run. It’s the era when I started reading the character, for one; and also, there wasn’t really any stability to the status quo except for maybe the middle third of that era (the smart Hulk era specifically, #272-300, middle third being the #280s). I absolutely LOVED the stuff with Nightmare through the #290s, purple prose and all.

        ~G.

      • What was it about Mantlo’s era that made it ok with you? I thought David did well in showing the inner angst in the Hulk even without the transformation. I also thought the Pantheon were interesting. My problem was the way he ended the Pantheon era. There was too much left unexplained about them. For me that’s when his first run jumped the shark. Even the novel David did seemed weaker. Savage Banner was and is a bad idea.

  7. I never thought of it that way before Gary, that is very much a good point. Now if they’ll only bring back our beloved hero AT ALL in these new comics…

  8. Funny that the third print is the hardest to get, but it was my first issue of 377. The second print was my second, and i just bought the first print.

  9. Finally found the third printing then purchased 2!!!

    So glad to them in my collection.

  10. I never knew there was a 3rd print of #377 till I looked here and I only saw one copy on ebay and it sold for $ 125 !! So I thought it would be hard to find but I e-mailed down to a nearby comic shop and luckily they had a copy and it was cheap and they are sending it to me now as we speak through the mail. It is my x-mas present to myself and to my collection. Now I have all 3!!!! And with no fuss or muss finding it.

  11. I got one by accident, I was on the hunt for a 377 as mine was pretty beat up and i popped down to the local comic store to get a nice near mint copy. I picked up an issue and got it home and noticed the colour was ‘off’ (it was the 3rd printing) and was pretty annoyed, and went and got another (1st print). Years later i heard about how rare this was to find, now i feel pretty lucky 🙂

  12. I still don’t have this one – might need to remedy that!

  13. how much should i
    pay for the first printing

  14. My very first Hulk issue was the 377 3rd print! Then I got the 1st Dale Keown issue on Hulk. 🙂 I was looking for the 1st print of 377 but when I saw that 3rd print issue unnoticed in its solitary state, I just had to buy it back then so that I can have a copy of 377 and be content with whatever printing it is. But what floored me was that it was the rarest of the printings! 😀 Good things come to those who are patient and contented. 😀

  15. I own 4 copies of the hulk 377 third print ….1. 9.8 sig series …..2 of them 9.4 sig series and 1 ..7.5 sig series. ……if I put all 4 in one auction on ebay I wonder how much itll fetch my number 214 8379654 chris

  16. I went to my LCS last week in Denmark, and the only Hulk #377 he got was the 3rd print in VF+ condition. So I bought it for $4. Score for me!

  17. I have a first print #377 but the cover colors don’t match anything ive seen anywhere. Its listed on ebay for 999.00 until I can find more info on it.

    • Hi Dan – I’ve seen the listing… it looks like a faded copy that was left out in the sun or something. Good Luck with the auction – but it looks to me like you have a beat up comic that you’re asking a grand for…

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