Since I had such fun with my epic Golden Age Week, I thought I'd do something similar with the period referred to as the Iron Age of comics.
Of course, there's some debate over the ages of comics; there's usually consensus about the start and stop point for the Golden Age and the start point for the Silver Age, but after that, things get murky.
For the purposes of this blog, we'll go with defining the Iron Age as the period taking place roughly between 1986 and 1996. This works as the two pieces thought to kick off the "grim-n-gritty" era that those ten years represent were released in 1986- The Dark Knight Returns and The Watchmen. '96 is a bit more fuzzy, but it works as that was when Kingdom Come was released. If nothing else, it serves as a critique as to wear comics appeared to be heading at the time.
Instead of doing a brief rundown of events, I've decided to compile a list of characteristics in the form of a handy informational checklist!
Signs That You're in an Iron Age comic
- Visitors from a dystopian future show up with alarming regularity.
- The government is, at best, grossly incompetent; more likely, the government is actively trying to make your life miserable. Essentially, an Iron Age superhero is a Fox Newscaster.
- Your wardrobe will consist primarily of belts, pouches, and belts with pouches. This is mainly due to the influence of Rob Liefeld. If Mr. Liefeld spent half as much effort drawing hands and feet as he did pouches, he'd be lauded as the greatest artist since Van Gogh.
- Expect to have an "extreme" or "edgy" sidekick or ally who shows remarkable similarities to you show up. Failing that, at least one of your enemies will become a good guy.
- There are ninjas EVERYWHERE.
- You will turn evil at least once.
- You will have either a permanent five o'clock shadow (for men) or an impractically large bust (for women and men drawn by Rob Liefeld).