The original art for the final page of Incredible Hulk #180, which introduces Wolverine to the Marvel universe, has sold at auction for $657,250, including the buyer’s premium, according to Heritage Auctions.  The art is by Herb Trimpe and Jack Abel.

Wolverine is introduced in the last panel of the page, and was featured in the story in the following issue, Incredible Hulk #181, for the first time.  The character went on to become the most popular member of the X-Men, and was the subject of two feature films. 

Trimpe gave the page to a teenager in 1983, and it’s been in his possession ever since.  The anonymous owner who sold the page is donating the majority of the after-tax proceeds to the Hero Initiative, a non-profit organization which helps comic creators in need.

This is a record price for a piece of American comic art.  A splash page from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns sold for $448,125 a few years back (see “Highest Price Ever Paid for Comic Art”).

Art for an Alex Raymond Flash Gordon Sunday strip sold at the same Heritage auction, the 2014 May 15-17 Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction, for $215,100.   

And in a sharp demonstration of the way what’s depicted on a comic art page influences the value, a page from Dark Knight Returns sold for $50,787.50, only 11% of the value of the Dark Knight page referenced above.