iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #75 – The Best First Issues

Show Notes

The first issue is the holy grail of comic books. It’s your first chance to find something new and exciting. The first issue represents hope of what might be. There is an art to the first issue. It must grab you and pull you in, and give you just enough that you feel satisfied but want more. Some writers are masters of the first issue. Some first issues stick with you for years after, all others struggling to measure up.

This week, iFanboy talks about what it is that’s so great about first issues, their favorites, and who does the best first issues.

You never forget your first.


Get Involved

Doing the podcast is fun and all, but let's be honest, listening to the 2 of us talk to each other can get repetitive, so we look to you, the iFanboy listeners to participate in the podcast! "How can I get in on the fun?" you may ask yourself, well here's how:

  • E-Mail us at contact@ifanboy.com with any questions, comments or anything that may be on your mind.

Please don't forget to leave your name and where you're writing from and each week, we'll pick the best e-mails to include on the podcast!


  1. I think, of recent memory, my favorite first issue was All-Star Superman 1.  You just can’t beat "Superman’s gonna die" as a first issue knockout.

  2. Kick Ass #1.

  3. I think my favorice #1 was Spider-Man #1 back in the early 90s. It was written by Todd McFarlane, and it was what really got me into comics.

  4. New Teen Titans #1 (1980) by Perez & Wolfman.

  5. I’d say Vertigo (and proto-Vertigo) has had quite a few strong number ones with Sandman, Preacher, Animal Man, and Fables all being strong launches in addition to Y – The Last Man which was mentioned during the show.

  6. Starman#0! Awesome, Robinson’s script introduces Jack Knight and while Tony Harris’ art is a little sketchy it gets better. So if we can use a zero issue as our favourite firsts this would be it for me. 

  7. I had that issue of Marvel Knights Daredevil(with certificate of authenticity???)back in the day, but traded it for a some Nintendo 64 stuff. I still regret that til’ this day…I also traded the four volumes of Kingdom Come, The issue of Superman where he turns into energy(it glowed in the dark), and some Amalgam Comics when I was young. I think some # 1’s that interested me recently were Ulimtate Spider-Man, Y: The Last Man, Justice Society by Geoff Johns, and New Avengers.

  8. @Josh – Do you really have an extra copy of Daredevil? Because I bought that issue when it came out, before I was into comics, solely because of Kevin Smith. It has since been thrown out by an ex-girlfriend who was cleaning our flat (that’s not why she’s an ex-girlfriend, by the way). Fancy selling it?

    As I haven’t been reading comics that long, there’s two that stick in my head and they’re both very recent. As s1lentslayer said, Kick-Ass really got me excited for what the series would be. So far, it hasn’t let me down, but I know some people feel differently. However, as a first issue, it had everything I wanted from a comic.

    Young Liars #1 had a similar effect on me. I’m gravitating towards more indie/character-based stuff because I don’t have the knowledge to jump into something like Final Crisis #1 and know everything that’s going on (although I am reading it… I’ll learn it all, I promise), whereas with something like Young Liars at least if I don’t know what’s going on it’s because the writer doesn’t want me to yet.

    I keep mentioning this book in the hope that more people will jump on (in fact it’s become a personal mission of mine and comicdork37), but issue #1 of Everybody’s Dead was just fantastic. Completely offbeat but gripping and funny, if you like Shaun Of The Dead you should be reading this. And it’s written by the guy who writes Angel, so you’ve no excuse.

    @Josh – I’m not kidding, I’ll buy it from you! 

  9. I have at least 3 copies of Daredevil #1.  The first, I bought just as a regular comic.  The second, I ordered from ViewAskew, signed, and it was an alternate cover, and the third, I bought in San Diego to have Smith sign it, I think.

    But no…they stay with ME!  😉

  10. Boo! Beardless Josh = Mean Josh.

  11. @eyun~

     If you scope eBay, it shouldn’t be too hard to find one on the cheap.  About a year ago, I bought the whole 8 issue run of Smith’s Daredevil for like $20.  There’s an abundance of that issue in the market.

  12. I’m old. Luke Cage Hero for Hire #1 traded some all star baseball cards for it. Then ther was the first issue of 3-D Man, I paid 35 cents for.  Wow I’m old.

  13. And I know you guys have to pay the bills. But that Oak Monster ad is doing nothing but make me not want to watch that show. Its probably because I watch a lot of Revision3 shows and see it 4-5 times in a row. Interested in that HP media centre though.

  14. @Neb – Yeah dude I found a pretty good deal on ebay, worked out at about £5 for a replacement copy of Daredevil #1, including postage and signed by Mr Smith to boot. I never read anymore of the series, I just remember loving that issue.

    So suck it, Flanagan! 😉 

  15. I have a question, and maybe even a topic for discussion. So, first off, loved the video. It really got me wanting to check out some of the books you mentioned. It also got me to realize I am completely prejudiced against Golden and Silver Age Comics. Let me explain.

    My brother in law collects and trades some of the really expensive collectors comics. I’m talking of course about books like the first appearance of Spider Man (in amazing stories, I think), or some insanely expensive Golden Age Green Lantern. Once I found out he was into comics I got to talking to him. Unfortunately, this was a mistake. I quickly realized he know very little about any of the stories in his treasure trove. Now, maybe this is an anomaly. So, he brought out some of these gems, and my first thought was …"OMG. These Totally Suck" This is where I pin pointed my prejudice. The design and printing techniques, and even the writing, are so superior today its is literally an exponential difference in quality.

    My question is: Has DC, Marvel, or anyone other house ever redone any of the classic and/or Seminole stories in the quality we are used to today?

    For instance, I would love to see a series as recent as The Dark Phoenix Saga be completely redone in modern, high gloss, shiny pages (Not just the cover). What if Bendis made Clark Kent less of a tool? Is this blasphemy, I ask ? Am I crazy? 

    I can’t help it. I’m spoiled. I can’t stand to see those old news-printy dots arranged in whats supposed to pass for comic art. I would even love to see the hokey dialog be freshened up. Well, I’ve been needing to get that off my chest. So, Thanks. 

    PS. Josh. Priceless tip on Sleeper. I just finished. One of best series I’ve ever read.

  16. This is one for Mean Josh.

  17. Gotham Central #1 was something special when it came out. I pretty much knew right then that it was going to be a special series. God I miss it!

    I started getting back into comics right before the MK launch. I actually almost turned down a blank sketch cover of DD #1 for $30 (300 in existance). I sent it off and was lucky enough to get it back with a Quesada/Palmiotti head sketch. This one piece opened the door. It wasn’t long after that that statues, busts, limited alternate covers and such soon filled up my house. MK hit me with all those Dynamic Forces alternate cover runs. I have every one of them from the MK launch. Yay for #1s!

  18. Hey guys. I’m new to the site.

    Anyway, Busiek and Bagley’s Thunderbolts #1 is my favorite mainstream first issue. We were introduced to all these "new" characters, and then shown a great reveal at the end. I was dying for issue two. I had no hopes for the book, but the first issue had me hooked.


  19. I haven’t been reading comics long enough to have experienced that many number 1s (stuff I read in trade doesn’t really count the same, and I tend not to remember the issue numbers, anyway.)  But a few that mean something to me –

    1) It’s a little like picking ‘Thunder Road’ as your favorite number 1 track on an album, but Fantastic Four #1 was a revelation to me, even though I only read it a couple years ago and it shouldn’t have been news.  The ‘Maximum Fantastic Four’ hardcover, with the panels blown up huge and with commentary by Walter Mosley, is what it took to really make sequential art in general, and Jack Kirby in particular, click for me.

    2) ‘The Question #1’ – Denny O’Neil/Denys Cowans I picked up this issue from the  ’80s on a whim, after liking the Question character in 52.  The hero spends the whole issue being a complete jerk and then he gets shot in the head and dumped in a river.  It was so awesome I bought the whole run.

    3) ‘The Order # 1’ – Among recent comics, this was the first series launch I found and loved on my own, without having it recced by anyone.  (It was a POtW here, but I wasn’t on ifanboy at the time).  This really only barely counts as an ongoing, since it only made 10 issues, but anyway – I probably read this #1 a dozen times before #2 came out.  That’s a real first-issue experience.  I loved it and there WASN’T ANY MORE YET.

  20. Has to be Kingdom Come #1 for me. When it came out in ’96, there really wasn’t many shops in my area and I had to wait for the next small show to buy the other issues. I probably read the first issue 10 times in the next 6 months. 


    Oh, and I picked up that X-Factor #1 for 25 cents over a year ago. Good stuff.  

  21. I liked Wanted’s first issue, I dont know why but I liked the last page alot.

  22. All Star Superman # 1 was by far one of the most amazing comic reading experiences of my life, another Grant Morrison first issue I loved was Marvelboy and both series have turned out great. I can’t forget The Sentry # 1 either, my 15 year old self was absolutely giddy over that issue. Some Other great first issues for me were Ed Brubaker’s Deadenders (my first vertigo comic) and Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (my first mature readers comic). I also have to agree with Rising Stars those first couple of issues were great, but man, did that comic start to suck after about 10th or 12th issue.

  23. I really enjoyed the first issue (and whole mini series) for the Umbrella Academy.

  24. I gotta’ say, Savage Dragon #1 was one of my favorite number 1 issues ever.
  25. O_O xD!!!!

    Ok. I was wrong before. I gotta’ say, Josh’s 500th issue comment is the best joke ever made on ifanboy.

Leave a Comment