Though Major Spoilers covers a spectrum of pop culture and gaming, my own primary focus tends to be on comic books, especially the weird and esoteric offerings of days past.  Years and years ago, I picked up Shogun Warriors #1 in my then-local drug store, and things have continued exponentially from that long-ago purchase.  While I’m still much more interested in a Howard The Duck #13 than in an Amazing Spider-Man #129, I find it fascinating what people want to collect.  Most awesome of all, two separate Faithful Spoilerites have recently inspired upcoming Retro Reviews of books I hadn’t ever read, proving that no matter your level of knowledge, there’s always something new under the four-color sun.  Whether you began reading comics in the 70s (as I did), the 80s (like Stephen), the 90s (poor Rodrigo) or the new century (Young Zach’s horizons are broadening all the time) there will always be hidden gems to delight, confuse and infuriate you so long as you find the right back-issue bin…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) remembers the Bronze Age fondly, but finds this to be one of the most promising eras of comics in decades, asking:  What was YOUR first comic book?

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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24 Comments

  1. March 2, 2013 at 11:56 am — Reply

    The first comic book I remember reading is Incredible Hulk #272 with Sasquatch and Wendigo, at a friend’s house, he had a subscription to Hulk. A year later I managed to convince my Mom to buy me The Dark Crystal #2 Comic adaptation and about 2 years after that I bought Uncanny X-men #194, and was finally hooked.

  2. Dan
    March 2, 2013 at 11:59 am — Reply

    My first comic actually most likely not even american. it was probably a chinese comic called (roughly translated) Old Master Q. Old master Q is a long-running comic strip, something akin to if Benny Hill and Doraemon had a baby, if you can believe that. very skit-like, bound to your usual 6-9 panels per page, kinda broad humor, occasionally a little racist/sexist/ignorant, and most popular probably from the 60’s thru the 80’s, when i was growing up.

    First american comic most likely some back issue of Savage Sword of Conan (i dunno how my parents let me have those as a 4-5 year old, what with the boobies/violence content), or Batman/Detective Comics. go figure my first american superhero comic was most likely a batman one.

  3. March 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm — Reply

    I can’t recall my first comic. I remember my brother and grandpa teaching me to read with old Spidey, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and other comics while I was going through chemo, but I cannot recall specific issues or stories.

    Until I was about 9, I didn’t need to pick my own comics because my brother and his D&D friends would always bring me stacks of theirs every couple of weeks (a few of his friends even told me years later that they actually picked up a few just for me because they knew I liked a character or title but they were tired of it). They would also scour yard sales to bring me stacks of other older books since I spent so much time in the hospital bored out of my mind.

    I can’t recall the first comic I ever picked myself, but I seem to recall that it had Spider-Ham and Forbush Man, so I think it was an issue of Marvel’s “What The–?”, but I’m not certain.

    • Dan
      March 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm — Reply

      oh man, i remember “what the!?” ….one of my friends had the pulverizer vs. wulveream issue, and i thought that was the funniest piece of literature in all of human history for awhile.

      good thing i grew up.

  4. March 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm — Reply

    I remember flipping through my dad’s Amazing Spider-Man, Flash, Hulk, and Sgt. Rock stuff when I was fascinated with art when I was but I wee lad, but read them I did not. The first comic I actually remember reading was a single issue I bought in a Dillons, I believe, and I remember it being a Spider-Man that had no words in it at all. I’m sure one of you *cough* Matthew *cough* knows what that is. After that I didn’t touch a comic until picking up Geoff John’s first Green Lantern trade.

  5. Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
    March 2, 2013 at 12:34 pm — Reply

    Two answers to this one.
    The first comic I owned was one my grandmother gave me that was five years older than me. God knows why she had it, since I’m the oldest grandchild… Justice League of America #5, “When Gravity Went Wild!” It’s the second issue with Green Arrow and features a great array of villains. Sparked my lifelong love of team books and hooked me on the Martian Manhunter.

    After a few years of comics trickling into my budding collection, the first one I bought with my own 20 cents (yikes!) was Superboy (starring the Legion of Super-Heroes) #198, “The Fatal Five Who Twisted Time” That started my lifelong obsession with all things Legion (even in the most awful runs) and was a perfect intro to the heroes and villains.

  6. SmarkingOut Adam
    March 2, 2013 at 12:39 pm — Reply

    X-Men #8. It was the one where Gambit & Bishop got into it during a Gambit/Rogue picnic and Rogue ended up with a boysenberry pie in the face. High art, I tell you.

  7. March 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm — Reply

    It’s one of the most frustrating things that I can’t remember the exact issue. But it was one of the early issues (somewhere between #2-5) of the Archie Comics Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures in 1989.

  8. March 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm — Reply

    And old Superman comic, the only one IN the house when we moved from the States to India. It was part of the Reign of the Supermen crossover, introducing the Eradicator(though he was introduced AS Superman). I had no idea what was happening, and it was the only superhero comic I ever read until years later I found some old Superman comics lying around my cousin’s house.
    In which I also had no idea what was happening.
    And then, for a glorious period like, five-six years ago India was actually publishing and selling American comics and I could read about them and actually know what was going on!
    Then they stopped, but I was hooked for life. And, hey, eventually got to read Reign Of the Supermen. God, that was epic.

  9. March 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm — Reply

    My first comic was a neat reprint of the first several issues of Fantastic Four in a paperback book size format. I still have it, though it’s pretty beat up after all these years (and for some reason I drew a Fez on Sub-Mariner in one panel.)

  10. Oldcomicfan
    March 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm — Reply

    I’m so old that I can’t remember. Our parents only bought us comics when we were going on long road trips, and they’d often buy the three-in-one plastic bags that had two good comics on the outside and some absolute crap comic hidden between them – and these were usually DC comics. They’d also buy the larger Summer Fun issues. We had no say in what comics they bought, so we might end up with Archie, Richie Rich, Little Lulu or whatever else was on the rack at the grocery store. The first comics I ever bought were Fawcett paperback collections of Peanuts strips back in the 60s, and paperback collections of Tumbleweeds. Great Geronimo Gravy, Green Gills. The first true comic book I ever subscribed to was Amazing Spiderman, which a friend had let me read his collection from issue 12-issue 72. I started buying at issue 75 and kept it up until the clone saga. Sadly, I don’t any of those issues any more. If I kept every comic I ever owned I’d need to buy a second house just to store them in.

  11. Gary
    March 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm — Reply

    I’d wake up some Saturday mornings to find an Uncle Scrooge or Phantom comic from my dad. Great memories.

    First comic I bought was an Erik Larson Spider-man in which he was powerless. Think it introduced Cardiac as well.

  12. Pim Scutney
    March 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm — Reply

    Blue Beetle #3 (1977), which I still have–old, battered, but still readable. My grandparents bought it for me at a corner store when I was 4 or 5 years old. Lead story is the Blue Beetle vs. the Madmen, & the supporting story is the Question fighting a guy in a diving costume who drowns his enemies with water from his gloves, both of them written & drawn by the great Steve Ditko. I never became a big Blue Beetle fan, but was intrigued by the Question–why does he have no face? why do his clothes change color when he uses that gas?–and he’s remained one of my two of three favorite comic characters to this day.

    • March 2, 2013 at 3:10 pm — Reply

      Ah, yes. Modern Comics. I was always puzzled how I couldn’t find the NEXT issues…

  13. March 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm — Reply

    “The Hands of Shang-Chi, Master of Kung Fu” #85

  14. March 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    I can’t remember what specific issue it is, but it was from Zero Hour, the one where Superman’s parents from an alternate reality come back and try to convince him to go back to Krypton. I got it from a spinner rack at the grocery store. I don’t actually have it anymore, but I remember the cover… Ma and Pa Kent pulling at Supes’ cape.

  15. Rich P
    March 2, 2013 at 4:35 pm — Reply

    JLA 229- Earth Mars war which was ok. Second comic was the game changer Secret Wars 4!!! Woo hoo marvel fanboy ever sInce

  16. Gehrigan
    March 2, 2013 at 5:05 pm — Reply

    A phantom comic that was in a Perth Royal Show showbag. All the showbags had a phantom comic with their tasty treats.

  17. B.V.K.
    March 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm — Reply

    By the definition of “comic” I would say it was one of the early trades of Garfield. In fact I learned how to read largely trough Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes trades.

    But my first super hero comic that I remember buying was a trade collection of Secret Wars. I was lucky to start off my comic habit with an awesome story, To this day Secret Wars is still one of my all time favorites.

  18. Ricco
    March 2, 2013 at 6:21 pm — Reply

    I still own my 1st comic book, bought it 20 years ago, X-Men 1 in French, part of the Fatal Attraction arc.

  19. kaptaran
    March 2, 2013 at 9:44 pm — Reply

    The first comic I read was Secret Wars #6 (boy was that confusing). The first comic I bought was Uncanny X-Men # 208 with a 3 way battle between the X-Men, the Hellfire Club, and Nimrod while Rachel Summers bleed to death/was abducted by Spiral. Good times.

  20. L1701E
    March 3, 2013 at 5:00 am — Reply

    The first comics I remember reading were a bunch of my Dad’s old Silver Age Superman and Flash comics. I still have them, yellowed and torn-up.

  21. Frank
    March 3, 2013 at 8:07 am — Reply

    The earliest comic I can remember is a reprint of the 1961 GL #8 (Challenge from 5700 AD). It was a story about Hal transported to the future to battle giant Gila monsters.
    I bought it at a convenience store (when they still carried them). I guess this comic gave me the love of comics and Green Lantern I have today.

  22. Josh
    March 3, 2013 at 12:19 pm — Reply

    I know it reflects my age and would drive Matthew crazy, but the first comic that I ever read was the first trade of Ultimate Spider-Man. I got it around the time of the first Spider-Man film when I was twelve. I loved that book. The only reason I don’t still have it is that I gave it away when my mom was getting Christmas presents for a lower income family through her job. The little boy liked superheroes, so I sent my first comic to him.

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