With the recent passing of my grandfather, I decided to visit his house and dig through my old closet to see if there’s anything I can get of. Hiding under some old lunch boxes was a long cardboard box containing 184 comic books. I blew off a cloud of dust that had been accumulating since the 90’s. After a short asthma attack, I decided opened up this beast and started flipping through the issues. Each issue brought back a specific memory. A specific issue of Ghost Rider reminded me of an 8th grade crush. An issue of Punisher brought back a memory of being beaten down mercilessly at Wai’anae Intermediate. After observing the selection of titles, I realized a trend. I was a #1 issue whore.
I was so hungry for #1 issues, that I bought almost any title that started up; just so I could say that I had the #1 issue. Don’t get me wrong, I did have SOME taste. Some of the well established and reputable titles in my collection were Ghost Rider, Punisher, The Mighty Thor, Detective Comics, and Dr. Strange. However there were some #1 issues that were so weird, I figured that I should come clean and reveal them.
Here are my guilty #1’s…
Commonly referred to one of the worst comics in recent Marvel Comics history, SuperPro had a short run of 12 issues starting in 1991. Issue #6 had to be pulled off of the shelves because it was found to be insulting to a Native American tribe. When I bought issue #1, I brought it to school to show it off to my English teacher who also collected comic books. He gave me a “what the fuck” look when I showed it to him and he had every right. Just a bad comic all together. In a 2006 interview, SuperPro writer Fabian Nicieza admits to writing the story just for free NFL tickets.
1991 shared the debut of another new comic book title. Mighty Mutanimals was a spin-off from the assuming more successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Adventures comic series. It was basically a commercial to try to sell off the slower selling action figures: Ray Fillet, Mondo Gecko and Dreadmon, among others. Mighty Mutanimals came back about 3 or 4 times to do a 3 issue run. Sometime independently. Other times with TMNT.
First off, the title makes to sense. The character James Bond Jr is supposedly the nephew of the original James Bond. How many nephews are named Jr? Probably a few at inbred trailer parks but besides that, there shouldn’t be any. Plus if you read Ian Flemming’s masterspy novels, he indicates that Bond has no surviving relatives. The 1992 series spawned 12 glorious issues for us to enjoy. Perhaps a few more issues could’ve been squeezed out if Marvel spoke to Reebok about sponsoring the young spy’s “Pump Up” shoes. Man I miss those “pump up” shoes.
Perhaps my comic book collection didn’t exhume the same integrity as other collections. However the sheer joy of owning the first issue of a brand spankin’ new comic book series in the early 90’s almost made me forget the pain of not having many friends and a very slim chance of getting a girlfriend.