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CSBG Archive

31 Days of Comics – First Comic Series You Seriously Pursued

Our pal Seth Hahne, of GoodOKBad fame, came up with this 31 Days of Comics challenge, one of those things where each day of the month you’re given a different category that you then make a choice of a comic to fill that category. I figured it would be a fun bit to do, so here we are! Click here to see each of the categories so far!

We continue with Day 4, which is the First Comic Series You Seriously Pursued.

Read on for my pick and then you can share yours!

Like many kids of the early 1980s, the comic that first drew me in was Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

And while it is really neither here nor there, as I don’t even think it was a Zeck cover that I first saw (my older brother collected the comic at the time, which is how I got into them), here is a collection of Mike Zeck’s amazing run of G.I. Joe covers from #37-57, when only one cover WASN’T drawn by Zeck (John Byrne’s #51)…

Awesome work from Zeck.


The very first comic I seriously pursued was a British funny strip anthology called “The Beano”. It came out once a week and had around a dozen one- or two-page strips per issue. It was aimed at kids and didn’t really have that all-ages appeal because there was no hidden meaning to the stories or jokes. I collected it for two years, filing the comics in cardboard folders with the issue numbers written on them.

The first US content to catch my eye was the UK reprint of Marvel’s “Secret Wars”, but it wasn’t until they started reprinting “Secret Wars II” that my chores money was good enough to start buying it. I got every issue of the reprint series. I’d already discovered US comics that weren’t reprints – a friend of mine had a bunch of “New Mutants”, “Uncanny X-Men” and “Power Pack” – but I couldn’t afford them. I still fondly remember those “Secret Wars II” reprints because it was like a crash course in the Marvel Universe.

These covers are positively “Zeckcellent.”

For me, it was probably The Phantom or Fantastic Four.
Always preferred the livewire mystique of grabbing whatever looked the most interesting at the time, but those characters managed to breakthrough to become sought-after mainstays (80s-90s). What if… had early appeal, too. All the best Marvel heroes month to month, with some of the biggest moments twisted on their head.

It’s interesting to see how few of those “GI Joe” covers had text on them. I tend to think of that period as a time when the cover art was rarely allowed to shine on its own, but that’s clearly far from the truth. Those are some great covers with a lot of story-telling.

This is a fun topic. It’d be interesting also to see if people started seriously pursuing that comic as a child, as a teen, or as an adult – to see if readers of our generation tended to start younger than readers who are now in their 20s, for example.

The Phantom published in Australia by Frew.

Printed collections of the daily and Sunday strips by Lee Falk along with the original stories by European teams.

I started with GI Joe as well, sort of. At the time I just grabbed a copy at a newsstand whenever my dad would buy one for me (I was… 10-ish maybe?) so I wasn’t picking them up sequentially. When I decided to really start collecting comics, the first title I happened to pick up was Wolverine #99. The fact that Larry Hama wrote it was likely a coincidence. In either case, I dove right in from there, picking up everything I knew I liked from Saturday morning cartoons. So basically X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman.

I used to read most British comics as a child. We all swapped and read each others in the playground. The first I actually collected was Battle Picture Weekly. Featuring Rat Pack , The Eagle D-Day Dawson etc. Then Misty a great girl’s comic that did intelligent horror tales.

On the US front, I was DC all the way. Always traded 2 for 1 at Plus Books until I read Detective 439 Night of the Stalker, Manhunter and 100 pages.I was hooked.

Took me nearly 10 years to read all of the Manhunter saga in the end- but it was worth it

On a holiday trip, I got my first comics. My first real comics. Marvel comics. Sure I had three or so Gold Key comics—an issue of UFO, an issue of Flash Gordon, something else probably. I also had a mass market paperback collecting some old issues of Tales to Astonish (Hulk fighting Sub-Mariner, Hulk fighting Hulk-Killer, Hulk fighting some weirdo named Boomerang). But no real comics, nothing closer than fifteen years previous to the present-day 1984.

But then the pit stop in the San Joaquin Valley changed everything. I was in fourth grade. There was a spinner rack filled with Marvel comics. We still had miles and miles to go, so my parents bought me two. I had seen Micronauts toys around and so my choice was pretty obvious: Micronauts #57 and Micronauts and X-Men #3. It was wild and crazy and I had no idea what was going on in either. Micronauts would end a couple issues later and the team-up series expected you to have even the faintest idea who the X-Men were (Baron Karza had swapped bodies with Kitty Pryde and this was apparently a big deal). What this did, though it would be years before I found resolution to either story, was teach me that these things had evolving storylines. Micronauts #57 implied fifty-six prior stories that were designed to make the story in the fifty-seventh meaningful. I was hooked.

However, I didn’t know where to get these things. I waited desperately for our next road trip through similar territory. In my head, the place to find these comics was hundreds of miles away from my house in the midst of the terrible wasteland of Farming California. A year or some later, we drove through again. My parents had no idea why, but I was desperate that we stop at a particular place, a landmark I had burned into my consciousness. In near hysterics, I finally convinced them that stopping at a particular place was somehow of grave import. I ran in to find more Micronauts but was momentarily devastated to find none. The series had obviously, to we who understand these things, wrapped. It was a betrayal at the time, but I was determined. In my dejections, I purchased Power Pack #5. And then everything changed.

To fifth grade me (the age I believe I was at the time), Power Pack was exactly directed at me. I was right around the same age as Alex Power. I too was the oldest child. I was the perfect age to start reading superhero books and Power Pack was the perfect introduction. Of course, the idea of waiting another year was terrifying. Several months later I realized that the Circle K, a convenience store a thirty-minute walk from my house, also had a spinner rack. I found Power Pack #8. And then #10, #11, and #12. That twelfth issue tied into Uncanny X-Men #195, which I also bought. Eventually, my mom found a comic book store a forty-five minute drive away and, amazingly, she would drive me there once a month. I stayed with the book until issue #52, in retrospect, about twenty-six issues too long.

Power Pack 1, 5, and 11 and X-Men 195

But that was the beginning for me. Power Pack led me into X-Men and New Mutants. And then into Spider-Man and Fantastic Four and Captain America. I faithfully stayed with superhero books (largely Marvel) until 1992, by which time the gimmicks and rehashes and poor character development began to feel infantile. So as I graduated high school, I put comics aside for the most part. I still kept up with some Dark horse books, Next Men and eventually Hellboy, but really, I was done with that scene. They, at that time, were geared toward a different demographic from me.

Eventually, obviously, I came back to comics. And I credit Power Pack almost entirely with my abiding love for graphic novels today. Power Pack, in its way, changed the course of my life.

Those GI Joes are surprisingly good stuff. I read a ton of them in trade form in the last couple years (probably most of the run from the start to about issue 70, or so, in IDW’s Classic GI Joe collections), and they really are quite good stories, a lot of done in ones. No wonder Cronin fell hard for this medium!

For me, in thinking about it, although I tended to grab whatever was cheap and built up a decent little collection of cheapo bin comics of whatever (including, actually, a GI Joe issue — 114, I think?), the first title I probably seriously went for was Green Lantern in the Kyle Rayner issues. I think I got most of those issues from about 52 to 68, which for me was pretty good back then (being limited to spinner racks at local grocery stores and Walmart, and the occasional trip to the comic store. Man, it’s great making money and being able to drive to the store!). That would be… ’94, actually, which is a couple years after I started collecting. So maybe it was Spawn, then, actually, with the Alan Moore issue.

Does Wizard count, actually? Because I think that was where I really got into the then-current stuff, if I think about it.

Anyway, in recent times, in fits of nostalgia, I’ve picked up for cheap the remaining Spawn issues from the first 24 that I didn’t yet have, and just recently got the whole GL run from Emerald Twilight until issue 81, where Hal died, I guess. Haven’t read the GL run yet but I’m hoping the nostalgia isn’t making me think the book is better than it was.

My first issue of GI Joe was #21, “Silent Interlude.” It was a strange read. I didn’t know the characters or what was going on. And I wasn’t aware that all GI Joe books weren’t silent. Still, I liked it enough to try again and the next issue I got was a reprint of #2. After that, I was pretty much all aboard for a few years. All of those covers you link, Brian, bring back fond memories for me.

If I remember right, i picked up GI Joe because of its tie to the cartoon. I picked up Transformers for the same reason. (My first issue of Transformers was the one with Shockwave on the cover of #5 with the words Transformers ARE ALL DEAD. )

I liked comics from a pretty young age, but I didn’t really get desperate about buying them until the X-Men did their X-Cutioner’s Song crossover. I think this was around the time of the cartoon, too. I liked Spider-Man and Batman, too. They kinda had cartoons going on then, too. I wasn’t really able to collect much, though, because my parents didn’t really buy my brothers and me much more than a handful of comics a month. We kinda had to pick and choose so that lead to a lot of random issues.

I didn’t really start collecting until some years later when I would go to a comic shop with my friend from high school and blow my allowance every week. I think Wizard was actually pretty helpful back then. Despite their iffy reputation, they led me to a lot of good comics back then. I never woulda gotten as many DC comics as I did if Morrison’s JLA wasn’t so awesome. Also, they told me about Walt Simonson. They couldn’t have been all bad.

As a very young child in the late 1980s, I had been given a box of random DC comics and I enjoyed them and it got me to start going to comics stores. I remember finding a quarter bin full of back issues of Dazzler which got me interested in Marvel so I started checking out X-Men and Spider-Man and the like but nothing ever really clicked with me until I stumbled upon Sam Kieth’s The Maxx #14 from Image. After that, I tracked down every back issue and even had to track down subsequent issues because I visited comic book stores so infrequently and was not really a regular at any single store. I remember being on the lookout for #18 for over a year but I finally found it. I would sit around drawing trying to copy the images from the comic and using them for school projects and decorating my walls in my bedroom.

At this point, I had lost a lot of interest in the more mainstream superhero comics and I started becoming really interested in small press books like Strangers in Paradise, Cerebus, Bone, etc. and it was all due to this one weird, crazy book. I still have the entire series in single issues as well as hundreds of other single issues that Sam Kieth drew a portion of or maybe even just the cover or a pin-up. I also started becoming very interested in painted sci-fi/fantasy art like Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben, Mike Ploog, etc.

In the present day, I got to rediscover a lot of the more mainstream superhero stuff but I still have a huge soft spot for the more creator-owned/ small press stuff.

For me, it was Ditko’s Spider-man and Dr. Strange. The original runs were older than me, but there were plenty of reprint opportunities. I have a special fondness for the full color paperback-sized books of the mid-70’s. Many years later I went a little crazy getting reprints of virtually every EC comic.

As for non-reprint stuff, I guess the only complete runs I’ve got are the Acme Novelty Library and Real Stuff (Dennis Eichorn)…got em all right off the rack as they came out.

That GIJoe 45 was one of my first comics. My dog-eared copy is still one of the treasured jewels of my 40k+ collection.
I would say GIJoe and Transformers were my first two serious pursuits.

Raymond Wonsowski

January 5, 2014 at 11:15 am

I cut my comics teeth on DC’s 70’s stuff, but the FIRST “gotta have every issue in the run” for me was Ann Nocenti’s DAREDEVIL with John Romita Jr. on art. Bushwhacker, Bullet, Typhoid Mary, Mephisto, plus a key fill in by Keith Giffen and the Crocodile Man…those stories are still imprinted on my brain…Thank you, Ms. Nocenti, for all the great stories…

I’ve read comics for as long as I could remember. Growing up, I had a box full of random comics that my parents had bought me off various spinner racks and news counters for me, with a big chunk of it made up of G.I. JOE and STAR WARS comics, plus various superhero, Whitman and Disney comics.

But the first comic I started hardcore collecting and that made me a comic fan was UNCANNY X-MEN. My best friend had started reading it, and hearing his descriptions of the characters like Rogue and Longshot and Psylocke and Wolverine, etc. piqued my interest. This would have been in 1988, when Silvestri was drawing the book. My first issue was #236, the second part of the Genosha introductory storyline. I was 11 and immediately began begging my dad to take me to a comic store so I could hunt down back issues. Within a few years, my meager allowance had gone towards a very healthy run of X-Men back issues. At one point, I had every issue from #143 up, plus just about all the annuals, the spin off mini-series, and the Dark Phoenix Saga trade. I never really got into the various off shoot series like X-Factor and Excalibur but I stuck with my beloved X-Men for several years before my interest shifted over to books like Sandman and Doom Patrol and I eventually stopped reading X-Men shortly after Claremont was ousted from the series.

Sadly, I sold off those individual issues about a decade or so ago, but recently I picked up the Uncanny X-Men Omnibus and have been enjoying my ‘re-discovery’ of those old Claremont X-Men comics. I’m excited to see a second volume is coming out soon…

Oh, and in regards to GI JOE, one of those comics in that early ‘collection’ of mine was issue #21. I still have my copy, with it making a HUGE impression on my young self. If pressed, I would probably name it my all-time favorite single issue of any comic. Of all those old comics, I still only have it and my copy of STAR WARS #81, which features the temporary escape of Boba Fett from the Sarlac pit. Cool, cool comic…

X-Men and Uncanny X-Men in the mid-to-late ’90s. Was a huge fan of the X-Men cartoon in the early ’90s, and several years later when I discovered they star their own comic books, I’ve became a follower.

I never had the money to get first run comics as a child but we always went to the 2 for a dollar bins which is where I first picked up the DC Legends crossover. My favourite story of the bunch was the Warlord crossover. I loved old Edgar Rice Burroughs and pulp novels and Warlord fit right into this milieu. After that I went back and began collecting every issue and annual. Last year, at a local con I finally found a decent copy of 1st Issue Special #8 to finish the entire run.

Giffen and DeMatteis Justice League was the first comic I started buying on a monthly basis. Before JL I had gotten my comics from a convenience shop and I could rarely finish a multi part story so I would seek out annuals and other one and done issues. Then my small town I lived in got its first comic shop and I became acquainted with the pull list. Justice League was the first one I put on my list due to the strength of Issue 4 the first issue of the series that I read (the one where Booster Gold joins the JL). It was like no other comic I had read before, the characters were more like regular shulbs working a job than superhuman gods. Plus the very next issue Guy Gardener picks a fight with Batman and Batman knocks him out with one punch and I was hooked. Man I miss that comic.

The first comic I seriously pursued was the original DC Comics Presents. The series started when I was seven and just starting to buy my own comics with my allowance (which I think was 50 cents at first, meaning I could afford one 35-cent comic a week), and I never missed an issue.

Oh, also, much as I’ve always liked Mike Zeck’s work, somehow I’ve still never experienced G.I. Joe in any medium. Nor Transformers, for that matter, unless playing with one of the toys at a friend’s house counts.

I may be the only person in America to be able to say that it was Marvel’s Epic line. I recognized Sergio Aragones’ art from the Mad Magazines that my dad had around, so when I saw Groo I jumped. The house ads lured me into Elfquest and Dreadstar. They were the first “series” I ever read, leaving behind the random Richie Rich and Casper stuff I had been buying here and there. It wasn’t until Secret Wars II that I started reading superheroes.

Willie Everstop

January 5, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Uncanny X-men, I’ve still got all of them from Proteus to The Twelve, plus a small handful of really old issues. For a while I also included X-Men, Excalibur, X-Force, and Peter David’s X-Factor.

X-Men was what got me started on comic books as a regular pastime and probably the first one that I “pursued” (although how we’re defining “seriously” pursued is a bit vague here). TMNT and Ninja High School (it was the 90s and I was a kid, I didn’t know any better) followed.

What got me to start buying comics on a monthly basis (before that I would just buy comics whenever I was bored and had nothing else to read) was Marvel’s 2099 line (which was still running at the time). I was really into future sci-fi at that age and the idea of “Marvel in 100 years” was pretty much the coolest concept ever seen in a comic as far as I was concerned.

On a sort of related note, I actually stopped reading comics altogether in the early 2000s and didn’t read any professionally published American comics for a few years after that. Civil War was what got me to notice them again (it was being talked about a lot online even on non-comic related forums) and IDW’s G.I. Joe (and probably to a lesser extent Ghostbusters) was what got me back into reading them again on a regular basis.

And to get back to the meat of the article, Marvel’s G.I. Joe is my favorite comic of all time so it’s amusing to see it paid some lip service on here. And those covers were excellent. Very in your face and bold.

It was Swamp Thing, vol. I, in the mid-1970’s. I got hooked with the Nestor Redondo issues and backtracked through mail-order (remember Pacific Comics, anyone?) to get the original Wein/Wrightson run.

This, along with Transformers, was it for me. And I think I was collecting about a year later, starting with #59 and ending with #66, although I had back issues going back to #46.

I’d get REALLY serious with Batman a couple of years later.

First one for me was a toss up between Power Pack and Psi-Force from the New Universe. I’m not sure which came first, but they were roughly the same time. I remember Power Pack as the first comic that I specifically owned, (my brother gave me a copy of #17), but I didn’t start regularly collecting it until a few years later. Psi-Force #12 I believe may have been the first comic I bought myself just because of the cover, and the date of that roughly matches when I remember starting to buy Power Pack regularly too.

Err, it was Psi-Force #11, I mean, the cover of a guy telepathically trying to contact his friends who are trapped in a cave in was much cooler than #12 which is a bald guy holding a girl at gunpoint (with an admittedly cool ghost in one corner)..

AVENGERS, late-Englehart (circa 140 or so), and FANTASTIC FOUR — caught Perez’s Marvel debut (what kid could resist that Impy-in-bullpen cover?

Side note: Without knowing what a font was, I noticed at the time that the ’70s logos for FF and Inhumans used the same font and tried to start a FANTASTINHUMANS club at school. I even made a logo. You guessed it: membership, 1.

I got into comics through my older brother and he read anything that he could get his hands on before we discovered comics shops. But the first series I collected with my own money was the Detroit era Justice League of America. (Mainly because my brother refused to buy it.)

For me it was West Coast Avengers.It was right about the time when they had gone back in time to the Rama Tut and Wild West with 2 gun kid.It was the 1st series i was able to actively follow because it was always at the local drug store that sold comics. They always seemed to carry it for some reason. I followed from then until pretty much the end of the series.
Now the first comic i had a subscription to was Power Pack.I loved that series. Such a great series for kids.

For the first few years, I mostly got comics bought for me by parents, and it was usually whatever looked cool on the spinner rack, so I’d get a random scattering of titles, and if I happened to get the following issue of a series it was mostly coincidence.

I think the first series where I actually felt I’d better keep up to see what happens was the Fantastic Four after the Sphinx thrashed them (#208) and went off to destroy the earth. I knew I had to keep my eyes peeled for the next few FFs, ’cause they were going to get Galactus for help, and I had to see how that played out! (Even then, I think I ended up missing a bunch of the next issues and didn’t fill out the storyline until years later).

And I think it was when I got Moon Knight #1 that I figured, hey, I’m on the ground floor, I’m going to keep getting these. Again, I lost track after a few issues, but by then I was getting into the whole collecting thing.

Around that time, I started following X-Men and Daredevil and those were my monthly must-haves for the next 7-8 years solid.

Good times!

My handle pretty much answers that question.

The Super-Friends cartoon was a gateway drug for many a DC fanboy that grew up in the 80s.

Elfquest. I’d seen an article about them in Dragon, and a schoolmate had the graphic novels available then.
Wow. Gorgeous art (And Wendy Pini has only gotten better over the years). A good storyline. And strong female characters. (I didn’t consciously know I wanted that back then.) And, even more on that line, the concept of ‘scantily clad’ wasn’t limited to just women. Some males were wearing not that much, and some women were wearing lots. And, even better (again, not something I realized then), but the clothing made sense. It wasn’t less or more for reasons of sexiness, but because of who the characters were, and what they were.

Generation X. I was drawn into X-men via the cartoon and bought whatever sporadic issues i could, but Generation X is what really sucked me in. It was pretty rare for the 90’s as it wasn’t ALL pouches and guns, it’s the only ongoing I bought as it came out beginning to end. I also read a good chunk of FF from the mid 300’2-the early 400’s.

“Justice League of America” and “Legion of Super-Heroes” were the first two books I looked for on a regular basis (off the spinner rack of the nearby pharmacy). When I was a kid, more heroes per title = more value for my 35 cents (haha)!

And I actually had one-year, thru-the-mail, wrapped-in-brown-paper subscriptions to “Amazing Spider-Man” and “Uncanny X-Men”, back when JRJR was the artist on both (1983-84)!

GI Joe was my first series I started collecting, too. And it was largely because of the commercials they would run on tv for the comics. It’s hard to believe nowadays, but at the time they actually ran animated commercials for the GI Joe comic book. I was a fan of the toys and I liked comics, so seeing those ads made me search out the GI Joe comics. Pretty quickly after that I was also getting 5 or 6 other titles, and now it’s almost 30 years later and I have thousands and thousands of comics. So basically what I’m saying is comic companies should start doing TV commercials again.

ASM early 80s. First Black Cat, classic days in the Chelsea apartment (Nimrod, Speed Demon, Tarantula, first Hobgoblin).

Uncanny X-Men and Conan The Barbarian were my first subscriptions, so I guess that would have to qualify as my first “must haves”. My first UXM sub issue was #203 (my first issue ever seen was #196), and my first Conan sub issue was… #175? That cover ‘feels’ right, but it was so long ago, and I remember getting a ton of back issues, so it could have been #180. But somewhere around that era. (UXM #196 was September 1985, so my subscriptions started early 1986.) And for Christmas 1985, the parents got me the Phoenix Saga TPB, God Loves Man Kills GN, and the Power of Iron Man TPB (AKA Demon In A Bottle storyline).

Stuck with X-Men through March 1994 (UXM #300), Conan through #200 or #212, I can’t say because I no longer have that run.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know that I can pinpoint what series I followed first. Like many of the above commenters, I got my childhood comics secondhand from my (almost ten-years-older) brother. Unlike them, I feel like the transition from reading his to both of us buying our own was kind of a slow osmosis. When I first started getting comics of my own as a kid, it was all kids’ stuff, like STAR Comics stuff. By the time I can remember buying “grown-up” comics, my brother and I were sharing and trading “X-Men” and things like that.

I kind of wish I had started handling my own comic collection earlier, then maybe I would actually have the full runs of the Claremont/Davis “Excalibur” (mentioned on the ‘favorite comic book ever’ entry) and “Generation X”, instead of just whichever ones he or I managed to pick up.

The first comic I ever bought was also a GIJoe issue, but much later. I think it was #123. But being a kid of the early 90’s, the first two comics that I really made sure I bought every issue of were Spawn and WildCATs. The first series I bought every issue of from back issue bins was Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing run.

Of all things, the first comic I “collected” was The New Defenders, starting with 130. Such a collection of oddball characters and villains. Even at age 10 I thought the middle of the New Mexico desert was an out of the way place to base your superhero team. Most of the menaces they fought were people and things that came out just to kill them.

Great stuff

Any original DC comics I could find in New Zealand in the 1970s. Legion of Superheroes, JLA and the big three (Wonder Woman was harder to find than Supes and Bats). Then the New Teen Titans which was oddly the easiest to find, thus I bought the entire run off the spinner at the local corner store. Always months after it was in the US but that didn’t matter. Good times.

Diamond’s Previews site has a short interview with Larry Hama on reaching GI Joe #200.


So disappointed the interview didn’t discuss plans to rerelease and then revisit Nth Man.

The Beano – home of the proper Dennis the Menace – the one with a dog called Gnasher, the glorious Bash Street Kids, and best of all, Minnie the Minx – who has the best dad in comics!

After that it was Superman – particularly anything by Cary Bates and Curt Swan

I’m starting to realize what a seminal series GI Joe was for folks 10 years younger than me. I read it, but I was never impressed.

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The Legion of Super-Heroes

The Crazed Spruce

January 6, 2014 at 5:46 am

I grew up reading my brother’s comics, which pretty much ran the gamut from X-Men and Avengers to New Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes to Jonah Hex and G.I. Combat to Star Wars and the immortal classic, U.S.1. But the first series I made a point of picking up myself when I started getting enough of an allowance were Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew and All-Star Squadron.

The first comic I actually pursued was The Avengers. I was away at cadet camp and one of my bunk mates brought a few comics and one of them was What If? #9 and I was hooked on this team of Avengers.

The funny thing, of course, is that the book didn’t even feature the ‘actual’ Avengers.

I then went and bought three currentish issues, #136, #137 and Annual # 11.

I started fillign in the holes and eventually I finished the run.

Marvel’s ALF. Someday, I will complete my run of that series.

The IDW Transformers series. I was huge into the figures from elementary to halfway through high school. I didn’t have any easy to get to comic shops when DW was doing them, but when the company went under and the series relaunched from IDW there was one pretty close to my neighbourhood. Once I was there I saw some X-Men on the shelves, got nostalgic for my childhood watching the cartoon, and have been collecting them ever since.

I started reading Marvel comics in the mid 60s. It was always a crap-shoot what titles you might find on the spinner racks. This wasn’t a big deal with DC comics since they were almost always stand alones. But Marvel was always doing two and three parters.

I remember many Saturdays riding my bike from store to store to store searching for the other half of a comic I had bought at my corner store. That was my first pursuit.


January 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Count me as another kid pulled into comics by G.I. Joe. Issue #3 is the single most important comic of my life.

I wonder how many other kids used G.I Joe as their gateway comic? I read G.I. Joe for about 2 years before I started branching out to other Marvel titles. I quit reading it right after #50 – whenever they brought back Cobra Commander in that suit of armor. By that time i was a 13 year old with a serious comic book problem.

Those trips to the grocery store with Mom were so thrilling AND maddening if they had sold out of a comic you were looking for.

Those Zeck covers are just awesome. He’s still a favorite of mine, so dynamic. There are a couple of Micheal Golden covers from just before this run that are awesome as well.

Jughead’s Pal Hot Dog. It was bi-monthly and only ran 5 issues. But it started my comic buying habit in a big way.

Depends I guess how you define seriously. Like yours, Brian, Transformers was a comic I read having already been familiar with the TV show. So after reading one issue, I sought out others. But I wasn’t quite seriously reading comics yet. I think within a year or so, my collection consisted of #2-5 and a couple odd later issues. (Not bad for a 4 issue miniseries).

Seriously, seriously, it’s Avengers. Avengers was my first single issue (Transformers a bit later) and that I got into and really did a solid job filling in some back issues. I got pretty much the entire Hama run, the Collection Obsession, the whole battle with Nebula from #315-317, and several other issues. By the time the extended Harras/Epting run started with 343, I had a decent chunk of the previous 30 some issues and was almost ready to keep with it as they came out.

And whereas I moved on quickly from Transformers, I continued to collect Avengers for 18 years.

Now it’s been 7 years since I’ve read an Avengers book. I may check back in once the Marvel Now stuff gets into trade.

Fantastic Four, starting with 260. I would have been 11 or 12. Climax of a classic Byrne story line. I picked up Alpha Flight 4 soon after, and the fact they two tied together probably helped suck me into the Marvel universe.

The first series that I pursued the hardest would have to be Flash vol. 2 followed by Aquaman. I first started collecting the Flash at about issue 207 (having first read the trades of Johns run first) and I have yet to cancel the Flash since (even though Wally will always be my Flash, I have come to like Barry since he’s been back. I truly enjoy his New 52 comic). I fell in love with the Wally West character and feverishly searched back issue bins alike for the whole story of Wally West as the Scarlet Speedster. I’d have to check my records, but I’d say I’m about 80% complete on finishing that whole volume of Flash.

I’ve collected issues from every volume of Aquaman, including complete runs of vol. 2, 3, 4, and 5. I have about half of the issues of vol. 6 right before it turns into Sword of Atlantis and all of the New 52 comics (minus variants).

the middle of Juergans and Romita’s Thor run. Those comics were a blast, mixing sci-fi, superheroes, fantasy, monsters, sword and sorcery, with crazy over the top art, what’s not to like?

As I said in the other favorites thread, Jazzbo’s story is my story. I had certainly had superhero comic issues, and collections, but the first comic I had regularly got issue after issue was my GI Joe subscription, right around theses issues with the covers shown here. And that led to the subscription ads and seeing what’s going on with my old pals Spider-Man and so on….

What IS Mike Zeck doing now? Is he happy just selling his art, or is the comic world completely screwed up by not getting this guy on a limit series now? Or heck, an ongoing title…since those things don’t exist anymore and they all get rebooted to #1 after a year anyway.

(Which is another thing…it may be a great jumping on point with a new #1…but how do you do just this and track down what has happened in the past when they’re 20 different titles featuring the characters….I pretty much knew Amazing Spider-Man 1-whatever came before Amazing Spider-Man #1XX.)

First comic I seriously pursue was Origin by Paul Jenkins and Andy Kubert. That is the first comic I bought with my own money. I bought it as a hardcover too, so it was pretty expensive for a kid like me.

Mine was Avengers, starting with #212 and the now classic Hank Pym saga. This was in 1981 and I was sampling everything from Marvel, DC, Whitman, Harvey, or any company my local U Totem mini-mart would stock.

Eventually, I went with the Marvel first and foremost. Other than Avengers, I started following the Spider books, (Amazing, Spectacular, and Marvel Tales) plus Iron Man, G.I. Joe, Defenders, Captain America, and the original Marvel Universe Handbook.

DC’s didn’t impress me as much, but I collected Justice League of America faithfully from issue #195 to just before the Satellite era ended and it was right up there with Avengers. Later on, I added Captain Carrot, (yeah) All-Star Squadron, and New Teen Titans for around a year or so each. DC didn’t really do much for me until Crisis hit the stands in mid decade.


January 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

Yay! for U Totem!

I don’t think I ever bought more than one or two comics from our local U Totem, despite going there a lot for candy and snacks. Their comic selections seemed really odd to me, mostly second and third string Marvel titles – Defenders, Spectacular Spider-Man etc., no Avengers, FF or G.I. Joe.

Mine was X-Men Hidden Years, John Byrne’s 1999 creation that followed the story of the original X-Men between their cancellation and the second team. When that got canceled I bought X-Treme X-Men for a while and then got out of it. I came back in 2004 for Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men and have been regularly buying monthly titles ever since.

In my case it was probably the X-Men – the real ones that Werner Roth drew. But I also liked the Jim Shooter Legion of SuperHeroes in Adventure.

By 1969 one of those titles had been cancelled and the other was getting a bit weird with all that Barry Smith, Steranko, Neil Adams art so I drifted over to the Lee / Kirby Fantastic Four.

I’m not sure if Y: The Last Man would count for me because I read it in collected editions rather than single issues (and even then, I just borrowed them from my brother). Still, it really introduced my to the world of comics as a continuing story, and got me into rabidly collecting them, so I guess that’s mine.

From the age of six or so I’d been given plenty of comics as presents, one a week, new from the newsagent, bought by my mother as a treat, and there were some titles I’d request: Fantastic Four, Spiderman, Batman, etc, but the first comic that I actively pursued (purchased for myself and even sought out back issues for) was Iron Man, after finding a bargain book store copy of The Power of Iron Man trade paperback (now renamed Demon in a Bottle) when I was 16 or so.

For me it was ROM Spaceknight.

Picked up issue #10 (the cover had Rom trashing fighter jets in the sky) at the local stationary store and was immediately hooked. My first introduction to the larger Marvel Universe, outside of the cartoons being aired at that time.

When I got into super hero comics I was looking through an issues ‘Marvel Checklist’ and decided ‘Now that I read super heroes I will get ROM.’ My first issue? 71…

I love how many people have said either GI Joe or Transformers in these comments. Transformers was my first serious series, started with 8 (Ratchet and the Dinobots vs Megatron) then a few months later I got a copy of #12, which led to a fairly sporadic run through the teens. From 20 onwards though, it’s an unbroken run right up to the late 50s when the book just stopped being as good as it once was. That includes the (animated) movie adaptation, Transformers Universe, the Marvel GI Joe vs the Transformers (which lead to a subsequent serious collection of GI Joe) and the Headmasters mini. I saw someone else earlier mention Larry Hama’s Nth Man, it’s great to know that I’m not the only one who remembers (and perhaps still occasionally re-reads) this neglected and unappreciated classic.

For me, it was Preacher.

That Glenn Fabry cover of issue # 1 just simply drew me in.
First, the cover blew my mind. And once i read that first issue, i never looked back (That issue also introduced me to Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon).
I collected every single issue, including the various one-shots and mini-series.
Until today, that series remains the only series of which i have all single issues in print (I’m even thinking of getting them in digital format through comixology).

“I saw someone else earlier mention Larry Hama’s Nth Man, it’s great to know that I’m not the only one who remembers (and perhaps still occasionally re-reads) this neglected and unappreciated classic”

Count me in also, I loved that book too. I wasn’t that fond of the ending though…

mine was batman of course after first indroduced to the character by another dc character known as ragman. for had to learn more about the guy in the batsuit

Astro City. When I started comic around at 10, I just picked up whatever was around and enjoyed it. Comic grab bags were a real joy for me. When I went to Thailand at age 12, I picked up the monthly translated books (it was kind of weird, They’d print these big books that contained every x-book published a certain month and translate it into Thai and leave the original English at the bottom of the page with numbers related to the panels. Then I started picking up Wizard monthly (which I continued to do until it was cancelled), which they also had there. I knew I was never going to pick up all of the books every month, but reading it let me see what was happening in books I wasn’t picking up. Then I decided to pick up Astro City on their recommendation and I was hooked. I loved the slice of life take on heroes and while it was probably old hat to older readers, but at age 13 it was a big eye-opener.

I still love Astro City but being older, I see it;s great, but not quite as brilliant as I used to think. Still, it is a very fun read and hits all my super-hero buttons and at the time, I had to get every issue. I stopped around the time The Dark Age started. I really need to pick that and the new series (I know the latter is generally better reviewed) when I come back from Korea.

For me it was Micronauts #1 till the end. My father would bring me home comics from the flea market that he worked, and initially I tried to complete the run, but my love was for #1 – 35 (the Double Size Issue that completed the “Sword In The Star” saga. Well, maybe #36 with Nightcrawler). Michael Golden’s artwork was mesmerizing! After gifting my initial run to a friend that was leaving to go to work in American Samoa, I got back to finding the issues again and have them all with the exception of #3, with Baron Karza on the cover.

A close second is the “Albedo Anthropomorphics” saga that ran through Critters and the Albedo series. The Critters were tough to find and the Albedo is equally difficult to get because of scarcity……I have all 4 “Command Review” bookshelf issues, but the Antartica Press ones are the most difficult to find.

For me it would be either Amazing Spider-Man or Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, depending upon how you look at it. I got into comics around the age of thirteen (I’m twenty now), but not living near a comic book shop (and having no money) I couldn’t read them that often. On a trip to Britain my Mum bought me Essential Amazing Spider-Man Vol.1, and from there I’d buy a volume whenever I went to the city (which was two hours away) if I had the money.

A few years later, I got a job and started ordering comics online. I’d read a fair bit of Ultimate Spider-Man from my local library, which luckily stocked nearly every volume, and so when I saw that the second volume was starting up, I decided that that would be one comic I really wanted to pick up from the start and collect every issue of.

The first comic series that I seriously pursued was probably Web of Spider-Man. I was/am a big fan of the ol’ web-head, and it was neat for me to be able to pick up a series at the first issue.

The very first comic book I ever read was X-Men #1, by Claremont and Jim Lee. I was an impressionable kid who had fallen in love with the cartoon series, so following up the actual comic book was just a huge boon for me.

But to be completely honest, I hadn’t really starting collecting or following comics until 2008, in my last year of high school. Sure, I read a trade here and there, mostly the evergreens(Watchmen, DKR, Long Halloween, etc), but not much of the actual serialized books. Anyway, Punisher: War Zone was coming to theaters and I heard it was fun in a bored on Saturday afternoon matinee kind of way, but I got there pretty early, so I went to the nearby book store. I saw that Ed Brubaker/Steve Epting Captain America omnibus. Now IGN had been hyping that book up something crazy, this whole “Death of Captain America” thing, so I figured I got some time to kill, I’ll read an issue or two. Grabbed the big-ass book, sat in a chair, and got to it.

Couple hours later, I had read 20+ issues of this mothafucka and was ignoring phone calls wondering where I was. I was absolutely captivated by what I was reading. WTF is the Winter Soldier!? Oh shit, he’s Bucky Barnes!? Wait, the town is occupied by Hydra!? Nazi supersoldiers!? It was like the tv show 24 mixed with old school sci-fi comic bookery, and I was hooked. Been reading these wacky crappy awesome terrible sequential collections of words and pictures ever since.

My Comic series I seriously pursued was / is Gold Digger. The toughest issue to find was Regular Series Black and white #1, that one took me the longest to find, (Over 10 years, from when I first actually started collecting the series, to when I actually completed it.)

First Mini-series took me about 3 years to complete.

Just for reference I started collecting the series with Black and White Issue #14 and didn’t complete it til around issue #70 of the color series.

The comic book that got me really hooked on comics as a kid was Rom,Spaceknight. Issue # 33 was the first. That and the classic run of New Teen Titans by Wolfman and Perez.

I started getting X-Factor from Waldenbooks around the mid-fifties of that series. It was that whole era with Archangel and Charlotte Jones, Bobby and Opal, and Hank and Trish. Jon Bogdanove was drawing followed by Whilce Portacio. That got me reading Uncanny X-Men around #269, and the rest is history!

Darkhawk! I almost collected all of The Transformers, but the way Darkhawk combined BOTH the noir of the streets with the stars made it unmissable. Now days when they just focus on the stars side it’s missing something but back then it was unmissable.

Most of my superhero reading with a few exceptions is very dip in and and dip out – I usually read something out of overwhelmingly positive word of mouth. The stuff I got into Walking Dead pretty heavy but if I’m driving home the “seriously pursued” aspect, it’d be Invincible. My friends had been recommending it to me for years but I kept on ignoring them, saying, “I love indie books, but if I want to read a superhero book I’ll read something by Marvel or DC.” One day I finally decide to pick up the first trade. I like it enough to pick up the second. Within two weeks I’m caught up in time to read issue 50 and I’ve followed it hardcore since then. Someday when I actually have enough money I’ll ask Ryan Ottley for a sketch at Comic Con.

Fantastic Four was the first book I had to get monthly. Avengers was the first book I had to get back issues for

I’m another check for the Marvel GI Joe column…I have a special fondness for issue 47 (I think that’s right) where we get that great scene of Snake Eyes vs. a great white shark.

From there, I branched out to a lot of Marvel series but Avengers West was probably the first of those that regularly followed…it had all my favorite Avengers and I really liked Dave Ross’ art at the time.

I was given or picked up random books since the late 1960s but started getting every issue of Justice League of America as of #102 in1972. Also Superboy for the Legion of Superheroes around the same time.
JlofA 102 was the end of a three parter and it was hard to find back issues then. I remember getting hand written lists from dealers like ken Pierce and eventually getting JLA 100 and 101. Then almost all of the other earlier 100 issues as well. I bought all my new books from the same Pittsburgh drug store for the next 10 years(they put the dates in ink on the covres). eventually the clerk started holding my books for me and one day told me her nephew wrote LSH; she was Jim Shooter’s aunt.

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