So, I grew up in the 80s and 90s. When I was a young teenager, first getting into comics, Superman was dead and Image Comics was just getting started. Anti-heroes were everywhere, and Spawn was the coolest thing that had ever happened to comic books (at least in my estimation). Grant Morrison was writing JLA, Kurt Busiek was writing The Avengers. I fell in love with comics as a teenager, and I happened to be a teenager during the 90s. So, I loved 90s comics.
That’s why it’s a bit funny for me to read people hyperbolically slagging 90s comics. I’ll regularly see somebody online saying “The 90s was the worst decade in the history of comics!” Or: “The 90s nearly destroyed the comics industry!”
Look, I was there. I read a lot of Extreme Studios stuff during the 90s (Glory, Team Youngblood, Maximage, etc.). I know there was some garbage published during the decade, but honestly, there’s always garbage on the shelves. There’s garbage now.
What I find especially strange is that some of the most reviled aspects of 90s comics – the crossovers, the superfluous #1 “Collector’s Item” issues, and the variant covers – are all back in a big way, and no one seems to be batting an eye.
Between the New 52 and All New Marvel Now! How many #1 issues have we seen in the past couple of years? How many of those #1 issues came with variant covers? Forget that. How many random #4 and #15 issues have variant covers?
Image Comics is once again the hot publisher, although now instead of a lot of copycat superheroes they’re publishing genre-bending sci-fi and horror stuff for mature readers.
Remember what a crime it was in the mid-90s when Marvel decided Peter Parker would no longer be the real Spider-Man and instead someone else would be Spider-Man? Yeah…
In September, DC took a month off of publishing their normal fare in order to publish approximately 200 terrible one-shots wrapped in fancy 3-D lenticular covers. That was more 90s than anything that happened in the 90s.
Crossover events? They’re the backbone of the industry. DC and Marvel use crossovers to get their loyal fans to buy just a few more comics every couple of months. What’s that, you buy Action Comics? Well what about if, for the next two months, you buy Action Comics, and Supergirl, and Superboy?
When I started buying comics again (about a year ago) I thought that maybe Marvel would have learned its lesson about watering down their properties. Maybe they would have quit publishing 17 different X-books just to take advantage of fan enthusiasm. Nope. Now they’re still publishing 17 different X-books, and they’ve applied the same model to the Avengers.
DC always published too many Superman and Batman books, but now the same thing is happening with the Justice League and Green F#$*ing Lantern! Seriously, how many Green Lantern books do we need? By my count there are now six different coloured power rings and each of those rings requires no fewer than three monthly titles(1.). Who the heck is Larfleeze?
Anyway, to those of you that have a hate-on for 90s comics, I’m sorry about your luck, because you’re living in the 1990s.
In other news Rai #1 is due out from Valiant in May.
Copper and Chrome
- *All math is exaggerated.