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“… more time has passed between John Constantine being created and now than between the creations of Hal Jordan and John Constantine. That is … I don’t know if that’s depressing or astonishing or what. These characters aren’t young. An era of comics that many of us think of as still ongoing is really receding in the rear view mirror.”
– Tom Spurgeon, making me feel old
He’s right, though. I feel like we’ve given up on naming any “eras” of comics since the Bronze Age and, for the most part, that’s probably a good thing. I remember feeling pretty silly about it even in the ’80s as we were trying to figure out what to call the next one. But where that sort of thing was helpful was in reminding fans that comics (especially ongoing, serial comics) are generational and one generation’s tastes don’t necessarily get passed on to the next. It combated the part of getting older where we don’t realize that we’re getting older or that the things we like are getting older with us.
There’s nothing wrong with getting older as long as you’re not also getting tired, and that applies to characters as well as people. Not having read Hellblazer in a few years, I don’t know how energetic that comic has been lately and I certainly don’t know that making him exclusive to the tamer DC Universe is the solution to whatever problem DC perceived that the character had. But what I pull from Spurgeon’s comment is that it’s good to remember that things we like aren’t always still vital just because we still like them.