Key Comic Books From 1986

March 1, 2021

1986 — 75 cent variants ending at Marvel but DC’s variant window stays open!

Key comics from 1986By the mid-80’s, 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 1986 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 1986, 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 1986, 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 1986.

Key Comic Books From 1986:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 5,654 X-Factor #6 Marvel
7/86
  1st full appearance of Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur). Alliance of Evil (Tower, Frenzy, Stinger, Timeshadow) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2. 4,180 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 D.C.
3/86
  1st appearance of Carrie Kelly.
3. 3,566 Watchmen #1 D.C.
9/86
  1st appearance of Rorschach, Ozymandias, Dr. Manhattan, Silk Spectre & Nite Owl. “Death” of Comedian.
4. 2,778 Punisher Limited Series #1 Marvel
1/86
  Jigsaw appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5. 2,594 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4 D.C.
1986
  Batman vs. Superman. “Death” of Alfred.
6. 2,326 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 D.C.
1986
  Carrie Kelly becomes Robin.
7. 2,283 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #3 D.C.
1986
  “Death” of the Joker.
8. 2,182 X-Factor #5 Marvel
6/86
  1st app. of Apocalypse in cameo on last page. 1st app. of Stinger & Timeshadow. Tower, Frenzy, Artie & Rusty appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,773 Uncanny X-Men #211 Marvel
11/86
  1st full appearance of the Marauders.
10. 1,770 X-Factor #1 Marvel
2/86
  Origin & 1st appearance of X-Factor. 1st appearance of Cameron Hodge & Rusty.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,627 Uncanny X-Men #201 Marvel
1/86
  1st appearance of Cable as baby Nathan. Starjammers & Binary appearance. Storm becomes team leader.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
12. 1,611 New Mutants Annual #2 Marvel
10/86
  1st U.S. appearance of Psylocke (Elizabeth Braddock). Captain Britain, Mojo & Spiral appearance.
13. 1,604 Captain America Annual #8 Marvel
1986
  1st appearance of Overrider (Richard Rennselaer) & T.E.S.S.-One. Wolverine appearance.
14. 1,528 Uncanny X-Men #212 Marvel
12/86
  Wolverine vs. Sabretooth.
15. 1,361 Star Wars #107 Marvel
9/86
  Last issue. Admiral Ackbar, Nien Nunb, Lumiya, Knife, Dani & Fenn Shysa appearance.
16. 1,235 Booster Gold #1 D.C.
2/86
  1st appearance of Booster Gold & Skeets. Blackguard appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 926 Punisher Limited Series #4 Marvel
4/86
  Jigsaw appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
18. 894 Punisher Limited Series #2 Marvel
2/86
  Steven Grant story. Mike Zeck & John Beatty art. Mike Zeck cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 892 Amazing Spider-Man #275 Marvel
4/86
  Hobgoblin, Rose & Kingpin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 884 Watchmen #2 D.C.
10/86
  Alan Moore story. Dave Gibbons cover & art.
21. 857 Punisher Limited Series #3 Marvel
3/86
  Steven Grant story. Mike Zeck & John Beatty art. Mike Zeck cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 828 Masters of the Universe #1 Marvel
5/86
  Mike Carlin story. Ron Wilson & Dennis Janke art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 747 Punisher Limited Series #5 Marvel
5/86
  Jigsaw appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
24. 738 Uncanny X-Men #205 Marvel
5/86
  Origin of Lady Deathstrike. Spiral & Energizer (Katie Power) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
25. 723 Watchmen #3 D.C.
11/86
  Alan Moore story. Dave Gibbons cover & art.
26. 707 Marvel Age #41 Marvel
8/86
  Stan Lee photo cover.
27. 700 Watchmen #4 D.C.
12/86
  Origin of Dr. Manhattan.
28. 662 Uncanny X-Men #210 Marvel
10/86
  X-Factor & Hellfire Club appearance. Marauders cameo.
29. 611 Batman #400 D.C.
10/86
  Introduction by Stephen King. Pin-ups by Bernie Wrightson, Mike Grell, Steve Rude & Michael Wm. Kaluta.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $2.10 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
30. 566 Alpha Flight #33 Marvel
4/86
  Yuriko Oyama becomes Lady Deathstrike. X-Men appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
31. 555 Web of Spider-Man #18 Marvel
9/86
  David Michelinie story. Marc Silvestri & Kyle Baker art. Mark Beachum & Joe Rubinstein cover.
32. 501 Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 D.C.
3/86
  Wally West becomes the new Flash. “Death” of the original Dove.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.60 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
33. 496 Uncanny X-Men #207 Marvel
7/86
  Selene appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
34. 484 Legends #1 D.C.
11/86
  1st appearance of Amanda Waller. 6 page “MASK” insert.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
35. 459 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 Mirage Studios
1986
  1st color Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 4 page story by Kevin Eastman and Richard Corben. Wraparound cover.
36. 459 Amazing Spider-Man #276 Marvel
5/86
  “Death” of the Fly. Hobgoblin & Scourge appearance. Rose cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
37. 445 Uncanny X-Men #202 Marvel
2/86
  Sentinels & Beyonder appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 435 Elektra: Assassin #1 Marvel/Epic
8/86
  Frank Miller story. Bill Sienkiewicz cover & art.
39. 415 Superman #423 D.C.
9/86
  Last issue. Becomes “Adventures of Superman” with next issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 400 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #8 Mirage Studios
1986
  Cerebus appearance. Wraparound cover.
41. 398 Amazing Spider-Man #274 Marvel
3/86
  Zarathos, Beyonder, Mephisto & Kingpin appearance. Interior cover pin-up.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
42. 396 Fantastic Four #286 Marvel
1/86
  Return of Jean Grey. Captain America & Hercules appearance. Formation of X-Factor begins.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
43. 387 Amazing Spider-Man #272 Marvel
1/86
  Origin & 1st appearance of Slyde (Jalome Beacher). Puma appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
44. 383 Amazing Spider-Man #282 Marvel
11/86
  X-Factor appearance.
45. 383 Man of Steel 1 Special Collector’s Edition D.C.
1986
  Silver logo.
46. 374 Crisis on Infinite Earths #10 D.C.
1/86
  “Death” of Starman (Prince Gavyn).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
47. 372 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6 Mirage Studios
1986
  Wraparound cover.
48. 363 Swamp Thing #50 D.C.
7/86
  Deadman, Dr. Fate, Spectre & Demon appearance. Anniversary issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.70 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
49. 362 Crisis on Infinite Earths #11 D.C.
2/86
  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
50. 340 Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1 Marvel
10/86
  Wraparound cover.
51. 335 The ‘Nam #1 Marvel
12/86
  Doug Murray story. Michael Golden & Armando Gil art. Michael Golden cover.
52. 333 Daredevil #232 Marvel
7/86
  1st appearance of Nuke (Frank Simpson).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
53. 331 Green Lantern #201 D.C.
6/86
  Cover reads “Green Lantern Corps.” 1st appearance of Kilowog.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
54. 302 Daredevil #227 Marvel
2/86
  Kingpin discovers Daredevil’s secret identity.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 302 Donatello, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle #1 Mirage Studios
8/86
  Pin-up by Stan Sakai. Wraparound cover.
56. 293 Incredible Hulk #324 Marvel
10/86
  Return of the grey Hulk. Doc Samson appearance. Incredible Hulk #1 (5/62) cover homage.
57. 292 Amazing Spider-Man #277 Marvel
6/86
  Matt Murdock & Kingpin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 288 Amazing Spider-Man #280 Marvel
9/86
  Silver Sable, Rhino, Beetle, Boomerang, Hydro Man, Speed Demon & Sandman appearance.
59. 286 Classic X-Men #1 Marvel
9/86
  Frontispiece by Arthur Adams. Back cover pin-up by John Bolton.
60. 282 Amazing Spider-Man #278 Marvel
7/86
  “Death” of the Wraith. Scourge, Hobgoblin & Rose appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
61. 281 Michaelangelo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle #1 Mirage Studios
1986
  Wraparound cover.
62. 278 Leonardo, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle #1 Mirage Studios
12/86
  Story continued in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #10 Wraparound cover.
63. 272 Amazing Spider-Man #283 Marvel
12/86
  Absorbing Man & Titania appearance. 1st appearance of the Mongoose in cameo. Hobgoblin & Wasp cameo.
64. 263 X-Men Annual #10 Marvel
1986
  1st appearance of the X-Babies. Mojo appearance. Longshot joins the X-Men. Giant-Size X-Men #1 cover homage.
65. 255 Amazing Spider-Man #273 Marvel
2/86
  Beyonder & Puma appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
66. 252 Uncanny X-Men #203 Marvel
3/86
  Beyonder, Watcher, Magneto, Lilandra, Corsair, Hepzibah & Raza appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
67. 250 Captain America #323 Marvel
11/86
  1st appearance of the new Super-Patriot (John Walker) & Battlestar.
68. 242 Uncanny X-Men #206 Marvel
6/86
  Jessica Drew, Lindsay McCabe & Freedom Force (Avalanche, Blob, Pyro, Spider-Woman II & Spiral) appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
69. 238 Avengers #263 Marvel
1/86
  Jean Grey cocoon found. Sub-Mariner joins the Avengers. Story continued in Fantastic Four #286
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 75¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
70. 231 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #53 Marvel
11/86
  Larry Hama story. Rod Whigham & Andy Mushynsky art. Mike Zeck & Joe Rubinstein cover.
71. 225 Uncanny X-Men #204 Marvel
4/86
  Nightcrawler solo story. Arcade & Miss Locke appearance.
72. 222 Amazing Spider-Man #279 Marvel
8/86
  Silver Sable & Jack O’ Lantern appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
73. 218 Droids #1 Marvel
4/86
  1st appearance of Jost Ellon & Governor Kugg.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
74. 210 Uncanny X-Men #209 Marvel
9/86
  Nimrod, Spiral & Hellfire Club appearance. Rachel Summers leaves the X-Men.
75. 209 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #9 Mirage Studios
9/86
  6 page preview of Richard Corben’s “Rip in Time.” Wraparound cover.
76. 208 Swamp Thing #49 D.C.
6/86
  John Constantine, Deadman, Demon, Phantom Stranger & Spectre appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
77. 202 Dark Horse Presents #1 Dark Horse
7/86
  1st appearance of Concrete & Black Cross 1st Dark Horse title.
78. 201 Amazing Spider-Man #281 Marvel
10/86
  Hobgoblin vs. Jack O’ Lantern. Silver Sable, Sandman & Sinister Syndicate appearance.
79. 199 Uncanny X-Men #208 Marvel
8/86
  Hellfire Club & Nimrod appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
80. 193 X-Factor #2 Marvel
3/86
  1st appearance Artie Maddicks & Tower. Carl Maddicks, Rusty Collins & Cameron Hodge appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
81. 189 Action Comics #583 D.C.
9/86
  Conclusion of Alan Moore’s “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?”
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
82. 182 Megaton #3 Megaton
2/86
  Dragon appearance. Angel Medina’s 1st pro work (pin-up).
83. 181 Blue Beetle #1 D.C.
6/86
  1st appearance of Firefist.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 171 Star Wars #106 Marvel
7/86
  Plif, Dani, Den Siva & Captain Hookyr appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
85. 167 Turtlemania Special #1 Metropolis
1986
  White outer cover. TMNT, Cerebus & Flaming Carrot pin-up by Bob Burden.
86. 165 Longshot #5 Marvel
1/86
  Doctor Strange appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
87. 164 Daredevil #228 Marvel
3/86
  Kingpin appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
88. 160 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1 Second Printing D.C.
3/86
  1st appearance of Carrie Kelly.
89. 157 Detective Comics #566 D.C.
9/86
  Doug Moench story. Gene Colan & Bob Smith art. Dick Giordano cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 154 Daredevil #233 Marvel
8/86
  Captain America, Iron Man, Thor & Nuke appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
91. 153 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Third Printing Mirage Studios
1986
  Pin-up by Mark Paniccia. 1st appearance of the Mousers. Wraparound cover.
92. 152 X-Factor #10 Marvel
11/86
  Rusty, Skids, Artie, Leech, Caliban, Ape, Erg, Beautiful Dreamer, Marauders, Freedom Force & Apocalypse appearance.
93. 145 Transformers #17 Marvel
6/86
  1st app. of Blaster, Powerglide, Cosmos, Warpath, Beachcomber, Perceptor, Seaspray, Straxus & the Insecticons.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 145 Transformers #19 Marvel
8/86
  1st appearance of Omega Supreme. Robot-Master appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 143 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1 Third Printing D.C.
3/86
  1st appearance of Carrie Kelly.
96. 143 Thor #364 Marvel
2/86
  Thor becomes a frog.
97. 142 Miracleman #9 Eclipse
7/86
  Birthing scene.
98. 141 Daredevil #231 Marvel
6/86
  Frank Miller story. David Mazzucchelli cover & art.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized 95¢ newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
99. 141 Longshot #6 Marvel
2/86
  Doctor Strange appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
100. 140 G.I. Joe Special Missions #1 Marvel
10/86
  Larry Hama story. Herb Trimpe art. Mike Zeck & John Beatty cover.
 « 1985  1987 »