Key Comic Books From 1971

March 1, 2021

1971

Key comics from 1971

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 1971 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 1971, according to how many copies of each issue have passed through CGC’s doors to date (as of 1/19/2021) to reveal the comics 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 1971, 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 comics from 1971.

Key Comic Books From 1971:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 3,930 Amazing Spider-Man #101 Marvel
10/71
  1st appearance of Morbius, the Living Vampire (Doctor Michael Morbius). Lizard appearance. Last 15¢ issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
2. 3,505 Amazing Spider-Man #100 Marvel
9/71
  100th anniversary issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
3. 2,756 Batman #232 D.C.
6/71
  1st appearance of Ra’s al Ghul. Origin of Batman and Robin retold. Talia cameo.
4. 2,573 House of Secrets #92 D.C.
6-7/71
  1st appearance of the Swamp Thing. Grey tone cover.
5. 1,916 New Gods #1 D.C.
2-3/71
  1st appearance of Orion, Lightray, Metron, High-Father and Kalibak.
6. 1,805 Forever People #1 D.C.
2-3/71
  1st full appearance of Darkseid. 1st appearance of Forever People. Superman and Jimmy Olsen appearance.
7. 1,648 Marvel Feature #1 Marvel
12/71
  Origin and 1st app. of the Defenders. “Death” of Yandroth. Baron Mordo appears in Doctor Strange backup story.
8. 1,569 Amazing Spider-Man #97 Marvel
6/71
  Drug story not approved by the Comics Code Authority. Green Goblin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,484 Amazing Spider-Man #98 Marvel
7/71
  Drug story not approved by the Comics Code Authority. Green Goblin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 1,476 Fantastic Four #112 Marvel
7/71
  Classic Hulk vs. Thing battle issue. J. Jonah Jameson cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,207 Mister Miracle #1 D.C.
3-4/71
  1st appearance Mr. Miracle and Oberon. “Death” of Thaddeus Brown.
12. 1,205 Batman #234 D.C.
8/71
  1st Silver Age appearance of Two-Face. Robin backup story.
13. 1,142 Amazing Spider-Man #102 Marvel
11/71
  Origin and 2nd appearance of Morbius. Lizard appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 1,087 Green Lantern #85 D.C.
8-9/71
  Speedy revealed as a junkie. Anti-drug story.
15. 1,020 Conan the Barbarian #3 Marvel
2/71
  Based on the story “Spears of Clontarf” by Robert E. Howard.
16. 953 Amazing Spider-Man #96 Marvel
5/71
  Drug story not approved by the Comics Code Authority. Green Goblin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 885 Superman #233 D.C.
1/71
  Clark Kent becomes a TV newscaster. All Kryptonite “destroyed”. “World of Krypton” backup stories begin.
18. 822 Incredible Hulk #141 Marvel
7/71
  Origin and 1st appearance of Doc Samson (Doctor Leonard Samson).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 783 Green Lantern #86 D.C.
10-11/71
  Anti-drug story concludes.
20. 759 Amazing Spider-Man #94 Marvel
3/71
  Origin of Spider-Man retold. Beetle appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 723 Amazing Spider-Man #99 Marvel
8/71
  Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 723 Avengers #87 Marvel
4/71
  Origin of the Black Panther.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 715 Detective Comics #411 D.C.
5/71
  1st appearance of Talia al Ghul.
24. 698 Amazing Spider-Man #95 Marvel
4/71
  Stan Lee story. John Romita and Sal Buscema. cover and art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
25. 683 Batman #237 D.C.
12/71
  Based on a Bernie Wrightson idea with an assist from Harlan Ellison, genesis of story explained in O’Neil letter.
26. 626 Amazing Spider-Man #92 Marvel
1/71
  Iceman appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
27. 600 Amazing Spider-Man #93 Marvel
2/71
  1st appearance of Arthur Stacy. Prowler appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
28. 561 Avengers #93 Marvel
11/71
  Kree-Skrull War begins. Captain Marvel appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
29. 507 Mister Miracle #4 D.C.
9-10/71
  1st appearance of Big Barda. Letter from Mark Gruenwald.
30. 487 Savage Tales #1 Marvel
5/71
  2nd Conan comic title, Robert E. Howard adaptation Origin & 1st appearance Man-Thing. Ka-Zar story.
31. 486 Conan the Barbarian #4 Marvel
4/71
  Roy Thomas story. Barry Windsor-Smith and Sal Buscema art. Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
32. 472 Amazing Spider-Man #103 Marvel
12/71
  1st appearance of Gog. Ka-Zar, Zabu and Kraven appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 441 Kull the Conqueror #1 Marvel
6/71
  Origin and 2nd appearance of Kull. Based on stories by Robert E. Howard.
34. 427 Conan the Barbarian #5 Marvel
5/71
  Story inspired by Robert E. Howard’s poem “Zukala’s Hour”.
35. 419 Conan the Barbarian #9 Marvel
9/71
  Based on Robert E. Howard’s “The Garden of Fear”.
36. 412 Conan the Barbarian #7 Marvel
7/71
  Adapted from Robert E. Howard’s story “The God in the Bowl”. 1st appearance of Thoth Amon (cameo).
37. 385 Avengers #92 Marvel
9/71
  Captain Marvel appearance. Letter from David Michelinie.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 381 Conan the Barbarian #8 Marvel
8/71
  Adapted from Robert E. Howard’s story “The Hall of the Dead”. Hidden panel message.
39. 355 Thor #193 Marvel
11/71
  Silver Surfer appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 355 Conan the Barbarian #10 Marvel
10/71
  King Kull backup story (adapted from the poem by Robert E. Howard).
41. 352 Sub-Mariner #34 Marvel
2/71
  Hulk and Silver Surfer appearance. Prelude to first Defenders story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
42. 338 Marvel Spotlight #1 Marvel
11/71
  Origin of Red Wolf.
43. 337 Conan the Barbarian #6 Marvel
6/71
  1st appearance of Fafnir.
44. 337 Weird War Tales #1 D.C.
9-10/71
  Joe Kubert story, cover and art.
45. 334 Mister Miracle #2 D.C.
5-6/71
  1st appearance of Granny Goodness.
46. 331 Avengers #85 Marvel
2/71
  1st appearance of the Squadron Supreme. Spider-Man cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
47. 308 New Gods #2 D.C.
4-5/71
  Darkseid appearance. Partial photo cover.
48. 296 Avengers #88 Marvel
5/71
  Hulk, Falcon and Psyklop appearance. Mister Fantastic and Professor X cameo. Story continued in Incredible Hulk #140
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
49. 295 Fantastic Four #108 Marvel
3/71
  Nega-Man appearance. Annihilus cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 285 Creatures on the Loose #10 Marvel
3/71
  1st issue. Formerly Tower of Shadows. 1st full appearance of King Kull. Robert E. Howard story adaptation.
51. 280 Green Lantern #82 D.C.
2-3/71
  Black Canary appearance. Bernie Wrightson inks one page.
52. 266 Sub-Mariner #35 Marvel
3/71
  Namor, Hulk and Silver Surfer team-up and battle the Avengers.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 260 Green Lantern #84 D.C.
6-7/71
  Black Hand appearance.
54. 259 Daredevil #77 Marvel
6/71
  Story continued from Sub-Mariner #39 Story continued in Sub-Mariner #40 Spider-Man and Sub-Mariner appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 257 Batman #235 D.C.
9/71
  Ra’s Al Ghul and Talia appearance. Robin backup story. Letter from Dave Sim.
56. 245 Detective Comics #408 D.C.
2/71
  Doctor Tzin-Tzin appearance. Includes 1971 Batman calendar.
57. 234 Daredevil #81 Marvel
11/71
  Stories featuring the Black Widow begin. Owl appearance. Black Widow pin-up by Bill Everett.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 234 Air Pirates Funnies #1 Hell
7/71
  Banned from future sales & reprinting after settlement of Disney Co. lawsuit. Dirty Duck & Dopin’ Dan appearance.
59. 234 Green Lantern #83 D.C.
4-5/71
  Green Lantern reveals his identity to Carol Ferris. Black Canary appearance.
60. 231 Avengers #94 Marvel
12/71
  Captain Marvel and Super-Skrull appearance. Fantastic Four cameo. Kree-Skrull war continues.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
61. 224 Avengers #89 Marvel
6/71
  Captain Marvel, Annihilus, Kree Sentry, Ronan and Supreme Intelligence appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 219 Captain America #137 Marvel
5/71
  Spider-Man and Harry Osborn appearance. Stone Face cameo on last page.
63. 218 Fantastic Four #114 Marvel
9/71
  1st full appearance of the Overmind. Watcher appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
64. 217 Fantastic Four #116 Marvel
11/71
  Doctor Doom, Overmind and Stranger appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 214 Detective Comics #407 D.C.
1/71
  Man-Bat appearance. Batgirl backup story.
66. 207 X-Men #69 Marvel
4/71
  Sal Buscema cover.
67. 203 Detective Comics #412 D.C.
6/71
  Batgirl backup story.
68. 202 Avengers #91 Marvel
8/71
  Captain Marvel, Kree Sentry and Ronan appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
69. 201 X-Men #71 Marvel
8/71
  Werner Roth & Dick Ayers cover.
70. 201 New Gods #3 D.C.
6-7/71
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Black Racer (Sergeant Willie Walker). Partial photo cover. Last 15¢ issue.
71. 199 Detective Comics #410 D.C.
4/71
  Batgirl backup story.
72. 196 DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #6 D.C.
1971
  World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Wraparound cover. Unpublished Wildcat story with Huntress appearance.
73. 194 Fantastic Four #106 Marvel
1/71
  Stan Lee story. John Romita and Joe Sinnott art. John Romita cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 194 Amazing Adventures #7 Marvel
7/71
  Inhumans and the Black Widow. Goliath (Clint Barton) cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
75. 189 Conan the Barbarian #11 Marvel
11/71
  Adapted from Robert E. Howard’s “Rogues in the House.” Letters from Fred Hembeck & Tom Peyer.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
76. 189 Incredible Hulk #140 Marvel
6/71
  1st appearance of Jarella. Psyklop appearance. Story continued from Avengers #88
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
77. 187 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #135 D.C.
1/71
  Darkseid cameo. 1st Silver Age Guardian appearance.
78. 186 Incredible Hulk #142 Marvel
8/71
  Valkyrie appearance. Tom Wolfe cameo. Story inspired by Tom Wolfe’s “Radical Chic”.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 185 X-Men #68 Marvel
2/71
  Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers cover.
80. 183 Brave and the Bold #93 D.C.
12/70-1/71
  House of Mystery.
81. 179 Astonishing Tales #6 Marvel
6/71
  Ka-Zar and Doctor Doom. 1st app. of Barbara Morse (later becomes Mockingbird). Black Panther appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
82. 177 Fantastic Four #109 Marvel
4/71
  Annihilus and Nega-Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
83. 177 Fantastic Four #111 Marvel
6/71
  Hulk, Peter Parker, Joe Robertson and J. Jonah Jameson cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 175 Avengers #86 Marvel
3/71
  Origin and 1st appearance of Brain-Child (Arnold Sutton). Squadron Supreme appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 175 Avengers #90 Marvel
7/71
  Captain Marvel, Ronan and Kree Sentry appearance. Carol Danvers cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
86. 172 House of Mystery #195 D.C.
10/71
  Swamp creature story by Wrightson.
87. 171 Ghosts #1 D.C.
9-10/71
  Leo Dorfman story, Nick Cardy cover. Jim Aparo, Tony DeZuniga and. Sam Glanzman art.
88. 171 Captain America #133 Marvel
1/71
  Captain America team-ups with Falcon begin. Origin of M.O.D.O.K. Iron Man cameo.
89. 169 X-Men #72 Marvel
10/71
 
90. 167 Batman #236 D.C.
11/71
  Robin backup story.
91. 166 DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #4 D.C.
1971
  Weird Mystery Tales. 1st issue. Bernie Wrightson appears in story.
92. 166 Amazing Adventures #5 Marvel
3/71
  Inhumans and the Black Widow. Letter from Paul Levitz.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 162 Fantastic Four #110 Marvel
5/71
  Annihilus appearance. J. Jonah Jameson and Joe Robertson cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 162 Avengers #84 Marvel
1/71
  Arkon and Enchantress appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 161 Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 D.C.
9-10/71
  1 page text story written by Wes Craven.
96. 159 Fantastic Four #107 Marvel
2/71
  1st appearance of the Nega-Man (Richard Janus).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
97. 157 Daredevil #80 Marvel
9/71
  Owl appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
98. 156 X-Men #70 Marvel
6/71
  Jack Kirby and Dick Ayers cover.
99. 154 X-Men Annual #2 Marvel
11/71
  Marie Severin and John Verpoorten cover.
100. 153 Fantastic Four #113 Marvel
8/71
  Bruce Banner and Watcher appearance. 1st appearance of the Overmind in cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
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