Wednesday, April 28, 2021

My Earliest Comic Issues

On Discord, From the Sorcerer's Skull posed a question about people's earliest memories of owning comic books. I believe his questions were about the first comic you ever read, the first comic that was ever bought for you, and the first comic you ever bought with your own money.

I'm not following his prompt exactly, but I decided to poke around on the Great Comic Database and try to find the earliest comics issues I ever owned. Today, most of my media consumption is pretty purposeful. I rarely watch or read anything that hasn't been recommended to me by a friend, or that I haven't read about first by browsing reviews. But as a kid, I was far more beholden to what was available at the time. As a result, many of my first issues are the final part of a multi-part storyline.

I only ever had the one issue of Amethyst, and maybe a couple of Transformers. I collected perhaps a half-dozen Alf issues over the next few years, and the same with What If? I got maybe a dozen or so issues of Spider-Man before moving on to other things. I somehow never bought another Superman or Flash or Captain America, although that's how I learned about Daredevil, and Guardians of the Galaxy and Daredevil became the main two comics I collected after that, along with Generation X when it showed up. I never had anything like complete runs of any comic though. There were always gaps where we didn't make it to the bookstore that month, or for whatever reason there was no new issue available.

Looking back on them now, I notice how beautiful the art in Amethyst was, and what a terrifying body-horror villain Skyhook made in Superman. I wonder about Circuit Breaker's war against the machines in Transformers, and what it was that made the world go mad in The Flash.
Amethyst #4, Feb 88
What about you? What were the earliest comics you remember reading or owning or buying?


  1. My first were probably the mini-comics that came packaged with Masters of the Universe, MASK, and Sectaurs toys.

    But if we're talking "sold on a comics rack" comic books, The ones that come to mind are:

    1) An issue of "The Defenders" where they introduce Fool Killer.
    2) The Transformers issue where they introduce Circuit Breaker.
    3) A Marvel "Star Wars" comic, post-RotJ, with Luke in a really cool black-and-white outfit training on Endor with a telepathic rabbit-thing.

    1. Oh yeah! The comics that came with the He-Man toys were very cool, and quite different from the show. I used to keep mine in a box that I think was intended to hold recipe cards.

      I know nothing about Circuit Breaker, although she seems like she would have livened up the cartoon. Although possibly a murderous woman "wearing" bodypaint would've bumped "Transformers" from PG to PG-13.

      I wonder what's the best way to read these old comics? Check a second-hand store? Buy a Comixology subscription?

  2. Skyhook looks awesome but I wonder why the weird codename- I would think Skyhook would be a villain that drags their victims into the sky. His actual powers remind me of one of the monsters from the animated Ghostbusters of the 80's.

    As for my first comics- Swamp Thing. I had a couple dozen from the early 80's (that Mom threw out a few years after I got them). I don't remember if there were any others mixed in, but I do very much remember ST and how much it was better than those godawful films from the same time.

    1. I agree that Skyhook's codename seems really mis-applied. It definitely does sound like the name of someone with a technology-costume. Some sort of more-evil version of the Vulture, maybe.

      He is SUPER creepy though. Pale yellowy-white skin, covered in warts and lesions and boils, giant glowing eyes, mostly hidden under a cloak made of rags. Kidnaps children and turns them into tiny versions of himself. Plus he's magical, so I remember his claws cutting Superman and drawing blood.

      My exposure to Swamp Thing was more limited. I remember there being a 90s tv show, with maybe about the same quality as the 90s Flash show. I think there was also a line of action figures that had commercials I used to see.

  3. The 90's series was terrible but its forebearers, films from 82 and 89, were just as bad. There were some good tidbits, but overall they were Z grade films. Sort of like The Guyver films, if you remember those.