Key Comics From 1986

January 13, 2017

1986 75 cent variants ending at Marvel but DC’s variant window stays open!

Key comics from 1986By the mid-80’s, direct edition sales began to surpass newsstand sales. [ If you are not already in-the-know about the difference between these types, see the following: Comic Book Newsstand Editions: Understanding The Difference ]

There are two main ways I’ve seen online lists of key comics presented by year: (1) personalized lists based upon judgment calls of what is “key” (thereby omitting any comics 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 50 list you’re about to see is neither of those other types.

Instead, to briefly repeat the introduction I gave on the main 1980’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 1986, according to how many copies of each issue have passed through CGC’s doors to date to reveal the comics with the highest census counts — that’s it!

This exercise should “tease out” a very interesting list of important and/or key comics from 1986, 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 comics from 1986. You can also drill down and see the top 50 Marvel comics of 1986, top 50 D.C. comics of 1986, and more key comic books of 1986 from other publishers.

Key Comics From 1986:

(Census data as of year-end 2016)

Rank CGC Count Issue Date Publisher
1. 3,811 X-Factor #6
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/86 Marvel Comics
2. 2,296 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 3/86 D.C. Comics
3. 2,034 Watchmen #1 9/86 D.C. Comics
4. 1,745 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4 1986 D.C. Comics
5. 1,576 X-Factor #5
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/86 Marvel Comics
6. 1,547 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #3 1986 D.C. Comics
7. 1,466 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 1986 D.C. Comics
8. 1,366 Punisher Limited Series #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/86 Marvel Comics
9. 1,259 Uncanny X-Men #211 11/86 Marvel Comics
10. 1,066 Uncanny X-Men #212 12/86 Marvel Comics
11. 981 Uncanny X-Men #201
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/86 Marvel Comics
12. 935 Captain America Annual #8 1986 Marvel Comics
13. 921 X-Factor #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 Marvel Comics
14. 904 Star Wars #107 9/86 Marvel Comics
15. 842 New Mutants Annual #2 10/86 Marvel Comics
16. 682 Amazing Spider-Man #275
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/86 Marvel Comics
17. 681 Watchmen #2 10/86 D.C. Comics
18. 543 Watchmen #3 11/86 D.C. Comics
19. 541 Watchmen #4 12/86 D.C. Comics
20. 519 Uncanny X-Men #205
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/86 Marvel Comics
21. 505 Booster Gold #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 D.C. Comics
22. 502 Punisher Limited Series #4
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/86 Marvel Comics
23. 491 Punisher Limited Series #2 2/86 Marvel Comics
24. 484 Punisher Limited Series #3 3/86 Marvel Comics
25. 470 Uncanny X-Men #210 10/86 Marvel Comics
26. 415 Batman #400
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/86 D.C. Comics
27. 408 Punisher Limited Series #5
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/86 Marvel Comics
28. 383 Legends #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/86 D.C. Comics
29. 354 Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 3/86 D.C. Comics
30. 352 Masters of the Universe #1 5/86 Marvel Comics
31. 350 Uncanny X-Men #202
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 Marvel Comics
32. 342 Amazing Spider-Man #276 5/86 Marvel Comics
33. 316 Uncanny X-Men #207
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/86 Marvel Comics
34. 296 Alpha Flight #33
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/86 Marvel Comics
35. 287 Amazing Spider-Man #274
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/86 Marvel Comics
36. 280 Superman #423 9/86 D.C. Comics
37. 280 Elektra: Assassin #1 8/86 Marvel/Epic Comics
38. 280 Amazing Spider-Man #272 1/86 Marvel Comics
39. 264 Crisis on Infinite Earths #11 2/86 D.C. Comics
40. 263 Crisis on Infinite Earths #10 1/86 D.C. Comics
41. 251 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #7 1986 Mirage Studios
42. 245 Amazing Spider-Man #282 11/86 Marvel Comics
43. 240 Fantastic Four #286 1/86 Marvel Comics
44. 232 Man of Steel 1 Special Collector’s Edition 1986 D.C. Comics
45. 225 Amazing Spider-Man #277 6/86 Marvel Comics
46. 220 The ‘Nam #1 12/86 Marvel Comics
47. 205 Incredible Hulk and Wolverine #1 10/86 Marvel Comics
48. 205 Uncanny X-Men #203
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/86 Marvel Comics
49. 194 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #8 1986 Mirage Studios
50. 187 Amazing Spider-Man #280 9/86 Marvel Comics
 « 1985  1987 » 

More Key Comics From 1986

Also see: top 50 Marvel comics of 1986, top 50 D.C. comics of 1986, more key comic books of 1986 outside of Marvel and DC, all key comics from 1986, or jump to this list of important comics from the 1980s. Or explore Lists of Key Comic Books by Year. Or jump to my blog’s home page.

Happy Collecting! 🙂

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