Key Comic Books From 1991

March 1, 2021

1991 — newsstand Australian cover price variants exist!

Key comics from 1991
[ Note: a newsstand rarity estimate of 15% exists for the prior 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 1991 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 1990’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 1991, 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 1991, 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 1991.

Key Comic Books From 1991:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 20,115 New Mutants #98 Marvel
2/91
  1st appearance of Deadpool (Wade Wilson) Gideon & Copycat (Vanessa Carlysle) as Domino. Rictor leaves the New Mutants.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
2. 8,075 Infinity Gauntlet #1 Marvel
7/91
  Jim Starlin story. George Perez & Joe Rubinstein art. George Perez cover.
3. 6,463 X-Men #1 Marvel
10/91
  1st appearance of the Acolytes. Four different covers exist that form a single image.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
4. 3,714 Uncanny X-Men #282 Marvel
11/91
  1st appearance of Bishop, Malcolm & Randall in cameo on last page. Direct Editions have 8 page ad insert.
5. 3,706 X-Force #2 Marvel
9/91
  2nd appearance of Deadpool. 1st app. of Weapon X (Garrison Kane). Juggernaut & Black Tom Cassidy app.
6. 3,361 X-Men 1 Special Collectors Edition Marvel
10/91
  1st appearance of the Acolytes. Magneto appearance. Double gatefold cover. No ads.
7. 2,987 New Mutants #100 Marvel
4/91
  1st appearance of X-Force. 1st full appearance of Shatterstar. Last issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
8. 2,523 Amazing Spider-Man #344 Marvel
2/91
  1st app. of Cletus Kasady (Carnage). 1st full appearance of Cardiac (Elias Wirtham). Rhino & Eddie Brock app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
9. 1,773 Darkhawk #1 Marvel
3/91
  Origin & 1st appearance of Darkhawk (Chris Powell). Hobgoblin appearance.
10. 1,750 X-Force #1 Marvel
8/91
  Wraparound cover. Poly-bag removed. Direct Editions exist with “Positive” and “Negative” UPC codes.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
11. 1,694 Incredible Hulk #377 Marvel
1/91
  Doc Samson & Ringmaster appearance. Direct Sales have “Tiger Electronics” insert included.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
12. 1,687 Uncanny X-Men #283 Marvel
12/91
  1st full appearance of Bishop, Malcolm & Randall.
13. 1,646 Spider-Man #13 Marvel
8/91
  Spider-Man #1 (8/90) cover homage. Morbius appearance.
14. 1,429 Uncanny X-Men #281 Marvel
10/91
  1st appearance of Trevor Fitzroy. New X-Men team. Wraparound cover.
15. 1,222 Infinity Gauntlet #2 Marvel
8/91
  Jim Starlin story. George Perez & Joe Rubinstein art. George Perez cover.
16. 1,220 Infinity Gauntlet #4 Marvel
10/91
  Jim Starlin story. Ron Lim & George Perez art. George Perez cover.
17. 1,168 Infinity Gauntlet #3 Marvel
9/91
  Jim Starlin story. George Perez & Joe Rubinstein art. George Perez cover.
18. 1,074 Marvel Comics Presents #72 Marvel
1991
  Wraparound cover. Origin of Wolverine. Weapon X, Shanna, Daredevil & Red Wolf stories. Jackson Guice back cover art.
19. 1,010 Magnus Robot Fighter #1 Valiant
5/91
  Trading cards included.
20. 996 Infinity Gauntlet #6 Marvel
12/91
  Jim Starlin story. Ron Lim & Joe Rubinstein art. Ron Lim & George Perez cover.
21. 973 Silver Surfer v3 #50 Marvel
6/91
  Origin of the Silver Surfer retold. Thanos appearance. Embossed silver foil cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
22. 959 Infinity Gauntlet #5 Marvel
11/91
  Jim Starlin story. Ron Lim & Joe Rubinstein art. Ron Lim & George Perez cover.
23. 934 Solar, Man of the Atom #1 Valiant
9/91
  1st appearance of Solar (Doctor Phil Seleski). 8 page insert by Barry Windsor-Smith.
24. 902 Amazing Spider-Man #345 Marvel
3/91
  Cletus Kasady, Venom, Cardiac, Boomerang & Silver Sable appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
25. 816 Solar, Man of the Atom #3 Valiant
11/91
  10 page insert by Barry Windsor-Smith. 1st appearance of Toyo Harada & Thumper. 1st mention of the Harbinger Foundation.
26. 790 Amazing Spider-Man #347 Marvel
5/91
  Venom appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
27. 765 Amazing Spider-Man #346 Marvel
4/91
  Venom appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
28. 750 Ghost Rider v2 #15 Marvel
7/91
  Deathwatch & Blackout appearance. Glow-in-the-dark cover.
29. 731 Magnus Robot Fighter #5 Valiant
10/91
  Flipbook w/ Rai #1. 1st app. of Rai, X-O Commando, Slagger, Felina & Grandmother. Trading cards included.
30. 675 X-Men #2 Marvel
11/91
  Magneto, Val Cooper, Nick Fury, Moira MacTaggert & Acolytes appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
31. 627 Evil Ernie #1 Malibu/Eternity
12/91
  Origin & 1st appearance of Evil Ernie. 1st appearance of Lady Death.
32. 569 Deathstroke: The Terminator #1 D.C.
8/91
  Marv Wolfman story. Steve Erwin & Will Blyberg art. Mike Zeck cover.
33. 541 Uncanny X-Men #275 Marvel
4/91
  Wraparound gatefold cover.
34. 486 Spider-Man #9 Marvel
4/91
  Wolverine & Wendigo appearance.
35. 466 Spider-Man #6 Marvel
1/91
  Ghost Rider & Hobgoblin appearance. Direct Editions include “Tiger Electronics” insert.
36. 442 Sleepwalker #1 Marvel
6/91
  1st appearance of Sleepwalker. Direct editions have “Upper Deck” insert.
37. 440 Transformers #80 Marvel
7/91
  “Death” of Getaway, Snapdragon, Siren, Fangry, Horri-Bull & Ravage. Neo-Knights appearance. Last issue.
38. 428 Spider-Man #16 Marvel
11/91
  Last McFarlane art on Spider-Man. Sideways issue. X-Force appearance. Story continued in X-Force #4
39. 427 New Mutants #99 Marvel
3/91
  1st appearance of Feral. Sunspot leaves. 1st app. of Shatterstar in cameo on last page. X-Men #138 cover homage.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
40. 424 Spider-Man #7 Marvel
2/91
  Ghost Rider & Hobgoblin appearance.
41. 401 X-Men #3 Marvel
12/91
  Magneto, Val Cooper, Nick Fury, Moira MacTaggert & Acolytes appearance.
42. 391 Incredible Hulk 377 Second Printing Marvel
1/91
  Doc Samson & Ringmaster appearance.
43. 389 Spider-Man #10 Marvel
5/91
  Wolverine & Wendigo appearance. Wolverine returns to his original costume.
44. 378 Spider-Man #8 Marvel
3/91
  Wolverine & Wendigo appearance.
45. 362 Bone #1 Cartoon Books
7/91
  1st appearance of Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, Smiley Bone, the Great Red Dragon & Ted.
46. 361 Uncanny X-Men #274 Marvel
3/91
  Magneto, Ka-Zar, Nick Fury & Deathbird appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
47. 356 Spider-Man #12 Marvel
7/91
  Wolverine & Wendigo appearance. Sasquatch & Puck cameo.
48. 342 Star Wars: Dark Empire #1 Dark Horse
12/91
  Luke Skywalker begins turning to the Dark Side.
49. 338 Amazing Spider-Man #350 Marvel
8/91
  Doctor Doom & Black Fox appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
50. 334 Incredible Hulk 377 Third Printing Marvel
1/91
  Doc Samson & Ringmaster appearance.
51. 326 Spider-Man #11 Marvel
6/91
  Wolverine & Wendigo appearance. 2 page Nintendo insert included.
52. 289 Amazing Spider-Man #353 Marvel
11/91
  Punisher, Darkhawk & Midnight appearance. “Fleer” insert included.
53. 281 Uncanny X-Men #272 Marvel
1/91
  New Mutants & X-Factor app. Punisher, She-Hulk & Reed Richards cameo. Direct editions have Tiger Electronics insert.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
54. 279 Magnus Robot Fighter #7 Valiant
12/91
  Flipbook with Rai #3 1st appearance of X-O Armor. Trading cards included.
55. 266 Amazing Spider-Man #354 Marvel
11/91
  Darkhawk, Punisher, Moon Knight, Nova, Night Thrasher & Captain America appearance. “Fleer” insert included.
56. 266 Spider-Man #17 Marvel
12/91
  “Death” of Spider-Man. Death & Thanos appearance.
57. 262 Uncanny X-Men #273 Marvel
2/91
  New Mutants & X-Factor appearance. Gambit, Jubilee & Forge join the X-Men.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
58. 255 Amazing Spider-Man #356 Marvel
12/91
  Night Thrasher, Nova, Punisher & Moon Knight appearance. Direct Editions include “Wild Agents of Marvel” insert.
59. 255 Sonic the Hedgehog Promotional Supplement #1 Sega
1991
  Distributed as Sega promotional & insert in DC Comics from December 1991. Promos & inserts are indistinguishable.
60. 253 Action Comics #662 D.C.
2/91
  Superman reveals his secret identity to Lois Lane. Silver Banshee appearance.
61. 244 Uncanny X-Men #277 Marvel
6/91
  Deathbird, Gladiator, Shadow King, Starjammers & Lilandra appearance. Direct editions have Upper Deck insert.
62. 243 Wolverine #41 Marvel
7/91
  Sabretooth, Cable, Jubilee, Forge, Masque & Elsie-Dee appearance. Pin-ups by Mike Mignola & Art Thibert.
63. 240 Spider-Man #14 Marvel
9/91
  Morbius appearance.
64. 240 Deathlok #1 Marvel
7/91
  Metallic silver ink cover.
65. 234 Superman: The Man of Steel #1 D.C.
7/91
  Louise Simonson story. Dan Jurgens, Tom Grummett & Bob McLeod. art, Jon Bogdanove cover & art.
66. 233 Magnus Robot Fighter #2 Valiant
7/91
  Trading cards included.
67. 231 Fantastic Four #348 Marvel
1/91
  Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk & Ghost Rider appearance.
68. 230 Amazing Spider-Man #351 Marvel
9/91
  Mark Bagley art begins. Nova & Tri-Sentinel appearance. “Dungeons & Dragons” insert included.
69. 217 Dark Horse Presents Fifth Anniversary Special #nn Dark Horse
4/91
  1st Sin City by Frank Miller. 1st appearance of Marv. Wraparound cover.
70. 217 Ghost Rider v2 #15 Second Printing Marvel
7/91
  Deathwatch & Blackout appearance. Glow-in-the-dark gold ink cover.
71. 207 Marvel Milestone Edition: X-Men #1 Marvel
1991
  Reprints X-Men #1 (9/63)
72. 205 New Mutants 100 Third Printing Marvel
4/91
  1st appearance of X-Force. 1st full appearance of Shatterstar. Silver metallic ink. Last issue.
73. 201 New Mutants #97 Marvel
1/91
  X-Men, X-Factor & Cameron Hodge appearance.
74. 196 Uncanny X-Men #276 Marvel
5/91
  Gladiator & Deathbird appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
75. 192 X-Force #4 Marvel
11/91
  Spider-Man crossover. X-Force pin-up by Mike Mignola.
76. 192 Silver Surfer v3 #55 Marvel
9/91
  Infinity Gauntlet crossover. Thanos, Adam Warlock & Mephisto appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
77. 189 Batman Versus Predator 1 Prestige Format D.C.-Dark Horse
1991
  Batman & Predator covers exist. 8 trading cards included.
78. 187 Magnus Robot Fighter #4 Valiant
9/91
  Trading cards included.
79. 183 Amazing Spider-Man #355 Marvel
12/91
  Punisher, Moon Knight, Nova & Night Thrasher appearance. “Wild Agents of Marvel” insert included.
80. 180 X-Force 1 Second Printing Marvel
8/91
  Wraparound gold ink cover.
81. 179 Tank Girl #1 Dark Horse
5/91
  Dark Horse trading cards included.
82. 179 Amazing Spider-Man #343 Marvel
1/91
  1st appearance of Cardiac in cameo on last page. Direct Editions have Tiger Electronics insert.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
83. 178 Fantastic Four #349 Marvel
2/91
  Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk & Ghost Rider appearance. Punisher cameo.
84. 178 Magnus Robot Fighter #3 Valiant
8/91
  1st appearance of Elzy. Trading cards included.
85. 173 Uncanny X-Men #280 Marvel
9/91
  X-Factor, Legion, Polaris, Guido, Multiple Man, Mystique, Moira MacTaggert & Shadow King appearance.
86. 172 Solar, Man of the Atom #2 Valiant
10/91
  10 page insert by Barry Windsor-Smith.
87. 171 Robin #1 D.C.
1/91
  Poster by Neal Adams included.
88. 169 Bone #2 Cartoon Books
9/91
  1st appearance of Thorn.
89. 167 Baseball’s Greatest Heroes #1 Magnum
12/91
  Mickey Mantle #1 Photo cover.
90. 167 X-Factor #71 Marvel
10/91
  New team (Havok, Polaris, Quicksilver, Guido, Multiple Man & Wolfsbane) forms. Professor Xavier, Cyclops & Lockjaw app.
91. 165 Spider-Man #15 Marvel
10/91
  Beast appearance. 1st appearance of Masterblaster & Powerhouse.
92. 155 Magnus Robot Fighter #6 Valiant
11/91
  Flip book with Rai #2 Solar appearance. Trading cards included.
93. 154 Wolverine #48 Marvel
11/91
  Jubilee appearance.
94. 152 Amazing Spider-Man #352 Marvel
10/91
  Nova appearance. “Club Bo” insert included.
95. 150 Transformers #79 Marvel
6/91
  Neo-Knights appearance. Direct edition contains “Ultra Games” insert.
96. 150 Amazing Spider-Man #349 Marvel
7/91
  Black Fox appearance. Doctor Doom cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
97. 141 New Mutants 100 Second Printing Marvel
4/91
  1st appearance of X-Force. 1st full appearance of Shatterstar. Last issue.
98. 141 Batman Versus Predator #1 D.C.-Dark Horse
1991
  Dave Gibbons story. Andy & Adam Kubert art. Chris Warner cover.
99. 140 Marvel Comics Presents #73 Marvel
1991
  Bret Blevins back cover art. Weapon X, Shanna, Sub-Mariner & Black Knight stories.
100. 139 Wolverine #42 Marvel
7/91
  Sabretooth, Nick Fury, Masque, Forge, Cable, Jubilee & Elsie-Dee appearance.
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