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  1. #1
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    Default Comic Book Ages: Time to Define 1986---> & Set new 'Modern Age' era start: Yes??

    Does anyone know who the "governing" body is that decides such things? Is it Overstreet, the Publishers, a mix...what?
    I know they(whoever 'they' are) only fairly recently got together (5-7yrs ago) and agreed to finally label a Bronze Age. And that end point is still at times debated but most seem content with '70-'85.

    Golden Age: 1930-1955 (sub age Atomic within)
    Silver Age: 1956 - 1970
    Bronze Age: 1970 - 1985 (sub age Copper within)
    Modern Age 1986 -->Present

    The Modern Age comprises to date 32 years. That's more than the Golden Age and frankly the GA might be too large and I feel that's why the Silver and Bronze Ages are more in line with a timeframe comprising, loosely, a Generation marking point.

    The most frequent 'next' Age I see usually mentioned is Dark Age for a variety of reasons:
    • Rise of Anti-Heroes(Punisher, Lobo)
    • Marvel files for Bankruptcy
    • Classic Heroes broken down(Death of Superman, Batmans Back Broken, Hal Joran-->Parallax, Diana demoted from WW, Peter Parker may not be Peter Parker Clone Saga
    • Rise of Image Comics


    One end for a proposed Dark Age would be Marvel's Heroes Reborn in 1997. The Age would be the shortest at 11yrs. Thus setting the Modern Age a '97--->Present
    Another I see is DC's Identity Crisis in 2004, which has some Dark subject matter itself before the company seemed to course correct a bit itself. That would set Modern Age as 2005--> Present and is just slightly pre-Civil War at Marvel. This would make for a longer Dark Age at about 18yrs.

    Thoughts or Answers as to who decides this and when they might meet again?
    "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

  2. #2
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    Does anyone know who the "governing" body is that decides such things? Is it Overstreet, the Publishers, a mix...what?
    I know they(whoever 'they' are) only fairly recently got together (5-7yrs ago) and agreed to finally label a Bronze Age. And that end point is still at times debated but most seem content with '70-'85.

    Golden Age: 1930-1955 (sub age Atomic within)
    Silver Age: 1956 - 1970
    Bronze Age: 1970 - 1985 (sub age Copper within)
    Modern Age 1986 -->Present

    The Modern Age comprises to date 32 years. That's more than the Golden Age and frankly the GA might be too large and I feel that's why the Silver and Bronze Ages are more in line with a timeframe comprising, loosely, a Generation marking point.

    The most frequent 'next' Age I see usually mentioned is Dark Age for a variety of reasons:
    • Rise of Anti-Heroes(Punisher, Lobo)
    • Marvel files for Bankruptcy
    • Classic Heroes broken down(Death of Superman, Batmans Back Broken, Hal Joran-->Parallax, Diana demoted from WW, Peter Parker may not be Peter Parker Clone Saga
    • Rise of Image Comics


    One end for a proposed Dark Age would be Marvel's Heroes Reborn in 1997. The Age would be the shortest at 11yrs. Thus setting the Modern Age a '97--->Present
    Another I see is DC's Identity Crisis in 2004, which has some Dark subject matter itself before the company seemed to course correct a bit itself. That would set Modern Age as 2005--> Present and is just slightly pre-Civil War at Marvel. This would make for a longer Dark Age at about 18yrs.

    Thoughts or Answers as to who decides this and when they might meet again?

    The ages of Comics are a bit more complicated than that. Here are the different ages you can find:

    1500-1650 - Pioneer age
    1650-1800 - Victorian age
    1800-1938 - Platinum age
    1938-1950 - Golden age
    1950-1970 - Silver age
    1970-1986 - Bronze age (aka Silver age 2)
    1986-1992 - Iron age (aka Copper age, aka Dark age)
    1992-1998 - Baroque age (aka Image age)
    1998-2010 - Dynamique age (aka Millenium age)
    2010-Now - New age (aka Diamond age)

    Ages from 1986 to Now are often concidered the Modern age and Bronze age is often considered as a sub age of the Silver age.

    All ages don't have clear limits. It is just that in a period (more or less a few years) all comics have a similar tendency/style which is different from the one of the previous and next ages.

    The Golden age is sayd to begin with the 1st appariciton of Superman, concidered the 1st surperhero.
    The Silver age is sayd to begin with the adoption of the comics code.
    The Bronze age is sayd to begin with the disapearence of the comics code, which became obsolete due to changes of mentalities.
    Modern Age/Dark age/Iron Age is sayd to begin with Watchemen and The Dark Knight Returns
    The Iron Age ends with what is called the comics crisis of the 90's. Comics cartoons don't attract as much. Comics don't sell well. So DC/Marvel orginize big changes: Civil War and 52. While new companies pop-up to propose an alternative to the big 2 such as Image Comics or Valliant.
    The Baroque age/Image age is the age of new comics: TMNT, Spawn, 2000AD, The Crow, WildC.A.T.S. But also the age of image
    The Dynamique age/Millenium age is when comics are popular again, up to the recent reboots. New52/Rebirth and All New All Different.

    This is a rough explaination. What you've got to keep in mind is that there are no true limits to each ages, it depends on the company and on each titles.

  3. #3
    Fantastic Member NeathBlue's Avatar
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    Problem with calling things Modern or New Age, is that sooner or later their names look outdated... Certainly the Modern Age starting in 1986 looks wrong.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    ^^^^^
    Exactly, @neathblue, the "Modern Age" starting in 1986 is very wrong. That was 30 years. Hollywood does "period pieces" now set in the 80's & 90s, nothing says dated and not modern anymore than that.



    Quote Originally Posted by jb681131 View Post
    1500-1650 - Pioneer age
    1650-1800 - Victorian age
    1800-1938 - Platinum age
    1938-1950 - Golden age
    1950-1970 - Silver age
    1970-1986 - Bronze age (aka Silver age 2)
    1986-1992 - Iron age (aka Copper age, aka Dark age)
    1992-1998 - Baroque age (aka Image age)
    1998-2010 - Dynamique age (aka Millenium age)
    2010-Now - New age (aka Diamond age)



    All ages don't have clear limits. ......
    No one officially recognizes most of what you just typed there. Bronze Age aka Silver Age 2 is a huge WTF to me? I never see anyone, ANYONE call it that nor those 'ages' pre-Golden Age. I intentionally left out unofficial subgroups like 'Atomic Age'(which you didn't even list) which is at the end of the Golden Age because its 1-unofficial and 2-categorically is already in an official Age. It took awhile for the Overstreet folks and Industry Insiders some time to finally agree on extending the boundaries of the Bronze Age up till '86. Discussion had been to define it at '80/'81 which is when folks were coming up with Copper Age as the bulk of the remainder of the 80's cause most seem ready to define '86-->'00 as Dark Age. At least in discussions I see. Copper Age as a defined era seems to have gone away now with Bronze Age encompassing most of what that theoretically would've/could've been.
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  5. #5
    Fantastic Member NeathBlue's Avatar
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    I've always thought that Showcase #4 in 1956 was the official start of the Silver Age?

  6. #6
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NeathBlue View Post
    I've always thought that Showcase #4 in 1956 was the official start of the Silver Age?
    Yes, that is the Industry Agreed upon start.
    "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

  7. #7
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    ^^^^^
    Exactly, @neathblue, the "Modern Age" starting in 1986 is very wrong. That was 30 years. Hollywood does "period pieces" now set in the 80's & 90s, nothing says dated and not modern anymore than that.





    No one officially recognizes most of what you just typed there. Bronze Age aka Silver Age 2 is a huge WTF to me? I never see anyone, ANYONE call it that nor those 'ages' pre-Golden Age. I intentionally left out unofficial subgroups like 'Atomic Age'(which you didn't even list) which is at the end of the Golden Age because its 1-unofficial and 2-categorically is already in an official Age. It took awhile for the Overstreet folks and Industry Insiders some time to finally agree on extending the boundaries of the Bronze Age up till '86. Discussion had been to define it at '80/'81 which is when folks were coming up with Copper Age as the bulk of the remainder of the 80's cause most seem ready to define '86-->'00 as Dark Age. At least in discussions I see. Copper Age as a defined era seems to have gone away now with Bronze Age encompassing most of what that theoretically would've/could've been.

    I didn't pull this list out of nowhere so don't say "No one officially recognizes most of what you just typed there" !

    Quote Originally Posted by NeathBlue
    I've always thought that Showcase #4 in 1956 was the official start of the Silver Age?
    It sure is a turn in comics and concidered the start of a new era for many.
    But let's not forget that changes the comics went throu in the 50's was due to the adoption of the Comics Code in 1954.
    At DC for exemple, the stamp began showing in March 1955.

  8. #8
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb681131 View Post
    I didn't pull this list out of nowhere so don't say "No one officially recognizes most of what you just typed there" !
    Let me see if I can clarify myself. The thread title is COMIC BOOK AGES.
    These 'ages' of definition labeled Pioneer, Victorian and Platinum pertain to historians tracking the evolution of COMIC STRIPS.
    Now, it's true that comic strips began being compiled into pulp reprint 'books' and later original content before the debut of Superman in 1938. That being said, the intent of the discussion is on Comic Book Ages and wondering what the next officially recognized period will be.

    Comic Strips
    1500-1650 - Pioneer age
    1650-1800 - Victorian age
    1800-1938 - Platinum age

    Comic Books: Officially Recognized
    1938-1950 - Golden age
    1950-1970 - Silver age
    1970-1986 - Bronze age

    Proposed Ages from others
    1986-1992 - Iron age (aka Copper age, aka Dark age)
    1992-1998 - Baroque age (aka Image age)
    1998-2010 - Dynamique age (aka Millenium age)
    2010-Now - New age (aka Diamond age)


    All the 'Ages' you have post '86 are indeed part of our theoretical discussion because they aren't universally agreed upon within the industry like Golden, Silver and Bronze are. The purpose of the thread is to trigger thought on what makes the most sense going forward.
    For example I've seen it proposed that your Baroque Age be called the Chrome Age and be '92-'99(Image Starts, Marvel out of Bankruptcy).

    Using our known and agreed upon Ages as examples or precedents, I don't see anyway that Iron, Baroque, Dark, Chrome or Copper, all overlapping will survive as a defined Next Age. Why? Those Ages are 6-8yrs long and both Silver and Bronze are 15-20yrs. Therefore I feel what will happen is that the next Age officially and eventually recognized will be something in that linear timeframe.

    One of those names is likely to be used, my money is on Dark Age for the sheer fact it follows the precedent of using Humankind Historical Ages as a parallel and fits the strongest. I'm game for Copper or Iron but neither fit as nicely as Dark Age given what happens in the industry for the next 15-20yrs.
    Whatever the end point becomes for the next immediate age you can be assured the default 'age' after that will be Modern Age not New or Diamond.
    "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" - Optimus Prime

  9. #9
    Incredible Member jb681131's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Craig View Post
    Let me see if I can clarify myself. The thread title is COMIC BOOK AGES.
    These 'ages' of definition labeled Pioneer, Victorian and Platinum pertain to historians tracking the evolution of COMIC STRIPS.
    Now, it's true that comic strips began being compiled into pulp reprint 'books' and later original content before the debut of Superman in 1938. That being said, the intent of the discussion is on Comic Book Ages and wondering what the next officially recognized period will be.

    Comic Strips
    1500-1650 - Pioneer age
    1650-1800 - Victorian age
    1800-1938 - Platinum age

    Comic Books: Officially Recognized
    1938-1950 - Golden age
    1950-1970 - Silver age
    1970-1986 - Bronze age

    Proposed Ages from others
    1986-1992 - Iron age (aka Copper age, aka Dark age)
    1992-1998 - Baroque age (aka Image age)
    1998-2010 - Dynamique age (aka Millenium age)
    2010-Now - New age (aka Diamond age)


    All the 'Ages' you have post '86 are indeed part of our theoretical discussion because they aren't universally agreed upon within the industry like Golden, Silver and Bronze are. The purpose of the thread is to trigger thought on what makes the most sense going forward.
    For example I've seen it proposed that your Baroque Age be called the Chrome Age and be '92-'99(Image Starts, Marvel out of Bankruptcy).

    Using our known and agreed upon Ages as examples or precedents, I don't see anyway that Iron, Baroque, Dark, Chrome or Copper, all overlapping will survive as a defined Next Age. Why? Those Ages are 6-8yrs long and both Silver and Bronze are 15-20yrs. Therefore I feel what will happen is that the next Age officially and eventually recognized will be something in that linear timeframe.

    One of those names is likely to be used, my money is on Dark Age for the sheer fact it follows the precedent of using Humankind Historical Ages as a parallel and fits the strongest. I'm game for Copper or Iron but neither fit as nicely as Dark Age given what happens in the industry for the next 15-20yrs.
    Whatever the end point becomes for the next immediate age you can be assured the default 'age' after that will be Modern Age not New or Diamond.

    Indeed this is much clearer.

  10. #10
    Astonishing Member Nick Miller's Avatar
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    Why is 1600-1800 Victorian?

    Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 onwards

  11. #11

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    At this point, the age that followed the bronze age should probably be called the Dark Age, given the imitation of those aspects of Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns.

    I'd say a new age started in the early 21st Century, with a greater focus on collecting stories in TPB form (later digital form) and an emphasis on cinematic storytelling (less exposition.)

  12. #12
    Mighty Member TheFerg714's Avatar
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    I am in no way an expert on comic history. I've really only read stuff from 2000's onward, but I have a theory. I think it is silly to call 1986-now one Age. It doesn't really make sense. Comic book storytelling has changed a LOT since Watchmen.

    I think that a new age started around 2001-2004. Here's a list of creators, character changes, shifting storytelling styles, and other stuff that I think contributed to the actual modern age.

    The Ultimate Universe began around 2000 with Spider-Man, quickly followed by X-Men and The Ultimates.
    Green Lantern was taken over by Geoff Johns who changed the franchise's lore entirely.
    X-Men was taken over by Grant Morrison and then Whedon
    Bendis took over Avengers, and subsequently the entire Marvel universe.
    A shift toward more "cinematic" storytelling
    The superhero movie genre hit it's stride with Spidey, X-Men, Blade, and Batman was soon to follow, which rocketed superheroes into the mainstream like never before.
    A focus on major events that took over the entire publishing line
    All-Star Superman started in 2005
    The Walking Dead started in 2003
    Joe Quesada became EIC of Marvel in 2000.
    DC's 2000's Crisis-trilogy began with Identity Crisis in 2004.
    Brubaker began his run on Captain America in 2005
    A returned focus on writers, rather than artists
    Grant Morrison jumped on Batman around 2006
    52 came out in 2006

    Idk, am I being crazy? It just seems like a lot of stuff went down around this time period. Enough to warrant a new era name.
    Valiant- X-O Manowar / Bloodshot Salvation / Ninja-K / Quantum and Woody! / Shadowman / Harbinger Wars II / Brittania
    DC- Justice League / Hal Jordan and the GLC / The Flash / Aquaman / Mera / Mister Miracle / Silencer / The Terrifics
    Other- The Walking Dead / Mighty Morphin Power Rangers / Go Go Power Rangers

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Miller View Post
    Why is 1600-1800 Victorian?

    Queen Victoria ruled from 1837 onwards
    This. A million times this. Why on earth would you have a Victorian Age that ends 19 years before she was even born!

  14. #14
    Astonishing Member Captain Craig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFerg714 View Post
    I am in no way an expert on comic history. I've really only read stuff from 2000's onward, but I have a theory. I think it is silly to call 1986-now one Age. It doesn't really make sense. Comic book storytelling has changed a LOT since Watchmen.

    I think that a new age started around 2001-2004.
    Exactly, that's the idea behind the thread after all, that '86 till now should not all be labeled "Modern Age".
    I agree that somewhere in the early 2000's is where the new demarcation point for "Modern Age" should be.
    The secondary question of the thesis in the OP is: what would you call '86-->'01/'04
    What criteria would you use for your naming of said 'Age' keeping in mind that the Comic Book Ages have mirrored the naming convention of Historical Ages to this point.
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  15. #15
    Member Supreme Morsoth's Avatar
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    I think it's really hard to determine dates encompassing all comic book publishers. It's easier to separate DC from Marvel or any other publishing company IMO.

    For Marvel, I like to go with these dates in mind:

    1939-1961 - Golden age - Starting with the first comic by Marvel
    1961-1973 - Silver age - Starting with the creation of fantastic Four
    1973-1984 - Bronze age - Starting with the death of Gwen Stacy and the very first "Event" (Avengers/Defenders War)
    1984-1992 - Copper age - Starting with Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars
    1992-2000 - Modern age - Starting with the aftermath of Infinity Gauntlet and the Infinity War event
    2000-2010 - Millennium age - No particular reason for starting at 2000... but a lot happen between 2000-2010 as mentioned by TheFerg714
    2010-2016 - Heroic age - Starting with "The Heroic Age"
    2016- Now - Current/New age - Aftermath of "Secret Wars", starting with All-New, All-Different Marvel

    Of course, DC Comics will have other dates, based on their own Crisis/Reboot
    Last edited by Morsoth; 08-22-2017 at 09:02 AM.

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