Key Copper Age Comics (1984-1991)

February 15, 2017

Key Copper Age Comics

Key copper age comics.

[ Special Note: during the Copper Age, the distinction between direct edition comics and newsstand comics is critical for any collector of key copper age comics to understand.  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 many other “top lists” out there covering “key” copper age comics, but the ones I’ve seen are all either based upon (a) individual judgment calls, or (b) the high sale prices observed in the marketplace.

Judgment calls are great, but not necessarily comprehensive. Meanwhile, high sale prices could just as easily be reflective of, say, a CGC 9.9 Signature Series copy signed by Stan Lee, versus reflective of the underlying comic being of any great importance.

How about a different approach?

Here’s what you’re about to see: a different approach to “tease out” a list of key copper age comics to consider collecting, by asking the following question: for each comic book issue of the copper age (1984-1991) that have passed through CGC’s doors to date, how many copies have been graded?

The thinking here is that the more important the comic as a key copper age issue, the more likely its owner will want to have it graded and slabbed.  So by ranking comics simply by the number of copies submitted to CGC — removing any judgment call or sales price information — I’d argue we can get to a pretty darn good list of important key comics of the copper age!

Of course, there are some limitations and flaws to this approach to keep in mind before reviewing the list: for one thing, this submission data is from one snapshot in time (year-end 2016) and there could be plenty of important comics that aren’t recognized as such until some future development gives them renewed attention.  And another flaw is that some very-high-value comics simply didn’t have many copies printed; comics with a very restricted print run will naturally sort themselves off of the bottom of a list like this as well.

So I do not want anybody to think of the list you’re about to see as a “rank” of importance, or, as being an all-encompassing list of copper age keys… all we’re ranking here is the sheer number of copies that have passed through CGC’s doors as of year-end 2016 and presenting the top 200. That’s it!  This data should give us a very interesting list, but is in no way a replacement for judgement nor a replacement for pricing data — it is simply one more tool for our tool-belt as we study interesting and rare comics like the ones I enjoy writing about on this blog!

With that explanation stated, without further ado, here is the list of 200 key comics from the copper age. [ I’ve also posted more lists of key comic books by year including other key comic books by age (bronze, copper, modern); special thanks goes to Greg Holland whose research website was the tool that made these pages possible to assemble ].

Oh!  One more note! In the list you are going to see some icons that look like this: CGC variant confirmed … These icons indicate the confirmed existence on the CGC census of a more-rare CGC-recognized newsstand variant version of the key copper age comic book in question. You can click to reach the “variant list” it came from.

Key Copper Age Comics:

(Census data as of year-end 2016)

Rank CGC Count Issue Date Publisher
1. 12,690 Amazing Spider-Man #300 5/88 Marvel Comics
2. 11,846 New Mutants #98
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/91 Marvel Comics
3. 8,834 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
12/84 Marvel Comics
4. 8,475 Uncanny X-Men #266 8/90 Marvel Comics
5. 7,346 Amazing Spider-Man #252
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/84 Marvel Comics
6. 7,108 Wolverine #1 11/88 Marvel Comics
7. 5,199 Spider-Man 1 Silver Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
8. 5,043 New Mutants #87 3/90 Marvel Comics
9. 4,142 Batman: The Killing Joke #nn 1988 D.C. Comics
10. 3,997 Amazing Spider-Man #298 3/88 Marvel Comics
11. 3,811 X-Factor #6
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/86 Marvel Comics
12. 3,794 Incredible Hulk #340 2/88 Marvel Comics
13. 3,787 Web of Spider-Man #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/85 Marvel Comics
14. 3,510 Spider-Man #1 8/90 Marvel Comics
15. 3,083 Infinity Gauntlet #1 7/91 Marvel Comics
16. 3,011 Amazing Spider-Man #299 4/88 Marvel Comics
17. 2,640 X-Men #1 10/91 Marvel Comics
18. 2,375 Tales of the Teen Titans #44
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
7/84 D.C. Comics
19. 2,363 Wolverine #10 8/89 Marvel Comics
20. 2,296 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #1 3/86 D.C. Comics
21. 2,287 X-Force #2 9/91 Marvel Comics
22. 2,060 X-Factor #24 1/88 Marvel Comics
23. 2,034 Watchmen #1 9/86 D.C. Comics
24. 1,925 Spider-Man 1 Gold Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
25. 1,836 Uncanny X-Men #282
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/91 Marvel Comics
26. 1,745 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4 1986 D.C. Comics
27. 1,727 Uncanny X-Men #244 5/89 Marvel Comics
28. 1,655 Sandman #1 1/89 D.C./Vertigo Comics
29. 1,642 Uncanny X-Men #221 9/87 Marvel Comics
30. 1,633 X-Men 1 Special Collectors Edition 10/91 Marvel Comics
31. 1,576 X-Factor #5
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/86 Marvel Comics
32. 1,559 Amazing Spider-Man #316 6/89 Marvel Comics
33. 1,547 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #3 1986 D.C. Comics
34. 1,543 Batman #404
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/87 D.C. Comics
35. 1,499 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/84 Marvel Comics
36. 1,466 Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #2 1986 D.C. Comics
37. 1,423 New Mutants #100 4/91 Marvel Comics
38. 1,413 Punisher #1 7/87 Marvel Comics
39. 1,371 Uncanny X-Men #213 1/87 Marvel Comics
40. 1,366 Punisher Limited Series #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/86 Marvel Comics
41. 1,344 Amazing Spider-Man #301 6/88 Marvel Comics
42. 1,299 Uncanny X-Men #248 9/89 Marvel Comics
43. 1,294 Spider-Man 1 Platinum Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
44. 1,275 Crisis on Infinite Earths #7
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/85 D.C. Comics
45. 1,259 Uncanny X-Men #211 11/86 Marvel Comics
46. 1,251 Amazing Spider-Man #328 1/90 Marvel Comics
47. 1,222 Crisis on Infinite Earths #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/85 D.C. Comics
48. 1,174 Saga of the Swamp Thing #37
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/85 D.C. Comics
49. 1,166 Uncanny X-Men #283 12/91 Marvel Comics
50. 1,162 Amazing Spider-Man #312 2/89 Marvel Comics
51. 1,131 Uncanny X-Men #268 9/90 Marvel Comics
52. 1,109 Legends #3
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/87 D.C. Comics
53. 1,089 Wolverine #2 12/88 Marvel Comics
54. 1,087 X-Men Annual #14 1990 Marvel Comics
55. 1,066 Uncanny X-Men #212 12/86 Marvel Comics
56. 1,061 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 1985 Mirage Studios
57. 995 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #21 1987 Marvel Comics
58. 989 Batman #428 12/88 D.C. Comics
59. 981 Uncanny X-Men #201
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/86 Marvel Comics
60. 940 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 1985 Mirage Studios
61. 935 Captain America Annual #8 1986 Marvel Comics
62. 921 X-Factor #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 Marvel Comics
63. 906 Uncanny X-Men #281 10/91 Marvel Comics
64. 904 Star Wars #107 9/86 Marvel Comics
65. 896 Crisis on Infinite Earths #8
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/85 D.C. Comics
66. 880 Amazing Spider-Man #315 5/89 Marvel Comics
67. 867 Marvel Team-Up #141
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/84 Marvel Comics
68. 856 Uncanny X-Men #222 10/87 Marvel Comics
69. 853 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 1984 Mirage Studios
70. 842 New Mutants Annual #2 10/86 Marvel Comics
71. 800 Spider-Man vs. Wolverine #1 2/87 Marvel Comics
72. 774 Amazing Spider-Man #317 7/89 Marvel Comics
73. 750 Suicide Squad #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/87 D.C. Comics
74. 743 G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #21
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/84 Marvel Comics
75. 740 Amazing Spider-Man #344 2/91 Marvel Comics
76. 721 Magnus Robot Fighter #1 5/91 Valiant
77. 702 Miracleman #15 11/88 Eclipse
78. 693 Batman #429 1/89 D.C. Comics
79. 693 Spider-Man 1 Poly-Bagged Silver Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
80. 683 Amazing Spider-Man #289 6/87 Marvel Comics
81. 683 Sandman #8 8/89 D.C./Vertigo Comics
82. 682 Amazing Spider-Man #275
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/86 Marvel Comics
83. 681 Watchmen #2 10/86 D.C. Comics
84. 681 Miracleman #1 8/85 Eclipse
85. 676 Amazing Spider-Man #313 3/89 Marvel Comics
86. 669 Wonder Woman #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/87 D.C. Comics
87. 663 Uncanny X-Men #256 12/89 Marvel Comics
88. 648 Amazing Spider-Man #265
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/85 Marvel Comics
89. 646 Batman #406 4/87 D.C. Comics
90. 646 Batman #405 3/87 D.C. Comics
91. 623 Batman #426 12/88 D.C. Comics
92. 612 Solar, Man of the Atom #1 9/91 Valiant
93. 587 Amazing Spider-Man #303 8/88 Marvel Comics
94. 581 Amazing Spider-Man #306 10/88 Marvel Comics
95. 579 New Mutants 87 Second Printing 3/90 Marvel Comics
96. 577 Detective Comics #27 1984 D.C. Comics
97. 577 Hellblazer #1 1/88 D.C. Comics
98. 566 Ghost Rider v2 #1 5/90 Marvel Comics
99. 551 Amazing Spider-Man #311 1/89 Marvel Comics
100. 548 Batman #407 5/87 D.C. Comics
101. 546 Thanos Quest #1 1990 Marvel Comics
102. 543 Watchmen #3 11/86 D.C. Comics
103. 541 Watchmen #4 12/86 D.C. Comics
104. 537 Amazing Spider-Man #314 4/89 Marvel Comics
105. 534 Uncanny X-Men #267 9/90 Marvel Comics
106. 528 Batman #427 12/88 D.C. Comics
107. 524 Spider-Man #13 8/91 Marvel Comics
108. 522 Wolverine #3 1/89 Marvel Comics
109. 520 Infinity Gauntlet #2 8/91 Marvel Comics
110. 519 Uncanny X-Men #205
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/86 Marvel Comics
111. 517 Amazing Spider-Man #293 10/87 Marvel Comics
112. 516 Watchmen #12 10/87 D.C. Comics
113. 514 Amazing Spider-Man #323 11/89 Marvel Comics
114. 505 Booster Gold #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 D.C. Comics
115. 502 Punisher Limited Series #4
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
4/86 Marvel Comics
116. 495 Superman #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/87 D.C. Comics
117. 491 Punisher Limited Series #2 2/86 Marvel Comics
118. 490 Wolverine #8 6/89 Marvel Comics
119. 488 Infinity Gauntlet #3 9/91 Marvel Comics
120. 486 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 Third Printing 2/85 Mirage Studios
121. 486 Amazing Spider-Man #322 10/89 Marvel Comics
122. 484 Punisher Limited Series #3 3/86 Marvel Comics
123. 484 Marvel Comics Presents #72 1991 Marvel Comics
124. 481 Incredible Hulk #377 1/91 Marvel Comics
125. 480 Watchmen #6 2/87 D.C. Comics
126. 479 Batman #368
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/84 D.C. Comics
127. 479 Watchmen #11 8/87 D.C. Comics
128. 477 Watchmen #5 1/87 D.C. Comics
129. 474 Uncanny X-Men #186 10/84 Marvel Comics
130. 470 Uncanny X-Men #210 10/86 Marvel Comics
131. 467 Amazing Spider-Man #318 8/89 Marvel Comics
132. 467 Silver Surfer v3 #50 6/91 Marvel Comics
133. 460 Amazing Spider-Man #305 9/88 Marvel Comics
134. 459 Amazing Spider-Man #259
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
12/84 Marvel Comics
135. 459 Longshot #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
9/85 Marvel Comics
136. 459 Batman #442 12/89 D.C. Comics
137. 457 Punisher War Journal #1 11/88 Marvel Comics
138. 457 Spider-Man 1 UPC Gold Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
139. 456 Amazing Spider-Man #319 9/89 Marvel Comics
140. 456 Uncanny X-Men #193 5/85 Marvel Comics
141. 452 Uncanny X-Men #184 8/84 Marvel Comics
142. 449 Spider-Man 1 Poly-Bagged Edition 8/90 Marvel Comics
143. 449 Amazing Spider-Man #345 3/91 Marvel Comics
144. 447 Guardians of the Galaxy #1 6/90 Marvel Comics
145. 441 Watchmen #7 3/87 D.C. Comics
146. 436 Raphael #1 1985 Mirage Studios
147. 433 Captain America #360 10/89 Marvel Comics
148. 432 Infinity Gauntlet #4 10/91 Marvel Comics
149. 431 Darkhawk #1 3/91 Marvel Comics
150. 416 V for Vendetta #1 9/88 D.C. Comics
151. 415 Batman #400
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
10/86 D.C. Comics
152. 413 Watchmen #8 4/87 D.C. Comics
153. 409 Justice League #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/87 D.C. Comics
154. 408 Punisher Limited Series #5
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/86 Marvel Comics
155. 406 Flash #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/87 D.C. Comics
156. 406 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #3 7/84 Marvel Comics
157. 402 Magnus Robot Fighter #5 10/91 Valiant
158. 392 Watchmen #9 5/87 D.C. Comics
159. 391 Amazing Spider-Man #324 11/89 Marvel Comics
160. 391 Amazing Spider-Man #268 9/85 Marvel Comics
161. 387 Amazing Spider-Man #307 10/88 Marvel Comics
162. 387 Amazing Spider-Man #302 7/88 Marvel Comics
163. 383 Legends #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/86 D.C. Comics
164. 383 Amazing Spider-Man #250
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
3/84 Marvel Comics
165. 378 Incredible Hulk #330 4/87 Marvel Comics
166. 378 Watchmen #10 7/87 D.C. Comics
167. 376 Amazing Spider-Man #304 9/88 Marvel Comics
168. 375 New Teen Titans v2 #1 8/84 D.C. Comics
169. 375 Infinity Gauntlet #5 11/91 Marvel Comics
170. 374 Batman: The Cult #1 1988 D.C. Comics
171. 371 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5 9/84 Marvel Comics
172. 367 Batman #386 8/85 D.C. Comics
173. 367 Green Lantern v3 #1 6/90 D.C. Comics
174. 367 Infinity Gauntlet #6 12/91 Marvel Comics
175. 367 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Second Printing 1/85 Mirage Studios
176. 366 Amazing Spider-Man #253
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/84 Marvel Comics
177. 366 Rocket Raccoon #1
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
5/85 Marvel Comics
178. 365 Amazing Spider-Man #258
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/84 Marvel Comics
179. 365 X-Men #2 11/91 Marvel Comics
180. 364 Amazing Spider-Man #310 12/88 Marvel Comics
181. 363 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/85 Marvel Comics
182. 363 Amazing Spider-Man #294 11/87 Marvel Comics
183. 362 Marvel Comics Presents #1 9/88 Marvel Comics
184. 362 Punisher War Journal #6 6/89 Marvel Comics
185. 361 X-Force #1 8/91 Marvel Comics
186. 358 Thor #344
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
6/84 Marvel Comics
187. 357 Transformers #3
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
1/85 Marvel Comics
188. 356 Uncanny X-Men #275 4/91 Marvel Comics
189. 354 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
11/84 Marvel Comics
190. 354 Crisis on Infinite Earths #12 3/86 D.C. Comics
191. 354 Solar, Man of the Atom #3 11/91 Valiant
192. 352 Masters of the Universe #1 5/86 Marvel Comics
193. 351 Caliber Presents #1 1/89 Caliber Press
194. 350 Uncanny X-Men #200
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
12/85 Marvel Comics
195. 350 Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6 10/84 Marvel Comics
196. 350 Amazing Spider-Man #256 9/84 Marvel Comics
197. 350 Uncanny X-Men #202
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized newsstand cover price variant is confirmed to exist
2/86 Marvel Comics
198. 349 Wolverine #4 2/89 Marvel Comics
199. 344 Amazing Spider-Man #321 10/89 Marvel Comics
200. 343 Uncanny X-Men #179 3/84 Marvel Comics
« Key Bronze Age Comics   Key Modern Age Comics »

Other Key Copper Age Comics By Year

I’ve also put up lists of key copper age comics by year which you can explore below:

Key Comics From 1984 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1985 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1986 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1987 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1988 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1989 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1990 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]
Key Comics From 1991 [ just Marvel; just D.C.; just other ]

Also, see other lists of key comic books by year, including the 1970’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s.

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