Key Comic Books From 2018

March 1, 2021

2018

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 2018 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 2010’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 2018, 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 2018, 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 2018.

Key Comic Books From 2018:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 4,219 Venom #3 Marvel
8/18
  Venom #168 1st full appearance of Knull. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance.
2. 3,255 Batman: Damned #1 D.C.
11/18
  1st DC Black Label title.
3. 2,354 Avengers #684 Marvel
5/18
  Hulk gains new powers and becomes “Immortal Hulk”.
4. 2,280 Batman: Damned 1 Variant Cover D.C.
11/18
  1st DC Black Label title.
5. 2,036 Amazing Spider-Man #798 Marvel
6/18
  1st Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin.
6. 1,869 Thanos #13 Marvel
1/18
  1st app. of the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Marvel Value Stamp #36 “Storm”
7. 1,611 Venom 3 Third Printing Marvel
11/18
  Venom #168 1st full appearance of Knull. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance.
8. 1,279 Immortal Hulk #1 Marvel
8/18
  Incredible Hulk #718 Incredible Hulk #105 cover homage.
9. 1,111 Immortal Hulk #2 Marvel
9/18
  Incredible Hulk #719 1st appearance of Doctor Frye.
10. 1,046 Thanos 13 Lenticular Cover Marvel
1/18
  1st app. of the Cosmic Ghost Rider. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12 cover homage.
11. 1,014 Batgirl 23 Variant Cover D.C.
7/18
  Hope Larson story. Minkyu Jung & Jose Marzan Jr. art. Joshua Middleton cover.
12. 999 Oblivion Song #1 Image/Skybound
3/18
  1st appearance of Nathan Cole, Bridget & Duncan.
13. 972 Venom #1 Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166
14. 964 Dark Nights: The Batman Who Laughs #1 D.C.
1/18
  Origin of the Batman Who Laughs. Foil cover.
15. 858 Amazing Spider-Man 800 JScottCampbell.com “Virgin” Edition Marvel
7/18
  Back cover reads “Third Printing.” “Death” of Flash Thompson.
16. 839 Amazing Spider-Man 800 Dell’Otto Variant Cover Marvel
7/18
  “Death” of Flash Thompson.
17. 790 X-Men: Red 1 Unknown Comics Edition Marvel
4/18
  Black Panther & Cassandra Nova appearance. “Virgin” cover.
18. 774 Detective Comics 880 Foil Edition D.C.
11/18
  “Virgin” cover.
19. 741 Teen Titans 12 Convention Edition D.C.
5/18
  NC Oak City Comic Con 2018 exclusive. 1st full appearance of The Batman Who Laughs. Foil cover.
20. 737 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 1 Foil Edition D.C.
11/18
  “Virgin” cover.
21. 730 Amazing Spider-Man #799 Marvel
6/18
  Human Torch, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Silk, Clash, Anti-Venom & Red Goblin appearance.
22. 681 Action Comics #1000 D.C.
6/18
  Jurgens, Swan, Coipel, Albuquerque, Ordway, Mann, Garcia-Lopez & Cassaday art, Jim Lee cover & art
23. 677 Doomsday Clock #1 D.C.
1/18
  1st appearance of the new Rorschach, the Marionette (Erika Manson) & the Mime (Marcos Maez).
24. 640 Venom #7 Marvel
12/18
  Venom #172 1st appearance of Dylan Brock in cameo. Maker appearance.
25. 630 Amazing Spider-Man #800 Marvel
7/18
  “Death” of Flash Thompson.
26. 630 Venom 3 Variant Edition Marvel
8/18
  Venom #168 1st full appearance of Knull. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance.
27. 616 Amazing Spider-Man 798 Ross “Virgin” Edition Marvel
6/18
  1st Norman Osborn as the Red
28. 612 Catwoman 4 Variant Cover D.C.
12/18
  Joelle Jones story & art. Fernando Blanco art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
29. 588 Catwoman 1 Variant Cover D.C.
9/18
  Joelle Jones story & art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
30. 582 Die #1 Image
12/18
  Kieron Gillen story. Stephanie Hans cover & art.
31. 560 Mighty Thor 705 Lau Variant Cover Marvel
5/18
  “Death” of Thor (Dr. Jane Foster).
32. 549 Venom #4 Marvel
9/18
  Venom #169 Spider-Man (Miles Morales) & Knull appearance.
33. 545 Weapon H 1 Crain Variant Cover A Marvel
5/18
  Wendigo appearance. Doctor Strange cameo on last page. Incredible Hulk #181 cover homage.
34. 535 Thanos #15 Marvel
3/18
  Cosmic Ghost Rider revealed to be Frank Castle.
35. 529 Amazing Spider-Man 800 Mayhew Variant Cover Marvel
7/18
  The Comic Mint exclusive. Amazing Spider-Man #238 cover homage. “Death” of Flash Thompson.
36. 526 Amazing Spider-Man #796 Marvel
4/18
  Anti-Venom, Goblin King, Boomerang & Norman Osborn appearance.
37. 511 Amazing Spider-Man #795 Marvel
4/18
  Loki & Zelma Stanton appearance. Norman Osborn joins with the Carnage symbiote.
38. 508 Return of Wolverine 1 Glow-in-the-Dark Edition Marvel
11/18
  Charles Soule story. Steve McNiven & Jay Leisten art. J. Scott Campbell cover.
39. 502 Hunt for Wolverine 1 Shattered Comics Edition Marvel
6/18
  “Tile Mosaic” variant cover. Incredible Hulk #181 cover homage.
40. 501 Doomsday Clock 1 Lenticular Cover D.C.
1/18
  1st appearance of the new Rorschach, the Marionette (Erika Manson) & the Mime (Marcos Maez).
41. 499 Venom 3 Second Printing Marvel
10/18
  Venom #168 1st full appearance of Knull. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance.
42. 499 Batman 50 Lee Sketch Cover D.C.
9/18
  Sale, Pope, Gerads, Mann, Templeton, Jones, Finch, Capullo & Weeks art Jim Lee cover & art
43. 497 Oblivion Song 1 Pink Lorenzo Signature Variant Image/Skybound
3/18
  1st appearance of Nathan Cole, Bridget & Duncan.
44. 497 Venom 3 Convention Edition Marvel
8/18
  1st full appearance of Knull. Venom #168 Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance. Previews/SDCC 2018 exclusive.
45. 485 Amazing Spider-Man 800 Dell’Otto “Virgin” Edition Marvel
7/18
  “Death” of Flash Thompson.
46. 456 Amazing Spider-Man #797 Marvel
5/18
  Norman Osborn appearance.
47. 449 Venom 1 Mayhew Variant Cover C Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166. “Virgin” cover. KRS Comics/Unknown Comic Books exclusive Amazing Spider-Man #300 cover homage.
48. 443 Weapon H 1 Crain Variant Cover B Marvel
5/18
  Doctor Strange cameo on last page. Wendigo appearance. “Virgin” cover. Incredible Hulk #181 cover homage.
49. 442 Amazing Spider-Man 797 Mayhew Variant Cover Marvel
5/18
  Norman Osborn appearance. Amazing Spider-Man #238 cover homage.
50. 439 X-Men: Red 1 Lee Variant Cover Marvel
4/18
  Black Panther & Cassandra Nova appearance.
51. 434 Farmhand #1 Image
7/18
  Rob Guillory story, cover & art.
52. 415 Batman: White Knight 3 Variant Cover D.C.
2/18
  Marian Drews becomes the Neo Joker.
53. 411 Amazing Spider-Man 1 Sketch Edition Marvel
9/18
  Amazing Spider-Man #802 1st appearance of Kindred. Partial blank cover.
54. 407 Phoenix Resurrection: The Return of Jean Grey 1 Lau Variant Cover Marvel
2/18
  Matthew Rosenberg story. Leinil Francis Yu art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
55. 403 Wonder Woman #51 D.C.
9/18
  Steve Orlando story. Laura Braga art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
56. 402 Action Comics 1000 Sketch Edition D.C.
6/18
  Jurgens, Swan, Coipel, Albuquerque, Lee, Ordway, Mann, Garcia-Lopez & Cassaday art. Partial blan
57. 386 Venom 1 Sketch Edition Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166 Partial blank cover.
58. 378 Amazing Spider-Man 800 Shattered Comics Edition Marvel
7/18
  “Tile Mosaic” variant cover. Amazing Spider-Man #300 cover homage.
59. 378 X-Men: Red 1 Lee “Virgin” Edition Marvel
4/18
  Black Panther & Cassandra Nova appearance
60. 378 Batman 50 Sketch Edition D.C.
9/18
  Sale, Pope, Gerads, Mann, Templeton, Jones, Finch, Lee, Capullo & Weeks art Partial blank cover.
61. 375 Punisher 218 Lenticular Cover Marvel
1/18
  Frank Castle dons War Machine armor. Nick Fury Jr. appearance. Iron Man #282 cover homage.
62. 374 Teen Titans #20 D.C.
9/18
  1st full appearance of Crush, Djinn & Roundhouse.
63. 372 Venom 7 Secret Variant Cover Marvel
12/18
  Venom #172 1st appearance of Dylan Brock in cameo. Maker appearance.
64. 360 Venom 1 Campbell Variant Cover Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166
65. 359 Batman 50 Lee Variant Cover D.C.
9/18
  Sale, Pope, Gerads, Mann, Templeton, Jones, Finch, Capullo & Weeks art Jim Lee cover & art
66. 355 Amazing Spider-Man 798 Garron Variant Cover Marvel
6/18
  1st Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin. “Young Guns 2018” variant cover.
67. 352 Amazing Spider-Man 799 Comic Mint Edition Marvel
6/18
  Human Torch, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Silk, Clash, Anti-Venom & Red Goblin appearance.
68. 352 Batgirl 25 Variant Cover D.C.
10/18
  Scott, Bennett & Dini stories, Derenick,. Panosian, Pelletier & Lupacchino art. Joshua Middleton cover.
69. 351 Action Comics 1000 Jim Lee Tour Edition D.C.
6/18
  Jurgens, Swan, Coipel, Albuquerque, Ordway, Mann, Garcia-Lopez & Cassaday art, Jim Lee cover & art
70. 345 Thanos #16 Marvel
4/18
  Origin of the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
71. 340 Amazing Spider-Man 797 McGuinness Variant Cover Marvel
5/18
  “Design” variant cover. Norman Osborn appearance.
72. 339 Teen Titans 20 Jimenez Variant Cover D.C.
9/18
  1st full appearance of Crush, Djinn & Roundhouse. “Design” variant cover.
73. 328 Amazing Spider-Man 798 Variant Edition Marvel
6/18
  1st Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin.
74. 326 Venom 5 Frankie’s Comics Edition Marvel
10/18
  Venom #170 Spider-Man (Miles Morales) & Knull appearance.
75. 323 Infinity Countdown 1 Granov “Virgin” Edition Marvel
5/18
  Unknown Comic Books exclusive
76. 319 Thanos 15 Fourth Printing/Unknown Comics Marvel
7/18
  Cosmic Ghost Rider revealed to be Frank Castle. “Virgin” cover.
77. 317 Thanos 13 Albuquerque Variant Cover Marvel
1/18
  1st app. of the Cosmic Ghost Rider.
78. 310 Venom 3 Skan Variant Cover Marvel
8/18
  Venom #168 1st full appearance of Knull. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) appearance.
79. 309 Teen Titans 20 Variant Cover D.C.
9/18
  1st full appearance of Crush, Djinn & Roundhouse.
80. 309 Life of Captain Marvel 1 Variant Edition Marvel
9/18
  Margaret Stohl story. Carlos Pacheco & Marguerite Sauvage art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
81. 309 Venom 1 “Virgin” Edition Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166
82. 309 Batman 49 Variant Cover D.C.
8/18
  Tom King story. Mikel Janin art. Stanley “Artgerm” Lau cover.
83. 307 Spawn 285 Convention “Virgin” Edition Image
5/18
  MegaCon 2018, Scorpion Comics
84. 306 Amazing Spider-Man 799 Comic Mint “Virgin” Edition Marvel
6/18
  Human Torch, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Silk, Clash, Anti-Venom & Red Goblin appearance.
85. 304 Ice Cream Man #1 Image
1/18
  1st appearance of the Ice Cream Man.
86. 302 Amazing Spider-Man 798 Kirkham Sketch Cover Marvel
6/18
  1st Norman Osborn as the Red Goblin. Unknown Comics/C2E2 2018 exclusive. “Virgin” cover.
87. 302 Venom 1 Crain Variant Cover B Marvel
7/18
  Venom #166 “Virgin” cover.
88. 299 Batgirl 24 Variant Cover D.C.
8/18
  Shawn Aldridge story. Scott Godlewski art. Joshua Middleton cover.
89. 296 Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider 1 Unknown Comics Edition Marvel
12/18
  “Virgin” cover.
90. 293 Thanos 15 Fourth Printing Marvel
7/18
  Cosmic Ghost Rider revealed to be Frank Castle.
91. 293 Rick and Morty 35 The Brain Trust Edition Oni Press
2/18
  Amazing Spider-Man #300 cover homage.
92. 288 Spawn 285 Convention Edition Image
5/18
  MegaCon 2018, Scorpion Comics & Scott’s Collectables exclusive.
93. 284 Venom 4 Third Printing Marvel
12/18
  Venom #169 Spider-Man (Miles Morales) & Knull appearance.
94. 283 Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man 300 Dell’Otto Variant Cover B Marvel
4/18
  “Virgin” cover.
95. 280 Amazing Spider-Man #1 Marvel
9/18
  Amazing Spider-Man #802 1st appearance of Kindred. Wraparound cover.
96. 277 Walking Dead 176 Variant Cover Image/Skybound
2/18
  1st apperance of Elodie, Stephanie, Matt, Maxwell Hawkins & Governor Pamela Milton.
97. 276 Action Comics 1000 Bulletproof Comics “Virgin” Edition D.C.
6/18
  Jurgens, Swan, Coipel, Albuquerque, Lee, Ordway, Mann, Garcia-Lopez & Cassaday art, Gabriele Dell’Otto cover
98. 276 Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 Marvel
9/18
  Donny Cates story. Dylan Burnett art. Geoff Shaw cover.
99. 275 True Believers: Venom vs. Spider-Man #1 Marvel
5/18
  Reprints Amazing Spider-Man #300
100. 275 Amazing Spider-Man 1 Romita Variant Cover Marvel
9/18
  Amazing Spider-Man #802 1st appearance of Kindred.
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