Non-Jaded Comics Fan: The 90s
June 15th, 2009
Author Lucas Siegel
Ahhh, the 90s. A time of screaming mouths, big hair left over from the 80s, more feral mutants than you could shake a stick at, and of course, big guns and bigger shoulder pads.
Skottie Young brought up the 90s over the weekend on his Twitter account, focusing on how people look down at the era and disparage everything about it. I couldn’t help but not only agree, but also look back on the era of comics I grew up with.
I love Cable, I love X-Cutioner’s Song, which was going on when I got into comics, I flipped out when the X-books were “canceled” bringing about the Age of Apocalypse. There were Spider-men, who seemed to double more than Multiple Man. An AIDS analogue struck mutants across the globe. Batman was broken, Superman died, and of course, Hal Jordan went insane with evil power.
Man, I loved 90s comics, especially early 90s. That’s when I first really got into the books that have now become a major part of my life. For me, it started with a crossover issue featuring both Spider-man and the X-Men, which my mom bought at a grocery store, knowing I loved the brand new X-Men: The Animated Series. I was amazed by the range of stories that could be told in these little magazines. Plus, it was easier to enjoy over and over again.
I didn’t become a real “collector.” I kept my comics, but I wasn’t obsessed with bags and boards or any of that. I wanted them easy to access and easy to read. My ultimate favorite storyline was definitely Age of Apocalypse. I was already a fan of the idea of alternate worlds in all forms of media, and here was one with my favorite characters of the time. The re-inventions of these characters were so cool, from new costumes to new alliances, and even some that were almost completely different, like Nate Grey, Cable’s double from this reality. I read the story in its entirety about 6 times as a kid. I’ve since gone back and re-read it at least 4 or 5 more. A lot of it was over-the-top, and even downright silly, but even now (I last read the story last year) it still strikes me as one of the most fun experiences I’ve had reading comics.
Are these the best-written or best-drawn stories ever? No, and some of them are downright goofy. But there’s no need to look back on them with anything less than fond remembrance. It was a time of decadence in ways different than the decadence of today, but not necessarily in worse or better ways. There’s no need to say “90s superhero comics suck,” even if they weren’t exploring the same range of emotion or realism as some books today do. But hey, I’m just a non-jaded comics fan.
I couldn't agree more. Things were happening in the 90s that got you excited about comics. I also did a lot of my growing up in the 90s, so I was easier to influence. But so much memorable stuff from the 90s:
-Green Lantern Emerald Twilight & Zero Hour
-Death & Return of Superman
-Batman: Knightfall and Knightsend
-Spider-Man: Todd McFarlane
-Spider-Man: Clone Saga
-X-Men: Age of Apocalypse
-X-Men: Fatal Attractions
-X-Men & Marvel: Onslaught
-Marvel: Heroes Reborn (Nobody liked it then, but me, but everyone sure ate-up Ultimates, which was basically the same thing but in the next decade)
-DC: Armageddon 2001
-Flash: Terminal Velocity
-Dark Horse Comics
I could keep going and going. But all those stories had a huge impact on me as a comic fan.