- Events from the Modern Age of Comic Books
One of the key aspects of the Modern Age of Comic Books was that it was the beginning of big events. In 1984,
Marvel Comicsdebuted the first large crossover " Secret Wars," a storyline featuring the company's most prolific superheroes, which overlapped into a 12-issue limited seriesand many monthly comic books. A year later, DC Comicsintroduced its first large scale crossover " Crisis on Infinite Earths," which had long term effects on the " DC Universe" continuity (see below).In the early and mid-1990s, big events were regularly published by Marvel and DC, often leading to extra publicity and sales. These events helped fend-off competition from Image Comicsand such events were more likely to become "collector's items." Some events, such as DC's "Zero Hour" and Marvel's "Onslaught saga" spanned a publisher's entire line while others only affected a "family" of interrelated titles. The X-Menand Batmanfranchises featured crossovers almost annually.
Some of the most significant mid-1990s events, such as
Spider-Man's " Clone Saga," Batman's "" and particularly " The Death of Superman" caused dramatic changes to long-running characters and received coverage in the mainstream media.
These events led to significant sales boosts and publicity but many fans began to criticize them as excessive and lacking in compelling storytelling. They also complained that monthly series had become inaccessible because one had to follow a number of comics to understand the full storyline. By the end of the 1990s, the number of large crossovers decreased but were still launched sporadically.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths to Countdown"
Starting in the early 1960s,
DC Comicsmaintained some aspects of its continuity through the use of a multiverse system of parallel Earths. A cosmic event in the 1985 limited series" Crisis on Infinite Earths" merged all of these realities and their respective characters into one universe, allowing writers to rewrite from scratch such long-running characters as Batman, Supermanand Wonder Womanand also as an attempt at simplifying the DC Universe. In some ways, this helped revitalize DC's characters, though some fans debated (and continue to debate) whether such changes were necessary to begin with or truly beneficial. Events such as the deaths of Supergirl and Barry Allen augmented debate with many fans.
Since "Crisis", the trend of such
retconning/revamping of characters' histories has increased in superhero comics, as has such large-scale crossover events. Even DC found cause to revamp its universe again (but on a smaller scale) with 1994's "Zero Hour" crossover storyline. In the late 1990s, the concept of Hypertimewas introduced as an attempt to satisfy fans of alternate realities, by stating that "all" comics published by DC (whether pre- or post-Crisis) had taken place in some corner of reality.
In 2005, the "
Infinite Crisis" series revived the idea of a multiverse. Following the events of the Infinite Crisisseries, Superman, Batmanand Wonder Womanhave temporarily retired their costumed identities. The remaining heroes attend a memorial for Superboy in Metropolis. Time traveler Booster Goldattends the memorial, but when Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman do not arrive, the change in history makes his robot sidekick Skeets malfunction. This results in Skeetsreporting other incorrect historical data. Booster and Skeets search time traveler Rip Hunter's desert bunker for answers, but find it littered with scrawled notes (See "Rip Hunter's lab" below).
The series continues, exploring many of the changes wrought by the events of Infinite Crisis, introducing new characters, killing off old ones, and putting others in new situations. The series concludes when Rip Hunter reveals that a new multiverse exists, of exactly 52 universes, from Earth-0/New Earth (The primary Earth in continuity) to Earth-51. The new Multiverese is temporarily threatened by Mr. Mind, who has developed the ability to travel to each universe and "Eat" portions of it, altering it's history. Each new universe was initially identical to New Earth, but Mr. Minds rampage altered each universes history, altering them all, returning the D.C. Multiverse after a fashion. Once Mr. Mind is stopped, and 52's World War 3 crossover concludes, it is revealed that new Monitors exist for each of the new universes, making 52 monitors in all. Many of the new universes resemble either popular Elseworlds Earths (Kingdom Come, Batman and Dracula) or are similar to the PRe-Crisis Earths 2, X, S, etc. (Although Grant Morrison has stated that while they are similar, they are not the actually pre-crisis worlds.)
52, World War 3, 1 Year Later, and Crisis Aftermath indirectly lead in to Countdown, which is confirmed to be counting down to the next big event, Final Crisis.
In 1986, DC published two groundbreaking
limited series: " Watchmen" by writer Alan Mooreand artist Dave Gibbonsand "" by Frank Miller. The Watchmen helped usher in the era of anti-heroes. But, more importantly, it was one of the most artistically ambitious and psychologically complex comic book series ever produced. It helped gather respect for the medium and set the bar for subsequent writers.
"Batman: The Dark Knight Returns"
The book is set in the 21st Century although it seems to retain many elements of the Cold War culture. It is a disturbing world where criminals have run amok in the absence of superheroes. Gotham City is terrorized by a gang of teenage murderers, the Mutants. Bruce Wayne, now 55, has been retired from crime fighting for ten years following the death of the second Robin, Jason Todd. Attempting to bury his guilt over Jason's death, Wayne has turned to alcoholism and near-suicidal recreational activities. In an effort to prove to the world (and himself) that ones personal demons can be bested, Wayne has generously funded the rehabilitation of Harvey Dent (a.k.a. Two-Face)
There are two events that push Wayne back into the identity of Batman. The first instance was a chance meeting of two Mutant gang members on the very spot where his parents were killed years before, while the second was Two-Face’s immediate return to crime, despite the years of psychological and cosmetic rehabilitation.
The criminals he now faces are not as organized as they had been, rather they are an unfocused band of kids who kill for money, drugs, or just for thrills. Gotham City has also changed. Whereas the public once hailed Batman as a hero standing up for the citizens of Gotham, now there are some who cry out that Batman is violating the villain’s civil rights. The media, the Mayor’s office, even police officers start to debate Batman's role in society.
The one change that Batman notices the most is the change in himself. He’s older now, not able to leap as easily from roof to roof on as little sleep as he used to. His body takes longer to recover from blows and he gets winded much quicker than he ever remembered in the old days. He has had to accept that he has limitations.
The episodes find Batman foiling a plot by Two Face to blow up Gotham’s twin towers, Joker appearing on a parody of the David Letterman talk show, killing everyone in the audience, and fighting Superman, who works for the President of the United States.
"Marvel vs DC"
Marvel vs DCwas a 1997 comic book mini-series by DC Comics and Marvel. The plot was that two "Brothers" personify the universes that comics fans know as DC and Marvel. After becoming aware of the other's existence, the brothers challenge each other to a series of duels involving each universe's respective superheroes. The series was four comics total.
Dan Jurgens (who wrote the Death of Superman) scripted the series and the outcome was determined by votes sent in by readers. Despite Marvel achieving more votes than its rival, and thus winning more matches, the series' storyline opted not to show one side victorious. The authors wisely reserved calling the winner of six of the eleven matches so they could make the outcome seem close regardless of the votes.
As voters voted Marvel the winner in three of the five "open to vote" matches (DC's Superman and Batman won their matches, whereas Marvel's Spider-Man, Storm, and Wolverine won theirs), this proved a prescient move. The final outcome was a 6–5 Marvel "victory". After Batman defeated Captain America, it was revealed that the Amalgam universe would be used to settle the dispute, making the Marvel victory an ambiguous one.
Ultimately, the Brothers decided to "settle things in their own way" by temporarily creating a new universe. This new universe, called the Amalgam universe, saw a merging of each company's most popular heroes into new ones:
Dark Claw(Batman + Wolverine), Spider-Boy(Spider-Man + Superboy), etc. Each new hero starred in a one-shot comic book, all of which were released prior to the series' fourth and final chapter.
The popularity of Amalgam led to another 12 one-shots the following year. Some of the heroes included:
Iron Lantern(Iron Man + Green Lantern), Challengers of the Fantastic(Challengers of the Unknown + Fantastic Four), Lobo the Duck(Lobo + Howard the Duck).
The premise of the Civil War storyline is the introduction of a Super-human Registration Act in the United States. The catalyst is based on a battle involving the
New Warriorsand a group of villains (Nitro, Cobalt Man, Speedfreek, and Coldheart) in Stamford, Connecticut. This battle occurs while filming a reality television show. Nitro explodes, destroying a local school and the surrounding neighborhood and killing all of the New Warriors, except Speedball. The explosion also kills 612 citizens of the town, including the children at the school. The "Stamford Incident" turns public opinion against superheroes, giving momentum to the Superhuman Registration Act. Angry civilians attack Johnny Storm, the Human Torch. A bereaved mother spits on Tony Stark.
The act requires any person in the United States with superhuman abilities to register with the federal government and receive proper training. Those who sign also have the option of working for S.H.I.E.L.D., earning a salary and benefits such as those earned by other American civil servants. Characters within the superhuman community in the Marvel Universe split into two groups: one advocating registration as a responsible obligation, and the other opposing the law on the grounds that it violates privacy rights.
S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Maria Hill attempts to recruit Captain America for a strike force created to track down superhumans in violation of the act. When Captain America refuses, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attack him (notably before the act goes into effect), but he escapes. However, Iron Man supports the act and mobilizes many registered superhumans, including Mister Fantastic, Henry Pym, and Spider-Man, who unmasks himself to the world press in order to find and redeem the anti-registration heroes.
Crossovers of the Modern Age
Crisis on Infinite Earths
* 1986: Legends
* 1988: Invasion
* 1988: Millennium
* 1985-86: Secret Wars II
* 1986: Mutant Massacre
* 1987: Fall of the Mutants
* 1988: Inferno
Acts of Vengeance
* 1991: Armageddon
* 1991: War of the Gods
* 1992: Eclipso: The Darkness Within
Reign of the Supermen
* 1994: Worlds Collide (with Milestone Media)
* 1994: Zero Hour
The Final Night
* 1998: 1,000,000
* 1994: Rafferty
Godwheel Marvel Comics
* 1990: X-Tinction Agenda
* 1992: Rise of the Midnight Sons
* 1994: Starblast
Age of Apocalypse
* 1996: Onslaught
* 1997: Flashback
* 1992: Unity
* 1994: The Chaos Effect
Our Worlds at War
* 2001: The Silver Age
* 2002: DC Comics Presents (to honour Julius Schwartz)
52 (comic book)
Countdown (DC Comics) Marvel Comics
House of M
Civil War (comics)
World War Hulk
Golden Age of Comic Books
Silver Age of Comic Books
Bronze Age of Comic Books
Modern Age of Comic Books
Portrayal of Women in Comic Books
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Modern Age of Comic Books — Watchmen (1986), one of the comics considered to signify the beginning of the Modern Age. Cover art by Dave Gibbons. Time span c.1985 present Related periods … Wikipedia
Silver Age of Comic Books — The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those featuring the superhero archetype, that lasted roughly from 1956 to the late 1960s/early 1970s.… … Wikipedia
Bronze Age of Comic Books — The Bronze Age of Comic Books is an informal name for a period in the history of mainstream American comic books usually said to run from the early 1970s to the mid 1980s. It followed the Silver Age of Comic Books. [ The Overstreet Comic Book… … Wikipedia
Golden Age of Comic Books — The Golden Age of Comic Books was a period in the history of American comic books, generally thought as lasting from the 1930s until late 1940s, during which comic books enjoyed a surge of popularity, the archetype of the superhero was created… … Wikipedia
The New York Review of Books — Not to be confused with The New York Times Book Review. The New York Review of Books David Levine s caricature of John Updike in the November 24, 1983 issue Editor Robert B. Silvers Categories … Wikipedia
List of minor characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy — The following is a list of minor characters in the various versions of The Hitchhiker s Guide to the Galaxy , by Douglas Adams.AgrajagAgrajag is a constantly reincarnated entity who ends up being killed multiple times by Arthur Dent. First… … Wikipedia
Comic Art Convention — Program book for the 1969 inaugural Comic Art Convention. Cover art by Hal Foster. Status Defunct Genre Comics Location New York City (196 … Wikipedia
The Marvel Super Heroes — Print advertisement for the show Format Animation Starring Peg Dixon Paul Kligman … Wikipedia
Comic book — A comic book or comicbook (often shortened to simply comic and sometimes called a funny book, comic paper, or comic magazine) is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent ind … Wikipedia
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay — Infobox Book name = The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier Clay title orig = translator = image caption = First edition cover author = Michael Chabon illustrator = cover artist = country = United States language = English series = subject = genre =… … Wikipedia