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DC & the Death of Innocence in Comic Books

By Mark de Leeuw

Introduction

An introduction to the (in)famous Dark Age of Comic Books, where innocence was lost and gritty dirty realism was found. In this playlist, I'm showing you how and why this shift occurred and how the major stories have been influenced by the world around us. Mostly spoiler free and I will always warn you beforehand. I plan to add more in depth analysis's of certain books later on, which require you to have read it. Again, these will include warnings beforehand. I'll update this playlist as I find new and interesting comics and articles to share. If you're new to comics like me, you'll love this playlist.

Mark de Leeuw — Grumpy-looking Community Management intern at Gibbon, occasional Graphic Designer & irregular blogger. I like comics, ...

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “If you're new to the whole collecting/reading comic thing, check this out. I just jumped into it randomly and never really knew what was going on. If you're already familiar with comics, go ahead and skip this.

1 What to know after you know you want to get into Comics

If you've ever been in a comic book store, there's a good chance your first thought as you stepped inside was probably something like, "What the hell is all this stuff?" Hopefully, you also felt a dash of excitement with a soup├žon of wonder, but I'd bet the predominant emotion was overwhelmed confusion at the packed shelves, rows of boxes,

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “This article gives a great quick overview about how the Dark Age of Comics came to be and more importantly: What triggered it to become so dark. Although it mentions Marvel & other comic publishers, this playlist will focus on DC later on.

2 Comics 101: What is the Modern Age of comic books?

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “I'm not even going to waste a lot of words on Watchmen. In my humble opinion the most important and significant comic that was produced in the Dark Age. Besides that, it's frequently considered the best Graphic Novel that has ever been published. Watchmen took comic book innocence and ripped it to shreds. If you're only buying one Graphic Novel in your life, make it this one. But, there is a option if you're scared to visit a comic book store: the Movie.

3 Classics Corner Volume 1: Watchmen

OK, I admit, I'm a comic book newbie. I haven't been reading them very long and all but a handful of the ones I have read have been older classics. But you know what, more and more people are going to be getting into comics in the near future, and most of them will convert thanks to the upcoming Watchmen

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Watchmen challenged the Status Quo of comics. In its own way, it created a caricature of comic book heroes by putting them in a realistic light. How would "Superheroes" fare in the real world? As I said before, Watchmen is quite the big read and might be discouraging for the starting reader. The movie is an easier way to get a taste of Watchmen, although it can never do the book full justice. With the popularity of the Avengers and Batman movies, Watchmen is an underrated gem that deserves more praise.

4 Watchmen: Movie trailer.

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “The low sales of Comics can be considered as one of the key factors in starting the Dark Age of Comics. It was time for a shift in reputation. The Dark Knight return was one of the first to take the new path, and took it upon itself to reflect Batman's character to the modern world.

5 Frank Miller's 'Dark Knight' brought Batman back to life

In the 69 years since his birth, Batman has survived the attempts of petty crooks and warped supervillains alike to do him in. However, his most dangerous foe may have been the 1960s high-camp TV series that remade the caped crusader into a POW! and SOCK! buffoon. When the show died, sales of the Batman comic book (which had gone

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “It's not without good reason that Christopher Nolan included elements of the epic two-parter The Dark Knight Returns in his movies. DC's animation movies are on point and a great way to introduce yourself into comics if you're not into buying the books.

6 The Dark Knight Returns Part 1 - Official Trailer

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “You can't talk about the Dark Age of Comics without mentioning The Killing Joke. A must have for any comic collector, Alan Moore dives into Batman, Joker and the interesting duality between the two. Spoiler free except for a well indicated part at the end of the article.

7 Revisiting An Old Friend: The Killing Joke

Written on Our favourite comics and graphic novels are like old friends in a way. They're with you over the years and if you haven't read them in a long time, it's the same as meeting up with a friend you haven't seen in years. The Killing Joke is one such story for me.I absolutely love this book, I really

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “The Killing Joke is very much a Joker story. In fact, the whole story is based upon him. Joker is trying to prove his point: Everyone can be like me after one bad day. One bad day is all that separates you from me. Troy Baker met his share of doubt from fans when it was announced that he was taking over Mark Hamill in doing the Jokers infamous voice. With this excellent segment from the pages of The Killing Joke, he proved all the doubters that he was the man for the job.

8 The Killing Joke Monologue read by Troy Baker.

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Batman: Year One is considered to be THE origin story of Batman. Frank Miller does a terrific job not only in the story, but also in the way he tells the story visually. Story wise, it treats the early days of Batman majestically and gives the character a new layer of depth and motivation. It's no surprise that Batman (who already is considered a dark and "scary" character) takes a lead role in the Dark age of Comics. Although Year One is not really seen as the catalyst for the Dark Age of Comics, it makes for a good place to start your decent into darkness.

9 3 Reasons why you should read Batman: Year One

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Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Mild spoilers in this article, but the content of the article makes having read the book a must. The Dark Age added more layers and perspectives to Comic Books. Maybe it was a new way of doing art or a new line of thinking, but the medium was used in a wider way from the dark ages on. This article sheds some light on some of the symmetry of text & image.

10 The Dark Knight Returns: Short Analysis

In Frank Miller's graphic novel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Bruce Wayne is at an age where crime fighting is difficult; his health is not on his side and the public's support for his work is diminishing. He constantly states that "this wouldn't be a bad death." With the help of a thirteen year-old, female Robin, Batman is able to

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “What made Watchmen so special was the gritty realism in the pages. It's not just a comic, it's a story told through visuals and text. A lot of events in the story are linked to the artwork and the dark and smudgy colours were (at the time) a grim contract to the bright and campy style that was normal at the time. Watchmen is driven by it's layers, and this article emphasises on them. Obviously, not spoiler free.

11 An Analysis of Watchmen: Symmetry and the Tragic Flaw

I am not about to present a plot summary or formal review in any sense. If you are looking for such, then I would advise you read the elaborate review from my fellow writer, Jake Cole. However, if you are looking for an analysis of the graphic novel, then I encourage you to read further - the meaning behind Watchmen

Added by Mark de Leeuw: “Politics. I'm not a fan, and neither is the writer of Watchmen it seems.

12 The Political Message of Watchmen

Watchmen is the kind of work that invites interpretation. It has resonance with real-world political events and a tone of high moral seriousness, but no overt moral or political message. The formalist conceits are dazzling in their coquemplexity, but lack the clear symbolic significance of, say, the gimmick from Memento. So what does it all mean? Probably every geek-in-good-standing has

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