Page 1 of 9 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 122
  1. #1
    More eldritch than thou Venomous Mask's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,253

    Default Was the late 90s/early 2000s the last 'normal' period for Marvel?

    After the turbulent, controversial 90s and the near financial collapse of Marvel, the company seemed to go back to more traditional storytelling with the traditional characters (Heroes Reborn, the Spider-Man title reboot, etc.) There seemed to be less emphasis on big events and overly edgy changes to the status quo, and instead more emphasis on traditional comic book stories. Then came the first Civil War and Marvel hasn't looked back since.

    At the time, the only Marvel comics I was reading was Spider-Man and a little X-Men, so I don't have the full picture of what was going on. Was roughly 1998 to 2005 the last era of at least semi-classic storytelling by Marvel, or was it 90s madness put on hold briefly, and only partially? What did you think of this period at the time it was unfolding?
    "I should describe my known nature as tripartite, my interests consisting of three parallel and disassociated groups; a) love of the strange and the fantastic, b) love of abstract truth and scientific logic, c) love of the ancient and the permanent. Sundry combinations of these strains will probably account for my...odd tastes, and eccentricities."

  2. #2
    Mighty Member Likewater's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,129

    Default

    Early 2000's? Yeah 2005-2006 when normal story telling ended, then the constant events.

  3. #3
    Astonishing Member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    2,321

    Default

    I would say there was a big turning point around 2001 when the new management of Quesada and Jemas took over. They not only changed a lot of the franchises, like reinventing the X-Men with Morrison and turning X-Force into a Vertigo-style book, but they changed the writing culture at Marvel, demanding full scripts instead of Marvel-style plot outlines, cutting down on captions and thought balloons, cutting down on continuity references, banning footnotes, and making the stories more trade-friendly. Jemas even forced all the books to use upper/lowercase font whether they wanted to or not. It was a very edgy time for Marvel and books that didn't change radically, like Avengers and Thunderbolts, were considered old-fashioned.

    In many ways these changes were for the better (not the lettering, that sucked) but it was the end of the traditional Marvel approach that had held sway at the company right up through 2000.

    So while 2004-5 brought back the crossover events that had been banned in the early '00s, in other ways it was a return to more traditional Marvel approaches. So while you had Bendis's reinvented Avengers you also had X-Men returning to a more traditional status quo under Whedon, Thunderbolts being revived with the classic cast and writers, Captain America going back into a traditional book after the experiment of moving him to Marvel Knights, etc.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Nomads1's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Rio de Janeiro/Brazil
    Posts
    2,207

    Default

    90's Marvel was full of ups and downs. The "extreme" books, the cover gimmicks, the Image style of art (pouches, guns and an infinity bared teeth), women pictured as abnormally deformed pin-up models, etc... However, they also gave a lot of exposure to secondary characters, and it was a VERY creative period, resulting in amazing storylines (Age of Apocalipse, The Gatherers Saga, Worldengine, ClanDestine, PAD's X-Factor, etc... Just to name a few). Then came Heroes Reborn... However, over at the real MU, we had a great creative period for Marvel. Books like Busiek and Bagley's Thunderbolts, Ostrander and Ferry's Heroes for Hire, Waid and Kubert's Ka-Zar, just to name a few, gave us exciting new concepts and tales. Heroes Reborn was an amazing exemple of placing the best creative teams with the perfect characters. Jurgens and Romita JR's Thor. Busiek and Chen's Iron Man. Claremont and Larroca's FF. And, of course, Busiek and Perez's Avengers. It was a veritable golden age for Marvel, which, sadly came to an end.
    When Quesada came in as editor-in-chief, after his sucessful stint over at Marvel Knights, he was determined to change the industry and leave his mark at Marvel, which he most certainly did, though I'll leave for each his own opinion if that was a good or a bad thing. He steadily got rid of most of the past Marvel staff writers, replacing them with upcomming indy writers and professionals from other media who seemed to have no ideia as to what made a mainstream comic book tick. He wanted radical new concepts, the more radical the better, and completely rehauled many of the company's mainstays. And he experimented a lot with artists, eventually all but eliminating the steady creative team. Artists usually came in for an arc and moved on to the next best thing. It was a new Marvel. Nu Marvel. It eventually scared away many long time readers, whoever it did bring in new readers, refressing the fanhood blood. However, I regret to say, new fans proved to be less loyal then their predecessors, comming and going in large numbers, and sales never returned to the hights of the 80's and 90's (even without the speculation boom of the early 90's). You also have much more competition nowadays for the attention of new readers that you used to have in the 90's and early 2000's (games, streaming TV, YouTube, etc...)
    So, I guess that is my long-winded way of explaing that you are basically comparing two different companies and markets. Most that were fans of Marvel, will say that Nu Marvel ruined a lot of what they liked. Fans of Nu Marvel will say that pre-Quesada Marvel sucked and was all pouches and bad art.

    Peace

  5. #5
    Astonishing Member Xalfrea's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    2,253

    Default

    Normal is relative.

    This current era is what brought me into comics. So this is normal for me.
    My Pull List: Ms. Marvel, Champions, & Secret Warriors

  6. #6
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Xalfrea View Post
    Normal is relative.

    This current era is what brought me into comics. So this is normal for me.
    I'd agree, but with the caveat that "normal" depends on what era you were growing up reading and collecting comics in. I grew up in the 1990s, though most of my exposure to comics then was through the contemporary animated series and a bunch of comics from the 1980s, so my "normal" is pretty nebulous. Perhaps that's what it is --- a generation gap between the older fans who are used to things being a certain way, and the younger fans who either never experienced the "old" Marvel or were more adaptable to the "new" Marvel established in the 2000s and onward.

    In truth, there's no shame in yearning for the "old" Marvel, in the sense that even if it wasn't perfect or up to certain standards, it was at least "ours," for lack of a better word. The "new" Marvel may not feel like it's "ours," and maybe that's because it's geared toward a new generation of fans and readers that has different tastes, different experiences, and thus different expectations. As painful as it can be to look at today's comics and feel lost in the unfamiliar, the reality is that comics, like all other media, evolve to reflect the times they're created in, and as such, a comic made in the 2000s or 2010s is going to be significantly different from a comic made in the 1970s or 1980s. It has to be, because sensibilities have changed, or even evolved, between the 1970s/80s and 2000s/10s and so comics, like any other medium, have to adapt with those evolutions. Everything changes, and nothing gets to remain the same; in fact, it shouldn't, or else it will stagnate, but those changes don't have to be treated as negatives or losses, they can be chances to expand our understanding of the world and the people around us. In that sense, we can all gain even more than we would expect, if we are willing to go in with open minds and open hearts.

    P.S. Do some or a lot of today's comics suck, or at least, are they not as good as they could or should be? Yes, they do, and they are. But so did and were lot of comics we had growing up, too, even before the 1990s, so perhaps we shouldn't throw stones from a glass house, even if that glass is fortified by our nostalgia.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  7. #7
    Fantastic Member KingsLeadHat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    387

    Default

    The Heroes Return era (1998-2001) was the last time I read the majority of Marvel's top tier titles so you're spot on with this observation. At the time, I was reading Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, Avengers, Iron Man, Cap and Thor. Mainstream superheroes, for me, work best with a more traditional, fun, approach and I really liked what Marvel as doing during this short little era. It was like a return to the glory day's of the 1977-1984 Marvel with modern touches. At least for me. The Quesada era lead to superhero comics losing a lot of their charm (captions, footnotes, non-decompression, etc.) in a vain attempt to make everything "as good" as Watchmen and DKR, which was never a possibility given the talents involved in those works and their finite nature.

  8. #8
    I hate Christmas Matternativ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Austria, Vienna
    Posts
    1,202

    Default

    Don't forget the Heroic Age after Siege.
    That was the last "normal" period and it looks like we are approaching another after Secret Empire.
    "̶l̶̶e̶̶t̶'̶s̶̶ ̶̶h̶̶a̶̶v̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶o̶̶m̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶f̶̶u̶̶n̶̶,̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶h̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶b̶̶e̶̶a̶̶t̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶s̶̶ ̶̶s̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶.̶̶ ̶̶i̶̶ ̶̶w̶̶a̶̶n̶̶n̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶t̶̶a̶̶k̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶a̶̶ ̶̶r̶̶i̶̶d̶̶e̶̶ ̶̶o̶̶n̶̶ ̶̶y̶̶o̶̶u̶̶r̶̶ ̶̶d̶̶i̶̶s̶̶c̶̶o̶̶s̶̶t̶̶i̶̶c̶̶k̶̶"
    "Let's have some fun, this riff is sick. I wanna mosh around in the Circle Pit!"

    Matt's Stuff [Blog]: How Marvel Should Have Concluded: S E C R E T - E M P I R E

  9. #9
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KingsLeadHat View Post
    The Heroes Return era (1998-2001) was the last time I read the majority of Marvel's top tier titles so you're spot on with this observation. At the time, I was reading Spider-Man, Hulk, X-Men, Avengers, Iron Man, Cap and Thor. Mainstream superheroes, for me, work best with a more traditional, fun, approach and I really liked what Marvel as doing during this short little era. It was like a return to the glory day's of the 1977-1984 Marvel with modern touches. At least for me. The Quesada era lead to superhero comics losing a lot of their charm (captions, footnotes, non-decompression, etc.) in a vain attempt to make everything "as good" as Watchmen and DKR, which was never a possibility given the talents involved in those works and their finite nature.
    That's actually a good point, too, and DC even admitted as much with Rebirth, likening it to "chasing the dragon" of Watchmen and getting diminishing returns for how increasingly grim and dark their comics got during the New 52. Funny enough, the ongoing meta-plot of Rebirth is basically a literalized version of how following Watchmen's influence made DC (and comics as a whole) much darker, bleaker, and grimmer, with Watchmen's Doctor Manhattan literally reshaping the DCU into a much harsher and bleaker universe than it was supposed to be.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member jackolover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    8,501

    Default

    Yes, you are correct. There was a severe demarcation in Marvel from the more traditional storytelling to what happened with Civil War. To my mind, Civil War is still going in a sense, in that you couldn't have Fear Itself (The Heroic Age) or the status quo in ANAD without Civil Wars fingers stretching all the way along to today.

    But getting back to pre-CW, I do recognise a period of innocence was still prevailing within the books in the 1990's into the early 2000's. Where I saw the creeping cancer that was to become CW and its progeny started when Secret War appeared and back dated its story to 2003 by mentioning an occurrence that was not acted upon and it showed that the Bush government was not accepting of the traditional roles that were apparent in the super hero books. That was the first clue. After that, we were a little surprised at the International reaction to the Fantastic Four taking over Latveria, which led to them being ostracised, a little over-reaction from Bush. The real cruncher came in Avengers Disassembled in 2005 when the Avengers imploded shockingly and the New Avengers appeared and were unwelcomed. Once that occurred it was a quick succession of incidents of disrespect to super heroes, that led them to being manipulated into a situation where they could not extricate themselves - handcuffs were put on the leaders of the super humans and they didn't have the backbone to get out of them. So there were some precursors to CW, just imbedded in traditional period of Marvel.

    I'm not sure if the turbulent 1990's reverberated into 2000's Marvel and took half a decade to take effect, or, it was simply the 9/11 event that forced Marvel to play catch-up and get into the swing of the Homeland Security adjustments to society. Maybe it was both, but by 2006, all the law changes to monitoring and movement of American citizens was strongly applied to Marvel characters as well. Before that, the early 2000's were a quiet, straightforward, time in super hero comics, where nobody died, and the heroes always came out on top.
    Last edited by jackolover; 05-15-2017 at 06:38 PM.

  11. #11
    More eldritch than thou Venomous Mask's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    1,253

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Yes, you are correct. There was a severe demarcation in Marvel from the more traditional storytelling to what happened with Civil War. To my mind, Civil War is still going in a sense, in that you couldn't have Fear Itself (The Heroic Age) or the status quo in ANAD without Civil Wars fingers stretching all the way along to today.

    But getting back to pre-CW, I do recognise a period of innocence was still prevailing within the books in the 1990's into the early 2000's. Where I saw the creeping cancer that was to become CW and its progeny started when Secret War appeared and back dated its story to 2003 by mentioning an occurrence that was not acted upon and it showed that the Bush government was not accepting of the traditional roles that were apparent in the super hero books. That was the first clue. After that, we were a little surprised at the International reaction to the Fantastic Four taking over Latveria, which led to them being ostracised, a little over-reaction from Bush. The real cruncher came in Avengers Disassembled in 2005 when the Avengers imploded shockingly and the New Avengers appeared and were unwelcomed. Once that occurred it was a quick succession of incidents of disrespect to super heroes, that led them to being manipulated into a situation where they could not extricate themselves - handcuffs were put on the leaders of the super humans and they didn't have the backbone to get out of them. So there were some precursors to CW, just imbedded in traditional period of Marvel.

    I'm not sure if the turbulent 1990's reverberated into 2000's Marvel and took half a decade to take effect, or, it was simply the 9/11 event that forced Marvel to play catch-up and get into the swing of the Homeland Security adjustments to society. Maybe it was both, but by 2006, all the law changes to monitoring and movement of American citizens was strongly applied to Marvel characters as well. Before that, the early 2000's were a quiet, straightforward, time in super hero comics, where nobody died, and the heroes always came out on top.
    Interesting, I didn't know about those pre-Civil War stories. I do agree with you that the post 9/11 security vibe definitely kicked in during Civil War, and hasn't really let up.


    And why did Quesada cut down on captions and thought balloons and ban footnotes?
    "I should describe my known nature as tripartite, my interests consisting of three parallel and disassociated groups; a) love of the strange and the fantastic, b) love of abstract truth and scientific logic, c) love of the ancient and the permanent. Sundry combinations of these strains will probably account for my...odd tastes, and eccentricities."

  12. #12
    Ultimate Member jackolover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    8,501

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Huntsman Spider View Post
    I'd agree, but with the caveat that "normal" depends on what era you were growing up reading and collecting comics in. I grew up in the 1990s, though most of my exposure to comics then was through the contemporary animated series and a bunch of comics from the 1980s, so my "normal" is pretty nebulous. Perhaps that's what it is --- a generation gap between the older fans who are used to things being a certain way, and the younger fans who either never experienced the "old" Marvel or were more adaptable to the "new" Marvel established in the 2000s and onward.

    In truth, there's no shame in yearning for the "old" Marvel, in the sense that even if it wasn't perfect or up to certain standards, it was at least "ours," for lack of a better word. The "new" Marvel may not feel like it's "ours," and maybe that's because it's geared toward a new generation of fans and readers that has different tastes, different experiences, and thus different expectations. As painful as it can be to look at today's comics and feel lost in the unfamiliar, the reality is that comics, like all other media, evolve to reflect the times they're created in, and as such, a comic made in the 2000s or 2010s is going to be significantly different from a comic made in the 1970s or 1980s. It has to be, because sensibilities have changed, or even evolved, between the 1970s/80s and 2000s/10s and so comics, like any other medium, have to adapt with those evolutions. Everything changes, and nothing gets to remain the same; in fact, it shouldn't, or else it will stagnate, but those changes don't have to be treated as negatives or losses, they can be chances to expand our understanding of the world and the people around us. In that sense, we can all gain even more than we would expect, if we are willing to go in with open minds and open hearts.

    P.S. Do some or a lot of today's comics suck, or at least, are they not as good as they could or should be? Yes, they do, and they are. But so did and were lot of comics we had growing up, too, even before the 1990s, so perhaps we shouldn't throw stones from a glass house, even if that glass is fortified by our nostalgia.
    It's good to reflect on the way comics evolution does happen, so, I'm very grateful for your thoughts in that regard Huntsman Spider. I was feeling very depressed with the current comics of late but putting it in context, I feel a lot better that Marvel does "keep up with the Jones'" in that sense. There's no way to extract the effects of Civil War from the whole panoply of history since 2006, if the current politics still has the State overlord us like a Big Brother. It's just the reality we live in.

    It would be nice to return to the quiet, nocturnal days before CW, but I do fear that Homeland Security considerations have set a future precedence as to how to handle population movements and keep a handle on security in your borders. I think we will not be going back to open borders, and smaller government in the next few hundred years. If anything, we are going more towards paranoia politics - treat everyone as an enemy, and be surprised if they're not.
    Last edited by jackolover; 05-15-2017 at 06:56 PM.

  13. #13
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    Yes, you are correct. There was a severe demarcation in Marvel from the more traditional storytelling to what happened with Civil War. To my mind, Civil War is still going in a sense, in that you couldn't have Fear Itself (The Heroic Age) or the status quo in ANAD without Civil Wars fingers stretching all the way along to today.

    But getting back to pre-CW, I do recognise a period of innocence was still prevailing within the books in the 1990's into the early 2000's. Where I saw the creeping cancer that was to become CW and its progeny started when Secret War appeared and back dated its story to 2003 by mentioning an occurrence that was not acted upon and it showed that the Bush government was not accepting of the traditional roles that were apparent in the super hero books. That was the first clue. After that, we were a little surprised at the International reaction to the Fantastic Four taking over Latveria, which led to them being ostracised, a little over-reaction from Bush. The real cruncher came in Avengers Disassembled in 2005 when the Avengers imploded shockingly and the New Avengers appeared and were unwelcomed. Once that occurred it was a quick succession of incidents of disrespect to super heroes, that led them to being manipulated into a situation where they could not extricate themselves - handcuffs were put on the leaders of the super humans and they didn't have the backbone to get out of them. So there were some precursors to CW, just imbedded in traditional period of Marvel.

    I'm not sure if the turbulent 1990's reverberated into 2000's Marvel and took half a decade to take effect, or, it was simply the 9/11 event that forced Marvel to play catch-up and get into the swing of the Homeland Security adjustments to society. Maybe it was both, but by 2006, all the law changes to monitoring and movement of American citizens was strongly applied to Marvel characters as well. Before that, the early 2000's were a quiet, straightforward, time in super hero comics, where nobody died, and the heroes always came out on top.
    And without having to compromise themselves in the process, to the point of losing touch with their ideals and values as heroes and simply settling for "winning the fight while losing the greater war," or even "winning the war, but losing the peace."
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  14. #14
    Formerly Assassin Spider Huntsman Spider's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    3,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jackolover View Post
    It's good to reflect on the way comics evolution does happen, so, I'm very grateful for your thoughts in that regard Huntsman Spider. I was feeling very depressed with the current comics of late but putting it in context, I feel a lot better that Marvel does "keep up with the Jones'" in that sense. There's no way to extract the effects of Civil War from the whole panoply of history since 2006, if the current politics still has the state overlord us like a Big Brother. It's just the reality we live in.
    Thank you as well, jackolover, and alas, once you do inject real-world consequences and implications into a superhero fantasy universe like Marvel, you do irrevocably change things, even if you try to act like nothing's changed later. The memory is still there of how these characters were torn apart and turned against each other and forced into terrible circumstances at the hands of characters they knew and trusted and perhaps even loved, and most of all, the fans and readers remember, too, which casts a pall over everything that happens from that point onward. Then again, Marvel did use to market itself as "the world outside your window," but with superheroes, super-villains, and super-tech, so if "the world outside our window" has become darker, bleaker, and more cynical, then it would be remiss on Marvel's part not to address those issues, but preferably in a way that allows for heroes to still be heroes and remain icons of hope and symbols of good.
    The spider is always on the hunt.

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member jackolover's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    8,501

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Venomous Mask View Post
    Interesting, I didn't know about those pre-Civil War stories. I do agree with you that the post 9/11 security vibe definitely kicked in during Civil War, and hasn't really let up.


    And why did Quesada cut down on captions and thought balloons and ban footnotes?
    There was more going on behind the scenes as well. Things like Hank Pym and Carol,Danvers actively working against the super heroes in the CSA, planting bugs in HQ's, siccing the TBolts on the New Avengers, and, missile attacks on New Avengers positions by SHIELD's Maria Hill.

    The Quesada changes are interesting too, but I think gurgle would be best to answer on that.
    Last edited by jackolover; 05-15-2017 at 07:09 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •