In Do You Remember The First Time? we take a nostalgic trip back in time to discuss a seminal purchase that introduced us to a character, title, creator, or even a hobby.
Rob N: This has to be the tattiest looking comic in my collection, which probably speaks volumes as to how often I read and re-read it as a kid. Sandwiched in-between my glossy Fine Plus to Very Fine vintage collectables, it skulks like a scruffy urchin who has wandered in by accident to an Eton School line up, with grass stains on his knees. It’s possibly my first ever Marvel comic, or if not precisely the first, then certainly close enough. I’d already bought a few DC titles previously because early ‘70s DC covers just begged you to pick them up and see what was inside, but soon enough I was experimenting with Marvel, and Thor #175 was possibly my introduction to the House of Ideas.
And what an introduction it was!
I think it was the Kirby interior art that did it for me, because looking through the pages again for the first time in decades, I’m struck by how dynamic and bright his art really is. It’s amazing to see how on top of his game Jack was towards the end of his tenure with Marvel (within a few months he’d be gone, taking up a new job with DC) when logically you might think he’d be turning in half-hearted work, simply meeting his remaining obligations until he was free to go and unleash his Fourth World concepts for Marvel’s rivals. But no, this is classic Kirby that also benefits from a period when Marvel's printing quality was first rate (contrast with the rather grubby looking printing of many mid- to-late '80s Marvel comics).