04.30.2008

1997 – A surprisingly good year for comics

I was reading an old comic this weekend from 1997, and as I noticed the ads I picked up on something.  There were actually quite a few good comics being published in 1997.  Surprise!  We typically think of the 1990’s as an ugly period in comic publishing history, but after thinking about it, I realized that 1997 was a particularly good year.  Below are some titles that either came out that year or were already being published. I’ve tried to include hyperlinks for titles you may not be familiar with.

  • Tangent comics first wave was published

  • The electric Superman saga started … well, I liked it

  • Adventures in the DC Universe – Based upon the success of Batman and Superman animated series, this comic gave the animated treatment to the rest of the DCU (years before Justice League Unlimited came about).

  • JLA by Grant Morrison started

  • Batman and Superman Adventures: World’s Finest – Adapted the animated cartoon in which Superman and Batman crossed over (again, prior to Justice League cartoon)

  • DC Plus comics (not the Scare Tactics issues) – Batman Plus Arsenal, Flash Plus Nightwing, Sovereign Seven Plus Legion of Superheroes,  Supergirl Plus Mary Marvel, Superman Plus Legion of Super-heroes, Wonder Woman Plus Jesse Quick

  • Two Birds of Prey one-shots (prior to the monthly series)

  • Justice Riders Elseworlds one-shot

  • Batman/Wildcat – Great mini-series by Chuck Dixon and Beau Smith

  • The Shade mini-series – Mini-series spun-off from Starman comic

  • Alpha Flight volume 2 – Under-appreciated short-lived run of Alpha Flight by Steven Seagle and Duncan Rouleau started.  Good stuff!

  • Thunderbolts first appeared.  What an awesome series!

  • Starman by James Robinson and Supergirl by Peter David were being published.  They didn’t start in 1997, but they did continue through that year.

  • and Heroes Reborn ended  :)  This was the Jim Lee/Rob Liefeld Marvel versions of Captain America, the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and Iron Man.

Can you think of any other good comics from 1997?  If so, please feel free to post them here.  Here’s to 1997!  A shining beacon in comics after many years of shite.

In all fairness, not everything was great in 1997.  Some things were still crap.  For example:

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have…

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3 Responses to “1997 – A surprisingly good year for comics”

  1. Michael Bailey Says:

    Not to be a nudge, but JLA actually started in late 1996.

    The Plus book were awesome.

    And don’t forget the SPAWN and STEEL movies that also came out that year. Despite the success of MEN IN BLACK the SPAWN, STEEL and BATMAN AND ROBIN produced a trifecta that killed comics in Hollywood for several years. Frankly BLADE coming out the next year and being successful was something a minor miracle.

    SUPERBOY AND THE RAVERS sucked and I own every issue.

    And I would have to move the Electro Superman into the bad category. Not the brightest moment in the character’s history.

  2. Shag Says:

    Thanks for commenting!

    I kind of figured some people would not agree with the Electric Superman saga, but I liked it.

    In regard to JLA, the monthly title started in 1997 (whereas the limited was in 1996). At least according to this site:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League#JLA

  3. Thievin' Kolar Says:

    I bought the entire run of The Invisibles [1994-2000].

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