These days I don’t really follow the mutant comics as much. However there will always be a soft spot in my heart for this character. Wolverine is the character that really first appealed to me to read comic books. I mean, I read Asterix, and Tintin and the like, but this character got me way way in. Direct market books, and comic book stores were only a short amazing discovery away. It all timed in nicely.

The first time I saw Wolverine was at the Manukau Village 8 Cinemas in the early 90’s. They had an X-Men arcade game. You know the one? 1980’s costumes, Side scrolling beat ’em up action and Jim Lee art on the side boards of the machine. It was awesome. This badass with the claws just appealed to 12 year old me.

Shortly after the X-Men cartoon appeared on television. I was hooked. I had to find more. Eventually I hit a second hand book shop. I managed to pick up a second hand copy of X-Men Classic #38. Which was a title dedicated to just reprinting the best X-Men stories. In those pages was an issue of the biggest and probably most defining X-Men story, The Dark Phoenix Saga. Chris Claremont had a way of describing each X-Man and their abilities every issue. It was kind of the perfect first comic for me. It ended with all the X-Men taken out except Wolverine, who in the final splash page of the comic emerges from sewer water all pissed off, and swearing revenge on the villains. Comic fan for life after that one page. That was all it took.

wolverine sewer

I think it took me another 4 years or so to finally track down the collected edition of the whole story and see what he got up to after that issue. That was a long cliffhanger, I tell you!

You have any fond memories of early comics that you really enjoyed reading when you were new to the medium? Let me know. I’d love to hear!

If you like this painting, you can buy it. It’ll be for sale at LibraryCon 2014. This Saturday at Onehunga Library. Please come say hi!