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
- First appearance of Rick Grimes
- First appearance of Shane Walsh
- First appearance of Morgan Jones
- First appearance of Duane Jones
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.
- First appearance of Lori Grimes
- First appearance of Carl Grimes
- First appearance of Glenn
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
- First appearance of Allen, Amy, Andrea, Carol, Sophia, Dale, Donna, Billy, Jim, and Ben
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
- Death of Amy
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
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
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
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
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
- Death of Arnold and Lacey Green
- Death of zombie Shawn
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
- First appearance of Dexter
- First appearance of Axel
- First appearance of Andrew and Thomas
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!