Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ununnilium: Cut out:

One of them was the Infinite Crisis event which was designed to partially reboot The DCU to give it room for idealism and heroes with healthy personas, such as having the murderer of Batman's parents be brought to justice early in Bruce Wayne's life, thus requiring him to have a more idealistic and less vindictive motivation to be a superhero.

...because that event only happened in 2005, while the Dark Age ended in 1997.

Randallw: How about in the last crisis, not final crisis, where pres-crisis Superman, ie. silver age, is trying to convince post-crisis Batman, who as mentioned is darker, to help him restore the world to the carefree and inocent way it was before. Being Batman these days he pulls his Kryptonite ring out. It doesn't work because Kryptonite differs by dimension, but Superman destroys it with his heat vision and says that sort of dark cynicism is what he wants to get rid of.

Morgan Wick: Now I'm having a crisis of infinite crises.

Ununnilium: That was Infinite Crisis.

arromdee: It's my opinion that the Dark Age hasn't ended yet, or at best has ended so recently that we can't tell if it's just a brief respite. The fact that a 2005 series felt the need to undo some of the Dark Age cynicism demonstrates that even as of 2005, there was still something there to be undone.

And at least at Marvel, Civil War and superhero registration are perfect examples of the Dark Age continuing long past 1997. And Identity Crisis, from DC in 2004, is prime Dark Age plotting.

#1 issues certainly haven't ended, either. Every so often, comics are restarted with a #1, sometimes even if they haven't changed creative teams.

It's true that there was a more heroic JLA in 1997, but remember how the modern JLA started? The JLA and comics were getting dark and a lighter, more humorous, version of the JLA was tried, and did pretty well. Only... this was 1987. This certainly didn't mean the Dark Age ended a year after it began—it just means there was one comic that didn't match everything else. So I'm not convinced that a more heroic JLA in 1997 is the forerunner of anything. There were a lot of false ends to the Dark Age. Remember Valiant Comics? They were from the same time frame as Image and had well-written superhero series whose stories weren't dark (although they did use Dark Age sales gimmicks). They were wildly popular... but they didn't last, and they didn't affect the rest of the industry much.

Charred Knight: For me the thing that showed me we where in a new age was the return of Hal Jordan, the return of multiple krptonians, and simply the return of a lot of things associated with the Silver Age. That scene from Infinite Crisis between Earth 2 Superman and Post Crisis Batman illustrated the change in what audiences and writers want.

Ununnilium: It doesn't skip directly from "dark" to "happy shiny". It's a sliding scale. Sure, there's still a lot of darkness in comics — but actually go back and read some Dark Age stuff. We don't have the ridiculous Liefeld costumes anymore, nor the ridiculously misspelled one-worth names. And influential writers realize people want fun adventure. Yes, there's still big events and angst and characters being killed off for sales, but if you look at the whole picture, it's changed markedly. IMHO, we're pretty close to the late Bronze Age right now — which was still pretty dark.

arromdee: The return of Hal Jordan, multiple Kryptonians, and that Infinite Crisis scene are good examples of comics backing off from the Dark age.

They also happened long after 1997.

Really, if you want to say the Dark Age is now over and events like the return of Hal Jordan are signs of that, I won't argue. I still think Civil War is a big hole in that theory, but we'll have to wait and see. Perhaps it did, after all, end in 2005. But 1997? I don't believe that. The fact that a heroic, old-style, JLA debuted in 1997 just means there was one comic that wasn't dark. It was never entirely dark comics, after all.

Ununnilium: The thing is, it was a very popular, very influential comic. It pushed Grant Morrison into the A-ranks, and it lead both DC and Marvel to pattern other comics on it.

arromdee: It wasn't influential enough to prevent:

— Civil War

— Identity Crisis

— Captain America - Truth

— House of M/Decimation

— Marvel Zombies

— Trouble

— X-23

— Batman up to the last couple of years

— Sins Past

— Spiderman: The Other

— Winter Soldier

— Jason Todd as Red Hood

And probably a lot of other storylines I'm just not familiar with.

Ununnilium: Yes, there are dark storylines. That doesn't mean storylines, on average, aren't less dark.

And I'm going to stop arguing about this now. >>v

arromdee: It seems to me that if the major crossovers and the most heavily hyped titles are dark, the Dark Age can't possibly have ended. It's not "there are dark storylines", it's "the dark storylines are the biggest things in the company's entire line of comics".

Charred Knight: How well is Spawn selling, where is the 3-4 Punisher comics, where are the Venom comics? They don't sell as well as they used to, Spawn's popularity peaked in 1997, as well as the Punisher. Venom Their is a clear difference between the Early 90's to late 90's in terms of sales and popularity.

arromdee: The Punisher had a four issue miniseries in 1998-1999, another 12 issue mini from 2000-2001, followed by an ongoing series lasting until 2004, much of it written by Garth Ennis. Wikipedia also mentions a MAX series coming after that but giving no dates. Punisher War Journal started again in 2006 as an ongoing series. Venom has fared worse, but other Spider-Man dark storylines have taken his place.

Ununnilium: Despite my stated goal of not arguing about this any more, I'm doing it anyway. Sigh. I'm such a recidivist.

Two things. First, even modern dark storylines aren't dark in the same way. The darkness and stupidity of the Dark Age was a '90s Anti-Hero kind of darkness and stupidity; it was all about Badasses who would kill at the drop of a hat. It was a teenage kind of thing. The darkness and stupidity of modern series, on the other hand, seems much more adult. I mean, look at Civil War; it's a metaphor for civil rights in Bush's America. A really dumb and inconsistent one, yes, but I doubt you would have seen that ten years before.

Second... how about these non-dark yet still popular series of the Dark Age:

— Marvels

— The Flash

— Astro City

— Starman

— Kingdom Come

— The Giffen/DeMatties JLA

— Hawk and Dove

— The entire Amalgam Comics event

A handful of series doth not an era make.

arromdee: You disprove your own point with those examples, because not a single one started in 1997 or later. Several of them are many years before 1997; the Giffen JLA was, as I mentioned, 1987. Hawk and Dove was 1988. The Flash was 1986. But it would be silly to put the end of the Dark Age at 1988.

There were always non-dark comics, but 1997 doesn't seem to be a turning point in them.

arromdee: Oh, and there was plenty of "adult" darkness in the 90's dark comics. To give just one example, Rob Liefeld's Captain America had a government conspiracy wiping the memory of Captain America because he opposed the atom bomb.

Ununnilium: "You disprove your own point with those examples, because not a single one started in 1997 or later."

That was my point. I can reel off a list of non-dark series from the Dark Age as easily as you can a list of dark series from the Modern Age. Exceptions, that's all.

Anyway, I really am going to stop here, as the argument is going around in circles.

arromdee: Listing dark series after 1997 helps show that things weren't darker before 1997.

But listing lighter series before 1997, like you did, also helps show that things weren't darker before 1997.

Both types of examples support the same point.

Ununnilium: I'm on the fence about having the Doom comic in there. On the one hand, it can in no way, shape or form be considered a "notable series", but on the other hand, it perfectly illustrates the excesses of the age. Plus it's funny.

Stm177: It was my add. I feel like the game Doom and the Dark Age are intertwined, and like you say, it reveals the over the top nature of the comics then. If there are a few more objections, I don't mind the entry deletion.

Ununnilium: Hmmmm. How about this.

Ununnilium: Watchmen is good, but "the best comic book of all time"? Edited a bit.

  • V For Vendetta (Now a major motion picture!... disliked by its original creator!)
    • Debatable. Vendetta was written well before any other Dark Age titles, and was intended for a British audience (stuff like this is more "mainstream" in British titles, just look at Judge Dredd).

Thanks for the Natter. But it's true, it was coming out long before CoiE, and isn't really a Super Hero title anyway.

  • It was also an intentional parody of said excesses, which shouldn't need to be said as it's unbelievably obvious, but the folks at I-Mockery managed somehow to miss it, and since they introduced the comic to the internet, many readers mistakenly assume that they have a clue.
    • I-Mockery didn't even introduce the comic to the internet, as the fansite Doomworld uploaded it in its entirety nearly four years before I-Mockery took a clumsy jab at it.

Yet more Natter! Fun times.

  • Three words: Skrull Kill Krew. Heavily muscled guys with BFGs graphically kill shapeshifting aliens; they have identical powers gained from eating the meat of said aliens who had been turned into cows by the Fantastic Four and accidentally slaughtered. (Creators Mark Millar and Grant Morrison were allegedly drunk off their asses when they wrote it.)

I dunno. It's fun, but it doesn't really illustrate anything about the era, and we don't really have room for every series of the time. (Witchblade might fall to this too, frankly.)

arromdee: I really doubt that Valiant, Defiant, and Eclipse all died off because of crossovers and gimmicks. Someone please fix this.

On the Marvel side, the switch over was more subtle, Probably beginning with Rob Liefeld's run on The New Mutants, in which the Character of Cable, (originally designed as a Villain) was reworked into a "Heroic" leader.

This wasn't until 1989, though. Too late in the day for a "beginning". And honestly, we don't need "what was happening at Marvel"; this is about the important events of the age in general, not just what happened at the Big Two.

Also, the page seems to have been infested with random details. Do we really need to know that Valiant Comics was founded due to the collapse of The New Universe? I'm going to cut some of these and try to integrate others.

Oh, and TP Bs and Decompressed Comics didn't become popular until the Modern Age.

johniboi So you're the asshole who took out all my improvements. Put them back. They add to the article and you're justification for taking them out makes no sense. "infested with random details" the whole point of these ages is to put in as many details as possible. More details is allways better than fewer in a wiki page. Not only that, you took out EVERY SINGLE CHANGE I MADE! What the hell's wrong with you? Dick.

Ununnilium: ...whatever! `-`

It even reached the point where in 1997 Marvel Comics, one of the Big Two and stalwart bastion of the industry, filed for bankruptcy.

Because the bankruptcy had to do with Ron Perelman's business practices and his buying of other companies, not with the collapse of comic book sales.
arromdee: Sign Of The Dead insists on editing this to claim that it's universally accepted that the Dark Age ended in 1996.

The Wikipedia entry gives Dark Age and Modern as names for the same era and says that it's "generally considered to last from the mid-1980s until present day" with a direct reference to the Overstreet Price Guide, the industry standard.

The next relevant Google hit is which does say mid-1990's, but also claims there's "no defining line". which claims that the Dark Age is now (without even considering the 80's and 90's). And yes, he's basing it on the existence of ridiculously dark modern storylines.

Here's a thread where someone wonders if the Dark Age is just starting to end in 2008: " Are we going to get a breaking point between the dark age and a new kinder gentler age. A return to the light as it were?"

Comics Journal thread where someone lists the ages and says thet Modern Age lasts from 1986 to the present. lists end dates in the early 2000's.

Universally accepted? Not on your life.

arromdee: This is an error on my part. It said "usually accepted". It's still not true, however.
Doctor Nemesis: Took the liberty of trimming this (bolded section):

However, some (mostly fans of the Silver Age) argued that in too many cases "mature" content was actually closer to "adolescent"; while many creators were taking inspiration from The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen, many had completely missed the point, focussing merely on the surface details in order to Follow the Leader without coupling them with the depth of narrative and the thematic and psychological complexity that had made these works unique and well received.

It seems more like an attempt to deflect criticism than anything else.
arromdee: Sign of the Dead: Your changes were not "cleanup". They were reverting other changes, and those were:

  • Moving a quote to quotes
  • Removing a statement saying that Silver Age fans Complaining About Shows You Don't Watch were the ones complaining about Dark Age content.
  • Removing a statement implying that most people agree that the age ended in 1996.

These changes were made by three separate people to fix the page. You don't own the page. And you don't fool anyone by making the same change ten times so that it's harder to see what you did in the history, either.
Doctor Nemesis: I've taken the liberty of trying to trim the page down a bit; there seems to be a lot of material there that's a bit repetitive or not entirely essential. Hope it works!
  • It doesn't. Cleaning up is one thing, removing key details is another entirely.

Doctor Nemesis: Key details such as? Judging by the things you restored to the article I appear to have left out a few dates and authors, which while certainly an oversight doesn't appear to be that major or damaging to the article's integrity (since I nevertheless alluded to the points being made, even if I was a little less specific than the article's previous iteration). If there's anything else I'd certainly like to know it, but judging by what you elected to put back in I don't appear to have omitted that much — certainly nothing which justifies the rather confrontational tone you seem to have decided to adopt.
  • Why did you even delete them to begin with? They make the articel better because they give the readers more information.

Doctor Nemesis: Because the article was massive, unfocussed, a bit rambling, and a lot of that detail either didn't seem particularly relevant or was tangential at best to the idea of the Dark Age to begin with; more information isn't better if the information isn't very relevant. People can read about, say, what kind of comics Dark Horse Comics specialise in on the page about Dark Horse, they don't really need to read it here; all they really need to know about here is that Dark Horse was one of the more successful of the many independent comics publishers that appeared during the time.

In particular, I'm wondering whether the material about the Comics Crash towards the end might not be better served being on it's own page, since it largely describes something happening alongside the Dark Age rather than being a direct part of it (even though the two were connected); like the page on The Great Video Game Crash of 1983, this page might be better served by having a The Great Comics Crash Of Whenever page linked to it.

arromdee: This page is ridiculously long and needs to be cut down, including but not limited to the Dark Horse Comics and crash sections. There are just too many details on subjects that are too peripheral.