The Comic that Started it All

As a young child, I remember my mother buying me comic books.  These were series like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Richie Rich, and Mickey Mouse.  They were fun, and I enjoyed them.  I don’t know whatever happened to them as they seem to have been lost in time.  Perhaps one day I’ll stumble upon them.  However, the comic I consider to be my first, and is the first superhero one I bought, was Spider-Man #35.  The was part four of the Maximum Carnage event that was printed in all the Spider-Man comics at the time (which was an absurd 5 titles a month).

I found this at a Marden’s (I should have bought it, when I saw it, at Marden’s! Sorry, years of local commercials tends to do that) over in Auburn, Maine.  Originally printed in 1993, I know I didn’t get it until at least a couple years later, I’m thinking it was ’96.  I had never seen comics there before, and rarely did after.  But there it was, in a comic bag, and with that magical price of 25 cents.  I saw the cover and thought it was the coolest looking thing ever.

I already had a basic knowledge of Spider-Man, primarily from the animated series and a bit from the comic strip that used to be printed in the newspaper (at one point I even cut out all those strips and glued them in my own book to make it a complete story).  But this comic had so many other people in it.  The cover alone showed Venom and Black Cat, who I knew, but then it also had some red monster and a goblin that wasn’t Hobgoblin or the Green Goblin.

The story, part 4 in the overall arc, was gripping.  Spider-Man was working with Venom?  Some guy named Cloak, who I was amazed by, was mourning the loss of Dagger, and the Black Cat were also helping?  And the villains!  Demogoblin, a doppleganger, Shriek and Carnage were a ruthless and murderous team.  Carnage alone was a fright.  This was a serial killer with all the same powers as Venom, only even more crazy (Shriek was actually a little disappointing).  I had never seen such action in comic or in the animated series (in which Spider-Man didn’t even punch guys).  The artwork was tight and vivid.  It was a dark story and instantly drew me into the Marvel Universe.  I begged my mom to go back to Marden’s as soon as possible and found a few more issues of the storyline.

It was not until many years later that I actually finished acquiring all 14 issues.  I still read it from time to time and it will always have a soft spot in my heart.  Yes, I see some corniness, especially when Captain America gets involved (I was not a fan of him in my younger years and am now only slightly more appreciative of him), and the ending was a bit tacky, but overall it showcases all that was good about the 90’s.  Gritty, action-packed, and exciting.  It got me hooked on comics and on Spider-Man in general.  I collected many of his comics from about the same time and was never disappointed.  Of course, I never read the Clone Saga, so maybe I just lucked out.

-T

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One thought on “The Comic that Started it All

  1. Pingback: Spider-Man TAS |

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