I can't remember my first comic, nor even the one that really got me intrigued. I remember being a little kid, and not quite getting the difference between Marvel and DC, being disappointed when an environmental Imax film starring Marvel Superheroes (it was the Watcher talking about the effect of pollution) didn't have Superman.
I either got my comics at the convenience store, or the flea market, the latter was usually on trips with my Grandma. So I read a lot of older comics I got there or in grab bags that mainstream retail stores used to clear out old product.
I tended to like older comics, because I gravitated towards comics about women (though I was nowhere near consciously aware that I was trans), and there wasn't a lot on the shelf that did that for me (other than GI Joe as an ensemble comic with lots of awesome women).
One of the finds that I first remember amazing me at the flea market was a reprint of Supergirl's first appearance.
I mean just how awesome was that? Superman was the most powerful, the best, and here was a girl who was just as good!
So let's take a look at that ( the Maid of Might is here )
Though I didn't have much more exposure to the character outside of this and the movie (which I love even if it is silly) until she appeared at the end of PAD's run in my teens, a life long love affair was struck with Kara.
I find her relationship to Krypton and Earth to be more compelling and interesting than Superman's in a way. And now that I have them collected I find a lot of her early Silver Age stuff, and her Bronze Age appearances really compelling as well. There hasn't been a Supergirl title(Kara, Matrix, or PAD's Linda) since the Death of Superman that I haven't at least tried to follow.
Now onto GI Joe. I can't remember if I was exposed to the cartoon or the comics first. My Cartoon experience was through VHS rentals which were cherry picked 'good ones,' (I had a much higher opinion of the caliber of both it and Sunbow's Transformers than was warranted... I actually saw Jem on TV so I knew that was good at least). If it was the show I was drawn in by the high stakes action, and commanding (literally the first two minis both show women giving orders especially when Duke gets kidnapped in both) female characters scene in the mini-series. The politics of certain writers on the show did not jive with me though.
If it was the comics... well though I probably didn't understand the politics of the comic at the time, everything I read just seemed right and just to me. I read a lot of Larry Hama without realizing it (never paid attention to who made these things as a kid), and I have to say his politics influenced me a lot more than my family's. (so this next set of scans doesn't even have any women, but it as a flea market find that really stood out to me).( Support our troops, but not the industrial-military complex )
So apparently at a party Art Spiegelman accused Larry of being a fascist for writing GI Joe. To which Larry asked if Art had even read it. Art said that he, "didn't need to read it to know it was fascist."