A List of Important Comic Books From the 1960’s

March 1, 2021

The Silver Age of comics: many a collector’s favorite time period, and also one of the most extensively studied… with the list of “key” issues pretty much widely known in the hobby, and most of them occurring during the 1960’s. When contemplating putting up this page, I thought to myself, “how can I possibly add anything to what is already known about the silver age?”

Here’s how this list of important 1960’s comic books you’re about to see will differ from ones you’ve seen before. Personally, the only two types of lists of key silver age comic books by year that I’ve ever seen are either: (1) personalized lists based upon judgement calls of what is most important to the particular writer, and (2) lists based upon high sales price data (which can often be influenced by the grade of what was sold).

How about a different approach?

Here’s what you’re about to see: what follows is a different approach to “tease out” a list of 1960’s comic book key issues to consider collecting, by asking the following question: for each comic book issue of the 1960’s that has passed through CGC’s doors to date, how many copies have been graded?

The thinking here is that the more important the comic book as a key 1960’s issue, the more likely its owner will want to have it professionally graded and slabbed. So by ranking comic books 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 comic books from the 1960’s!

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 (January 19, 2021) and there could be plenty of important 1960’s comic books 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. Any books with a very restricted print run will naturally sort themselves off of the bottom of a list like this as well. And the ranking within the list will also be impacted — for example, Amazing Fantasy #15 only shows up in the #18 spot because the list is sorted solely by the number of copies submitted to CGC.

So: I do not want anybody to think of the 1960’s key comics list you’re about to see as a “rank” of importance, or as being an all-encompassing list of comic book keys from the 1960’s… instead, all we’re ranking here is the sheer number of copies that have passed through CGC’s doors as of January 2021 and presenting the top 100. 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 — instead, 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 100 key comic book issues of the 1960’s. [ I’ve also posted more lists of key comics by year/decadespecial 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 below, you are going to see some icons that look like this:  … Something many US collectors do not realize is that Type 1A cover price variants exist during the silver age, which were 1st print originals published here in the USA at the same time and place as the “regular” copies (same manufacturing equipment, same paper and ink, same publisher, same interior pages) and then the variants were shipped by boat over to the United Kingdom. Most U.S. collectors don’t currently realize that such copies are cover price variants because unlike here in the USA where prices are denominated in dollars and cents, in the UK prices are denominated in pounds and pence — which the average American does not look at and think “cover price” because they are unfamiliar with the symbols. But many collectors are warming up to them and fondly call these interesting variants “pence price variants” — and CGC has begun to recognize them as cover price variants on their labels as of 2019. So if you see one of these icons in the list below …  … that means the more-rare CGC-recognized pence price variant version of the key silver age comic is confirmed to exist.

Top 100 List: Important Comics From The 1960s:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 6,852 Fantastic Four #48 Marvel
3/66
  1st appearance of Silver Surfer and Galactus (cameo last page). Inhumans and Watcher appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
2. 6,339 Iron Man #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Origin of Iron Man retold.
3. 5,105 X-Men #1 Marvel
9/63
  Origin and 1st appearance of the X-Men (Professor X, Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Marvel Gi
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
4. 4,931 Fantastic Four #52 Marvel
7/66
  1st appearance of the Black Panther (T’Challa). Inhumans appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
5. 4,922 Daredevil #1 Marvel
4/64
  Origin and 1st appearance of Daredevil (Matt Murdock). 1st appearance of Karen Page and Foggy Ne
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
6. 4,898 Amazing Spider-Man #50 Marvel
7/67
  1st appearance of Kingpin (Wilson Fisk). Origin of Spider-Man retold. Johnny Carson and Ed McMah
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
7. 4,844 Silver Surfer #1 Marvel
8/68
  Origin of the Silver Surfer. Tales of the Watcher begin. Origin of the Watchers.
8. 4,452 Captain America #100 Marvel
4/68
  1st issue. Black Panther appearance. Story and numbering continued from Tales of Suspense #99
9. 4,384 Avengers #1 Marvel
9/63
  Origin & 1st appearance of the Avengers. Fantastic Four, Loki & Teen Brigade appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
10. 4,146 Avengers #4 Marvel
3/64
  1st Silver Age appearance of Captain America (Steve Rogers). Sub-Mariner appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
11. 4,111 Amazing Spider-Man #1 Marvel
3/63
  1st app of J. Jonah Jameson & Chameleon. 1st Fantastic Four crossover. Origin of Spider-Man reto
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
12. 4,072 Amazing Spider-Man #14 Marvel
7/64
  1st appearance of the Green Goblin (Norman Osborn). Enforcers appearance. 1st meeting of the Hul
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
13. 3,942 Avengers #57 Marvel
10/68
  1st appearance of the Silver Age Vision. Black Widow and Ultron appearance.
14. 3,627 Fantastic Four #49 Marvel
4/66
  1st full appearance of Galactus. 2nd appearance of the Silver Surfer. 1st Silver Surfer and Gala
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
15. 3,623 Sub-Mariner #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Origin of Sub-Mariner retold.
16. 3,575 Silver Surfer #4 Marvel
2/69
  Thor and Loki appearance. Hulk, Thing and Hercules cameo. Tales of the Watcher backup story.
17. 3,450 Incredible Hulk #102 Marvel
4/68
  Continued from Tales to Astonish #101 Warriors Three, Enchantress and Odin appearance. Origin of
18. 3,397 Amazing Fantasy #15 Marvel
8/62
  Origin & 1st appearance of Spider-Man (Peter Parker). 1st appearance of Uncle Ben & Aunt May.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
19. 2,854 Fantastic Four #45 Marvel
12/65
  1st appearance of Lockjaw & the Inhumans (Black Bolt, Crystal, Karnak & Triton). Sandman & Drago
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
20. 2,743 Amazing Spider-Man #40 Marvel
9/66
  Origin of the Green Goblin.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
21. 2,734 Amazing Spider-Man #39 Marvel
8/66
  Norman Osborn revealed as Green Goblin. 1st John Romita Spider-Man art in title.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
22. 2,672 Amazing Spider-Man #41 Marvel
10/66
  1st appearance of the Rhino (Aleksei Sytsevich).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
23. 2,661 Iron Man and Sub-Mariner #1 Marvel
4/68
  Pre-dates both Iron Man #1 and Sub-Mariner #1 Whiplash and Destiny appearance.
24. 2,637 Amazing Spider-Man #20 Marvel
1/65
  Origin and 1st appearance of Scorpion (MacDonald “Mac” Gargan). Peter Parker/Spider-Man pin-up.
25. 2,609 Amazing Spider-Man #13 Marvel
6/64
  Origin and 1st appearance of Mysterio (Quentin Beck).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
26. 2,599 Fantastic Four #67 Marvel
10/67
  Origin and 1st appearance of Him (Warlock) in cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
27. 2,584 Fantastic Four #50 Marvel
5/66
  Silver Surfer battles Galactus. Johnny Storm goes to college. 1st appearance of Wyatt Wingfoot.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
28. 2,487 Fantastic Four #1 Marvel
11/61
  Origin & 1st appearance of the Fantastic Four (Marvel’s 1st super-hero team) & the Mole Man.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
29. 2,479 Amazing Spider-Man #6 Marvel
11/63
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Lizard (Doctor Curtis Connors).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
30. 2,452 Amazing Spider-Man #15 Marvel
8/64
  1st appearance of Kraven the Hunter. 2nd appearance of the Chameleon. 1st mention of Mary Jane W
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
31. 2,408 Amazing Spider-Man #3 Marvel
7/63
  Origin and 1st appearance of Doctor Octopus (Otto Octavius). Human Torch appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
32. 2,365 X-Men #12 Marvel
7/65
  Origin of Professor X. Origin and 1st appearance of the Juggernaut (Cain Marko).
33. 2,365 Amazing Spider-Man #9 Marvel
2/64
  Origin and 1st appearance of Electro (Max Dillon).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
34. 2,354 Amazing Spider-Man #4 Marvel
9/63
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Sandman (William Baker). 1st appearance of Betty Brant.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
35. 2,340 Tales of Suspense #39 Marvel
3/63
  Origin and 1st appearance of Iron Man (Tony Stark).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
36. 2,337 Amazing Spider-Man #31 Marvel
12/65
  1st appearance of Gwen Stacy, Harry Osborn and Professor Miles Warren.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
37. 2,328 Amazing Spider-Man #5 Marvel
10/63
  1st Doctor Doom appearance outside Fantastic Four. Fantastic Four cameo.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
38. 2,273 X-Men #4 Marvel
3/64
  1st Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. 2nd appearance of Magn
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
39. 2,226 Amazing Spider-Man #2 Marvel
5/63
  1st appearance of the Vulture (Adrian Toomes) and the Terrible Tinkerer (Phineas Mason).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
40. 2,211 Captain America #117 Marvel
9/69
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Falcon (Sam Wilson) and Redwing. Red Skull appearance. M.O.D.O.
41. 2,192 Doctor Strange #169 Marvel
6/68
  1st Doctor Strange in his own title. Origin of Doctor Strange retold.
42. 2,191 Detective Comics #359 D.C.
1/67
  Origin and 1st appearance of Batgirl (Barbara Gordon). Killer Moth appearance.
43. 2,184 Batman #181 D.C.
6/66
  1st appearance of Poison Ivy (Pamela Lillian Isley). Pin-up by Infantino and Anderson.
44. 2,170 Amazing Spider-Man #28 Marvel
9/65
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Molten Man (Mark Raxton). Peter Parker graduates high school.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
45. 2,096 Marvel Super-Heroes #13 Marvel
3/68
  1st appearance of Carol Danvers. 2nd appearance of Captain Marvel. Letter from Dave Cockrum.
46. 2,089 Avengers #55 Marvel
8/68
  Crimson Cowl revealed as Ultron-5 (1st appearance). Whirlwind, Radioactive Man, Melter, Klaw & B
47. 2,086 Amazing Spider-Man #19 Marvel
12/64
  Human Torch, Sandman and Enforcers appearance. 1st appearance of MacDonald Gargan in cameo on la
48. 2,066 X-Men #2 Marvel
11/63
  2nd appearance of the X-Men. 1st appearance of the Vanisher (Telford Porter).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
49. 2,057 Fantastic Four #46 Marvel
1/66
  1st full appearance of Black Bolt. Inhumans and Dragon Man appearance. 1st Black Bolt cover.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
50. 2,039 Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 Marvel
6/68
  Scorpio appearance.
51. 2,038 Thor #165 Marvel
6/69
  1st full appearance of Him (Warlock). Watcher appearance. Last 12¢ issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
52. 2,027 Journey Into Mystery #83 Marvel
8/62
  Origin and 1st appearance of Thor (Doctor Don Blake).
53. 2,021 X-Men #14 Marvel
11/65
  1st appearance of the Sentinels.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
54. 1,974 Amazing Spider-Man #17 Marvel
10/64
  2nd appearance of the Green Goblin. Human Torch appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
55. 1,971 Amazing Spider-Man #10 Marvel
3/64
  1st appearance of the Big Man (Fred Foswell) and the Enforcers (Montana, Ox and Fancy Dan).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
56. 1,912 Amazing Spider-Man #16 Marvel
9/64
  1st Daredevil crossover. 2nd appearance of the Ringmaster and the Circus of Crime.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
57. 1,887 Amazing Spider-Man #33 Marvel
2/66
  Dr. Curt Connors appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
58. 1,861 Amazing Spider-Man #8 Marvel
1/64
  1st appearance of the Living Brain. Fantastic Four appearance in backup story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
59. 1,861 Strange Tales #110 Marvel
7/63
  1st appearance of Doctor Strange, Ancient One, Nightmare and Wong. 1st Paste-Pot Pete and Wizard
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
60. 1,860 Silver Surfer #3 Marvel
12/68
  1st appearance of Mephisto. Tales of the Watcher backup story.
61. 1,859 Avengers #2 Marvel
11/63
  1st appearance of the Space Phantom. Hulk leaves the Avengers.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
62. 1,824 Incredible Hulk #1 Marvel
5/62
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Incredible Hulk. 1st appearance of Rick Jones, Betty Ross and G
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
63. 1,820 Amazing Spider-Man #59 Marvel
4/68
  1st Mary Jane Watson cover. Kingpin cameo on last page.
64. 1,809 Amazing Spider-Man #18 Marvel
11/64
  1st appearance of Ned Leeds. Fantastic Four and Sandman appearance. Daredevil and Avengers cameo
65. 1,807 Captain Marvel #1 Marvel
5/68
  Story continued from Marvel Super-Heroes #13 Kree Sentry appearance.
66. 1,780 Amazing Spider-Man #7 Marvel
12/63
  2nd appearance of the Vulture.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
67. 1,774 Tales of Suspense #57 Marvel
9/64
  Origin and 1st appearance of Hawkeye (Clint Barton). Black Widow appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
68. 1,770 Amazing Spider-Man #46 Marvel
3/67
  Origin and 1st appearance of the Shocker (Herman Schultz). Peter Parker moves into an apartment
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
69. 1,761 Fantastic Four #5 Marvel
7/62
  Origin and 1st appearance of Dr. Doom. Full page ad for Incredible Hulk #1 Letter from Roy Thoma
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
70. 1,759 Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1 Marvel
1964
  1st appearance of The Sinister Six. Thor, Giant-Man, Wasp, Dr. Strange and Fantastic Four cameo.
71. 1,732 Amazing Spider-Man #25 Marvel
6/65
  1st cameo appearance of Mary Jane Watson (face not shown). 1st app. of Professor Spencer Smythe
72. 1,723 X-Men #3 Marvel
1/64
  1st appearance of the Blob (Frederick J. Dukes).
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
73. 1,710 Amazing Spider-Man #64 Marvel
9/68
  Vulture appearance.
74. 1,703 Captain America #109 Marvel
1/69
  Origin of Captain America retold. Nick Fury appearance.
75. 1,693 Marvel Super-Heroes #12 Marvel
12/67
  Origin and 1st appearance of Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell). 1st appearance of Yon-Rogg and Una.
76. 1,691 Daredevil #7 Marvel
4/65
  Daredevil battles Sub-Mariner. Daredevil dons new red costume. Daredevil and Sub-Mariner pin-up.
77. 1,623 Amazing Spider-Man #42 Marvel
11/66
  Mary Jane Watson’s face revealed for the 1st time in cameo on last page. 2nd appearance of the R
78. 1,614 Avengers #8 Marvel
9/64
  1st appearance of Kang the Conqueror.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
79. 1,613 Amazing Spider-Man #23 Marvel
4/65
  3rd appearance of the Green Goblin. Spider-Man pin-up. Letter from Jim Shooter.
80. 1,596 Amazing Spider-Man #62 Marvel
7/68
  Medusa appearance.
81. 1,579 Amazing Spider-Man #12 Marvel
5/64
  3rd appearance of Doctor Octopus. Letter from Dave Cockrum.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
82. 1,577 Silver Surfer #2 Marvel
10/68
  1st appearance of the Brotherhood of Badoon. Tales of the Watcher backup story.
83. 1,564 Amazing Spider-Man #45 Marvel
2/67
  3rd appearance of the Lizard.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
84. 1,539 X-Men #10 Marvel
3/65
  1st Silver Age appearance of Ka-Zar (Kevin Plunder), Zabu the Sabertooth and the Savage Land.
85. 1,532 Fantastic Four #12 Marvel
3/63
  1st meeting of the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk. Rick Jones and Thunderbolt Ross appea
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
86. 1,521 X-Men #50 Marvel
11/68
  2nd appearance of Polaris. Mesmero appearance. Origin of the Beast. New X-Men logo.
87. 1,513 Marvel Super-Heroes #18 Marvel
1/69
  Origin and 1st app. of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Major Vance Astro, Yondu Udonta, Charlie-27
88. 1,478 Tales of Suspense #52 Marvel
4/64
  1st appearance of the Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff). Crimson Dynamo appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
89. 1,471 Daredevil #2 Marvel
6/64
  2nd appearance of Daredevil and Electro. Fantastic Four appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
90. 1,453 X-Men #9 Marvel
1/65
  1st meeting of X-Men and Avengers. 1st appearance of Lucifer. Marvel Girl pin-up.
91. 1,442 Amazing Spider-Man #11 Marvel
4/64
  2nd appearance of Doctor Octopus. 1st appearance and “death” of Bennett Brant.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
92. 1,442 Fantastic Four #4 Marvel
5/62
  1st Silver Age appearance of the Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie). Mister Fantastic pin-up.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
93. 1,436 Amazing Spider-Man #47 Marvel
4/67
  Kraven appearance. Green Goblin cameo in flashback.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
94. 1,433 Amazing Spider-Man #38 Marvel
7/66
  2nd cameo appearance of Mary Jane Watson (face still not shown). Last Steve Ditko issue.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
95. 1,432 Journey Into Mystery #112 Marvel
1/65
  Classic Thor vs. Hulk battle issue. Origin of Loki. Avengers and Sub-Mariner appearance.
96. 1,419 Amazing Spider-Man #27 Marvel
8/65
  Green Goblin appearance. Patch revealed as Frederick Foswell. “Death” of the Crime-Master.
97. 1,404 Amazing Spider-Man #26 Marvel
7/65
  1st appearance of Patch and the Crime-Master (Nick Lewis). Green Goblin appearance.
98. 1,392 Justice League of America #1 D.C.
10-11/60
  Origin and 1st appearance of Despero. Letter from Roy Thomas.
99. 1,381 Amazing Spider-Man #43 Marvel
12/66
  1st full appearance of Mary Jane Watson. Origin of the Rhino. Colonel Jameson, Matt Murdock and
100. 1,365 Amazing Spider-Man #51 Marvel
8/67
  2nd appearance of the Kingpin.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized pence price variant is confirmed to exist
 « back   The 1970’s » 

More Important Comic Books Of The 1960s:

Separate top 100 lists for each individual year in the decade:

Key Comic Books From 1960
Key Comic Books From 1961
Key Comic Books From 1962
Key Comic Books From 1963
Key Comic Books From 1964
Key Comic Books From 1965
Key Comic Books From 1966
Key Comic Books From 1967
Key Comic Books From 1968
Key Comic Books From 1969