The first American comic I remember seeing was an early DC science fiction book. It was on the counter of a newsagent, somewhere in London. It had a couple of kids in a canoe and they'd hooked a green monster on their fishing line. I could only have been about five. Boy, I wanted that comic ... but my mum didn't approve of horror comics, so that was that.
|The comic that caught my attention all those|
years ago was this one, House of Mystery 96,
cover dated Jan 1960.
|Tales of the Unexpected 76, |
from Apr/May 1963
|I didn't see the cover of Batman Annual 4,|
Winter 62/63, until many years later. My
copy was missing its cover.
|I recently bought a copy of this April 1963|
comic and had instant deja vu of how I'd
felt when I read it first time around.
|I thought the alien Ryla was the most exotic woman|
I'd ever seen - though pretty soon she'd be replaced
in my affections by Julie Newmar's Catwoman.
Pretty soon, I was devouring the Superman family titles. Of course, I didn't know it at the time, but these books were all under the iron rule of Mort Weisinger. They were corny and the scene on the cover hardly ever quite matched the story on the inside ...
|Weisinger's books tended to be a bit same-y|
after a while ... which is why I was ready for
Stan Lee's Marvel Comics by 1965.
By the first half of 1965 I was getting a bit tired of the Superman books. I'd read a few Charlton hot-rod comics, which I quite liked, but someone at school had a copy of Tales to Astonish 51, which a bit different to any of the other comics I'd been reading.
|Not prime Lee/Kirby, but still light years|
ahead of what DC Comics was doing
around the same time.
|I got a copy of this issue in early 1965.|
Two heroes for the prices of one.
|Captain America, Iron Man and Giant Man|
I sort-of recognised, but who were all these
other strange people?
And again, as with Tales of Suspense 64, while the heroes did have fairly colourful costumes, the villains were quite subdued, favouring a secondary palette of purples, greys and greens.
The one thing that puzzled me about Avengers 15 ... Captain America was operating in a contemporary setting, alongside other heroes of the Marvel present, while in Tales of Suspense, he was still fighting WWII. There was an explanation, of course, but that had been in a much earlier issue of Avengers which I wouldn't read until much later.