In this week's Grumpy Old Fan column at CBR (one of my weely must-reads), Tom Bondurant looks back on 2010, noting that
2011 marks the silver anniversary of the creative renaissance which was DC Comics in 1986. The year began with Howard Chaykin’s Shadow and Frank Miller’s Dark Knight. In the spring, Len Wein and Paris Cullins relaunched Blue Beetle, and “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?” revealed the final fate of the Earth-1 Superman. Watchmen and John Byrne’s Man of Steel kicked off the summer, which also featured Denny O’Neil’s return to Batman as editor of Batman and Detective Comics. (The latter featured the all-too-brief tenure of writer Mike W. Barr and artists Alan Davis and Paul Neary.) John Ostrander took over Firestorm from co-creator Gerry Conway, and helped lay the groundwork for 1987′s Suicide Squad in the big summer event, Legends. The year ended with the debuts of Denny O’Neil and Denys Cowan’s Zen-infused Question, Cary Bates and Pat Broderick’s Captain Atom, and the last “Big Three” relaunch, George Pérez’s Wonder Woman.
This was shortly before I got out of comics around 1987 (for a reason I still don't remember), but I do recall what an exciting time the DCU was back then. Fresh ideas abounded (even if one of them was Booster Gold), and every character that was revamped--including the Trinity--was actually improved by it. While the first Crisis did erase a lot of Golden Age history (and royally mucked up a lot of what Roy Thomas was doing with Infinity Inc. and All-Star Squadron, my two of my favorite titles at the time), it did give us a Justice League with Batman, Dr. Fate, Captain Marvel, and Blue Beetle, now all on the same Earth--unthinkable to a longtime DC fan at the time.
While I'm waxing nostalgic, I'll resist the urge to criticize the comics of today--the me reading them today is very different from the me who read them 25 years ago, when I had the fresh eyes of a teenager. But those were good times... if you were there, you know what I mean, and if you weren't, I hope you get the same feeling from the books you're reading now, or whenever your "glory years" were.