I have a small, ongoing project where I am (finally) cataloging and organizing my comic book collection. Certainly, my collection isn’t as massive as many long-time collectors. I might top out at about a thousand books right now, the low number being a remnant of a purging I committed as a relationship fell apart.

Love is temporary; comic books are forever. I wish I had my Amazing Spider-Man #300 back.

My cataloging project has been a fun way to relive acquiring some of the books that lurk in those long boxes. For most of them, I am the original owner, though my recent interests involve getting books that predate my reading and collecting (and in many case, my birth). Most of these latests additions involve some of my obsessions, usually Daredevil, the villain the Beetle, and the villains-turned-(mostly) heroes, the Thunderbolts. I have this plan to get all the Thunderbolts’ first appearances. Thankfully, the Baron Zemo of the Thunderbolts isn’t the first Zemo. Helmut is way more affordable than Heinrich.

Side note: By my reckoning, the most-expensive first appearance from any of the original Thunderbolts is Power Man’s in Avengers #21, which is funny because his profile is probably the smallest (pun accidental, at first).

Going through my miscellaneous Marvels, I came across this gem:

The Cat #3, Marvel Comics, 1973, which means it predates me

I rescued this book from an assorted stack at my local sports card / comic book store a few years back, and I am rediscovering it now. It’s a neat book, in part because it features a letter to the editor from Frank Miller, the artist and writer who would go on to redefine Daredevil.

Me finding this book, out of a stack of hundreds of random books the store was selling for a buck or so each, just speaks to the fun of comic books, and the archeology involved. I’ve written before about how I think comics have an ability to seek out their future owners. That magic was certainly cooking with The Cat #3 that day.

Comic book collections are museums of experience we keep in cardboard boxes. I didn’t go into the store knowing the history behind this book. Something about it, though, compelled me to do the research. Like it was whispering in my ear.

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