Key Comic Books From 2002

March 1, 2021

2002

Key comics from 2002

[ Note: in 1999 Marvel made a conscious decision to walk away from the newsstand model and a newsstand rarity estimate of 5% exists for the year 2000 for Marvel.  If you are not already in-the-know about the difference between newsstand and direct edition comics 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 2002 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 2000’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 2002, 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 2002, 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 2002.

Key Comic Books From 2002:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 2,714 Batman #608 D.C.
12/02
  Catwoman, Killer Croc & Poison Ivy appearance.
2. 1,638 Batman 608 Second Printing D.C.
12/02
  Catwoman, Killer Croc & Poison Ivy appearance.
3. 1,451 Y: The Last Man #1 D.C./Vertigo
9/02
  1st appearance of Yorick & Hero Brown, Ampersand, Agent 355, Dr. Allison Mann, Beth DeVille & Colonel Tse’Elon (Alter).
4. 1,370 Wolverine: The Origin #3 Marvel
1/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
5. 1,314 Ultimate Spider-Man #1/2 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
2002
  Danny Rand appearance. Wizard mail-away exclusive.
6. 1,059 New X-Men #128 Marvel
8/02
  1st appearance of Fantomex. Professor X reveals to the world that he is a mutant.
7. 1,058 Wolverine: The Origin #4 Marvel
2/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
8. 1,052 Ultimates #1 Marvel
3/02
  Wraparound cover.
9. 1,001 Wolverine: The Origin #5 Marvel
5/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
10. 874 Transformers: Generation 1 #1 Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  2 different wraparound covers exist. Spike Witwicky appearance.
11. 813 Wolverine: The Origin #6 Marvel
7/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
12. 809 Transformers: Generation 1 1 Holofoil Edition Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  Spike Witwicky appearance. Wraparound cover.
13. 633 Fables #1 D.C./Vertigo
7/02
  Two different covers exist, one by Alex Maleev & one by James Jean.
14. 586 Wonder Woman #184 D.C.
10/02
  “Vintage” cover.
15. 543 Captain America v4 #1 Marvel
6/02
  Captain America #518 Nick Fury appearance.
16. 537 Incredible Hulk #34 Marvel
1/02
  Incredible Hulk Annual #1 cover homage. Bruce Jones storyline begins.
17. 417 Wizard Ace Edition: Amazing Spider-Man #129 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
4/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #129 cover homage. Foreword by Geoff Johns. Acetate cover.
18. 411 Transformers: Generation 1 1 Retailer Incentive Edition Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  Spike Witwicky appearance. Wraparound cover.
19. 391 Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #1 Marvel
8/02
  Kevin Smith story. Terry & Rachel Dodson cover & art.
20. 386 Ultimate Spider-Man 1 Free Comic Book Day Edition Marvel
5/02
  Free Comic Book Day 2002 exclusive.
21. 322 Batman 608 Retailer Incentive Edition D.C.
12/02
  Catwoman, Killer Croc & Poison Ivy appearance. Promotional issue.
22. 312 30 Days of Night #1 IDW Publishing
6/02
  Steve Niles story. Ben Templesmith art. Ashley Wood cover.
23. 276 Ultimate Spider-Man #15 Marvel
1/02
  Doctor Octopus appearance.
24. 275 Y: The Last Man #2 D.C./Vertigo
10/02
  1st appearance of Waverly.
25. 269 Ultimate Spider-Man 1/2 Wizard World East Edition Marvel-Wizard Pub.
2002
  Danny Rand appearance. Wizard World 2003 Philadelphia exclusive
26. 266 Transformers Armada 1 Holofoil Edition Dreamwave Productions
7/02
  Wraparound cover.
27. 260 Ultimate Spider-Man #25 Marvel
10/02
  Green Goblin appearance.
28. 228 Ultimate Spider-Man #16 Marvel
2/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance.
29. 226 Catwoman #1 D.C.
1/02
  Batman appearance.
30. 226 Dark Knight Strikes Again #2 D.C.
2002
  1st appearance of Lara, daughter of Superman & Wonder Woman. Two different covers exist.
31. 226 Incredible Hulk: The End #1 Marvel
8/02
  Peter David story. Dale Keown cover & art.
32. 223 Ultimate Spider-Man #27 Marvel
11/02
  Green Goblin & Nick Fury appearance.
33. 222 Battle of the Planets 1 Holofoil Edition Image/Top Cow
8/02
  Munier Sharrieff story. Wilson Tortosa art. Alex Ross cover.
34. 221 Pro #1 Image
7/02
  Garth Ennis story. Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti. cover & art.
35. 215 Ultimate Spider-Man #24 Marvel
9/02
  Green Goblin & Nick Fury appearance.
36. 212 Ultimate Spider-Man #1 Marvel
3/02
  Reprints Ultimate Spider-Man #14 -15 (12/01-1/02)
37. 209 Ultimate Spider-Man #18 Marvel
4/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance.
38. 204 Deadpool #65 Marvel
5/02
  1st appearance of the Black Swan, Outlaw (Inez Temple) & Ratbag. Sandi Brandenberg appearance.
39. 197 Ultimate Spider-Man #20 Marvel
6/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance. Statue of Liberty cover.
40. 195 Ultimate Spider-Man #17 Marvel
3/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance. Flint Marko (Sandman) cameo.
41. 188 Ultimate Spider-Man #29 Marvel
12/02
  Brain Michael Bendis story. Mark Bagley & Art Thibert art. Mark Bagley cover.
42. 183 Ultimate Spider-Man #19 Marvel
5/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance.
43. 182 Ultimate X-Men #1/2 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
2002
  Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch appearance. Wizard mail-away exclusive.
44. 180 Ultimate Spider-Man #21 Marvel
6/02
  Doctor Octopus & Kraven appearance.
45. 177 Ultimate Spider-Man #22 Marvel
7/02
  Green Goblin appearance.
46. 171 Ultimate Spider-Man #23 Marvel
8/02
  Green Goblin appearance.
47. 169 Ultimate Spider-Man Special #1 Marvel
7/02
  Michael Golden cover. Elektra art by Frank Cho. Doctor Strange art by P. Craig Russell.
48. 166 Ultimate Spider-Man #26 Marvel
11/02
  Green Goblin & Nick Fury appearance.
49. 162 New X-Men #129 Marvel
9/02
  Fantomex appearance.
50. 161 Thundercats #1 D.C./Wildstorm
10/02
  2 different covers exist, 1 by Arthur Adams & 1 by Ed McGuinness.
51. 160 Goon v2 #1 Albatross
2002
  Zombie Priest appearance.
52. 159 Gotham Girls #3 D.C.
12/02
  Paul D. Storrie story. Jennifer Graves & Jason Bone art. Shane Glines cover.
53. 157 Spider-Man: Blue #1 Marvel
7/02
  Jeph Loeb story. Tim Sale cover & art.
54. 156 Wizard Ace Edition: Uncanny X-Men #94 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
6/02
  Acetate cover. Forward by Mark Millar.
55. 154 Ultimates #2 Marvel
4/02
  Mark Millar story, Bryan Hitch cover. Bryan Hitch & Andrew Currie art.
56. 150 Thundercats #0 D.C./Wildstorm
10/02
  Ford Lytle Gilmore story. J. Scott Campbell cover & art.
57. 149 30 Days of Night #3 IDW Publishing
10/02
  “Death” of Eben Olemaun.
58. 147 Moment of Silence #nn Marvel
2/02
  Tribute to the World Trade Center. Introduction by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Pin-ups by Cooke, Queen & Jusko.
59. 145 Ultimate Spider-Man #28 Marvel
12/02
  Iron Man & Rhino appearance.
60. 141 Peter Parker: Spider-Man #44 Marvel
8/02
  Green Goblin appearance. “Jay Leno” backup story by Ron Zimmerman & Greg Capullo.
61. 137 30 Days of Night #2 IDW Publishing
8/02
  Steve Niles story. Ben Templesmith art. Ashley Wood cover.
62. 136 Hood #1 Marvel
7/02
  1st app. of Parker Robbins (The Hood).
63. 136 Ultimates #5 Marvel
7/02
  Ultimates vs. Hulk.
64. 131 Sports Illustrated v96 #7 2002
February 18
  First LeBron James cover. 2002 Winter Olympics, Zach Parise featured in “Faces in the Crowd.”
65. 127 Masters of the Universe 1 Gold Foil Edition Image/MV Creations
11/02
  Invincible preview. Wraparound cover.
66. 123 Transformers: Generation 1 #2 Dreamwave Productions
5/02
  Two different covers exist.
67. 121 Wizard Ace Edition: Avengers #4 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
11/02
  Acetate cover. Forward by Geoff Johns.
68. 121 Spider-Man: The Official Movie Adaptation #1 Marvel
6/02
  Stan Lee story. Alan Davis & Mark Farmer art.
69. 116 Gotham Girls #1 D.C.
10/02
  Paul D. Storrie story. Jennifer Graves & Jason Bone art. Shane Glines cover.
70. 116 Transformers: Generation 1 #3 Dreamwave Productions
6/02
  Two different covers exist.
71. 111 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #37 Marvel
1/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #478
72. 110 Wizard Ace Edition: Amazing Spider-Man #14 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
8/02
  Acetate cover. Forward by Brian Michael Bendis.
73. 107 Deadpool #69 Marvel
9/02
  Taskmaster, Black Swan, Ratbag & Sandi Brandenberg appearance. Captain America, Siryn & Wolverine cameo. Last issue.
74. 105 Y: The Last Man #3 D.C./Vertigo
11/02
  Flag cover.
75. 100 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #38 Marvel
2/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #479 Aunt May reveals to Peter that she knows that he is Spider-Man.
76. 98 Transformers Armada #1 Dreamwave Productions
7/02
  Gatefold wraparound cover.
77. 96 Amazing Fantasy #15 Marvel
8/02
  Reprints Amazing Fantasy #15 (8/62) Included with Limited Edition Spider-Man DVD boxed set. Poly-bag removed.
78. 93 Sports Illustrated Presents #nn 2002
February 13
  “Special Commemorative Issue” 2001 Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.
79. 93 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #39 Marvel
5/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #480 Silent issue.
80. 93 Ultimates #3 Marvel
5/02
  Mark Millar story, Bryan Hitch cover. Bryan Hitch & Andrew Currie art.
81. 92 Battle of the Planets 1 Dynamic Forces Edition Image/Top Cow
8/02
  Wraparound cover.
82. 91 Ultimates #4 Marvel
6/02
  Shannon Elizabeth appearance.
83. 91 Dark Knight Strikes Again #3 D.C.
2002
  Two different covers exist.
84. 91 Darkness v2 #1 Holofoil Edition Image/Top Cow
12/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Dale Keown art. Marc Silvestri cover.
85. 90 Noble Causes: Family Secrets 3 Variant Cover Image
12/02
  1st appearance of Invincible in cameo on 6th page. X-Men #141 cover homage.
86. 89 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #40 Marvel
6/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #481
87. 88 Tech Jacket #1 Image
11/02
  6 page Invincible #1 preview by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley.
88. 88 Wizard Ace Edition: Fantastic Four #48 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
12/02
  Acetate cover. Forward by Stan Lee.
89. 88 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #43 Marvel
9/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #484 Doctor Octopus appearance.
90. 85 Spider-Man/Black Cat: The Evil That Men Do #2 Marvel
9/02
  Kevin Smith story. Terry & Rachel Dodson cover & art.
91. 83 Morlocks #1 Marvel
6/02
  1st appearance of Postman, Litterbug, Trader, Electric Eve, Angel Dust, Shatter, Cell & Doctor Tom Metellus.
92. 79 Transformers: Generation 1 Preview #nn Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  Chris Sarracini story. Pat Lee & Rob Armstrong art.
93. 79 Deadpool #68 Marvel
8/02
  Taskmaster & Ratbag appearance. Black Swan appearance in flashback.
94. 78 Call of Duty: The Brotherhood #1 Marvel
8/02
  Chuck Austen & Bruce Jones story. David Finch & Art Thibert art. David Finch cover.
95. 78 Gotham Girls #2 D.C.
11/02
  Paul D. Storrie story. Jennifer Graves & Jason Bone art. Shane Glines cover.
96. 77 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #41 Marvel
7/02
  Amazing Spider-Man #482 Doctor Strange cameo on last page.
97. 76 Fables 6 Special Edition D.C./Vertigo
12/02
  Promotional issue. No cover price. Wraparound cover by James Jean.
98. 76 Marville 1 Foil Edition Marvel
11/02
  Two different foil covers exist, one by Greg Horn & one by Team Udon.
99. 75 Star Wars: Tales – A Jedi’s Weapon 1 Free Comic Book Day Edition Dark Horse
5/02
  Free Comic Book Day 2002 exclusive. Hayden Christensen photo cover.
100. 74 Goon Color Special #1 Albatross
2002
  1st color Goon story. 1st Albatross title.
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