During the 80’s Frank Miller was hired to continue the title and did so in a similar vein to previous writer Roger McKenzie. Resuming the drastic metamorphosis the previous writer had begun, Miller took the step of essentially ignoring all of Daredevil’s continuity prior to his run on the series; on the occasions where older villains and supporting cast were used, their characterizations and history with Daredevil were reworked or overwritten. Most prominently, dedicated and loving father Jack Murdock was reimagined as a drunkard who physically abused his son Matt, entirely revising Daredevil’s reasons for becoming a lawyer. Spider-Man villain Kingpin was introduced as Daredevil’s new nemesis, displacing most of his large rogues gallery. Daredevil himself was gradually developed into an antihero. In issue #181 (April 1982), he attempts to murder one of his arch-enemies by throwing him off a tall building; when the villain survives as a quadriplegic, he breaks into his hospital room and tries to scare him to death by playing a two-man variation on Russian roulette with a secretly unloaded gun. Comics historian Les Daniels noted that “Almost immediately, [Miller] began to attract attention with his terse tales of urban crime.” Miller’s revamping of the title was controversial among fans, but it clicked with new readers, and sales began soaring, the comic returning to monthly status just three issues after Miller came on as writer.
This monthly, color anthology from 1992 featured some of the hottest properties and creators anywhere. Many of the storylines presented in the pages of Dark Horse Comics have spun off into their own monthly series.
Paul Levitz returned to write the series with #284. Pat Broderick and Bruce Patterson illustrated the title for a short time before Keith Giffen began on pencils, with Patterson, and then Larry Mahlstedt, on inks. The creative team received enhanced popularity following “The Great Darkness Saga“, which ran from #287; #290–294; and Annual #3, featuring a full assault on the United Planets by Darkseid. Comics historian Les Daniels observed that “Working with artist Keith Giffen, Levitz completed the transformation of Legion into a science-fiction saga of considerable scope and depth.”
The Legion celebrated issue #300 (June 1983) by revisiting the “Adult Legion” storyline through a series of parallel world short stories illustrated by a number of popular Legion artists from previous years. The story served to free up Legion continuity from following the “Adult Legion” edict of previous issues.
Due to strong sales on the character’s first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man was given his own ongoing series in March 1963. The initial years of the series, under Lee and Ditko, chronicled Spider-Man’s nascent career with his civilian life as hard-luck yet perpetually good-humored teenager Peter Parker. Peter balanced his career as Spider-Man with his job as a freelance photographer for The Daily Bugle under the bombastic editor-publisher J. Jonah Jameson to support himself and his frail Aunt May. At the same time, Peter dealt with public hostility towards Spider-Man and the antagonism of his classmates Flash Thompson and Liz Allan at Midtown High School, while embarking on a tentative, ill-fated romance with Jameson’s secretary, Betty Brant.
By focusing on Parker’s everyday problems, Lee and Ditko created a groundbreakingly flawed, self-doubting superhero, and the first major teenaged superhero to be a protagonist and not a sidekick. Ditko’s quirky art provided a stark contrast to the more cleanly dynamic stylings of Marvel’s most prominent artist, Jack Kirby, and combined with the humor and pathos of Lee’s writing to lay the foundation for what became an enduring mythos.
One of DC’s top-selling series, the first issue was released in June 2004 and was ranked first in comic book sales for that period with pre-order sales of 163,111. The second issue saw a decline in sales and ranked third in comic book sales in July 2004 period with pre-order sales of 129,852. The story also adheres to the continuity changes introduced by Crisis on Infinite Earths, as heroine Wonder Woman was retconned out of the pre-Crisis JLA. In all further references to the JLA’s pre-Crisis adventures, including its origin story and the Secret Society incident, Wonder Woman is replaced by Black Canary. Following “Infinite Crisis“, however, Wonder Woman is restored as a founding member.
One of the major plot threads — the breakdown of relationships within the Justice League of America — is examined in the storyline “Crisis of Conscience” in JLA #115-119 (August–December 2005). The mini-series is followed by the crossover event “Infinite Crisis”.
In October 2015 Marvel released another five-part series of stories under the What If? banner, this time focused on the 2013 event Infinity which saw the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Inhumans and other groups dealing with a combined threat of a universal incursion by the race the Builders and an attack on Earth by Thanos and his forces. Each issue is a one-shot, and the first four explore a different outcome to the event. The fifth, What If? Infinity: Dark Reign, presents a world in which Norman Osborn and the Dark Avengers had acquired the Infinity Gauntlet during the Dark Reign event.
As with Superman: Red Son, Millar claims that the concept for the series occurred to him when he was a child. In this case, it came to him after his brother told him that there were no superheroes any more because they had all disappeared after a great war with their respective supervillains. It was modified from a pitch by Millar for a Secret Society of Super-Villains series.
1986, the year of the aforementioned war in which the supervillains took over and made their world “darker and grittier”, has real world significance to the world of comic books. It marks the publication of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Watchmen, and the completion of the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths series.
In February 2014, DC announced that as part of the celebration of The New 52’s third anniversary, all ongoing titles published in September 2014 feature stories that tie in to The New 52: Futures End. DiDio stated “One of the things we wanted to do was not just look at it through the lens of the weekly series, but also take a month and flash forward, and see what the potential futures of all our characters might be in that month. So in that month, you’ll get a chance to see where, in the next five years, our characters might finish up or might end up being.” He added that like the “Villains Month” event in September 2013, these titles also feature 3D lenticular covers, in addition to the 2D ones, saying, “The covers now will also have the ability to have a ‘flicker’ effect. That means that the images change and show the transformation going on… There is a level of change that is taking place with our characters during the course of this story.”
In February 2005, Marvel published a further six issues of What If. They were all in the “one-shot” format. The editor, Justin Gabrie, attributed the publication of Volume 3 to a suggestion from C. B. Cebulski. Uatu the Watcher narrates some issues and there is a cameo by Brian Michael Bendis as narrator (see “The narrator” above). In Volume 3, there is a “nod” to a Volume 1 story, What if Uncle Ben had lived? In a conversation between a comic shop customer and an attendant, the customer asks,”What if Aunt May had died instead of Uncle Ben?” Leading to another alternative plot. Marvel published a single parody edition called Wha… Huh?!? in August 2005.
In 1993, Catwoman was given her first ongoing comic book series. This series, written by an assortment of writers, but primarily penciled by Jim Balent, generally depicted the character as an international thief (and occasional bounty hunter) with an ambiguous moral code.
Story-lines include her adoption of teenage runaway, and erstwhile sidekick, Arizona; aiding Bane, whom she later betrays to Azrael; and a stint as a reluctant government operative. The series also fleshes out more of her origin, revealing her beginnings as a young thief, her difficult period in juvenile incarceration, and her training with Ted “Wildcat” Grant.
Moving to New York, Selina becomes corporate vice president then CEO of Randolf Industries, a mafia-influenced company, through blackmail. She plans to use this position to run for Mayor of New York City, but her hopes are dashed when the Trickster inadvertently connects her to her criminal alter ego.
Selina then returns to Gotham City, which at this time is in the midst of the No Man’s Land storyline. As Catwoman, she assists Batman against Lex Luthor in the reconstruction of the city. After being arrested by Commissioner Gordon, she escapes from prison. Later that year, during the “Officer Down” storyline in the Batman titles, Catwoman is initially the chief suspect. Although later cleared, she displays increasingly erratic behavior throughout the story. Soon afterward, she disappears and is believed to have been killed by the assassin Deathstroke the Terminator, ending her series at issue #94.