Key Comic Books From 1970

March 1, 2021

1970

Key comics from 1970

There are two main ways I’ve seen online lists of key comic books presented by year: (1) personalized lists based upon judgment calls of what is “key” (thereby omitting any comic books the particular writer doesn’t happen to consider key — or doesn’t know about), and (2) lists based upon high sales price data (also a flawed method because high prices can just as easily be caused by a non-key book happening to grade a 10 at CGC).

The top 100 key comic books from 1970 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 1970’s 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 1970, 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 1970, but this will not necessarily be an all-encompassing list (if very few copies were created for a given key, for example, 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 1970.

Key Comic Books From 1970:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 4,237 Conan the Barbarian #1 Marvel
10/70
  Origin and 1st appearance of Conan. 1st appearance of King Kull in cameo.
2. 2,277 Green Lantern #76 D.C.
4/70
  Green Lantern/Green Arrow stories begin.
3. 1,721 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 D.C.
12/70
  1st appearance of Darkseid in cameo on last page.
4. 1,499 Batman #227 D.C.
12/70
  Robin backup story. Hanging panels. Classic cover. Detective Comics #31 cover homage.
5. 1,006 Detective Comics #400 D.C.
6/70
  Origin and 1st appearance of Man-Bat. 1st Robin and Batgirl team-up story. 400th anniversary issue.
6. 1,001 Silver Surfer #14 Marvel
3/70
  Spider-Man appearance. Letter from Doug Moench.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
7. 862 Amazing Spider-Man #91 Marvel
12/70
  Funeral of Captain George Stacy.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
8. 838 Fantastic Four #100 Marvel
7/70
  Mad Thinker and Puppet Master appearance. 100th anniversary issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 830 Amazing Spider-Man #86 Marvel
7/70
  Origin of the Black Widow. Black Widow dons new costume.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 787 Amazing Spider-Man #90 Marvel
11/70
  “Death” of Captain George Stacy. Doctor Octopus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 745 Amazing Adventures #1 Marvel
8/70
  Inhumans and the Black Widow. Fantastic Four appearance.
12. 708 Conan the Barbarian #2 Marvel
12/70
  Letters from Harlan Ellison, Glenn Lord, August Derleth, Ted White and Don and Maggie Thompson.
13. 692 Avengers #83 Marvel
12/70
  1st appearance of the Liberators. Black Widow, Medusa and Enchantress appearance. Roy Thomas, Tom Fagan cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 646 Amazing Spider-Man #81 Marvel
2/70
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Kangaroo (Frank Oliver).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 605 Amazing Spider-Man #82 Marvel
3/70
  Electro appearance. Letter from J.M. DeMatteis.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
16. 601 Amazing Spider-Man #83 Marvel
4/70
  1st appearance of the Schemer and Vanessa Fisk. Kingpin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 584 Amazing Spider-Man #84 Marvel
5/70
  2nd appearance of the Schemer and Vanessa Fisk. Kingpin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
18. 583 Amazing Spider-Man #88 Marvel
9/70
  Doctor Octopus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 551 Amazing Spider-Man #87 Marvel
8/70
  Hobie Brown (Prowler) appearance. Letters from Doug Moench and Alan Kupperberg.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 536 Amazing Spider-Man #80 Marvel
1/70
  Chameleon appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 531 Silver Surfer #18 Marvel
9/70
  Inhumans appearance. Last issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 518 X-Men #64 Marvel
1/70
  1st appearance of Sunfire (Shiro Yoshida).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 514 Silver Surfer #15 Marvel
4/70
  Fantastic Four appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 512 Amazing Spider-Man #89 Marvel
10/70
  Doctor Octopus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
25. 499 X-Men #66 Marvel
3/70
  Last new story with original X-Men. Hulk and Major Glenn Talbot appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
26. 497 Amazing Spider-Man #85 Marvel
6/70
  Schemer revealed as the Kingpin’s son (Richard Fisk). Kingpin and Vanessa Fisk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
27. 486 X-Men #65 Marvel
2/70
  Professor Xavier returns. Havok and Polaris appearance. Fantastic Four cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
28. 484 X-Men Annual #1 Marvel
12/70
  Jack Kirby cover.
29. 482 Silver Surfer #16 Marvel
5/70
  Mephisto and Nick Fury appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
30. 475 Batman #222 D.C.
6/70
  Beatles take-off. Letter from Mike W. Barr.
31. 471 Silver Surfer #12 Marvel
1/70
  Abomination appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 451 Silver Surfer #17 Marvel
6/70
  Mephisto, Nick Fury and Dum Dum Dugan appearance. Fantastic Four and Tony Stark cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 391 Silver Surfer #13 Marvel
2/70
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Doomsday Man. Atomic explosion panel.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
34. 363 Astonishing Tales #1 Marvel
8/70
  Ka-Zar and Doctor Doom. Kraven app. President Richard Nixon, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin cameo.
35. 345 Detective Comics #405 D.C.
11/70
  1st appearance of the League of Assassins. Batgirl backup story.
36. 334 Green Lantern #77 D.C.
6/70
  Denny O’Neil story. Neal Adams and Frank Giacoia art. Neal Adams cover.
37. 324 Green Lantern #80 D.C.
10/70
  Guardians of the Universe appearance.
38. 310 Fantastic Four #97 Marvel
4/70
  Stan Lee story. Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoia art. Jack Kirby and John Verpoorten cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 301 Fantastic Four #95 Marvel
2/70
  Medusa appearance. Crystal leaves the Fantastic Four.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 301 Fantastic Four #94 Marvel
1/70
  1st appearance of Agatha Harkness. Medusa and Frightful Four (Wizard, Trapster and Sandman) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
41. 300 Avengers #80 Marvel
9/70
  Origin and 1st appearance of Red Wolf (William Talltrees).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
42. 274 Green Lantern #81 D.C.
12/70
  Black Canary appearance.
43. 272 World’s Finest Comics #199 D.C.
12/70
  Superman vs. Flash race concludes. Guardians appearance.
44. 270 Green Lantern #78 D.C.
7/70
  Black Canary begins.
45. 268 Fantastic Four #98 Marvel
5/70
  Kree Sentry appearance. Neil Armstrong cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
46. 268 World’s Finest Comics #198 D.C.
11/70
  3rd Superman vs. Flash race. Format changes to Superman team-up. Batman cameo.
47. 262 Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane #106 D.C.
11/70
  2nd appearance of Rose and the Thorn.
48. 257 Detective Comics #403 D.C.
9/70
  Robin backup story.
49. 253 Avengers #81 Marvel
10/70
  Red Wolf appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 251 Fantastic Four #99 Marvel
6/70
  Inhumans appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
51. 250 Avengers #74 Marvel
3/70
  Roy Thomas story. John Buscema and Tom Palmer. cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
52. 248 Avengers #78 Marvel
7/70
  1st appearance of the Lethal Legion. Man-Ape appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 244 X-Men #67 Marvel
12/70
  X-Men reprints begin. 1st issue since 3/70
54. 233 Scooby Doo #1 Gold Key
3/70
  1st appearance of Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne in comics. Adapts pilot of CBS television series.
55. 228 Avengers #72 Marvel
1/70
  1st appearance of the Zodiac. Captain Marvel and Nick Fury appearance. Story continued from Nick Fury #15
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
56. 228 Vampirella #3 Warren Publishing
1/70
  Larry Todd & Vaughn Bode cover. “Vampi’s Scarlet Letters” page begins.
57. 225 Fantastic Four #102 Marvel
9/70
  Sub-Mariner and Magneto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 223 Thor #180 Marvel
9/70
  Mephisto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
59. 221 Green Lantern #79 D.C.
9/70
  Black Canary appearance.
60. 220 Chamber of Darkness #4 Marvel
4/70
  Conan-like character with art by Barry Windsor-Smith (pre-dates Conan #1).
61. 217 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #7 Marvel
12/70
  Includes 5 Spider-Man pin-ups.
62. 214 Avengers #76 Marvel
5/70
  Arkon and Black Widow appearance. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch rejoin the Avengers. Toad cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 213 Avengers #75 Marvel
4/70
  1st appearance of Arkon. Quicksilver appearance. Scarlet Witch and Toad appearance in flashback.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
64. 206 Avengers #79 Marvel
8/70
  Lethal Legion (Grim Reaper, Man-Ape, Swordsman, Power Man and Living Laser) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 203 Thor #182 Marvel
11/70
  Doctor Doom appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
66. 203 Thor #175 Marvel
4/70
  Stan Lee story. Jack Kirby and Bill Everett art. Marie Severin and Bill Everett cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
67. 195 Avengers #82 Marvel
11/70
  Daredevil and Aries appearance. Fantastic Four, Peter Parker and Aunt May cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
68. 195 Detective Comics #402 D.C.
8/70
  Man-Bat appearance. Speedy cameo in Robin backup story.
69. 193 Fantastic Four #96 Marvel
3/70
  Mad Thinker appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
70. 191 Iron Man #25 Marvel
5/70
  Sub-Mariner appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
71. 188 Avengers #77 Marvel
6/70
  Roy Thomas story. John Buscema and Tom Palmer. cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
72. 186 Detective Comics #395 D.C.
1/70
  Robin backup story.
73. 185 Where Monsters Dwell #6 Marvel
11/70
  Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 183 Iron Man Annual #1 Marvel
8/70
  Iron Man pin-up.
75. 179 Incredible Hulk #134 Marvel
12/70
  Roy Thomas story. Herb Trimpe and Sal Buscema art. Herb Trimpe cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
76. 177 Fantastic Four #105 Marvel
12/70
  Origin of the Fantastic Four retold. Crystal leaves the Fantastic Four.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
77. 174 Star Spangled War Stories #151 D.C.
6-7/70
  1st appearance of the Unknown Soldier.
78. 174 Incredible Hulk #126 Marvel
4/70
  Doctor Strange appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 173 Incredible Hulk #131 Marvel
9/70
  1st appearance of Jim Wilson, the Hulk’s new sidekick. Iron Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
80. 171 Thor #172 Marvel
1/70
  Stan Lee story. Jack Kirby and Bill Everett. cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 170 Avengers #73 Marvel
2/70
  Sons of the Serpent appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
82. 169 Thor #174 Marvel
3/70
  Stan Lee story. Jack Kirby and Bill Everett. cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
83. 167 Incredible Hulk #123 Marvel
1/70
  Fantastic Four and Leader appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 166 Thor #177 Marvel
6/70
  Surtur appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 165 Thor #181 Marvel
10/70
  Mephisto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
86. 159 Detective Comics #404 D.C.
10/70
  Tribute to Enemy Ace. Batgirl backup story.
87. 155 Where Monsters Dwell #1 Marvel
1/70
  Jack Kirby cover.
88. 151 Batman #219 D.C.
2/70
  Letter from Klaus Janson.
89. 149 Incredible Hulk #128 Marvel
6/70
  Avengers appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 146 Thor #173 Marvel
2/70
  Ringmaster, Princess Python, Circus of Crime and Ulik appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 146 Thor #179 Marvel
8/70
  Neal Adams, Marie Severin, John Romita, Joe Sinnott and John Verpoorten cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
92. 144 Captain America #127 Marvel
7/70
  Nick Fury, Tony Stark and Joe Robertson appearance.
93. 143 Fantastic Four #104 Marvel
11/70
  Magneto and Sub-Mariner appearance. President Richard Nixon cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 143 Iron Man #21 Marvel
1/70
  Eddie March becomes the new Iron Man. Crimson Dynamo appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 142 Incredible Hulk #130 Marvel
8/70
  Roy Thomas story. Herb Trimpe cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
96. 142 Aquaman #50 D.C.
3-4/70
  Deadman backup story. Letter from Laurie Sutton.
97. 142 Fantastic Four #101 Marvel
8/70
  Letters from J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Kupperberg.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
98. 142 Fantastic Four #103 Marvel
10/70
  Sub-Mariner and Magneto appearance. President Richard M. Nixon cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
99. 140 Daredevil #61 Marvel
2/70
  Mister Hyde, Cobra and Jester appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 137 Iron Man #27 Marvel
7/70
  1st appearance of Firebrand (Gary Gilbert).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
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