The King of the World, as Far as I Know

A hot topic in the comics blogosphere last week was “What were the best superhero comics of the 1990s, and were even the best ones any, um, good?” It’s a good thing the comics blogosphere took up this topic because I couldn’t tell you: I gafiated right through the decade, except for a brief fling with the early America’s Best Comics line. Which, I suppose, is the kind of thing one would say, but it happened just that way. What I was reading about the superhero-comics genre in the media was dire enough to keep me from re-engaging, particularly the deaths (for certain values of death) of Superman and the Jason Todd Robin. Somewhere I picked up a few issues of Daredevil written by DG Chichester: they and he seem to have passed from the memory of the hobby, but I liked them pretty well. But overall, I got no clue, so you should go to the people who were paying attention.

Dick Hyacinth kicks things off, tossing out the idea that there were no worthwhile superhero comics in the decade to warm up for an attack on part of Grant Morrison and Howard Porter’s tenure on JLA. In a separate post, he shoots down some of the decade’s standard canon. (Contains a lengthy comment thread with people’s enthusiasms.)

Tom Spurgeon offers a big long list of “half-way decent or well-regarded” books. It offers breadth rather than depth (there’s no appraisal).

Tim O’Neill goes the other way, offering lengthy appreciations of his Top Five, along with meditations on the social and psychological effects of long immersion in the hobby. (By implication, he thinks a decade’s gafiation here and there is a good idea.)


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