As one of the most influential periods of comics, the 1990s saw the introduction of numerous fan-favorite characters. Alongside some of these new characters, multiple traditional comic book titles underwent significant changes, some swapping out main characters while others received radical additions to their mythos.
Like its most significant competitors, DC Comics wasn’t immune to the wave of change to comic books in the 1990s. In fact, some of the best DC comics have ever published came out in the 90s, and lots of their success was a result of radical changes.
9 Emerald Twilight Introduced Kyle Rayner
Starting in Green Lantern Vol 3 #47, emerald twilight kicked off the iconic Marz and Banks run of Green Lantern. Known primarily for introducing fan-favorite Green Lantern, Kyle Rayner, and revealing Hal Jordan’s fall to evil, emerald twilight radically altered the trajectory of the entire mythos.
Shortly after Hal witnessed the destruction of his hometown, Coast City, he attempted to rebuild it using his power ring. However, after quickly being reminded that doing so would violate the Green Lantern Corps’ rules, Hal grows angry with the Guardians and attacks their base of operation.
8 Mark Waid’s Flash Run Made Wally West A Fan-Favorite
Though it wasn’t the first run to feature Wally West as the main character, Mark Waid’s Flash run is widely considered the comic that made Wally West an A-list character. The iconic, eight-year run, which took place in Flash Vol 2 issues 62 through 150, saw numerous additions to the Flash mythos that are now considered essential.
On top of introducing the fan-favorite character, Impulse, Waid’s Flash introduced the Speed Force, which is a concept that explains the logic of The Flash’s superspeed abilities. Since Waid introduced the idea, the Speed Force has served as a narrative vehicle for nearly every Flash run.
7 Batman Knightfall Is An Epic Tale
An epic, three-part storyline that occurred in Batman issues 484 through 515, as well as a few tie-in titles, batman knightfall is regarded as an iconic, action-packed Batman storyline. Loosely adapted in the Christopher Nolan film, The Dark Knight Rises, batman knightfall begins with Bane freeing every maximum-security inmate in Arkham Asylum.
After forcing Batman to deal with villain after villain – pulling him out in the process – Bane confronts Batman and breaks his back after pounding him into submission. In the following issues, the controversial anti-hero, Azrael, took over the responsibilities of Batman.
6 Zero Hour Was A Major Moment For ’90s DC
Ever since the iconic Crisis On Infinite Earths storyline, DC Comics has utilized the crisis concept for other major comic events. Considered by many DC fans as one of the better crisis stories, Zero Hour is a five-issue storyline that features Hal Jordan’s effort to destroy the timestream.
Featuring both the Justice League and the Justice Society – two of DC’s most iconic superhero teams – Zero Hour includes major moments and plot lines for nearly every A-list DC character. On top of being a well-recognized comic event, Zero Hour also serves as the first appearance of Jack Knight as Starman.
5 JSA 1999 Made The Justice Society Popular Again
DC’s original superhero team, the Justice Society, was first introduced in 1940 with instant success, leading to the creation of other famous DC superhero teams like the Justice League and the Titans. After falling out of popularity, the team was reintroduced in 1999, resulting in a Justice Society renaissance throughout the early 2000s. Created by an all-star creative team of James Robinson, David Goyer, and Stephen Sedowski, the new version of the JSA roster was made up of returning characters like Wildcat, The Flash, and Alan Scott, as well as new members like Star- Spangled Kid.
4 Batman The Long Halloween Is A Masterpiece
Recently cited by director Matt Reeves as a significant influence for his film, batman, Batman: The Long Halloween is regarded as one of the most important Batman comics ever made. A traditional noir tale about a serial killer who only strikes on holidays, The Long Halloween displays the core elements of the Batman mythos: detective work in a grimy, corrupt city.
Featuring nearly every A-list Batman villain, the comic is star-studded and uses each character in unique ways that drive the narrative forward. Also, as a significantly influential Batman comic, The Long Halloween established a new origin for Two-Face, which is now considered his definitive origin story.
3 Wonder Woman Volume 2 Reshaped Diana’s Mythos
Although it started in 1987, wonder-woman Volume 2 was one of the best-selling comics throughout the entire decade of the 1990s. Through the contributions of all-star comic creatives like George Perez, Len Wein, and William Messner-Loebs, wonder-woman Volume 2 established itself as the definitive modern version of Wonder Woman’s mythos. Thanks to this run, many modern fans associate Wonder Woman with Greek Mythology: a concept Perez introduced to the mythos. Wonder Woman lore established in wonder-woman Volume 2 served as the primary continuity for the character until 2011 when DC relaunched their entire comic universe.
two JLA 1997 Put The Justice League Back On Top
Launching in 1997 under the pen of Grant Morrison, JLA Volume 1 is the book that made the Justice League a top-selling comic team again. Following a poor six years of sales for the Justice League, this run quickly soared to the top of sales charts due to the return of the Justice League’s Big Seven line-up.
Pulling many of DC’s most prominent characters into one title, JLA Volume 1 was a deserving high-seller, continuously placing the Justice League against the most significant threats in the DC Universe. On top of moving the Justice League up the sales charts, JLA Volume 1 established Grant Morrison as a famous DC writer, cementing their spot among the Justice League’s most influential writers.
1 Kingdom Come Is DC’s Greatest Elseworlds Comic
A deconstructionist masterpiece, kingdom come is the greatest Elseworlds comic DC has ever published. Produced by an incredible creative team of Mark Waid and Alex Ross, kingdom come is a four-issue series that deals with a growing conflict between traditional superheroes and new, dangerous vigilantes. After being convinced by Wonder Woman to reform the Justice League, Superman gathers heroes from across the world in the hopes of stopping a rising threat led by Lex Luthor. At the same time, an elderly Batman who refuses to join the reunited Justice League forms a team called the Outsiders.
8 DC Characters With Animal Qualities