My First Comic with Bennett B.
My hometown in Connecticut didn’t really have a dedicated comic store, though there was one in the town over. I loved superheroes, but since I didn’t have access to any of the actual comics, most of my knowledge came from the animated TV shows of the early 90’s and—later—Wikipedia (or similar Marvel/DC online archives). My brothers lived in NYC and they had a hodgepodge collection of single issues that I use to read, Daredevil mostly, but it wouldn’t be until high school that I actually got my first graphic novel.
I was in choir and we were taking an extended trip to do a competitive interschool performance. It was early on in journey and I believe we were stopped in Philadelphia. The bus had stopped for kids to look around a bit and there was a comic store. I, of course, went in but always had felt like a bit of a poser. I never really had read any of the big arcs—even though I would spoil myself on all of them online—so I usually just browsed but would be to embarrassed to ask where to start (Kids at home, don’t be like me! We are here to help and would LOVE to give you comic suggestions and jumping off points! I was a foooool!). Anyway, this is where my love of comics would officially take off, with Planet Hulk.
Now, at the time, I was not really a hulk fan. None of the best arcs I remembered revolved around him, and he didn’t even have a cool TV show to get me invested (forgive me Bill Bixby! I wouldn’t discover your show until later!). Still, the cover looked sweet and I didn’t dislike The Hulk. Plus, it was a whole graphic novel, it had the entire story. So I decided what the heck. I was on an extended school trip and had some spending money. I made my purchase and went back to the bus. We still had a good hour on the break but my path had already been chosen. I was ENTHRALLED by Planet Hulk. It was a comic story like I had never seen before and instantly made me a die-hard Hulk fan. I read that book at least four times cover to cover on that trip and as soon as I got home I made the trip to the comic book store in the town over to purchase issues of World War Hulk, The Illuminati, and Civil War to catch up on what had happened before and what was happening now.
I tend to lean towards Action Comics, Batman, Spider-Man series and X-men nowadays, but I’ll never forget where it started. During a choir trip, on a far-away planet, with something Incredible.