The 90’s were a creatively rich time for comic books no matter how you look at them. However, at a certain point there were simply too many ideas thrown at the wall, which led to the bankruptcy of Marvel, the homicidal rampage of Green Lantern, and more crossovers than many could possibly bear. While the infamous decade seems so close in modern proximity, the period is over twenty years old. After a staggering two decades, creative tropes from the 90’s are finally being fully utilized. Everywhere in comics the trends are easy to spot when shining taking a closer look on comic book companies like Valiant and Image, which are thriving in the space of modern comic books. Many fans who take the medium of Comics more seriously may just dismiss these tropes as being terrible, simply because they are from previous decades. Based on that false assumption, here are five Comic Book tropes from the 90’s that thrive in the modern age.
Prophet was a character conceived in the Youngblood title created by Rob Liefeld. The character was originally set to make his debut in X-Force #6, before Marvel had their falling out with the titular artist and the other Image creators. Liefeld saw more potential in the character and gave him his own series that lasted twelve issues. Chuck Dixon rose the series from the ashes for eight issues.
The X-Force team was originally a grown up version of the New Mutants team. This new version was more violent, due to the fact that it was led by the mutant Cable. Under the art of Liefeld, the title grew immensely popular and became one of the highest sellers at Marvel. When the artist left at issue #9 the popularity of the title quickly fell. The title lit the industry on fire and faded away within the course of a year.
Writer Rick Remender remembers the decade that plagued Comic Books, while drawing on all of the elements that made them great. Characters like Deadpool, Wolverine, and Psylocke grew extremely popular in the 90’s for all the wrong reasons. With a restrained writing style and a great sense of plot, this title became one of the truly great titles that Marvel was publishing throughout its run from 2010 to 2012. Remender has a clean #35 issue run that features the spectacle and beauty missing from the 90’s incarnation of the team. Indie writer Sam Humphries has now taken over the title and has continued chronicling the characters with a fresh and exciting take.
Image has remained relevant since its inception in 1992. The company created comic book series like Spawn, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, The Darkness, Invincible, and The Walking Dead. While the publisher has launched many well established franchises, the quality of the publisher in the 90’s had many highs and lows in terms of the writing. This period in comics was based purely on the artwork of the creators.
Throughout the tenure at Image, one staple of the company has remained; the creators own the properties there. At first, Image only attracted great artists, yet now many fantastic independent creators are flocking to the company in droves with titles such as Chew, Happy, The Manhattan Projects, Saga, Revival, It Girl And The Atomics, and The Legend Of Luthor Strode. The company is bursting at the brim with wonderfully creative titles that publishing imprints like Vertigo used to have. With all of these new properties, Image is now more relevant and successful than ever, The Walking Dead is also a massive franchise due to the television show.
The X-Men became a true monster in the sales charts in 1991, due to a number one issue that had a massive buzz. The title sold 3 million copies and was written by the all-star creative team of Chris Claremont and drawn by Jim Lee. The X-Men retained a very high quality in the 80’s that was solid until the 90’s assaulted the comic book readers with X events.
The X-Men have had trouble spots throughout the 90’s and even the 2000’s but has only recently began to start a major upswing in sales and critical reception recently with the title All-New X-Men. The series has hit a creative stride in taking major leaps with concepts, ideas, and motivations of characters. While X-Men titles were off to a rocky start in 2010 the franchise is now in tremendous shape.
One man has remained prominent throughout the entirety of his comics origin. That man, of course, is Jim Starlin. The writer created characters that have remained relevant throughout the 2000’s. It is thanks to Starlin and company, the cosmic side of Marvel even exists. Marvel in the 90’s was truly all about The Infinity Gauntlet which was brought into fruition by the writer himself.
Even though the 90’s are coming back in a huge way in modern Comic Books it is not necessarily a bad thing!
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