Key Comic Books From 2020

March 1, 2021

2020

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 2020 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 2020, 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 2020, 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). And 2020 is not that far in the rearview mirror yet, so the census data it still “young” for vintage-2020 comic books. So essentially, you should think of this list as just one more tool in your tool-belt for researching key comic books from 2020.

Key Comic Books From 2020:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 2,860 Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3 D.C.
4/20
  1st full appearance of Punchline (Alexis Kaye).
2. 2,242 Batman 92 Variant Cover D.C.
6/20
  Punchline appearance.
3. 2,050 Dark Nights: Death Metal LOTDK #1 D.C.
10/20
  Tony Daniel cover. Origin & 1st app. of the Robin King.
4. 1,895 Batman #89 D.C.
4/20
  1st appearance of Punchline in cameo (face not revealed).
5. 1,778 Thor #5 Marvel
6/20
  Thor #731
6. 1,280 Venom #26 Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
7. 1,145 Venom 25 Second Printing Marvel
9/20
  Venom #190 Wraparound cover.
8. 1,068 Strange Academy #1 Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
9. 1,059 Batman 92 Jimenez Variant Cover D.C.
6/20
  Punchline appearance.
10. 938 Negan Lives! #1 Image/Skybound
7/20
  Robert Kirkman story. Charlie Adlard cover & art.
11. 885 Wolverine 1 Christopher Variant Cover Marvel
4/20
  “Negative Space” variant cover. “Virgin” cover.
12. 826 Thor 5 Third Printing Marvel
11/20
  Thor #731
13. 805 Batman #92 D.C.
6/20
  Punchline appearance.
14. 688 Batman 89 Variant Cover D.C.
4/20
  1st appearance of Punchline in cameo (face not revealed).
15. 682 Batman: Three Jokers #1 D.C.
10/20
  Embossed cover.
16. 641 Dark Nights: Death Metal 3 Federici Variant Cover D.C.
10/20
  Scott Snyder story. Greg Capullo & Jonathan Glapion art. Riccardo Federici cover.
17. 641 Strange Academy 1 Comic Mint Edition C Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
18. 638 Dark Nights: Death Metal LOTDK 1 Variant Cover D.C.
10/20
  Kaare Andrews cover. Origin & 1st app. of the Robin King.
19. 605 Thor #6 Marvel
10/20
  Thor #732
20. 594 Strange Academy 1 Campbell Variant Cover Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
21. 543 Venom 27 Stegman Variant Cover Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance.
22. 521 Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Pg Super Spectacular 1 Comic Mint Edition D.C.
6/20
  Shannon Maer cover.
23. 513 Strange Academy 1 Comic Mint Edition A Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
24. 502 Venom 27 Skan Variant Cover C Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192. Comic Mint exclusive. 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance. “Virgin” cover.
25. 496 Negan Lives! 1 Silver Foil Edition Image/Skybound
7/20
  Silver foil logo.
26. 481 Batman 96 Jimenez Variant Cover D.C.
10/20
  1st appearance of Bao Pham (Clownhunter)
27. 476 Venom #27 Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance.
28. 473 Venom 26 Comic Mint Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
29. 470 Venom 27 Skan Variant Cover B Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192. Comic Mint exclusive. 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance. “Virgin” cover.
30. 460 Batman #96 D.C.
10/20
  1st appearance of Bao Pham (Clownhunter)
31. 459 Venom 26 Lee Variant Cover Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
32. 445 Negan Lives! 1 Gold Foil Edition Image/Skybound
7/20
  Gold foil logo.
33. 438 Venom 25 Greg Horn Art Edition A Marvel
6/20
  Venom #190 Iron Man #282 cover homage.
34. 429 Venom 27 Skan Variant Cover A Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192. Comic Mint exclusive. 1st full app. of Codex. Virus app. Venom #7 Crain variant cover homage.
35. 402 Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen 3 Variant Cover D.C.
4/20
  1st full appearance of Punchline (Alexis Kaye).
36. 402 Batman: Three Jokers 1 Variant Cover B D.C.
10/20
  Geoff Johns story. Jason Fabok cover & art.
37. 401 Venom 26 Comic Mint “Virgin” Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
38. 391 Thor 4 Second Printing Marvel
10/20
  Thor #730
39. 380 Batman #90 D.C.
5/20
  James Tynion IV story. Jorge Jimenez cover & art.
40. 367 Venom 27 Crain Variant Cover A Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus app. Carnage, U.S.A. #1 cover homage.
41. 362 Spider-Man: Facsimile Edition 1 Scorpion Comics Edition Marvel
10/20
  Clayton Crain cover.
42. 361 Star Wars Adventures: The Clone Wars 1 Frankie’s Comics “Virgin” Edition IDW Publishing
4/20
  Battle Tales.
43. 358 Thor #4 Marvel
5/20
  Thor #730
44. 357 Venom #25 Marvel
6/20
  Venom #190
45. 354 Thor 5 Ribic Variant Cover Marvel
6/20
  Thor #731
46. 354 Venom 26 Lee “Virgin” Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
47. 352 Venom 26 Variant Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
48. 351 Venom 26 Kirkham “Virgin” Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
49. 345 Amazing Spider-Man 46 Comic Mint Edition Marvel
10/20
  Amazing Spider-Man #847
50. 342 Legion of Super-Heroes #6 D.C.
8/20
  Brian Michael Bendis story. Ryan Sook cover & art.
51. 327 Venom 23 Young Variant Cover Marvel
4/20
  Venom #188 Donny Cates & Ryan Sigman on cover.
52. 325 Thor #2 Marvel
3/20
  Thor #728
53. 324 Amazing Spider-Man 46 Comic Mint “Virgin” Edition Marvel
10/20
  Amazing Spider-Man #847
54. 322 Batman 100 Jimenez Variant Cover D.C.
12/20
  James Tynion IV story. Jorge Jimenez, Carlo Pagulayan &. Guillem March art, Jorge Jimenez cover.
55. 322 Venom: The End 1 Convention Edition Marvel
3/20
  Scorpion Comics/C2E2 2020 exclusive. “Virgin” cover.
56. 320 Batman 92 Jimenez Sketch Cover D.C.
6/20
  James Tynion IV story. Guillem March art. Jorge Jimenez cover.
57. 318 Thor 5 Variant Edition Marvel
6/20
  Thor #731 “Marvel Zombies” variant cover.
58. 313 Venom 25 Second Printing/Unknown Comics Marvel
9/20
  Venom #190 “Virgin” cover.
59. 307 Strange Academy 1 Wraparound Edition Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
60. 306 Spawn 309 Variant Cover Image
8/20
  Todd McFarlane story & cover. Ken Lashley art.
61. 303 The Boys: Dear Becky 1 Second Printing/Scorpion Edition Dynamite Entertainment
2020
  “Virgin” cover.
62. 301 Strange Academy 1 Second Printing Marvel
6/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
63. 296 Venom 26 Unknown Comics Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
64. 295 Strange Academy 1 Ramos Variant Cover Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
65. 293 Thor 5 Second Printing Marvel
9/20
  Thor #731
66. 290 Venom 25 Greg Horn Art Edition B Marvel
6/20
  Venom #190 Iron Man #282 cover homage. “Virgin” cover.
67. 289 Joker 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 D.C.
6/20
  Origin of Punchline.
68. 286 Strange Academy 1 SkottieYoung.com Edition Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
69. 286 Walking Dead Deluxe 1 Finch Sketch Cover Image/Skybound
10/20
  Reprints Walking Dead #1 in color. Comics Vault Live exclusive. “Virgin” cover.
70. 283 Gwen Stacy 2 Convention Edition Marvel
5/20
  Frankie’s Comics & Golden Apple Comics exclusive. “Virgin” cover.
71. 282 Thor 6 Mercado “Virgin” Edition Marvel
10/20
  Thor #732 Unknown Comic Books
72. 281 Batman 96 Variant Cover D.C.
10/20
  1st appearance of Bao Pham (Clownhunter)
73. 280 Thor 6 Comics Elite “Virgin” Edition Marvel
10/20
  Thor #732 Silver Surfer #4 (2
74. 279 Strange Academy 1 Comic Mint Edition B Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
75. 272 Thor 6 Second Printing Marvel
11/20
  Thor #732 Wraparound cover.
76. 269 Venom 27 Crain Variant Cover B Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance. “Virgin” cover.
77. 268 Walking Dead Deluxe 1 Black Foil Edition Image/Skybound
10/20
  Reprints Walking Dead #1 in color. Embossed black foil logo.
78. 267 Batman #95 D.C.
9/20
  James Tynion IV story. Jorge Jimenez cover & art.
79. 265 Wonder Woman #750 D.C.
3/20
  Joelle Jones cover.
80. 265 Thor 6 Dell’Otto Variant Cover Marvel
10/20
  Thor #732
81. 264 Batman 95 Jimenez Variant Cover D.C.
9/20
  James Tynion IV story. Jorge Jimenez cover & art.
82. 263 Venom 27 Lee Variant Cover C Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192. Comic Mint exclusive. 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance. “Virgin” cover.
83. 262 Batman: The Joker War Zone #1 D.C.
11/20
  Guillem March, Olivier Coipel, Laura Braga, James Stokoe & David Lafuente art
84. 260 Thor 4 Second Printing/Klein “Virgin” Marvel
10/20
  Thor #730 Unknown Comics & St
85. 260 Venom 26 Comic Mint Convention Edition Marvel
9/20
  1st distributed app. of Virus (intended as 2nd app. but distributed before FCBD 2020 due to COVID-19 shipping delay).
86. 260 Strange Academy 1 Walmart Edition Marvel
5/20
  1st app of Emily Bright, Doyle Dormammu, Shaylee Moonpeddle, Calvin Morse, Dessy, German, Guslaug, Zoe, Alvi, Iric & Toth.
87. 259 Venom 21 Crain Variant Cover Marvel
2/20
  Venom #186
88. 258 Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Pg Super Spectacular #1 D.C.
6/20
  Joelle Jones & Laura Allred cover.
89. 256 Venom 25 Convention Edition Marvel
6/20
  Venom #190 KRS Comics/Black Flag Comics exclusive. Incredible Hulk Annual #1 cover homage.
90. 255 Walking Dead Deluxe 1 Gold Foil Edition Image/Skybound
10/20
  Reprints Walking Dead #1 in color. Embossed gold foil logo.
91. 255 Venom 27 Crain Variant Cover C Marvel
10/20
  Venom #192 1st full appearance of Codex. Virus appearance. “Virgin” cover.
92. 248 Batman 95 Variant Cover D.C.
9/20
  James Tynion IV story. Jorge Jimenez art. Francesco Mattina cover.
93. 247 Batman 94 Variant Cover D.C.
9/20
  James Tynion IV story. Guillem March & Rafael Albuquerque art. Francesco Mattina cover.
94. 241 Harley Quinn 75 Comic Mint Edition B D.C.
10/20
  Sam Humphries story. Sami Basri & Riley Rossmo art. Shannon Maer cover.
95. 241 Batman: Three Jokers 1 Variant Cover A D.C.
10/20
  Embossed cover.
96. 237 Fire Power 1 Free Comic Book Day Edition Image/Skybound
5/20
  Robert Kirkman story. Chris Samnee cover & art.
97. 237 Wolverine 1 Lee Variant Cover Marvel
4/20
  “Hidden Gem” variant cover.
98. 237 Spider-Man: Facsimile Edition 1 Crain Convention “Virgin” Edition Marvel
10/20
  Scorpion Comics exclusive.
99. 235 Batman: Three Jokers 1 Variant Cover F D.C.
10/20
  Geoff Johns story. Jason Fabok cover & art.
100. 235 Batman 93 Variant Cover D.C.
8/20
  James Tynion IV story. Guillem March art. Francesco Mattina cover.
 « 2019