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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