Assuming that all goes smoothly, fellow babies, next week's "Comical Wednesday" post will be the first of a three-parter talking about the creators of Batman! Therefore, today's post -- a relatively short one, text-wise -- is about one of the more eventful nights in my checkered childhood!
Seven years ago, long before I even had a "Comical Wednesday" designation for my comic-related articles, I wrote a post entitled My "Golden Age". In it, I told how I started reading Marvel Comics when I was about seven years old.
Up until I was 71⁄2, however, I'd only read a handful of Marvels: Fantastic Four Annual #1 (which my sister had bought for herself, but let me read it), Tales to Astonish #49 (the issue where Ant-Man first became Giant-Man), and Amazing Spider-Man #10.
One night, somewhere around March of 1964, my mother was going to the local pharmacy for one reason or another, and, as my mom usually did, she asked me if I'd like her to get anything for me. It shouldn't surprise any of you that my answer was "comic books." (This, of course, was long before the advent of comic book stores, when newsstands were pretty much the only place you could buy comics.)
Well! I was extremely lucky that night. Evidently, the pharmacy/newsstand had just received their shipment of Marvel Comics, and the clerk must have informed my mother of that. My mom didn't know what I liked, so she bought every single Marvel that had arrived! (Well, except for the obvious "girl" titles, like Millie the Model, Patsy and Hedy, and the like!)
And now, I'll show you exactly which comics I received that night, with only a small caption to accompany each!
This was the second issue of Amazing Spider-Man that I ever owned. It was the second
part of a two-part story. I didn't get to read the first part until a couple of years later!
I pretty much overdosed on the Avengers that month! I'd never heard of them before (although
I did know Giant-Man and the Wasp). Not only did Thor, Giant-Man, and Iron Man appear
in their own titles, but the Avengers also showed up in that month's issue of Fantastic Four!
I had seen Daredevil #1 advertised a month or so earlier, but didn't find it on the newsstand.
Another conclusion of a two-parter where I'd missed part one! This comic and Avengers #5 introduced me to
Captain America, who quickly became one of my favorite heroes of all time! What a great all-around battle issue!
Part two of another freakin' continued story. Need I bother to say that I missed part one?
One of three Western titles Marvel produced. This was my introduction to Western comics, though!
Another Marvel Western. I quickly discovered that Marvel's Westerns
were written much like their superhero titles, which won me over.
Sgt. Fury called itself "The War Mag for People Who Hate War Mags!" And it was! Again,
Marvel made this war comic more like its superhero titles, so I was immediately hooked!
I knew the Human Torch from Fantastic Four, but this Dr. Strange guy? He was new to me! And
I soon realized he was drawn by the same guy who drew Spider-Man's adventures, Steve Ditko!
I was immediately impressed by Iron Man, who was also an Avenger.
And this was the Black Widow when she looked like a "real" widow!
I'd first encountered Giant-Man six months earlier. This issue
and Avengers #5 were my second and third exposures to him.
Yep, a cowboy with a secret identity, fighting an honest-to-God super-villain.
Didn't I tell you Marvel's Westerns were like superhero comics?
My first exposure to the X-Men, a group which wasn't truly popular until a newer version of the team came
out in 1975! The person who colored this comic book cover was pretty clueless, by the way. Quicksilver's the
guy with the white hair; his blue costume is supposed to be green. And the young lady with the green suit and
the goofy headgear? Why, that's the Scarlet Witch, who, as you may rightly assume, should be outfitted in red!
By the way, I have absolutely no idea why books dated May, June, or July -- and in one case, February -- arrived on the same night!
And now the punchline, dear readers: I no longer have any of the comics my mother brought home that night. And at today's collectible prices, these books list for a total of anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on their condition. But guess what? They cost my mom a whopping $1.56!!!
(And even allowing for inflation, that's quite a bit less!)
As the Fantastic Four's Thing would say, "What a revoltin' development!"
Thanks for your time.