Tag Archives: Comic Books

Top 10 Comic Book Couples

Romance & comic books are no stranger to one another, it’s just that since the over saturation of Superheroes flooding the market, it’s almost hard to recommend them a comic book fan what romantic comic. There’s so much that you can do in comic books, it’s just that when you’re giving them something different than action pages, then you’ll be lucky not to get hated by the audience. I, as a fan of romance and comic books, am not blind to see that there are plenty of that I look to read. Somehow, there are new comic book series coming out that deals with love and relationship that old, established superhero comic books refuse to develop and evolve. It’s already bad enough that Marvel and DC Comics refuses to let marriages happen to their characters (Batwoman) while other comic book companies managed to bring romance into new grounds that not even movies have yet to achieved. This is a list that shows that you don’t really need to wear a costume to get the girl of your dreams.

Number 10.  –  Archie & Betty/Veronica

For many decades, the story of Archie Andrews have always been bouncing back in forth for both Veronica and Betty, in humorous fashion. There have been a lot of comic books tackling the romance genre in the past, but Archie comics withstood the test of time because the series always offered a lot of variety of humor that got many audiences laughing in nearly every issue. The Archie fanbase has been divided to who’s their favorite character, but when choosing the best girl for Archie, there’s always room debate.  Archie always opts for Veronica, except when Betty manipulates him into choosing her. And Betty often acts as Veronica’s friend, even if Ronnie doesn’t appreciate it. The eternal triangle of Betty-Archie-Veronica cannot be resolved. This is a gimmick to sell comic books, like the recent assassination of Captain America, or the death of Superman years ago. Though there’s no resolution for this relationship, it managed to make it on the list because it was something different; it was all humor.

Number 9.  –  Snow White and Bigby Wolf

The Big Bad Wolf and Snow White have worked through their differences to become the nexus of Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham’s postmodern fairy tale epic, Fables. Once a brooding, enigmatic grump, Bigby Wolf retired from stalking grandmas and pigs to raise a litter of magical human-wolf hybrids with the fairest princess of them all. There’s a lot that could be mentioned about this married powerhouse (we’re on issue #128 for those counting), including their cathartic courtship and parentage of a sentient wind baby, but Bigby and Snow form one of the most mature, stable unions in comics, leaving the drama out of their relationship to focus on the Grimm threats their magical community faces on a daily basis.

Number 8.  –  Spider-Man & Mary-Jane Watson

Peter had gone through a lot. The death of Gwen Stacy and supposed death of Norman Osborn on top of all that he endured at Spiderman was much for him. Yet, Mary Jane was about to love him, help Peter get better and become a better man. And the two seemed made for each other. She was the spunky Redhead who loved Peter and cheered him on; yet also understood Peter’s need for being Spiderman. Peter,in turn, was the loving man who helped balance out Mary Jane’s adventurous nature while finding his own. This couple loved each other. This couple had some deep seeded issues. Like Mary Jane’s need for attention at times leading her to either be a flirt to other men or demand more out of Peter when she knew it was a bad time. Or Peter not being as supportive of his wife’s career at times when he should have been. And need I remind you their BIGGEST crimes . . . One More Day & One Moment In Time. Those two shining turds are two of the greatest reasons why this couple can’t be any higher on the list. The fact that Mary Jane essentially helps Peter make a deal with the Devil (Mephisto but I am of the mind of Linkara on this . .. he’s the Devil) and later on shows how jealous she is that Peter gave up their marriage is complete and utter bull! The fact that she would tell Peter that being with him is like being a battered wife . . . okay, there was that one time a clone of Peter hit Mary Jane but seriously . .. it was a clone and Peter was not responsible for that. And you don’t compare a relationship you willing stayed with that long and compare it to being a battered wife when half the time you are cheering him on to be a hero.

Number 7.  –  Rogue and Gambit

And here we have one of the most beloved X-Men relationships ever, responsible for bringing an entire generation of readers, ‘shippers, fanfic enthusiasts, and soap opera junkies into X-Men comics. While, much to many fans’ dismay, Gambit and Rogue have been mostly on the outs since Gambit was revealed to be the long-rumored “X-Traitor,” their continued appearances together (like recently in the Gambitongoing series) constantly stoke rumors of reunion and reconciliation. The most compelling aspect of the relationship between the Cajun ne’er-do-well, and the untouchable Southern bombshell, is that it has almost always existed at arm’s length literally. It’s that whole aforementioned untouchable thing, you see. Rogue’s power has traditionally been uncontrollable, in the sense that there’s a risk for anyone who makes skin-to-skin contact with her of losing not just their super-powers, but their memories, their identity, and possibly their life. With that kind of obstacle in their way, the passion that undoubtedly exists between the two usually just smolders, unrequited, yet undeniable, so in the moments when Rogue and Gambit have been able to, for one reason or another, actually become intimate, the release of anticipation is palpable. With Gambit and Rogue it’s never been as much a matter of “will they/won’t they,” as “can they/ can’t they,” and for many fans, the question will always be more important than the answer.

Number 6.  –  Maya & Rob

For those who haven’t read this adrenaline-gushing sci-fi opus, RASL is an acronym for Romance at the Speed of Light, though “romance” might be too optimistic to describe the volatile relationship between scientists Rob and Maya. While working on a risky military project, Rob has a steamy affair with his partner’s wife before tattooing her name on his bicep and leaving his job to hijack priceless art in parallel dimensions. As can only happen in physics-bending noir, Rob finds other versions of Maya in his reality-hopping journeys and continues his fling across time and space. (Is it cheating if you seduce your best friend’s wife in a parallel dimension? Is it cheating if you’re cheating on your best friend’s wife with her parallel dimension variant? Discuss amongst yourselves). The real truth behind this pair is far more insidious than initially presented, but what Rob and Maya lack in stability, they more than make up for with a chemistry that packs more electricity than a Tesla current.

Number 5.  –  Richard and Sue Storm

Since the title first started, Marvel’s Fantastic Four has always been about family, and at the heart of that family are Reed & Sue Richards, better known as Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman. Right from the start, their relationship was rocky, mostly thanks to Sue’s attraction to just about anybody that hates Reed Richards and Reed’s attraction to science, but the Richardses have one thing going for them that nobody, not even the couple at number one, has they’ve made it work. They’ve stayed together through thick and thin, even when they’ve found themselves on opposite sides of the superhero Civil War, and have raised a family, and flourished as a couple. It’s easy to wonder how they’ve made their love last. Reed can be an emotionally absent jerk, and Sue is often depicted as flighty and given to infatuations with Reed’s enemies, but the truth is as simple as love can often be in real life; they just do. They love each other, and just like real love, their relationship is built on an emotional trust that has survived the some of the worst crises any world can offer. They rely on each other to be what the other cannot. Sue is Reed’s emotional core, and Reed is Sue’s logical center.Never as strong apart as they are together, Marvel’s premiere “power couple” are one of the best examples of love gone right in comics.

Number 4.  –  Alana & Marko 

Saga ruffled feathers a few weeks back for including some risque imagery in its latest chapter (come on folks, Saga has always featured weird aliens strutting around in their birthday suits). But the largest engorged organ behind this stunning title is its heart, beautifully exemplified between star-crossed lovers Alana and Marko. The first issue captured the endearing chemistry of its married couple as they gave birth to their first daughter, Hazel, propelling two militias on a cosmic goose chase to capture the new family. Despite vicious bounty-hunters, planet-sized monsters, and vengeful ex-fiances, Marko and Alana show that love perpetually conquers all no matter the suicidal odds. And speaking of unconventional couples, a miniseries starring The Will and The Stalk (the most creepily attractive spider mutant Paste has ever seen) wouldn’t be a terrible idea, either.

Number 3.  –  Craig & Reina

Craig Thompson’s autobiographical journey through the teenage onslaught of insecurity, lust, and self-realization is painfully evocative. The story follows a young Thompson as he meets beautiful coed Raina at a Christian Camp, then spends two weeks with her and her family under the pretense of plutonic friendship. Obviously, the two fall in fevered, mind-shattering love in a way only two unaffected high school students can, and therein lies this book’s singularity: Blankets will bring you back there. To that unadulterated, wondrous state of mind where love was a new frontier filled with angels and ecstasy. Those same angels also serve as Thompson’s main conflict, as his fundamentalist upbringing clashes against the groundswell of emotions he feels for his introductory inamorato. It’s real love with real problems. But the innocent delights Raina and Craig provide each other are only marginally greater than those given the thousands of readers who have fallen madly in love with this book. This is just simply the best romantic story I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s the one story that not only tells it so well but it speaks to you spiritually. Blankets was just simply beautiful by every sense of the word because of how Craig Thompson describes his real life story as a hurtful kid and finding Raina as his healing. I just simply felt connected with these two people (yes this is an autobiography after all) that it was once in a life time life-changing.

Number 2.  –  Sally Acorn and Sonic the Hedgehog 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you can call “furry” all you like, but these two cartoon characters are the reason why I got interested in the romantic genre in the first place, and we’re talking about me watching Sonic SatAM back in the early 90’s. I always thought it was interesting that two characters have fought together in a middle of war with Nature vs. Machine while at the same time holding the strength together. Now when you see the SatAm series, you can see it’s a little light hearted and playful where Sonic annoys Sally and Sally get’s aggravated when she’s focused on being a team and carry out the battle. But things really started to sparkle when they finally beat Robotnick and had the power of love within each other. We never got a chance to see where the relationship continued since the SatAM AM show got cancelled, but thankfully the Archies Comic Series continued the story and the relationship by a mile away. With all the personalities that populate the Freedom Fighters—as well as Sonic not really being one for responsibility—there needed to be a character that was the emotional center as well as the voice of reason within the group. This was something that was needed for storyline to be taken seriously, which is something that both Hurst and Archie Comics wanted. And frankly, if you needed someone to be a love interest for a speedy blue hedgehog that needs a voice of reason and loves chili dogs more than a regular at a Coney Island, then all I can say is this: mission accomplished. Truth be told, these characters are teenagers, with all the emotional drama that goes with it. Fights happen. And from what I read—before the current storyline—they seemed to have made up and found a balance where they can do their things while being together.

The ultimate thing is this: there were a bunch of teams working on trying to develop the Sonic lore early on. From this came two distinctly different characters that vie for our hero’s affection. And while I’d like to say that it is clearly obvious which one is better, the truth is that there isn’t a clear consensus. I think you guys know where I stand. If you’re one of those that think that Amy Rose is better, please explain to me why you believe that. And do so in a manner where I’m a child that doesn’t understand. I don’t think you’ll convince me that Amy, Bunnie Rabbot (that actually happened), Mina Mongoose, Fiona Fox or any other relationship Sonic has been in is better. So why so much relationships in an adventure of Natured vs. Machine? What do you expect? it’s Archie Comics, they’ve been very good in romantic triangles for decades that sold millions! But one of the highlights of the comic series for me was (after so many years so Sonic and Sally together) when they broke up. Boy, after those many years of being connected with the characters, it really broke my heart to see they’ve finally separated. It was so hard to see any of the Sonic the Hedgehog issues because it reminded me of my own heart break of my first girlfriend back in high school. I do admit that I get teary-eyed whenever I see the issue when they’ve finally broken up. Miraculously enough, even though they’ve broken up, other romances of the series developed as well. Like Bunnie Rabbot marrying Antoine, Knuckles falling for Julie-Su, and much more. It was not until 2011 when Sonic and Sally got back together that made me the happiest person in the world to see that happen after those long years of separation. Hell, they even went back in time to when they actually first met in Sonic Genesis, something that we all never knew about (Sonic Genesis), but after all those years of waiting to get them back together, it hurt me even more when Sally had to sacrifice her own self to save the world from Robotnik’s planet destruction by roboticizing herself. It’s a shame that none of the video games has ever made stories and characters this engaging which is why I always say that the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series is always better than any Sonic video game. You can tell whatever is the best Sonic the Hedgehog game and I’ll still say it’s not even as good as the Comics series. There’s always a new challenge and a new shock factor that always makes this adventure more and more exciting. That’s why Sonic the Hedgehog comics is still the longest lived comic book series and Archie’s greatest success!

Number 1.  –  Zam and Dodola 

Habibi fundamentally shares the same themes as Craig Thompson’s previous romantic foray, Blankets. Both focus on inaugural love, religious introspection, and how the two inform personal identity, but Habibi is also a meticulously-researched masterwork that could almost pass as a modern Cecil B. DeMille epic. This is probably the most complex love story I’ve ever seen because we’re talking about two escaped slaves who did everything to survive and protect each other. Dodola at age 7 took Zam (as a baby) and raised him. It was strange to see if it’s a brother-sister relationship or mother-son relationship, but as they got older, they started noticing each other as Zam is trying to resist his temptation to the one who sheltered and fed him while Dodola didn’t want him to transform to the men that she hated. You wouldn’t believe what Dodola did to keep Zam safe and if I told you what she had to do, it would turn a lot of people off because of the very dark subject matter.

Dodola and Zam believe in each other so very much that when they got caught and separated from the slave owners, the main thing to keep reading is to just see them comeback together. Never have I had the nervousness of just changing to the next page because it was so damn thrilling and yet so scary to see how much worse is it going to be for them not being together. I cried so hard for these two characters to get back together because it’s how much they truly love each other now as lovers. Each time I’ve turned another page of this wonderful graphic novel it’s always getting worse for them as they struggle more and more to keep each other alive. This is truly the meaning of love; sacrifice, help, love, and will. If you want to really see great romance stories, Craig Thompson is the master of telling its audience such story. It’s amazing this single man changed my life twice, that’s something  I don’t see from any artist or storyteller.
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Top 10 Worst Things of the 1990s

Just to let everyone know that I really love growing up in the 90’s and still cherish this decade for everything that I can remember. However, there’s no decade that’s perfect because there are of course good days and bad days for every single year. Of course I won’t be nitpicky for technologies, graphics, or cultures (backwards hat for example) that aged terribly because anything old in general can age badly. I’m looking at aspects of the 1990s that caused us grief and disappointments. The 1990s is infamous for being violent, drug-heavy, and rowdy than any other decade. And at the same time there were horrible moments in this era like these ten worst things in the 1990s. But despite anything I say in this list, this decade as a whole is WAY better than the 2000’s which I declare as the worst decade since the great depression. Before I make a list of the ten best things of the 1990s, let’s just look at the worst. As must was we desire to go back to this time, just remember that if we could possibly do so, we have to endure the punishment that came from this decade.

Number 10.  –  Too Many Consoles

I will still stand to my guts and stick with saying that gaming in the 1990s is the best time of gaming, however I will have to admit that there were downfalls of this decade of gaming. Why? Because there were just too many competitors trying to compete against Sega, Nintendo, and Sony like the NEO GEO, Turbografx-16, Atari Jaguar, 3D), and so many more that you need to see for yourself! Here’s the problem, as much as manufacturers and game companies like to say that the Genesis and Super Nintendo is inferior to their product, they still failed to do the most important thing; sell games. It was difficult to see if whether or not if any of their advertisement is true of propaganda to take so much money from you. Today, it’s easy to know what to spend our money on by looking it up on the internet and see other’s recommendation that actually tested it. If you want to take a look at some of the worst consoles of all time, just take a look at any system released in the 1990s with the Sega Saturn and Turbografx-16 being an exception. There were just more hardware than software. Even worse, buying a system is not good enough so we forced ourselves to buy the CD add-ons like the Sega CD, Sega 32-X, and Atari Jaguar CD that was sold separately. Also, can anyone tell me what handheld was better than the Gameboy or Gameboy Color that had a decent library and didn’t suck up so much batteries that caused childhood bankruptcies? If you’re one of those suckers that got them selves into video games that wasn’t made by Sega, Nintendo, Sony, NEC, or SNK, I pity you for waisting so much money and didn’t get a lot in return from the system.

Number 9.  –  East Coast-West Coast Rivalry 

Just remember! Because of this trend is the reason why Pac and Biggie are dead. One reason why I’m not that much of a fan of rap culture is because it’s so violent and filled with sheep that gets involved with it. The feud in the 1990s between artists and fans of the East Coast hip hop and West Coast hip hop scenes in the United States. Focal points of the feud were East Coast-based rapper The Notorious B.I.G. (and his label, Bad Boy Records) and West Coast-based rapper 2Pac (and his label, Death Row Records), both of whom were murdered by unknown assailants. Not only these two were involved in this competition, but many rappers as well like Tim Dog, Bad Boy, Death Row, and more. Also violence between rap fans and gangstas. There are rappers out there that wasn’t involved with this rivalry like the Beastie Boys, Rage Against the Machine, and Nas just to name a few. But Hip-Hop still can’t stop creating heat because it still continues throughout the 2000s.

Number 8.  –  1970’s and 1960’s Retro

Do you know how I know of the 1970s and 1960s at a very young age? It’s not because of my parents who loves playing music from that era, it’s because the whole media is obsessed of resurrecting this era that made the 1990s nearly lost its identity. If the 90s will be remembered for one Big Trend, it will be Retro, especially 70s-Retro – which is eye-ron-ik because modern Retro started in the mid-70s, when American Graffiti and Happy Days became two of the biggest hits of all time. But unlike in the real, horrible 70s – when 50s retro was a tragic, pathetic cry for help to escape the wretched bummer of the 70s – the 70s-Retro fad in the 1990s was cute, kitsch and merely a way for mainstream-hipsters to drop quasi-obscure pop culture references. In fact, 70s-Retro isn’t even a 90s thing – it got its start in urban clubs around 1987, and wouldncha know it, 70s-Retro is still big today! Looking back at it now, there are just an overwhelming number of things that loving going back in time like That 70’s Show (overrated show), Quentin Tarantino movies, Austin Powers, and SO many movies and shows! Sure Generation X wishes that they were back in the past but why can’t anyone live in the times… oh I forgot… it’s because the next worst thing of the 1990s…

Number 7.  –  BoyBands and Teen Pop

Usually a group of 4 or 5 untalented males who take credit for songs that they didn’t write. They are put together by a greedy music industry, and eventually end up putting out every single thing in the world with their logo on it so ‘teenie-boppers’ will go spend their money.A boyband must consist of the following: good looks, charm, and no talent. The most obvious reason why they suck is the way the “music” sounds. Sure some of them may be able to harmonize and hit notes correctly (semi-correctly), but the simple fact is that they do not sound good. Boybands also suck because the members have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever. Sure, one or two of them may be able to sing, but rarely does the ability to sing well ever have anything to do with talent. Most of the time if a person is able to sing, it is something that he or she was born with and not something that must be practiced. They play no instruments, write no music, and are probably not even involved in the production until all of the music has been lain down and the producer is read to record the vocals. The thing that sucks is that this is where music jumped to when Kurt Cobain committed suicide and as a result many of us jumped to heavier and more violent music like Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, and many more to rebel against the awfulness of Brittany Spears, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls, NSYNC, and the rest that gave the 1990s a bad name! It would take many years after the 1990s for us to “leave Brittany Alone” finally!  It’s no wonder why people still wishes that they were in the 1970’s because of this awful trend of music and cultures.

Number 6.  –  Comic Books of the 1990s

During the ’80s, no medium was more innovative and daring than comic books. Shedding the notion that they were exclusively for children, writers like Neil Gaimain, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore revolutionized the industry with titles such as Batman: Year OneThe Dark Knight ReturnsWatchmen, and Sandman. These books transcended the superhero genre and wound up appealing to fans with more sophisticated tastes. That decade of revolution simply couldn’t bleed over into the ’90s, however. Even though Miller, Moore, and Gaimain were still churning out great work during the ’90s, new trends started to overtake the industry. The superlative storytelling of the ’80s were replaced by flashy art and greedy publishers’ get-rich-quick schemes. Thus began the era of tasteless, hyper-sexualized drawings and classic superheroes thrown haphazardly into mindless stories created purely for shock value. Many artists, like Rob Liefield, are responsible for this moment in art and as a result it gave comic books a bad name and caused Marvel to declare bankrupts which caused the Comic Book Market Crash of 1996 that still to this day we’re still recovering from. This week marks the 15th anniversary of one of the worst comic book events of all time, Marvel Comics’ Heroes Reborn, a 1996-1997 crossover story arc that needlessly “killed off” the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and Dr. Doom and reinvented them in a pocket universe.  Of course not all comic books of the 1990s were at all bad, I was able to make a Top 10 Comics Books of the 1990s that still stand as being the greatest ever! It just took as a long ten year till the media as a whole got rid of this trend and moved on to the right direction for the business.

Number 5.  –  Furbies

Which leads us nicely onto the Furby. Again, whilst the fears of the Millennium bug turning them all into Terminator-esque killing machines didn’t quite come to fruition, there was always something not quite right about these owlish creatures. In the late 90s, over 40 million of these things were sold worldwide, children everywhere lured by their apparent ‘intelligence’ at learning language and ‘ communication’ through infra-red ports – they were even banned at one point from many intelligence agencies’ offices, because there were fears they would share national secrets. All we know is, like true spies, they hold up well under torture. Especially water torture.

Number 4.  –  Kurt Cobain Suicide

I don’t doubt that Nirvana was going to come to an end because of the huge press that they were getting that effected their relationship with each other, but to go far as to committing suicide and destroy an era along with it is some of the worst things ever. Still to this day we debate on how or why this has happened, but to had the grunge movement to define a decade then all of the sudden just ended as we entered the mid-90s. To see that we’re still missing and sadden for this very incident shows how sad this moment really is. You can tell everyone misses Kurt and Nirvana because they still buy the same records from the band and getting never released tracks that still sells today. I would have loved to see the legacy of Nirvana to expand so much more if there was more control with the band. At lease he left us with a bang in the Live At Reading performance that still makes us feel that Kurt’s alive. Either way, it was a wrong decision for Kurt to do and it still effects all of us around the world.

Number 3.  – The Montreal Screw Job

If any of you guys think wrestling is fake, you’re an idiot! This is as real as it gets and never have I seen a disgusting actin in wrestling in my entire life! I don’t care what any of you Vince McMahon or Shawn Michaels marks say Bret was wrong, but it was all Vince’s fault for making Bret Hart heel only to have him to be the hero of Canada and prime enemy of the United States of America throughout 1997. You should have seen how violent the wrestling world was between Canada and USA because of all the back talking of cultural differences between both nations. If you’re seen as your country’s biggest hero, of course you can’t loose to your country as a finale of your career. Beside, Bret promised to give back the WWF Championship to Vince and I know Bret would never do that, but just because Vince had Madusa toss the Women’s title in trash live at WCW Nitro, doesn’t mean every wrestler is going to do it. This was an incident that was so tragic that it shows how much bullshit wrestling politics really is. I respect Shawn Michaels as a wrestling and a performer because he is the most talented guy in the industry, but let’s admit it he was the most immature, insecure bitch of all time. Not only he ruined a lot of wrestler’s careers with the fucking Kliq during the New Generation Era, but he also ruined Bret Hart’s as well. Sure, Bret could have seen it coming but it turned out way worse than anyone expected. Even Earl Hebner swore he won’t do the screwjob on his children, well I hope they have a special place in hell for breaking that swear. What’s even more of an insult to me was that after the Montreal Screwjob, Vince publicly said he had no sympathy for Bret whatsoever and Shawn and Triple H mocked Bret with a midget impersonator. This is the reason why I’ll never be a pro wrestler because of stunts like this! Vince McMahon is wrong, Bret didn’t screw Bret, Vince screwed Bret and screwed himself. The only reason why I still watch the WWF after all the bullshit they’ve made, is because I want to see good storytelling, talented wrestlers that are in their roster, and even Vince getting his ass kicked. Besides, Shawn got what he deserved by breaking his back and forcing himself to retirement till he became a born-again Christian. The only reason why this is not number 1 is because both of them made peace with each other 12 years later which really made me cry! It was one of the most magical moments that proves that anything can happen. Because of this I’m no longer mad at what Shawn, Vince, or Hebner did in 1997.

Number 2.  –  OJ Simpson Trail, Michael Jackson’s Allegations, Mike Tyson Incident

Nothing can ever more disappointing than having celebrities that are looked as heroes to turn us down because of legal problems that we never knew that they had it with them. But what’s even worse is how it damaged their reputation so badly that every time we mention their names we still think of that very legal problems. Try saying Michael Jackson and see if anyone isn’t thinking of pedophilia, or say OJ and see his murder. At least those two got away with it (except for OJ’s second trial), but Tyson had to go to prison during his boxing career making boxing itself boring to watch without him. Another thing in common with these three is that they had to deal with trials more than once later in the 2000’s and it’s just crazy to see that people are still after them since the early 1990s. It just hurts to see that these three really talented big names has destroyed all praise and recognition. This was the time when society was hostile and vicious with anything and when it comes to legal problems, it’s scary to be a celebrity. Not only are we just scare of even confronting these three but they left us in disappointment! All those memories of seeing them do what they do best is for ever tainted with their uncontrollable behavior.

Number 1.  – Columbine Shooting

If there’s always a strong debate on gun control, it has to be because of this massacre. On April 20, 1999, in the small, suburban town of Littleton, Colorado, two high-school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, enacted an all-out assault on Columbine High School during the middle of the school day. The boys’ plan was to kill hundreds of their peers. With guns, knives, and a multitude of bombs, the two boys walked the hallways and killed. When the day was done, twelve students, one teacher, and the two murderers were dead; plus 21 more were injured. The haunting question remains: why did they do it? I can really see that they were really troubled kids that couldn’t fit in anywhere, we would of see them as victims, but to see all of them get shot shows that whoever they wanted to kill turned out to be the victims. It’s truly horrifying to see that the youth of America could degenerate themselves to shoot the innocent, but for the fact that they are responsible for the darkest times of the 1990s, and there should be nobody to blame than Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold on Adolf Hilter’s birthday of all things. This shows that teenage rebellion is bullshit and whatever they stood for, it was not worth it. The Columbine Massacre changed the way society looked at children and at schools. Violence was no longer just an after-school, inner-city activity. It could happen anywhere.

Well, I’m done talking about the worst aspects of the 1990s, however let’s finish the 1990s list by making our final list of the Top 10 Best Things of the 1990s!

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Top 10 Comic Books of the 1990s

During the ’80s, no medium was more innovative and daring than comic books. Shedding the notion that they were exclusively for children, writers like Neil Gaimain, Frank Miller, and Alan Moore revolutionized the industry with titles such as Batman: Year OneThe Dark Knight ReturnsWatchmen, and Sandman. These books transcended the superhero genre and wound up appealing to fans with more sophisticated tastes. That decade of revolution simply couldn’t bleed over into the ’90s, however. Even though Miller, Moore, and Gaimain were still churning out great work during the ’90s, new trends started to overtake the industry. The superlative storytelling of the ’80s were replaced by flashy art and greedy publishers’ get-rich-quick schemes. The 1990’s was an era of tasteless, hyper-sexualized drawings and classic superheroes thrown haphazardly into mindless stories created purely for shock value was called the “Dark Ages” of comic books. But I not necessarily hate this era in comic books because we’ve had independent comics companies like Image comics that rose up against Marvel and DC to sell better than them to show finally have creative control instead of having no royalties and respect to the artists that has been around the industry for many generations. It’s too bad that they didn’t finish the job but there were plenty of great comic books that came out in the 1990’s and I’m here to show you that not everything from the 90’s were at all bad. Outside of the indie North American comics, there was also the rise of popularity for manga that was being translated into English. The rise of manga’s popularity is also responsible for the anime’s popularity outside of Japan. You can see that there were still artists and comic writers back then that were willing and able to make it a masterpiece and destroy the the norm back in the 90’s.

Honorable Mentions

Maximum Carnage

Believe it or not, this was my introduction to comic books and that was because I played the video game that’s based on this comic book saga. Part of putting this comic book in the list is based on nostalgia and my fandom of the symbiote mythos. I wished that I got into comics earlier because the Venom and Carnage popularity was going downhill from here. But I like to look at Maximum Carnage as the best part of the Spider-Man vs. symbiote showdown that has been going since the late 80s. Carnage was so powerful and deadly that it took Venom and Spider-Man to finally team up to face this psycho serial killer. But even worse, he had to team up with new villains such as Shriek, Doppleganger, Demo Goblin, and many more. This is too much to handle for our Spider-Man so he had to gather up his biggest allies Black Cat, Cloak & Dagger, Firestar, Captain America, Deathlok and … Venom (from enemy to ally) to save New York from turning it into a bloodbath.  But when he finds himself at odds with a number of his allies, who want to finish Carnage and his cronies once and for all, Spider-Man must decide whether to violate his personal code of honor to rid the world of pure evil. Stakes were very high in this story arc and it was just simply the best thing that Marvel has done throughout the 1990s.

Good-Bye Chunky Rice

For being his first work, Chunky Rice broke Craig Thompson is a big way. Released through Top Shelf, the allegorical tale deals mainly with an anthropomorphic turtle that’s taking his leave of a very special mouse. It sounds extraordinarily precious, and of course, there are some moments where it can be. However, it mostly a heart-tugging look at hard choices and the losses that we sometimes have to accept. Casting animals actually takes a little bit of the sting out.  As Chunky sails the ocean and Dandel drops love letters into bottles carried by the waves, not much happens to propel the narrative. Yet the artistic range displayed within the black-and-white drawings, as Thompson evokes the turbulence and majesty of the sea, shows a more sophisticated command of technique than he employs with his characters (who are almost Peanuts-like). Originally published in 1999, this reprint represents the debut of another promising artist within the Pantheon stable.

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 Number 10.  –  Solar: Man of the Atom

In the early 1990s, Doctor Solar, Turok, and Magnus, Robot Fighter were licensed by Valiant Comics, which planned to use the characters as part of editor Jim Shooter’s new superhero line. A number of changes were made to the character and his back-story. The new version (now known simply as Solar) was a physicist named Phil Seleski. Seleski was a fan of the Gold Key line, especially the adventures of Doctor Solar. One day, Seleski and his colleagues were testing a new type of fusion reactor. When an accidental breach threatened to obliterate the entire area, Seleski rushed to shut down the reactor. He succeeded, but he was exposed to lethal doses of radiation in the process. Amazingly, the exposure did not kill him. Instead, it gave him an ability to manipulate energy. Seleski tried to use his powers for the good of mankind. He became determined to destroy the world’s supply of nuclear weapons. The US government tried to stop him. Unfortunately, their efforts caused Seleski to lose control of his powers, which in turn caused Earth to fall into a giant black hole. Seleski was thrown several weeks back in time (or so he thought). The guilt over his role in destruction of his world caused him to split into two beings: Doctor Solar, who believed himself to be Seleski’s childhood hero; and Phil Seleski, who retained all the memories of the original. Seleski sought to prevent an accident that gave him powers from taking place. Jim Shooter used real science, and even explained complex ideas, to firmly ground his epic. But, the real genius of the book is its focus on one man, Phil Seleski, and his struggle to come to terms with waking up to find he has the power of a god. Barry Windsor-Smith provides his best work since the final issue of his Conan run, while Jim Shooter only had to wait six months to top this (but we’ll get to that).

Number 9.  –  Hellboy: The Corpse

Who would have thought that a supernatural investigator that looks like a devil but can’t shoot straight would spawn spin-offs, animated films, and big-budget Hollywood feature? Maybe Mike Mignola, but we’re pretty sure that the main thing he cared about was making one of the best damn comic books in anyone’s memory. Combing his wonderful dark artistry with a knack for character and smart integration of the world’s folklore, Mignola built a character universe that still thrives. And he did it in the ’90s. Anyone can talk shit about comics in the 90s, but Hellboy is always a blast to reach and his series is one of the best parts of comics in the 1990s. It’s almost like reading a classic comic book that dealt with super natural elements like EC Comics. Though all of Hellboy story arcs are all to be gathered into separate graphic novels/essentials, the best one in my mind is the Corpse. It tells the stoy of an Irish baby in 1959 who is kidnapped by fairies and Hellboy must return a corpse to its grave to return the child to her family. Seemingly a minor tale, continuity-wise, this story eventually became quite important (especially when the child grows up to become a major part of Hellboy lore).

Number 8.  –  Harbinger

Sometimes I blame myself for not getting into Valiant Comics sooner because if there was a big third or fourth in the comic book industry it hat to be Valiant Comics and Harbinger is the proof why it is. In the editorial, Valiant’s Editor in Chief, Jim Shooter, tells us that the book we hold in our hands is the most important since Avengers #1. 13 years later, I’m still not sure that he was wrong. When this book was first released it was a national sensation. Every kid worth his polybag and backing board just had to have one, and the resulting frenzy sent the book to the top of Wizard’s Top Ten Hottest Books List for a then-record four months. The book’s creative team reinvented the genre popularized by the X-Men. The good guys did unforgivable things, the bad guys were usually more right then the good guys, and best of all, they behaved like real people would — in the Valiant Universe, when you want to kill your enemy, you don’t challenge him to a stand-off at your base on the moon (this is actually a plot involving the X-Men), you send someone he trusts to shoot him in the back of the head. Things happen in Harbinger that would never happen in an X-Men books, but happen all the time in the movies and other arts, and definitely in real life. Most importantly, Harbinger was the book that sparked a revolution in comics that is now forgotten today.

Harbingers are these being that have special supernatural powers.Toyo Harada is the first Harbinger, and unlike subsequent Harbingers he was able to make his powers manifest at will, or activate the powers of others. Other Harbingers exhibit powers only rarely and this activation is always brought on by severe stress. There are other Harbingers out there but one that sticks out is a teenager named Pete Stanchek.  Harada is intrigued by Pete, who is the only other Harbinger to have triggered his own powers and who exhibits multiple abilities. Harada is no longer the only Omega Harbinger. Harada tries to persuade Pete to join the Harbinger Foundation and become Harada’s right hand man, but when Pete’s best friend, who had been vocal about his distrust for Harada, is murdered by the Foundation Pete realizes the truth. Pete, along with Kris (a high school cheerleader who Pete had first been unconsciously mentally controlling so that she would go out with him) become renegades. They decide to recruit Harbingers themselves, activate their abilities, and form an army capable of challenging Harada and go with war with each other!

Without Harbinger, Valiant wouldn’t have become the third largest publisher as quickly as it did. Without Harbinger, there wouldn’t have been an Ultraverse Universe or a CrossGen Universe. Without Harbinger, there wouldn’t have been a wake-up call for the rest of the industry to move away from gimmicks and hype, and back to quality storytelling.

Number 7.  –  Spawn

While Image was selling much more than Marvel and DC, Spawn was the height of the popularity in 90’s comics. The sad thing about Image comics when they were starting out is that the majority of them were more or less like team of heroes that rip-offs of the X-Men, which these artists came from. Todd McFarlane was the only one that truly gave a damn about making his own original character.  Spawn‘s inaugural issue was one of the top-selling comics in history, and unlike a number of other Image creations, has stood the test of time — the book just reached its 150th issue. But McFarlane did more than create a hit book with Spawn. MacFarlane has since added to his publishing wing by forming a major toy company built on the Spawn characters and a multimedia division that has produced a Spawn animated series and a movie. Often recognized as one of the most important characters created since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Marvel icons. Spawn was a murdered CIA operative who makes a deal with the demon Malebolgia, returning to Earth as an immortal Hellspawn. During his resurrection he witness that his wife is married to his best friend and they have a child together that forever pains Spawn. At the same time, he began as a traditional vigilante hero, Spawn grew increasingly dark over time, slipping further into an anti-hero role as the theology-heavy storylines became increasingly twisted. The only thing that was lacking is there was too much waste of time for the character to get over his obsession of his wife in self doubt and finally move one to be who he’s famous for!

Number 6.  –  Maus 

Maus is the Schindler’s List of graphic novels/comic books. Autobiographies isn’t a new thing in comics, but Art Spiegelman’s story during the holocaust is the of the most important creations in sequential art! The first and only graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize, Maus is the powerful and emotional story of Art Spiegelman’s father, Vladek, a Holocaust survivor. Alternating between the past (Vladek’s imprisonment in a concentration camp, the death of his son Richieu, and his survivor’s guilt) and the present (Spiegelman’s interviews with his father, the often agonizing process of creation), Maus doesn’t just present the reader with the gritty talking points; it takes an active role in the conversation. The book uses postmodern techniques—most strikingly in its depiction of races of humans as different kinds of animals, with Jews as mice, Germans as cats and non-Jewish Poles as pigs. Maushas been described as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. A game-changing, genre-defining classic, Maus is more than a personal story of survival, “it also stands among the best works of Holocaust literature in any form”

Number 5.  –  Sandman

While we had Image comics-style and generic artwork flooding the comic book market, we still have Vertigo comics that actually gave us a huge alternative from action, flashy, and stupid stories into intelligent, complex, and deep storytelling. The one comic series that build Vertigo comics was Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. The comics series that, in many ways, started it all and remains a high point for Vertigo Comics and DC Entertainment as a whole, Sandman brought a level of intelligence, beauty and self-awareness to mainstream American comics that even Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing andWatchmen hadn’t quite managed, and its success was enough to allow Berger to convince the Powers The Be to greenlight Vertigo. But there’s something else that Sandman introduced to the US comic industry that has become so well-accepted as to be overlooked in recent days: Vertigo (and Berger) allowed the comic to finish when Neil Gaiman was finished with it. No new writer and new status quo, despite its immense success, Sandman brought a new understanding of the importance of the creator to company-owned comics, and a reminder that, sometimes, it’s best to get offstage while people are demanding more. (Perhaps something that Berger herself had in mind as she announced her stepping down, yesterday…)

Number 4.  –  Kingdom Come

DC comics has done a lot of crap in the 1990s, but there’s at least one masterpiece that they’ve created that was their take against Alan Moore’s Watchmen. The concept of Kingdom Come is inspired by creating a generation gap between the heroes of classic super hero mentality and generations leading before it (reminds me of old vs. modern comics). All of the events in the story were to make a parallel to the Book of Revelation. Kingdom Come was written by Mark Waid and its artwork done by Alex Ross who is known for his photo realism in his artwork, and this is no exception. It was published back in the 1996. The story is set many years in the future in the DC universe. A rift is created between the superheroes of old (The more “traditional” ones) and the newer heroes that have become reckless and irresponsible. The Events in the story are seen from the perspective of an elderly pastor named Norman McCay being reluctantly chosen by spiritual being known as The Spectre to be his anchor to humanity and with him view the upcoming events as an omnipresent form where no one can see or hear them. Superman had gone into seclusion in his fortress of solitude attending to his own makeshift farm. He no longer goes under his secret identity of Clark Kent after the Joker killed multiple staff members of the Daily Planet, one of them being Lois Lane. At first he refuses to reunite Justice League but later joining to help the superhero community, donning a somewhat new costume with the shield being red and black as suppose to his original red and yellow. Superman attempts to bring along Batman, who the public knows that he is Bruce Wayne. He now wears an exoskeleton to support his old and feeble body after years of being the Batman now had taken a physical toil on him. Batman uses robots he created in his image to patrol the streets of Gotham City turning into a city state. However Batman refuses Superman’s offer after not agreeing to his new agenda. The majority of heroes of the current generation have gotten out of line where they ether endanger civilians or war with one another, one example violently forcing away immigrants on their way to Elis Island. Superman puts together a new justice league to police the new vigilante problem. He places Wonder Woman as his second in command. He and his league imprison the rouge heroes in prison nicknamed the gulag in the ruins of what was Kansas. Superman claims this is for the sake of educating the prisoners to not be reckless heroes.Another divide is created between superhumans and mere mortals. The United Nations begin to lose faith in the Justice League’s Gulag and its attempt to reform rouge heroes. Lex Luthor and a couple members of Batman’s Rouges Gallery help create the Mankind Liberation Front. The Front sees that putting an end to the League’s actions by destroying them completely. I find this whole graphic novel as an example of old verses new when it comes to superheroes with a generational gap, for instances having Batman and Robin (Now known as Red Robin) become separated on the meta-human vigilante issue. This story is put together show how dangerous individuals or groups with too much power can be. With all the powers and abilities that a superhero may or may not have the greater power above all of that has to be making the difference between the right and wrong. One thing about comics is that not everything is set in stone and one can take as many creative liberties with characters and storylines as they want. In the novel they had Superman absorb so much solar rays over the years that he is immune to kryptonite and have a budding romance between Wonder Woman. I have to recommend this to any who is either a big fan of comics or an art buff.

Number 3.  –  Battle Angel Alita

This is the only Manga that made it in the list because it is some of the richest, deepest, and most detailed manga that has ever been created! Yukito Kishiro proved to be both one hell of an artist and a storyteller of modern times! The people and cyborgs of the Scrap Yard live beneath the flying city of Tiphares, whose inhabitants dump their junk in the Scrap Yard and rules above it’s inhabitants. One day doc Ido, a former Tipharean citizen, finds the intact head of young cyborg-girl in a vast pile of scrap. He takes her in and gives her a body and the name Alita. Alita then discovers since long forgotten fighting techniques hidden in her body and decides to become a hunter-warrior like Ido. But things gotten so much worse for the two as cyborg monsters and gangs tries to ruin the Scrap Yard only to have Alita try to make a difference, but manages to make things worse than they are. This Manga series spawned 9 volumes from 1990 – 1995 and it was one hell of a comic run! With those 9 volumes it depict life as it moves forward and also going very deep that nobody is clearly good or evil. There’s a huge cast of character that are all deep and developing effortlessly. Backed that up with some of the most fascinating science fiction world ever seen, you got yourself one hell of a tale! There are so much terminology with this fictional technology that the world of Alita is in and everything has a complexity to it that it makes a reader hooked to it. It gets so dense and relatable that anything that goes wrong with your favorite character can easily break your heart or something goes well can take your breath away! You’ll get the best character development, action sequences, best surprises, and best dialog ever printed! You owe it to yourself to read Battle Angel Alita! And by the of reading all 9 Volumes, it bring an appropriately bittersweet ending to the series, with a happy ending at last for our hero, and all looked to be well with the world.

Number 2.  –  Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles

It should go without saying that the Turtles started out as a comic book satire of Daredevil into a multimedia franchise! My favorite incarnation of the Turtles will always be Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s take on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because it so well told and so unbelievably creative that it has been repeated and retold again & again in future incarnations of the Turtles. Sure the series did have a bunch of bumps in 80’s, but in 1990 – 1993 (Issues 28 – 62) has became some of the most captivating and engaging moments of the Ninja Turtles! Each time I go back to those old issues it make me wish that there Mirage Comics was a big comic book company like Marvel and DC because they were the best underground comics studio that I can think of! We were able to see the Turtles to be so deep and at their best when facing off The Shredder, the foot, and many other enemies that dared to face them. The City at War story arc has always been my favorite moments of Ninja Turtles and since then I have yet to see a better moment for our heroes from any series of the franchise! Towards the end of volume 1’s run, it left me speechless!

Nothing could ever be more awesome than volume 1 of Ninja Turtles. Though though other volumes of the Ninja Turtles comics have came out after Issue 62, they didn’t really have that engaging and gripping storytelling that the original volumes have. Volume 2 of Ninja Turtles was just illustrations instead of good storytelling which lead to the cancelation of the series. Volume 3, when Mirage sided with Image, had cool ideas but had ridiculous results like making Leo into cyborg, Donatello was absent, and Savage Dragon (Image comics character) became a recruiting ally to the turtles (lame). The only comic series that almost lived up to volume 1 of the Ninja Turtles was Volume 4 (until they got cancelled) and IDW’s run on Ninja Turtles that’s on-going today. But I still have a huge passion to the original story that was told from the original Turtles and I continue to get inspired from it the more I read them!

Number 1.  –  Bone

Bone is a true classic in any storytelling medium. Jeff Smith describes his colossal fantasy as a cross between Bugs Bunny and Lord of the Rings, but it ultimately stands as its own legacy. A whimsical, often-times hilarious journey that straddles action, adventure and comedy with natural finesse, Bone entertains from start to finish, young and old alike. The Bone comic series is a near perfect story that will leave readers not disappointed. I loved every moment that was put into each panel with Jeff Smith’s charming illustrations, engagingly fun dialogue and the story getting intense as the characters developed maturely in this epic tale. This was simply one of the best comic book/ graphic novel series that I ever read. It combines comedy and fantasy, taking some risks to make the story more suitable for a wider demographic. Bone officially became one of my inspirations in writing and drawing that made me write and draw more original stuff these days. I’m surprised that Bone never gotten its own feature film or TV series yet because it would have been so fascinating to see the Bone characters  in motion when traditional animations were common in animation studios back then. You can get the whole series of Bone in the Complete graphic novel and it is the highest recordation of a comic book to read!

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