Ultimate Spider-Man #87 is a comic book I distinctly remember reading. It is cover dated February, 2006, which means it actually came out late November/early December 2005. The comic featured Silver Sable and the Wild Pack. Silver Sable was a bit less sympathetic in the Ultimate Universe. Here she was more of a mercenary than a freedom fighter. As cool as Ultimate Silver Sable was, though, there was another reason I so clearly remember my first time with this book. Mary Jane was still reeling from the breakup she had with Peter. In this issue she learns of his new romance with Kitty Pryde. While I did enjoy that development (Kitty being my favorite comic character and all), it wasn’t what made reading this comic so unforgettable. It definitely wasn’t the Ultimate Vision story, either. John Romita Jr is my all time favorite artist, but that story was a whole lot of no thank you.
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.