The 1980s marked the introduction of a number of iconic franchises that began on the pages of comic books. As a result, there are a number of key comic book issues in the decade that are coveted by collectors today. This guide provides an overview of the top 1980s comics, their significance and estimates of their rarity. You are always welcome to reach out to discuss any of these comics.
Amazing Spider-Man 300
Released in May 1988, this comic features an iconic cover by Todd McFarlane and introduced Venom to comic readers everywhere. Noted as a special 25th anniversary issue (issue 1 was published in 1963), the classic Spider-Man cover became one of the most well-known images and would inspire a generation of homage covers. Today there are over 29,000 graded copies of ASM 300 (and over 1,260 in 9.8 or better condition), and more continue to be graded all the time – in fact it ranks among the very top in terms of the most graded comics from CGC. The value of the comic varies depending on condition, with issues published as “newsstand” copies (with a bar code) are more desirable due to fewer remaining in mint condition compared to direct editions.
The Crow 1 and Caliber Presents 1
Featuring the first appearance of the Crow in the 1989 publication. With only over 727 graded issues, this is a relatively scarce comic from the late 1980s with cover art by Tom Vigil. Just one month later, in February 1989, Caliber published The Crow 1 which went through several printings. There are nearly 720 copies of the first print edition graded today. The release of The Crow film in 1994 created a new generation of fans and hope for upcoming movie releases further drives collector interest in these titles.
Albedo number 2, released in 1984, marks the first appearance of Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai. Based on a retelling of Japanese history, published by Thoughts and Images, the character has gained a global following and is featured in a Netflix series in Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles. Limited to only 2,000 copies in its initial print run, Albedo 2 is a scarce comic and only 275 copies have been graded so far. With the increased popularity of Usagi, collectors continue to value and covet this issue.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1
The Ninja Turtles first appeared in a 1984 comic book published by Mirage and co-created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. In the first print edition, released with only 3,000 copies in May 1984, the series began to gain traction among comic readers throughout the country. This led to a second print edition, with slightly modified cover and then a third printing with additional modifications to the coloring on the cover. With introduction of the Turtles, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and Leonardo, the turtles would go to feature in an ongoing comic series, TV shows, movies and toys beloved by fans worldwide.