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Dan

The Ages of Comics

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So, I'm cataloging my comics in anticipation of getting them in storage, and I'm breaking them down by (among other things) the Age n which they were published: Golden, Silver, etc. (I do not actually have any Golden Age books.) This is something that is entirely inconsequential but I am laboring over this anyway, because I'm me.

Obviously certain dates are generally agreed upon (Golden Age starts in 1938, Silver in 1956), but on the whole there's a lot of room for argument. When do people think the various Ages fell and, for that matter, what are they?

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This is kinda where I'm at.

Platinum: Pre-1938. No one uses this but Overstreet, but it works.

Golden: 1938-? I always felt the Golden Age ended with the war, but Wertham is another solid end point.

Silver: 1956-1970.

Bronze: 1970-1983. I feel like 1970 is a good end point for the Silver Age, as it's when A) Kirby left Marvel and B) O'Neil and Adams started their run on Barman. Comics looked and felt a hell of a lot different in 1971 than they did even in 1969.

Copper: 1984-1996. 84 is kinda arbitrary, but the period from 84-86 saw Secret Wars, Crisis, DKR and Watchmen. That led to a rise in darker books aimed at a much older audience than was traditional. That takes us into the Image split and the grim 'n' gritty era, followed by...

Modern: 1997- . 1997 saw the publication of Grant Morrison's JLA, a direct response to the Image (and Marvel's Image wannabe) era. This led to publishers remembering that writers help make comics, too, and we see the rise of books like Astor City, the Marvel Knights line, the Heroes Return books, and the Ultimate line, bringing us to where we are today.

I overthink things.

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Well according to wikipedia The Golden Age ending in 1950 citing, All Star Comics becoming All-Star Western and a number of comic book cancellations.

I finished cataloging all my comics about a week ago, it took me quite a long time. I found that my earliest comic was from the late 1960s so unfortunately no Golden Age comics. Anyway good luck!

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Modern: 1997- . 1997 saw the publication of Grant Morrison's JLA, a direct response to the Image (and Marvel's Image wannabe) era. This led to publishers remembering that writers help make comics, too, and we see the rise of books like Astor City, the Marvel Knights line, the Heroes Return books, and the Ultimate line, bringing us to where we are today.

I was going to say The Authority marks the beginning of the Modern era, but, thinking about it, you're spot on with JLA being that marker.

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I was trying to think of when whatever we are in now kicked off and because I was more Marvel I'd have said Avengers Disassemble. It kicked off the Age of Events that determined how DC approached the entire last decade as well. I know big events preceded that but the real large scale marketing onslaught really kicked in around AD.

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I was trying to think of when whatever we are in now kicked off and because I was more Marvel I'd have said Avengers Disassemble. It kicked off the Age of Events that determined how DC approached the entire last decade as well. I know big events preceded that but the real large scale marketing onslaught really kicked in around AD.

I'm more Marvel too; for me, a big part of the Bronze Age ending is when the cover dress for Marvel books went from the banner reading "Marvel Comics Group" at the top of the cover changed to just the word "Marvel" in the top left corner box in October 1983. That happens to line up with the changes in tone and is ultimately not important, but in my mind it's a factor. However, something like JLA was too enormous to ignore. Furthermore, Kingdom Come seems like an excellent end to the Copper Age; its entire thesis statement is "look at what's happened to comics!"

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