Key Comic Books From 1985

March 1, 2021

1985 — 75 cent variants continue!

Key comics from 1985

Around this time, direct edition sales began to surpass newsstand sales. [ If you are not already in-the-know about the difference between these types, 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 1985 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 1985, 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 1985, 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 1985.

Key Comic Books From 1985:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 6,009 Web of Spider-Man #1 Marvel
4/85
  1st appearance of the Vulturions.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2. 2,376 Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 D.C.
6/85
  1st full appearance of John Constantine.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3. 2,325 Amazing Spider-Man #265 Marvel
6/85
  1st appearance of Silver Sable. Black Fox appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 2,140 Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 D.C.
10/85
  “Death” of Supergirl.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.60 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5. 1,976 Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 D.C.
4/85
  1st appearance of Blue Beetle & Detective Karp in D.C. Comics. Wraparound cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6. 1,823 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 Mirage Studios
1985
  Pin-up by Matt Howarth. Wraparound cover.
7. 1,666 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 Mirage Studios
1985
  Pin-up by Jason Sklaver. Wraparound cover.
8. 1,442 Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 D.C.
11/85
  “Death” of the Flash (Barry Allen).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,355 New Mutants #26 Marvel
4/85
  1st full appearance of Legion. Multiple Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 1,169 Batman #386 D.C.
8/85
  Origin & 1st appearance of Black Mask (Roman Sionis).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,158 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 Third Printing Mirage Studios
2/85
  Origin & 1st app. of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Shredder & Splinter. Wraparound cover.
12. 1,021 Avengers #257 Marvel
7/85
  1st appearance of Nebula. Ka-Zar, Shanna, Zabu & Terminus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
13. 984 Longshot #1 Marvel
9/85
  1st appearance of Longshot & Spiral.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 982 Raphael #1 Mirage Studios
1985
  1st Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles spin-off. 1st appearance of Casey Jones.
15. 850 Miracleman #1 Eclipse
8/85
  Alan Moore story. Garry Leach cover & art.
16. 801 Uncanny X-Men #193 Marvel
5/85
  1st appearance of Warpath in costume. Rachel Summers joins the X-Men.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 715 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Second Printing Mirage Studios
1/85
  First appearance of April O’Neil & the Mousers. Pin-up by Laird & Foster. Wraparound cover. Wraparound cover.
18. 694 Thundercats #1 Marvel
12/85
  Based on the animated television series.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 687 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10 Marvel
2/85
  Jim Shooter story. Mike Zeck & John Beatty art. Mike Zeck & Terry Austin cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 630 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 Mirage Studios
1985
  Wraparound cover.
21. 592 Rocket Raccoon #1 Marvel
5/85
  Bill Mantlo story. Mike Mignola & Al Gordon cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 591 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 Marvel
4/85
  Jim Shooter story. Mike Zeck, John Beatty & Art Adams art. Mike Zeck cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.25 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 578 New Mutants #25 Marvel
3/85
  1st appearance of Legion in cameo. Rogue, Cloak & Dagger appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 577 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9 Marvel
1/85
  Jim Shooter story. Mike Zeck & John Beatty art. Mike Zeck & Bob McLeod cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
25. 542 Amazing Spider-Man #268 Marvel
9/85
  Kingpin appearance. Cover forms a single image with Web of Spider-Man #6
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
26. 531 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11 Marvel
3/85
  Jim Shooter story. Mike Zeck, John Beatty & Art Adams art. Mike Zeck cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
27. 530 Transformers #3 Marvel
1/85
  Spider-Man appearance. 2 different direct editions exist with different back covers & advertisements.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
28. 527 Amazing Spider-Man #263 Marvel
4/85
  Spider-Kid & Black Cat appearance. Birth of Norman “Normie” Osborn.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
29. 523 Uncanny X-Men #191 Marvel
3/85
  1st appearance of Nimrod. New Mutants, Spider-Man, Avengers, Doctor Strange, Selene & Kulan Gath app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
30. 489 Amazing Spider-Man #261 Marvel
2/85
  Hobgoblin & Rose appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
31. 483 Uncanny X-Men #200 Marvel
12/85
  Starjammers & Lilandra appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 460 Amazing Spider-Man #260 Marvel
1/85
  Hobgoblin & Rose appearance. Susan & Franklin Richards cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 458 Transformers #5 Marvel
6/85
  Bob Budiansky story. Alan Kupperberg art. Mark Bright cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
34. 440 Transformers #4 Marvel
3/85
  1st appearance of Shockwave. Dinobots cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
35. 419 Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 D.C.
9/85
  1st full appearance of the Anti-Monitor.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
36. 412 Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 D.C.
5/85
  1st appearance of the Anti-Monitor in cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
37. 404 Amazing Spider-Man #264 Marvel
5/85
  1st appearance of Red Nine (Wallace Jackson).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 396 Crisis on Infinite Earths #4 D.C.
7/85
  “Death” of the Monitor.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 390 Transformers #8 Marvel
9/85
  1st full appearance of the Dinobots (Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Snarl & Swoop). Circuit Breaker cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 377 Uncanny X-Men #197 Marvel
9/85
  Arcade, Miss Locke & Nimrod appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
41. 361 Uncanny X-Men #199 Marvel
11/85
  Rachel Summers becomes Phoenix II. The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants becomes Freedom Force.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
42. 351 Voltron #1 Modern Pub.
1985
  Henry Vogel story. Dick Ayers art. Jim Fry & Mark McKenna cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
43. 345 Uncanny X-Men #198 Marvel
10/85
  Forge appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
44. 344 DC Comics Presents #87 D.C.
11/85
  Origin & 1st appearance of Superboy-Prime.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.60 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
45. 343 Uncanny X-Men #192 Marvel
4/85
  Magus appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
46. 339 Amazing Spider-Man #267 Marvel
8/85
  Spider-Man in the suburbs. Human Torch appearance. Matt Murdock cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
47. 331 Coyote #11 Marvel/Epic
3/85
  1st Todd McFarlane published artwork. Origin of Slash.
48. 327 Amazing Spider-Man #269 Marvel
10/85
  Firelord appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
49. 326 Uncanny X-Men #196 Marvel
8/85
  Magneto & Beyonder appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 320 Spectacular Spider-Man #101 Marvel
4/85
  Whiplash appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
51. 319 Uncanny X-Men #194 Marvel
6/85
  1st appearance of the Fenris Twins (Andrea & Andreas von Strucker) Juggernaut & Nimrod appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
52. 316 Amazing Spider-Man #262 Marvel
3/85
  Scott Leva (as Spider-Man) photo cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 313 Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 D.C.
12/85
  Marv Wolfman story. George Perez & Jerry Ordway art. George Perez cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
54. 307 Crisis on Infinite Earths #5 D.C.
8/85
  Marv Wolfman story. George Perez & Jerry Ordway art. George Perez cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 303 Groo the Wanderer #1 Marvel/Epic
3/85
  Sergio Aragones story, cover & art.
56. 299 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 Fourth Printing Mirage Studios
1985
  5 pages of bonus sketch book material. Wraparound cover.
57. 299 Uncanny X-Men #195 Marvel
7/85
  Story continued from Power Pack #12 Power Pack, Callisto & Morlocks appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 297 Secret Wars II #1 Marvel
7/85
  Jim Shooter story. Al Milgrom & Steve Leialoha art. John Byrne & Terry Austin cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
59. 286 Longshot #3 Marvel
11/85
  1st appearance of Mojo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
60. 279 Uncanny X-Men #189 Marvel
1/85
  Magma, Sebastian Shaw & Selene appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
61. 276 Amazing Spider-Man #266 Marvel
7/85
  Toad, Frog-Man, Spider-Kid & Black Cat appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 275 Crisis on Infinite Earths #3 D.C.
6/85
  Marv Wolfman story. George Perez & Dick Giordano art. George Perez cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 259 Uncanny X-Men #190 Marvel
2/85
  Spider-Man, Avengers, Doctor Strange, Selene, Callisto, New Mutants & Kulan Gath appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
64. 253 Amazing Spider-Man #270 Marvel
11/85
  Firelord & Avengers (Captain America, Hercules, Black Knight & Starfox) appearance. Avengers #96 cover homage.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
65. 239 Iron Man #200 Marvel
11/85
  Tony Stark returns as Iron Man. New Iron Man armor. “Death” of Iron Monger (Obadiah Stane).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
66. 238 Web of Spider-Man #2 Marvel
5/85
  Kingpin, Vulturions & Vanessa Fisk appearance.
67. 211 Amazing Spider-Man #271 Marvel
12/85
  Crusher Hogan appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
68. 209 X-Men Annual #9 Marvel
1985
  Journey Into Mystery #83 cover homage. Loki & New Mutants appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
69. 208 Miracleman #2 Eclipse
10/85
  Alan Moore story. Garry Leach cover & art.
70. 201 Fugitoid #1 Mirage Studios
2/85
  Story continued in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 Wraparound cover. Pin-up by Peter Laird.
71. 200 Star Wars #100 Marvel
10/85
  Anniversary issue. Admiral Ackbar & Mon Mothma appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
72. 193 Albedo #3 Thoughts & Images
4/85
  Back cover pin-up by Stan Sakai.
73. 188 Transformers #6 Marvel
7/85
  1st appearance of Josie Beller who later becomes Circuit Breaker.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 187 He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of the Sword #nn Mattel
1985
  Sheryl Guterman story. Gerald Forton art.
75. 183 Spectacular Spider-Man #107 Marvel
10/85
  1st appearance of the Sin-Eater. “Death” of Jean DeWolff. Daredevil appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
76. 182 Miracleman #3 Eclipse
11/85
  Alan Moore story. Alan Davis art. Howard Chaykin cover.
77. 182 Web of Spider-Man #3 Marvel
6/85
  Vulture & Vulturions appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
78. 182 Heroes for Hope Starring the X-Men #1 Marvel
12/85
  Stephen King scripts. Famine relief issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 181 Cloak and Dagger v2 #1 Marvel
7/85
  Bill Mantlo story. Rick Leonardi & Terry Austin cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
80. 173 Green Lantern #195 D.C.
12/85
  Crisis cross-over. Guy Gardner becomes Green Lantern.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 169 Elfquest #1 Marvel/Epic
8/85
  Wendy & Richard Pini story. Wendy Pini cover & art.
82. 168 Nightcrawler #1 Marvel
11/85
  Dave Cockrum story, cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
83. 167 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Variant Cover Mirage Studios
1985
  “Laird’s Photo” in white on cover. Wraparound cover. Pin-up by Matt Howarth. Matt Howarth pin-up.
84. 165 Superman Annual #11 D.C.
1985
  Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman & Mongul appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 164 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #19 Marvel
1985
  1st appearance of Alistaire Smythe. Spider-Slayer & Kingpin appearance.
86. 163 New Mutants Special Edition #1 Marvel
1985
  Storm appearance. Wraparound cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
87. 162 Rocket Raccoon #2 Marvel
6/85
  Bill Mantlo story. Mike Mignola & Al Gordon cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
88. 160 Marvel Team-Up #150 Marvel
2/85
  X-Men (Colossus, Nightcrawler, Rogue & Rachel Summers). Juggernaut & Black Tom appearance. Last issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.25 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
89. 154 DC Spotlight #1 D.C.
1985
  Profiles Frank Miller’s “Batman: The Dark Knight Returns” & Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons’ “Watchmen” series.
90. 154 Longshot #4 Marvel
12/85
  Spider-Man & She-Hulk appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 153 Transformers #10 Marvel
11/85
  1st app. of the Constructicons (Hook, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Bonecrusher, Long Haul & Scrapper) who form Devastator.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
92. 151 Longshot #2 Marvel
10/85
  Ann Nocenti story. Arthur Adams & Whilce Portacio art. Arthur Adams cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 149 Rocket Raccoon #3 Marvel
7/85
  Bill Mantlo story. Mike Mignola & Al Milgrom art. Mike Mignola & Al Gordon cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 144 Transformers #9 Marvel
10/85
  1st appearance of Circuit Breaker.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 143 New Mutants #27 Marvel
5/85
  Legion appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
96. 142 Transformers #11 Marvel
12/85
  1st appearance of Jetfire.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
97. 140 Secret Wars II #5 Marvel
11/85
  1st app. of Boom-Boom (Tabitha Smith).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
98. 140 Star Wars #99 Marvel
9/85
  Admiral Ackbar, Wedge Antilles, Fenn, Bey, Fumiyo, Nien Nunb, Captain Drebble, Trif & Maggie appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
99. 136 Peter Porker, the Spectacular Spider-Ham #1 Marvel
5/85
  Steve Skeates story. Mark Armstrong & Joe Albelo art. Michael Golden cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 136 West Coast Avengers #1 Marvel
10/85
  Ultron, Goliath & Man-Ape appearance. Story continued in Vision and the Scarlet Witch #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
 « 1984  1986 »