My first comic

I’m currently re-reading the 2002 series of Catwoman from DC Comics. This volume ran to 83 issues and was cancelled in 2010, despite a lot of critical acclaim. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was one of DC’s best comic books in its entire 75 year history.

Anyway, I’ve hit issue 33, and from this point I need to branch out across all of the Bat-books to read War Games, DC’s epic crossover event from 2004. It occurred to me as I got a checklist of titles up that this is where I started reading DC.

Unlike most comic readers, I never read comics as a child other than Tintin and Asterix. I did have one issue of Iron Man, one of Batman, and one of the Marvel character compendium/encylopedia things sometime in the mid-80s, but no more than that. Later, a friend in high school brought in some 2000ADs he was reading, but again, I never really paid much attention.

It was only in 2003, on a whim, that I decided to see what 2000AD was like now/then. I bought the latest issue and was hooked, then remembering that Iron Man I’d had all those years ago, I ventured into a comic shop. Over the next few months I tried various titles including Iron Man, Fantastic Four, 4 (the Marvel Knights mature-content version of Fantastic Four), and The Avengers. Although I was drawn to Marvel for some reason – I think perhaps because their characters were less familar to me, while DC’s roster looked twee – they never really clicked with me. I remember in particular Iron Man being a very odd comic – Tony Stark was the US Secretary of Defence, and was best friends with George W. Bush. Bush even appeared as himself in a couple of issues as Iron Man battled Iraqi terrorists and… well, that wasn’t my idea of escapism.

And then I thought, what the hell, I’ll try Batman. How can you go wrong with Batman? I had been reluctant up until then because I thought perhaps Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman would all be a bit stale and old and uninteresting. I mean, what could you do with these characters that hadn’t been done a thousand times before?

That issue of Batman I picked up was the first part of the War Games event, Batman: The 12c Adventure.

I couldn’t believe it. This was the comic I was looking for. It was superbly drawn and superbly written. With the help of the friendly comic shop owner, we got a pull-list of DC titles together – including every issue of War Games – and my adventure began. Seven years later, I’ve got a book deal and am doing the final edit on a superhero novel that I wrote to express my love for superheros and superhero comics. Might oaks from little acorns grow, etc etc.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a comic to read.