This one falls into the shoulda-woulda-coulda category. I just discovered that a copy of The Incredible Hulk #181 (in one-of-a-kind, rarest of rare near-perfect condition) sold last year for $150,000, as it contained the first full appearance of the now-popular X-Men character Wolverine. More often than not, that edition sells in the low thousands, though. Still... I must point out (for my own sanity) that fewer than 10 years ago that comic was worth several hundreds, max; consequently, in a time of great (no, desperate) financial need, I sold my copy on eBay for about $100 -- which was exactly what my excellent-condition copy was worth at the time.
Oh well. As a consolation prize, today I found in my collection a copy of the brief cameo appearance of Wolverine -- when the character emerged for one frame of the final page of Hulk #180; unfortunately, back in 1974, when I (no, probably my Nana) bought it for 20 cents, apparently I stuck it in my back pocket and went traipsing around Mosholu Parkway in the Bronx, forever imprinting a crease on the cover. Also discovered that I have Hulk #182, featuring the third introduction to Wolverine.
Hulk #180 is worth much less than #181, and my copy is further devalued with its imperfections. Hulk #182, thanks goodness, is in excellent condition. Still, this two-thirds of a trilogy remains a collector's edition of sorts, and with age will increase in value -- like the rest of my sometimes less-than-perfect stash of other comic books (including about ninety Amazing Spider-Man comics from 1962-1976) as well as nice set of Topps baseball and football cards (including the somewhat valuable Mike Schmidt rookie card, but excluding my 1975 Franco Harris and Terry Bradshaw cards, which I auctioned around the same time as Hulk #181).
On the bright side, it was a delight to break out my collection today and show it to Julia and Quinn, who "marveled" (pun intended) at my collection. One last thing: one of the comics (non-Marvel, non-DC comic) contained a 45 RPM record -- a sight sparking more puzzlement in my daughters' eyes than the 8-track tape advertisements in those same pages! (see below)