So, there I was, reading complaints about Marvel’s The Mighty Thor #1 on Facebook of all things, when I started wondering: What makes a good first issue of a superhero book? From what I can gather, unhappiness with the first Thor issue seems to stem from the lack of discernible forward motion – It’s a slow burn issue, definitely, with multiple threads and scattered focus. Maybe a first issue can’t afford to be that leisurely? But, standing as opposing argument to that idea, Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – and it feeling like something that wouldn’t appeal to new readers visiting the character as the result of the movie, but what I took away from it was… Am I the only person who thought that Thor seemed like a guest-star in his own comic? The first issue definitely doesn’t focus on him, with only one of the multiple threads even featuring him, and even then, he is less the center of attention than in need of rescue by Kid Loki. Shouldn’t the debut issue of any new series put its eponymous lead front and center, and demonstrate why they’re worth that attention?
I’m genuinely curious about this one – What do you think? What does a first issue of any ongoing superhero title need for you to be convinced to pick up the next one? Is there a formula that writers and artists should bear in mind, or does it depend on the title and character?