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?
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.