Follow US

Copyright ©    All rights reserved.

COPPER AGE (1980-1994)

There are many definitions for the Copper Age with a wide range of debate as to the starting & ending years.  It seems to exist more as an attempt to continue the naming of ages after metals than anything else.  The DC Wikia suggests this age ran from 1980-1985 and ended when Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped away the multiverse concept from the DC Universe.  Choosing 1980 as the beginning of this age is likely related to the launch of New Teen Titans in that year.  Pulling the beginning of the Copper Age back to 1980 causes the problem of either overlapping it with the Bronze Age OR suggesting the Bronze Age ended in 1980, which would give it a span of only 10 years, slightly short for an "age" when compared to the Golden and Silver Ages.  The DC definition that has it running for only 6 years is not only very short, it also takes the concluding event (Crisis on Infinite Earths) that is the perfect capstone to mark the ending of the Bronze Age and moves it into the Copper Age.  The overlap with the Bronze age and overall short span of years of the DC definition would lead me to dismiss it as the definitive definition, but perhaps it works if you are only looking at DC Comics and ignoring all other comics.

Other sites attribute a date range for the Copper Age of 1984 through 1991 or 1992, suggesting that Marvel's Secret Wars crossover was the start and the end was heralded either by Jim Lee's debut on X-Men in 1991 or the mass exodus of Marvel artists in 1992 that led to the founding of Image Comics.

 Several other sites (that all seem primarily set up to sell comics, particularly those from the "Copper Age") list the end of the Age as 1994, but give no explanation since they are stores, not sites interested in documenting or explaining terms.  1994 is an interesting choice as the end of the age since 1994 was a very tumultuous year in comics, marking the collapse of the speculator market.  

So, a number of conflicting and overlapping definitions for a Copper Age of comics, with issues ranging from an overlap with the end of the Bronze Age to lengths that seems too short to define an age and an overall lack of a unified theme for the age, relying instead on external market forces and events to define the beginnings/endings.   Combining the multiple concepts and making 

Up Next: The Indie Era: Birth of the Indies (1978-1992) - overlapping the Copper Age