The first American-style comics I read would have been in reprints in the various Marvel UK magazines that were around in the late 70s/early 80s. I have vague memories of stories involving the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, but it wasn’t til I was a bit older that I started to really get into it all.
The key issues for me were:
Transformers (UK) 24
This was the beginning of me reading comics on a regular basis, aged 9, and there’s a whole story about this issue and how it got me into comics, Transformers AND is tied into how I ended up being a doctor, which involves me, my then critically ill sister, and Josie Beller.
Transformers was rapidly joined by the UK version of Secret Wars, with this issue first, but a lucky break meant I got all the back issues at pretty much the same time:
That’s when I first properly met the X-Men, and they rapidly became my favourite superhero group.
The next few years were mainly Marvel UK titles - Transformers, Secret Wars, Thundercats, Secret Wars II. Secret Wars II in particular was like crack - it widened out the Marvel Universe for me hugely, with all of the crossover stories being reprinted. The back-up strips in those comics were great as well though - Alpha Flight, Power Pack, Machine Man … Rocket Raccoon!
In 1987, we moved to a different town, near a much bigger city, and I made new friends. One of my new friends had a big brother who was in his mid-teens - and who was very much into comics. He had a massive drawer under his bed, and it was absolutely stuffed FULL of proper American Marvel comics. I binged on it like a starving man shown cake - I’d cycle home from their house with a backpack stuffed full of back issues of everything and anything from the Marvel Universe, devour them, then be back the next day for more. That’s when I first read the bulk of the Chris Claremont X-Men and New Mutants stuff for the first time. A wee bit after that Alex introduced me to my first proper comic shop - Plan 9 in Aberdeen - and that was me completely hooked.
The first American issues I bought for myself, rather than nicking Alex’s stuff, were these:
A few wee hiatuses here and there, but comics - and especially the X-Men - have been pretty much a constant ever since.