Are We Living in the New Golden Age of Comic Books?
We have to ask the question: are we currently experiencing the greatest era in the history of comic books? A lot of people might point to past eras, like the sixties, when the Marvel Universe was founded by the likes of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko, or to the 1980s, when we saw seminal works like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns published, or even to the 90s, when the comics industry's sales exploded. But according to the only empirical evidence for quality available, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more important era in comics than the one we're living in right now.
Out of 117 comics reviewed this week, according to review aggregator Comic Roundup, only 18 scored below a 7 out of 10. Only 3 comics, according to critics average scores, ranked below average, with scores lower than 5. Shatterstar #3, Marvel's Avengers: Untitled Prelude #1, and Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Team Racing #1 each scored a 4.0 out of 10, with just one review each. 67 books, more than half, scored higher than an 8. 21 comics published this week are scored at 9 or higher, which must surely rank them amongst some of the greatest comics ever published. 2 books, Grumble #1 and Goliath Girls #2, scored a perfect 10 out of 10. Centuries from now, comic historians will rightly reflect on Goliath Girls #2 as one of the most important works of literature of the 21st century.
This week, Zenescope's Grimm's Fairy Tales #24 ranked a 9.6, putting it right up there with the actual original Grimm Brothers' publication on the literary scale. Marvel had four books with a 9.0 or higher: Killmonger #1, Namor: The Best Defense #1, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #38, and Immortal Hulk #10, which scored a near-perfect 9.6. Eat your hearts out, Lee and Kirby! Put that in your beard and smoke it, Alan Moore!
Can you imagine another time in comics history where so many top-tier comics were published in a single week? And this week isn't a fluke. The scores are this high every week. We would never assume that most comic book reviewers are hacks with no actual critical skills who waste their time fawning over mediocre-to-slightly-above-average comics and giving them wildly inappropriate scores in an attempt to ingratiate themselves with their heroes in a sycophantic relationship between the comic book media and comic book publishers and creators, so the only logical conclusion we can possibly come to is that this is the single greatest time period in the history of comic book publishing. You can't dispute the facts.
How does it feel to live through the new Golden Age? Let us know in the comments.