Great Job, Internet!: Read This: Rethinking the grim and gritty Dark Age of superhero comics

With the appearance of such seminal titles as Alan Moore’s Watchmen and Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns in the mid-1980s, superhero comics entered their so-called and still-ongoing Dark Age, an era that represents either a cynical degradation of the medium or an elevation of the form to new artistic heights. Or at least, that’s the standard version of comics history as generally represented in the larger media. Since those groundbreaking books from the Reagan era, modern superhero comics have been perceived as more violent, pessimistic, and realistic than their relatively innocent predecessors. Whether this is a boon or a curse is matter of personal taste. Either way, it’s a controversial legacy that writer Jackson Ayres is eager to re-evaluate and deconstruct an essay for The L.A. Review Of Books entitled “When Were Superheroes Grim And Gritty?”

First, Ayres wants to talk about that troublesome …

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