Key Comic Books From 1972

March 1, 2021

1972

Key comics from 1972

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 1972 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 1972, 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 1972, 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 1972.

Key Comic Books From 1972:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 3,739 Marvel Spotlight #5 Marvel
8/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze). 1st appearance of Roxanne Simpson.
2. 2,978 Hero For Hire #1 Marvel
6/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of Luke Cage. 1st appearance of Diamondback (Willis Stryker).
3. 2,223 Swamp Thing #1 D.C.
10-11/72
  Origin of Swamp Thing. 1st appearance of Lt. Matt Cable, Alec and Linda Holland.
4. 2,088 Tomb of Dracula #1 Marvel
4/72
  1st appearance of Dracula, Frank Drake and Clifton Graves.
5. 1,883 Marvel Premiere #1 Marvel
4/72
  1st appearance of Him as Adam Warlock. 1st app. of the Soul Gem. Hulk, Thor and Fantastic Four appearance in flashback.
6. 1,491 Defenders #1 Marvel
8/72
  Sub-Mariner, Hulk and Doctor Strange begin. 1st appearance of Necrodamus.
7. 1,355 Green Lantern #87 D.C.
12/71-1/72
  1st appearance of John Stewart. 2nd appearance of Guy Gardner (cameo). 1st Elliot S. Maggin story.
8. 1,222 Marvel Spotlight #2 Marvel
2/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of Werewolf by Night (Jack Russell).
9. 1,046 Marvel Team-Up #1 Marvel
3/72
  Spider-Man team-ups begin. Human Torch. Spider-Man saves woman who is eventually revealed as Misty Knight.
10. 1,021 Avengers #100 Marvel
6/72
  All past Avengers appear in story. Enchantress and Ares appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,000 Demon #1 D.C.
8-9/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Demon (Etrigan) and Randu.
12. 984 Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth #1 D.C.
10-11/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of Kamandi. 1st appearance of Doctor Canus and Ben Boxer. Statue of Liberty cover.
13. 961 Werewolf By Night #1 Marvel
9/72
  Story continued from Marvel Spotlight #4
14. 937 Amazing Adventures #11 Marvel
3/72
  1st appearance of the Beast with fur. 1st appearance of Carl Maddicks. X-Men appearance in flashback.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 916 Batman #244 D.C.
9/72
  Ra’s al Ghul & Talia appearance. Robin backup story.
16. 715 Amazing Spider-Man #105 Marvel
2/72
  Professor Spencer Smythe and Spider-Slayer appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 686 Amazing Spider-Man #113 Marvel
10/72
  1st appearance of Hammerhead. Doctor Octopus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
18. 651 Amazing Spider-Man #107 Marvel
4/72
  Professor Spencer Smythe and Spider-Slayer appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 650 Warlock #1 Marvel
8/72
  Origin of Warlock. Letters from J.M. DeMatteis and Richard Pini.
20. 624 Amazing Spider-Man #112 Marvel
9/72
  Doctor Octopus cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 606 Avengers #96 Marvel
2/72
  Captain Marvel, Ronan and Supreme Intelligence appearance. Annihilus cameo on last page. Kree-Skrull War continues.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 573 Amazing Spider-Man #109 Marvel
6/72
  Doctor Strange appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 560 Amazing Spider-Man #110 Marvel
7/72
  Last original Stan Lee story in title until #400. Kraven cameo on last page. 1st app. of the Gibbon (Martin Blank).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 558 All Star Western #10 D.C.
2-3/72
  1st appearance of Jonah Hex.
25. 528 Cat #1 Marvel
11/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Cat (Greer Grant, later becomes Tigra).
26. 515 Green Lantern #89 D.C.
4-5/72
  Last issue until 8-9/76 Full page ad by Murphy Anderson announcing move to back of Flash.
27. 488 Supergirl #1 D.C.
11/72
  Zatanna backup stories begin. Letter from David Michelinie.
28. 476 Amazing Spider-Man #115 Marvel
12/72
  Doctor Octopus and Hammerhead appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
29. 468 New Gods #7 D.C.
2-3/72
  1st appearance of Steppenwolf. Origin of Mister Miracle and Orion.
30. 467 Amazing Spider-Man #111 Marvel
8/72
  Kraven and Gibbon appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
31. 454 Amazing Spider-Man #108 Marvel
5/72
  1st appearance of Sha Shan. Letter from David Michelinie.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 432 Avengers #98 Marvel
4/72
  Goliath resumes Hawkeye identity. Hercules returns. Ares appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 426 Marvel Team-Up #3 Marvel
7/72
  Human Torch. Morbius and Fantastic Four appearance.
34. 407 Marvel Spotlight #6 Marvel
10/72
  2nd appearance of Ghost Rider. Origin of Ghost Rider retold.
35. 393 Hero For Hire #2 Marvel
8/72
  1st appearance of Claire Temple. Origin of Luke Cage retold. Diamondback appearance.
36. 392 Marvel Premiere #3 Marvel
7/72
  Doctor Strange series begins. Nightmare appearance.
37. 388 Conan the Barbarian #15 Marvel
5/72
  Elric of Melnibone appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 370 Shanna the She-Devil #1 Marvel
12/72
  Origin and 1st appearance of Shanna.
39. 364 Amazing Spider-Man #106 Marvel
3/72
  Professor Spencer Smythe, Doctor Curt Connors and Spider-Slayer appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 359 Fantastic Four #121 Marvel
4/72
  Silver Surfer appearance. Galactus cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
41. 347 Amazing Spider-Man #114 Marvel
11/72
  Doctor Octopus and Hammerhead appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
42. 343 Amazing Spider-Man #104 Marvel
1/72
  Ka-Zar, Zabu, Gog and Kraven appearance. Ka-Zar learns Spider-Man’s secret identity.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
43. 340 Wonder Woman #199 D.C.
3-4/72
  Jonny Double appearance. Bondage cover. Grey tone cover.
44. 337 Night Nurse #1 Marvel
11/72
  1st appearance of Linda Carter.
45. 334 Marvel Premiere #2 Marvel
5/72
  Warlock.
46. 326 Fear #10 Marvel
10/72
  Man-Thing begins his 1st solo series. Origin of Man-Thing retold.
47. 326 Doc Savage #1 Marvel
10/72
  Based on “The Man of Bronze” by Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent). Includes brief Doc Savage biography.
48. 305 Marvel Team-Up #2 Marvel
5/72
  Human Torch. Frightful Four (Wizard, Trapster and Sandman) and Annihilus appearance.
49. 300 Avengers #95 Marvel
1/72
  Origin of Black Bolt and Maximus. Kree-Skrull war continues.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 296 Tarzan #207 D.C.
4/72
  1st DC issue. Origin of Tarzan. Adapts Burroughs’ “Tarzan of the Apes”. Origin of John Carter of Mars.
51. 287 Conan the Barbarian #13 Marvel
1/72
  John Jakes and Roy Thomas story. Barry Windsor-Smith and Sal Buscema art. Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
52. 284 Conan the Barbarian #16 Marvel
7/72
  Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 274 Avengers #97 Marvel
3/72
  Golden Age Timely characters appear. Captain Marvel, Annihilus and Ronan app. Conclusion to Kree-Skrull war.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
54. 274 Wonder Woman #200 D.C.
5-6/72
  Jonny Double & Doctor Cyber appearance. Bondage cover.
55. 272 Marvel Feature #3 Marvel
6/72
  3rd appearance of the Defenders. General Ross, Jim Wilson and Xemnu appearance.
56. 270 Marvel Team-Up #4 Marvel
9/72
  X-Men. Morbius appearance.
57. 263 Conan the Barbarian #14 Marvel
3/72
  Elric of Melnibone appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 258 Fantastic Four #123 Marvel
6/72
  President Nixon cover and appearance. Silver Surfer and Galactus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
59. 257 Batman #243 D.C.
8/72
  Ra’s al Ghul and Talia appearance.
60. 254 Marvel Feature #2 Marvel
3/72
  2nd appearance of the Defenders. Dormammu, Roy Thomas, Jeanie Thomas and Tom Fagin appearance.
61. 252 Amazing Adventures #12 Marvel
5/72
  Beast. Iron Man, Professor X and Jean Grey appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 242 Conan the Barbarian #17 Marvel
8/72
  Adapted from “The Gods of Bal-Sagoth” by Robert E. Howard. Letter from J.M. DeMatteis.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 241 Avengers #102 Marvel
8/72
  Grim Reaper and Sentinels appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
64. 236 Conan the Barbarian #19 Marvel
10/72
  Roy Thomas story. Barry Windsor-Smith and Dan Adkins art. Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 236 Fantastic Four #122 Marvel
5/72
  Galactus and Silver Surfer appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
66. 236 Batman #240 D.C.
3/72
  Ra’s al Ghul and Talia appearance. Robin backup story.
67. 235 Iron Man #47 Marvel
6/72
  Origin of Iron Man retold.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
68. 233 Marvel Spotlight #7 Marvel
12/72
  Ghost Rider.
69. 233 Fantastic Four #129 Marvel
12/72
  1st appearance of Thundra. Inhumans and Frightful Four (Wizard, Trapster and Sandman) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
70. 230 X-Men #78 Marvel
10/72
  George Tuska and Frank Giacoia cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
71. 229 Avengers #99 Marvel
5/72
  Roy Thomas story. Barry Windsor-Smith & Tom Sutton art. John Buscema & Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
72. 228 Defenders #2 Marvel
10/72
  Silver Surfer appearance.
73. 217 X-Men #75 Marvel
4/72
  Marvel Girl pin-up.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 209 Tomb of Dracula #2 Marvel
5/72
  Gerry Conway story. Gene Colan and Vince Colletta art. John Severin cover.
75. 206 Batman #241 D.C.
5/72
  Kid Flash and Lilith appearance in Robin backup story. Letter from David Michelinie.
76. 202 Sub-Mariner #50 Marvel
6/72
  1st appearance of Namorita. Namora, Byrrah and Llyra appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
77. 201 Marvel Spotlight #4 Marvel
6/72
  1st appearance of Buck Cowan. Story continued in Werewolf by Night #1
78. 198 Conan the Barbarian #21 Marvel
12/72
  Based on the story “The Black Stone” by Robert E. Howard.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 196 Mister Miracle #6 D.C.
1-2/72
  1st appearance of the Female Furies (Bernadeth, Lashina, Mad Harriet and Stompa).
80. 192 Amazing Adventures #15 Marvel
11/72
  Beast’s fur turns black. 1st appearance of the Griffin. Patsy Walker and X-Men appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 191 Marvel Spotlight #3 Marvel
5/72
  Werewolf by Night.
82. 190 All Star Western #11 D.C.
4-5/72
  2nd appearance of Jonah Hex. Last issue. Becomes Weird Western Tales.
83. 185 Thor #199 Marvel
5/72
  Pluto and Hela appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 182 Weird Western Tales #12 D.C.
6-7/72
  1st issue. Formerly All-Star Western. 3rd appearance of Jonah Hex.
85. 178 Thor #200 Marvel
6/72
  Stan Lee and Gerry Conway story. John Buscema and John Verpoorten art. John Buscema cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
86. 177 X-Men #77 Marvel
8/72
  George Tuska and Vince Colletta cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
87. 176 Marvel Feature #4 Marvel
7/72
  Reintroduction of Ant-Man. Spider-Man appearance.
88. 174 Batman #245 D.C.
10/72
  Robin backup story. Letter from David Michelinie.
89. 172 Conan the Barbarian #20 Marvel
11/72
  Roy Thomas story. Barry Windsor-Smith and Dan Adkins art. Barry Windsor-Smith cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 170 Avengers #106 Marvel
12/72
  2nd appearance of the Space Phantom whom last appeared in Avengers #2 Grim Reaper cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 168 Iron Man #46 Marvel
5/72
  “Death” of the Guardsman.
92. 166 X-Men #74 Marvel
2/72
  X-Men pin-up.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 162 Action Comics #419 D.C.
12/72
  1st appearance of the Human Target (Christopher Chance). Partial photo cover.
94. 162 Fantastic Four #126 Marvel
9/72
  Origin of Fantastic Four retold. Fantastic Four #1 cover homage.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 160 Green Lantern #88 D.C.
2-3/72
  Previously unpublished Golden Age Green Lantern story. Cover pencil comp of #89 by Neal Adams.
96. 158 Fantastic Four #118 Marvel
1/72
  Diablo and Lockjaw appearance. Thing backup story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
97. 156 Avengers #101 Marvel
7/72
  Watcher appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
98. 154 Marvel Team-Up #5 Marvel
11/72
  Vision. Puppet Master appearance.
99. 153 Iron Man #50 Marvel
9/72
  Princess Python and Super-Adaptoid appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 152 Superman #252 D.C.
6/72
  100 Page Super Spectacular #13 Wraparound cover.
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