Key Comic Books From 1968

March 1, 2021

1968


Key comic books from 1968
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 1968 list you’re about to see is neither of those two type

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 1968, 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 1968, 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 1968.

Key Comic Books From 1968:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 6,339 Iron Man #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Origin of Iron Man retold.
2. 4,844 Silver Surfer #1 Marvel
8/68
  Origin of the Silver Surfer. Tales of the Watcher begin. Origin of the Watchers.
3. 4,452 Captain America #100 Marvel
4/68
  1st issue. Black Panther appearance. Story and numbering continued from Tales of Suspense #99
4. 3,942 Avengers #57 Marvel
10/68
  1st appearance of the Silver Age Vision. Black Widow and Ultron appearance.
5. 3,623 Sub-Mariner #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Origin of Sub-Mariner retold.
6. 3,450 Incredible Hulk #102 Marvel
4/68
  Continued from Tales to Astonish #101 Warriors Three, Enchantress and Odin appearance. Origin of
7. 2,661 Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Marvel
4/68
  Pre-dates both Iron Man #1 and Sub-Mariner #1 Whiplash and Destiny appearance.
8. 2,192 Doctor Strange #169 Marvel
6/68
  1st Doctor Strange in his own title. Origin of Doctor Strange retold.
9. 2,096 Marvel Super-Heroes #13 Marvel
3/68
  1st appearance of Carol Danvers. 2nd appearance of Captain Marvel. Letter from Dave Cockrum.
10. 2,089 Avengers #55 Marvel
8/68
  Crimson Cowl revealed as Ultron-5 (1st appearance). Whirlwind, Radioactive Man, Melter, Klaw & B
11. 2,039 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Marvel
6/68
  Scorpio appearance.
12. 1,860 Silver Surfer #3 Marvel
12/68
  1st appearance of Mephisto. Tales of the Watcher backup story.
13. 1,820 Amazing Spider-Man #59 Marvel
4/68
  1st Mary Jane Watson cover. Kingpin cameo on last page.
14. 1,807 Captain Marvel #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Marvel Super-Heroes #13 Kree Sentry appearance.
15. 1,710 Amazing Spider-Man #64 Marvel
9/68
  Vulture appearance.
16. 1,596 Amazing Spider-Man #62 Marvel
7/68
  Medusa appearance.
17. 1,577 Silver Surfer #2 Marvel
10/68
  1st appearance of the Brotherhood of Badoon. Tales of the Watcher backup story.
18. 1,521 X-Men #50 Marvel
11/68
  2nd appearance of Polaris. Mesmero appearance. Origin of the Beast. New X-Men logo.
19. 1,362 Incredible Hulk Annual #1 Marvel
10/68
  Inhumans appearance. Classic cover.
20. 1,359 Fantastic Four Annual #6 Marvel
11/68
  Birth of Franklin Richards. 1st appearance of Annihilus.
21. 1,314 Iron Man #2 Marvel
6/68
  “Death” of Drexel Cord. Letter from Bob Gale.
22. 1,241 Amazing Spider-Man #66 Marvel
11/68
  Mysterio appearance. Green Goblin cameo. Letter from Cary Burkett.
23. 1,237 Avengers #48 Marvel
1/68
  Dane Whitman becomes the new Black Knight. Magneto and Toad appearance.
24. 1,232 Amazing Spider-Man #67 Marvel
12/68
  1st appearance of Randy Robertson. Mysterio appearance.
25. 1,210 Fantastic Four #72 Marvel
3/68
  Silver Surfer and Watcher appearance.
26. 1,156 Amazing Spider-Man #56 Marvel
1/68
  1st appearance of Captain George Stacy. Doctor Octopus appearance.
27. 1,119 Avengers #58 Marvel
11/68
  Origin of the Vision. Vision joins the Avengers.
28. 1,099 Batman #200 D.C.
3/68
  Scarecrow appearance. Penguin, Killer Moth and Joker cameo.
29. 1,067 Green Lantern #59 D.C.
3/68
  1st appearance of Guy Gardner. Abin Sur appearance. Origin of Green Lantern retold.
30. 1,034 Amazing Spider-Man #58 Marvel
3/68
  Professor Spencer Smythe, Spider-Slayer, Ka-Zar and Zabu appearance.
31. 989 Amazing Spider-Man #57 Marvel
2/68
  Ka-Zar and Zabu appearance.
32. 942 Amazing Spider-Man #65 Marvel
10/68
  Foggy Nelson cameo.
33. 928 X-Men #49 Marvel
10/68
  1st appearance of Polaris (Lorna Dane) and Mesmero. Origin of the Beast.
34. 922 Amazing Spider-Man #61 Marvel
6/68
  1st Gwen Stacy cover. Kingpin appearance.
35. 874 X-Men #45 Marvel
6/68
  Magneto, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch and Toad appearance. Origin of Iceman. Story continued in Av
36. 840 X-Men #40 Marvel
1/68
  Origin of Cyclops.
37. 832 Fantastic Four #73 Marvel
4/68
  Story continued from Daredevil #38 Daredevil, Spider-Man and Thor appearance.
38. 820 Avengers #53 Marvel
6/68
  X-Men vs. Avengers. Magneto and Toad appearance. Story continued from X-Men #45
39. 741 Iron Man #3 Marvel
7/68
  Happy Hogan becomes the Freak. Letters from Walt Simonson and Bob Gale.
40. 734 Avengers #54 Marvel
7/68
  1st appearance of the New Masters of Evil. Full page ad for Silver Surfer #1
41. 733 Amazing Spider-Man #60 Marvel
5/68
  Kingpin appearance. Full page ad for Iron Man #1 and Sub-Mariner #1
42. 727 Daredevil #43 Marvel
8/68
  Origin of Daredevil partially retold. Captain America appearance.
43. 672 Captain America #101 Marvel
5/68
  Red Skull, Nick Fury and Sleeper appearance.
44. 663 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 Marvel
9/68
  Origin of S.H.I.E.L.D.
45. 663 Incredible Hulk #105 Marvel
7/68
  1st appearance of the Missing Link. Reed Richards cameo.
46. 657 Amazing Spider-Man #63 Marvel
8/68
  Vulture (Adrian Toomes) and Vulture (Blackie Drago) appearance.
47. 654 X-Men #51 Marvel
12/68
  1st appearance of Erik the Red (cameo). Magneto, Mesmero and Polaris appearance. Origin of the B
48. 636 Spectacular Spider-Man #2 Marvel
11/68
  Green Goblin cover & story. Full color issue. Last issue.
49. 590 Fantastic Four #76 Marvel
7/68
  Silver Surfer, Galactus and Psycho-Man appearance.
50. 589 X-Men #43 Marvel
4/68
  Magneto, Toad, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch appearance. Cyclops featurette.
51. 585 Tales of Suspense #98 Marvel
2/68
  Whiplash, Black Panther & Nick Fury appearance. Letter from Bob Gale.
52. 584 Iron Man #6 Marvel
10/68
  Crusher appearance.
53. 581 Captain America #104 Marvel
8/68
  Red Skull appearance. Half page ad for Silver Surfer #1
54. 580 Fantastic Four #75 Marvel
6/68
  Silver Surfer and Galactus appearance.
55. 580 Fantastic Four #74 Marvel
5/68
  Galactus and Silver Surfer appearance.
56. 573 Captain America #106 Marvel
10/68
  Mao Tse-Tung cameo.
57. 564 Iron Man #4 Marvel
8/68
  Unicorn appearance. Freak cameo. Full page ad for Silver Surfer #1
58. 553 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 Marvel
7/68
  1st appearance of Centurius (Doctor Noah Black).
59. 544 Tales to Astonish #100 Marvel
2/68
  Hulk vs. Sub-Mariner. Puppet Master appearance.
60. 527 Sub-Mariner #5 Marvel
9/68
  Origin and 1st appearance of Tiger Shark (Todd Arliss). 1st appearance of Diane Arliss and Docto
61. 525 Captain America #108 Marvel
12/68
  Trapster appearance.
62. 524 Tales of Suspense #97 Marvel
1/68
  1st app. of Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti). Black Panther appearance. Indicia states Jan. 1967
63. 519 Captain America #107 Marvel
11/68
  1st appearance of Doctor Faustus (Johann Fennhoff). Red Skull cover.
64. 517 Avengers #59 Marvel
12/68
  1st appearance of Yellowjacket. Spider-Man and J. Jonah Jameson cameo. Letter from Wendy (Fletch
65. 514 Iron Man #5 Marvel
9/68
  Krylla appearance. Letter from Bob Gale.
66. 514 Captain America #102 Marvel
6/68
  Red Skull and Sleeper appearance. Letter from Doug Moench.
67. 512 Incredible Hulk #107 Marvel
9/68
  Mandarin appearance. Nick Fury cameo.
68. 512 Incredible Hulk #104 Marvel
6/68
  Rhino appearance.
69. 508 X-Men #47 Marvel
8/68
  Human Torch cameo in Iceman featurette.
70. 507 Tales to Astonish #101 Marvel
3/68
  Loki, Odin & Warriors Three appearance. Last issue. Story & numbering continued in Incredible Hu
71. 505 Sub-Mariner #8 Marvel
12/68
  Sub-Mariner vs. Thing. 1st Silver Age appearance of Betty Dean. Vision and Giant-Man cameo.
72. 500 Avengers #52 Marvel
5/68
  1st appearance of the Grim Reaper (Eric Williams). Black Panther joins the Avengers.
73. 497 X-Men #42 Marvel
3/68
  “Death” of Professor X. Grotesk appearance. Origin of Cyclops.
74. 495 Thor #158 Marvel
11/68
  Origin of Thor retold.
75. 494 Fantastic Four #78 Marvel
9/68
  Wizard appearance.
76. 487 Sub-Mariner #2 Marvel
6/68
  Triton battles Sub-Mariner. Inhumans and Plantman appearance.
77. 471 Captain America #103 Marvel
7/68
  Red Skull appearance. Two color variants exist.
78. 466 Fantastic Four #77 Marvel
8/68
  Silver Surfer and Psycho-Man appearance. Galactus cameo. Full page ad for Silver Surfer #1
79. 464 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #6 Marvel
11/68
  Roy Thomas and Archie Goodwin story. Frank Springer art. Jim Steranko cover.
80. 463 Sub-Mariner #6 Marvel
10/68
  Tiger Shark, Doctor Dorcas and Destiny appearance.
81. 460 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 Marvel
11/68
  1st appearance of Peter Parker’s parents (Richard and Mary). Red Skull and Fantastic Four appear
82. 460 Showcase #73 D.C.
3-4/68
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Creeper (Jack Ryder).
83. 458 X-Men #48 Marvel
9/68
  Quasimodo appearance. Beast featurette.
84. 452 Avengers #50 Marvel
3/68
  Typhon, Zeus and Ares appearance. Hercules leaves the Avengers.
85. 450 Strange Tales #167 Marvel
4/68
  Yellow Claw appearance. Doctor Doom cameo. Flag cover.
86. 448 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #5 Marvel
10/68
  Scorpio appearance. Last Jim Steranko story and art on Nick Fury.
87. 445 Iron Man #8 Marvel
12/68
  Gladiator and Count Nefaria appearance.
88. 438 X-Men #44 Marvel
5/68
  1st Silver Age Red Raven appearance. Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad and Magneto appearance. Or
89. 438 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #7 Marvel
12/68
  Letter from Bob Gale.
90. 435 Thor #156 Marvel
9/68
  Mangog and Recorder appearance.
91. 422 Showcase #75 D.C.
6/68
  Origin and 1st appearance of Hawk and Dove (Hank and Don Hall).
92. 416 Thor #154 Marvel
7/68
  1st appearance of Mangog. Ulik appearance. Half page ad for Silver Surfer #1
93. 413 Thor #148 Marvel
1/68
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Wrecker (Dirk Garthwaite). Origin of Black Bolt in backup story
94. 410 Iron Man #7 Marvel
11/68
  Gladiator appearance.
95. 407 X-Men #41 Marvel
2/68
  Origin and 1st appearance of Grotesk. Origin of Cyclops. Letter from Fred Hembeck.
96. 404 Captain America #105 Marvel
9/68
  Batroc, Swordsman and Living Laser appearance.
97. 403 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #3 Marvel
8/68
  Half page ad for Silver Surfer #1
98. 394 Daredevil #45 Marvel
10/68
  Jester appearance. Hypodermic needle panel. Statue of Liberty photo cover.
99. 391 Captain Marvel #2 Marvel
6/68
  Super-Skrull appearance.
100. 369 Beware the Creeper #1 D.C.
5-6/68
  Steve Ditko and Denny O’Neil story. Steve Ditko cover and art.
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