This week’s Comic Sunday Speculation is for preview or cameo collectors. Specifically, it is for the preview of Winter Guard or previously known as Soviet Super Soldiers, before their full debut in Hulk #258.
To avoid confusion, the actual name used in Hulk #258 is Soviet Super Soldiers. After a few other name changes, the name that is currently used is Winter Guard. However, it is basically the same members.
– Hulk #258: First appearance of Soviet Super Soldiers
– Iron Vol 3, #9: First appearance of Winter Guard
Russian superheroes got a bit of attention after it is made known that the Red Guardian is appearing in the Black Widow movie. It was assumed that maybe other Russian characters will be introduced, leading to the formation of the Winter Guard team.
As a result, Hulk #258 got some heat for a while, with prices reaching over USD 30-40. However, it has since cool down considerably so it might be a good time to pick up that book if you are interested.
Today’s speculative book is based on the same line of thought. However, instead of Hulk #258, it is for Hulk #250.
Date of Publication: 1980
Sale number: 252,000
Key strengths of this book
1. First cameo of Winter Guard (Soviet Super Soldiers, Arabian Knight, the Collective Man and Sabra
In this book, there was a one page spread that showed the Silver Surfer scanning different super heroes, including the Winter Guard. Other characters that were previewed were
- Sabra – full debut in Hulk #256
- Arabian Knight – full debut in Hulk #257
- Collective Man – full debut in Marvel Super Heroes Contest of Champions #1
Below is the spread.
The reason these characters were previewed here is because most of them would be featured in future Hulk issues. Hence, this splash page is meant to serve as a kind of teaser, hoping to draw more readers in for the future issues.
Normally, these cameo appearances are not interesting to me. However, with so many characters being introduced in this one issue, I thought the speculative odds might be better than most.
The cover attraction
Beyond just the cameo appearances, another thing that attracted me to this book was the great Silver Surfer cover by Al Milgrom. While it is not in the same league as Silver Surfer #4, there are many Silver Surfer collectors that would love such covers.
Also, with the all black cover, I don’t know if it will make getting a 9.8 or 9.6 candidate difficult. Currently it seems like a 9.8 will pop up every month but it is always being purchased pretty quickly. As of this writing, the only 9.8 copies are from CBCS.
9.6s are more common and you can get one easily for less than USD 100.
Winter Guard might just be a passing fad that never comes back. However, I do like the idea of super hero characters existing outside USA. If that is also the direction that the MCU wants to take, then a Russian team is a very natural extension to the Black Widow franchisee.