The first superhero comic I remember buying with my own money was this one:
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #109 from early 1974. I still have it. I’d read some other comics prior to this, but don’t remember a single thing about them and nothing in my collection jogs any memories. For all rights and purposes, this was the first comic I ever read. Oddly, this also coincided with the debut of SuperFriends - a show my brother and I watched faithfully every Saturday morning – and yet I have no recollection of the cartoon influencing my buying decision and in fact distinctly remember wishing SuperFriends was a little more like the Justice League. I wanted Flash and Green Lantern and the Atom not Wendy and Marvin or the Wondertwins. And villains – where were the villains? Somehow, though the timelines are parallel, watching SuperFriends and my introduction to comic books seem light years apart.
What attracts a nine-year-old to comic books? Let me qualify that: What attracts a nine-year-old to comic books in 1974? For me it was the perfect combination of larger than life characters, eye-catching images, accessibility, and an altruistic depiction of the possible. But accessibility may have been the real key.