Thursday, 16 June 2011

The first super-hero comic you ever read.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #6, the Sinister Six, the first super-hero comic I ever read
Sometimes I wonder what's going on in my head. Here I am, well over a year into inflicting this blog on the world, and I've never got round to asking you the most obvious of questions. What was the first super-hero comic you ever read?

If you're like me - and I sincerely hope you're not - your first experience of printed super-herodom may well have been a life-changing experience akin to taking LSD for the first time.

After nearly forty years, I still recall the mind-expanding thrill I got from seeing Captain America's costume for the first time and of experiencing the ulra-hip world of the Teen Titans.

Then again, there was the Angel's tussle with Red Raven in The X-Men #44, and Superman being tied to a stake by an angry group of American Indians. All these were amongst my very earliest experiences of the art form.

But I'm pretty sure the first one I ever read was Amazing Spider-Man Annual #6 which, like the only Dr Who jigsaw I ever owned, I got from the old open air market in Sheffield before it was replaced by the fancy new indoor Sheaf Market. Well, time marches relentless and both those markets are now gone with a newer fancy new market in the pipeline for the city.

That Dr Who jigsaw had a piece missing.

The comic didn't.

It featured more pieces than you could shake a stick at. It featured Spider-Man. It featured the Sinister Six. It featured Iron Man, Dr Strange, the Fantastic Four, Giant Man, Thor, the X-Men and no doubt a whole bunch more. If the fact that the first super-hero comic I ever had was so perfect an introduction to the breadth of the Marvel Universe didn't prove a powerful and knowing Fate was at work, I don't know what would. So, what was the first super-hero comic you can ever remember reading, how did you come by it and what impact did it make on you?

24 comments:

Boston Bill said...

A reprint of Fantastic Four 65. The FF vs Ronan the Accuser.
I'll never forget it. I was especially fascinated by the big rocky monster and the guy whose body was on fire. Batman and Superman on TV were the only real heroes I knew, and these guys were nothing like them.
Ronan blasts the Thing and knocks him out before he can do anything. But wait, the Thing is still conscious! As he struggles to sneak up behind Ronan, the other three stand there cool as cucumbers while Ronan lectures them, waiting for their moment to strike. And when Ben grabs Ronan (with a hearty "IT'S CLOBBERIN' TIME!"), man what a fight!

I walked past every Casper and Archie comic from then on.

Paul D. Brazill said...

It was a Terrific , I think , and the cover was Namor vs The Human Torch. I was about 7 or younger. I asked my big brother Brian what Vs meant and he said KILLS!. Worked for me ...

Wil said...

First Superhero comic I ever got was Spider-Man 76. I was off school ill and my Mum got it for me but this was about '71 so it was a back issue even then. I never did get the next issue and had to wait until it appeared in Spider-Man Comics Weekly to see how things panned out.

That thrill I got from a new Marvel, be it a US title (which I got every now and again) or the UK weeklies is something I've been wanting to experience again for nearly 40 years now.

Steve W. said...

I like to think it shows how sad I am that the moment I read the phrase, "Spider-Man 76," I instantly had a picture of the cover in my head.

HannibalCat said...

I think, though it is really difficult to be certain, that it was a copy of Spider-Man Weekly I got from our local newsagents on Abbeydale Road. Which one it was I have no idea, but the storyline must have been from the late 60's because John Romita was drawing it. I came in at the end of a bad time for Spidey; he had the flu, he'd lost the mask from his costume and was wearing a cheap, halloween knock off, and he was being pummelled by Doc Ock. Eventually he won, of course, but then that flatheaded Maggia crony Hammerhead appeared. This was my intro to the world of Marvel comics. Haven't looked back since.

bliss_infinte said...

I can't quite remember the very first one but I do remember the first handful: Batman 251 with the Joker and Kamandi #20 (my first introduction to Kirby), Avengers 116 (Defenders war) and Spider-man 127. These left quite an impression especially Kamandi.

Terence Stewart said...

Hmmm...the first actual super-hero comic would have been an issue of The Mighty World of Marvel - I'm thinking it might have been No.2.

However, the first American super-hero comic was Teen Titans #2. My Dad bought if for me from the second-hand book/porno stall on Holloway Road, on the way to have my hair cut at the Barber next to the Library. The Library is still there, as is the Barber - but the stall sadly disappeared while I was away at college. When I really got into comics I used to visit that stall every Saturday morning, selling back the ones I didn't want/swapping for others. He never had many Marvel's, but I was always good for a Teen Titans or Lois Lane.

cerebus660 said...

That Action Comics no. 402 ( with the awesome Neal Adams Superman/stake cover ) was one of my first comics, too. But it's hard to remember which was my very first comic - probably some Fleetway or DC Thomson comic rather than a Marvel or DC mag. I also count FF no. 106, Thor no. 181, X-Men no. 65 and Daredevil no. 70 as my "firsts". The latter two I lost and just had hazy memories of for years until Marvel UK reprinted them. The joys of comic collecting!

Steve W. said...

That reminds me. I have a copy of Action Comics #402. I should review it sometime. Especially as it features a fight between Superman and Supergirl - and I know how much everyone loves to read my thoughts on Supergirl.

Kid said...

The first superhero comic I ever read must've been a Superman comic, 'cos I was aware of who he was from an early age. Probably first saw him in a British or Australian reprint 'though. I must also have seen the Beano 'cos I knew who General Jumbo was, and I probably had also seen the Hotspur and Hornet, etc. My brother bought those 'though, or was given them by friends. The first comic I remember my mother buying for me was a TV Comic Holiday Special (circa 1963) 'cos Mighty Moth made an impression on me.

Anonymous said...

The first story that totally gripped me was "Death of Ferro Lad" from Adventure #353, I read it in a DC British Superadventure Annual 1971. Then Marvel UK's Mighty World of Marvel, Spider-man Comics Weekly and The Avengers opened up the Marvel Age to me. Avengers became my favourite as I tracked down US copies and built my collection I discovered that the same James Shooter who had written the Legion was now writing my favourite contemporary US Marvel series.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous in last post was me - Simon!

Anonymous said...

Sadly I can't remember the first Super Hero comic I got/read having had an older brother they always seemed to be around in one form or another (ie US originals and in UK reprints like Alan lass, Terrific , Pow etc)- I vividly remember picking p 2 titles as a kid Silver Surfer 12 and the Mighty Crusaders (I cant recall the issue number but I remember the title "to many super heroes") the latter had been out for a while as seemed the norm you could pick up old comics in the 60s along with the new stuff -the surfer I picked up and loved that's so that one I count as my first comic (so there lol)

McScotty

Terence Stewart said...

McScotty:

That Mighty Crusaders is ish #5. I also got that from the second hand bookstall.

I always wondered whether that particular comic reached the UK in large quantities, or whether it was quickly disposed of because it was really quite rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info Terence, as I was about 9 when I read this comic the first time, and with all the superheroes in it that I had never heard of before (Comet, Fox, Steel Sterling, The Web etc) I thought it was the hight of US sophistication - I picked it up again about 15 years ago in an Alan Class reprint title, and as you say yep it was pretty much mince - MLJ /Radio comics were certainly available in small numbers in the late 60s very early 70s in the Glasgow area (I remember picking up Black Hood and Fly-man comics - also mostly "pants")
McScotty

Steve W. said...

Personally I've never heard of The Mighty Crusaders. My ignorance knows no bounds.

R. W. Watkins said...

There's a handful of superhero comics that coincided with (I think) my kindergarten year (1974-'75), and which served as my introduction to the genre. Most memorable among them was a World's Finest issue that featured a Batman/Superman reprint from the late '50s; a Flash issue that featured the 'Reverse Flash' (Dr Zoom?) and a Green Lantern back-up story; and (most prominently) Amazing Spider-Man #136, which featured Spidey's first battle with Harry as Goblin.

Steve Chung said...

Captain America #174: "It's Always Darkest!"

Got that one at a Safeway Supermarket.

cease ill said...

Why, I believe it was Stan Lee's swan song on SPIDER-MAN at the time: ASM #110, with the pitiable Martin Blank, a.k.a. the Gibbon!

cecil said...

Shoot, I should've mentioned it was almost certainly a Marvel Tales copy, so that would be...90? My sister got ASM#179, so that was read quickly behind...or wait a minute, it had to be the MARVEL TALES which just HAPPENED to reprint the issue that came out on my birthday, first week of January, '74: "My Uncle...My Enemy!" LOL

John said...

I distinctly remember Iron Man 17 (Sept 1969), which didn't make any sense to me at all at that age http://xheight.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/the-invincible-iron-man-17-the-beginning-of-the-end/

and there was a Captain America vs Modok (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing), but I can't pin down which issue it must have been now. It was definitely Kirby, but Tales of Suspense 93-44 would have been too early.

Also Avengers 74 (Mar 1970) with the Sons of the Serpent, which made a much greater impression.

I was 5-6 when these issues came out. Amazing, really. I don't suppose I really understood what they were about at first - apart from action and colourful costumes - but over many re-readings they slowly came into focus

Steve W. said...

I never knew till now what "Modok" stood for. Thanks for that, John.

Dougie said...

I've blogged at great length about Power Comics introducing me to Marvel. The very first DC comic I ever saw, I think, was Metamorpho 12: "Trap of the Test-Tube Terrors".

I also got that Superadventure Annual from Simon's comment, in Weymss Bay, circa 1972, I think.

Anonymous said...

The first super-hero comic that I actually read on my own and understood was probably Superman #185 (1966). About four years earlier, my mother and grandmother bought Superman #158 for me and tried to explain it to me, but I was too young (four) to understand it at the time. I later read it when it was reprinted in Jimmy Olsen #140. The first Marvel comic I ever read was Marvel Super Heroes Special #1 (spring or summer, 1966). It reprinted Avengers #2 and Daredevil #1. I vaguely remember seeing Fly-Man on the spinner racks in the mid-1960's, and I remember ads in Archie comics for their other super heroes (Shield, Web, Steel Sterling), but never bought any. From the comments above, it sounds like I didn't miss much.

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