Talk:Modern Age of Comic Books

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Just some points from a long-time comic collector.[edit]

These are the ages that I hear about when I go to conventions around the nation:

  • 17XX - 188X - Stone Age

Early "comics" or books that would allow development of the comic book as we know it. Most comics from this era are lost forever.

  • 189X - 1937 - Platinum Age

I think this age starts with the first issue of The Yellow Kid comic book. Most comics from this era are lost forever. Detective Comics by DC Comics is the only series to survive and still be developed, printed, and sold today from this age.

  • 1938 - 195X - Golden Age

Starts in cover-date of June of 1938, with Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1. Many titles started in this era are still developed, printed, and sold today from DC, Marvel, Archie and Gemstone. Most books published in this age are lost forever because of the war drives for paper during World War II.

  • 195X - 1975 - Silver Age

Most collectors agree that the Silver Age started with the price of comics going from $0.10 to $0.12, and size was slightly reduced, too. Most comics survive this era, and this era produced the most amount of on-going series from all major companies.

  • 1976 - 1991 - Bronze Age (unofficial)

Started with DC Comics' bullet logo, usually agreed to have ended when Image burst onto the scene, or sometimes Valiant, after their little Nintendo Comics phase.

  • 1992 - 2XXX - Modern Age (unofficial)

And we all know the problems with this age. Allow me to bullet-point:

  • The Speculators
  • Gimmick covers
  • Price has gone up and up and up!
  • The Rise and Fall of Manga in America
  • Diamond Comic Distro.
  • Books are too soap-opera-ry
  • Graphic novels killed the monthly sales
  • Stores going out of business because of lack of interest.
  • Libraries carrying the books.
  • Just a pure lack of interest to actually read adventures with the movies out there.

Debate all you all want, but it was in a few Overstreet price guides like this. Overstreet also acknowledges that the Modern Age of Comics started when DC Comics adopted the bullet logo (the 1980s DC logo). Now, I agree with an older post that this article is written, well, poorly. I mean, the sheer drama and events that took place, also daily and hourly, in comics from 1976 onward.

Furthermore, manga is a direct result of the Modern Age of Comics, and needs to be addressed. Companies like Antarctic, Viz, Dark Horse, and even Marvel did anime. Marvel has, within their line, the Marvel Mangaverse. This article seems hasty and actual did very little to remind me of anything.

As for the "graphic" novels and trade paperbacks, which are also a direct result of Viz, Tokyopop, and a few other now-defunct manga companies publishing led to a misunderstanding by the product-buyers of major book retailers, and have since, with comics shops big and small, led to the death of the comic shop, along with Diamond being the illegally monopoly and God of the the current comic industry. Perhaps one can say that the Modern Age ended and the Diamond Age started when Diamond started selling comics for everybody in Late 1996, around the time of Marvel's Heroes Reborn and DC's Superman in a blue jumpsuit. Anyways, the graphic novels aren't selling, nor is the manga, according to stockholder data listed for Sears (who owns K-Mart, who owns Waldensbooks, who owns Borders) and Barnes & Nobles. Comics, and sci-fi in general, lost them hundreds of millions over the last few years, and they reported this recently, especially with the economic collapse that might be happening. I know a few Borders I visited in the LA area have cut their shelf-space for manga and comics to a few measly shelves in the sci-fi section.

Again, I must stress that this article needs to deal with the rise of Diamond, the pyramid scheme they force sellers to buy from them, with is $50,000 a year give or take, and how the comic industry is in rapid decline and falling apart at the seams, and how the comic book shops are all going out of business.

What I've just written is reality. If you can't believe this is happening in the Modern Age of Comics, then you're not actually into comics. Just type Diamond Comic Distributors suck into Google and see how many people and stores have been hurt by Diamond since 1996. In the Las Vegas area, here are stores that have been defunct recently: Dreamwell Comics, Kool Kollectibles, Woody's World, Comic Oasis, Dark Tower (has to move from location to location), and Gameworld. Alternative Reality and Cosmic Comics are is hard financial straits, and may not survive the year. Coffee4binky (talk) 22:54, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

    • Coffee4binky, you missed a few other problems with the modern age.
      • Sex, sex, sex! And anatomically ridiculous art in the name of "sex sells"
      • The comics are being influenced by the movies based on them instead of the other way around.
      • Why read a $4 comic when you can see tons of original amateur webcomics for free.
      • The truth is now out about the horror stories about the comic book industry and how it has treated so many of its own (Kirby!). Fans now think of the comic companies as just faceless, cold, another corporate entity.
      • reboot, reuse, recycle.Mr. ATOZ (talk) 20:17, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Mr. ATOZ, allow me to add one more signifigant factor:
      • No new major characters created in the last 20 years by either of the two major publishers. Writers don't want to invest their talent in creating characters they know they won't own. This is why the companies are stuck in a cycle of using the same old characters created over 50 years ago by poor (mostly dead) artists/writers whom were swindled out of their fair share. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:468:C80:8103:1520:1978:762D:1D3A (talk) 16:53, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Does anyone remember (or did anyone figure out) why there were 52 earths in the multiverse? I think this would be a really neat fact to put in the timeline with the entry, and I'm pretty sure the reason was somewhere in the 52 series, but either I never figured it out from the clues or I've forgotten it. --Supergirl 12 June 2007

There is no reason given in the comic. All that is stated is that Mr. Mind destroys many of them and 52 are left. It is a big enough number so that it can include formerly recognized earths as well as creatively leaving room for new ones. It was obviously chosen in reference to the name of the series and explains some of the references made to the number 52.--Leocomix 13:26, 13 June 2007 (UTC)


If I knew enough, I'd update the article myself, but I do note that Warren Ellis, a fairly prolific author, hasn't been mentioned here at all. Also, I wonder why Science Fiction exists only as a footnote on Swamp Thing. Everything I read I'd catagorise as Science Fiction, if I knew more of how it became important (again), I'd probably buy more of the classics of the field. Any takers for writing bits of this in? --Eternal Confusion 11:15, 4 April 2006 (UTC)


The Modern Age, Dark Age, or whatever starts in the mid-1980's. I've never seen the term used to refer to the period from 1970 onwards, and only sections 1.1 and a single sentence from section 1.2 have anything to do with the period before 1985. Even then, most things that happened before 1985 didn't become trends until later (Wolverine didn't get a regular series until after 1985, and the Punisher didn't even get a miniseries until 1985; and X-Men spinoffs only became a trend after 1985 even though New Mutants was an isolated instance before that.) Ken Arromdee 30 June 2005 14:28 (UTC)


Absolutely! This article ignores the Bronze Age period (c. 1970-1985) by conflating it with the Modern Age (1986-?) The Bronze Age saw a number of changes to DC's heroes, including: Clark Kent left the Daily Planet to become a newscaster at WGBS-TV; Robin left Batman to attend college; Wonder Woman lost her powers (when the amazons left Earth), then regained them (thanks in part to Gloria Steinem); and Green Lantern started hanging out with Green Arrow. Not to mention the introduction of Jack Kirby's Fourth World. The Bronze age ended with Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I'm less familiar with Marvel Comics, but for them the Bronze Age began with the Spider-Man drug-abuse story (the first from a major publisher to see publication without the Comics Code Authority's approval) and ended with Secret Wars. Also, Dell Comics collapsed, leaving DC and Marvel with no real competition for two decades.

The Modern Age began (for DC) with Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and the post-crisis revamps, and saw the rise of "grim and gritty" stories for both DC and Marvel. Some would argue that the Modern Age has ended, with the present (post-modern?) age beginning with the fading of the grim-and-gritty style, and/or with the end of the collector-driven comics market of the mid-1990s.

Comments? Suggestions?
--Archola

Yes, that's what I think. The age that began in the mid-eighties (Dark Age, Iron Age, Modern Age or whatever) finished in the late-nineties/early-00s. Or are we suposed to call the Modern era the period from the mid-eighties to the end-of-times? This article began considering the Modern Age begining in the seventies, ignoring the Bronze Age, now I think we have a similar problem with the mid-eighties to late-nineties period. 88.24.224.60 12:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed! There should be two articles - one for bronze and one for modern. Whoever wrote this first got confused. The bronze age runs from the early 70's to (well it varies depending on which company, but the articles can reflect this). The modern age runs from the early/mid-80s to now.

Also, I think the diamond age of comics sometimes refers to the newspaper strips/comics that appeared before the golden age. I've never heard it used as another name for the 80's. rst20xx

Re. 'the Diamond Age' and this sentence: "the Diamond Age of Comic Books (suggested by Scott McCloud, because of the new diversity found in the medium)": I'd have to look up an actual reference for this, but I was of the impression that the 'diamond' in 'the Diamond Age' actually refered to Diamond Comics, the distributors of practically all comic nowadays and was used to signify the shift in power from the publishers to the (sole) distributor (to the direct market). Demos99 13:26, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
But the monopoly of Diamond Comics didn't begin until the mid nineties, I remember buying my comics using the Advance Comics of Capital in the early nineties before Diamond an his Previews became the only way to buy your books. So, if the modern age beging in mid-eigthies and the Diamond momopoly in mid-nineties, there's almost one decade of Modern Age that's not Diamond Age by this definition. 88.24.224.60 12:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

You are absolutely right. I have heard the Modern Age called the Diamond Age as well because of the influence of Diamond and it deserves to be called the Diamond Age. The real issue is that with all the changes occurring due to Infinite Crisis and Civil War, is this the beginning of a new age? Perhaps it should be called the Iron Age because it was Iron Man who prompted Spider-Man to take off his mask. --Maple Leaf 13:56, 22 July 2006 (UTC)Maple_Leaf


I think the dates listed for the 'modern age' are substantially wrong, and i think you key issue list even disagrees with them (although I'm inclined to agree with it). Half your 'modern' keys are from 1981, and they really are keys for this era (whatever we choose to call it), so clearly your 1986 start year is wrong.

First, lets be honest, this page is about an era typically called the 'copper', 'iron', and occasionally 'dark' age of comics. Its no longer the modern age, the new modern age starts sometime in teh mid-90s, although I'm sure I'm not qualified to render definitive judgement on when, but my guess is somewhere in the 1992-1996 timeframe. There's definitely an era transition sometime before 2000.

Second, the Copper Age (to choose one term) clearly starts in 1980 with Days of Future Past in Uncanny X-Men and 1981 with Miller's first Daredevil run. (IMO, the Bronze Age starts in 1970ish, and lasts ~10 years). Like with the silver->bronze age transition, not all books made the transition at the same time. But to hold up Miller's The Dark Knight Returns as the start of the era when its just the culmination of a trend that started with Days of Future Past (and arguably the Dark Phoenix Saga's end 4 issues earlier) is kind of ridiculous.

Even trends you claim are from this age definitively predate 1986. New Mutants is from 1984, and is already rather late in the 'minority super heroes' trend. Wolverine's first mini-series is 1982. Secret Wars starts in 1984. A start date for the age later than 1981 simply isn't tenable.

--69.209.75.199 (talk) 11:12, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

This is all good background, and there's no question this article has multiple problems. The big issue, though, is finding reliable-source citations for these claims. Surely, magazines such as Back Issue and Alter Ego, which together cover eras from the Silver Age on up, must have something to say about all this, to name just two reliable journalistic sources we could cite. Let's maybe start with finding a cite for the "Copper Age" (a term for which I have not found widespread consensus, BTW) "clearly start[ing]" in either 1980 or 1981 with those two cases you mention. I'm taking your comments absolutely seriously and I am asking in all seriousness. --Tenebrae (talk) 22:42, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

these are the dates we're going with: Golden Age (1938-1955) Silver Age (1956-1969) Bronze Age (1970-1983) Copper Age (1984-1991) Modern Age (1992-Present​) [now somebody please find and/or generate a reliable source, and also, copper age needs its own page] John xero (talk) 21:17, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Actually, no one editor can declare "these are the dates we're going with." Wikipedia works on consensus. And as a truly longtime collector — since 1968, so my credentials, I think, are in order — I've never heard of the Golden Age lasting past about 1949, and there's no consensus as to the end of the Silver Age. There is also no established Copper Age. Those demarcations you give above are your own and not that of widespread comics scholarship. --Tenebrae (talk) 20:10, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Film entry[edit]

I cleaned-up the film adaptation section of the article, trying to concentrate on how they affected the comics. Also, I eliminated the references to cartoon shows because superhero cartoons are not a new development of the Modern Age. Rorschach567

POV in timeline[edit]

There are too many superlatives and POV statements in the timeline (although I agree the dates are appropriately significant). Ok to make them more NPOV? --Happylobster 20:18, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Why does the timeline start at 1970 while the article states that this period begins in the mid-80s. Very inconsistent. ike9898 13:21, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
The timeline starts at 1970 because the original article seems to have been written by someone who doesn't recognize the existence of the Bronze Age (which runs roughly 1970-1985). The statement that the period begins in the mid-80's was added/changed by someone who does recognize the Bronze Age. That's why the inconsistency.
What we should do is create a Bronze Age article and just get rid of the references to 1970 in here. But it's too easy for naysayers to kill the article by selectively demanding references that aren't demanded for Gold/Silver/Modern. Ken Arromdee 14:21, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Source[edit]

Does anyone have a source for this statement?

The Modern Age is the most widely used name for the period following the Silver Age of Comic Books.

Ken Arromdee 18:55, 11 December 2005 (UTC)

Since we've gone four months without anyone coming up with a source for the statement, I've deleted it.
I also think that this article's attempt to use "Modern Age" to cover everything from the 1970's onwards is absurd. It seems like the article is written by someone who doesn't like the phrase "Bronze Age" and is grasping at straws to justify not having an age between Silver and Modern. Much of the article refers to trends that only became trends in the mid-1980's. Ken Arromdee 13:55, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Article too DC/Marvel centric?[edit]

I feel it is. Horror comic books are big business these days, for example, as are many other alternative genres besides just superheros. There is one brief mention about horror comics, but even then it's in the context of Marvel's 70s entry into the genre. There is no mention of IDW at all. No mention of Dark Horse aside from it's position in the timeline. And very little about Vertigo. Of course superhero books still make up the mainstream of the market and should have more information about them. But at the same time you can't talk about modern age of comics and not include the alternative genres. if agreed I will try to add some more information. --MateoP 03:21, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Your comments were very useful. I have edited the page to include mentions of Dark Horse in 1992 with Star Wars: Dark Empire and 1993 with Comics Greatest World. I mention Warren Ellis in 1994 and David Lapham's Stray Bullets in 1995. Although I am not enough of an expert on alternative comics, a whole new page could be devoted to the genre.--Maple Leaf 14:10, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

I totally agree. The changes at Marvel and DC didn't happen in a vacuum. Actually, what marks the Modern Age is that the content of the story comes from outside influences. Miller's stories are influenced by manga and Eisner. Moore is influenced by Underground and Harvey Kurtzmann. While editor control clamped Marvel's creativity, the existence of independent publishers allowed some creators to create groundbreaking stories, especially at First Comics, with Mike Grell's Jon Sable Freelance, Chaykin's American Flagg. In 1985, First Comics had four series in the top ten in the CBG awards. The use of the panel as a TV screen later used by Miller in Dark Knight was created by Chaykin in American Flagg. Later, Chaykin, Grell and Truman (all from First) were going to step up maturity in stories and redefine/re-energize long-time characters with Longbow Hunters, Blackhawk and Hawkworld. Most top writers of today came from outside the mainstream (Bendis, Morrison, Brubaker) and this applies also to Straczinsky, Guggenheim and Meltzer. See also what I say in th talk page of Bronze Age.

I agree as well - not only that, it's very superhero centric... I didn't see any mention of Sandman or Preacher, for instance. What about Groo? :) Luminifer (talk) 20:20, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

No mention of '2000AD' either.--{Unsigned|86.177.108.228}} 22:00, 3 October 2011

Agree with all above. Article needs much work. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:56, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Bronze Age[edit]

I've just created an article for the Bronze Age of Comic Books. Perhaps the information in this article dealing with the 1970s and early 80s can be moved there. Iron Ghost 04:30, 19 July 2006 (UTC)

Problems with this article[edit]

It deals only with comics issues and characters and omits events in the backstage like "speculations", "variant covers", new comics companies, conventions, magazines. For instance the new fandom movement characterizes the Silver Age. Creator-owned series started in the Silver Age but became mainstream in the modern age. What about Cerebus, Strangers in Paradise and other long-going creator owned-series? There is also a point. It's a bit too close to the present to state that the modern age is still continuing. There are already terms for current comics like neo-silver. This started with "1963", "Marvels" and Alan Moore's "Supreme". For instance "Infinite Crisis" (restoring pre-crisis continuity) could be the marker of a new age for DC. Because it's too close to know yet, I think we should not include events from before 2006 or even from before 2000 in this article. --Leocomix 17:44, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps the focus is on Marvel and DC comics because the "Ages" have, from the beginning, been attributed almost exclusively to superhero comics, which make up the lion's share of the comic market. I do agree that the "greed factor" that plagued the industry during to 90's and the effect it had on the industry should be included. -RB 24.163.208.79 05:09, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

That is true. Actually "Golden Age" and "Silver Age" were first used in the sense "Golden Age of superheroes" and "Silver Age of superheroes". So we need to refine the definition: i.e. it applies to mainstream publishers or it applies to super-heroes. --Leocomix 08:55, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Contains "This will fail also". Is this a correct entry? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 83.233.146.11 (talk) 23:00, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:New Mutants 087-01.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot (talk) 21:22, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Source?[edit]

I don't know much about citing sources at all, but couldn't this be used as a source?

http://scifipedia.scifi.com/index.php/Modern_Age_of_Comics

I mean, maybe not much of it, as it talks a lot about DC's continuity changes, but still for something I would think. Spirit Stiff (talk) 01:08, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

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WikiProject Comics B-Class Assesment required[edit]

This article needs the B-Class checklist filled in to remain a B-Class article for the Comics WikiProject. If the checklist is not filled in by 7th August this article will be re-assessed as C-Class. The checklist should be filled out referencing the guidance given at Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team/Assessment/B-Class criteria. For further details please contact the Comics WikiProject. Comics-awb (talk) 17:08, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The Future of Modern Age.[edit]

Gold: 1933-1955. Silver: 1956-1972. Bronze: 1973-1983. Modern: 1984-present.

Let's say that GA went on for 22 years, SA went on for 16, & BA went on for 10. In the future, when Modern Age comics are too old to be considered Modern Age, will they be Brass, Iron, or Stone Age? & when is the cut-off line? The comics I read in the 90s were kid-stuff to what's out now, so have we already missed the mark?

Why are they going downhill in time when the Golden Age comics were so terrible & the Silver Age comics were embarrassing & loaded with propaganda? Shouldn't the Golden Age be the Stone Age of comics?


The Way I've heard it it's Gold 1938-1954 Silver 1954-1970 Bronze 1970-1986 Dark 1986-1996 Modern 1996-present. My theory is the current era will be called the "Post-Modern Age of Comics" in the future. Simply because Grant Morrison and other top writers out now love to inject all kinds of Post Modernism in their storylines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.135.228 (talk) 09:04, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Dark Age vs Modern Age[edit]

The most commonly held view in modern fandom is that the Dark age covers from the publishing of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns to D.C.'s "Kingdom Come" which openly attacked the direction that comes where going in at the time. The Modern age is more nostalgic for the Silver age. Therefore I don't think that the Dark age page should redirect here. I believe that it should be split. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.136.137 (talk) 04:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Seconded. See how TvTropes lists them:

Golden Age Interregnum Silver Age Bronze Age Dark Age Modern Age —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.135.228 (talk) 18:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree but you'd need a reliable source. ArtistScientist (talk) 09:40, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

TvTropes is more of an unacademic fan oriented wiki, however this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it's grounded more in the fan perceptions, and therefore tends to have a better understanding of the trends in media than a non fan or outsider would tend to have. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.135.228 (talk) 00:59, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

C-Class rated for Comics Project[edit]

As this B-Class article has yet to receive a review, it has been rated as C-Class. If you disagree and would like to request an assesment, please visit Wikipedia:WikiProject_Comics/Assessment#Requesting_an_assessment and list the article. Hiding T 15:01, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Future refs[edit]

[1] - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 00:40, 7 March 2009 (UTC) [2] - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 03:04, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Why is there not a one-page history of American comic books?[edit]

Seems like an obvious thing to have. --Helenalex (talk) 09:40, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

You mean like American comic book? Or something else? (Emperor (talk) 19:32, 4 April 2009 (UTC))

Key Issues section problems[edit]

The key issues lists almost exclusively Marvel comics, and only lists comics for the first appearance of some once-popular characters. No mention of trends, writers, artists, etc. Unless someone says why it shouldn't be deleted or fixes it, I suggest it be deleted. Luminifer (talk) 04:26, 24 April 2009 (UTC)

On WT:CMC I kicked around some ideas for improving the set of similar articles based on Silver Age of Comic Books after it reached GA. Basically the lists of key titles/issues and creators (and probably the timeline) should be removed - the lists are just opinion and a magnet for original research and the important ones should be included in the text in prose format that allows us to include context and sources. As on the Silver Age article it might be we can include a list of most in-demand issues if we can similarly source it. So yes I agree the list of comics should be deleted if someone can add a better and sourced list then they can do so in the future. Same goes with the creators, although I the Silver Age list was split off it is a poor article and should probably be deleted so we might as well be bold and skip the splitting altogether. (Emperor (talk) 15:21, 24 April 2009 (UTC))
The creator section feels slightly more valid. One problem with the "key issues" section lies in its very fundamental reasoning. In USA the whole period seemed like a process where the sales of magazines declined and the market evolved to be oriented more into graphic novels and manga. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 22:10, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

super[edit]

far too superhero centric there was other stuff going on in comics 78.149.76.67 (talk) 18:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

super[edit]

far too superhero centric there was other stuff going on in comics 78.149.76.67 (talk) 18:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

super[edit]

far too superhero centric there was other stuff going on in comics 78.149.76.67 (talk) 18:30, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Decline of Comics[edit]

This article need somebody, somewhere, who may have worked or owned a comic book shop, to discuss the rapid decline of comics thanks to graphic novels/trade paperbacks, manga and anime, and Diamond. See what can be found starting here:

http://www.niklbag.com/blog/post/Saving-Comic-Publishers-from-Themselves-the-Threat-of-the-Diamond-Distribution-Monopoly.aspx

Please note that this is one man's perspective, but it is a starting point. I'm suggesting this article needs to be re-written, then merged into one large article covering the history and overall of American Comic Books, instead of being four links deep or so from the regular comic book article.

Currently, in the Las Vegas, NV, area, I think only Alternate Reality Comics is the only shop making a profit and still in business. Since I don't live in Las Vegas, I wouldn't know if any other shops are still operating. I'm also unsure of Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego areas as well. But a mere 16 years ago, comic shops were everywhere, then a mere decade ago, comic shops returned to be everywhere again, then pfft! Gone, thanks to Diamond's pyramid scam and a illegal monopoly.

Coffee5binky (talk) 14:15, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Comics as a medium still survive, even though the foundation seems shifting from comic books and superheroes into other areas. 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 15:23, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Issue on dispute whether the Iron Age is the modern age[edit]

There are some notable sources, such as Peter Coogan (author of Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre) who say the Iron Age has ended and we are in a new Renaissance Age. While I'm not saying there should be a new article (right now that's only 1 source), the article portrays it as fact that every major RS agrees that the Iron Age is still ongoing. (Iron Age of Comics links to the mainspace).Jinnai 05:33, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

These definitions are fuzzy to begin with. Which sources generally use the concepts, and what are the most common standpoints? 惑乱 Wakuran (talk) 20:40, 1 March 2010 (UTC)
  1. Obviously there is Coogan.
  2. Mutants & Masterminds editors - not as "high" quality of a source as Coogan, but as they are heavily tied to the comics industry they would be a lesser RS.
  3. The Metorpolitan Museum of Art has some info on it, more centered around costume, but they clearly describe the Iron Age for Comics between 1980-87.
Getting late right now so that's it. Probably more out there.Jinnai 05:03, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Who are you to say the modern age of comics started in the mid 80s I thought it started in the mid 90s.

Who are you (no signage)? I'm not saying this; what I'm saying is that reliable sources of higher rep than me claim this.Jinnai 06:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Dark age!![edit]

The most commonly held view in modern fandom is that the Dark age covers from the publishing of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns to D.C.'s "Kingdom Come" which openly attacked the direction that comes where going in at the time. The Modern age is more nostalgic for the Silver age. Therefore I don't think that the Dark age page should redirect here. I believe that it should be split. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.136.137 (talk) 04:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Seconded. See how TvTropes lists them:

Golden Age Interregnum Silver Age Bronze Age Dark Age Modern Age —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.135.228 (talk) 18:30, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree but you'd need a reliable source. ArtistScientist (talk) 09:40, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

TvTropes is more of an unacademic fan oriented wiki, however this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it's grounded more in the fan perceptions, and therefore tends to have a better understanding of the trends in media than a non fan or outsider would tend to have. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.168.135.228 (talk) 00:59, 17 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree, that to call the whole thing Modern age is ludicrous. Watchmen and DKR happened more than 20 years ago and the tone after Zero Hour and specially Kingdom Come and Marvels has nothing to do with that. There's a gray era in the middle and then, the period after Quiver, Hush, Batman/Superman, Identity Crisis and Rebirth up until know is widely called the Silver Age Renaissance.--20-dude (talk) 05:05, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Agreed. By my reckoning, the transition from Iron to Modern Age took place when Joe Quesada took the helm at Marvel (2000) and Dan Didio took over at DC (2002). It's when DC started bringing back dead Silver Age heroes (starting with a Kryptonian Supergirl, then Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, and most recently Barry Allen as the Flash). It's when we started getting chained crossover "ongoing epics" such as Avengers Disassembled -> House of M -> Civil War -> Dark Reign -> Age of Heroes and Graduation Day -> Identity Crisis -> Infinite Crisis -> 52 -> Final Crisis -> Blackest Night -> Brightest Day. It's when DC and Marvel started tailoring their comics with an eye toward Trade Paperback rereleases. Change was already in the air as early as 1995, with Zero Hour, Marvels, and Kingdom Come; but when Joe Q and Dan Didio took over their respective companies, the changes kicked into high gear. --Dataweaver (talk) 03:58, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

So if everyone agrees that the widely held and logical view is that there were two Ages, why isn't this split? 148.85.233.226 (talk) 19:53, 21 February 2014 (UTC)

Because all the above is either uncited personal opinion or it cites a wikia, which Wikipedia doesn't allow to be used as reference sources. --Tenebrae (talk) 00:29, 22 February 2014 (UTC)

Today's edits[edit]

I've made some edits today, giving my rationales in the edit summaries. The tag on this page is correct: It needs an enormous amount of research and writing work to approach being encyclopedic. This article is mostly original-research and POV claims, as far as I can see. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:16, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Nomenclature[edit]

Like many others on this page, I'm not convinced the modern age is the best name for this period. It seems the Overstreet Price Guide is the only reference for it? Is this the best source available? In cultural and historical terms, the modern age (modernist period) covers most of the 20th century for visual arts and design. To an art theorist or historian, most comics, as a visual art, are modern. Certainly superhero comics, since there beginnings in the 30s, are modern. The radical changes in the 80s, from Alan Moore for example, would from this perspective be post-modern. I think the use of modern in this article, as coined by Overstreet I assume, comes from a conflation of 'modern' with 'contemporary'. That said, I understand the naming is internal to the medium and corresponds to the gold/silver/etc nomeclature. But is 'modern' the best/only name we can find referenced? If so, and if this age really covers everything from the 80s or so the present day, then something like 'contemporary age of comics' could be a more appropriate and perhaps NPOV title. +|||||||||||||||||||||||||+ (talk) 04:07, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Many Factual Errors[edit]

This article is riddled with factual errors and reads more like a 9th grader's "anything you like" research project than a well-written and sourced wiki article should. I've corrected a couple errors here and there over the last little while, but someone with the time and inclination could do a lot more and vastly improve this page. 19:41, 23 March 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 8.225.177.253 (talk)


Sources for Dark Age and Modern Age timelines[edit]

[3] 75 Years of DC Comics is a huge art/history book published by Taschen. It lists The Dark Age as 1984-1998 and The Modern Age as 1998-2010.

[4] Here's a book about comics called The Dark Age that appears to start with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns (both 1986).

I think these (especially the first one) are good indications that there was such a thing as a Dark Age of comics (that has ended), and that this article should be split to reflect this. The only issue would be deciding on an end date, but that has been an issue regarding the beginning and end of most comic book eras.

Tomorrowboy (talk) 01:24, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Merge / split discussion[edit]

Material from Chromium age should be merged here, or material from here should be transferred to there. I'm of the opinion Moder Age dates back to mid 1990s/early 2000s, not the mid 80s, but I invite other opinions. Argento Surfer (talk) 20:22, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Can't say I've heard of the Chromium Age, though yes, I believe the Bronze Age ended circa the mid-1980s. There may not be an "age" for all parts of comics history — there's a gap between Golden and Silver, for example, between circa 1950 and 1956. "Age" denotes historic, landmark periods, and as in that example, I'm not sure every single year of comics has been part of a milestone era. Also, "Golden" "Silver" and "Bronze" arose organically among professionals and fans, reflecting (probably) traditional golden and silver anniversaries and gold, silver and bronze Olympics medals. I'm not sure there are any other metal/other strata (other than traditional platinum, for 60 years, and diamond for 75 years) that come readily to mind in general usage and agreement.
Maybe "Dark Age" and "Modern Age," which the Wikipedia article Modern Age of Comics considers the same (albeit with a "multiple issues" tag) is a logical split now. I imagine "Modern" rolls forward, though not necessarily: Modern art is a movement that ended some 40 years ago, and we use the term Contemporary art to mean current art. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:43, 22 October 2012 (UTC)
I'd never heard it called the Chromium Age either, until I found that orphan. "Dark Age" is what I hear most. I've also heard "Iron age," although I don't care for it. I've always taken "Modern" to roll forward when discussing trends. I believe fine art is the exception to that rule, not the standard. Argento Surfer (talk) 13:52, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Both points work for me: "Dark Age" seems fairly well-established, and it's true that the term "Modern art" is anti-intuitive and often requires clarification that it's not the same as modern (lowercase) art. --Tenebrae (talk) 19:23, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

Personally, I'd like to see this article thoroughly cleaned up and properly referenced before any talk of splitting. The article as it stands is postively oozing with OR. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 20:57, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Well, yeah, there's that . . . !   :- )   --Tenebrae (talk) 21:14, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

I referred to the "Dark Age" thing in my own book, and yet I'm reluctant to split it off into a separate page. Unless the phrase first gains more widespread use, we'd be shaping the terminology instead of reporting on it. I think it will catch on, but that thought does not make it so. It's hard to argue that it definitely ended. There has been some backlash against the darkness during the past decade (for example, when Mark Waid said some creators were sick and tired of darkness while leading up to Infinite Crisis), and yet at least one major company's editors have actively directed writers to make characters act grimmer and have less fun lately. Doczilla STOMP! 02:20, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Definitely a "no" to making a "Dark Age" article. It's very subjective, very biased, and isn't in common currency. And I've also seen the term Modern Age widely applied to comics from the 1980s onward. What's important to keep in mind is that the idea of "ages" of comics came about haphazardly, and there's no methodology behind the naming. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:45, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

How is it biased? "Dark" doesn't have any negative or positive connotations, it's descriptive of the general tone of comics - they became grim, gritty, and anti-heroes became extremely popular. It's also a common enough term to have a book written about it by TwoMorrows Publishing. Six years ago. Argento Surfer (talk) 15:53, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I respect the reasoning of my longtime colleague User:Doczilla, and in this case, given the term is in widespread enough use to have a book titled for it, published by what is certainly the largest niche publisher of books about comics history and comics professionals, I don't believe we would be shaping the terminology. It exists, it's established in books, and we would simply be reporting on a term in use. --Tenebrae (talk) 16:08, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
"it's descriptive of the general tone of comics - they became grim, gritty, and anti-heroes became extremely popular". That's an extremely simplistic description of comics at the time. Also, one book alone doesn't necessarily mean it's a widely accepted term. WesleyDodds (talk) 07:57, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
At best, this "Dark Age" stuff refers to a particularly prevalent trend in superhero comics, but to refer to the entire era of comics as the "Dark Age" is completely overboard. It completely ignores the large number of superhero comics which did not partake in the trend, or partook in it only in a tangential way, while at the same time ignoring basically all other comic books from the time: Japanese stuff, which saw enormous growth throughout this period; Archie was bucking the "Dark" trend by putting out a de-darkified TMNT; the chronology of alternative comics has been basically totally unrelated to that of superheroes since the Golden Age.
"The Golden Age" makes total sense, and is well established, even if the edges are fuzzy. It was a time when the publication format first came into its own, and enjoyed enormous sales that have never since been matched. It was a time when the basic vocabulary of the format was experimented with out of necessity, due to lack of precedent, and then consolidated. The developments of the time were genre-independent—in fact, American comic books have never since seen the same proliferation (financially successful proliferation, at that) of genres than what was seen during the Golden Age–after the implosion of the superhero fad following WWII, no genre could be said to come close to domination. It was also a time when girls read comic books just as much as boys. At any angle you look at it, the Golden Age is Significant, and all arguments about it come down to hair-splitting over dates.
The "Dark Age", on the other hand, smells of cruft. Wet, smelly, insular, cruftacular crufty cruft. It has a level of significance that would require a couple of (well-cited) paragraphs in the American comic book article, sure. Any further elaboration would be best kept to the articles of the books and characters that took part in the "Dark Age". Something along the lines of an explanation of the trend, tagged with something like: "Wizard magazine and uthors such as Joe Bleaux have called this trend "the Dark Age"..." But an article called Dark Age of Comic Books would be embarrasingly insular POV, no matter how many books or articles are written about it. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 01:16, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
And, just for the record, I think the existence (aside from actual content) of the "Modern Age of Comic Books" article itself is extremely problematic, and should be torpedoed. It's far more subjective and POV than even a "Dark Age" article would be. Basically its entire contents will have to be evicted thirty years from now when it's no longer considered recent enough to be "modern". CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 01:23, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not just one book. From 2006, 2006, 2003, 2008, and 2012, respectively. Argento Surfer (talk) 17:35, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not the one who said it was one book. That was WesleyDodds. I was the one who said it didn't matter how many books referred to the "Dark Age", it wasn't a basis for the title of the article as it only referred to a trend, and ignores the piles and piles of comic books from the same chronological period that didn't take part in the trend. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 23:06, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
As much as I respect Curly Turkey, who is an exemplary editor, and as much as I hate unnecessary labels, I'd have to go with another fine editor, Argento Surfer, on this one. I've heard the term in general usage for years, unlike things like "Chromium" or "Tin" or "Aluminum" or whatever. I hear Curly's argument that not all comics were "dark," but no term can possibly encompass everything in a category; I'm sure there were comics in the Golden Age that were less than golden in terms of both quality and sales. The fact is that there was a pervasive mood in the highest-selling, highest-profile comics of the time, and numerous knowledgeable writers in the niche press have used the term. I think whether we like the term or not — I'm not wild for it, to be honest — I think we have to recognize that it is in general use within the field. --Tenebrae (talk) 23:02, 23 November 2012 (UTC)
A couple of issues with that:
  1. The "Golden Age" in no way refers to the quality of what was produced at the time. In fact, I'm sure there are plenty of people that would argue the average quality of writing and artwork were superior in the Silver Age, but nobody would dream of renaming the Silver Age tot he Golden Age. It is patterned after the old cliché in which a Golden Age is followed by a Silver, Bronze, etc...The pre-Golden age isn't labeled Platinum because of a consensus that Funnies on Parade or Famous Funnies were superior to Walt Disney's Comics and Stories or Two-Fisted Tales. Certainly nobody sees these proto-comics as being more "precious" than what followed. The naming merely "logically" follows the precious metal cliché.
  2. One of the most infamous events of the "Dark Age" was the speculator bubble, which drove sales so far beyond actual readership that those numbers should be discounted entirely as a measure of the books' significance. I mean, how many people actually opened the pre-sealed bag to X-Force #1, let alone read it? Does anyone believe that its 5 million sales (of a book with five covers) translated to a number even close to 5 million readers? Several sources I've seen claim it would have only sold 750,000–1,000,000 (because of the multiple covers), and even that number would have been massively higher than the actual number of readers.
  3. There is a tendency to use Direct Market numbers for sales. Archie Comics in particular is typically sold outside the Direct Market (like in supermarkets and convenience stores). Further, their comics are sold mainly to non-collectors and, as is typical of newsstand publications (magazines, newspapers, pre-Direct Market comic books), their readership tends to be higher (often significantly higher) than unit sales, in stark contrast to the double-bagged, nerds-only, don't-breath-on-my-comics! collectors' world of the Direct Market.
I have other issues with basing these things purely on sales figures, but I'll save that ammunition for another day. I'll reiterate: the "Dark Age" was significant—not writing about it would be a huge mistake—but labeling the whole period in an article title that way would be strictly POV. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 02:24, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Not to be pedantic, but just so not to be misunderstood, I agree with you, of course, that "The 'Golden Age' in no way refers to the quality of what was produced at the time." It refers to the massive sales. My metaphoric point included quantity: Just as not every comic in what some call the Dark Age was dark, not every Golden Age comic had the kind of massive sales that made the period seem golden.
Sales figures of 750,000 to one million are actually incredibly good. I remember being up at Marvel when the first issue of Spider-Man 2099 sold a million copies, and they literally opened up at least one bottle of Champagne for editor Joe Cavalieri. Taking just figures like that into account and not the higher claims, that's still a lot of comics.
I'd forgotten to mention something earlier that I'd meant to: The "dark" comics of this time had by far the most impact in the mainstream press, which was writing about The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen and Maus. I'm sure Archie Comics had high sales, and so did The Amazing Spider-Man, but no one was writing about them (outside of the Peter-Mary Jane wedding stunt at Shea Stadium and the black costume). Cultural impact has to be considered, and the general impression of comics in mainstream media at that time really was one of "grim and gritty" heroes such as Wolverine and the Punisher, and of the brutal "death of Superman."
All this said, I'm not sure we even need a label for comics past the Bronze Age. People talk about the Golden Age of Advertising, for example, without there being a Silver Age or a Bronze Age of Advertising. But it never hurts to look at something from as many angles as possible. --Tenebrae (talk) 05:54, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I have to strongly disagree about the Golden Age being primarily about sales. It was a time of experimentation and consolidation of forms and vacabulary of the American comic book. Just take a look at that frist Superman story from 1938—awkward, and in the form of a comic strip, as there was so little precendent of stories in the comic book form. By the end of the Golden Age (pick an arbitrary year—say, 1955 or 1959) and pretty much all the major components that make a comic book a comic book are all in place, built on the precedents laid down by giants like Eisner, Kirby, Barks and Kurtzman, as well as hundreds of other journyman practitioners fumbling around until they found an effective way to communicate. That there is at least as significant as (if not more than) sheer sales.
As I've said, the "Dark Age" was certainly a significant trend that needs to be documented (with loads of refs!), but it certainly wasn't the defining trend of the time. Creators' rights, for instance, had a huge impact at the time, from the Ninja Turtles to the founding of Image. Sci-fi manga, autoerotic autobiographical alternative comics, fantasy epics (à la Cerebus, Bone, Thieves and Kings), the shift in consciousness towards serialization-as-a-means-to-a-graphic-novel-end, etc etc etc. As an "era", it would have to cover all the significant trends of the era—most of which weren't "dark", or were only tangentially so. Which is why I say document it as part of an article, but keep it out of the article title. As Tenebrae says above, there really is no pressing need to label "eras", anyways. And as I said way, way above, we really, really, really don't need to "spin off" any new articles when the article-as-is is already in such deplorable disarray.
(Looking back on what I've written, I realize I probably come off as abrasive. I apologize if I do (chalk it up to frustration), but I know myself well enough to know that I can't promise that I won't continue writing in the same manner.) CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 07:29, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I agree not all books during the period were dark. I agree there were other issues important to the period, like speculators and creators rights. An article about the period would definately need to include material about those issues. But the only common name I see for the 1980-2000ish period is "Dark". If we don't use that label, what would you suggest? "Golden" to "Silver" to "1980s-2000s"? Argento Surfer (talk) 15:21, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, as I've been saying all along, I don't see the need for a split in the first place. I think a split should be contingent on the article being cleaned up and properly referenced. Then, and only then, if the article's length proves too unwieldy, should a split even be considered. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 21:28, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Unreasonable fantasy[edit]

You know what I'd really like to see (and, honestly, what really needs to be done)? Someone (not me[a]) or some group of someones needs to do a History of Amercian comic books from scratch, following strictly what can be found in reliable sources (there is no lack of them, so there's really no excuse—here's a whole whopping whack of 'em).

Then (and only then), those periods of American comic book history that proven themselves to be too unmanageable for the main article could be spun off (obviously this would happen with the Golden Age and Bronze Age...personally, I wonder if the "Bronze Age" would even make it). Anything else should be a redirect.

I'm talking about an article stripped of all the endless lists, speculation, editorializing and fan cruft that plague these articles as they stand. These articles need focus, organization, and references, references, references ("4. ^ (see Batman #500)."?!? ⇐←←←≪ Is this an April Fool's prank? That's 11% of the "references" for the entire page!).

Do people do those "collaboration of the month" things any more? How many people would really commit themselves without flaking out? I would think this kind of thing was a "Top" priority project for the Project—I mean, it's only the history of the medium and all.

  1. ^ My interests lie in alternative comics and early comic strips—currently cleaning up the deplorable travesty that is the Harvey Kurtzman-related pages.

CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 03:25, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

That sounds alot like the American comic book page we already have. Argento Surfer (talk) 14:56, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
Obviously you're being sarcastic. Despite extensive surgery I did to that very page earlier this year, it still suffers from most of the problems I listed above. For instance, its embarrassing lack of references. Of the 21 inlines listed in the reference section, 14 (two thirds!) were added by me. The last five entire sections are entirely cite-free. In the "surgery" mentioned above, I completely rewrote the lead, as it was nothing but OR, making ridiculously unsupportable claims like "Sales of comic books began to decline after World War II"...sales of comic books actually rose significantly during this period, peaking out in 1952 with a total circulation of over on billion comic books, a feat that would never be matched again, and at a point when a mere handful of superhero books were just barely managing to survive. I guess it's not surprising to see this kind of OR, though, as the section that deals with this period is called "Superheroes and the Golden Age". To the superhero fan who first wrote this section, I suppose the post-War period was a sort of Dark Ages.
All this garbage needs to be scrapped and rewritten following the souces available. As I pointed out above, there are a metric ton of reliable sources online, and plenty offline as well. The American comic book article has been around for over eight years. I have to wonder why it's so unreasonable to get WikiProject Comics together to put together a decent article on a subject that is core to the Project. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 23:02, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I guess I should've said more. I meant it was similar in terms of what it would try to contain, not what the page currently is. I thought it might be easier to clean up the current page instead of starting over from scratch. Argento Surfer (talk) 14:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Six of one, half-dozen of the other. It would still amount to a near-complete rewrite of the article. Yes, yes it is that bad. CüRlyTüRkeyTalkContribs 01:18, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Verb tense and diction[edit]

Erm… why is the lede written in past tense if this age lasts “until present day”? And wouldn’t it be better to say it’s ongoing or current or something? That wording kinda makes it sound like it’s ending tomorrow. —Frungi (talk) 07:09, 26 February 2013 (UTC)