4 comments on “The Modern Age(s)

  1. I love your post. Your thoughts on the subject are clear, well thought out and well articulated. I’ve often thought about this subject but I don’t have the insight to the modern age of comics that you do. As much as I enjoyed what you have said about the modern age, I would disagree with what you have said about the past ages. I’ve written about the copper age (and bronze age) in my blog – http://thegreatcomicbookheroes.blogspot.com/2014/07/re-thinking-copper-age-of-comics.html
    I believe that the ages are misunderstood and misrepresented by most of our comics historians. I believe that we go through a new age every 10 years or so starting with Action Comics #1 in 1938. Your ideas about the modern age wonderfully coincide with this theory I have. There was a very big break in the comics of the 90’s with that of the new millennia, the bankruptcy of Marvel (and the Heroes Reborn storyline) where all of Marvel’s titles were farmed out to Image Comics. In 1998 the titles were started over again like Busiek/Perez Avengers, which started in 1998. So I would say that the Iron Age happened from 1987 (with Moore and Miller largely leaving mainstream comics after they finished their masterpieces, the Watchmen an Dark Knight) to 1997 to the restarting of all of Marvel’s titles In 1998.
    Your insights into the modern age are very valuable and well thought out and I appreciate them. To add to your theory, I’d say that one of the driving forces in comics in the last decade has been Bendis, starting with his run on the hugely popular Ultimate Spider-Man, continuing with his run on Daredevil and then going on into his reenvisioning the Avengers into the new Avengers. DC on their side did Infinite Crisis to Dark Reign.
    So while I really appreciate your thoughts on the modern age, I would suggest you rethink the previous ages a bit instead of relying on outdated ideas of the ages.

    • Thanks for commenting. I think you make an excellent point. I agree that comic eras seem to naturally trend more towards 10-12 years than 15. In fact in early drafts of this post I was trying to describe something more like what you talk about in the post you linked. I let it go in order to focus more on the post-crisis periods which were my primary topic, because honestly I felt like I was getting lost down a rat hole talking at too much length about periods in comics that I’m not as familiar with as I’d like to be.

      It’s a topic I’m going to have to revisit in more depth in the future.

      Bendis has definitely been a core writer that people will remember from the past decade in comics, but I see him more as a writer whose greatest influence will be felt 10 or 15 years from now, as a generation of readers who grew up reading Ultimate Spider-Man mature and start creating their own comics.

      • “Bendis has definitely been a core writer that people will remember from the past decade in comics, but I see him more as a writer whose greatest influence will be felt 10 or 15 years from now, as a generation of readers who grew up reading Ultimate Spider-Man mature and start creating their own comics.”

        Yes because that’s how it always works as was the case with Frank Miller and Alan Moore. Though people appreciated them in their time, no one had sufficiently assimilated their work until last decade in people like Bendis, Brubaker and Rucka. So, yes, it will probably take another 15 years for people to be able to assimilate them into their work. What in your opinion is his masterpiece?

        • I hesitate to pick, mostly because I haven’t read Powers. Yes, I know it’s a major oversight on my part. I don’t know if it’s his “masterpiece”, but if I had to level a guess I would say he’ll be most remembered for Ultimate Spider-Man.

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