There was a time when comics were supported by advertising, but these days most books are either “commercial free” or only filled with house ads for the other things the publishers are producing.  Often, those publishers will spotlight special “jumping on” points, like Marvel’s Point One initiative, or DC’s universal relaunch last fall.  With many readers uncomfortable with picking up issue #224 and extrapolating what has happened, it’s often more successful to identify where a new reader can find a friendly starting point in the adventures of the Mighty Turnip-Man…

The MS-QOTD asks you, “What the single best “Jumping-On Point” issue you’ve ever read?”

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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  1. May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am — Reply

    I will always say Legionnaires #1. Between the story that established the characters & setting well enough for a Legion noob like myself to understand and the neat little “here’s our team members, here’s where they’re from, & here’s what they do” bios in the back, they seemed to go out of the way to make sure that the universe was both interesting & understandable. I can directly trace my Legion love back to that issue and what a great gateway it provided.

  2. Michael
    May 18, 2012 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Fantastic Four #232 (Byrne first as writer/artist) is the first that springs to my mind.

  3. JoeM
    May 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm — Reply

    A reprint of Adventure Comics #369 which I read for the first time when I was about 10 years old. The first appearance of Mordru. Of course I didn’t think it was the first appearance, because they start with the explanation of why the Legion has such a powerful super-villain trapped in their basement. Sucked me right in and I have been a frantic Legion fan ever since. I think it was a good 15 years before I figured out that actually was the first appearance. :D

  4. Ron
    May 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm — Reply

    Superboy #202, the 100 page super-spectacular. Its mix of new and old stories plus the “Lore of the Legion” pages gave me a sense of the history of the Legion without feeling overwhelmed by it.

  5. May 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm — Reply

    I think that it’s funny that most of the .1 issues don’t do anything for me, but I liked Morning Glories #1 as an introduction to that little world…

  6. May 18, 2012 at 4:21 pm — Reply

    Green Lantern Vol 3 #51, when Kyle Rayner got the ring. Honestly, as a huge fan of the Corps I was devestated at it being destroyed and losing all the GL characters I knew and loved. I didn’t think I’d like Kyle one single bit. But his story worked for me, it brought a “newness” that new readers could easily understand as he both learned to use the ring and grew into some very big shoes he had to fill while also being his own hero.

  7. May 18, 2012 at 5:34 pm — Reply

    I don’t usually come into a series that’s been around a while. I think the only ones I have (to my immediate memory) were the current of Daredevil (which hasn’t been around all that long yet) and Amazing Spider-man.

    Though I have read random issues I’ve picked up here and there, and I can think of one good example. Starman #29. It’s built I think to be a jumping on point, complete with notes from the Shade’s journal explaining things for people who don’t know what’s going on. And it has a mostly self-contained one-issue story about a supervillain getting out of prison only wanting to go right back in again. It has a timeless quality about it, which I think is the key quality all jumping-on issues need. You need to get readers interested in the story, but also give them a complete story so they feel satisfied.

    Nothing is worse than trying to get into a story, only for it to be right when a major storyline is going on. It’s why I tend to prefer the one-issue tales to the major plot threads. It’s more immediately satisfying.

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