100 Most Valuable Comic Books [Copper Age] 2022 -Dylan Universe Comics

Dylan Schwartz

Dylan Schwartz

17 minute read

Top 100 Most Valuable Comic Books from the Copper Age:

Top 100 Most Valuable Comic Book from the Copper Age

The Copper Age (1981-1991) of comics was a very exciting period for both comic collectors and the comic book industry.  It bought up many independent publishers and more exciting characters along with it.

The age begins with Marvel’s Secret Wars and DC’s Crisis and ends with the defection of Marvel staff to Image Comics.

The concept of the Copper Age is disturbed, some comic readers do not claim it and would dismiss it entirely stating that as soon as the Bronze Age ends the Modern Age begins.

For some Copper Age might run from 1981 to 1985 and for some, it begins from 1985 and ends in 1992 but this article covers the comics from the period 1981 to 1991

 

Top 100 Most Expensive Comic Book List from the Copper Age:

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 First Printing, Origin, and First Appearance of the Team

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1984):

Origin and First Appearance, TMNT
1st printing

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Original TMNT Comics #1 Breaks New Ground

This is one of the most expensive comic books published in the 1980s.

The recent sales in the year 2019 set this incredibly popular book even further apart from the rest of the field. No other comic book in the last 25 years had an impact on popular entertainment other than this issue from 1984.

HOW TO IDENTIFY THE FIRST PRINTING OF TMNT #1

All of the first three printings of this comic are identical from the outside. The second printing does NOT include the inside back cover ad (see below). The third printing is clearly stated on the inside cover. There is a slight difference in the outer look of the third printing but the first and second are impossible to tell apart.

The inside back cover on 1st prints has a full-page ad for Gobbledygook #1 which is another Mirage publication.

2021 Update: 9.8 Sale Has Not Been Repeated

. Multiple copies of the comic have been sold for less money since 2019, casting a doubt on the validity of the $90k sale.

The 2nd and 3rd printings for this comic now also make the top 100!

2. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8

Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 (1984): First Encounter Between
Symbiote and Spider-Man

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The Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 has gained quite a popularity recently and is currently hot in the comic book market.

3. Albedo #2, 1st Usagi Yojimbo

SAMURAI RABBIT SLICES THROUGH OPPOSITION!

Albedo #2 (1984):

Origin and first appearance,
Usagi Yojimbo

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Samurai Rabbit Storms Up the List!

This was another massive breakthrough for potentially the 1980s’ most difficult book (even more difficult than TMNT #1 in high grade).

This dark house comic published by Stan Sakai recently just broke a record for being the only second book of the copper age to break the $30k barrier.

2021 Update: Rabbit Runs Slower

The sales from 2019 indicate that this is another book with more supply than the demand at the upper-grade level.

 

4. Wolverine #1 1988, 1st Patch

Wolverine v2 #1 (1988):

1st in Series

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Of All The Books in All The World… Wolverine #1?
This is the fourth most expensive book of the 80s. People would pay huge amounts to get their hands on this issue.

This comic has a value equal to one copy of Incredible Hulk #181 and a copy of New Mutants #98, both in a high grade.

2021 Update: Calm Down If You Own This Book

Everybody who owns this issue thinks that have a goldmine but the fact is that they are never going to get their money back if another high-grade issue comes out, it’ll halve the value of the first. The only 10.0 in the census set the dense record.

5. Wolverine Ltd Series #1 (1982):
Classic Cover, 1st Solo Book

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6. The Amazing Spider-Man #300 (1988):
First Appearance, Venom comic

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There is a newsstand variant for the issue ASM #300, but currently, the prices are almost similar.

7. Bone #1 (1991):
First issue

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This comic has set up some huge record sales has joined the five-figure club. This tough comic book can be rarely seen in the collections.

8. New Mutants #98 (1991):

First Appearance, Deadpool

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Recently the sales for this issue have increased due to the pandemic but it might not last for long.

9. Amazing Spider-Man #238 (1983):

First appearance, Hobgoblin
Canadian Price Variant

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The amazing price of this comic shows the potential for its growth in the future.

Spotlight on Canadian Price Variants

This growing area of the hobby focuses on the variant prices printed on comics to be distributed in Canada. Some border cities in the US (Chicago, Minneapolis for example) also received these books on newsstands.

Estimates are they make up 5 percent or less of the total print runs. See our dedicated Canadian Price Variants Comic Book Price Guide here.

10. Batman the Killing Joke (1988):

Joker Origin Retold; Paralyzes Barbara Gordon

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Most Expensive 1980s Comics #11 – #20

11. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (2nd Printing)

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The fact that the second printing is this high up the list of the most valuable comic books of the 1980s shows how hot TMNT #1 has become.

12. Raphael #1: TMNT One-Shot Spin-Off (1985)
1st printing; 1st Casey Jones

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13. Amazing Spider-Man #252 (1984):
First Appearance, Symbiote (Black Spider-Man Suit)
Regular edition

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What is the TRUE 1st Appearance of the Symbiote?

While ASM #252 gets all the attention, two other simultaneous first appearances appear lower down on the 1980s most expensive comic book list.

  • Spectacular Spider-Man #90
  • Marvel Team-Up #141

ASM #252 is the most expensive comic book because of its cool cover, and a large number of Spider-Man comic collectors.

There is also an expensive newsstand value and Canadian price variant (see below)

14. Gobbledygook #1 (1984):
Rare Eastman and Laird Book, Photocopied and Stapled;
Forgeries are Common

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If you can find one of these you are in a good shape, it is one of the rarest and expensive books of the 80s.

15. Daredevil #181 (1981):
Death of Elektra

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16. Amazing Spider-Man #316 (1989):
Classic McFarlane Venom Cover

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17. Superman (1988):
“This Island Bradman”, Private Commission by Bradman for son’s Bar Mitzvah

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18. Vampirella #113 (1988):
Rare Final Issue; most returns were reported to be destroyed

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19. Love and Rockets #1 (1982)

Volume 2, color, 1st printing

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20. Star Wars #42

1st Boba Fett in comics
Newsstand variant

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What are Newsstand Variants?

A newsstand variant is the opposite of a direct edition. They were sold at newsstands and regular stores.

A newsstand variant is super easy to spot. The UPC bar code that is at the bottom left is the way to tell

We have a dedicated page for Newsstand Variant Comic Book Prices.

Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1980s #21 – #50

21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (3rd Printing)

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Even the third printing of this comic made it up to the top 20.

22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (1984): 

2nd Appearance of Turtles
First printing

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23. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (1985):

Rare “Laird’s Photo” Comic-Con Variant

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24. The Crow #1 (1989):

First Solo Comic Book
First printing

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25. Uncanny X-Men #266 (1990):
First Appearance, Gambit

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26. Primer #2 (1982):
First appearance, Grendel

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27. Captain America Annual #8 (1986):
First Cap vs Wolverine; 1st Appearance
of Tess-One and Overrider

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This is another one-off sale that will probably never be repeated.

28. G. I. Joe #21 (1984):

First Appearance of Storm Shadow; So-called “Silent Issue”
1st Printing

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29. Star Wars #42

1st Boba Fett in comics
Regular edition

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30. Amazing Spider-Man #238 (1983):

First appearance, Hobgoblin
Regular edition

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31. New Mutants #98
First appearance of Deadpool
Newsstand Variant

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32. The Transformers #1 (1984):
Origin and First Appearance, The Transformers
Canadian Price Variant

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33. Star Wars #68

2nd appearance of Boba Fett in comics
Newsstand variant

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34. Miracleman #1 Gold Edition (August 1985):

First Appearance, Miracleman

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Since the prices for this comic were all over the place and no there were no close repeats of the record sale for a long time there has been a lot of uncertainty about this special edition.

35. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (1985):

1st printing

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36. G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero #1 (1982): First Issue

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37. Sandman #8 (1989):
1st Appearance of Death
Rare Recalled Editorial Variant

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38. Batman #386 (1985):

1st Appearance of Black Mask
Canadian Price Variant

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39. Caliber Presents #1 (1989):
1st Appearance of the Crow
in Comics; Scarce

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40. Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica #320

1st Cheryl Blossom

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41. Cry For Dawn #5 (1991)
Second Printing

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42. The Amazing Spider-Man #299 (1988):

Second Todd McFarlane art, first brief Venom appearance

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43. Incredible Hulk #377 (1991):
Rare Third Printing

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The first two printings of this comic are not that valuable.

The printings are easy to identify as they have completely different covers.

44. Star Wars #68

2nd appearance of Boba Fett in comics
Regular edition

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45. Amazing Spider-Man #252 (1984):
First Appearance, Symbiote (Black Spider-Man Suit)
Canadian Price Variant

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46. Aliens #1 (1988):

1st Solo Aliens Comic

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47. Cry For Dawn #1 (1989)
First appearance of Dawn;
3rd Printing

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48. Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 (1985):

First Appearance, Hellblazer
(John Constantine)
Regular edition

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49. The Transformers #1 (1984):

Origin and First Appearance, The Transformers
Regular edition

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50. Amazing Spider-Man #299 (1988):
Newsstand variant

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Most Valuable Comic Books of the Copper Age (1980s) #51 – #75

51. Crisis on Infinite Earths #1 (1985):

First issue in series

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52. Love and Rockets #1 (1981):
Rare Self-Published Indie Comic

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53. DC Comics presents #47 (1982):

1st Appearance of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
Regular edition

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54. Star Wars #68

2nd appearance of Boba Fett in comics
Canadian Price Variant

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55. The Crow #3 (1989)

First printing

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56. Batman, The Dark Knight Returns #1 (1986): First Issue;
Classic Frank Miller Cover

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57. Archie’s Girls Betty and Veronica #320: 1st Cheryl Blossom
Canadian Price Variant

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58. Evil Ernie #1

1st Evil Ernie and Lady Death

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59. Cry For Dawn #1 (1989)
First appearance of Dawn;
2nd Printing

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60. Amazing Spider-Man #298 (1988):

First Todd McFarlane art on the title

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61. Amazing Spider-Man #265

First Silver Sable

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62. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (1985):

1st printing

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63. Thor #337 (1983):
First Appearance of Beta Ray Bill
Regular edition

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64. Amazing Spider-Man #252 (1984):
First Appearance, Symbiote
Newsstand Variant

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65. Amazing Spider-Man #239 (1983):

First Spidey vs Hobgoblin Battle
Regular edition

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66. Marvel Team-Up #141:

Ties for First Symbiote
Canadian Price Variant

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67. Cry For Dawn #1 (1989)
First appearance of Dawn;
1st Printing

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68. Amazing Spider-Man #256 (1984):

First Appearance, Puma

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69. The Crow #2

1st printing

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70. Avengers Annual #10 (1981):

1st Appearance of Rogue

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71. Incredible Hulk #271 (1981):

1st Appearance of Rocket Raccoon in comics continuity

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72. Incredible Hulk #340 (1988):
Classic McFarlane Wolverine Cover

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73. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8 (1984):
Canadian Price Variant

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74. Amazing Spider-Man #238 (1983):

First appearance, Hobgoblin
Newsstand Variant

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75. Amazing Spider-Man #301 (1988):

Classic McFarlane Cover

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Most Valuable Comic Books of the 1980s #76 – #100

76. X-Factor #6 (1986):

First Appearance, Apocalypse
Canadian Price Variant

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77. Sonic the Hedgehog Promotional Supplement #1 (1991)

Rare giveaway

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78. Thor #337 (1983):
First Appearance of Beta Ray Bill
Canadian Price Variant

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79. Amazing Spider-Man #239 (1983):
Canadian Price Variant

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80. Macross #1 (1984):

Rare, Precursor to the Robotech Series

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81. Batman #357 (1983):

1st Appearance of Jason Todd and Killer Croc
Regular edition

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82. Sandman #8 (1989):
1st Appearance of Death
Regular edition

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83. Spectacular Spider-Man #90

Canadian Price Variant

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84. Predator #1 (1989):

1st Appearance of Predator

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85. Sandman #1 (1989):

1st Appearance

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86. Watchmen #1 (1986)

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87. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1

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88. X-Factor #6 (1986):

First Appearance, Apocalypse
Newsstand Variant

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89. Batman #359

Canadian Price Variant

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90. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 (1984):

Second Appearance of Turtles
2nd Printing

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91. Grendel #1 (1983):

First in dedicated series

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92. X-Force #2 (1991):

2nd Appearance of Deadpool

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93. New Mutants Annual #2 (1986):

1st Appearance of Psylocke

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94. Usagi Yojimbo #1 (1987)

First in solo series

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95. The Crow #4 (1989)

1st printing

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96. Web of Spider-Man #1 (1985):

1st Issue of Series

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97. Punisher #1 (1986):

First Solo Comic Appearance
Regular edition

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98. Marvel Team-Up #141

Ties for First Symbiote
Regular edition

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99. Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1

Newsstand variant

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100. Saga of the Swamp Thing #37 (1985):

First Appearance, Hellblazer (John Constantine)
Canadian Price Variant

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Honorable Mentions:

101. Sonic the Hedgehog #1 (1991):

Rare, 1st Appearance Sega

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102. G. I. Joe #21 (1984):

First Appearance of Storm Shadow; So-called “Silent Issue”
Canadian Price Variant

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103. Spectacular Spider-Man #64 (1982): 

1st Appearance of
Cloak and Dagger

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104. Star Wars #107 (1986):
Last Issue, Scarce in High Grade
Regular edition

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105. G. I. Joe #21 (1984):

First Appearance of Storm Shadow; So-called “Silent Issue”
2nd Printing

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106. Batman #428 (1989):

A Death in the Family Pt. 3,
Robin Dies

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107. Punisher #1 (1986):

First Solo Comic Appearance
Canadian Price Variant

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108. Batman #357 (1983):

1st Appearance of Jason Todd and Killer Croc
Canadian Price Variant

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109. X-Factor #6 (1986):

First Appearance, Apocalypse
Regular edition

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110. Silver Surfer v3 #44 (1990):

1st Appearance of Infinity Gauntlet

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111. Usagi Yojimbo Summer Special (1986)

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112. Sandman #4 (1989)
First Lucifer Morningstar

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113. Tales of the Teen Titans #44 (1984):

1st Appearance of Nightwing

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114. Omega Men #3 (1983):

1st Appearance of Lobo

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115. Batman #404 (1987):

Year One by Miller Begins

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