Key Bronze Age Comics (1970-1983)

February 15, 2017

Key Bronze Age Comics

Key bronze age comics.

[ Special Note: during the Bronze Age, direct edition comics were invented.  If you are not already in-the-know about the difference between newsstand and direct edition comics see the following as this distinction is critical information any collector must know when approaching the bronze age and key bronze age comics where the distinction exists: Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference ]

There are many other “top lists” out there covering “key” bronze age comics, but the ones I’ve seen are all either based upon (a) individual judgment calls, or (b) the high sale prices observed in the marketplace.

Judgment calls are great, but not necessarily comprehensive. Meanwhile, high sale prices could just as easily be reflective of, say, a CGC 9.9 Signature Series copy signed by Stan Lee, versus reflective of the underlying comic being of any great importance.

How about a different approach?

Here’s what you’re about to see: a different approach to “tease out” a list of key bronze age comics to consider collecting, by asking the following question: for each comic book issue of the bronze age (1970-1983) that have passed through CGC’s doors to date, how many copies have been graded?

The thinking here is that the more important the comic as a key bronze age issue, the more likely its owner will want to have it graded and slabbed.  So by ranking comics simply by the number of copies submitted to CGC — removing any judgment call or sales price information — I’d argue we can get to a pretty darn good list of important key comics of the bronze age!

Of course, there are some limitations and flaws to this approach to keep in mind before reviewing the list: for one thing, this submission data is from one snapshot in time (year-end 2016) and there could be plenty of important comics that aren’t recognized as such until some future development gives them renewed attention.  And another flaw is that some very-high-value comics simply didn’t have many copies printed. An example that comes to mind would be Graphic Fantasy #1, the key first appearance of an early incarnation of the character today known as Savage Dragon… there were only 300 copies made, so that one simply won’t rank on a list like this because so few CGC graded copies actually exist. Any other similar examples like that, i.e. with a very restricted print run, will naturally sort themselves off of the bottom of a list like this as well.

So I do not want anybody to think of the list you’re about to see as a “rank” of importance, or, as being an all-encompassing list of bronze age keys… all we’re ranking here is the sheer number of copies that have passed through CGC’s doors as of year-end 2016 and presenting the top 200. That’s it!  This data should give us a very interesting list, but is in no way a replacement for judgement nor a replacement for pricing data — it is simply one more tool for our tool-belt as we study interesting and rare comics like the ones I enjoy writing about on this blog!

With that explanation stated, without further ado, here is the list of 200 key comics from the bronze age. [ I’ve also posted more lists of key comic books by year including other key comic books by age (bronze, copper, modern); special thanks goes to Greg Holland whose research website was the tool that made these pages possible to assemble ].

Oh!  One more note! In the list you are going to see some icons that look like this: CGC variant confirmed … These icons indicate the confirmed existence on the CGC census of a more-rare CGC-recognized cover price variant version of the key bronze age comic book in question. You can click to reach the “variant list” it came from (e.g. 35 cent variants, 75 cent variants, etc.).

Key Bronze Age Comics:

(Census data as of year-end 2016)

Rank CGC Count Issue Date Publisher
1. 11,050 Wolverine Limited Series #1 9/82 Marvel Comics
2. 8,909 Incredible Hulk #181 11/74 Marvel Comics
3. 7,771 Amazing Spider-Man #129 2/74 Marvel Comics
4. 6,163 Giant-Size X-Men #1 Summer 1975 Marvel Comics
5. 5,921 Star Wars #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/77 Marvel Comics
6. 4,916 X-Men #94 8/75 Marvel Comics
7. 4,033 Spectacular Spider-Man #1 12/76 Marvel Comics
8. 3,944 Amazing Spider-Man #238
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/83 Marvel Comics
9. 3,747 Amazing Spider-Man #121 6/73 Marvel Comics
10. 3,645 Wolverine Limited Series #2
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/82 Marvel Comics
11. 3,595 X-Men #141 1/81 Marvel Comics
12. 3,455 Daredevil #181 4/82 Marvel Comics
13. 3,317 Wolverine Limited Series #3
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/82 Marvel Comics
14. 3,293 Amazing Spider-Man #122 7/73 Marvel Comics
15. 3,288 Uncanny X-Men #142 2/81 Marvel Comics
16. 3,234 Daredevil #168 1/81 Marvel Comics
17. 3,129 Iron Fist #14
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/77 Marvel Comics
18. 3,067 Amazing Spider-Man #194 7/79 Marvel Comics
19. 3,014 Wolverine Limited Series #4
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
12/82 Marvel Comics
20. 2,866 Avengers Annual #10 1981 Marvel Comics
21. 2,766 Incredible Hulk #180 10/74 Marvel Comics
22. 2,734 Conan the Barbarian #1 10/70 Marvel Comics
23. 2,518 Iron Man #55 2/73 Marvel Comics
24. 2,465 X-Men #101 10/76 Marvel Comics
25. 2,390 Amazing Spider-Man #100 9/71 Marvel Comics
26. 2,370 Ms. Marvel #1 1/77 Marvel Comics
27. 2,349 Omega Men #3 6/83 D.C. Comics
28. 2,279 Spider-Woman #1 4/78 Marvel Comics
29. 2,270 Nova #1 9/76 Marvel Comics
30. 2,034 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #1 6/82 Marvel Comics
31. 1,983 Marvel Premiere #15 5/74 Marvel Comics
32. 1,916 X-Men #100
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/76 Marvel Comics
33. 1,856 Marvel Spotlight #5 8/72 Marvel Comics
34. 1,820 X-Men #121 5/79 Marvel Comics
35. 1,720 Thor #337
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/83 Marvel Comics
36. 1,705 Daredevil #158 5/79 Marvel Comics
37. 1,687 X-Men #95 10/75 Marvel Comics
38. 1,683 Incredible Hulk #271 5/82 Marvel Comics
39. 1,656 Ghost Rider #1 9/73 Marvel Comics
40. 1,638 Black Panther #1 1/77 Marvel Comics
41. 1,615 Incredible Hulk #182 12/74 Marvel Comics
42. 1,582 Amazing Spider-Man #239
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/83 Marvel Comics
43. 1,557 Batman #232 6/71 D.C. Comics
44. 1,536 Werewolf By Night #32 8/75 Marvel Comics
45. 1,535 Green Lantern #76 4/70 D.C. Comics
46. 1,527 New Mutants #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/83 Marvel Comics
47. 1,508 Shazam #1 2/73 D.C. Comics
48. 1,500 Hero For Hire #1 6/72 Marvel Comics
49. 1,477 Daredevil #131 3/76 Marvel Comics
50. 1,476 X-Men #96 12/75 Marvel Comics
51. 1,446 Amazing Spider-Man #101 10/71 Marvel Comics
52. 1,388 House of Secrets #92 6-7/71 D.C. Comics
53. 1,336 Iron Fist #1 11/75 Marvel Comics
54. 1,326 Tomb of Dracula #10 7/73 Marvel Comics
55. 1,306 Doctor Strange #1 6/74 Marvel Comics
56. 1,304 Uncanny X-Men #143 3/81 Marvel Comics
57. 1,288 Marvel Spotlight #32 2/77 Marvel Comics
58. 1,282 Swamp Thing #1 10-11/72 D.C. Comics
59. 1,228 Uncanny X-Men #150 10/81 Marvel Comics
60. 1,222 X-Men #119 3/79 Marvel Comics
61. 1,220 X-Men #120 4/79 Marvel Comics
62. 1,211 Marvel Premiere #47 4/79 Marvel Comics
63. 1,205 X-Men #108 12/77 Marvel Comics
64. 1,163 Inhumans #1 10/75 Marvel Comics
65. 1,158 X-Men #125 9/79 Marvel Comics
66. 1,156 Batman #251 9/73 D.C. Comics
67. 1,144 Amazing Spider-Man #97 6/71 Marvel Comics
68. 1,136 Amazing Spider-Man #98 7/71 Marvel Comics
69. 1,129 X-Men #109 2/78 Marvel Comics
70. 1,112 X-Men #99
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/76 Marvel Comics
71. 1,090 Astonishing Tales #25 8/74 Marvel Comics
72. 1,084 X-Men #97 2/76 Marvel Comics
73. 1,068 X-Men #127 11/79 Marvel Comics
74. 1,064 Special Marvel Edition #15 12/73 Marvel Comics
75. 1,061 Amazing Spider-Man #136 9/74 Marvel Comics
76. 1,038 Amazing Spider-Man #135 8/74 Marvel Comics
77. 1,029 X-Men #118 2/79 Marvel Comics
78. 1,024 Defenders #1 8/72 Marvel Comics
79. 978 X-Men #126 10/79 Marvel Comics
80. 977 Godzilla #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/77 Marvel Comics
81. 962 X-Men #98
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/76 Marvel Comics
82. 954 X-Men #128 12/79 Marvel Comics
83. 952 X-Men #117 1/79 Marvel Comics
84. 951 X-Men #105
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/77 Marvel Comics
85. 934 Ms. Marvel #18 6/78 Marvel Comics
86. 930 X-Men #123 7/79 Marvel Comics
87. 920 X-Men #124 8/79 Marvel Comics
88. 909 X-Men #102 12/76 Marvel Comics
89. 904 X-Men #104 4/77 Marvel Comics
90. 899 Fantastic Four #112 7/71 Marvel Comics
91. 896 Amazing Spider-Man #119 4/73 Marvel Comics
92. 892 Daredevil #184 7/82 Marvel Comics
93. 884 New Gods #1 2-3/71 D.C. Comics
94. 880 Daredevil #183 6/82 Marvel Comics
95. 877 X-Men #112 8/78 Marvel Comics
96. 875 Invaders #1 8/75 Marvel Comics
97. 874 Spectacular Spider-Man #64 3/82 Marvel Comics
98. 860 Iron Man #128 11/79 Marvel Comics
99. 852 Alpha Flight #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/83 Marvel Comics
100. 845 Forever People #1 2-3/71 D.C. Comics
101. 843 Eternals #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/76 Marvel Comics
102. 841 X-Men #110 4/78 Marvel Comics
103. 835 X-Men #106
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/77 Marvel Comics
104. 831 Star Wars #2
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8/77 Marvel Comics
105. 806 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 12/70 D.C. Comics
106. 803 Conan the Barbarian #3 2/71 Marvel Comics
107. 795 X-Men #111 6/78 Marvel Comics
108. 794 Amazing Spider-Man #102 11/71 Marvel Comics
109. 777 X-Men #122 6/79 Marvel Comics
110. 776 Daredevil #182 5/82 Marvel Comics
111. 774 The Joker #1 5/75 D.C. Comics
112. 768 Star Wars #68
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/83 Marvel Comics
113. 764 X-Men #114 10/78 Marvel Comics
114. 761 X-Men #115 11/78 Marvel Comics
115. 761 Marvel Premiere #1 4/72 Marvel Comics
116. 759 Machine Man #1 4/78 Marvel Comics
117. 759 Battlestar Galactica #1 3/79 Marvel Comics
118. 751 X-Men #103 2/77 Marvel Comics
119. 750 All-Star Comics #58 1-2/76 D.C. Comics
120. 741 Batman #357
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/83 D.C. Comics
121. 738 Marvel Team-Up #1 3/72 Marvel Comics
122. 735 Uncanny X-Men #171
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/83 Marvel Comics
123. 729 Avengers #100 6/72 Marvel Comics
124. 729 Iron Fist #15
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9/77 Marvel Comics
125. 729 Shadow #1 10-11/73 D.C. Comics
126. 728 Micronauts #1 1/79 Marvel Comics
127. 720 Amazing Spider-Man #120 5/73 Marvel Comics
128. 720 Rom #1 12/79 Marvel Comics
129. 717 X-Men #113 9/78 Marvel Comics
130. 717 Green Lantern #85 8-9/71 D.C. Comics
131. 715 What If? #1 2/77 Marvel Comics
132. 702 X-Men #116 12/78 Marvel Comics
133. 697 Batman #227 12/70 D.C. Comics
134. 694 Amazing Spider-Man #96 5/71 Marvel Comics
135. 691 Champions #1 10/75 Marvel Comics
136. 689 Marvel Preview #4 1/76 Marvel Comics
137. 688 Uncanny X-Men #149 9/81 Marvel Comics
138. 679 Batman #234 8/71 D.C. Comics
139. 677 Red Sonja #1 1/77 Marvel Comics
140. 674 Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #1 10-11/72 D.C. Comics
141. 670 Uncanny X-Men #158 6/82 Marvel Comics
142. 668 Uncanny X-Men #145 5/81 Marvel Comics
143. 668 Star Wars #3
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9/77 Marvel Comics
144. 668 Amazing Spider-Man #91 12/70 Marvel Comics
145. 667 Howard the Duck #1 1/76 Marvel Comics
146. 666 Amazing Spider-Man #149 10/75 Marvel Comics
147. 658 X-Men #107
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/77 Marvel Comics
148. 656 Conan the Barbarian #24 3/73 Marvel Comics
149. 655 Sandman #1 Winter 1974 D.C. Comics
150. 651 Amazing Spider-Man #125 10/73 Marvel Comics
151. 639 Amazing Spider-Man #137 10/74 Marvel Comics
152. 638 Fantastic Four #100 7/70 Marvel Comics
153. 638 Silver Surfer #14 3/70 Marvel Comics
154. 637 Uncanny X-Men #146 6/81 Marvel Comics
155. 636 Firestorm #1 3/78 D.C. Comics
156. 632 Uncanny X-Men #148 8/81 Marvel Comics
157. 626 Defenders #10 11/73 Marvel Comics
158. 620 Green Lantern #87 12/71-1/72 D.C. Comics
159. 612 Strange Tales #180 6/75 Marvel Comics
160. 608 Amazing Spider-Man #127 12/73 Marvel Comics
161. 606 Silver Surfer v2 #1 6/82 Marvel Comics
162. 606 Amazing Spider-Man #128 1/74 Marvel Comics
163. 603 Werewolf By Night #1 9/72 Marvel Comics
164. 600 Amazing Spider-Man #195 8/79 Marvel Comics
165. 598 Uncanny X-Men #147 7/81 Marvel Comics
166. 594 Amazing Spider-Man #162 11/76 Marvel Comics
167. 593 Avengers #181 3/79 Marvel Comics
168. 592 Amazing Spider-Man #94 3/71 Marvel Comics
169. 590 Marvel Spotlight #28
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/76 Marvel Comics
170. 589 Amazing Adventures #11 3/72 Marvel Comics
171. 584 Spectacular Spider-Man #27 2/79 Marvel Comics
172. 578 Marvel Spotlight #2 2/72 Marvel Comics
173. 576 Amazing Spider-Man #90 11/70 Marvel Comics
174. 574 Star Wars #4
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/77 Marvel Comics
175. 573 Jonah Hex #1 3-4/77 D.C. Comics
176. 565 Amazing Spider-Man #126 11/73 Marvel Comics
177. 561 Daredevil #180 3/82 Marvel Comics
178. 559 Green Lantern #86 10-11/71 D.C. Comics
179. 557 Daredevil #186 9/82 Marvel Comics
180. 550 Amazing Spider-Man #157
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/76 Marvel Comics
181. 550 Uncanny X-Men #151 11/81 Marvel Comics
182. 549 Amazing Spider-Man #105 2/72 Marvel Comics
183. 548 Man-Thing #1 1/74 Marvel Comics
184. 544 Conan the Barbarian #2 12/70 Marvel Comics
185. 544 Amazing Spider-Man #99 8/71 Marvel Comics
186. 542 Marvel Two-In-One Annual #2 1977 Marvel Comics
187. 538 Amazing Spider-Man #177 2/78 Marvel Comics
188. 530 Savage Sword of Conan #1 8/74 Marvel Comics
189. 530 Amazing Spider-Man #134 7/74 Marvel Comics
190. 529 Amazing Spider-Man #95 4/71 Marvel Comics
191. 528 Batman #244 9/72 D.C. Comics
192. 527 Avengers Annual #7 1977 Marvel Comics
193. 526 DC Comics Presents #47 7/82 D.C. Comics
194. 524 Amazing Spider-Man #175 12/77 Marvel Comics
195. 523 Amazing Spider-Man #107 4/72 Marvel Comics
196. 519 Incredible Hulk #141 7/71 Marvel Comics
197. 515 Amazing Spider-Man #130 3/74 Marvel Comics
198. 513 Daredevil #190
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/83 Marvel Comics
199. 512 Detective Comics #400 6/70 D.C. Comics
200. 511 Amazing Spider-Man #189 2/79 Marvel Comics
   Key Copper Age Comics » 

Other Key Bronze Age Comics By Year

I’ve also put up lists of key bronze age comics by year which you can explore below:

Key Comics From 1970 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1971 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1972 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1973 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1974 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1975 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1976 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1977 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1978 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1979 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1980 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1981 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1982 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1983 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]

Also, see other lists of key comic books by year, including the 1970’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s.

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