Comic book creator Jim Zub started the newest hashtag and it's proven to have some staying power. What are your #FourComics? What four comic books inspired, moved, or stuck with you over time? While Jim has already moved on to asking what #FourComics would you give a non-reader to get hooked, I'm still mulling over the four comics that affected me most as a kid. The reasons vary. Some just wowed me, while a few have deep meaning.
Thor #271: I can honestly say that this is the very first comic that I remember from my childhood. While I don't really remember the comic book itself, I do remember the final image of the last page of the comic book. It was one of Walter Simonson's very, very early Thor issues, and a few years later I would be hooked on Simonson's regular Thor run. I was very young when Thor #271 was published and I honestly cannot remember how I got a hold of this issue. My dad had a passing interest in comics and might have bought it for himself and simply passed it to me. I don't know. Either way, it's amazing how one image of can stick with you for a lifetime. This one did.
Conan #163: Another comic book I owned when I was very young. This one also has plenty of memories of childhood afternoons, a time when comics were still sold at drug stores, and my late father. The full story can be read here. It's too long, and a little too sentimental to rehash here. Needless to say, it's one of the prized pieces of my collection. Not because of its material worth, but its emotional one.
Man of Steel #1: I am a lifelong Superman fan, even if I can't stand and don't read The New 52 Superman books. The comic book Superman I grew up with is what I call my Gen X Superman (more popularly known as the Post-Crisis Superman), and this was his origin story. When Man of Steel was published shortly after Crisis On Infinite Earths, I felt I had finally really found a version of Superman who's stories I could relate to. He was more realistic. He was down to earth power wise, but was still one of the most powerful beings in the universe, and he looked so cool. John Byrne's art was, is, and always will be amazing. I already had been exposed to his work during his X-Men run (several issues of which could have made this list-and might make the next one) and was already a fan. When he took on the revitalization of Superman, I was in Superman fandom heaven. Byrne's Man of Steel will always and forever be THE definitive origin of Superman to me.
Death The High Cost of Living #1: High school years suck and sadly many of the comic books published during this first era of comic book over saturation and over speculation (the early 1990s) did too. The promise that was Image was fading fast. You can't make a good comic book without good stories no matter how great the (thou) art. The X-Men were exploding in popularity and the quality of the books was starting to diminish (Claremont would be leaving soon). Valiant 1.0 was going strong, but the whole superhero thing was starting to be a drag. I was contemplating becoming an English Major when I started college soon and was reading lots of the romantics like Shelley, Byron, etc. etc. and dwelling on Milton and Shakespeare. It seemed every comic book was about some major world/universe shattering event. Blah, blah, blah. Along comes Death The High Cost of Living and I was turned on to a whole world of more intelligent and literary comic books. I never looked back. Now, I still enjoy the superhero romps, they can be quite intelligent tales themselves if told correctly, but nothing compares to a series like Death or, even more so, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (which Death turned me on to). Great storytelling AND great art trump either alone. Death The High Cost of Living taught me that.
So there you go. I encourage each and every one of you to go out there and share your #FourComics. You never know, you might inspire someone to read something new, and possibly open them up to a whole new world of wonder.