We were first introduced to comic books as a serious entertainment source in our first year of college. One of our dorm mates had a fairly substantial collection in his closet which he pulled out de vez en cuando and several of us became quite interested in the experience. This was at a point when the 1980’s independent press was at full strength. It was also a transitional time for the Big 2, particularly for DC. Heroes were brought low, villains became more than two-dimensional, the writing was edgier, the art exploratory. In short, it was a great time to enter the world of wonder.
Our very first comic book was Mage: The Hero Discovered #7. Why? Because our pal had bought a handful of the series and after looking at the artwork and reading the story, we were hooked. The second book we bought? Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. The bright, deep colors of a 4-color press are very different than the newsprint formats so familiar to the casual comic reader up through the 1970’s. With Baxter paper and a slicker look, many of the books in this era stood out and showed us where the genre could go.
Mage: The Hero Discovered was an amazingly good read. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns blew us away. For a newly indoctrinated aficionado, there weren’t many better places to start.
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