List Of Important Comic Books From The 2000s

March 1, 2021

A List Of Important Comic Books From the 2000s

At the end of the prior decade, there was a decision by Marvel to “walk away” from the newsstand model — this would quickly put the newsstand percentages down to single digits as we enter the 2000’s with newsstand rarity estimates of 5% by 2000, and a BPA audit revealing newsstand sales of 4.25% by 2003. By 2005 we see a newsstand rarity sales estimate of 2%, and by sometime around 2011 Marvel starts to end newsstand sales in stages, with certain bookstore partners being the last to carry them. Against this backdrop, we see newsstand cover price variants including an entire CGC-recognized “window” during which their newsstand comics were priced $1 higher than their direct edition counter-parts.

There are many “top lists” out there covering important or “key” comic books from the 2000s, but the ones I’ve seen are all either based upon individual judgment calls or 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 10 Gem Mint Signature Series copy signed by Stan Lee, versus reflective of the underlying comic being of any great importance.

One surefire way to “tease out” a list of important comic books is to consider how many copies have been sent in to CGC to be graded — the more important the comic book, the more likely its owner will want to have it graded and slabbed, right? 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 good list of important key comics! Of course, there are flaws to this exercise which should be kept in mind: for one thing, this submission data is from one snapshot in time (January 19, 2021) and there could be plenty of important 2000’s comic books that aren’t recognized as such until some future development gives them renewed attention. And another flaw is that any very-high-value comics that simply didn’t have many copies printed, will naturally sort themselves off of the bottom of a list like this as well.

So please don’t anybody think of this top 100 list as a “rank” of importance or as being an all-encompassing list… 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 this list is no replacement for judgement and no 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 caveat stated, without further ado, here is a list of 100 important comic books from the 2000s. [ I’ve also posted more lists of key comics by year/decade including other decades; special thanks goes to Greg Holland whose research website was the tool that made these pages possible to assemble ].

Top 100 List: Important Comic Books From The 2000s:

(Top 100 list based on census data as of January 19, 2021)
Rank CGC Count Issue Publisher/
Date
1. 6,481 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #36 Marvel
12/01
  Amazing Spider-Man #477 9/11 World Trade Center story.
2. 5,143 NYX #3 Marvel
2/04
  1st appearance of X-23 (Laura Kinney).
3. 3,267 Walking Dead #1 Image
10/03
  1st appearance of Rick Grimes, Shane Walsh, Morgan & Duane Jones.
4. 3,041 Wolverine: The Origin #1 Marvel
11/01
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
5. 2,714 Batman #608 D.C.
12/02
  Catwoman, Killer Croc & Poison Ivy appearance.
6. 2,450 Civil War #1 Marvel
7/06
  “Death” of the New Warriors, Speedfreek, Coldheart & Cobalt Man. Wraparound cover.
7. 2,360 Walking Dead #19 Image
6/05
  1st appearance of Michonne Hawthorne. Zombie bondage cover. “Death” of Dexter. Andrew leaves.
8. 2,116 Captain America 25 Variant Edition Marvel
4/07
  Death of Captain America (Steve Rogers). Winter Soldier, Crossbones & Falcon appearance. Captain America #574
9. 2,075 All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder #1 D.C.
9/05
  2 different covers exist, both by Jim Lee.
10. 2,026 The Marvels Project 1 Sketch Cover Marvel
10/09
  Partial blank cover. 70th anniversary “frame” cover.
11. 2,024 Amazing Spider-Man #529 Marvel
4/06
  1st appearance of new Spider-Man costume.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $2.99 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
12. 2,023 Young Avengers #1 Marvel
4/05
  1st appearance of the Young Avengers. 1st professional comic work by Allan Heinberg.
13. 1,998 Alias #1 Marvel
11/01
  1st appearance of Jessica Jones. 1st MAX title. Luke Cage appearance.
14. 1,996 Captain America #25 Marvel
4/07
  Death of Captain America (Steve Rogers). Winter Soldier, Crossbones & Falcon appearance. Captain America #574
15. 1,931 Hulk #1 Marvel
3/08
  1st appearance of Red Hulk. Iron Man, Doc Samson, She-Hulk & Winter Guard appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $3.99 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
16. 1,822 Walking Dead #27 Image
4/06
  1st appearance of the Governor, Martinez & the town of Woodbury. Pin-up on back cover by Cliff Rathburn.
17. 1,816 Superman #204 D.C.
6/04
  Brian Azzarello story. Jim Lee & Scott Williams cover & art.
18. 1,796 Harley Quinn #1 D.C.
12/00
  1st Harley Quinn in her own title. Joker & Poison Ivy appearance.
19. 1,709 Amazing Spider-Man 583 Variant Edition Marvel
3/09
  President Barack Obama cover & back-up story.
20. 1,684 Wolverine: The Origin #2 Marvel
12/01
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
21. 1,662 Batman #612 D.C.
4/03
  Superman, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Lois Lane & Krypto appearance. “Black & Bruised” coupon included.
22. 1,638 Batman 608 Second Printing D.C.
12/02
  Catwoman, Killer Croc & Poison Ivy appearance.
23. 1,633 Amazing Spider-Man #607 Marvel
11/09
  Black Cat & Diablo appearance. Ana Kravinov cameo on last page.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $3.99 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
24. 1,527 Ultimate Spider-Man 1 Variant Cover Marvel
10/00
  1st “Ultimate” title.
25. 1,503 Walking Dead #2 Image
11/03
  1st appearance of Lori & Carl Grimes & Glenn. “Heaven’s War” preview.
26. 1,500 Batman #635 D.C.
2/05
  1st Jason Todd as Red Hood. Mister Freeze & Black Mask appearance.
27. 1,493 Captain America 25 Wizard World Los Angeles Edition Marvel
4/07
  Captain America #574. “Death” of Captain America (Steve Rogers). Wizard World Los Angeles 2007 exclusive.
28. 1,451 Y: The Last Man #1 D.C./Vertigo
9/02
  1st appearance of Yorick & Hero Brown, Ampersand, Agent 355, Dr. Allison Mann, Beth DeVille & Colonel Tse’Elon (Alter).
29. 1,428 Batman #655 D.C.
9/06
  1st app. of Damian in cameo on last two pages of story. Joker appearance. Talia al Ghul cameo.
30. 1,370 Wolverine: The Origin #3 Marvel
1/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
31. 1,314 Ultimate Spider-Man #1/2 Marvel-Wizard Pub.
2002
  Danny Rand appearance. Wizard mail-away exclusive.
32. 1,312 Walking Dead #3 Image
12/03
  1st appearance of Allen, Donna, Billy, Ben, Jim, Dale, Carol, Sophia, Amy & Andrea.
33. 1,299 The Boys #1 D.C./Wildstorm
10/06
  1st appearance of Butcher, Terror, Hughie & A-Train.
34. 1,289 Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America 3 Sketch Edition Marvel
7/07
  Captain America. Partial blank cover.
35. 1,264 Civil War 3 Variant Cover Marvel
9/06
  Iron Man vs. Captain America. 1st appearance of Ragnarok as “Thor.”
36. 1,256 NYX #4 Marvel
7/04
  1st appearance of Tatiana. X-23 appearance.
37. 1,251 Ultimate Spider-Man 79 Wizard World Chicago Edition Marvel
9/05
  Hammerhead & Moon Knight appearance. Wizard World Chicago 2005 exclusive. Sketch cover.
38. 1,245 Ultimate Spider-Man #5 Marvel
3/01
  Brian Michael Bendis story. Mark Bagley & Art Thibert art. Mark Bagley cover.
39. 1,228 Amazing Spider-Man #606 Marvel
11/09
  Black Cat, Diablo & Madame Web appearance.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $3.99 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
40. 1,224 Amazing Spider-Man #601 Marvel
10/09
  Jessica Jones appearance & New Avengers cameo in backup story.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized $3.99 cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist
41. 1,201 Invincible #1 Image
1/03
  1st full appearance of Invincible & Omni-Man. Invincible pin-up by Tony Moore.
42. 1,191 Wolverine v3 #66 Marvel
8/08
  “Old Man Logan” storyline begins. Wraparound cover.
43. 1,182 Wolverine: Origins 1 Wizard World Philadelphia Edit Marvel
6/06
  Wizard World Philadelphia 2006 exclusive Sketch cover.
44. 1,168 Amazing Spider-Man #500 Marvel
12/03
  Doctor Strange appearance.
45. 1,125 Wolverine: Origins 6 Wizard World Texas Edition Marvel
11/06
  Wizard World Texas 2006 exclusive. Omega Red & Jubilee appearance. Sketch cover.
46. 1,115 Amazing Spider-Man 569 Variant Edition Marvel
10/08
  Eddie Brock becomes Anti-Venom. Thunderbolts (Norman Osborn, Radioactive Man, Songbird, Bullseye & Venom) app.
CGC variant confirmed Rare CGC-recognized cover price newsstand variant is confirmed to exist for the regular cover version of this issue number
47. 1,110 Superman/Batman #1 D.C.
10/03
  Two different covers exist.
48. 1,103 Batman 612 Second Printing D.C.
4/03
  Superman, Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Lois Lane & Krypto appearance. Sketch cover.
49. 1,095 Walking Dead #53 Image
10/08
  1st appearance of Sergeant Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa & Eugene Porter. Back cover pin-up by Cliff Rathburn.
50. 1,070 Civil War 1 Variant Cover Marvel
7/06
  “Death” of the New Warriors, Speedfreek, Coldheart & Cobalt Man.
51. 1,059 New X-Men #128 Marvel
8/02
  1st appearance of Fantomex. Professor X reveals to the world that he is a mutant.
52. 1,058 Wolverine: The Origin #4 Marvel
2/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
53. 1,055 Captain America #34 Marvel
3/08
  2 different covers exist, 1 by Alex Ross & 1 by Steve Epting. James “Bucky” Barnes becomes the new Captain America.
54. 1,052 Ultimates #1 Marvel
3/02
  Wraparound cover.
55. 1,042 Walking Dead #4 Image
1/04
  Robert Kirkman story. Tony Moore cover & art.
56. 1,037 Civil War 1 Aspen Comics Edition Marvel
7/06
  “Death” of the New Warriors, Speedfreek, Coldheart & Cobalt Man.
57. 1,031 Walking Dead #6 Image
3/04
  “Death” of Jim & Shane.
58. 1,022 Supergirl #1 D.C.
10/05
  JSA & Solomon Grundy appearance. Two different covers exist, one by Ian Churchill & one by Michael Turner.
59. 1,013 Amazing Spider-Man v2 #30 Marvel
6/01
  Amazing Spider-Man #471 J. Michael Straczynski storyline begins. 1st appearance of Ezekiel & Morlun.
60. 1,010 Ultimate Fantastic Four #1 Marvel
2/04
  Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Millar story. Adam Kubert & Danny Miki art. Bryan Hitch cover.
61. 1,007 Amazing Spider-Man #539 Marvel
4/07
  Return of the black costume. Kingpin appearance. Aunt May in a coma.
62. 1,006 Umbrella Academy nn Free Comic Book Day Edition Dark Horse
4/07
  1st appearance of the Umbrella Academy. Free Comic Book Day 2007 promotional.
63. 1,001 Wolverine: The Origin #5 Marvel
5/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
64. 998 Batman #609 D.C.
1/03
  1st appearance of Tommy Elliot (Hush). Poison Ivy & Huntress appearance.
65. 996 Ultimate Spider-Man #33 Marvel
2/03
  Eddie Brock appearance.
66. 986 Walking Dead #9 Image
6/04
  “Death” of Donna. 1st appearance of Otis.
67. 985 Chew #1 Image
6/09
  1st full appearance of Tony Chu & Agent Mason Savoy. “Taster’s Choice” part 1
68. 982 Civil War 1 Sketch Cover Marvel
7/06
  “Death” of the New Warriors, Speedfreek, Coldheart & Cobalt Man.
69. 979 Civil War: Front Line 1 Wizard World Chicago Edition Marvel
8/06
  Wizard World Chicago 2006 exclusive. Sketch cover.
70. 960 Walking Dead #5 Image
2/04
  “Death” of Amy.
71. 958 Wolverine: Origins 1 Variant Edition Marvel
6/06
  Daniel Way story. Steve Dillon art. Michael Turner cover.
72. 953 Walking Dead #10 Image
7/04
  1st appearance of Hershel, Lacey, Arnold, Maggie, Billy, Rachel & Susie Greene & Patricia.
73. 945 Hulk 1 Wizard World Los Angeles Edition Marvel
3/08
  1st appearance of Red Hulk. Iron Man, Doc Samson, She-Hulk & Winter Guard appearance.
74. 944 New Avengers 1 Variant Cover Marvel
1/05
  Electro, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Captain America, Matt Murdock, Jessica Drew & Sentry appearance.
75. 942 Ultimate Spider-Man 1 Dynamic Forces Edition Marvel
10/00
  1st “Ultimate” title.
76. 940 Superman/Batman #8 D.C.
5/04
  Kara Zor-El appearance.
77. 937 Gotham City Sirens #1 D.C.
8/09
  Paul Dini story. Guillem March cover & art.
78. 935 Catwoman #51 D.C.
3/06
  Black Mask, Bruce Wayne, Slam Bradley & Alfred Pennyworth appearance. Smart Bomb reveals Slam is his father.
79. 927 New Avengers 1 Quesada Variant Cover Marvel
1/05
  Electro, Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Captain America, Matt Murdock, Jessica Drew & Sentry appearance.
80. 926 Walking Dead #61 Image
5/09
  1st appearance of Father Gabriel Stokes. “Death” of Billy & Ben. 5 page “Chew” preview by John Layman & Rob Guillory.
81. 921 Fantastic Four 546 Wizard World Philadelphia Edit Marvel
7/07
  Silver Surfer, Gravity, Epoch, Stardust & Galactus appearance. Sketch cover.
82. 914 Walking Dead #7 Image
4/04
  1st appearance Tyreese, Julie & Chris. Lori reveals that she is pregnant. Charlie Adlard art begins.
83. 914 Wolverine v3 #20 Wizard World Texas Edition Marvel
12/04
  Wizard World Texas 2004 exclusive. Sketch cover.
84. 907 Infinite Crisis #1 D.C.
12/05
  Return of Earth-2 Superman & Lois Lane, Superboy Prime & Alex Luthor. “Death” of Dr. Polaris, Human Bomb & Phantom Lady.
85. 907 Batman 655 Variant Cover D.C.
9/06
  1st app. of Damian in cameo on last two pages of story. Joker appearance. Talia al Ghul cameo.
86. 894 Civil War #2 Marvel
8/06
  Spider-Man reveals his identity. Wraparound cover.
87. 879 Secret Invasion 1 Sketch Edition Marvel
6/08
  Partial blank cover.
88. 874 Transformers: Generation 1 #1 Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  2 different wraparound covers exist. Spike Witwicky appearance.
89. 857 Guardians of the Galaxy #1 Marvel
7/08
  Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning story. Paul Pelletier & Rick Magyar art. Clint Langley cover.
90. 851 Wolverine: The End 1 Wizard World Texas Edition Marvel
1/04
  Paul Jenkins story. Claudio Castellini art. David Finch & Art Thibert cover.
91. 840 Wolverine: Origins 10 Retailer Incentive Edition Marvel
3/07
  1st appearance of Daken. Omega Red & Jubilee appearance. “Emusic” inserts included.
92. 837 Walking Dead #8 Image
5/04
  Robert Kirkman story. Charlie Adlard art. Tony Moore cover.
93. 834 Captain America #6 Marvel
6/05
  1st full appearance of Winter Soldier. “The Scarlet and the Black” movie poster cover homage. Captain America #555
94. 828 52 #11 D.C.
9/06
  Week Eleven, July 19, 2006 1st full app. of Kate Kane as Batwoman. Monitor appearance.
95. 825 Secret War #1 Marvel
4/04
  Pin-up gallery by Gabriele Dell’Otto with forward by Brian Michael Bendis. Silver foil logo.
96. 824 World War Hulk 1 Aspen Comics Edition Marvel
8/07
  Greg Pak story. John Romita Jr. & Klaus Janson art. Michael Turner & Peter Steigerwald cover.
97. 822 Wolverine: Origins 2 Canadian Variant Cover Marvel
7/06
  Nuke appearance.
98. 813 Wolverine: The Origin #6 Marvel
7/02
  Paul Jenkins story. Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove art. Joe Quesada & Richard Isanove cover.
99. 809 Transformers: Generation 1 1 Holofoil Edition Dreamwave Productions
4/02
  Spike Witwicky appearance. Wraparound cover.
100. 802 X-23 1 Limited Edition Marvel
4/05
  Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost story. Billy Tan & John Sibal cover & art.
 « The 1990’s  The 2010’s » 

More Important Comic Books Of The 2000s:

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

Key Comic Books From 2000
Key Comic Books From 2001
Key Comic Books From 2002
Key Comic Books From 2003
Key Comic Books From 2004
Key Comic Books From 2005
Key Comic Books From 2006
Key Comic Books From 2007
Key Comic Books From 2008
Key Comic Books From 2009