Key Comic Books From 1996

March 1, 2021

1996

Key comics from 1996
[ Note: newsstand rarity estimates show that newsstand comics are dramatically more rare than direct edition comics by this point in time. 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 1996 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 1996, 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 1996, 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 1996.

Key Comic Books From 1996:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 601 Carnage: Mind Bomb #1 Marvel
2/96
  Red foil cover.
2. 507 Nightwing #1 D.C.
10/96
  Chuck Dixon story. Scott McDaniel & Karl Story art. Scott McDaniel & Scott Hanna cover.
3. 454 Wolverine 100 Hologram Cover Marvel
4/96
  “Death” of Genesis (Cable’s son). Elektra appearance. Anniversary issue.
4. 426 Kingdom Come #1 D.C.
1996
  1st appearance of Magog. Wraparound cover.
5. 423 Amazing Spider-Man #410 Marvel
4/96
  Carnage appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
6. 389 Preacher #13 D.C./Vertigo
4/96
  1st appearance of Herr Starr, Sarah Featherstone & Hoover. “Hunters” part 1
7. 369 Superman: The Wedding Album 1 Collector’s Edition D.C.
12/96
  Clark Kent marries Lois Lane. Embossed cover.
8. 349 Batman: The Long Halloween #1 D.C.
10/96
  Catwoman appearance.
9. 291 X-Men #53 Marvel
6/96
  1st full appearance of Onslaught.
10. 279 Witchblade #2 Image/Top Cow
1/96
  David Wohl & Brian Haberlin story. Michael Turner cover & art.
11. 272 Kingdom Come #2 D.C.
1996
  Superman forms new Justice League. Wraparound cover.
12. 267 DC Versus Marvel #1 D.C.
1996
  1st appearance of Access.
13. 255 Kingdom Come #3 D.C.
1996
  Return of Captain Marvel. Wraparound cover.
14. 250 Black Canary/Oracle: Birds of Prey #1 D.C.
1996
  1st Black Canary & Oracle as the Birds of Prey.
15. 243 Kingdom Come #4 D.C.
1996
  Final battle between Superman & Captain Marvel. Wraparound cover.
16. 229 Witchblade 10 Darkness #0 Variant Cover Top Cow Publications
11/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado.
17. 222 Darkness #1 Top Cow Publications
12/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado as the Darkness.
18. 212 Incredible Hulk #441 Marvel
5/96
  She-Hulk appearance. “Pulp Fiction” movie poster homage cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.50 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
19. 207 Carnage: It’s a Wonderful Life #1 Marvel
10/96
  David Quinn story. Kyle Hotz cover & art.
20. 200 Witchblade #10 Top Cow Publications
11/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $1.95 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
21. 198 Fantastic Four v2 #1 Marvel
11/96
  Fantastic Four #417 Doctor Doom & Mole Man appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand Australian Price Variant is confirmed to exist
22. 184 Darkness 1 Variant Cover Top Cow Publications
12/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado as the Darkness.
23. 178 X-Men 50 Speckle Foil Edition Marvel
3/96
  Onslaught cameo. Wraparound cover.
24. 173 Witchblade #3 Image/Top Cow
3/96
  David Wohl story. Michael Turner cover & art.
25. 172 X-Men 54 Special Collector’s Edition Marvel
1996
  Onslaught revealed as Professor X. Juggernaut appearance. Prismatic etched hologram cover.
26. 168 Sensational Spider-Man #0 Marvel
1/96
  Ben Reilly becomes the new Spider-Man. “Purple webbing” cover. Lenticular cover.
27. 167 Amazing Spider-Man #408 Marvel
2/96
  Mysterio & Armada appearance.
28. 158 Iron Man v2 #1 Marvel
11/96
  Iron Man #333 Origin & 1st appearance of “Heroes Reborn” Iron Man & Hulk.
29. 150 Spawn #50 Image
6/96
  Spawn #1 cover homage.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
30. 133 Captain America v2 #1 Marvel
11/96
  Captain America #455 1st appearance of Rikki Barnes. Nick Fury appearance.
31. 133 Green Lantern v3 #81 Deluxe Edition D.C.
12/96
  Memorial for Hal Jordan. Embossed emerald prism cover.
32. 129 Wolverine Special #102.5 Marvel
1996
  Pin-up by Julie Bell.
33. 125 Marvel Versus DC #3 D.C.-Marvel
4/96
  1st appearance of Amazon, Dark Claw, Spider-Boy & Super Soldier.
34. 120 Lady Death: The Crucible 1/2 Wizard Special Edition Chaos-Wizard
7/96
  Canvas sketch cover.
35. 119 Hitman #1 D.C.
4/96
  Batman appearance.
36. 119 X-Men 50 Gold Edition Marvel
3/96
  Onslaught cameo. Limited gold-tint wraparound cover.
37. 118 Marvel Versus DC #2 D.C.-Marvel
3/96
  Peter David & Ron Marz story. Dan Jurgens, Claudio Castellini,. Joe Rubinstein & Paul Neary art.
38. 115 Witchblade 10 Darkness #0 Gold Foil Variant Top Cow Publications
11/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado. Gold foil logo.
39. 113 Amazing Spider-Man 408 Variant Cover Marvel
2/96
  Mysterio & Armada appearance. Poly-bagged with cassette tape. Poly-bag removed.
40. 112 Purgatori: The Vampires Myth #1 Chaos!
8/96
  Embossed red foil wraparound cover.
41. 112 Supergirl #1 D.C.
9/96
  1st appearance of Buzz. Supergirl merges with a dying Linda Danvers.
42. 110 Lady Death: The Crucible 1 Leather Edition Chaos!
11/96
  Brian Pulido story. Steven Hughes cover & art.
43. 110 Bettie Page Comics #1 Dark Horse
3/96
  Pin-up by Jamie Hernandez. Poster by Dave Stevens included.
44. 108 Witchblade #1/2 Image/Top Cow
2/96
  FAN exclusive.
45. 106 Batman: Black and White #1 D.C.
6/96
  Pin-up by Moebius.
46. 106 Onslaught: X-Men 1 Gold Edition Marvel
8/96
  Fantastic Four & Avengers appearance. Cover coated with 22 karat gold.
47. 104 Legends of the Dark Claw #1 Amalgam
4/96
  Larry Hama story. Jim Balent & Ray McCarthy cover & art.
48. 104 Batman and Robin Adventures #8 D.C.
7/96
  Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy appearance.
49. 103 Onslaught: Marvel Universe 1 Gold Edition Marvel
10/96
  Fantastic Four & Avengers appearance. Cover coated with 22 karat gold.
50. 102 Iron Man v2 #1 Variant Cover Marvel
11/96
  Iron Man #333 Origin & 1st appearance of “Heroes Reborn” Iron Man & Hulk.
51. 100 Rise of Apocalypse #1 Marvel
10/96
  Wraparound cover.
52. 98 Lady Death: The Crucible #1 Chaos!
11/96
  Silver embossed wraparound cover.
53. 98 Avengers v2 #1 Marvel
11/96
  Avengers #403
54. 97 Witchblade #4 Image/Top Cow
4/96
  Christina Zanier & David Wohl story. Michael Turner cover & art.
55. 97 Wonder Woman #105 D.C.
1/96
  1st appearance of Cassie Sandsmark. Phantom Stranger appearance.
56. 95 Gen 13 #12 Image
8/96
  J. Scott Campbell & Alex Garner cover.
57. 92 Witchblade #5 Image/Top Cow
5/96
  David Wohl & Christina Zanier story. Michael Turner cover & art.
58. 91 Fantastic Four v2 #1 Variant Cover Marvel
11/96
  Fantastic Four #417 Doctor Doom & Mole Man appearance.
59. 89 X-O Manowar #68 Valiant
9/96
  Last issue.
60. 88 Amazing Spider-Man #415 Marvel
9/96
  Sentinels appearance. Green Goblin (Phil Urich) cameo.
61. 85 Lady Death: The Odyssey #1 Chaos!
4/96
  Lady Death pin-up by Steven Hughes. Gold embossed wraparound cover.
62. 81 Bloodshot #51 Valiant
8/96
  Last issue.
63. 81 Amazing Spider-Man #409 Marvel
3/96
  Kaine, Rhino, Joystick & Polestar appearance.
64. 80 Witchblade #6 Image/Top Cow
6/96
  Christina Zanier & David Wohl story. Michael Turner cover & art.
65. 79 Magnus Robot Fighter #64 Valiant
2/96
  Last issue.
66. 78 Resident Evil #1 Marvel
4/96
  Based on material from Capcom’s Resident Evil.
67. 77 Dawn #1/2 Sirius-Wizard
1996
  Wizard mail-away exclusive.
68. 77 Preacher #12 D.C./Vertigo
3/96
  Garth Ennis story. Steve Dillon art. Glenn Fabry cover.
69. 76 Spider-Man #75 Marvel
12/96
  “Death” of Ben Reilly. Green Goblin appearance. Wraparound cover.
70. 76 Amazing Spider-Man #418 Marvel
12/96
  Norman Osborn returns.
71. 76 Amazing Spider-Man #414 Marvel
8/96
  1st appearance of Delilah. Rose appearance. Direct editions include “Dunston Checks In” poster.
72. 75 Preacher #10 D.C./Vertigo
1/96
  Garth Ennis story. Steve Dillon art. Glenn Fabry cover.
73. 73 Batman and Robin Adventures Annual #1 D.C.
11/96
  Paul Dini story, Ty Templeton cover/art. Dev Madan, Terry Austin, Mike Parobeck,. Rick Burchett & Brandon Kruse art.
74. 73 Amazing Spider-Man #412 Marvel
6/96
  Gaunt & Molten Man appearance.
75. 73 Amazing Spider-Man #407 Marvel
1/96
  Human Torch, Silver Sable & Sandman appearance.
76. 72 Witchblade #7 Image/Top Cow
7/96
  Christina Zanier & David Wohl story. Michael Turner cover & art.
77. 71 Witchblade #8 Image/Top Cow
8/96
  Wraparound cover.
78. 71 Sensational Spider-Man 1 Variant Cover Marvel
2/96
  Poly-bag removed.
79. 70 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Image
6/96
  Gary Carlson story. Frank Fosco art. Erik Larsen cover & art.
80. 70 Detective Comics 700 Collector’s Edition D.C.
8/96
  Bane & Ra’s al Ghul appearance.
81. 69 Medieval Spawn/Witchblade #1 Image
5/96
  1st appearance of the Darkness power. Centerfold pin-up by Marc Silvestri.
82. 69 Sandman #75 D.C./Vertigo
3/96
  Pull-out poster included. Last issue.
83. 68 Curse of the Spawn #1 Image
9/96
  Alan McElroy story. Dwayne Turner & Danny Miki cover & art.
84. 68 Uncanny X-Men #334 Marvel
7/96
  Juggernaut, Bastion & Dark Beast appearance.
85. 68 X-Files #1/2 Topps-Wizard
1996
  Wizard mail-away exclusive.
86. 68 Witchblade #9 Image/Top Cow
9/96
  Christina Zanier & David Wohl story. Tony Daniel & Kevin Conrad art. Michael Turner cover.
87. 67 Curse of the Spawn 1 Black & White Edition Image
9/96
  Alan McElroy story. Dwayne Turner & Danny Miki cover & art.
88. 65 Flex Mentallo #1 D.C./Vertigo
6/96
  Grant Morrison story. Frank Quitely cover & art.
89. 64 Amazing Spider-Man #416 Marvel
10/96
  Rose, Delilah, Scrier & Gaunt appearance. Judas Traveller cameo. Marvel Trading Card inserts included.
90. 62 X-Men 50 Variant Cover Marvel
3/96
  Onslaught cameo.
91. 62 Witchblade 10 Dynamic Forces Edition Top Cow Publications
11/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado.
92. 62 Darkness #1/2 Top Cow-Wizard Pub.
1996
  Wizard mail-away exclusive.
93. 61 Venom: Tooth and Claw #1 Marvel
12/96
  Wolverine appearance.
94. 61 Wolverine #100 Marvel
4/96
  “Death” of Genesis (Cable’s son). Elektra appearance. Anniversary issue.
95. 60 Darkness 1 Top Cow Fan Club Edition Top Cow Publications
12/96
  1st appearance of Jackie Estacado as the Darkness.
96. 60 Darkness 1 Platinum Edition Top Cow Publications
12/96
  1st Jackie Estacado as the Darkness. Platinum foil logo.
97. 60 Lady Death: The Odyssey 1 Premium Edition Chaos!
4/96
  Chromium wraparound cover.
98. 60 Gen 13 11 Special European Tour Edition Image
5/96
  Holofoil wraparound cover.
99. 60 Amazing Spider-Man #411 Marvel
5/96
  Tom DeFalco story. Mark Bagley & Larry Mahlstedt. cover & art.
100. 59 Heroes Reborn #1/2 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
1996
  Wizard mail-away exclusive. Captain America & Iron Man stories.
 « 1995  1997 »