The comic books of 1990: A personal history
Thanks to a post at Robot 6, I discovered the “Time Machine” and “Time Platform” at Mike’s Amazing World of DC Comics, which take you to indexes of comic-book releases, sorted by month, with cover scans. If you want to know what Marvel Comics you bought in June 1990, for example, you’d simply click here and check out the covers.
I started thinking about my comics tastes, and how much they’d changed, or not changed, over the years. I’ve taken a long and involved look back at my comics purchases of 1990 — if this sounds a little tedious for you, just scroll through and look at the covers!
In 1990, I was, well, much younger than I am now, and had yet to start working at a comic-book store. In fact, my trips to the comic shop were somewhat infrequent, and my best bet for a weekly comic-book fix was shopping the magazine rack at the local Homeland. I was more of a Marvel fan in 1990 than DC, or perhaps the Homeland just carried more Marvel books, but going back through 1990, it looks like I was a pretty consistent Captain America and Uncanny X-Men customer. It’s a little harder to remember on the DCs – what Superman comics did I buy off the shelf, versus what did I buy from back issue bins later? But it looks like 1990 – the year of the Todd McFarlane “Spider-Man” launch, the “Heroes for the 1990s” mini-line, and Rob Liefeld’s “New Mutants” – was Marvel-dominated at my house.
In January, from Marvel it seems like I would have bought Captain America 368 — Captain America has long been my go-to comic, and was the only comic book I regularly collected for a while — but for some reason I think I missed this issue and had to get it later. So the only Marvel issue I think I bought off the shelf this month was the “Year in Review 1989,” with Todd McFarlane’s Spidey on the cover (based on his successful run on “Amazing Spider-Man”). From DC in January, there was the George Perez-covered “Action Comics” #650.
In February, John Byrne’s “Namor” No. 1 and “Captain America” # 369 got my money. “Namor” was part of Marvel’s “Heroes for the 1990s” line, which would also include Robocop, Ghost Rider, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the best-selling of them all, Todd McFarlane’s Spider-Man.
March was a bigger month: I was starting to warm up to Diamondback as a possible girlfriend for Captain America in “Captain America” #370, and I began what would become an obsession with “Uncanny X-Men” #261. I had a few issues of “Uncanny X-Men” before this, but this issue made me much more serious about this as a favorite comic. It was Marc Silvestri’s final issue as the “X-Men” artist, though I didn’t know it at the time. I’d later follow Silvestri on to “Wolverine,” but not for about another year.
In April, Captain America #371 and Uncanny X-Men #262 joined “X-Factor” #55, as I made an attempt to branch out into other X-books.
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