Quotes / The Dark Age of Comic Books


"Revamped for the nineties!
So much more exciting!
Pointy elbows and lots of lightning!
Edgy and angry, so zesty and tangy!
There's new demographics
When nobody asked for it!"
— "Xeriouxly Forxe" theme song (Homestar Runner April fool's toon)

"'Cause no one wants to know the man who stands for things we outgrow
He's too noble and too blind
We're all older now and we don't need someone to care about
The innocence we left behind

Don't touch that dial
It's just that goodness is out of style

Be dark, be cold (So conflicted)
No hand to hold (Heart constricted)
Dark knight, bright soul, (We're addicted)
No room here for the bold"
I Fight Dragons - No One Likes Superman Anymore

''These 'no-nonsense' solutions of yours just don't hold water in a complex world of jet powered apes and time travel."
Superman, JLA Classified

"Meet Switchblade McGurk, another punk-looking anti-hero running around a depressing post-apocalyptic city that's ripped off from Blade Runner. Crammed with plenty of violence and sleaze that readers will defend as 'cutting edge."
MAD #382, "If Truth in Advertising Laws Applied to Comic Books"

Real Life

"I tend to think that I've seen a lot of things over the past 15 years that have been a bizarre echo of somebody else's bad mood. It's not even their bad mood, it's mine, but they're still working out the ramifications of me being a bit grumpy 15 years ago."
Alan Moore on what he partially set in motion, AV Club interview

"At the time, it was a dreadful setback for the idea of 'grown-up' superhero comics. In hindsight, it was America's inevitable reaction to Watchmen, and the only response that could possibly be effective: Fuck realism, we just want our superheroes to look cool and kick ten thousand kinds of ass."
Grant Morrison, Supergods

"Comics in the '90s were profoundly shitty — they were dreadfully cynical exercises in whorish crap."

"In the eighties, some comic book writers 'deconstructed' heroism by showing the good guys to be unpleasant, greedy, lascivious — traits many readers found titillating, especially when grafted onto heroes from earlier eras. Those stories had some immediate shock value — they certainly got the audience's attention — but, over time, deconstruction is a very limiting narrative strategy. Where do you go, once you've shown your hero to be a creep? You've given readers no one to admire, to root for, no one to identify with (unless they're the kind of readers you don't want to meet); eventually, they'll tire of someone who, in real life, they'd cross the street to avoid."
Denny O'Neil, The DC Comics Guide to Writing Comics

David: Both Batman and Robinís costumes also come with blood packs. These guys really should be bulky like Liefeld heroes, if you think about it.
Laura: BLOOD PACKS sounds like it should have been an insane New 52 comic written and drawn by Rob Liefeld. Just blood-filled pouches as far as the eye can see.
David: Blood Pack was a DC comic, Laura.
Laura: NO. Did I just invent the past with my mind? When was this? Was it the í90s?
David: Of course it was.
Laura Hudson and David Wolkin, "The Complete and Utter Insanity of Batman Odyssey"

"For a brief period during the Clone Saga, before Bob Harras waded in and decided Norman Osborn needed to come back to be Peter's Big Bad, the Green Goblin trademark was just kind of sitting around unused... hey, why not work a heroic Green Goblin into the Spider-Man universe? ('Because that's fucking stupid,' isn't an acceptable answer, either.)... The fact that Urich tried to call himself Green Goblin as a hero is the part of all this stupidity that really kills me. He could've used, like, the Flying Prankster or Happy Halloween Man, or anything that hadn't been used by a guy who killed people. Instead, he opts to do the equivalent of dressing up in a magical Adolf Hitler costume and striding out to become a superhero. This is not a fucking good idea. People aren't going to take it well. That didn't stop motherfucking Phil Urich."

"As stated, it was the 90s when this comic was written. Alan Moore and Frank Miller's darker, grittier comics were already huge in America. Everyone was more inclined to damn The Man and less inclined to salute him, and so Superman's principles of justice and truth and whatnot were looking more and more old fashioned every day... The creators felt that Superman's moral, by-the-books boyscout routine was getting a little hokey, so they went ahead and violated everything that Superman stood for by having him grow a wicked beard, go shithouse-crazy on a couple of Hitlers and burn himself alive, and it was still one of the worst comics of all time."