Characters’ origins are a big part of the comics experience, obviously. However, I have to say that readers’ “origins” can be just as intriguing sometimes. In my experience, nobody’s fandom ever started because “everybody else was into it.” It’s not like watching TV or listening to the radio or even reading novels. Like Warren Ellis said, you come in to comics alone. There’s usually some fun circumstances behind you diverting from the norm and entering this world. And it’s interesting to see how those circumstances change with the times.
In my case, I started reading when I was about six or seven. Or rather, that’s when I started following titles. Before that, I thumbed through the random SUPERMAN, BATMAN or SPIDER-MAN issue that came in my path. I was aware of a lot of the characters, however. They hadn’t quite dominated pop culture by the point, but they were certainly a fixture. BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS were in theaters, SUPERMAN's I through IV were rerun on TV a lot and Spidey starred in more than a couple video-games (anybody remember that arcade beat ‘em up with Namor, Black Cat and Hawkeye?)
My earliest comics memory concerns me flipping through a stack a family friend’s teenage son had lent me. That stack included FRANK MILLER’S RONIN, which I was definitely too young to be exposed to (and that probably explains a lot about me, today.) What really got me hooked, however, was the early 90s X-MEN cartoon on Fox Kids. It was a close enough to the current comics to pique my interest in seeing the “real story” behind all the cameos and nods in the show. That led me to get start officially “collecting” with ‘94’s PHALANX COVENANT storyline and I’ve been reading ever since.
So I put I turn the 20K spotlight on you maniacs in the Comic Vine community, now. What’s your origin story? What got you into reading comics in the first place? And what was the first one you read? Did it warp you the same way Frank Miller's RONIN probably warped me?