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How Secret Wars issue 2 changed Jae Lee's life

You never forget your first comic

Photograph of Jae Lee in a hallway next to cropped cover of Secret Wars
Popverse/Marvel

Every superhero has an origin story. And, in turn, every comic book artist probably has an origin story too. During Jae Lee’s spotlight panel at this year’s Wondercon, Lee shared his origin story in response to an audience question about if there was a comic from his childhood that made him think, "This is what I want to do."

Apparently, there was. It was Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars #2. Lee shared, “When I was a little kid, I went to 7-Eleven; I would hang out there all afternoon… I was ten or something. I don’t think 10-year-olds are allowed to go out by themselves anymore right now... But after school, I was riding my bicycle to 7-Eleven, hanging out there for hours, just looking through the spinner rack.

"I couldn’t afford to buy any comics, but I was able to read them there, and no one kicked me out. And the first comic book I bought was Secret Wars issue number two. I missed issue one, and I bought the book because it had every Marvel character in there. For 75 cents I could take all the heroes home with me. And to this day, it's my most treasured comic. It's so beat up, the staples are all rusted. I used to take tracing paper and draw on top of it, so there’s grooves all over the cover, the pages.

"So that’s the comic that got me hooked. That’s the series that got me hooked.”

All that for 75 cents? Sounds like a pretty good deal to us.


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About the Author
Tiffany Babb avatar

Tiffany Babb

Deputy Editor

Tiffany Babb is Popverse's deputy editor and resident Sondheim enthusiast. Tiffany likes stories that understand genre conventions (whether they play into them or against them), and she cries very easily at the movies— but rarely at the moments that are meant to be tearjerkers.

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