5 Things We Don't Miss About '90s Comics (And 5 We Do)

Looking back on an unforgettable era. 

X-Men Jim Lee
Marvel Comics

The '90s were a polarising time in the world of comics. And while there may have been many divisive issues (no pun intended), they were anything but boring.

From massive changes to the comic universes themselves, perhaps even more tantalising were some of the behind-the-scenes shakeups that would change the trajectory of the industry forever.

For those growing up in that era, or even those who were well-established comic book fans, the decade was defined by an early rise the likes of which had never been seen before followed by a collapse so significant that one of the largest comic book publishers of all time very nearly blinked out of existence.

It was a decade that came with such an abundance with highs and lows, and, as such, it seems only appropriate to reflect on all the wonderful moments from a signature era in comics history, as well as some of its more regrettable foibles.

The following list isn't meant to overtly praise any one company or insult another, but rather to look at the trends at the time that both helped and hurt the industry as a whole. With that, let's look at a bygone era and see what worked, what didn't, and what influences comic books decades later.

10. Don't Miss - Death's Shock Value

X-Men Jim Lee
DC Comics

Arguably nothing sums up the '90s better than the advent of cash-grabs. At a time when the Big Two were experiencing significant financial issues, desperate times called for desperate measures. And as the saying goes: controversy creates cash.

DC was the first to really strike with this concept with 1993's Death of Superman arc, in which the Man of Steel was brutally beaten to death by the monstrous Doomsday. The actual event was covered by news outlets for its cultural significance, and the book sold an astounding six million copies.

Naturally Superman would return, but that kind of success demanded repeat offences. Throughout the decade, characters like Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Lex Luthor (twice!), Dr. Doom, and Wonder Woman all perished in one form or another. While the death toll was catastrophic, it was the rate at which these characters were returning that was truly alarming. Only Green Arrow stayed dead for the remainder of the decade, waiting all the way until 2000 before his resurrection.

This had been a bit of an issue before with Jean Grey's frequent death and return being infamous among readers, but this was the era in which death truly lost its impact upon comics fans an effect the industry still feels to this day.


A former Army vet who kept his sanity running D&D games for his Soldiers. I'll have a bit of D&D, pro wrestling, narrative-driven video games, and 80's horror movies, please and thank you.