Key Comic Books From 1987

March 1, 2021

1987 — DC’s 1980’s newsstand cover price variant window continues!

Key comics from 1987
[ Note: a newsstand rarity estimate of 30% exists for this year for Marvel.  If you are not already in-the-know about the difference between newsstand and direct edition versions 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 1987 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 1987, 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 1987, 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 1987.

Key Comic Books From 1987:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 3,962 Uncanny X-Men #221 Marvel
9/87
  1st appearance of Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex). Marauders appearance.
2. 2,797 Punisher #1 Marvel
7/87
  Mike Baron story. Klaus Janson cover & art.
3. 2,621 Batman #404 D.C.
2/87
  “Year One” storyline begins.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 2,021 Wonder Woman #1 D.C.
2/87
  1st Modern app. of Themyscira, Gaea’s Girdle, Hippolyte, Ares & The Olympian Gods. New origin. Wraparound cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5. 1,994 Uncanny X-Men #213 Marvel
1/87
  Wolverine vs. Sabretooth. Psylocke joins the X-Men.
6. 1,908 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 Marvel
1987
  Peter Parker weds Mary Jane Watson. Spider-Man & Peter Parker covers exist.
7. 1,352 Legends #3 D.C.
1/87
  1st appearance of the new Suicide Squad. President Ronald Reagan appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
8. 1,269 Suicide Squad #1 D.C.
5/87
  John Ostrander story. Luke McDonnell & Karl Kesel art. Howard Chaykin cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,202 Uncanny X-Men #222 Marvel
10/87
  Wolverine vs. Sabretooth. Marauders appearance.
10. 1,155 Spider-Man vs. Wolverine #1 Marvel
2/87
  1st appearance of Charlemagne. “Death” of Ned Leeds (original Hobgoblin).
11. 1,044 Amazing Spider-Man #293 Marvel
10/87
  Kraven & Vermin appearance.
12. 1,004 Amazing Spider-Man #289 Marvel
6/87
  Ned Leeds revealed as Hobgoblin. 1st app. new Hobgoblin (Jack O’Lantern). Kingpin, Rose & Foreigner appearance.
13. 976 Batman #405 D.C.
3/87
  Part 2 of “Year One” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
14. 936 Batman #406 D.C.
4/87
  Part 3 of “Year One” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 855 Amazing Spider-Man #294 Marvel
11/87
  “Death” of Kraven the Hunter. Vermin appearance.
16. 825 Batman #407 D.C.
5/87
  Part 4 of “Year One” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
17. 793 Justice League #1 D.C.
5/87
  1st app. of Maxwell Lord (Black King).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
18. 788 Superman #1 D.C.
1/87
  Origin & 1st appearance of new Metallo. Direct editions include “Man of Steel” contest form.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 740 Web of Spider-Man #32 Marvel
11/87
  Kraven & Vermin appearance.
20. 709 Watchmen #12 D.C.
10/87
  “Death” of Rorschach.
21. 706 Wonder Woman #7 D.C.
8/87
  1st appearance of the new Cheetah (Doctor Barbara Ann Minerva).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 705 Flash #1 D.C.
6/87
  New Teen Titans & Vandal Savage appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 633 Watchmen #5 D.C.
1/87
  Alan Moore story. Dave Gibbons cover & art.
24. 613 Watchmen #6 D.C.
2/87
  Origin of Rorschach.
25. 612 Incredible Hulk #330 Marvel
4/87
  Todd McFarlane art begins. “Death” of Thunderbolt Ross. Doc Samson appearance.
26. 596 Watchmen #11 D.C.
8/87
  Origin of Ozymandias.
27. 555 Watchmen #7 D.C.
3/87
  Alan Moore story. Dave Gibbons cover & art.
28. 540 Watchmen #8 D.C.
4/87
  “Death” of the original Nite Owl (Hollis Mason).
29. 539 Detective Comics #576 D.C.
7/87
  Batman “Year Two” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
30. 527 Web of Spider-Man #31 Marvel
10/87
  Kraven appearance.
31. 523 Watchmen #9 D.C.
5/87
  Origin of Silk Spectre.
32. 503 Watchmen #10 D.C.
7/87
  Alan Moore story. Dave Gibbons cover & art.
33. 501 Detective Comics #575 D.C.
6/87
  Batman “Year Two” storyline begins.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
34. 476 Amazing Spider-Man #285 Marvel
2/87
  Punisher, Hobgoblin, Jack O’Lantern, Rose & Hammerhead appearance.
35. 465 Detective Comics #577 D.C.
8/87
  Batman “Year Two” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
36. 461 Silver Surfer v3 #1 Marvel
7/87
  Origin of the Silver Surfer retold. Fantastic Four, Champion, Nova (Frankie Raye) & Galactus appearance.
37. 455 X-Factor #15 Marvel
4/87
  1st app. of the Horsemen of Apocalypse. Rusty, Skids, Boom Boom, Artie, Leech, Caliban, Erg & Masque appearance.
38. 431 Detective Comics #578 D.C.
9/87
  Batman “Year Two” storyline.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 426 Usagi Yojimbo #1 Fantagraphics Books
7/87
  1st Usagi Yojimbo in his own title. “Tinkle Drop” backup story by Dennis Fujitake.
40. 412 X-Factor #19 Marvel
8/87
  Trish Tilby, Rusty, Skids, Leech, Horsemen & Apocalypse appearance.
41. 394 Justice League 3 Logo Variant D.C.
7/87
  Booster Gold cameo on last page.
42. 340 Amazing Spider-Man #292 Marvel
9/87
  Spider-Slayer appearance. Mary Jane accepts Peter’s proposal of marriage.
43. 337 Uncanny X-Men #214 Marvel
2/87
  Dazzler joins the X-Men. 1st full appearance of Malice. Lila Cheney & Callisto appearance.
44. 334 Wonder Woman #9 D.C.
10/87
  Origin of the new Cheetah.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
45. 321 Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge #219 Gladstone
7/87
  1st comic work of Don Rosa. Son of the Sun.
46. 318 Amazing Spider-Man #287 Marvel
4/87
  Daredevil, Falcon, Hobgoblin, Rose, Arranger & Kingpin appearance.
47. 301 Spectacular Spider-Man #132 Marvel
11/87
  Vermin appearance.
48. 290 Amazing Spider-Man #290 Marvel
7/87
  Peter Parker proposes to Mary Jane Watson.
49. 286 Uncanny X-Men #217 Marvel
5/87
  Dazzler vs. Juggernaut.
50. 283 Iron Man #219 Marvel
6/87
  1st appearance of the Ghost.
51. 270 Spectacular Spider-Man #131 Marvel
10/87
  Kraven & Vermin appearance.
52. 264 Amazing Spider-Man #288 Marvel
5/87
  Daredevil, Black Cat, Falcon, Hobgoblin, Kingpin, Punisher & Hammerhead appearance.
53. 255 Amazing Spider-Man #284 Marvel
1/87
  Hobgoblin, Hammerhead, Rose, Jack O’Lantern & Punisher appearance. “Gang War” begins.
54. 252 Captain America #332 Marvel
8/87
  Steve Rogers resigns as Captain America. Super-Patriot appearance.
55. 251 Amazing Spider-Man #286 Marvel
3/87
  Rose revealed as Richard Fisk. Hobgoblin & Jack O’Lantern appearance.
56. 246 Incredible Hulk #331 Marvel
5/87
  Peter David story. Todd McFarlane & Kim DeMulder art. Steve Geiger & Jim Sanders III cover.
57. 244 Web of Spider-Man #29 Marvel
8/87
  Sequel to “Spider-Man vs. Wolverine”. Wolverine, Hobgoblin & Rose appearance.
58. 243 Uncanny X-Men #215 Marvel
3/87
  1st appearance of Stonewall (Louis Hamilton), Super Sabre (Martin Fletcher) & Crimson Commando (Frank Bohannon).
59. 243 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #10 Mirage Studios
4/87
  Story continued from Leonardo #1 Shredder & Casey Jones appearance. Gatefold centerfold. Wraparound cover.
60. 235 Amazing Spider-Man #295 Marvel
12/87
  Ann Nocenti story. Cindy Martin & Kyle Baker art. Bill Sienkiewicz cover.
61. 234 Excalibur Special Edition #nn Marvel
1987
  Chris Claremont story. Alan Davis & Paul Neary cover & art.
62. 223 Batman #408 D.C.
6/87
  Joker appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 222 Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters #1 D.C.
8/87
  1st appearance of Shado.
64. 216 Uncanny X-Men #216 Marvel
4/87
  Crimson Commando, Stonewall & Super Sabre appearance.
65. 214 Alpha Flight #51 Marvel
10/87
  1st published Jim Lee artwork at Marvel Comics.
66. 213 Amazing Spider-Man #291 Marvel
8/87
  Alistair Smythe & Spider-Slayer appearance.
67. 193 Superman #4 D.C.
4/87
  1st appearance of Bloodsport (Robert DuBois).
68. 187 Punisher #2 Marvel
8/87
  Mike Baron story. Klaus Janson cover & art.
69. 185 Lone Wolf & Cub #1 First
1987
  Introduction by Frank Miller.
70. 181 Uncanny X-Men #218 Marvel
6/87
  Juggernaut appearance.
71. 180 Fury of Firestorm 61 Logo Variant D.C.
7/87
  Origin of Typhoon.
72. 179 Action Comics #1 D.C.
1987
  Reprints 1st appearance of Superman. Nestle Foods promotional.
73. 163 Uncanny X-Men #219 Marvel
7/87
  Marauders appearance.
74. 162 Incredible Hulk #336 Marvel
10/87
  X-Factor (Cyclops, Marvel Girl & Iceman) appearance. Skids cameo.
75. 161 G.I. Joe and the Transformers #1 Marvel
1/87
  Michael Higgins story. Herb Trimpe & Vince Colletta cover & art.
76. 151 Chuck Norris #1 Marvel
1/87
  Mary Jo Duffy story. Steve Ditko & Art Nichols art. Mike Zeck & John Beatty cover.
77. 148 Uncanny X-Men #220 Marvel
8/87
  Chris Claremont story. Marc Silvestri & Dan Green cover & art.
78. 143 Legends #6 D.C.
4/87
  1st app. of the new Justice League. Ronald Reagan appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 140 Miracleman #13 Eclipse
11/87
  Alan Moore story. John Totleben cover & art.
80. 139 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #60 Marvel
6/87
  1st appearance of Lt. Falcon, Chuckles, Fastdraw, Zanzibar, Monkeywrench & Law & Order.
81. 136 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4 Second Printing Mirage Studios
5/87
  Wraparound cover.
82. 135 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 4 Second Printing/MANUFACTURING Mirage Studios
5/87
  Manufactured with the wraparound cover art from Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 by Ryan Brown.
83. 135 Incredible Hulk #333 Marvel
7/87
  Leader appearance.
84. 132 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #63 Marvel
9/87
  Larry Hama story. Ron Wagner & Andy Mushynsky art. Mike Zeck & Bob McLeod cover.
85. 132 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #56 Marvel
2/87
  Larry Hama story. Rod Whigham & Andy Mushynsky art. Mike Zeck & Kim DeMulder cover.
86. 131 Incredible Hulk #337 Marvel
11/87
  X-Factor (Cyclops, Marvel Girl & Iceman) & Doc Samson appearance.
87. 128 X-Factor #23 Marvel
12/87
  Rusty, Skids, Boom Boom, Rictor, Artie, Leech, Horsemen & Apocalypse appearance.
88. 127 Captain America #333 Marvel
9/87
  Super-Patriot (Johnny Walker) becomes the new Captain America.
89. 124 Detective Comics #570 D.C.
1/87
  Joker & Catwoman appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.00 newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 123 Uncanny X-Men #223 Marvel
11/87
  Crimson Commando, Stonewall & Super Sabre join Freedom Force.
91. 119 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #58 Marvel
4/87
  1st appearance of Dusty & Fred VII.
92. 118 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #59 Marvel
5/87
  1st appearance of Outback, Tunnel Rat, Jinx, Raptor & the Blind Master.
93. 114 Incredible Hulk #334 Marvel
8/87
  1st appearance of Half-Life (Anthony Masterson). Doc Samson appearance.
94. 114 Miracleman #12 Eclipse
9/87
  Alan Moore story. John Totleben cover & art.
95. 102 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #61 Marvel
7/87
  “Death” of Cobra Commander.
96. 102 Uncanny X-Men #224 Marvel
12/87
  Freedom Force appearance. Mutant registration form insert.
97. 102 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #55 Marvel
1/87
  Grunt retires from G.I. Joe.
98. 102 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #12 Mirage Studios
9/87
  Wraparound cover. Pin-up by Francis Mao.
99. 101 Punisher #4 Marvel
11/87
  1st appearance of Microchip (David Linus Lieberman).
100. 98 Incredible Hulk #332 Marvel
6/87
  Peter David story. Todd McFarlane & Fred Fredericks art. Steve Geiger & Bob McLeod cover.
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