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Monday, October 03, 2011

From Pouches to Prophet: Why the 90s was Awesome [90s Week]


What do you remember about the 90s?

Ask any comic book fan about the 90s and they'll probably mention at least one of three things: big guns, Wolverine and Punisher knock-offs, and pouches. Lots and lots of pouches.

But no one remembers that the 90s was awesome.

It's a controversial view, for sure, but dig deeper into the pouches and the rubble and you get an era of comics that might never be seen or experienced again.


Maybe I'm biased. I got into comics during the early 90s, when my tita bought comics in the States and brought them as pasalubong when they came home for Christmas vacation. As a kid I poured over every single one, from 'roided-up freaks like Cable to badass clawed guys like Wolverine and his slew of knockoffs. I saw Superman die, Batman get his back broken, and Image unleash their creations onto the world. I collected those free trading cards that came in those comics and bartered most of my stamp collection for a copy of Marvel's Swimsuit Special. I loved every single moment of it.

I didn't notice the proliferation of pouches, or the incessant need for comic characters to have the words blood, kill or death in their names, or even the speculator market that saw the rise of gimmicks like lenticular covers and publicity 'deaths' and tacky merchandise. I didn't care that I was witnessing everything wrong with comic books during that time. All I saw was that comics were huge, and I could talk about the latest adventures of WildC.A.T.s and Generation X with anyone at my school. Anyone.

Can you say that about comics right now?

Despite the 90s being called The Dark Age of Comics, to me it wasn't as dark as they make it out to be. In fact, in the face of all the shiny chrome comic book covers and its explosively action-packed contents, it was probably the brightest it could be.

Sure it all eventually crashed when the speculator bubble popped, and it suddenly became hip to rag on Rob Liefeld and Spawn, but I will look at my stacks of X-Man, my copies of Heroes Reborn, and my Marvel Masterpieces trading card binder and be reminded that I wouldn't be the geek I am today without that little decade called the 90s.

Were you a 90s kid? What's the most awesome thing you remember about the 90s?

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