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Every see those posts that say, "If you remember these, you're a 90s kid", and it will show animated shows from the 90s, or stuff from the 90s. The one thing they never mention though is the comics. There's probably a good reason for that. The 90s was considered the "Dark Age" of comics, and Dark Ages conflict with a highly idealized utopia that only a select few remember.
Anyway, enough of me bashing on people who have an increased sense of self-importance due to being born in a certain decade. Let's talk about the comics!
Now, a bit of background: during the 80s, two landmark comics came out: Watchmen, and The Dark Knight Returns. These were dark comics that deconstructed the medium. Also, they were AWESOME.
Anyway, around this time, we got a surge in anti-heroes, heroes who aren't necessarily heroic. These folks were fine with murder, and they were quite popular for a time. Punisher became HUGE, as he was pretty much the grand daddy of anti-heroes.
Also, around this time, artists on comics were approacing rock star status. And there's the fact that comics were considered a good investment, as people thought a new issue 1 would become extremely collectible in the future, especially with a variant cover. These are two reasons why Marvel released a comic called Spider-Man, with no adjective. Todd Macfarlane, pretty much a prime example of rock star staus artist, was both the artist and writer of this comic. And it made a lot of money. Enough money for him and other artists (including Rob Liefeld, who epitomized "90s comics") to start their own company, Image Comics.
Now, anyone who has watched Atop The Fourth Wall knows a thing or two about early Image Comics: namely, they suck. (Note: If you don't watch Atop The Fourth Wall, I highly recommend it) They really went all out with the anti-hero thing. Oh, and remember Rob Liefeld, who I mentioned 4 sentences ago? Well, his art style of exagerrated muscles and proportions was basically the art style of the 90s.
This is not to say Image Comics was the only purveyor of suckage at the time. There was also Marvel and DC. Let's talk about Marvel first, since I know more about Marvel. I mentioned in my rant on One More Day that there's another Spider-Man story arc that's not too well loved: The Clone Saga. This came out in the 90s, and was a story line that went on too long and became very confusing. And then there were the X-books. This was, at the time, Marvel's big cash cow. And there were a lot of crappy stories that came out in the X-books.
DC wasn't much better. If there's a comic out called Extreme Justice then you know you might have a problem. However, it should be noted that a comic DC put out, Kingdom Come, is marked by some as the end of the Dark Age. But then there are those who say it never ended.
Either way, it still wasn't comics finest hour, and eventually ended up causing a slump in the industry when the comic buying bubble burst. As it turns out, if a lot of people buy multiple copies of one comic, it makes that comic worthless. And this eventually lead to Marvel filing for bankruptcy and the comics industry going into a slump.
Anyway, if there's any lesson you should take out of all of this, it's this: being a 90s kid doesn't mean you lived in a utopian paradise. So don't brag about being a 90s kid, ok?