The first comic I read:
I don’t recall which ones they were. I also was introduced by a cousin. He lived in South Korea, and could buy comics there for a dime apiece. The rare times he visited, he’d bring a huge stack and share them with another cousin and I. I vaguely remember some G.I. Joe issues (which were really quite good, at least to a kid) and I’m pretty sure he had the Spider-Man issue with Gwen Stacy’s death.
I then visited the local store on occasion, saving up enough allowance (yep, $1 a week for me too) and buying issues when I could.
The first comic I bought:
I’m really unsure of this one. I have quite a few (in a box back home in western Nebraska) that are from 1989, so I know that was the year I started. One of the first I recall is Amazing Spider-Man #310, which was a pretty unremarkable issue in which Spidey battled Killer Shrike. It was also a Todd McFarlane issue. I thought it was pretty cool, and Mary Jane was hot.
Other early issues include some G.I. Joe (I swear, it was good) though I don’t recall the issue numbers. I really need to dig back through those.
The first comic that had me hooked:
Strangely, I think the one that got me was the exact same one that got Jim. I read that Uncanny X-Men till it lost the cover. I didn’t have the benefit of friends who knew the backstory, so I was forced to buy more issues to learn about all the rich history of mutants.
I was still pretty young, and I think what hooked me most was the idea of mutants, and how my cousin and I could pretend to be them while we spent the majority of our time playing. Not always, but a good majority of the time we spent playing, we were imagining ourselves as mutants.
I almost always would be Colossus. I identified with him for some reason, though I’m not Russian and my skin breaks quite readily. Maybe it was just that he was on the cover of that issue, and it was cool.
The first comic that lost me:
It was the second issue of the Onslaught series. I’d just waded through Age of Apocalypse, which was good if overly large. I didn’t need more gigantic storylines that made no sense. And I didn’t need an evil Charles Xavier.
I had started moving away from comics, and that just sealed the deal. I didn’t pick up another book (and never really missed comics) for many years.
The first comic that brought me back:
Jim and I worked together and were friends through school, and I eventually learned that he read comics. He tried a little to get me to read some again, but I resisted at first. Finally, I went along for a trip to the comic book shop.
I don’t know what I tried reading at first, but I recall being on the fence about whether it was worthwhile to keep on reading. Then I picked up Ultimate X-Men #41, a stand-alone issue, and one that just put me on my ass.
In it, Brian Michael Bendis follows a single mutant whose unfortunate power finally manifests. His ability? To kill everyone near him, unintentionally. He runs away. Wolverine tracks him down, healing power keeping him safe. They chat, and Wolvie kills the boy, though it goes unseen.
It was just a well told story, with strong art. But it was so different from what I’d been seeing when I dropped comics, so much better, that I knew I was hooked again.