Nineties Week: My computer was rollin' like it was 1995

Man, I had a rough time posting this. My computer was not working in every way possible, which seemed timely for nineties week. But aren't we supposed to be past that now? Shouldn't my computer be psychically linked to me? Shouldn't it just know what I want it to do?

Anyway, I didn't read every title in my stack of nineties comics as my fellow blogger, Dave, so bravely did. I mean, there were three X titles in there, and I'm not going to read that in a regular week. But here's a sampling.

The Spectacular Spider-man #180

I was expecting a fun Spider-man story, but instead it was an issue where Harry Osborne has an internal psychological fist fight with his Dad and with Peter. I guess it was a metephor and Harry was really fighting himself, Batman Ego-style? Poor Harry. He was really losing it and I was concerned that he may harm himself.




That was kinda messed up, but it seemed like Owly after the terrible shit I witnessed on the first page.

UM, WHUT? That is nine kinds of fucked up.

X Factor # 70

This issue is an epilogue, so not much happens. Professor X is in a coma or something, and everyone's upset. But he wakes up in the end and everyone's okay. Wolverine extinguishes and cigarette by swallowing it. The X-Men's costumes are super fugly.





This issue did highlight that strange nineties trend where the sexiest part of a woman was considered to be the upper leg/side area revealed by a costume where the leg holes is cut almost to the lady's bust line. The leg/side/hip. Was that called something, like the muffin top? The pear-neck?

Avengers #338

The story was called "Infections Compulsions," 'cause the nineties were gross, and I have no idea what happened. In fact, I had to wiki almost every member of the Avengers team. Who were these people? And what were they doing? They were in space...or something? And fighting? I felt like I was deciphering an ancient text that may hold all the clues to what will happen in the next Marvel cross-over.




But this issue did have an editorial page that feature this:


I don't even know where to start! Sushi and Twin Peaks are not particularly cool? Don't rollerblades and ponytails on men normally go together? Infinity Gauntlet is clearly forever cool. And I like that Quasar is cool. Quasar totally strolls into the malt shop with sunglasses and a leather jacket on and is all, "S'up ladies?"

Justice League Quarterly #4

This was fun! This was the much-talked-about silly era of the JLA, right? The first story follows the Injustice League in a wacky caper to make some money. In the second story Guy Gardiner and some other JLA member that can only be described as relics, cruise around a psychic fair scaring the fake-weirdos by showing them some authentic powers, and then dying laughing. Nice!




Strangely, a whopping ten pages of this issue is devoted to "CaTales," following the hilarious adventures of the JLA cat. And he's no Streaky—he's just a smelly old cat that gets into trouble. I love a cat comic, so I'm not complaining but it wasn't the action-packed JLA that I'm used to.

In the story this panel is from, the Elongated Man had to give him a bath! Haha!

Outlaws  # 1

Hey, remember Outlaws? No? Anyone? Dave? This was apparently a six-part mini-series about a Robin Hood-style hero and his gang of outlaws who had all been horribly abused by the king of wherever it was set. Anyway, it was a fun read, in an unchallenging sort of way.The art was bad though, and it reminded me of every comic brought into Strange Adventures by a totally crazy person who thinks they've invented a franchise-worthy character with "Superior Man."


The best/worst/best again thing that came from my 1991 comics time capsule was a flyer for a con that took place in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The schedule featured a midnight filking session. FILKING. Look it up and cower at the nerdliness.

Anyway, the conclusion I've come to is that the nineties weren't all that bad. Or more accurately, that lots of comics in the two thousands blow too. We still see brutal fashion, terrible butt-flossy costumes on ladies, confusing plots and money-grabbing crossovers.

But at least in the two thousands, I'm old enough to buy beer. And that makes reading crappy comics way more fun.

Nineties Week Archie Sunday

I was really hoping to find some 90s Archie comics so's I could showcase some of the abominable fashion choices that the Riverdale gang were making diring that poorly-dressed decade but no dice.

Instead, here's a brief look at that most unlikely of crossovers, 1994's Punisher Meets Archie (or Archie Meets Punisher, depending on which company you bought it from)!

So how do America's typical 1950s teenager and The grittiest and most grim vigilante of them all end up sharing a comic? Well, the setup involves mobster/pharmaceutical tycoon "Red" Fever fleeing hot leaded justice for the bucolic Riverdale home of Mr Lodge, who turns out to own stock in his company. In a surprise shocker, "Red" turns out to look just like Archie Andrews:

Okay, maybe he doesn't look just like Archie. More like... Archie's deformed brother who has to live in the basement. As you can see, "Red" ends up taking Veronica to the Riverdale High 50s-style sock-hop instead of Archie after he screws up in classic fashion. "Red" hilariously spends the rest of the evening trying for a little of the ol' Riverdale Date Rape that he's heard so much about, but to no avail:

MEANWHILE: The Punisher and Microchip have rolled into town and spotted Archie moping around the Chok'lit Shoppe. Archie hilariously almost gets mowed down but thankfully our two heroes are astute at the ol' facial recognition game:

So then Archie and the Punisher team up and Figure out that a) "Red" is at the dance with Veronica and b) a rival gang are trying to rub "Red" out, which will probably be bad for the children of Riiverdale. The Punisher heads to the dance, where he learns that he is Miss Grundy's, uh, type:

While Archie tries to rally the local police, to no avail:

To be fair, the Riverdale beat must be just pure bullshit.

But everything works out okay in the end: Ronnie gets rescued from "Red"'s eventual kidnapping, virtue intact, the Riverdale kids don't have to witness any violent shooting deaths and the Punisher gets about the most heartwarming ending that he is ever likely to see:

Not pictured: Archie trying to convince the Punisher to give him a signal watch.

So there you have it: Punisher Meets Archie is actually not a bad comic. I'm as shocked as you are, really. I'll leave you with the joke teaser panel from the last page and a humble suggestion that we all start agitating for it to happen as soon as possible.

You know it would be great.

John Would Have Bought Some of These Comics in 1990

Well, I would have if I hadn't been 10 and consequently broke. But yeah, what few comics I did buy at the time were not classics of the art. Why, I still remember my regret at selling that issue of New Mutants that Cable made his debut in - that thing was worth its weight in gold by the time I hit puberty. Anyway, tell the people what week it is, banner:

That's right: Nineties Week, wherein we take a look at that crazy mixed-up decade of shoulder pads and mullets and attitude and pouches.

Uncanny X-Men No. 268

Hey, this wasn't too bad! It's one of those stories that takes place half in the past and half in the present, with interconnections and stuff. Like Cryptonomicon, but without the math. Story A takes placee in 1941, with Wolverine and Captain America teaming up to rescue a young Natasha "Black Widow" Romanov from those kooky ninjas, the Hand, while Story B takes place in the now, with Black Widow and some X-Men teaming up to... do somethinng. I'm not to clear on what their goal was, actually, but they beat some guys up so it must have been vital.

Signs that it was the Nineties: Well, I almost just said "it's an X-Men comic" but that's neither accurate nor fair. There were only four x-titles on the market at the time - things were just beginning to heat up. However, Psylocke was in this one and with her big-titted, bad-attituded, teeth-gritting, stupid-power-having ways (psychic knife my ass) she was always a particular sign of the times, even though she had been around for a while. Also, 'Psylocke' is a stupid name.

Also, when Wolverine put an injured, unconscious Black Widow to bed he dressed her in sexy two-piece lingere, even though it is firmly established that he is like an uncle to her. gross.

Nick Fury, Agent of Shield No. 15

I know that I shouldn't be surprised every time that I read a comic from the 1990s and enjoy it, I know that. I like the Superman comics of the time and I like Aztek and all kindsa stuff. And yet I am, every time. I opened this comic expecting it to be really bad and instead got a decent little spy tale: Nick Fury infiltrates a top-secret contractor to find out how sensitive information is getting leaked and then ends up having to chase some guys into space with the help of the Fantastic Four. It's not classic spy stuff by any means - James Bond sure as heck never used the Human Torch in place of a rocket booster - but it's a fun time.

I especiallyliked the villains, by the way, because they weren't megalomaniacs or insane mutants or such, they were just a bunch of smart-but-not-brilliant technicians who knew that they would never make the innovative leaps necessary to become rich and/or famous in their field and so decided to grab what they could with what they had. In a world full of super-technology there should be more of that sort off thing.

Sign that it was the Nineties: This one wasn't too bad, aside from the abominable selection of haircuts on the front cover. There was a definite sign that it wasn't too far into the Nineties, however, as Nick Fury accepted a cigart from an attractive female aide and then made a suggestive remark but said not the words "intern" or "Lewinsky." Truely my mind was blown.

Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight No. 10

This was the issue from my Nineties bag that had me wanting to play these reviews like I was doing them during the decade in question.Thankfully, I realized that there were only so many times that I could type 'chromium' or 'edgy' or 'nice shoulder pads' with a straight... keyboard. Had I done so, though, many yuks would have been generated by making much of the writing styles of Mr. Grant Morrison and either claiming that he should never write Batman again. Or maybe that he should write  Batman forever.

But I didn't do that, and so we have number 5 in a five-part storyline dealing with a ne'er-do-well named Mr.. Whisper and his plot to... disease things. I have a soft spot in my heart for Legends of the Dark Knight, I must admit, but it's been a while since I read this one. Batman fights a guy, pulls some pretty great faces and then wins. Hooray!

Sign that it was the Nineties: Well, Bats is getting firmly into his "too busy to bleed, too big a dick to be nice to Alfred" phase. After getting run over by one or two subway cars he calls his beloved manservant and orders, "Alfred?... Gotham Cathedral. Now. And bring a band-aid."

Also, at the end he throws Mr. Whisper's heart into a lake. that's gritty right? Or is it grim?

Justice League of America No. 42

Hey, it's  that recruitment issue of Justice League! Witness as such Nineties DC characters as the latter-day El Diablo, the second Dove/original Hawk team and the just-barely stopped wearing purple and yellow Starman reject the League with a great swiftness! Read issues with a special bingo card, blotting off characters that have died in the meantime (let's see... counting characters that have died and came back... many, many more than are still alive. Heck, Booster's not even in this one)!

This was fun to read again - I like the "silly" era of the JLA, though I don't love it as much as some - and yadda and yadda. It's nice to see a concerted effort to keep some newer characters (of the time) in the eye of the JLA reader.

Sign that  it was the Nineties: Well, I'll just let the last panel, in which we learn that the new recruits are going to be New Gods Orion and Lightray, do most of the talking:

Oh, the trauma of those costume redesigns. Orion must have had, i don't know, a particularly attractive new girlfriend or something. Nobody should dress that badly after having a Kirby costume unless they're getting some in a serious way as a consequence. And maybe Lightray is growing his hair in solidarity? Someone thought that this was awesome and they were wrong.

While your brain is still screaming, I bid you good night.

Edit: I'm going to leave all of the typos in this one, as a warning to the people of the world: this is what happens when you cope with having to read a bunch of 1990s comics by drinking a bunch of Guiness. A deviation from regular high-quality standards!

Review of the Nineteen-Nineties, By Johnathan

I have found the definitive example of why the 90s were a very bad time for the readers of so-called 'comic books.' Not that the era has legions of defenders or anything, but just in case some poor kid had been deluded into thinking that Superman looked kind of cool with a mullet or that every character on the cover of an issue should be either screaming or gritting their teeth in order to ensure sufficient levels of grittiness, I shall present my evidence.

I think that I should set the scene: it's Extreme Justice No. 8, and our heroes are having supper and discussing their administrative problems. Captain Atom, douchebag leader of this worst of Justice-teams (and blatant mullet-enthusiast) says this:

Which is fine. I have nothing bad to say about the dialogue. What I do have a problem with is the oh-so-nineties way in which this dialogue is presented. To whit:

Speed lines! Dramatic lighting! Grimacing! THOOM!

Evidently, while Captain Atom was calmly discussing his budget he happened to notice that his table had transformed into some sort of awful, flat-topped creature and was forced to deal it a swift death-blow. Or possibly the artist didn't realize that even though he was drawing a comic book there was no need to enforce a strict punch-a-page policy.

Or it might have just been the Nineties.