DC and Marvel in the '90s – when comic books were 'Extreme!' – msnNOW

The ’90s were a unique time in comic books. Not only was the medium booming in popularity like never before, but many longtime established characters and concepts were getting makeovers and new status quos to reflect the ‘extreme’ sensibilities of the time.
If you were there, you already know what we’re talking about. But if not, you may find yourself asking “What does ‘extreme’ mean?”
Well, in the ’90s, it meant skateboards, cybernetic limbs, massive guns, gritted teeth, and all manner of pouches, vests, straps, buckles, zippers, and spikes – the kind of awesome stuff we all loved as kids, but which now holds a particularly ’90s flavor that doesn’t seem to fade.
Marvel took extreme to the next level with Chris Claremont’s X-Treme X-Men (which featured an ‘extreme’ spelling of extreme), which has gotten a revival along with a  live-wide variant cover theme on Marvel titles celebrating the “extreme” 90s with all the accouterments of the decade. 
And in a bit of comic book serendipity, that same month DC is also celebrating the Anniversary of Jim Lee’s very-90s Wildstorm imprint including a revival of WildC.A.T.s (with its unique 90s spelling reinstated) and its own accompanying line-wide 90s variant cover theme hitting on many of the same sensibilities.  
Between the speculation boom that saw comic book readers and ‘investors’ snatching up ‘collector’s item’ comic books by the armload and the wave of clichés that overtook nearly every character, the ’90s were a definitive – if not always fondly remembered – era for comic books.
Here’s a look at some of the extreme … pardon us … ‘xtreme!’ highlights and stand-out moments of the movement. 
By George Marston

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