Comical Definitions, Era & Formats (C,D,E,F)

A comics only as good as the format their in. what I mean is most comics are built for specific formats, you’ll never see Archie comics in a graphic novel. Or Spawn in a Sunday morning paper. 

Comic Book
Comic Strip/Digest Size /Digital Comics/Graphic Novel/Manga/Minicomic/Mobile Comic/Motion Comic/Original English/Sunday Comics/Topper/Trade Paperback 

 

Historical Era’s

Golden Age (superheros) Late 1930- early 1940’s These are considered the best days of comics with Superman Batman and Captain America and Wonder Woman all flying onto shelves. (Even tho Captain America and Batman can’t fly, let’s just assume they hitch a ride)

This is where comics pushed straight into the mainstream earning geek’s nerds and dweeb’s jobs as these generations first set of writers, artists, and editors. 

We know DC to be the ones that struck gold first with their set of superheros and “All-American Comics” Some of those heroes were: 

  • Batman
  • Robin
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Flash
  • Green Lantern
  • The Atom
  • Hawkman
  • Aquaman

It wouldn’t be til the 1940’s that Coke found there Pepsi in Marvel Comics with such heroes as: 

  • The Human Torch
  • The Sub- Mariner
  • Captain America
  • Spiderman
  • The Hulk
  • Daredevil
  • Ghost Rider
  • Doctor Strange

But to say this era was all heroes and foes would be wrong with World War II occupying the hearts and minds of all adult children turned to another hero Walt Disney for laughter. 

  • Mickey Mouse
  • Donald Duck
  • Roy Rogers
  • Tarzan

And even Archie comics made their dents in pop-culture 

Silver Age – 1950’s – 1970’s

  

Title Issue Publisher Relevance
Amazing Fantasy 15 Marvel First appearance of Spider-Man
Showcase 4 DC Comics First appearance of Barry Allen as the Flash
Fantastic Four 1 Marvel First appearance of the Fantastic Four
Amazing Spider-Man 1 Marvel Spider-Man gets his own series
The Incredible Hulk 1 Marvel First appearance of the Hulk
X-Men 1 Marvel First appearance of X-Men
Showcase 8 DC Comics Second Silver Age appearance of the Flash
Journey Into Mystery 83 Marvel First appearance of Thor
Showcase 9 DC Comics Lois Lane stars in her own adventure
The Flash 105 DC Comics First Flash comic book since Flash Comics was cancelled with issue #104
Tales of Suspense 39 Marvel First appearance of Iron Man
Brave and the Bold 28 DC Comics First appearance of the Justice League of America
Adventure Comics 247 DC Comics Superboy meets the Legion of Super-Heroes
Justice League of America 1 DC Comics First Issue
Showcase 22 DC Comics First appearance of Silver Age Green Lantern
Fantastic Four 5 Marvel First appearance of Dr. Doom
Tales to Astonish 27 Marvel First appearance of Hank Pym
Fantastic Four 2 Marvel Second appearance of the Fantastic Four, first appearance of the Skrulls
Green Lantern 1 DC Comics First issue
Amazing Spider-Man 2 Marvel First appearance of the Vulture
Action Comics 252 DC Comics First appearance of Kara “Supergirl” Zor-El

While the Golden Age is regarded as where the comic character was born, the Silver Age marks the approval of the writer and artists as those building the empire with:

Gold Writers 

  • Stan Lee       
  • Gardner Fox
  • Edmond Hamilton
  • John Broome
  • Robert Kanigher
     

 Gold Artists 

  • Jack Kirby
  • Gil Kane
  • Steve Ditko
  • Mike Sekowsky
  • Carmine Infantino
  • Curt Swan
  • John Buscema
  • John Romita Sr.

 Silver Writers 

Denny O’Neil 

Mike Friedrich 

Roy Thomas 

Archie Goodwin 

Silver Artist 

  • Neal Adams
  • Jim Steranko
  • Barry Windsor

  

This era also saw the “Comics Code Authority (CCA)” come into play as well as the rebirth of superheroes tittles making them more sought after and started the trend of collecting them and the “Comic Book Conventions” aka nerd breeding grounds. 

Here’s the top21 of Silver Age Comics

Bronze Age 1970’s -1980’s

  

 Bronze Age kept a lot of the bright colours and superhero fan fair alive in this era, the biggest change would have to be the stories content, flowing darker arcs, mature storylines and issues that can be seen in everyday life like drug use. Check Green Lantern/ Green Arrow # 85

Much of the storylines and characters we established by the time the bronze age hit, so it is considered  to be overflow from the silver age without much changing or re inventing of the wheel. 

Although Spiderman might have otherwise to say with the murder of his long-term girlfriend Gwen Stacy by Spideys arch nemesis the Green Goblin, often referred to as the definitive even of the Bronze Age. 

The x-Men push of the era was also consider a relevant event of the Bronze Era with the comparison of mutants and minorities going hand and hand. Also Minority superheros saw a big push, with Black Panther and Falcon already being established this era saw the birth of: 

  • Storm
  • Blade
  • Shang-Chi
  • Misty Knight
  • John Stewart
  • Bronze Tiger
  • Black Lightning
  • Tyroc
  • Vixen
  • Cyborg

All found homes, regardless of any stereotypes that may have been drafted in.  Think Blaxploitation films and you wonder how early Luke Cage’s catch phrase was “Sweet Christmas!” ? Hahah well that’s kind of funny 

Bronze also saw the major push of non-super-superheros with: 

  • Conan
  • The Tomb of Dracula
  • Master of Kung-Fu
  • Star Wars
  • Howard the Duck
  • Swamp Thing
  • Jonah Hex (movie plug)
  • Doctor Strange

Timeline of the Bronze Age

 

——- r3d ——–

  

Modern Age 1980’s – now 

Well to a world where the dark side of the mind prevails as graphic novel push their sadistic, complex, ominous story telling and art work to main stream. Ahhh heaven is for a 10 year old child to reach a comic with blood soaked pages of violence, sex and kick ass commentary. Enter Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons (Watchmen) and Frank Miller (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) 

This era also called the Copper Age or Iron Age is really better know as the Dark Age of Comic Books, with characters like Wolverine and Sabretooth having a huge impact on the X-Men title, the Marvel Universe and how graphic a bitter rivalry can get. 

DC would see Crisis on Infinite Earth make their 1985 mark a twelve issue limited crossover event. By Marv Wolfman and George Perez, conceptually opening audience’s eyes to a “Multiverse” where stories on both on multiple Earth would come to pass.    

This era saw the rise of the anti hero, the vigilante and the renegades unconventional heroes with dark pasts, deep thoughts and psychologists dreams in other words the lines of black and white began to blur into grey and the standard archetype of a villain and hero were drastically changed with characters like: 

  • Wolverine
  • The Punisher
  • Daredevil
  • Elecktra
  • Cable
  • Venom
  • Spawn
  • The Joker
  • Magneto
  • Galactus

X-Men would also see a huge empire unfold, in merchandise, TV and comics with several tittles under the X-Umbrella: New Mutants, X-Factor, Excalibur, and Wolverine would get their own “X-Books”. Action figures, video games, trading cards and an animated series. This would later help push X-Men onto the Silver screen with 4 movies (X-MenX2 X-Men United, X3 the Last Stand, Origins: Wolverine) and a more to come (X-Men 4, Origins 2 & X-Men: the first class)

Title Issue Publisher Date Relevance  
Albedo 2 Thoughts & Images 1983 Rare book, 1st appearance of Usagi Yojimbo
The Amazing Spider-Man 300 Marvel Comics 1988 1st appearance of Venom 
The Amazing Spider-Man 361 Marvel Comics 1992 1st appearance of Carnage
The Spectacular Spider-Man 64 Marvel Comics 1982 1st appearance of Cloak & Dagger 
Avengers Annual 10 Marvel Comics 1981 1st appearance of Rogue 
Bone 1 Cartoon Books 1991 Rare book, 1st issue
Daredevil 168 Marvel Comics 1981 1st appearance and origin of Elektra 
Dark Knight Returns 1 DC Comics 1986 Highly influential storyline
Gobbledygook 1 Eastman and Laird (Mirage Studios) 1984 Early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles advertisement
The Goon 1 Avatar Press 1999 Rare book, 1st appearance of The Goon 
Harbinger 1 Valiant Comics 1992 1st appearance of Harbinger 
Iron Man 282 Marvel Comics 1992 1st appearance of War Machine 
The New Mutants 87 Marvel Comics 1990 1st appearance of Cable 
The New Mutants 98 Marvel Comics 1991 1st appearance of Deadpool 
John Byrne’s Next Men 21 Dark Horse Comics 1993 1st appearance of Hellboy 
Primer 2 Comico Comics 1982 1st appearance of Grendel 
Spawn 1 Image Comics 1992 1st appearance of Spawn, bestseller
Superman 75 DC Comics 1993 Death of Superman 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 Mirage Studios 1984 1st appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 
The Uncanny X-Men 266 Marvel Comics 1990 1st appearance of Gambit 
Watchmen 1 DC Comics 1986 Highly acclaimed series, highly influential storyline.
マクロス Macross 1 Comico 1985 Rare book. First issue of Robotech: The Macross Saga (this name adopted in issue #2). Begins long history of licensed comic books based on the 1985 Robotech anime series.

 Special thanks to Wikipedia for all the Cool Charts!

Linked By the BIG 3 COMICS:

Marvel  

DC

Image

Quote By 1:
“If cartoonists would look at this more as an art than as a part time job or a get-rich-quick scheme, I think comics overall would be better, I think there’s a tremendous potential to be tapped.”
Bill Watterson

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