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Monday, May 19, 2014

The Walking Dead Key Issues

Due to requests, I'm trying my hand at a Walking Dead key issues list published by Image Comics. Bear in my mind that there are a lot of first appearances and deaths of in this series, and quite a few of the keys in the series have to do more with variant or exclusive covers than the actual issue. 

I won't be featuring every single variant or multiple printings because there's just an insane amount of them (friggin' Modern Age books), but I'll try to get as many as I can.

The Walking Dead #1 comic cover
The Walking Dead #1 
  • First appearance of Rick Grimes
  • First appearance of Shane Walsh
  • First appearance of Morgan Jones
  • First appearance of Duane Jones
No doubt that The Walking Dead #1 is an extremely sought after book and no cheap investment now either. Mostly to do with the extreme popularity of the t.v. show, but it is probably the most desired Modern Age book out there now.

This issue kick starts Robert Kirkman's series and introduces the main character Rick Grimes, as most everyone already knows. Shane Walsh is Rick's partner and we see him in the opening pages of TWD #1. After being shot and put into a coma, Rick awakens in the hospital to find out that an outbreak has caused most people to turn into zombies. He later meets Morgan and Duane Jones, discovering that many of the town's people relocated to bigger cities. When he remembers that his wife has family in Atlanta, Jim arms himself with guns and leaves town to head there. Morgan and Duane decide to stay behind. 

There are two variants to the 1st printing, which were caused by printing mistakes. The "Mature Readers" logo on the cover can be in Black or White. It was originally suppose to be white with a black outline. Black "Mature Readers" logo was printed first.

CGC makes no distinction between the two. Values are no more or less expensive for either version. Estimated quantity is around 7,300 copies for 1st print. Some estimate it lower, around the 7,260 range. 

eBay - Quite a few CGC copies for #1 1st printings. Even spotted a 9.9. Quite a few of the later reprints as well if you cannot afford a 1st print copy. Those are being snagged also.

ComicLink - Two CGC 9.8s. One is a Signature Series. Not sure if they are first prints, though. 

ComicConnect - At the time of this writing, one CGC 9.8 1st printing for issue #1 is up for auction with 19 or so days left at ComicConnect.

The Walking Dead #2 comicThe Walking Dead #2  
  • First appearance of Lori Grimes
  • First appearance of Carl Grimes
  • First appearance of Glenn
A second issue that has the first appearances of two important supporting characters in The Walking Dead stories. Lori Grimes is Rick's wife and Carl Grimes their son. This issue also has the first appearance of Glenn, whom is also a main character in the T.V. series, and the two meet when Rick finally makes it to Atlanta which is over-run by zombies.

Glenn leads Rick safely to the edge of town, avoiding the zombies by jumping from rooftop to rooftop. After Glenn informs Rick of a small camp of survivors where his wife and son are and takes Rick there to be reunited his family.

This issue is rumored to have a lower 1st print run than the 1st issue with only 6,100 copies.  

eBay - A lot more scarce for issue #2 1st prints on eBay. Saw CGC 9.6 and a 9.4.

ComicLink - CGC 9.8 Signatures Series available here. Only one copy for sale at the time of this writing.

ComicConnect - One CGC 9.2. Also is a 9.8 The Walking Dead Weekly reprint.

The Walking Dead #3 image
The Walking Dead #3  
  • First appearance of Allen, Amy, Andrea, Carol, Sophia, Dale, Donna, Billy, Jim, and Ben 
A lot of firsts in this issue as well. When Rick arrives at the small camp, he is also greeted by his partner Shane Walsh, who introduces Rick to everyone. Rick meets Allen and Donna and their twin boys Billy and Ben. There is also the owner of the RV, Dale, that the camp is centered around, sisters Amy and Andrea, Carol and her daughter Sophia, and Jim.

Estimate print run for issue #3 is 7,000 copies. 

eBay - Definitely more options for unslabbed copies concerning issue #3. A few CGC options as well. Saw a 9.6 and a 9.2 Signature Series double signed by Kirkman and Moore. Still, pretty scarce here.

ComicLink - Only one CGC copy for sale. It's a 9.8.

ComicConnect - One CGC 9.2 regular Universal.

The Walking Dead #5 pic
The Walking Dead #5  
  • Death of Amy
First death of a supporting character here. Amy gets bit by a roamer, and the camp is suddenly invaded by zombies. After killing all the zombies, Andrea shoots Amy in the head to deter her sister from being reanimated. This issue reveals that Jim was bitten in the arm by a zombie during the attack as well.

1st printing for issue #3 has an estimated quantity of 8,829. 

eBay - Scarce on eBay. Saw one lot for 4 and 5 1st printings and two graded options. One is a CGC 9.4 and the other a PGX 9.8 if PGX doesn't bother you.

ComicLink - If high grade CGC is your taste, there is a 9.8 copy here. Only one, though.

ComicConnect - Two CGC 9.8s here.

The Walking Dead #6 
  •  Death of Jim
  • Death of Shane
Two deaths in this issue as well. As Jim's health deteriorates, he requests the camp to bring him to Atlanta. They leave Jim under a tree and say their goodbyes. The next day, Shane loses it with Rick just before they were suppose to go hunting. After a confrontation, Shane storms off and Rick follows.

We then learn that Shane had always desired Lori and raises his gun to shoot Rick. Shane is suddenly shot in the neck by Carl, who had followed the two.

This is another key comic within The Walking Dead series that's highly sought out. 9,000 copies of the first printing for this issue is estimated in existence.

eBay - A few more options for unslabbed, raw copies. Only one 9.4 CGC graded copy. Scarce on eBay at the time of this writing.

ComicLink - Bringing the CGC high grade goodness, ComicLink has one CGC graded copy available. It's a 9.8.

ComicConnect - Another CGC 9.8 copy located at ComicConnect at the time of this writing. May be gone or still there by the time you read this.

mycomicshop - mycomicshop brings the goodness with a CGC 9.6 copy.

The Walking Dead #7 
  • First appearance of Tyreese 
  • First appearance of Julie
  • First appearance of Chris
  • Lori reveals she is pregnant
In issue #7 we learn that Lori and Shane had a little something going on when Rick was in a coma in the beginning pages. When the survivors decide to leave the camp via the RV, they find themselves needed to clear some cars blocking the road along their journey and meet Tyreese, his daughter Julie, and her boyfriend Chris.

After a battle with two roamers, Tyreese and his family join the camp of survivors, and later that night, Lori reveals to Rick that she's pregnant.

Estimated copies in existing for the 1st printing of this issue is 10,490. 

eBay - 3 CGC graded options - a 9.8, 9.6, and 9.0. The 9.0 is a PGX copy. A few but not many raw copies, like three options as well.

ComicLink - One CGC 9.8 copy here. Compare prices with the one eBay if you're on the hunt for this issue.

ComicConnect - One CGC 9.8 and a 9.6 here for the taking.

The Walking Dead #9
  • First appearance of Otis
  • Death of Donna
The group ends up in Wiltshire Estates, where they begin to search the homes for food and supplies. While doing so, Donna gets bitten by a roamer. In a rage, Allen shoots the roamer, though ordered not to use guns by Rick, and attracts the attention of the other zombies. Donna ends up being devoured by the horde. 

This issue sees the first appearance of Otis, who shoots Rick's son Carl by accident at the end of the story.

Estimated copies in existing for the 1st printing of issue #9 is around 11,289.  

eBay - More unslabbed options. Only two graded options so far. One is a PGX 9.6 and the other a CGC 9.2.

ComicLink - Only a PGX 9.6 here. I bet it's the same one eBay as well. If you're thinking about buying that copy, be aware that ComicLink charges a buyer's premium if you don't pay by check.

ComicConnect - Only one CGC 9.6 concerning 1st prints.

The Walking Dead #10
  • First appearance of Hershel, Maggie, Lacey, Arnold, Billy, Rachel, and Susie Greene
  • First appearance of Patricia
This issues sees the first appearances of the Greene family after Otis brings Rick to the owner of a nearby farm where he lives to treat Carl's gunshot wound. The owner is Hershel Greene, who lives with his two sons Arnold and Billy and four daughters Maggie, eldest daughter Lacy, and twins Rachel and Susie. Otis also lives on the farm with his girlfriend Patricia.

Hershel tells the group they are welcome to stay until Carl is healed. This is the issue where Glenn and Maggie first meet, and they do end up becoming a couple throughout the series.

Estimated copies in existing for the 1st printing of this issue is around 13,719.  

eBay - Only one CGC copy available, graded at a 9.4. A few unslabbed, raw alternatives. 

ComicLink - One CGC 9.8 copy only.

ComicConnect - CGC 9.6 available.

The Walking Dead #11 image pic
The Walking Dead #11
  • Death of Arnold and Lacey Green
  • Death of zombie Shawn
It's discovered that Hershel is keeping his zombified son Shawn locked in the barn, along with other Dead Ones. Not sure what to do with them, Rick and Hershel get into a heated argument about the proper thing to do. Rick ends up backing down.

Of course, a zombie pops up (yawn), and while Hershel tries to force the new undead into the barn, the zombies inside break free. Lacey gets devoured and Arnold gets bitten by his brother. It's then that Hershel changes his mind and joins Rick and the others in exterminating the undead, including his own sons. 

eBay - 4 CGC copies. Three are 9.8s with one a Signature Series copy signed by Robert Kirkman and Moore. Other graded copy is a CGC 9.2. Few unslabbed copies available.

ComicLink - One CGC 9.8 copy available.

ComicConnect - Only one CGC 9.4 here.

The Walking Dead #13 comic
The Walking Dead #13
  • First appearance of Dexter
  •  First appearance of Axel
  • First appearance of Andrew and Thomas
When asked to leave the farm, Glenn decides to stay behind with Maggie and is allow to do so. However, Hershel insists the others leave. After a brief confrontation, the group minus Glenn find themselves at a prison fence with zombies behind it.

After killing the undead roaming around outside the prison, Rick and Tyreese raid the prison for food and supplies and meet the survivors Dexter, Axel, Andrew, and Thomas in the cafeteria.

eBay - Only one CGC 8.5 VF+ copy available for graded copies at the moment. A handful of unslabbed copies. Some are in comic lots.

ComicLink - CGC 9.8 copy located here and for sale. Only one so far.

ComicConnect - CGC 9.6 and 9.2 copies ready for the snagging if you're on the hunt for this issue.

To be honest, The Walking Dead issues 1-10 in the Image Comics series are all good buys at first prints and sought after since those issues build up the story and introduce most of the main cast. I just outlined some of the more important ones.

I ain't done with this, though. Part 2 is ready and there's a lot more to go through, especially when we get to the million and one variants. I won't be going through all those either, just the more popular ones in this series. Visit the link below to discover more Walking Dead key issue comics!




  1. thanks for making this key issues list!

  2. Geez! I was expecting #1, #2, , #3, #7, #19, #27, #48, #53, #61, #92, #100, #108, #127. I didn't realize how many "keys" that TWD actually had.

    1. I suppose I coulda just threw out a super generic list, but I wouldn't feel comfortable with just doing the obvious keys since so many are looking for unknown and minor Walking Dead keys also. Definitely more to come. This will have several parts to it.

  3. lol I was expecting something along those lines too!

    1. You and Tim helped out a lot, so once again, hats off to ya and mucho thanks!

  4. would you pay $2200 for a cgc 9.8?

    1. For a Walking Dead #1 9.8? Nope, I wouldn't pay that much for any Walking Dead comic issue, #1 or not, but that's just me. Real question is would you pay that much for a Walking Dead #1 CGC 9.8?

  5. First off, I LOVE this website...I think I've visited literally every page on this website :)

    I've had this conversation over and over with fellow Walking Dead collectors. That conversation being should I unload or keep in the future? In my opinion - when and if this title comes to an end - the AMC series will follow suit; followed with what I believe will be a 12 month high peak to sell. The thing with the Walking Dead is that it is going to definitely end one day and it's not much of a spoiler alert that likely everyone will die - sure I hope they start-up another gang to follow within the same universe. Don't get me wrong I think we'll be talking about the success of the Walking Dead franchise for a very long time but I think the hype is going to die one day. I just don't think we've ever seen at TV series completely inflates comic values like'll be interesting to see how Preacher, iZombie, etc plays out.

    So am I crazy thinking the value will shrink one day than grow? (I hope not...I have a

    1. Heya Jordan and thanks, man. Let's me know I'm doing something right., I don't think your crazy for thinking that, but it all depends on how much the Walking Dead stays in the pop culture conscious after the show is done. I mean, the show is the X-Files of this generation, but how many people talk about the X-Files nowadays.

      Walking Dead #1 is the top non-variant Modern Age comic out there now, and it is a pretty low print run. Preacher and iZombie have already seen a big bump in demand since the announcement of the television series, but I doubt they'll be Walking Dead inflated. Preacher #1 CGC 9.8 is dropping around $550 bucks. Compared to before the t.v. show announcement, this comic was nowhere near that price.

      I'm not a big Walking Dead fan, so I could see why you have your concerns. I'm not all the confident with Moderns to begin with. They are on my short-term investing plan, which means dish them off at a decent peak. Walking Dead may be an exception, however. It depends on how they handle the comic franchise when the show is kaput. Do they do a movie? Do they do a spin-off comic, do they keep TWD in the public eye or do they just let it fizzle?

      Those are the questions that I ask myself when I think of Walking Dead.