You know, Dan Goodsell posted this over on his website–his first comic book.
And I thought for some time that I remembered my first comic. It was in a drugstore, back when they still had comics–remember "Hey Kids, Comics!" Remember those wire metal racks? When you would flip towards the back to find the ones that weren't fucked up and creased by people flipping towards the back to find the ones that weren't fucked up and creased? Or were you someone like me who was a considerate member of the comics buying community and very cautiously flipped back?
Anyway, it was a Justice League of America comic. I remember it was one of those annual crossovers with the Justice Society, and I thought the cover was one of those classic setups where one group of characters was rushing in from left and the other was rushing in from right with the inevitable clash in the middle something that was supposedly inside the pages.
What I remember most about it, though, is reading it and recognizing the Justice League characters from the SuperFriends cartoon that I watched religiously (even the shit episodes, and by me saying that probably three or four jumped into your mind). But the Justice Society–the idea that there was a whole separate world out there where the heroes were older (not just older–Batman was dead?!?) and had fought during World War II? Holy crap! From a continuity standpoint I had no clue what was happening, but from a conceptual standpoint I was addicted. Thus, I was introduced to comics and advanced multi-dimensional physics in one sitting.
Oh sure, I'm positive I had read some Harvey comics or Disney comics or something when I was younger–but this–this was something else. This was nitroglycerin, baby. And it started me on my love of the spandex genre and comics in general.
So I decided to try and track down my first comic. Using this cover gallery. With disappointing results.
First, it's hard to distinguish, this far removed from when I was collecting comics on the neurotic level, between comics I bought from the racks and comics I bought later when I was a Collector. Like for example, the 100-page giants–I owned a bunch of those, but I'm certain I bought them later. I'm almost positive, for example, I owned #189 and #190 (the Starro two-parter). But when I acquired them, I have no idea. #191 I don't remember the cover for, but #192 (the start of the Red Tornado origin story) I know I bought from the rack. And then ongoing from there, since I read the Justice Society bit, going back into the Old West and then on through and past the great extra-sized #200.
So what JLA book did I pick up first since I can't find a cover that fits what I knew in my mind? Well, my memory is terrible, especially when you go back that far in my life. Is it possible that I crafted some kind of amalgam ur-comic in my head? Is it possible that #192 was my first comic and I've just mixed up the contents with another comic? That was 1981. I was 8. That sounds about right. I do remember that the copy of #192 in my collection was really shredded. So that makes sense.
But still, I don't know that I'll ever remember for sure. So. There you have it.
What was your first comic? Can you sort out which one it was?