How to Write a Great First Issue?
I suppose since each character has a different feel there isn't one definitive answer to this question, but the main question I am answering is: What makes a good issue 1 for a character you know nothing about. What pulls you into that new character? What makes you want to continue picking up the comic each month?
Remember a first issue is setting up the character, plot, villains and/or side characters.
One of the most important factors in making a great first issue and an overall good series is how interesting the concept and plot is. The origins and plots have to be original. In my opinion government rouge stories bore me now because I feel like I've read the book before. An example of this is this weeks INSURGENT #1. The problem wasn't the structure or the art (even though that was bad too), It was the fact that the concept was so unoriginal and done to death that I lost interest in the book immediately, which is an example of a bad first issue. Think of situations you could give the character and try and give the plot an original twist. You need to consider whether or not the issue is an origin story. How do you want people to be introduced to your character?
When creating a character, consider their feelings, personality, setting and situation. Lets imagine we are creating an X-men type of character who is an outcast to the world. He might be an anti-hero, feeling angry and mad at the world for turning against him, or he could be a do-gooder desperately trying to make peace with humanity. It depends on your vision of the character and what you think will be most interesting. It is important you come up with a personality for your character and use that personality in his dialog. This will make the character more distinct and recognisable. Whether or not the character is relatable or a jerk, giving him an interesting personality will give the readers more interest into your character.
Another important thing in making the story interesting is side characters and villains. Giving the hero side characters gives you more story to tell and also gives the book something extra apart from the Hero VS. Villain story which will certainly be boring on its own. In future issues you can get away with an all Hero VS. Villain plot (for example this weeks Batman #16) but for an issue one, you definitely need to set up the future plot.
If you want the villain to be featured in the first issue you need to be setting up who the villain is, what is his motive how is he introduced and so on. Introducing your villain and plot will make people interested in picking up #2 which is what you want. How interesting and threatening is your villain? I posted a topic blog on What Makes A Scary Comic Villain so if you want any ideas then read the comments. Also this blog will help you distinguish what sort of villain you want him/her to be.
So now you have a plot, character, villains and side characters and you need to put it into a story. Structure is another key thing you need for an interesting first issue and there are many different ways to do it. You need to think to yourself "How do I want to put this into a story". Read through different issues and get inspiration. The structure I'm using for my first issue is: 2 page hook at the beginning which is a scene from the end of the arc, set up of charatcer, side character and origin (origin explained in dialog) and gradually leading to a cliff hanger with the villain introduced.
I hope this makes someone want to start writing a comic book. I also want to know what you think.
let me know what you think makes a good first issue in the comments!
Thank you for reading. (If you disagree or want me to change/add anything then just tell me)