I was mostly a Spider-Man fan during the 90s and then Heroes Reborn happen, and all of those shiny new issue ones came out. I had already fallen in love with Busiek thanks to Thunderbolts and I hadn’t read much of Perez at that time but he art blew me away. I picked up Busiek’s Avengers and Iron Man run (with Sean Chen on art). I read a little of Mark Waid’s Captain America and Dan Jurgens’ Thor was mighty until John Romita Jr. left the title.
I left those titles shortly after Busiek did, as Geoff John’s Avengers was not very good but I came back for Bendis’ run as it promised to be bold and new, which there is no denying that it was at first. I probably got the first 30 issues of New Avengers.
If you are ever looking for a decent modern Iron Man tale, Joe Quesada’s Man in the Iron Suit arc is pretty incredible. It is like five issues or something and it is essentially the armor takes on a life of itself and Tony and to fight it by himself. Great story.
Never really got into the Hulk too much, read some Peter David’s legendary run but I left when he did and that whole Mr. Blue / Mr. Green thing of Jenkins’ with the whole personality disorders concept, I didn’t care for.
I got Kevin Smith’s run of Daredevil and stuck with that for some time into Bendis’ run but I was getting to many books and that was an easy cut.
Captain America, never really followed again.
Thunderbolts I stuck with until Marvel made it into a lame Fight Club title, but I came back for New Thunderbolts but jumped off once Beetle wasn’t there and Songbird was the last standing member. Once Zemo was gone, I was gone too.
I didn’t get Fantastic Four right when it relaunched, but the few I read by Scott Lobdell were interesting but once Claremont started his brief stint on the title, those stories was amazing with the whole Reed / Doom body swap. I stuck with that title too until like that Marvel Knights 4 series got out of hand.
Though thanks to that time of my life, I was able to read what will be known as the greatest era of Fantastic Four comics, the Mark Waid / Mike Wieringo era. I should have jumped off when Waid Ringo were done but I kept with it, which was a mistake as it was not the same thing.
This is all making me think about when did I start following X-Men. I know which issue is my first X-title I ever bought but not sure what was my first monthly story.
I’m pretty sure it was roughly at the end of Excalibur’s original run, as Marvel at around that time was doing these fold out covers where on the reverse side the fold out was a list of all the characters, what their powers were, and what happen in the previous issue or issues. I’m pretty sure I bought several titles that I was not already interested in, just to see what each of those said about the characters.
I remember one of those Access minis came out at that time so it was fun to see the few DC characters get the treatment.
Man, did I enjoy those Access miniseries. It all started with Marvel vs. DC, then we got All Access, and then Access Unlimited, plus the Amalgam one shots (both waves!).
Definitely was not an X-Men fan at that time but got exposed to them that way.
I know for a fact that I was there to get the X-Men 35th anniversary issues, and Marvel was smart about making both Uncanny and X-Men essentially a bi-monthly title for a great deal of that era.
I was getting pretty much all of the core X-Titles at that time, but then I started dating my wife and starting scaling it way back. While we were dating, I did that thing where I hid how many titles I was buying. Then we moved in together and couldn’t keep that a secret anymore. After talking about which titles I really am enjoying and which ones I was not – though still buying as I had that collector mentality, it pretty much came down to just buying Kitty Pryde comics. Or comics staring Lockheed and Magik, which back in 2006, was super easy to do as Kitty herself was barely making appearances.
I’m sure my love for Kitty Pryde essentially just came out of me wanting to collect every appearance of a character and she was the most affordable as Wizard had a feature that spotlighted all appearances and a cost of it. I remember Spider-Man being ridiculous but they had a Kyle Green Lantern and a Nightcrawler one. I liked Nightcrawler but Kitty always seemed like a better character.
I also had plans to get every Black Widow appearance but once I saw how expensive her 60s era comics were and reading reviews of how not good a bunch of her Daredevil appearances were, I let that idea go.
I know my first Spider-Man title was Amazing 379, an issue that was in the middle of a Spider-Slayer arc. It didn’t make any sense to me but I was hooked. Then my final issue was whichever issue was One More Day nonsense. And that made up nearly ten to fifteen years of Spider-titles there and there was a bunch of bad titles and some wonderful titles there. That era right after the Clone Saga ended with Revelations might be my favorite era, had some great moments and fun again. Though I do like Ben Reilly’s era of a character. That Scarlet Spider costume is the bomb!
My absolute favorite Spider-Writer of all time, will have to be J.M. DeMatteis. Because of him, I even got a love for Russian literature that I wouldn’t even had been exposed too, and that’s due to a letter’s page comment he made about the real name of the Chameleon and him being Kraven’s half brother, and the origins of the original names. I read Anna Kareinina, which I adored and War & Peace wasn’t as horrible as people said but Crime & Punishment was a real chore. I’ve been working myself up to starting Brothers Karminiov for a while now, which is where he got the name for Chameleon. His work with Sal Buscema on Spectacular Spider-Man has yet to ever be touched in terms of quality and impact. Also where I got the idea that Sal was the better Buscema brother, which I know many find that to be crazy, especially as I never really read any of John’s work.
There was a time where I would have said my favorite era of Marvel was 1996/1997. They had a slew of number ones such as Deadpool, Quicksilver, Heroes for Hire and Alpha Flight. Which thanks to my mother, I was able to try all of these titles and stick with all of them then they cancelled out – besides Deadpool which I have every issue until they relaunched that title. I even got two letters published in Deadpool.
I really am against relaunches and renumbering as it gives me a prefect jumping off point.
The rest of my comic knowledge comes from online communities, magazines like Wizard, which I collected so many of these issues until I was part of the reason why that magazine ceased, why buy a magazine with last month’s information when I can just go to online websites and get the information now. But thanks to Wizard, they published a Top 100 Trades of All Time, and I made it my life’s mission to collect all 100 trades, and I did just that. Took like four years or something like that, but I did it. So great to own all of them too. Then they did a Top 100 Trades since Wizard began with issue one type of list and I have that issue to buy on my wishlist but I doubt I would ever actually pick up that quest. Especially has I think I only owned like ten of them or something like that. If I had like 25 or 50, I could see myself trying for the rest of them. That and I am not single any more, like I was when I accomplished my last quest so it would be hard to justify the new quest with my lovely wife.