Some time ago I was listening to a Comic Geek Speak episode and they mentioned a comics website–Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics–so I checked it out. Man, what a black hole of time that was for me. I must have spent three to four hours looking at the site, specifically the Time Machine portion, where I could look at the covers of comics that came out each month, year by year. I clicked on 1978, the year I began collecting, and discovered that the comics I first purchased were actually on the magazine shelves and spinner racks in September, not October as I originally thought (ok, truth be told, one of the three original comics actually came out out in late August, but I bought all three in September).
I’ve posted before about the comics that got me started in this wonderful hobby oh those long years ago, but perusing Mike’s website got me thinking about the next batch of comics I bought. What were they? Why did I buy them? Well, the first question is easier to ascertain than the second, but I’ll give it try nevertheless. Thanks to Mike’s wonderful website, I’ve traced my comic lineage, so to speak, and I now present to you my comics history, in living colour!
First up are the next couple of comics I bought after those initial three that also were published in September, 1978.
Green Lantern #111: I still have this issue and it’s pretty beat up from multiple reads through the years. I’m sure I didn’t know Green Lantern from a hole in the wall at that time, but considering the Mike Grell drawn cover, how could I not buy this? You have the bright and disparate colors of the Green Lanterns and the bad guy, but also that caption–it practically impelled me to buy it. In fact, now that I think back on it, this was likely my first exposure to DC’s multiverse, and I was hooked. I may have started out with Marvel, but I was beginning a long love affair with DC Comics that continues to this day. I had planned to do a retro review of this issue and the next in the series because of the recent JLA/JSA cross-over story “The Dark Things”, but after rereading it, the story was a little disappointing, and the Alex Saviuk art is just ok. I remember liking this so much, but it just hasn’t held up over time. We’ll see when I do that retro review.
Spider-Woman #9: “To Know Her Is to Fear Her!” You gotta love Marvel’s penchant for hyperbole. Did I fear Spider-Woman after reading this issue? No, but the Needle sure creeped me out! I’m fairly certain I bought this because of the Spider-Man comics I bought before it (plus, there was the Amazing Spider-Man tv series that was playing at the same time). I remember not liking the Carmine Infantino art too much (and I still don’t). Also, Spider-Woman herself was really kind of boring. Aside from the short battle towards the end of the story, the focus was more on SW’s boyfriend and the villain! Interesting choices by writer Mark Gruenwald. There’s a scene where SW’s boyfriend, S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jerry Hunt, comes across the Needle assaulting someone and then Jerry gets blasted by the Needle’s eyebeam, paralyzing him. The Needle then quietly and deliberately sews Jerry’s lips together! I know, it sounds pretty silly now, but back then, that sense of powerlessness where a creepy guy violates you in that weird way… yeah, it still creeps me out. I actually had gotten rid of this comic at some point, but then I found it at Fearless Readers Online recently and had to have it back in my collection.
Also out this month that I remember seeing on store shelves was Batman #306, Detective Comics #481 (which I did end up buying, but some months or possibly years later), and JLA #161 (with Zatanna rejecting membership in the group).
Next up, a look at the comics I bought that came out in October, 1978!