Key Comic Books From 1956

March 1, 2021

1956


Key comic books from 1956
The silver age of comics has been extensively researched by the hobby, and the key comic books of that era are no big secret; but, the only two types of lists of key silver age comic books by year that I’ve ever seen are either: (1) personalized lists based upon judgement calls of what is most important to the particular writer, and (2) lists based upon high sales price data (which can often be influenced by the grade of what was sold).

The top 100 key comic books from 1956 list you’re about to see is neither of those two types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main Silver Age page, the list I’m about to present is essentially “crowd-sourced”… by the crowd of collectors sending comics to CGC. All I’ve done here is to rank the universe of comic books published in 1956, according to how many copies of each issue have passed through CGC’s doors to date (as of 1/19/2021) to reveal the comic books with the highest census counts — that’s it!

This exercise should “tease out” a very interesting list of important and/or key comic books from 1956, but this will not necessarily be an all-encompassing list (because if very few copies were printed for a given key, that restricted supply could keep the count of CGC submissions low even though the comic is very important — this exercise will unfortunately see such comics sort themselves off of the bottom through no fault of their own). So essentially, you should think of this list as just one more tool in your tool-belt of researching key comic books from 1956.

Key Comic Books From 1956:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 511 Showcase #4 D.C.
9-10/56
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen). 1st appearance of Iris West.
2. 302 Batman #100 D.C.
6/56
  Bill Finger story. Sheldon Moldoff and Charles Paris art.
3. 238 Detective Comics #233 D.C.
7/56
  Origin and 1st appearance of Batwoman (Kathy Kane).
4. 109 Showcase #1 D.C.
3-4/56
  Fire Fighters. 1st appearance of Fireman Farrell.
5. 92 Batman #104 D.C.
12/56
  Alfred’s middle names revealed as Thaddeus Crane.
6. 90 Detective Comics #230 D.C.
4/56
  1st appearance of the Mad Hatter (Jervis Tetch).
7. 88 Batman #103 D.C.
10/56
  Bat-Hound appearance.
8. 84 Mad #30 E.C.
11-12/56
  1st Alfred E. Neuman cover by Norman Mingo. Gunsmoke, Disneyland & Elvis Presley parodies.
9. 73 Batman #97 D.C.
2/56
  Joker appearance. 2nd appearance of Bat-Hound.
10. 67 Mad #29 E.C.
9-10/56
  Don Martin art begins. Gregory Peck parody. Al Feldstein begins as editor. Wally Wood cover.
11. 66 Detective Comics #235 D.C.
9/56
  Origin of Batman and his costume.
12. 65 House of Secrets #1 D.C.
11-12/56
  Bernard Baily, Jim Mooney,. Bill Ely and Mort Drucker art. Ruben Moreira cover.
13. 64 Batman #101 D.C.
8/56
  Clark Kent appearance.
14. 64 Batman #102 D.C.
9/56
  Professor Carter Nichols appearance.
15. 63 Mad #27 E.C.
4/56
  Al Jaffee begins as staff artist. Ed Sullivan parody. Alfred E. Neuman pin-up.
16. 61 Batman #98 D.C.
3/56
  Jules Verne and Vicki Vale appearance. 1st Arnold Drake story for DC. Full page ad for Showcase
17. 59 Showcase #3 D.C.
7-8/56
  Frogmen. Grey tone cover.
18. 58 Superman #104 D.C.
3/56
  Mr. Mxyztplk appearance. Full page ad for Showcase #1
19. 58 Little Archie #1 Archie Publications
1956
  Bob Bolling story, cover and art.
20. 56 Superboy #49 D.C.
6/56
  1st appearance of Metallo.
21. 54 Batman #99 D.C.
4/56
  Last Golden Age Penguin appearance. Prof. Carter Nichols appearance.
22. 53 Superman #105 D.C.
5/56
  Mr. Mxyztplk appearance.
23. 53 Yellow Claw #1 Atlas
10/56
  1st appearance of the Yellow Claw and Jimmy Woo.
24. 51 Uncle Scrooge #14 Dell Publishing
6-8/56
  Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie appearance. Gyro Gearloose backup story by Barks.
25. 50 Detective Comics #238 D.C.
12/56
  Dave Wood story. Ruben Moreira and Joe Certa art. Sheldon Moldoff cover and art.
26. 49 Mystery Tales #40 Atlas
4/56
  Featured on the television show “Lost” in the episode “Cabin Fever”.
27. 49 Superman #108 D.C.
9/56
  Al Schwartz story. Al Plastino and Wayne Boring art. Al Plastino cover.
28. 48 Superman #109 D.C.
11/56
  Otto Binder story. Wayne Boring and Stan Kaye art. Al Plastino cover and art.
29. 47 Mad #28 E.C.
7/56
  Last issue edited by Harvey Kurtzman. Three different cover versions exist.
30. 47 Superman #106 D.C.
7/56
  Origin of Superman retold. Luthor appearance.
31. 46 Tales of the Unexpected #1 D.C.
2-3/56
 
32. 44 Incredible Science Fiction #33 E.C.
1-2/56
  Last color comic published by E.C.
33. 44 Adventure Comics #229 D.C.
10/56
  1st appearance of Topo. Green Arrow and Aquaman appearance.
34. 44 Showcase #2 D.C.
5-6/56
  Kings of the Wild. Full page ad for Sugar & Spike #1
35. 44 Showcase #5 D.C.
11-12/56
  Manhunters.
36. 43 Turok, Son of Stone #3 Dell Publishing
3-5/56
  Painted cover.
37. 42 Detective Comics #237 D.C.
11/56
 
38. 42 Superman #107 D.C.
8/56
  Bill Finger story. Al Plastino and Wayne Boring art. Wayne Boring cover.
39. 39 Superman #102 D.C.
1/56
 
40. 38 Action Comics #223 D.C.
12/56
 
41. 38 Action Comics #222 D.C.
11/56
 
42. 38 Detective Comics #236 D.C.
10/56
 
43. 37 Archie Comics #78 Archie Publications
1-2/56
 
44. 36 Uncle Scrooge #12 Dell Publishing
12/55-2/56
  Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie appearance.
45. 36 World’s Finest Comics #85 D.C.
11-12/56
 
46. 36 Brave and the Bold #8 D.C.
10-11/56
  Viking Prince, Silent Knight and Robin Hood.
47. 35 Four Color #738 Dell Publishing
10/56
  Westward Ho the Wagons! Movie adaptation. Fess Parker photo cover.
48. 35 Detective Comics #227 D.C.
1/56
  3rd appearance of the Martian Manhunter.
49. 35 Superman #103 D.C.
2/56
  Mr. Mxyztplk appearance.
50. 34 Brave and the Bold #6 D.C.
6-7/56
  Last Golden Gladiator. Silent Knight and Robin Hood.
51. 34 Playboy v3 #4 HMH Publishing Co.
April 1956
  Rusty Fisher centerfold, Diana Dors pictorial, Benny Goodman jazz column, Roald Dahl short story
52. 33 Sugar and Spike #1 D.C.
4-5/56
  Origin & 1st appearance of Sugar & Spike
53. 33 Playboy v3 #3 HMH Publishing Co.
March 1956
  Marian Stafford cover & centerfold, first 3-page centerfold, “An Evening with Eve” pictorial.
54. 33 Brave and the Bold #3 D.C.
12/55-1/56
  Viking Prince, Silent Knight and Golden Gladiator.
55. 33 Uncle Scrooge #13 Dell Publishing
3-5/56
  Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie appearance.
56. 32 Four Color #709 Dell Publishing
6/56
  The Searchers. Movie adaptation. John Wayne photo cover.
57. 32 Brave and the Bold #5 D.C.
4-5/56
  1st DC Robin Hood. Viking Prince and Silent Knight.
58. 31 Action Comics #219 D.C.
8/56
 
59. 31 Playboy v3 #10 HMH Publishing Co.
October 1956
  Janet Pilgrim centerfold, Joan Bradshaw pictorial.
60. 31 Detective Comics #231 D.C.
5/56
  Martian Manhunter origin recap.
61. 31 Playboy v3 #1 HMH Publishing Co.
January 1956
  Lynn Turner centerfold, Jean Moorehead cover, “The First Two Dozen Playmates” pictorial.
62. 31 Playboy v3 #12 HMH Publishing Co.
December 1956
  Lisa Winters cover & centerfold, Jayne Mansfield & Julie Newmar in Broadway pictorials.
63. 30 Turok, Son of Stone #5 Dell Publishing
9-11/56
  Painted cover.
64. 30 Detective Comics #234 D.C.
8/56
 
65. 30 World’s Finest Comics #84 D.C.
9-10/56
 
66. 30 Detective Comics #229 D.C.
3/56
  Full page ad for Showcase #1
67. 30 Brave and the Bold #4 D.C.
2-3/56
  Viking Prince, Silent Knight and Golden Gladiator.
68. 29 Brave and the Bold #7 D.C.
8-9/56
  Viking Prince, Silent Knight and Robin Hood.
69. 29 Playboy v3 #11 HMH Publishing Co.
November 1956
  Betty Blue centerfold, Anna Kirstein cover, Nat “King” Cole, Chicago’s Gaslight Club.
70. 29 Journey Into Mystery #31 Atlas
2/56
 
71. 29 Playboy v3 #6 HMH Publishing Co.
June 1956
  Gloria Walker centerfold “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury
72. 28 Action Comics #216 D.C.
5/56
 
73. 28 Playboy v3 #8 HMH Publishing Co.
August 1956
  Jonnie Nicely centerfold. 4-page Anita Ekberg & Shel Silverstein insert.
74. 27 Lone Ranger Movie Story #nn Dell Publishing
3/56
  Dell Giant. Movie adaptation. Clayton Moore photo cover & back cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 30¢ cover price variant is confirmed to exist
75. 27 Playboy v3 #9 HMH Publishing Co.
September 1956
  Elsa Sorensen centerfold, Diane Harmsen cover, “Filming the Folies-Bergere” pictorial.
76. 26 Journey Into Mystery #38 Atlas
9/56
 
77. 26 Detective Comics #228 D.C.
2/56
 
78. 26 Wonder Woman #85 D.C.
10/56
 
79. 26 Action Comics #214 D.C.
3/56
  Full page ad for Showcase #1
80. 26 Turok, Son of Stone #4 Dell Publishing
6-8/56
  Painted cover.
81. 26 Adventure Comics #228 D.C.
9/56
 
82. 25 Wonder Woman #86 D.C.
11/56
 
83. 25 Uncle Scrooge #15 Dell Publishing
9-11/56
  1st appearance of Flintheart Glomgold. 1st appearance of Gyro’s Helper. Gyro Gearloose backup st
84. 25 Action Comics #220 D.C.
9/56
 
85. 24 Playboy v3 #7 HMH Publishing Co.
July 1956
  Alice Denham centerfold, Marla English pictorial, “Newport Jazz Festival” article.
86. 24 Strange Tales #49 Atlas
8/56
 
87. 24 Strange Tales #53 Atlas
12/56
 
88. 24 World’s Finest Comics #83 D.C.
7-8/56
 
89. 24 Four Color #690 Dell Publishing
4/56
  The Conqueror. Movie Classic. John Wayne photo cover.
90. 23 Journey Into Mystery #32 Atlas
3/56
 
91. 23 Donald Duck #46 Dell Publishing
3-4/56
  Uncle Scrooge, Gladstone Gander, Huey, Dewey and Louie appearance. Goofy backup story.
92. 23 World of Fantasy #1 Atlas
5/56
 
93. 23 Adventure Comics #220 D.C.
1/56
  Early Krypto appearance.
94. 23 Yellow Claw #2 Atlas
12/56
 
95. 23 Mystery Tales #48 Atlas
12/56
 
96. 23 Baby Huey, the Baby Giant #1 Harvey Publications
9/56
  Infinity cover.
97. 23 Black Knight #5 Atlas
4/56
  Last issue.
98. 22 Journey Into Mystery #33 Atlas
4/56
  Sol Brodsky and Carl Burgos cover.
99. 22 Journey Into Mystery #41 Atlas
12/56
 
100. 22 Mystery Tales #44 Atlas
8/56
 
 « back  1957 »