When I was 9, I first came across The Avengers with Issue 164 in October 1977 – it cost 30 cents (in Canada). Still fresh from seeing Star Wars, my imagination felt expanded and I was hungry for more. The idea of a team using a set of combined skills to defeat a threat or a problem always appealed to me; from the start I was hooked with page after page full of action and ideas that took me outside ‘the norm’.
My comic collecting had begun. Every month I would approach the comic rack with anticipation of what the new cover would be. There was no internet or accepted geek culture, so it was always a surprise and it felt like a movement I owned. I learned very early an appreciation for the graphic comic aesthetic- the dynamic perspective, the vibrant narrative and the cultural, philosophical & mythological references littered throughout the stories fascinated me.
Fast forward over 40 years later and I would never have imagined that not only would there be Avengers films but that they would also use Edinburgh as a setting. My 9-year-old brain would have been blown away! In fact, I find that many decades later it’s that 9-year-old brain I keep returning to time and time again to revisit the freshness and inspiration when I felt untainted by angst or so-called maturity. It was the mind exploring new worlds and new thoughts properly for the first time.
Comics and geek culture have expanded far and wide now with regular conventions and events across the world, and it is incredible to see how all of these great ideas have transported themselves forward into all manner of arenas and environments. Stan Lee, Jack King Kirby (no relation unfortunately), Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, George Perez, John Byrne, Frank Miller, Jim Shooter, Roy Thomas, Chris Claremont and many others shaped an incredible shared universe that keeps expanding to this day.
Thank you to Marvel for creating these stories, ideas and concepts that so fired up my brain way back then and that, to this day, provide a great source of nostalgia and keep reminding me of what genuine inspiration looks and feels like.