Key Comic Books From 1978

March 1, 2021

1978

Key comics from 1978

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 1978 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 1978, 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 1978, 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 1978.

Key Comic Books From 1978:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 5,445 Spider-Woman #1 Marvel
4/78
  New origin of Spider-Woman.
2. 1,834 X-Men #109 Marvel
2/78
  1st appearance of Weapon Alpha (James Hudson, later becomes Guardian).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
3. 1,756 Ms. Marvel #18 Marvel
6/78
  1st full appearance of Mystique. Avengers (Wasp, Yellowjacket, Vision, Scarlet Witch & Wonder Man) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 1,392 Machine Man #1 Marvel
4/78
  Jack Kirby story. Jack Kirby & Mike Royer art. Jack Kirby & Frank Giacoia cover.
5. 1,250 Devil Dinosaur #1 Marvel
4/78
  1st appearance of Devil Dinosaur & Moon-Boy.
6. 1,198 X-Men #112 Marvel
8/78
  Magneto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
7. 1,146 X-Men #110 Marvel
4/78
  Phoenix joins the X-Men. Warhawk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
8. 1,116 Firestorm #1 D.C.
3/78
  Origin & 1st appearance of Firestorm. Clark Kent cameo.
9. 1,106 X-Men #111 Marvel
6/78
  Mesmero & Magneto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 1,089 What If? #10 Marvel
8/78
  1st Jane Foster as Thor (out of Marvel Comics continuity). Journey Into Mystery #83 cover homage.
11. 1,080 X-Men #115 Marvel
11/78
  Sauron, Ka-Zar & Zabu appearance. Garokk & Zaladane appearance in flashback.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
12. 1,053 X-Men #114 Marvel
10/78
  1st use of “Uncanny” in logo. Sauron cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
13. 984 X-Men #116 Marvel
12/78
  Ka-Zar, Zabu, Garokk, Zaladane & Karl Lykos appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 979 X-Men #113 Marvel
9/78
  Magneto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 754 Ms. Marvel #16 Marvel
4/78
  1st appearance of Mystique in cameo. Scarlet Witch, Beast, Namorita & Tiger Shark appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
16. 698 Amazing Spider-Man #179 Marvel
4/78
  Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton) & Silvermane appearance.
17. 695 Amazing Spider-Man #177 Marvel
2/78
  Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton) & Silvermane appearance.
18. 626 Ms. Marvel #17 Marvel
5/78
  Raven Darkholme (Mystique) cameo as Nick Fury.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 619 Star Wars #7 Marvel
1/78
  1st “Expanded Universe” story in title. Predates “Splinter of the Mind’s Eye”. 1st appearance of Crimson Jack & Jolli.
20. 615 Marvel Team-Up #65 Marvel
1/78
  1st U.S. appearance of Captain Britain. 1st appearance of Arcade & Miss Locke. Origin of Captain Britain retold.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 596 DC Comics Presents #1 D.C.
7-8/78
  Superman team-ups begin. Flash. Professor Zoom cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 580 Detective Comics #475 D.C.
2/78
  Joker appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 569 Detective Comics #476 D.C.
3-4/78
  Joker appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 525 Amazing Spider-Man #180 Marvel
5/78
  Green Goblin (Harry Osborn) & Silvermane appearance. Origin & “death” of the Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton).
25. 508 Star Wars #8 Marvel
2/78
  1st appearance of Jaxxon, Hedji, Don-Wan Kihotay, Amaiza & Jimm (Starkiller Kid).
26. 505 Star Wars #9 Marvel
3/78
  Jaxxon, Hedji, Don-Wan, Amaiza & Jimm (Starkiller Kid) appearance. Star Wars pin-up by Howard Chaykin.
27. 492 Amazing Spider-Man #183 Marvel
8/78
  Jackson Weele becomes the Big Wheel. Rocket Racer & Tinkerer appearance. Mary Jane declines marriage proposal.
28. 469 Amazing Spider-Man #185 Marvel
10/78
  White Dragon appearance.
29. 456 Amazing Spider-Man #187 Marvel
12/78
  Captain America, Electro & Dum Dum Dugan appearance.
30. 447 Star Wars #10 Marvel
4/78
  Jaxxon, Hedji, Don-Wan, Amaiza & Jimm (Starkiller Kid) appearance.
31. 443 Power Man and Iron Fist #50 Marvel
4/78
  Iron Fist joins Luke Cage. 1st issue. Story & numbering continued from Power Man #49
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 424 Amazing Spider-Man #178 Marvel
3/78
  Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton) & Silvermane appearance.
33. 424 Amazing Spider-Man #176 Marvel
1/78
  Green Goblin (Bart Hamilton) appearance.
34. 401 Captain America #217 Marvel
1/78
  1st appearance of Marvel Man (Wendell Vaughn, later becomes Quasar). Texas Twister, Blue Streak & Vamp app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
35. 387 Amazing Spider-Man #186 Marvel
11/78
  Chameleon appearance. Jenette Kahn (publisher of DC) & Professor Spencer Smythe cameo.
36. 383 Amazing Spider-Man #182 Marvel
7/78
  Rocket Racer appearance. Peter Parker proposes to Mary Jane Watson.
37. 361 Amazing Spider-Man #181 Marvel
6/78
  Origin of Spider-Man retold.
38. 357 Ms. Marvel #20 Marvel
10/78
  Ms. Marvel dons new costume.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 343 Firestorm #3 D.C.
6/78
  Origin & 1st appearance of Killer Frost (Doctor Crystal Frost).
40. 330 Fantasy Quarterly #1 Independent Pub. Synd.
Spring 1978
  1st appearance of Elfquest. Backup story with art by Dave Sim.
41. 311 Amazing Spider-Man #184 Marvel
9/78
  1st appearance of the White Dragon.
42. 310 Showcase #97 D.C.
2/78
  Power Girl. 1st solo Power Girl comic.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
43. 289 Star Wars #13 Marvel
7/78
  Governor Quarg, Jolli & Crimson Jack appearance. Chewbacca vs. Luke & the droids.
44. 284 Star Wars #16 Marvel
10/78
  1st appearance of Valance. Jaxxon, Jimm (Starkiller Kid) & Amaiza appearance.
45. 273 Star Wars #11 Marvel
5/78
  Crimson Jack & Jolli appearance.
46. 266 Cerebus the Aardvark #1 Aardvark-Vanaheim
12/77-1/78
  1st appearance of Cerebus the Aardvark. 1st Aardvark-Vanaheim comic.
47. 264 Star Wars #14 Marvel
8/78
  “Death” of Governor Quarg. Crimson Jack & Jolli appearance. Chewbacca vs. Luke & the droids.
48. 255 Doorway to Nightmare #1 D.C.
1-2/78
  1st appearance of Madame Xanadu.
49. 252 Star Wars #15 Marvel
9/78
  “Death” of Crimson Jack & Jolli.
50. 252 Avengers #167 Marvel
1/78
  Guardians of the Galaxy, Nick Fury, Nighthawk, Porcupine & Korvac appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
51. 252 Star Wars #12 Marvel
6/78
  1st appearance of Governor Quarg. Crimson Jack & Jolli apperance.
52. 229 Star Wars #17 Marvel
11/78
  Luke Skywalker flashback solo story. Biggs Darklighter, Owen Lars & Beru Lars appearance.
53. 225 Incredible Hulk #228 Marvel
10/78
  1st Doctor Karla Sofen as the new Moonstone. Doc Samson appearance.
54. 223 Fantastic Four #200 Marvel
11/78
  Doctor Doom appearance.
55. 219 Marvel Super Special #5 Marvel
1978
  KISS. Formerly Marvel Comics Super Special. Includes KISS poster & Marvel bullpen biographies.
56. 219 Batman #300 D.C.
6/78
  David Vern story. Walt Simonson art. Dick Giordano cover & art.
57. 216 Spider-Woman #2 Marvel
5/78
  Marv Wolfman story. Carmine Infantino & Tony DeZuniga art. Dave Cockrum cover.
58. 209 Star Wars #18 Marvel
12/78
  1st appearance of Sen. Simon Greyshade & Commander Strom.
59. 208 Detective Comics #478 D.C.
7-8/78
  Clayface appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
60. 203 Marvel Team-Up #66 Marvel
2/78
  Captain Britain. Arcade, Miss Locke & Courtney Ross appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
61. 201 Ms. Marvel #19 Marvel
8/78
  Origin of Ms. Marvel retold. Captain Marvel, Supreme Intelligence, Ronan & J. Jonah Jameson appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 187 Avengers #171 Marvel
5/78
  Ultron, Jocasta & Ms. Marvel appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 180 Fantastic Four #199 Marvel
10/78
  Doctor Doom appearance.
64. 174 Ms. Marvel #15 Marvel
3/78
  Namorita, Wundarr & Tiger Shark appearance. Jean DeWolff & Marie Severin cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 170 Steel, The Indestructible Man #1 D.C.
3/78
  Gerry Conway story. Don Heck & Joe Giella art. Don Heck & Al Milgrom cover.
66. 164 Black Panther #8 Marvel
3/78
  Jack Kirby story. Jack Kirby & Mike Royer art. Jack Kirby & Frank Giacoia cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
67. 163 Eternals #19 Marvel
1/78
  Last issue.
68. 163 Detective Comics #477 D.C.
5-6/78
  Len Wein story. Marshall Rogers & Dick Giordano. cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
69. 163 Black Panther #7 Marvel
1/78
  Origin & 1st appearance of Jakarra.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
70. 159 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #12 Marvel
1978
  Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #119-120
71. 152 Ms. Marvel #14 Marvel
2/78
  Maxwell Plumm becomes the new Steeplejack. Dracula cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
72. 145 Avengers #174 Marvel
8/78
  Korvac, Captain Marvel & Collector appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
73. 138 Avengers #170 Marvel
4/78
  Jocasta appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 138 Detective Comics #479 D.C.
9-10/78
  Clayface appearance. Hawkman backup story by Len Wein & Rich Buckler.
75. 134 Avengers #173 Marvel
7/78
  Captain Marvel, Korvac & Collector appearance. Watcher, Odin, Zeus, Eternity & Mephisto cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
76. 126 Daredevil #150 Marvel
1/78
  1st appearance of Paladin.
77. 124 Avengers #168 Marvel
2/78
  Guardians of the Galaxy, Korvac & Henry Gyrich app. Dr. Strange, Silver Surfer, Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
78. 122 Fantastic Four #191 Marvel
2/78
  Plunderer appearance. Thundra cameo.
79. 121 Showcase #100 D.C.
5/78
  Features every DC hero who appeared in title.
80. 121 Avengers #176 Marvel
10/78
  Korvac, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel & Starhawk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 118 Spider-Woman #3 Marvel
6/78
  Marv Wolfman story. Carmine Infantino & Tony DeZuniga art. Dave Cockrum cover.
82. 118 Black Panther #9 Marvel
5/78
  Jack Kirby story. Jack Kirby & Mike Royer art. Jack Kirby & Frank Giacoia cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
83. 116 Black Panther #11 Marvel
9/78
  Jack Kirby story. Jack Kirby & Mike Royer art. Jack Kirby & Joe Sinnott cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 111 Power Man and Iron Fist #54 Marvel
12/78
  1st appearance of the Incinerator. 1st time “Heroes for Hire” used.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 111 Avengers #172 Marvel
6/78
  Ms. Marvel & Tyrak appearance. Collector cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
86. 111 Spider-Woman #4 Marvel
7/78
  Brother Grimm appearance. Hangman cameo.
87. 110 Ms. Marvel #13 Marvel
1/78
  Chris Claremont story. Jim Mooney & Joe Sinnott art. Gil Kane & Joe Sinnott cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
88. 110 Daredevil #153 Marvel
7/78
  Cobra & Mister Hyde appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
89. 110 Green Lantern #100 D.C.
1/78
  1st app. of Air Wave II (Harold Jordan). 100th anniversary issue. Writer/artist/inker index to GL 1-100
90. 109 Spectacular Spider-Man #22 Marvel
9/78
  Moon Knight appearance. White Tiger cameo. Cyclone cameo on last page.
91. 109 Marvel Comics Super Special #4 Marvel
1978
  The Beatles Story. Wraparound cover. Pin-up centerfold.
92. 108 Fantastic Four #197 Marvel
8/78
  Doctor Doom, Red Ghost & Nick Fury appearance.
93. 108 Fantastic Four #195 Marvel
6/78
  Sub-Mariner appearance. Impossible Man cameo.
94. 108 Cerebus the Aardvark #2 Aardvark-Vanaheim
2-3/78
  2nd app. of Cerebus. Letter & Red Sophia/Cerebus pin-up by Frank Thorne. Pin-up of Red Sophia pre-dates 1st app.
95. 107 Iron Man #114 Marvel
9/78
  1st app. of Arsenal. Unicorn & Avengers (Captain America, Yellowjacket, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Wonder Man & Beast) app.
96. 105 Iron Man #113 Marvel
8/78
  Jack of Hearts, Madame Masque & Unicorn appearance.
97. 104 Captain Marvel #57 Marvel
7/78
  Thor appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
98. 104 Fantastic Four #193 Marvel
4/78
  Diablo & Darkoth appearance. Impossible Man cameo.
99. 103 Avengers #175 Marvel
9/78
  Korvac, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel & Guardians of the Galaxy appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 102 Nova #19 Marvel
5/78
  Origin & 1st appearance of Blackout (Marcus Daniels).
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