The Top Fifty First Issues

Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. They didn’t have to pick the comics they thought were notable or “important” – we asked them to pick the best opening issues based on their personal taste, and then took their rankings and compiled them into a huge master list of over 300 separate comics. From there we ended up with a top fifty list which shows off the range and taste of comics as a medium: there’s comedy, there’s noir, there’s obviously superheroes, and there’s even – dare you believe it – some manga in the list. It’s a controversial list, and a weird one: in other words, it’s perfect for fighting about!

You can find the master list below – click through to read the write-ups!

50: Thunderbolts #1
49: Sailor Moon #1
48: The Dark Knight Returns #1
47: Suicide Squad #1
46: Daytripper #1
45: Secret Wars #1
44: The Question #1
43: We3 #1
42: Damage Control #1
41: Akira #1

40: The Invisibles #1
39: Monstress #1
38: Copra #1
37: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
36: Bitch Planet #1
35: Planetary #1
34: JLA #1
33: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1
32: Love and Rockets #1
31: Crowded #1

30: Astro City #1
29: Ex Machina #1
28: The Immortal Hulk #1
27: House of X #1
26: Transmetropolitan #1
25: Daredevil #1
24: The Vision #1
23: Paper Girls #1
22: Gotham Central #1
21: Batman & Robin #1

20: Justice League #1
19: Mister Miracle #1
18: Runaways #1
17: Ultimate Spider-Man #1
16: New Gods #1
15: The Walking Dead #1
14: Y: The Last Man #1
13: Fantastic Four #1
12: Giant Days #1
11: OMAC #1

10: Sandman #1
9: Giant-Size X-Men #1
8: Sex Criminals #1
7: X-Men #1
6: All-Star Superman #1
5: Ms Marvel #1
4: The Wicked + The Divine #1
3: Hawkeye #1
2: Watchmen #1
1: Saga #1

Thank you to all the critics who submitted their lists. They include (but are not limited to!):

Adam Messinger; Al Kennedy; Alasdair Stuart; Alex Hern; Alex Lu; Alex Spencer; Alison Lanier; Andrew Wheeler; Avery Kaplan; Bobby; Brandon Davis; Charlotte Finn; Chase Magnett; Chloe Maveal; Chris Eddleman; Claire Napier; Colin Smith; Dan Grote; Dave Buesing; Elana Levin; Erik Tramontana; Gabriella Tutino; Gary Moloney; Graeme McMillan; Gregory Paul Silber; Holly Raidl; Jason Jeffords Jr; Jason Sacks; Jon Erik Christianson; Josh Hilgenberg; Jude Terror; Kayleigh Hearn; Keith Pille; Kirixin; Kyle Pinion; Latonya Pennington; Logan Dalton; Matt Lune; Matt Sibley; Matthew Elmslie; ; Muireann McGlynn; Murphy Leigh; Philippe Lablanc; Priya Sridhar; Rich Johnston; Ritesh Babu; Ryan K. Lindsay; Samantha Puc; Sara Century; Sara L. Jewell; Sean Dillon; Seb Patrick; Steve Foxe; Steve Lacey; Tiffany Babb; Tim Maytom; Tom Shapira; Tom Speelman; Trevor Van As; Zachary Jenkins; Zack Quaintance; Ziah Grace and me. Other critics also participated but requested not to be named. Thank you, mysterious critics!

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