Your first classic comic book


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What was the first classic comic book you fell in love with? Not one that was contemporary at the time and is now old, but one you discovered in back issue bins, flea markets, garage sales, and the like?

Mine is World’s Finest Comics. The first issue I ever found was at an antique shop and it blew my mind. The detail, the oddness of it all, the smell of the paper. All of it made me a geek.

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One of the first trades I got after really getting into superheroes and wanting to read comics was the Birth of Venom. It had the Alien Costume Saga, ASM #300 and the Return of Venom arc. That gave me a good idea of Spidey prior to when I was reading, visually and writing-wise. The two halves of the book felt like a pretty cohesive narrative, despite the years in-between. The DeFalco-Frenz run is still one of my favorites, especially after reading the Epic Collection. I'm sure I would've been okay with older comics anyways, but I'm sure having that book solidified that I would have no problem with classic comics.

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So, I only had 'classic' comics.  Local comic shop had annual quarter sales, so my mom would let me get a few because I watched the cartoons.  As such, I was getting random issues of late 80s Marvel. Mainly Spider-Man & X-Men, plus annuals because bigger books were better value.  But fall in love would be the first box I got at a yard sale.  I still remember what was in the box:  The 20 issues of Alpha Flight, a huge run of Marvel Tales, Uncanny X-Men early 200s, start of Web of Spider-Man.

But the answer to the question is a 3-way tie between Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Team-Up & The New Mutants.  Hard to separate because I got them at the same time (summer vacation was spent reading the box several times over), but clear on the why for each.

- Spectacular Spider-Man was my first real monthly reading experience.  Having a 75-ish issue complete run just blew my mind.  For the first time I got to see the long term term story telling in action.  Asides and sub plots building into the main stories.  Still kinda my Spider-Man era.

- Marvel Team-Up was my introduction to Marvel at large. Take my favorite hero (Spider-Man) and guide me thru Marvel.  Deathlok, Moon Knight, Valkyrie, Starfox, Nomad?  King Kull?  Not exactly household names.  But rather than read the 'boring' handbooks, I get see these characters in action.  And Spider-Man.  Still my all time favorite series.

- New Mutants was relatable.  My Spider-Man wasn't a teenager.  He was already married by the time I got into comics.  Heck, the clone saga was already over when I go into comics.  And really, the issues where he was in high school were too of a different era. So as a kid, the New Mutants gave me that.  They largely didn't know what they were doing and acted like children at times.  That is always needed in comics.  And Cannonball is still by favorite X-mutant.

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