Uncanny X-Men #275 – I found this issue in a flea market about 14 years ago. It’s from Finland. It’s since been signed by Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams. This one is special to me mostly because of the origin of its publication and the signatures. I might add its also a part of my second favorite X-Men storyline ever. I still get chills when Magneto makes his final choice to turn back on his reformed ways as he closes his fist.
Open with a prison somewhere in England. A supervillianess in leopard print named Vixen is busting in with her cronies to free the Juggernaut. He’s tearing through the walls, letting free a variety of no good doers in the process. Then suddenly POW! Captain Britain punches him square in the nose. But instead of your typical grandstanding posturing, these two quietly discuss terms of surrender. Of course there is nothing but sarcasm on The Juggernaut’s end of this. We pull back some distance to the sound of several light punches then POW! Captain Britain is hurled miles from the fight with one powerful punch from the unstoppable Juggernaut.
This was the first few pages of Excalibur #3. This comic, more than any other, cemented my love for comic books. Sure, I dabbled here and there in various superhero titles. I had already been a big fan of Groo the Wanderer. I read my share of Spider-Man. I had already read the two part stunner that killed Gwen Stacy in a Marvel Tales reprint. I picked up the occasional G.I. Joe comic. But I never had anything that hooked me like this.
This comic changed my life. Groo The Wanderer #5, published by the Epic imprint by Marvel Comics. It’s cover date is July 1985.
I distinctly remember buying this. Or rather, I remember my mother buying it for me. It was at the now long gone Walden Books at the Hot Springs Mall. There was a spinner rack and my mother told me I could buy one comic book. No other books stood out to me. Spider-Man was battling Toads and Frogs on his book. Wolverine was threatening to skewer a young child on the cover of Uncanny X-Men. Superman was super pissed at the Red Tornado for some reason. And that was the month that Secret Wars II was unleashed on an unsuspecting (and undeserving) public. Continue reading “A GROOvy Introduction”