In just about every way, the dominant pop culture style of the ‘90s was a direct response to what society went through in the ‘80s. Punk rock and new wave records were replaced by 'N Sync and Backstreet Boys albums, and testosterone-fueled cinema like Commando and Aliens soon made way for lighter fare like Can’t Hardly Wait and 10 Things I Hate About You. But the most jarring change of direction happened in the comic book industry.
During the ‘80s, sophisticated books like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and 2000 AD gave readers mature characters, complex themes, and, yes, uncomfortable violence that appealed to an older audience. When the ‘90s came along, though, the industry switched gears and placed sex and bombast over storytelling and creativity. Tellingly, the biggest changes came in the form of outrageous misogyny and sexism. Realism gave way to an oversexualized look for female characters that included skimpy costumes, micro waists, and gigantic breasts, much to the delight of sweaty-palmed, under-developed fanboys everywhere.
An entire generation of readers grew up adrift in boobs as imagined by guys who have never talked to women before. No one knows what kind of psychological damage this did in the long run, but we can tell you What We Learned About Women From Reading ‘90s Comics.
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