Key Comic Books From 1980

March 1, 2021

1980

Key comics from 1980

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 1980 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 1980’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 1980, 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 1980, 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 1980.

Key Comic Books From 1980:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 8,289 Savage She-Hulk #1 Marvel
2/80
  Origin & 1st appearance of She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters). Origin of the Hulk retold.
2. 5,303 New Teen Titans #2 D.C.
12/80
  1st appearance of Deathstroke the Terminator (Slade Wilson). 1st appearance of Trigon in cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
3. 3,976 Moon Knight #1 Marvel
11/80
  Part 1 of the origin of Moon Knight. 1st appearance of Raoul Bushman.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 3,976 X-Men #137 Marvel
9/80
  “Death” of Phoenix. Lilandra, Gladiator, Imperial Guard & Watcher appearance.
5. 3,922 X-Men #129 Marvel
1/80
  1st appearance of Kitty Pryde, the White Queen (Emma Frost) & Sebastian Shaw. Mastermind appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
6. 3,543 DC Comics Presents #26 D.C.
10/80
  1st app. of New Teen Titans in preview by Marv Wolfman & George Perez. 1st app. Raven, Cyborg & Starfire.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
7. 2,861 Avengers #196 Marvel
6/80
  Origin & 1st full appearance Taskmaster. Letter from Kurt Busiek.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
8. 2,801 X-Men #130 Marvel
2/80
  1st appearance of Dazzler (Alison Blaire). Sebastian Shaw, Mastermind & Emma Frost appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 2,652 Star Wars #42 Marvel
12/80
  Part 4 of “The Empire Strikes Back” movie adaptation. Star Wars British cover gallery.
10. 2,562 X-Men #134 Marvel
6/80
  Phoenix becomes Dark Phoenix. Hellfire Club (Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Harry Leland & Mastermind) app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 2,532 Amazing Spider-Man #200 Marvel
1/80
  Origin of Spider-Man retold.
12. 2,336 X-Men #135 Marvel
7/80
  1st appearance of Senator Robert Kelly. Reed Richards, Thing, Spider-Man, Doctor Strange & Silver Surfer cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
13. 2,299 X-Men #140 Marvel
12/80
  Alpha Flight disbands. Wendigo appearance. Blob cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 2,155 X-Men #136 Marvel
8/80
  Lilandra appearance. President Jimmy Carter cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 2,035 X-Men #139 Marvel
11/80
  Kitty Pryde joins X-Men. Alpha Flight appearance. Wolverine dons new costume. 1st appearance of Heather Hudson.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
16. 1,960 New Teen Titans #1 D.C.
11/80
  Marv Wolfman story. George Perez & Romeo Tanghal art. George Perez & Dick Giordano cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 1,934 X-Men #138 Marvel
10/80
  Cyclops leaves the X-Men. Funeral of Jean Grey.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
18. 1,822 X-Men #133 Marvel
5/80
  Hellfire Club (Sebastian Shaw, Harry Leland, Donald Pierce & Mastermind) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 1,503 X-Men #132 Marvel
4/80
  Jason Wynegarde revealed as Mastermind. Hellfire Club (Sebastian Shaw, Donald Pierce, Harry Leland & Mastermind) app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 1,452 X-Men #131 Marvel
3/80
  2nd appearance of Dazzler. Emma Frost appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 1,163 Amazing Spider-Man #210 Marvel
11/80
  1st appearance of Madame Web.
22. 938 Star Trek #1 Marvel
4/80
  Movie adaptation.
23. 902 Avengers #195 Marvel
5/80
  1st appearance of Taskmaster in cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 872 Marvel Team-Up #95 Marvel
7/80
  1st appearance of Mockingbird. Nick Fury appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
25. 702 Amazing Spider-Man #201 Marvel
2/80
  Punisher appearance.
26. 680 Captain America #241 Marvel
1/80
  Punisher appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
27. 547 Star Wars #39 Marvel
9/80
  Part 1 of “The Empire Strikes Back” movie adaptation.
28. 526 Avengers #200 Marvel
10/80
  Ms. Marvel leaves the Avengers. Anniversary issue.
29. 513 Marvel Spotlight v2 #6 Marvel
5/80
  Origin & 1st comic book appearance of Star-Lord (Peter Jason Quill).
30. 472 Amazing Spider-Man #202 Marvel
3/80
  Punisher appearance.
31. 470 Power Man and Iron Fist #66 Marvel
12/80
  2nd appearance of Sabretooth. Constrictor appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 468 Amazing Spider-Man #209 Marvel
10/80
  Origin & 1st appearance of Calypso. Kraven & Spider-Woman appearance.
33. 394 Amazing Spider-Man #205 Marvel
6/80
  Black Cat appearance.
34. 393 Incredible Hulk #250 Marvel
8/80
  Silver Surfer appearance. Fantastic Four, Sub-Mariner, Sabra, Captain Britain & Arabian Knight cameo.
35. 362 Amazing Spider-Man #204 Marvel
5/80
  Black Cat appearance. Doctor Jonas Harrow cameo.
36. 348 Epic Illustrated #3 Marvel
Fall 1980
  First appearance of Vanth Dreadstar. Elric of Melnibone appearance.
37. 344 Daredevil #163 Marvel
3/80
  Hulk appearance. Tony Stark & J. Jonah Jameson cameo. Ben Urich learns Daredevil’s identity.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 333 Daredevil #164 Marvel
5/80
  Origin retold. Black Widow appearance. Pin-up by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 333 Marvel Team-Up #100 Marvel
12/80
  Fantastic Four. Origin & 1st appearance of Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh). X-Men cameo. Black Panther/Storm backup story.
40. 322 Amazing Spider-Man #206 Marvel
7/80
  Doctor Jonas Harrow appearance.
41. 320 Amazing Spider-Man #203 Marvel
4/80
  3rd appearance of Dazzler. Lightmaster appearance.
42. 311 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #14 Marvel
1980
  Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom & Dormammu appearance.
43. 303 Star Wars #41 Marvel
11/80
  Part 3 of “Empire Strikes Back” movie adaptation. 5 pg behind-the-scenes look at production of “ESB” movie adaptation.
44. 302 Star Wars #40 Marvel
10/80
  Part 2 of “The Empire Strikes Back” movie adaptation.
45. 298 Marvel Premiere #57 Marvel
12/80
  1st Marvel comic featuring Doctor Who.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
46. 289 Amazing Spider-Man #211 Marvel
12/80
  Sub-Mariner appearance.
47. 285 King Conan #1 Marvel
3/80
  Roy Thomas story. John Buscema & Ernie Chan cover & art.
48. 281 Amazing Spider-Man #208 Marvel
9/80
  1st appearance of Lance Bannon & Fusion, the Twin Terror (Hubert & Pinky Fusser).
49. 281 Daredevil #167 Marvel
11/80
  Origin, 1st appearance & “death” of the Mauler (Aaron Soames). 5 page “Secrets of Daredevil” backup.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 275 DC Comics Presents #27 D.C.
11/80
  Manhunter from Mars. 1st appearance of Mongul. Congorilla back-up story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
51. 237 Marvel Super Special #16 Marvel
Spring 1980
  “The Empire Strikes Back” movie adaptation.
52. 232 Daredevil #166 Marvel
9/80
  Gladiator appearance. Wedding of Foggy Nelson & Debbie Harris.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 212 Amazing Spider-Man #207 Marvel
8/80
  Mesmero appearance.
54. 207 Moon Knight #2 Marvel
12/80
  Doug Moench story. Bill Sienkiewicz & Frank Springer art. Bill Sienkiewicz cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 206 X-Men Annual #4 Marvel
1980
  Doctor Strange appearance.
56. 198 Daredevil #165 Marvel
7/80
  Doctor Octopus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
57. 186 Epic Illustrated #1 Marvel
Spring 1980
  Frank Frazetta cover. Silver Surfer & Galactus story. Metamorphosis Odyssey begins.
58. 171 Marvel Spotlight v2 #7 Marvel
7/80
  Star-Lord.
59. 160 Marvel Two-In-One #61 Marvel
3/80
  Starhawk. Moondragon appearance.
60. 156 Savage She-Hulk #2 Marvel
3/80
  David Anthony Kraft story. Mike Vosburg & Chic Stone art. John Buscema cover.
61. 154 Star Wars #35 Marvel
5/80
  1st face to face meeting of Luke Skywalker & Darth Vader. Return of Orman & Silas Tagge.
62. 151 Iron Man #131 Marvel
2/80
  Hulk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 145 Star Wars #38 Marvel
8/80
  Archie Goodwin story. Michael Golden & Terry Austin art. Michael Golden cover.
64. 143 Special Edition: Spider-Man and the Hulk #nn Marvel
1980
  Supplement to the Chicago Tribune.
65. 135 Thor #300 Marvel
10/80
  Origin of Odin & the Destroyer. Asgard is destroyed.
66. 134 Star Wars #36 Marvel
6/80
  Darth Vader, Baron Orman Tagge, Dr. Silas Tagge, Domina Tagge & Captain Wermis appearance.
67. 133 Marvel Preview #21 Marvel
Spring 1980
  Moon Knight story pre-dates Moon Knight #1 Bill Sienkiewicz frontispiece.
68. 130 Star Wars #31 Marvel
1/80
  Luke & the droids return to Tatooine. Fixer, Camie, Baron Orman Tagge & General Ulric Tagge appearance.
69. 129 Star Wars #34 Marvel
4/80
  Archie Goodwin story. Carmine Infantino & Bob Wiacek. cover & art.
70. 120 Star Wars #32 Marvel
2/80
  Jawas, Baron Orman Tagge & Dr. Silas Tagge appearance.
71. 120 Star Wars #37 Marvel
7/80
  Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker. “Death” of Baron Orman Tagge. Jabba (old character design) appearance.
72. 120 Batman #321 D.C.
3/80
  Joker appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
73. 118 Daredevil #162 Marvel
1/80
  Michael Fleisher story. Steve Ditko cover & art.
74. 118 Avengers #197 Marvel
7/80
  George Perez & Bob McLeod cover. Red Ronin & Ant-Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
75. 117 Avengers #191 Marvel
1/80
  Daredevil & Grey Gargoyle appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
76. 117 Avengers #202 Marvel
12/80
  Based on a short story by Jim Shooter. Ultron appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
77. 117 Batman #324 D.C.
6/80
  Catwoman & Cat-Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
78. 116 Batman #323 D.C.
5/80
  Catwoman appearance. Cat-Man cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 113 Marvel Premiere #52 Marvel
2/80
  Black Panther. Ku Klux Klan storyline. Letter from Christopher Priest (Owsley).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
80. 112 Iron Man #133 Marvel
4/80
  Ant-Man & Hulk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 108 Justice League of America #184 D.C.
11/80
  Justice Society of America, New Gods, Darkseid & Mister Miracle appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
82. 107 Uncle Scrooge #179 Whitman
9/80
  Distributed in multi-packs only.
83. 105 Star Wars #33 Marvel
3/80
  Baron Orman Tagge vs. Luke Skywalker. Ghost of Obi-Wan, General Dodonna, Silas & Ulric Tagge appearance
84. 103 Captain America #250 Marvel
10/80
  Roger Stern story. John Byrne & Joe Rubinstein cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 99 Fantastic Four #215 Marvel
2/80
  Blastaar appearance.
86. 99 Star Trek #2 Marvel
5/80
  Movie adaptation.
87. 98 Avengers #201 Marvel
11/80
  Jarvis backup story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
88. 97 New Adventures of Superboy #1 D.C.
1/80
  Cary Bates story. Kurt Schaffenberger & Dave Hunt art. Schaffenberger & Giordano cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
89. 94 Avengers #198 Marvel
8/80
  Red Ronin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 93 Untold Legend of the Batman #1 D.C.
7/80
  John Byrne’s 1st DC Comics work.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 93 Fantastic Four #218 Marvel
5/80
  Spider-Man & Frightful Four (Wizard, Sandman, Trapster & Electro) appearance. Cont. from Spectacular Spider-Man #42
92. 92 Avengers #194 Marvel
4/80
  Falcon leaves the Avengers.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 92 What If? #23 Marvel
10/80
  Peter Gillis story. Herb Trimpe & Mike Esposito art. John Buscema & Al Milgrom cover.
94. 90 Justice League of America #185 D.C.
12/80
  JSA, New Gods, Darkseid & Mister Miracle appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 89 Savage She-Hulk #6 Marvel
7/80
  Iron Man appearance.
96. 89 Avengers #192 Marvel
2/80
  Origin & 1st appearance of Inferno (Joseph Conroy).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
97. 88 Savage She-Hulk #3 Marvel
4/80
  David Anthony Kraft story. Mike Vosburg & Chic Stone art. Rich Buckler & Al Milgrom cover.
98. 86 Iron Man #132 Marvel
3/80
  Hulk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
99. 81 Captain America #248 Marvel
8/80
  1st appearance of Bernie Rosenthal. Dragon Man & Machinesmith appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 81 Batman #330 D.C.
12/80
  Talia appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
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