The first thing I ever became a “fan” of was comic books. I remember being about 3 years old, going grocery shopping at the A&P. The magazine stand was right inside the from door. I’d get to pick out a comic or two, get deposited in the little seat in the shopping cart, and read until we checked out and it was time to go home. Then I’d read the comics again and again. Week after week, I got new comics, and slowly built a collection. By the time I was a teenager, and had my own money to spend on things, I bought comics.
All of the comics I got were DC. It was surprisingly hard to find Marvel Comics titles where I was living back then. I wish that I’d had access to Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four. In kindergarten, one of my classmates came dressed at Captain America for Halloween, and I had no idea who he was supposed to be. Add to that the Adam West Batman TV show, and the George Reeves Adventures of Superman, and you can see why I still have a very Silver Age mindset about a lot of things.
My first exposure to tabletop gaming came via comic books, too. In letter columns, I discovered fanzines. I remember the first two zines I ever wrote away for. One was devoted to the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the other was for the Justice League of America. I want to say that in the Legion zine I first saw an ad for the original White Box Dungeons & Dragons. I wanted it, but for some reason I never sent off for it. I do know that, some time later, when I went into a hobby store to buy model rocket engines and saw my first D&D boxed set, I knew what it was because of that ad in a comic book zine. I bought it instead of the engines. My best friend, who was with me to buy a new rocket, got sucked in as well. D&D killed our model rocketry hobby.
I played Champions a few times, when the first edition came out, but had a hard time finding a group that didn’t disintegrate after a couple of session. I played the original TSR Marvel Superheroes game a few time, but with the same group-integrity issues. It wasn’t until the Mayfair DC Heroes game came out that I located a stable group, and we played the hell out of that game for years.
These days I don’t even own any comics any more. My primary exposure to superheroes, like most mainstream people, is through the movies. I love how Marvel has built up their movie universe. I sort of tolerate the X-Men movies, because my wife is a huge X-Men fangirl. If I ran a superhero game, I think it would be structured more like a film franchise than a comic book series. Make it a team, for obvious reasons of game group logistics, but focus on one character’s story arc at a time, while building up to the team’s collective big bad.
And I’d use Mutants & Masterminds 3rd edition. I played the first and second editions a little bit, not as much as I’d have liked. I enjoyed it. I found character creation simple, and the rules streamlined and easy to run. I’ve looked at a lot of other systems, and this one feels right to me.