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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Default Why are the 90's so Disliked?

    Sorry if there is already a thread to this but I want to post a thread to this in both the DC and Marvel sections. I always see so much hate for the 90's online over lenticular covers and the comic speculative boom and collapse but there was also many highlights some I'd higher than the ones today especially for DC.

    Superman had a lull in the late 90's but the rest of the decade was pretty sold and no matter the opinion of the storyline Death was a smash hit and IMO Funeral for a Friend and Reign of Supermen were great and gave us some fantastic characters in Connor/Kon, Steel, and Cyborg Superman.

    Batman was also pretty good in the 90's especially with the launching of Tim Drake's Robin series, Birds of Prey, and the solo Nightwing Series.

    Titans was going strong when the decade started and ended strong with Devin Grayson series. I also enjoyed the Dan Jurgens Teen Titans Series. Speaking of Teens Young Justice was great and we had massively successful new Legacy heroes with the aforementioned Tim Drake and Connor but also Bart and Cassie.

    Then there were the successful passing of the torch to new versions of heroes like Kyle Rayner who despite original hate was successful, Wally West my personal Flash, Connor Hawke as GA, Linda Danvers as Supergirl, and the new Starman Jack Knight who had a fantastic series.

    Then there were other series revitalized like JSA and JLA.

    Also series not connected to the main DCU which were super successful like Kingdom Come and the Vertigo line which was amazing in the 90's.

    With all that goodness I never understood why it gets looked at so negatively by so many.

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    The 90s was the time of writers deciding the didn't need writers or knowledge of anatomy or storytelling skills to produce comics. It's also the time when if you didn't buy a new #1 on the day it came out it would go shooting up in price.

    This crap drove a lot of people away from comics.

    DC itself was far from the worst offender, but the drivel coming out of Marvel and Image in that period was terrible. Obviously there are always exceptions, so the 90s had a decent number of great comics, but there was a lot more dross than usual during that period and a terrible market for anyone trying to get into new comics.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member WillieMorgan's Avatar
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    The 1990's comic book industry has a garish quality to it as far as I'm concerned. I look back on it and wince in the same way that people look back at the fashions of the 1970's.

    The 1980's had been a stellar decade for comics. Where the 1990's failed in my eyes is that many of the major talents of that decade (and I use the word 'talent' loosely in at least one example) misunderstood iconic tales like 'The Killing Joke (not actually a favourite of mine personally but highly regarded by many), The Dark Knight Returns' and 'Watchmen'. They missed the point as to why those titles were so influential in moving comic books as a medium forward and instead thought that blood and guts, shoulder pads, ludicrous character names (hello Bloodwynd, hello Stryfe) and sensationalist violence were the way forward. There were great stories told across the 1990's but they were overshadowed by puerile rubbish like this:



    It was also a time that was muddied by the grim spectre of the speculators market. It warms my heart to think of how much money those speculating leeches lost in those days. From saving comics to potentially use to send their kids through college and sitting on a nice little nest-egg to flogging comic-books on a flea market somewhere. There's a salutary lesson to be learned there.

    For DC the 1990's gave us the big, status quo shattering stories that were done purely for their headline potential and little else, such as 'The Death Of Superman'. I actually feel that the character that got shafted by poor writing and editorial decisions during that decade was a Marvel one, Spider-Man. Since the early 1990's and 'Maximum Carnage' that character has been saddled with godawful storylines and poor overall handling. A Spider-Man title today looks unrecognizable to the great comics I read in my youth.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillieMorgan View Post
    The 1990's comic book industry has a garish quality to it as far as I'm concerned. I look back on it and wince in the same way that people look back at the fashions of the 1970's.

    The 1980's had been a stellar decade for comics. Where the 1990's failed in my eyes is that many of the major talents of that decade (and I use the word 'talent' loosely in at least one example) misunderstood iconic tales like 'The Killing Joke (not actually a favourite of mine personally but highly regarded by many), The Dark Knight Returns' and 'Watchmen'. They missed the point as to why those titles were so influential in moving comic books as a medium forward and instead thought that blood and guts, shoulder pads, ludicrous character names (hello Bloodwynd, hello Stryfe) and sensationalist violence were the way forward. There were great stories told across the 1990's but they were overshadowed by puerile rubbish like this:



    It was also a time that was muddied by the grim spectre of the speculators market. It warms my heart to think of how much money those speculating leeches lost in those days. From saving comics to potentially use to send their kids through college and sitting on a nice little nest-egg to flogging comic-books on a flea market somewhere. There's a salutary lesson to be learned there.

    For DC the 1990's gave us the big, status quo shattering stories that were done purely for their headline potential and little else, such as 'The Death Of Superman'. I actually feel that the character that got shafted by poor writing and editorial decisions during that decade was a Marvel one, Spider-Man. Since the early 1990's and 'Maximum Carnage' that character has been saddled with godawful storylines and poor overall handling. A Spider-Man title today looks unrecognizable to the great comics I read in my youth.
    What today is better with all the number ones and events? Also Death of Superman wasn't started as a headline grabbing story it was done because the writers were going to marry Lois and Clark and told they couldn't because of the upcoming tv show and had to scrap a years worth of stories and out of frustration came up with the "let's kill him" plan. Also I'd argue the 90's at DC had great quality yes there were loss but the highs were high just by the stuff I listed.

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Jokerz79's Avatar
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    Also while not a fan of 90's image particularly Liefeld. Image did become the number 3 comic company which fostered creator rights and has lead to some of the best books of today. Also Wildstorm was enough of a success for DC to buy and both Spawn and Savage Dragon have been going strong.

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member WillieMorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokerz79 View Post
    What today is better with all the number ones and events? Also Death of Superman wasn't started as a headline grabbing story it was done because the writers were going to marry Lois and Clark and told they couldn't because of the upcoming tv show and had to scrap a years worth of stories and out of frustration came up with the "let's kill him" plan. Also I'd argue the 90's at DC had great quality yes there were loss but the highs were high just by the stuff I listed.
    Oh, some of the trends that were started during the 1990's can still be found in the industry today. There's no question about that. I've never said otherwise.

    I'm glad you're a fan of the stuff you listed, genuinely. I hated the treatment of Hal Jordan during that decade but cannot deny that I became a bag fan of Kyle Rayner too after I started reading his title. 'The Death Of Superman' may have started out with nobler intentions but a sensationalist money-grabber is what it certainly mutated into, and it got a lot of imitators in it's wake also. You asked why some comic book fans have an aversion to that period and I responded.

  7. #7

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    I pretty much agree with the starter of this thread.

    Although Image and Marvel were pretty bad in the 90's the 90's were definitely the best era of DC comics hands down and I'm glad that they are finally bringing some of it back after the dark ages of the 2000's.
    I would define the 90's era from around 1993 to around 2003. Coincidentally just when Didio came on board.

    Now I know I'm a 90's boy. I started reading comics in 1995 at the age of 7 but almost all of DC's comics had their best runs then .

    Superman. Known as the triangle years this was Superman's best era, popularity wise and story wise. Which is why he had five titles, with each one coming out alternatively . We had many developments such as the death/return. Superman's marriage. Great new characters , superheros and just supporting cast with many different plot lines developing and happening at once .

    Not just Superman but we had Supergirl's best run with PAD run and Superboy's with Kesel. This all ended in the early 2000's with the Magna era with Loeb.

    Batman had knightfall obviously which is Batman's most iconic story. Chuck Dixon built up the Batman family superbly with Tim Drake , solo Nightwing series, Cassandra Cain, Stephanie Brown ect.

    Wonder Woman is a little mire difficult to say the 90' s were her best era but then again it's hard to say that about any of her eras. The George Perez era was the best but that I would consider the 80's still. I have a soft spot for the Artemis storyline but that wasn't that great. The John Byrne run was good though .

    With the Flash you have Waids run. With the best Flash stories , building Wally's character , and building the while flash mythology to begun with.

    Green Lantern you have Kyle Rayner and his awesome ness. Aquaman has his best run thanks to PAD once again . Green Arrow has an amazing run with Connor Hawks thanks to Dixon. JLA has the Morrison run and even the Waid run even . You have Young Justice , Impulse and the list goes on.

    I think the only big DC franchise which didn't do that well in that era was Teen Titans .

    But as you can see I definitely think the 90's were the best era for DC. I lost major interest in the 2000's as they started to reverse all that awesomeness and the major decline of quality when Didio came on board and bringing back all the silver age characters . Starting with Kara Zorel.
    I'm glad they are starting to bring the 90's back with Wally, Kyle back in his original costume , Juergen's on Superman and hopefully more to come .

    Hopefully Connor Hawks will be next .

    So for me, as a DC fan when I think of the 90's I think of the best comics era. I know I repeated a lot of the starter post but just my thoughts.
    Last edited by WallyWestFlash; 09-07-2017 at 06:16 AM.

  8. #8

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    alex-ross.jpg

    This is the best.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Johnny's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever seen Alex Ross draw Kyle Rayner before. Nice.
    Last edited by Johnny; 09-07-2017 at 07:35 AM.

  10. #10
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    The 90s was the Era of Grimdark.

    You could not read The Dark Knight Returns because every comic was The Dark Knight Returns; every comic was The Killing Joke; every comic was The Watchmen. At least, every comic tried to be as dark and grim as those three.

    Mayhem and murder was the order of business. There was no hope and, for me, no joy. I read comics to escape misery…not to plunge myself into depression.

    I can only repeat what others have already posted. I understand if you wish to defend this era of comics because you grew up with them. Please understand that I hope to never see Grimdark as King again.

  11. #11
    Mighty Member failo.legendkiller's Avatar
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    Dc 90's was the best period to me.

    Knightfall and Reign of Supermen was iconic.
    Chuck Dixon on Batfamily.
    Tim Drake as Robin going solo.
    Kyle Rayner as the only Green Lantern.
    Wally as Flash, Bart introduced as Impulse.
    Young Justice.
    Connor Hawke as Green Arrow.
    Power of Shazam!
    I liked Guy Gardner Warrior too, it was fun.

  12. #12
    Astonishing Member Bogotazo's Avatar
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    I think it gets a harsh reputation. The overarching themes and aesthetics were often a turn-off, but as people mentioned there were a lot of quality memorable and even historic runs during the period that can't be ignored or bunched with the Rob Liefeld type of stuff.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by scary harpy View Post
    The 90s was the Era of Grimdark.

    You could not read The Dark Knight Returns because every comic was The Dark Knight Returns; every comic was The Killing Joke; every comic was The Watchmen. At least, every comic tried to be as dark and grim as those three.

    Mayhem and murder was the order of business. There was no hope and, for me, no joy. I read comics to escape misery…not to plunge myself into depression.

    I can only repeat what others have already posted. I understand if you wish to defend this era of comics because you grew up with them. Please understand that I hope to never see Grimdark as King again.
    So Cass Cain's Batgirl was The Killing Joke? Tim Drake's Robin was the Killing Joke? What about Static? The Ray? Young Justice? Superboy? Justice League International? Captain Atom?

    The 90s had some bad stories and some good stories. Same as any other era of comics.

    And I'll take the worst of the 90s over garbage like Identity Crisis (2004), Cry for Justice (2009) Graduation Day (2003), One More Day (2008), Civil War (2006) and Avengers vs X-Men (2012).

  14. #14
    Spectacular Member Adset's Avatar
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    there was a lot of great stuff at both companies. while a lot of comics did go dark and gritty, there were also creators who tried emulating other, better masterpieces from the 80s and we got gems like sandman mystery theatre and starman.

    i've always thought that the big difference between marvel and dc in the 90s is that marvel let their core books go to hell for far too long -- avengers, fantastic four, iron man, thor, captain america -- and didn't seem to care until the heroes reborn relaunch (i enjoyed the hell out of waid/garney's cap prior to HR -- but the point remains). marvel went all in on the x-men which, to their credit, sold beautifully. but a lot of other books went by the wayside. meanwhile, dc's core books were relatively strong in the 90s, as other posters have referenced in this thread. they had their whiffs (anything "extreme", the entire teen titans franchise) but the good far outweighed the bad.

  15. #15
    Spectacular Member SixSpeedSamurai's Avatar
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    There was garbage and greatness.

    Tim Drake's Robin and Mark Waid's Flash run are still great stuff to read.

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