Feb 17 2012

2000s Superheroes

Published by at 7:48 pm under Superhero Stories

If you were reading or watching a superhero story twenty or thirty years from now, what would be a giveaway that the story’s from 2000-10?  (What about contemporary superhero stories do you think is most likely to go badly out of style?)

 

For example, if you were reading a 1990s story, one of the giveaways would be if the guys have long, unkempt hair and that characters are introduced with names like Harvest or Lady Deathstrike.  More 1990s superhero trends here.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “2000s Superheroes”

  1. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2012 at 8:09 pm

    –Any references to the war on terror or real-life terrorist groups. I expect we’ll continue to see (small, relatively quiet) terrorist attacks in the decades to come, but I doubt these would affect popular culture as much as the September 11 attacks did.

    –References to football? Granted, it’s very possible that football will continue to be far and away the most popular U.S. sport in 2030 or 2040 or whenever. 30 years ago, baseball was the most popular U.S. sport, and now it’s so far behind football and basketball that I’d probably check the year of publication if a story used baseball in a way that wasn’t obviously nostalgic.

  2. B. McKenzieon 17 Feb 2012 at 8:28 pm

    –I think contemporary comics are SLIGHTLY more realistic when it comes to depicting human anatomy. In contrast, the 1990s were, ahem, a bit less subtle.

    –China as the force of the future. I think that Americans (especially) constantly fret about being overtaken–there was a lot of anxiety about the impending ascendance of the Soviet Union, West Germany and Japan, maybe the United Nations, maybe the EU at one point, and now China. I’m skeptical. If you’re interested in discussing hukou*, regional income disparity, banking issues or demographic trends, let me know. Otherwise, I’ll just leave it at that.

    *Oh God, that sounds so wrong.

  3. RCon 18 Feb 2012 at 6:14 am

    ^ Have you read Code Geass?

    That’s almost exactly what happened in the Manga.

  4. Cuddleson 18 Feb 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Like B. Mac mentioned in the last installment with names like Invincible, there’s a lot of Silver Age-sounding names (names intended to sound more positive and majestic) that use the Dark Age nomenclature (one word names).

    Proposed names for this current period are Neo-Silver Age, the Diamond Age, and the Platinum Age, because in some ways, it’s like a shinier version of the Silver Age. I would see works like Identity Crisis, All-Star Superman, Civil War and House of M to be some of the defining events of this era, which is characterized by a return to mainstream characters (as opposed to Dark Age creations like Cable and Lobo) and a push for a larger moral spectrum in dealing with superheroes (especially with Civil War and the whole Identity Crisis bit).

    Other trends would be an increase in pushing old school characters to the forefront, such as the fact that Spidey and Wolverine are now Avengers and how Cyborg replaced the Martian Manhunter in Justice League for maximum recognizability (as well as the newly-resurrected Hal and Barry replacing their less generic counterparts).

    As a result, there is also a boom in new characters really taking off with independent publishers (such as Invincible, Scott Pilgrim, and that one guy from Chew).

    Finally, there would be a lot of Hollywoodization of comics with “widescreen” horizontal doublepage spreads (particularly with stuff like the Authority) and indy projects that seem more fit for Blu-Ray and frou-frou hardcover collected editions than vehicles of serial storytelling.

    And of course, more watered down not-quite-as-creative-as-comics adaptations of superheroic concepts in film/TV (I’m not a fan of Heroes) and unfortunately, a lot of novels as well (like Soon I Will Be Invincible).

  5. B. McKenzieon 19 Feb 2012 at 1:25 am

    “As a result, there is also a boom in new characters really taking off with independent publishers (such as Invincible, Scott Pilgrim, and that one guy from Chew).” I like Invincible quite a lot, and Image in general, but I don’t think independent characters have done as well over the past 10 years as they did in the 1990s. For example, Image’s share of the comics distributed by Diamond to comic bookstores has slipped from about 15% in the late 1990s to about 5% today.

    The best-selling title in 1994 was Spawn-Batman (Image/DC). The best-selling title in 1997 was Darkness (Image). In 1998 it was Fathom (Image). In 1999 it was Tomb Raider (Image). From 2000 to the present, every annual best-selling comic book has been Marvel or DC (and usually an event comic).



    That said, there have been some bright spots, notably Walking Dead and Invincible.

  6. BenLuke-116on 20 Feb 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Comics from the late 90’s and the 00’s are a lot less bombastic with their color then during the Silver and Dark Ages, primarily do to advances in computer coloring.
    Superhero comics have more variance in tones then the constant silliness of the Silver Age or the er- darkness of the Dark Age.
    More event series with loads of tie-ins that may or may not be need to understand the story.
    Collecting comics in trade paperbacks or hardbacks became more common, leading to more drawn out stories written with the collected edition in mind.

  7. Wayneon 24 Feb 2012 at 8:09 am

    Some of the elements showing up in the DCnU are throwbacks to an earlier time, specifically:

    Sunglasses, esp. small or round or colored sunglasses, worn all the time.

    Large dense sideburns on men, often descending along the jawlines. At least the neckbeard hasn’t caught on among the superhero set.

    Dense obvious stubble. Not five-o-clock shadow but 3-4-days-without-a-shave. Green Arrow, I’m looking at you. Of course, that’s still better than the Van Dyke.

    Jackets over skintights.

    Things I’m not seeing: Very short haircuts on men, esp young men. Tattoos; they’re not just for hookers anymore. No male jewelry or accessories, ever, except a wedding ring now and again.

    Jaime (Blue Beetle) has some chin stubble like a youth his age might wear. Protector (Marvel Boy/Noh-Varr) gained and lost his absurdly full and furry soul patch within a handspan of issues. Jimmy Olsen’s look has entered the 21st century, especially since his depiction in his one-shot a year or so ago, and with the revamp.

  8. B. McKenzieon 24 Feb 2012 at 1:34 pm

    “No male jewelry or accessories, ever, except a wedding ring now and again.” Or a watch, for characters such as Bruce Wayne. Besides that, men don’t wear much in the way of jewelry or accessories. (Cufflinks? Thematic necklaces like a cross or a personal memento?)



    Jackets over skintights. For some reason that reminds me of the Metropolis Kid.

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