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Author
radian




Rev's comment below that Avengers # 300 was his first issue got me thinking: How did Marvel snag us, and get us to buy more of its interconnected universe?

For me, it started with Iron Man # 225. Perfect starting point, the first chapter of Armor Wars. From there, I moved on to WCA, since he was a member of the team. I got there just in time for # 37, which split the team up as Hawkeye & Mockingbird fought over the right to let a villain die.
About a year later, for my 13th birthday, I got a gift certificate to the local paperback store ... and went nuts. I bought Daredevil # 262 (part of Inferno), Cap # 349 (the penultimate chapter of John Walker as Cap!), and ... oops, Rev, it may have been Avengers # 299, as part of Inferno.
But I guess what really got me was Uncanny X-Men # 241. At 13, there was nothing to draw me in better than Maddie Pryor, spread eagle in her mini Goblin Queen outfit. I read that issue over and over, and picked up every issue since.
So what's your story? How did the Marvel marketing team get you to branch out and buy not just your first comic, but begin to sample their other titles?


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TJ Burns





I'd gotten a few comics previous to this, but Bill Mantlo's Hulk run had the then-current Avengers lost in time with the Hulk rescuing them all from the Leader. My mom picked me up the issue, and I was in AWE of seeing these diverse heroes, especially Iron Man. So a few months later, I got a few issues of Iron Man, starting with #168 and Tony's drunken rampage against Machine Man followed quickly by Jim Rhodes replacing him in the armor, and the Avengers issue where the Plant Man replaced Ronald Reagan with a tree-replicant and Iron Man resigned from the Avengers and Starfox joined. After those, I got seriously hooked... and was heartbroken when I moved shortly thereafter and couldn't get more books! I got a few haphazardly over the years afterward, including the West Coast Avengers #1, Vision and the Scarlet Witch #1, and a few others, but wasn't really able to start regularly back in until around Avengers West Coast #49. I haven't stopped since.


TJB


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zeus


Location: Plano, IL
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008


For me, my mom bought me a couple of comic books so I had something to do on a plane trip. I must have been about 8 or 9. The two that I chose were an issue of Transformers, because of the cartoon, and Incredible Hulk #321, because I knew the t.v. show. That issue of Hulk had Banner seperated from a mindless rampaging Hulk. The Avengers, the West Coast Avengers, and She-Hulk all worked together to stop him. The F4 made an appearance as well.

I was mostly interested in the purple guy who shot trick arrows, and seemed to be a leader, but wasn't in charge because Captain America was around. I didn't understand that whole situation, but wanted to. The first title I read regularly was West Coast Avengers, and I bought an occasional Avengers or Captain America issue.


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MarkTJohnson




Volume 1 #137
The Avengers are looking for new members. Cameos by Scarlet Witch and Vision on beach, never mentioning their names I had no idea who this red guy was and why he was so sunburned, Ben Grimm in a Thing suit (I knew about the FF from the original 60's cartoon so the Thing as a guy in a suit was very intriguing), Beast showing up as Edgar G Robinson, Moondragon the bald woman (why was she bald?). Cliffhanger ending with Jan unmoving after being hit by a floating mine.

Mark "Back then you actually had to read quite a bit to get through a book too." Johnson


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stovap




Vol. 1 #126
My Grandmother bought us some comics to keep my brother and I quiet on a long trip and this was one of them.
It was full of soap opraey goodness (Why is the man in the flag suit so upset? Who is this amazing women in red and why is she yelling at the red faced man? Who is the mysterious asian woman?) and fantastic fights (I mean come on! panthers made of sound?? how cool is that?). The racial aspect of the story went over my head til i grew older, but I recognised it even then as something that needed "Avenging".
Of course, this lead right into the Wedding of Crystal and Pietro and a cross over with the FF and the Inhumans. Mission Accomplished Marvel!


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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,053


If I understand your question correctly the answer is as follows.First I discovered Thor back issues in a little thrift shop along with many other comics.There were a lot of D.C. and other stuff along with some Marvel.I realized fairly soon that they were different companies and started looking for the Marvel stuff.Memory is a little fuzzy but Spiderman books,and Avengers,along with Hulk became ones I looked for on a regular basis.The nice lady that ran the shop always held all comic books until I had my pick.The more I read it became obvious there was a connected universe theme that drew me to search out Marvel.Then when I started buying them new I had a good idea of which books were ones I wanted.As a side note I found my first copies of Origins and Son of Origins in that little shop which really helped hook me.I think new comics were like 35 or 50 cents at the time so I could follow all the marvel universe that I wanted and still have spending money.The Marvel stuff generally stood way above most others in those days(just my opinion)and another thing I liked was the way Stan used the bullpen pages to keep readers connected.I guess thats pretty much how Marvel got me following their interconnectd universe.


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Paintball Captain America





There was a candy/soda shop around the corner from my house. My mother used to go there for the handmade pastries and ice cream. They also had a spinner rack of comics. My mom would let me get a comic whenever we went there to occupy me while she browsed the edible goodies.

The first time I can remember going there I got a Captain America annual that had Cap's I-IV teaming up in a weird time travel story. The idea that the champion of America was a mantle that several guys filled over the years hooked me.

After that, I'd spend my whole allowance getting comics and penny candy...Cap was always my favorite, then Iron Man, Hulk and Thor...when I saw the Avengers and realized it had most of my favorites in it....that's what totally hooked me.



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hawkeye2099


Member Since: Tue Dec 02, 2008
Posts: 908


For me the earliest issues I remember are West Coast Avengers Fantastic Four. The Wackos issue was part of the Lost in Space/Time saga... I was completely hooked. I loved Hawkeye and started tracking down as many back issues as I could.

The FF issue was shortly after #300 (302?). It featured the team facing off against Quicksilver after he kidnapped Alicia. I remember being really confused but really enjoying it.

Soon I was getting WCA, FF, Uncanny X-Men and more. I kept trying to find East Coast Avengers but never could. It took me a long time to realize that the East Coast Avengers was simply "Avengers". I tended towards the team books because I really liked the character interaction.

What really made me notice the interaction/shared universe was some of the back issues, such as the WCA limited series... realizing the connections between the different teams.


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Tiamat


Location: Orlando
Member Since: Thu May 21, 2009
Posts: 1,144




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padlock




Marvel got me hooked on comics with the reprints of the Amazing Spiderman it published under Marvel Tales. Prior to that, Batman was my favorite superhero. But, Spiderman converted me. The first 250 issues of Amazing Spiderman are damn good comics. I was a loyal fan of Marvel right up until the dark reign of Joe Quesada desimated my interest in Marvel altogether. I haven't bought a Marvel comic since Busiek left the Avengers. I can't imagine ever buying one again.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



    Quote:
    Rev's comment below that Avengers # 300 was his first issue got me thinking: How did Marvel snag us, and get us to buy more of its interconnected universe?



    Quote:
    For me, it started with Iron Man # 225. Perfect starting point, the first chapter of Armor Wars. From there, I moved on to WCA, since he was a member of the team. I got there just in time for # 37, which split the team up as Hawkeye & Mockingbird fought over the right to let a villain die.
    About a year later, for my 13th birthday, I got a gift certificate to the local paperback store ... and went nuts. I bought Daredevil # 262 (part of Inferno), Cap # 349 (the penultimate chapter of John Walker as Cap!), and ... oops, Rev, it may have been Avengers # 299, as part of Inferno.
    But I guess what really got me was Uncanny X-Men # 241. At 13, there was nothing to draw me in better than Maddie Pryor, spread eagle in her mini Goblin Queen outfit. I read that issue over and over, and picked up every issue since.
    So what's your story? How did the Marvel marketing team get you to branch out and buy not just your first comic, but begin to sample their other titles?


My first comic was Avengers #300...so I'm always wounded to the quick whenever you guys diss Gilgamesh who was the one on that team of Avengers I liked. I loved that helmet. I liked Gil because there was something about him that seemed wistful and world weary.

I think as a result of seeing Reed and Sue on the Avengers before I ever picked up a Fantastic Four book and enjoying Cap putting Reed in his place I never warmed up to Reed. My first FF issue was #312 the one where Sharon becomes the She-Thing...that run was awful but I enjoyed it because Ben was the leader. I never enjoy Reed as leader because he's strikes me as a bit of a dick who holds the other 3 back.

I didn't become passionate about comics until I started buying the New Warriors. I loved that series and volume 1 is still my favorite series Marvel has ever done. I became interested in New Warriors because I wanted to figure out how Kid Nova was connected to Super Nova (who debuted in my second comic ever...Avengers #301).





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oberm




reverend,
The first comic that i read was an issue of captn america that dealt with the result of galactic storm. I was in awe to see so many Avengers and felt bad for the kidnapped diamondback.
Like you, the series that made me a follower was the new warriors. The first warriors comic that i bought was when nita was going to shoot a terrorist leader in a fictional middle eastern country but couldnt. I guess it was Just in time to see the greatness of the warriors series. I especialy enjoyed Darick Robertson's art and Fabian's stories of darkforce and nova. Ahh the good old days...


oberm
still a Warrior fan


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



    Quote:
    reverend,
    The first comic that i read was an issue of captn america that dealt with the result of galactic storm. I was in awe to see so many Avengers and felt bad for the kidnapped diamondback.
    Like you, the series that made me a follower was the new warriors. The first warriors comic that i bought was when nita was going to shoot a terrorist leader in a fictional middle eastern country but couldnt. I guess it was Just in time to see the greatness of the warriors series. I especialy enjoyed Darick Robertson's art and Fabian's stories of darkforce and nova. Ahh the good old days...


I enjoyed all of that too. I love that book.





    Quote:

    oberm
    still a Warrior fan







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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,053


Maybe it was because I was already familiar with Gilgamesh from The Eternals,and that great great run up to Thor#300 that makes me like the charater.Knowing the epic of Gilgamesh and its ties to Hercules labors make him interesting.Was it Walt Simonson that turned him into the monster killer?I think most saw him as one dimensional where that was actually one aspect of his personality from the old tales.It didnt bother me since it fit with the mythology and we knew he would eventually find another part of his personality.Still think of him as The Forgotten One.


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Reverend Meteor


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 11,689



    Quote:
    Maybe it was because I was already familiar with Gilgamesh from The Eternals,and that great great run up to Thor#300 that makes me like the charater.Knowing the epic of Gilgamesh and its ties to Hercules labors make him interesting.Was it Walt Simonson that turned him into the monster killer?I think most saw him as one dimensional where that was actually one aspect of his personality from the old tales.It didnt bother me since it fit with the mythology and we knew he would eventually find another part of his personality.Still think of him as The Forgotten One.


I always got the vibe that Gil was a guy who had a lot of layers. Byrne tried to make him boastful and arrogant and I didn't like that approach at all. Simonson's version just seemed a bit removed from the world but for whatever reason has decided to be a part of the world again. There was a sadness there and I think him joining the Avengers was him attempting a new experience...for ages he only relied on himself and now he had to let other people in.

He had layers but we never got to see them \:\(

Gilgamesh was a character who never achieved a fraction of his true potential.




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swmcbf


Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,053


True but give the right team a chance to tell the epic of Gilgamesh using the marvel version could be great.Youre right there is much potential in the charater.Hmm-I would want it to include his journeys after the epic.You are spot on about how he relied on himself-The Forgotten One-and he definetely should have many layers of personality.I think the original stories were actually a string of unrelated hero tales that were passed on in the oral tradition until Gilgamesh became the central charater.This explains some of his different behavior patterns in the epic but marvel could easily use it as a plot point.


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Dane Whitman




Nt


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Unstable Molecule


Location: Calgary, AB Canada
Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 3,103


It started with Amazing Spider-Man # 238 (first appearance of the Hobgoblin). I had a vague recollection that the Green Goblin had ruined Spider-man's life and killed his girlfriend. When it seemed like a new version of the Goblin was starting up and I was on the ground floor, I was hooked. Over in PPTSS, Doc Ock was at war with the Owl, with Spidey and the Black Cat caught in the middle.

An Amazing Spider-man Annual introduced me to Captain Marvel (Monica), which brought me over to the Avengers, the Vision and Scarlet Witch mini, and an Annihilus-based crossover with the Fantastic Four (hence my first exposure to Byrne's awesome FF run). Avengers Annual #10 made me fall in love with Rogue, and since it seemed she was just joining the X-Men, I started reading X-Men, New Mutants, etc. I did some back-collecting of the X-Men (all the way back to Giant-Size #1).

So at that point I was fully involved in the worlds of Spider-Man, the Avengers, the FF, the X-Men, the New Mutants, Alpha Flight... even some occassional Iron Man/Thor/Cap issues (though they never sucked me in like the team titles or Spidey). Occassionally I would pick up MTU or MTIO, or What If?. Dabbled in some Batman, though other than Batman and his villains, I found DC boring. And all this collecting lasted straight through until it all got crappy in the 90's. Money was tight and my enjoyment of comics was low, so I took a break for about 10 years.

They sucked me back in with JLA/Avengers, but now my pull list is waning again. Maybe I only have a ten-year tolerance for comics.




"It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." – Albus Dumbledore
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TJ Burns





Heh... I had that Hobgoblin appearance too, and it hooked me in as well. I miss him.


TJB


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Marshall Bravestar




It's funny because I stopped buying comics around #300, and I didn't pick back up until Busiek/Perez almost ten years later. I pretty much only buy Avengers.


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Marshall Bravestar




As a young'n I'd buy comics based on the cover alone. But if it looked violent or too scary, mom wouldn't buy it from the drugstore. So my earliest comics were the Squire Archie Comics and Popeye's Digest. All of which I love, especially the digests which were a great bargain on a $2/week allowance. Still if it looked cool I'd be able to get a Spider-Man, Superman, Batman...the popular ones.

I learned I could walk to a used bookstore a mile from my house and buy comics for pennies back in the early 80's. The comics were often without covers and I could buy a lot and discover more about the characters! Luckily, right around that time they had DC's Who's Who and Marvel's OHOTMU. I tried to collect a lot of those...for pretty much the same reason as the digest. I got more background for my buck.

I only had a few issues of each, but I could tell DC was more light-hearted with the characters. Marvel was more mature... so when I saw the deluxe edition of OHOTMU in my drugstore I had to have those. I bought every last one, and spread all 10+ covers on the living room floor. From then on, every Marvel issue has been approachable to me.


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The PDR




It is entirely possible I had a comic or two before this, but at some point around 1990 there were Marvel figures with an offer for a free year's subscription on the back of the box. My parents agreed to let me send away for two and soon I was reading Captain America and the Amazing Spider-Man every month. It was pretty sweet. Landing in the Gruenwald era of Cap (around the 390s) I really found myself enjoying the books. I also liked whatever Spider-Man story was running around the same time, but Cap's book just grabbed me more.

Another thing that helped draw me in were the Marvel Universe trading cards they had in those days. Trying to hunt down the full sets I learned about all sorts of characters I probably wouldn't have had time to learn about with just a few comics a month. (Later on I found a Marvel Handbook at the local library and checked that out more than once as well)


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Reverend Meteor





    Quote:
    It's funny because I stopped buying comics around #300, and I didn't pick back up until Busiek/Perez almost ten years later. I pretty much only buy Avengers.


I loved Busiek on Thunderbolts...didn't care for his Avengers. Mainly because I felt he really didn't get Vance's character and he was one of my favorites in the New Warriors.


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Methuselah




Mine goes back a bit further. The first books I remember collecting was Thor right around the time that Hercules had an extended guest stint (I'm thinking around Thor 219 or so. (I think I a had a couple of scattered issues immediately before that). Not long after I picked up the Avengers and it was just as the Celestial Madonna storyline was about to start (I think I started around issue 126 perhaps). And at around that same time Marvel was putting out Marvel Triple Action and I started that on issue #20. It was reprinting old Avengers issues from around issues in the higher 20's with such tales as the Wasp being captured by Atuma, Pym becoming Goliath, then the whole Hawkeye/Black Widow/Red Guardian storyline, the Collector, etc. Dang, that was a great time to start reading comics.

It's been so long ago that I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure those old Marvel cartoons with the wonderful theme songs from the '60's(Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk) predisposed me towards Marvel books and Avengers related characters.


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Surt


Member Since: Fri May 07, 2010
Posts: 1,800


Spider-Man. I got into american comics via localized versions here in Norway. Of course, I didn't have that much to chose from, Hulk, Superman, Batman and Spidey. But as a kid I just found the Spidey stories more relatable, fun and interesting.

Of course, with Roger Stern and John Romita Jr doing the Amazing books back then, it was difficult NOT to like it \:\)




________________
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