It's Undeniable, Old Comic Books Suck

It's Undeniable, Old Comic Books Suck

If you've ever read an old comic, you'd probably agree


I know this might be heresy, but it's a fact. Old comic books are really really bad.

And I'm not saying this as an occasional reader...I've been avidly collecting comics for well over a decade. I began with Dark Horse, then mingled with DC, but inevitably stuck with Marvel as my main publisher. I still read story arcs from other companies (I loved Infinite Crisis from DC, and I'm a huge fan Dark Horse's Star Wars titles), but Marvel does so much with their characters, and Marvel does it all incredibly well!!! I've loved most everything they've done, from "Avengers: Disassembled" to "Fear Itself", even the now increasingly unremarkable Ultimate Universe.

The past decade has been amazing for writers and illustrators. They've created these great tapestries of artwork that rival all other forms of medium for critical acclaim. Matt Fraction, J.M.S., Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubacker, Mark Millar, Bryan Hitch, John Romita Jr....these are the heavyweights of Marvel comics, and their works are incomparable. They've created a realistic, relatable world of super-heroes and super-villains. The ancient ways of terrible inner monologues and sloppy, awkward conversations are gone (Unless your Jeph Loeb and your sole purpose in life is to ruin the Hulk). But beyond all this, the artwork is phenomenal. Frames are no longer boringly assembled, left to right, nine to a page (except for Captain America). They're dynamic and engaging. Characters aren't bound to tiny boxes, but leap from the page in a great variety of techniques.
(I'm sorry, but not even the best, older story arcs, not even "Secret War" can compete with this)

Admittedly, there are a bunch of great comics hidden in the deep recesses of the superhero filled past. Of course, all the comics from Stan Lee's 1960's revolution deserve unending praise. Jack Kirby, John Buscema, Romita Sr...all of these men were Silver Age gods. They created our modern favorites, and in the process, redefined the superhero genre. But these men are the exception. As much pleasure as I get from reading the first run of "Silver Surfer" or the first issues of "Dr. Strange", their later stories are really, really lackluster.

("Demon in a Bottle" you're a noble, notable exception!!!)

It seems, at least to me, that the big change happened in the 1980's. Artwork became more dynamic and writing became more founded. This was a revolution in comics, not as great as Lee's Marvelous 60's, but still significant. The 80's gave us Chris Claremont and John Byrne's unfailingly epic run on "The Uncanny X-Men". "Days of Future Past" was a landmark story that would forever change the landscape of comics, and undoubtedly inspire Alan Moore's dark, noire odyssey "Watchmen". Frank Miller transformed Marvel's Man Without Fear with his run on "Daredevil" and released "The Dark Knight Returns" for DC. These stories changed the scope of comics and led the charge into a new, more relatable medium.

I know some people may completely, and perhaps violently disagree with me. But honestly, who can remember Denny O'Neil's run on "Iron Man"? How about Bill Mantlo's work with the "Hulk"? Sal Buscema's artwork is cool and all, but does it make you say 'whoa'? These comic story arc are iconic and that nostalgic way...the same way that Happy Meals were once the most delicious assembly of culinary treats in the entire galaxy!!! But not anymore.
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Member Since 2/25/2011
Filed Under "Other" 5/26/2011 Source: royaltenebaum
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PartyHard - 5/26/2011, 10:46 PM
Your opinion isn't a fact, actually.
PartyHard - 5/26/2011, 11:02 PM

They can be far more entertaining then new ones, due to the sheer silliness of them. So yes, I occasionally find old comics more entertaining. Silver age DC is just about the most entertaining comics you can find in my opinion. But I go on a comic by comic basis. I don't generalize whole eras of comics.
CBK - 5/26/2011, 11:24 PM
This should be retitled "It's Undeniable, Old Marvel Comic Books Suck." DC had very consistent, well written books throughout most of the later golden age and during the entire silver age.
CBK - 5/26/2011, 11:29 PM
@RoyalTenenbaum You think Bronze Age comics are old?!?!? Damn, I'm only 18 and even I know that's foolish.
JBatesyFilmreviews - 5/26/2011, 11:47 PM
The old comics are classics!! I could sit for hours just going through old Ditko Spiderman's-- they were the fricking best!!
JacobMc - 5/26/2011, 11:55 PM
how is this news
Rhys - 5/27/2011, 12:12 AM
I've been reading the Marvel Masterworks comics don't got Sh!t on them! Marvel's original run in the 60's is just incredible, the artwork beautiful and the stories compelling. Sure, the dialogue is fairly unrealistic...but it is comic book dialogue, just like film dialogue is truly unrealistic, but it is excused because it is in the medium of film.

The old stuff has heart. The new stuff...rarely ever. New comics try too hard to be "gritty" and "realistic", whereas old comics are sincere. I have read some phenomenal modern comics, there are definitely great ones today, but they don't outclass the oldies, and the old comics certainly don't suck in comparison.

The quote the correct PartyHard, your opinion is indeed not fact. You may enjoy "contemporary" comics because they come from the same time as you, but some of us actually enjoy quality stuff from way back when because modern isn't always better.

I'll take comics with Heart over many of today's comics.

Long Live The Oldies!!! :D
MrLoki - 5/27/2011, 1:49 AM
LEEE777 - 5/27/2011, 1:55 AM
What SH1T is this???

Thats like saying NEW STAR WARS is better than CLASSIC???

There are good comics today but theres a hell of a lot of crap too!
Orphix - 5/27/2011, 1:57 AM
Ah - you play devil's advocate!! And others look through rose tinted spectacles into the past.

The bottom line is every era has it's great comics and awful ones. And you have to take in the context of what was happening in the world when these comics were published. Taking a story out of the era has a dramatic effect. Some appear timeless and classic whilst others date badly even if they had something to say at the time.

However if you are looking for beautifully written, subtextual dialogue in early comics then you're alway gonna be dissapointed - but then that was never their point.

jimoakley666 - 5/27/2011, 2:47 AM
It's swings and roundabouts. I loved Claremont's take on the X-Men back in the early 80's. But going back and rereading them I often get pissed off by the constant gratuitous sermonic inner monologues which feel like a novel in a thought balloon. It's like he couldn't rely on the artist OR the reader to make the leap and follow the story.

And then you have Grant Morrison's X-Men where it zipped along, was very contained and felt like a Chris Nolan blockbuster. Smart AND sexy.
WeekendAvenger - 5/27/2011, 3:42 AM
1) That is an opinion, not a fact.
2) Civil War was by no means a good arc.
3) Captain America Comics are some of the best today thanks to Brubaker's run.
4)And Lee is right about the star wars thing
5) Just woke up and this article ruined my day.
HULK2099 - 5/27/2011, 3:42 AM
Old ones are more entertaining, new ones are more epics
RexDartEskimoSpy - 5/27/2011, 3:50 AM
When you say things like "I loved Infinite Crisis," your opinion means very little to me.
Oniro70 - 5/27/2011, 3:53 AM
You states these opinions which translate into "I got into comics 10 years ago and other stuff sucks." You sound like a teen in ANY decade who think his music of the day is the "only"

As to comments like "best, older story arcs, not even "Secret War" can compete with this" Secret Wars was hardly the best of the 80s and you overrate Civil War. Crisis on Infinite Earth's art blows your example away. I'll put Miller's Daredevil or Simonson's Thor against Civil War any day.

I'll be honest, I can't stand DC silver age. Marvel is cool. I wouldn't bash it all like you do. Keep in mind it was written for a younger audience, where today writes for older or multiple age groups.

I do like many modern books and feel it's a strong time now. But like music, the industry goes through ups and downs.

and I LIKED Mantlo's Hulk AND his run on Rom.
Oniro70 - 5/27/2011, 4:01 AM
But if you want to be ultra critical...INFINITE CRISIS? Come had a guy "punch" the time stream. PUNCH and change history.

I can't decide which is a dumber way to change a book premise- "punch" the time line, or Spidey "deal with a devil that erases my marriage"

McGuinnes' art is nice...but the Red Hulk "punching" the Watcher made no sense (modern books like to "punch" things I guess)

I still say Stan Lee/Steve Ditko Spider-man stands up for kid and adults as a good read. I do like Bendis, but found the Ultimate rebook pointless if the attempt was to get to new kids.

AND...does Wolverine need to be in 3 team books and his solo books? Ditto on Spider-man.

Something else that sucks in modern books - the damn CROSSOVERS every other week. Come many "major changes" events do we really need? Why do they have to zig zag to so many titles? If we have an event in Iron Man...lets contain it in Iron Man...not have part 2 in Avengers, Part 3 in Fantastic Four, etc. If you don't get the trade it's a pain in the ass to hunt these chapters down.
CorndogBurglar - 5/27/2011, 7:23 AM
old comics only suck if you weren't a fan back in the day and then try to read them now.

back then, comics were definately geared more towards kids. they were hokey, and the dialogue was laughable. but back then it wasn't, it was the norm.

comics have evolved over the years and are geared toward adults now, for the most part. but you can't deny the old comics though, they're classics. i love going back and reading old stories like Infinity Gauntlet, Secret Wars, and Fall of the Mutants, Inferno, the list could go on and on. its the nostalgia factor, y'know?
BIGBMH - 5/27/2011, 7:50 AM
Strong words. IMO, New stuff kicks the crap out of everything old I've read. We could all debate the merits of old and new, but bottom line, it's all about taste.

Personally, while I don't enjoy old as much, I enjoy being able to getthat history. I'm reading through Avengers now and I'm at about issue 13. It doesn't really pull me in as much as new stuff and the art isn't as fun to look at, but I'm looking forward t seeing the evolution and how things progress.


"1) That is an opinion, not a fact.
2) Civil War was by no means a good arc."

That is an opinion, not a fact. Just making sure we're not doing any double standards here.

While most of it is subjective, I don't quite understand how people can say argue that old art is better. Modern comic art is much more diverse, even if you don't like a particular style. But seriously, how many of you think the older version is really BETTER here?

The angles, the colors, and the detail of the second blow the first away. The first is iconic and will always be a much more significant picture, which is why it has been recreated so many times, like what is seen above. But in terms of sheer quality, the second is better by objective means of judgement.
jjmeylar - 5/27/2011, 8:14 AM
Honestly: almost everything before the 80's was too cheesy for even the cheesiest person from Wisconsin.
CoolioVids - 5/27/2011, 9:30 AM
gotta love campy
superotherside - 5/27/2011, 9:31 AM
i say that they are both awesome reading! get over it guys... everyone has an opinion...
BlueMex - 5/27/2011, 9:40 AM
Both times have there good and bad and realizing that Old Comics sometimes can only work in there own time. Im sure if you were born when old comics came out you would loved them! same today we like more our modern time comics. Who is to say 40 years from now next generation thinks our comics suck. ??
Dmon - 5/27/2011, 12:21 PM
Well you have your opinion and I do not agree but some of is true depending on the era and who was writing and the editor. Don't much care for the Marvel slant you have in this article and I can tell you with me that in the late 90's The Clone Saga in Spiderman and The Onslaught saga in X-Men and across the Marvel Universe killed Marvel for me. Though the Clone Saga was worse for me, Onslaught was the final nail in the coffin.
DC1MARVEL - 5/27/2011, 12:25 PM
My only problem with old comics is that thhey state the obvious waaay too much
Dmon - 5/27/2011, 12:25 PM
@ELgUaSoN if you are talking about the Batman Inc stuff I agree but now Marvel is doing it with Captain America. And even though I have not read it but read about it the stuff they have been putting Spiderman/Peter Parker through the last few years sounds like crap to me.
manymade1 - 5/27/2011, 12:44 PM
WTF????!!!???? The New comics can't even touch the old ones. Sure the old ones could be more campy, but they were so much better.

Especially some of Marvels current crap including: X-Men, Spider-Man, etc.
Choppaholic26 - 5/27/2011, 1:55 PM
Psychology to the rescue!!

Rosy Retrospection.

The reason why people will always say today's safer cars suck compared to the old deathtraps. Why pac man is better than games like Mass Effect today. And that a type writer is better than using Word 2011.

Old comics suck. And when i'm older my kids will be asking me how I could read the crap comics from my day.

So kindly...

luckylu - 5/27/2011, 2:00 PM
uhh really? this is stupid and stop acting like your opinion is fact.
JackDexx - 5/28/2011, 12:19 PM
hipster douche bags
GoblinBomber - 5/28/2011, 2:50 PM
i'll be the first to say that old comics are probably the corniest things ever to be printed, but i mean thats classic gold. i guess to each his own, i love the originals. in like 30 years the civil war is gonna be looked at as corny. but good article brah brah! i can tell you put your opinion and hard work into it. thumbs up
Hawksblueyes - 5/28/2011, 5:15 PM
I would stand Claremont, Wolfman, Shooter, and Starlin against any of the writers you're praising up above and I would also stand Byrne, Perez, Starlin and Adams against any of the artists.

Today's comics may be "different" in style but that by no means makes them any "better.

If it wasn't for those guys I mentioned X-Men and everything that came since Giant Size #1 would be non existent. They were a shelved property.

If it wasn't for some of those names I mentioned, anything involving the Teen Titans would still be a dead issue. Wolfman and Perez brought them back from a long retirement due to lack of interest.

If it wasn't for a few of those guys above the Marvel cosmic universe would be a dead issue.

Shooter, Perez and Byrne brought The Avengers from an also ran team to the prominent go to Marvel protectors that they have remained as for the last 40 years.

I don't even want to get into the cast of characters they created but I will list a few of Wolfmans alone. You tell me how different the comic community would be without these guys.
Black Cat
Hannibal King
Robin (Tim Drake)

seamuskeaneart - 5/31/2011, 3:32 AM
Marvel are the MTV of comic book companies.
nuck82 - 5/31/2011, 7:14 AM
wow, this is bullshit, i love old comic books.

and all the pics that ncreb posted was from a articel on CBR.COM about the silliest stuff on comics back in the day. and it wasnt even a full page of pictures like that, sooo, your welcome

oh and if you like the Ultimate Universe, then you sir fail, im sorry
selinakyle - 5/31/2011, 8:12 AM
What a very rude and disrespectful article. Slap yourself!
jonedc - 6/6/2011, 12:06 PM
Did we all forget that it was the beginning so they had to learn through trial and error what worked and what didn't work. You go from xmen in the 60's to xmen late 70's with the phoenix saga simply brilliant!
GhostRiderRules - 6/29/2011, 10:54 AM
I have to disagree. Old comics might be campier, but they had creativity and imagination. I'd rather read Tomb of Dracula than Bendis' banal run on Avengers.

Realism in comic books suck. All it does is stagnate stories and make characters more generic.

The art is better, but honestly I'd rather they'd go back to the paper of the 80's and lower the prices on comics.
MysterioMaximus - 10/22/2011, 10:17 PM
Old Comics > Modern Comics. If it wasn't for the classics, you wouldn't have the recycled and uninspired garbage you have today.

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