Key Comic Books From 1979

March 1, 2021

1979  direct edition comics hit the comic shops!

Key comics from 1979
[ Note: a collector should be aware of the difference between direct edition and newsstand comic books.  If you are not already in-the-know about the difference, see the following: Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference ]

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 1979 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 1979, 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 1979, 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 1979.

Key Comic Books From 1979:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 6,714 Amazing Spider-Man #194 Marvel
7/79
  1st appearance of the Black Cat (Felicia Hardy). Text illo of Black Cat by Dave Cockrum.
2. 2,799 X-Men #121 Marvel
5/79
  1st full appearance of Alpha Flight. Misty Knight & Colleen Wing appearance. John Byrne cameo.
3. 2,516 Daredevil #158 Marvel
5/79
  Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil begins. Origin & “death” of Death-Stalker. Black Widow appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 2,425 Marvel Premiere #47 Marvel
4/79
  Scott Lang becomes the new Ant-Man.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
5. 2,100 X-Men #120 Marvel
4/79
  1st appearance of Alpha Flight in cameo. Sunfire, Mariko Yashida, Misty Knight & Colleen Wing appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
6. 2,079 Micronauts #1 Marvel
1/79
  1st appearance of Baron Karza & Bug.
7. 1,853 Rom #1 Marvel
12/79
  Origin & 1st appearance of Rom. 1st appearance of Brandy Clark & the Dire Wraiths.
8. 1,765 X-Men #125 Marvel
9/79
  1st appearance of Mutant X (Proteus). Mastermind appearance. Magneto cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,734 Iron Man #128 Marvel
11/79
  Alcoholism storyline ends.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 1,559 X-Men #119 Marvel
3/79
  Moses Magnum, Sunfire, Misty Knight & Colleen Wing appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,420 X-Men #118 Marvel
2/79
  1st appearance of Mariko Yashida. Misty Knight, Colleen Wing & Sunfire appearance. Moses Magnum cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
12. 1,409 X-Men #127 Marvel
11/79
  Proteus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
13. 1,365 X-Men #126 Marvel
10/79
  Proteus & Mastermind appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 1,338 X-Men #117 Marvel
1/79
  1st appearance of the Shadow King (Amahl Farouk). Origin of Professor Xavier. Lilandra & Misty Knight appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 1,266 X-Men #128 Marvel
12/79
  Proteus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
16. 1,217 X-Men #124 Marvel
8/79
  Colossus becomes Proletarian. Arcade, Miss Locke & Colleen Wing appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 1,215 Battlestar Galactica #1 Marvel
3/79
  Adaptation of the first episode of the television series, part 1 of 3
18. 1,204 X-Men #123 Marvel
7/79
  Spider-Man, Arcade, Miss Locke & Colleen Wing appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 1,176 Avengers #181 Marvel
3/79
  New Avengers line-up. 1st appearance of Scott Lang (later becomes Ant-Man II).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 1,106 X-Men #122 Marvel
6/79
  1st Mastermind as Jason Wyngarde. Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing & Mariko appearance. Arcade cameo.
21. 1,003 Spectacular Spider-Man #27 Marvel
2/79
  1st Frank Miller Daredevil art. Masked Marauder appearance. Carrion cameo.
A distinctly-printed “No Month Variant” with blank UPC code was distributed in Whitman 3-packs
22. 910 Amazing Spider-Man #195 Marvel
8/79
  Origin & 2nd appearance of Black Cat.
23. 707 Shogun Warriors #1 Marvel
2/79
  Doug Moench story. Herb Trimpe & Dan Green art. Herb Trimpe & Al Milgrom cover.
24. 660 Amazing Spider-Man #189 Marvel
2/79
  Professor Spencer Smythe & Man-Wolf appearance.
25. 652 Iron Man #118 Marvel
1/79
  1st appearance of Jim Rhodes. Nick Fury appearance.
26. 632 Man-Thing v2 #1 Marvel
11/79
  Origin of the Man-Thing retold.
27. 600 Amazing Spider-Man #192 Marvel
5/79
  “Death” of Professor Spencer Smythe. Doctor Curt Connors & Human Fly appearance.
28. 589 Amazing Spider-Man #191 Marvel
4/79
  Professor Spencer Smythe & Spider-Slayer appearance.
29. 588 Amazing Spider-Man #190 Marvel
3/79
  Professor Spencer Smythe & Man-Wolf appearance.
30. 585 Micronauts #8 Marvel
8/79
  1st appearance of the Captain Universe persona.
31. 582 Amazing Spider-Man #193 Marvel
6/79
  Human Fly appearance.
32. 556 Daredevil #159 Marvel
7/79
  Bullseye appearance. “Secrets of Daredevil’s billy club” featurette on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 550 Conan the Barbarian #100 Marvel
7/79
  Adapted from the Robert E. Howard story “Queen of the Black Coast.” “Death” of Belit.
34. 536 Amazing Spider-Man #199 Marvel
12/79
  Mysterio appearance.
35. 514 Amazing Spider-Man #198 Marvel
11/79
  Mysterio appearance.
36. 494 Daredevil #161 Marvel
11/79
  Bullseye & Black Widow appearance.
37. 484 Daredevil #160 Marvel
9/79
  Bullseye & Black Widow appearance. Peter Parker & Mary Jane Watson cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 475 Marvel Premiere #48 Marvel
6/79
  Ant-Man. Yellowjacket appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 472 Amazing Spider-Man #197 Marvel
10/79
  Kingpin, Vanessa Fisk & Mysterio appearance.
40. 467 Amazing Spider-Man #188 Marvel
1/79
  Jigsaw appearance. Letter from Kurt Busiek.
41. 441 Incredible Hulk #234 Marvel
4/79
  Marvel Man changes his name to Quasar. Letter from Kurt Busiek.
42. 439 Spectacular Spider-Man #28 Marvel
3/79
  Daredevil, Masked Marauder & Carrion appearance.
43. 432 Amazing Spider-Man #196 Marvel
9/79
  Faked death of Aunt May. 1st appearance of Debra Whitman. Kingpin cameo on last page.
44. 429 X-Men Annual #3 Marvel
1979
  Arkon appearance.
45. 408 Fantastic Four #211 Marvel
10/79
  1st appearance of Terrax. Galactus appearance.
46. 375 Marvel Premiere #50 Marvel
10/79
  1st comic book appearance of Alice Cooper.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
47. 355 Star Wars Annual #1 Marvel
1979
  “Death” of Katya M’Buele & Kharys. 2 page “Star Wars Weekly” British cover gallery.
48. 285 Fantasy Masterpieces v2 #1 Marvel
12/79
  Silver Surfer.
49. 272 Marvel Spotlight v2 #1 Marvel
7/79
  Captain Marvel. Drax, Starfox & Mentor appearance. Letter from Kurt Busiek & Scott McLeod.
50. 259 Green Lantern #116 D.C.
5/79
  Guy Gardner appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
51. 231 Star Wars #21 Marvel
3/79
  1st original Darth Vader story. Obi-Wan Kenobi, Commander Strom & Sen. Simon Greyshade appearance.
52. 223 Avengers #185 Marvel
7/79
  Origin of Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch. Modred appearance. Bova cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 218 Tomb of Dracula #70 Marvel
8/79
  “Death” of Dracula, Torgo & Quincy Harker. Last issue.
54. 217 Iron Man #126 Marvel
9/79
  Tales of Suspense #39 cover homage.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 199 Iron Man #120 Marvel
3/79
  1st appearance of Justin Hammer. Sub-Mariner appearance.
56. 198 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #13 Marvel
1979
  Doctor Octopus appearance. Story continued in Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1
57. 188 Star Wars #19 Marvel
1/79
  Senator Simon Greyshade & Commander Strom appearance.
58. 186 Star Wars #23 Marvel
5/79
  “Death” of Commander Strom & Senator Simon Greyshade. Darth Vader appearance.
59. 179 Avengers #187 Marvel
9/79
  Chthon, Modred & Bova appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
60. 175 Marvel Tales #106 Marvel
8/79
  Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #129
61. 173 Daredevil #157 Marvel
3/79
  Avengers (Captain America, Hercules, Black Widow & Beast), Death-Stalker & Ani-Men appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 173 Avengers #182 Marvel
4/79
  Letter from Kurt Busiek.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 169 Battle of the Planets #1 Gold Key
6/79
  Gary Poole story. Win Mortimer art.
64. 168 Avengers #184 Marvel
6/79
  Absorbing Man appearance. Falcon joins the Avengers.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 167 Ms. Marvel #23 Marvel
4/79
  Vance Astro & Faceless One appearance. Last issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
66. 166 Power Man and Iron Fist #57 Marvel
6/79
  X-Men (Cyclops, Storm & Nightcrawler) & Living Monolith appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
67. 161 Star Wars #24 Marvel
6/79
  Obi-Wan Kenobi flashback solo story.
68. 161 Star Wars #28 Marvel
10/79
  Jabba the Hut (old character design) appearance.
69. 156 Star Wars #20 Marvel
2/79
  Sen. Simon Greyshade & Commander Strom appearance.
70. 151 Action Comics #500 D.C.
10/79
  Infinity cover. Anniversary issue. 2 page text history of Action Comics. Superman life story.
71. 150 Avengers #188 Marvel
10/79
  1st appearance of the Elements of Doom. Inhumans cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
72. 148 Star Wars #22 Marvel
4/79
  Darth Vader, Commander Strom & Sen. Simon Greyshade appearance. Chewbacca vs. Han Solo.
73. 148 Star Wars #26 Marvel
8/79
  Baron Orman Tagge & General Jan Dodonna appearance.
74. 141 Avengers #189 Marvel
11/79
  Deathbird appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
75. 139 Star Wars #25 Marvel
7/79
  1st appearance of Baron Orman Tagge & Jorman Thoad. General Jan Dodonna appearance.
76. 139 Special Edition: Spider-Man vs. the Hulk #nn Marvel
1979
  Advertising supplement to the Columbus Dispatch.
77. 139 Star Wars #29 Marvel
11/79
  1st appearance of Tyler Lucian. “Death” of Valance. Darth Vader & Gen. Dodonna appearance.
78. 138 Ms. Marvel #22 Marvel
2/79
  Deathbird appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 135 Iron Man #125 Marvel
8/79
  Ant-Man & Avengers (Captain America, Vision, Beast, Ms. Marvel, Falcon & Wasp) appearance. Mayor Ed Koch cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
80. 135 Battlestar Galactica #2 Marvel
4/79
  Adaptation of the 1st episode of the ABC television series, part 2 of 3
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 135 Marvel Two-In-One #52 Marvel
6/79
  Moon Knight. 1st app. of Crossfire (William Cross). Letter from Kurt Busiek.
82. 134 Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #1 Marvel
1979
  Doctor Octopus appearance.
83. 132 Micronauts #2 Marvel
2/79
  Bill Mantlo story. Michael Golden & Joe Rubinstein. cover & art.
84. 131 Amazing Spider-Man nn All Detergent Giveaway Marvel
1979
  Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 cover homage.
85. 131 Adventure Comics #462 D.C.
3-4/79
  “Death” of Earth II Batman.
86. 130 Star Wars #30 Marvel
12/79
  1st appearance of Governor Corwyth, Arn Horada & Tammi. Baron Orman Tagge appearance.
87. 130 Fantastic Four #207 Marvel
6/79
  Spider-Man appearance.
88. 126 Black Panther #15 Marvel
5/79
  Klaw & Avengers (Captain America, Vision & Beast) appearance. Last issue. Story continued in Marvel Premiere #51
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
89. 125 Avengers #180 Marvel
2/79
  Tom DeFalco story. Jim Mooney & Mike Esposito art. Dan Adkins cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 123 Avengers #190 Marvel
12/79
  Daredevil appearance. Grey Gargoyle cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 122 Avengers #186 Marvel
8/79
  Origin of Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch. 1st appearance of Magda & Chthon. Modred & Bova appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
92. 121 Marvel Premiere #51 Marvel
12/79
  Black Panther. “Death” of Windeagle.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 120 Iron Man #122 Marvel
5/79
  Origin of Iron Man retold. Sub-Mariner cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 119 Fantastic Four #204 Marvel
3/79
  1st app. of the Nova Corps in cameo. Skrulls appearance.
95. 114 Iron Man #121 Marvel
4/79
  Sub-Mariner appearance.
96. 114 Star Wars #27 Marvel
9/79
  General Jan Dodonna & Valance appearance.
97. 112 Amazing Adventures v2 #1 Marvel
12/79
 
98. 112 Ghost Rider #35 Marvel
4/79
  Ghost Rider vs. Death.
99. 111 Black Panther #14 Marvel
3/79
  Avengers (Iron Man, Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Vision & Beast) & Klaw appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 108 Captain America #230 Marvel
2/79
  Hulk, Marvel Man (Quasar), Falcon, Moonstone & Vamp/Animus appearance. Story continued in Incredible Hulk #232
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
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