As I mentioned in one of my recent reviews of The Walking Dead, the first comic I ever got once I was old enough to read was an issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. It was Amazing Spider-Man #357 actually, and the cover price was $1.00 US ($1.25 CAN). I think it books for a whopping two dollars or so now, but being my first comic it is of course priceless to me. Back then it was common to find comic books included in magazine racks at stores all over town. Before I ventured into my first comic book shop, I actually collected and followed Wolverine through a local pharmacy/drug store. Each store had a slightly different selection, and it was an adventure riding my bike to every one within a reasonable (and sometimes not so reasonable) distance to see what I could find.
I grew up with the cartoons, toys, and movies first, but from a very young age I knew there was a source material, and that it all came from somewhere. I was always very eager to get my hands on it, and I was so enthusiastic I dove right in with Amazing Spider-Man #357. I wasn’t scared by the high number of the issue, and I wasn’t discouraged by the fact that there were hundreds of comics that I hadn’t yet read, I was excited! I suppose nowadays I’d receive a medal of bravery for such an attitude. The Marvel NOW! initiative is all about making the waters seem safer to new or returning readers, and the main way they plan to lure them into stores is with new #1 issues. Many books are being restarted at number one, but they’ve already done that with Amazing Spider-Man before, so it’s being paved completely to make way for the rather snobbishly named title The Superior Spider-Man, which will begin with its first issue in January. Maybe I shouldn’t care, for all I know their next marketing trick will be to relaunch The Amazing Spider-Man all over again, maybe even with so called “legacy” numbering. There was something nice though, about knowing the first comic title I ever picked up was still in publication. It was kind of like the anchor to my comic book past. The just released issue #700 will be the last for now, and while I may be bitter later, I guess all I’ll say is this – thanks for the memories.