How Would You Divide Up the DC Modern Age (1986 to 2011)?

So the “New 52” period ran for 5 years, and the “Rebirth” period has now ran for 7 years, and it’s getting replaced by “Dawn of DC”.

If you were to try and break up the DC Modern Age (1986 to 2011) into “chapters” similar to the above, what would it look like? I’m doing this for “Breaking up my reading” reasons (I just like to organize/categorize my reading).

Would it be something like:
Period 1: From “The Man of Steel” / “Batman: Year One” in 1986/87 to “The Death of Superman” in 1992.
Period 2: From “Reign of the Supermen” / “Knightfall” in 1993 to “The Final Night” in 1996.
Period 3: From “JLA #1” in 1996 to around the time of “Our Worlds At War” in 2001.
Period 4: From around the time of “Bruce Wayne: Fugitive” / “Batman: Hush” in 2002 to the end of “Infinite Crisis” in 2006.
Period 5: From around the start of the “52” weekly comic series / the “Batman and Son” storyline in 2006, to the end of the Modern Age with “Flashpoint” in 2011.

Something like that? Thoughts?


I like that the most! For me, Period 3 was the best


The New 52 was terrific. Hate that they gave up on it. Hopefuly that the new universe is as well told.


I would do
Post Crisis (1986-1991)
Extreme Age (1991-2000)
Pre-Flashpoint (2000-2011)


I tend to think of the Pre-Flashpoint era this way:

  1. Post-Crisis. 1986-1994, from COIE to Zero Hour.
  2. Zero Hour. 1994-2006, from Zero Hour to Infinite Crisis.
  3. Infinite/Final Crisis. 2006-2009, Infinite Crisis to Final Crisis.
  4. Blackest Night/Brightest Day. 2009-2011, Final Crisis to Flashpoint.

(Parts 1 and 2 form my favorite overall period in comic history.)


I actually thought about this a few years ago because of an encounter I had. We were at a dinner party and I was 15 at the time, an older gentleman at the table and I were talking and it came up that I liked comics, and he asked “which period of comics I was from”… and unfortunately he didn’t know what Rebirth or New 52 was, so the conversation turned awkward very quickly. So it got me thinking about how we define the “generation” or “period” the modern day comics are from, because even stuff from 2011 have been retconed and changed since then.


1- Perfection

2- Perfection

3- Perfection


I can see that, and it kinda makes sense (using the “rewriting of the universe” moments as the dividing lines), but I tend to stick to “roughly every 5 to 6 years” as a good dividing line (as the tone and artwork and storylines can shift every 4 to 6 years, even if the universe doesn’t reboot). There’s 12 years in-between “Zero Hour” and “Infinite Crisis”, and then from “Infinite Crisis” to “Flashpoint” the universe seemed like it was being altered every 6 months.

Also, I was trying to take into account major “events” or significant comic books - “JLA #1” was a big deal back in the late 90’s, and “Batman: Hush” lead to a revitalizing of the Batman line of books. Or so I feel.


I’ll side with @HubCityQuestion because his POV is how I view that whole enchilada of time and because I remember reading some years back that that was how DC viewed everything from '86-'11 as well.


I tend to just refer to anything after COIE and before Flashpoint as Post-Crisis. But if I were to divide it up further…maybe I’ll refer to the rest of the 80s as The Fallout. A period of time where DC might be ironing out the details of how their rebooted universe looks.

The 90s I often refer to as The Dark Age. The popularity and success of Watchmen and TDKR had comics from all companies go the “edgy” and “exxxtreme” route because they took the wrong lessons from those books. While this trend didn’t last through the entire 90s, I would argue it is the biggest characteristic and identifier. And generally speaking, this was a period where story telling and characters were getting darker, although arguably in more mature and/or less over the top ways.

As for the 2000s, maybe the best name is just The New Century. Then I just refer to the other stretches by their official names - New 52, Rebirth, Infinite Frontier, & Dawn of DC


Comics were way darker in the Golden Age. In Tec 28 Robin and I are slaughtering criminals by throwing them off building with giant smiles on our faces. I was dark then.

I don’t remember the exact title offhand, but years ago, someone wrote a book titled something to the effect of “The Dark Age”, wherein it specifically detailed everything from the “grim 'n gritty” era, so you’re not alone in using that label.

Definitely a good read…if only I could remember the title and/or Google could find the damn book for me. :smile:


You have a very valid point! But the 90s were distinct in that everyone had these SUPER BIG muscles and heroes had permanent scowls and grittin’ their teeth, no smiles or visible emotions other than rage or brooding. Big explosions! Constant yelling! All fights all the time!

It was a stupid time


What is my profile pic, chopped bat?

Don’t forget the super-big ti-


Yes, times.


You know those Image women especially had big…times.

Coughs inconspiculously.

Its easy to say that in retrospect, but when those times were current, they were…well, yeah, there was a lot of fun being made at the expense of pouches, constant anger and brooding and the like when that stuff was new.

Still, at least some of the stuff we make fun of now was seen as cool, then.

“Spikes! Nu-Batman needs more spikes!”

Okay, the era definitely had its share of goofiness, but hey, goofy has its place. :nerd_face:


I’m not aiming these criticisms at you or the TDKR. First, TDKR came out in 1986 and my critiques are aimed at these traits and cliches from the 90s. Second, while TDKR did inspire these 90s trends, at least Returns did deal with some complex ideas/philosophies and had some great literary/character work

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Idk who Joe Chill is, the killer of Batman’s parents is unknown and was never apprehended.

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I will catch him. Anyday now. Anyday now.

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I usually go with about 15-20 year eras

1938-1956 (Action #1 to just before Showcase #4)
1956-1970 (Showcase #4 to 1970, everybody enters the Bronze age at a slightly different time, but around then)
1971-1985 (ends with COIE #12)
1986-200? (Post Crisis era ends and the Didio era begins, either Graduation Day, Identity Crisis or when Max shoots in Countdown to Infinite Crisis)
200?-2020 Didio Era of Constant Crisis (OYL, New52, Rebirth all resets for DC)

“1986-200? (Post Crisis era ends and the Didio era begins, either Graduation Day, Identity Crisis or when Max shoots in Countdown to Infinite Crisis)
200?-2020 Didio Era of Constant Crisis (OYL, New52, Rebirth all resets for DC)”

If it helps, I always thought “Identity Crisis” was the start of “The era of Mega Crisis / Multi-title Crossovers”. Not that they didn’t have crossovers and “Events” back in the 90’s, but it really amped up around Identity Crisis/Infinite Crisis.