Reading Progress

Series I’ve Read

As a kid, I had always just bought comics but had never read them.  When I restarted collecting, I spent most of my time at $1 comic book sales searching through long boxes for issues I needed to complete runs.  Then I’d have to bag/board them and update the spreadsheet…rinse repeat.  I must have them all!  All that (for 5,000ish comics) takes a great deal of time.

Somewhere along the way (around 2013) as I was filling in holes (ie adding numerous boxes to my collection) I decided to actually start reading my comic books.  Weird thought…I know?!?!  What better time so START reading comic books than when you are over 40 years old!?!?

  • Marvel Saga (Year 1985 / Issues #1-25) – One of the first comics I bought was Marvel Saga #1.  I bought this because it had a #1 on it and I figured it would make me a millionaire one day.  That didn’t happen but when I was trying to figure out what it was (and what to do with it) I learned that it was a series with history—literally.  Specifically, it outlined the entire Marvel Universe comic book history in 25 issues.  I figured this was the perfect series to start reading.  I learned a lot: 1) Stan Lee is a freaking genius, and 2) I liked some characters and didn’t like others.  Prior to reading this, I didn’t really understand that all the different titles in the Marvel Universe worked together with stories interweaving between titles.  The fact that this was happening over the course of several decades should not be underestimated.  I believe Stan Lee was indeed a superhero of his own kind.  What a stud.  I also figured out quickly which characters I was most interested in (Spiderman, Hulk, X-Men, Wolverine, Etc.).  It also helped me weed out the characters that rubbed me the wrong way (Fantastic Four, Namor, Daredevil, Etc.).  It was the perfect first series to read!
  • Marvel Comics Presents (Year 1988 / Issues #1-175) – When I discovered Wolverine a readily available comic (and inexpensive one) with tons of stories about him by different artists was Marvel Comics Presents.  Most of these comics were flip issues.  One side has a cover (with a popular character like Wolverine) and half the book has that story.  Then you flip it over for another cover and another story about some other less popular character.  There were lots of self-contained stories about a lot of characters.  Many were good, some not so good.  But issue 72 kicked off the Weapon X storyline which told the story of how Wolverine became filled with metal over 14 issues.  Magnificent storyline!  Wolverine showed up a ton throughout the 175 issues…which made me happy!
  • West Coast Avengers (Limited Series) (Year 1984 / Issues #1-4) – I had the second series of West Coast Avengers but had not read the prior limited series.  The OCD completionist in me would not allow me to read the latter without reading the former.  This is my cross to bear!
  • West Coast Avengers (Year 1985 / Issues #1-102 + Tie-Ins) – I originally bought my first issue of West Coast Avengers from the Kroger grocery store comic turnstile.  It was issue #2.  My friend Dan read The Avengers comic book so I had heard of them.  There were around 250 issues of that series.  I was about to get in on the ground floor of a brand-new series with issue #2.  I’d be worth millions!  MILLIONS!!!  I collected issues growing but not all of them.  When I rebooted my “comic career” I found it easy to complete the series.  The issues I was missing were not in high demand and easily found (or expensive).  None of the issue were really in demand (they were not worth millions).  It seems that I would not be made a millionaire by the West Coast Avengers.  I read the whole series (with all the tie ins).  It wasn’t horrible.
  • Uncanny X-Men (Year 1963 / Issues #1-544) – IN PROCESS – After many, many trips to the comic store for $1 comic book sales and many, many auctions won on E-Bay I have amassed a very decent X-Men collection.  The first issues from 1963 are a tad expensive for my budget to say the least.  I got the Marvel Masterworks books which have issues #1-66.  Issues #67-93 were just reprints of prior issues/stories.  Issue #94 (in August 1975) follows Giant Sized X-men and is basically a reboot of the X-men.  The first crew put together by Professor Xavier ran the first 66 issues: Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Iceman, Beast, and Angel.  They are honestly not my favorite characters, but they are the originals.  I think part of it is the story/writing was done back in the 60s and was ‘tame’ by today’s standards.  The next crew Professor X pulled together was more my speed: The demonic acrobat Nightcrawler, the weather-controlling Storm, the iron-skinned strongman Colossus, the shrieking Banshee, the tribal warrior Thunderbird, and the dangerous Wolverine.  There’s Wolverine…that’s why I’m here!  I am working through those first 66 issues now (only 500 or so to go)!?!
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