5 Ways The Dead Age And The Dark Age Are The Same (And 5 Ways They’re Different)

Since becoming the “big two” of American comic book publishing, Marvel and DC have drawn parallels between them. Many of these parallels are obvious without getting into a debate about who copied whom. The 2005-2006 mini-series, Marvel Zombies (written by The Walking Deadby Robert Kirkman with art by Sean Phillips) mixed the Marvel Universe with a zombie apocalypse.

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In 2019, the DC Universe had its own zombie event with Died. In 2021, Marvel retaliated with another post-apocalyptic Elseworlds miniseries called dark times. So how do these two comics compare?

ten The same: Tom Taylor is the author of both

The most obvious point of comparison is that both books are written by Tom Taylor. The Australian writer burst onto the scene with Injustice and All-new Wolverine, and he is currently writing night wing and Superman: Son of Kal-El. No one in the big two is better at writing popcorn comics than Taylor; his books are often more socially conscious than the average superhero story, but at the end of the day, he’s an artist first and foremost. This makes it perfect for alternate timeline events like Died and dark times, where are the joys (a). Superheroes that collide like action figures and (b). Creatively reinventing characters, without being held back by the baggage of continuity.


9 Different: they have different artists

Taylor has worked with different art teams on Died and Dark times. Neither book reinvents the wheel of superhero art, but when it comes to standard superhero art, it’s hard to ask for more. Died, drawn by Trevor Hairshine, has some spectacular splash pages, especially one in issue #6 of an Aquaman zombie appearing in front of the Themysciran coast atop a Kraken. Stefano Guadiano’s coloring brings out the gore, which is a necessity for a zombie story. dark times has sleeker pencils by Iban Coello, and colors by Brian Rebel have brighter colors and a sleeker sheen.


8 Ditto: technology is the fundamental problem

True to its name, dark times is about a Marvel Universe without electricity. An ancient machine called the Unmaker was discovered in the Earth’s core, and to prevent it from destroying the planet, the heroes launched an EMP, which knocked all modern technology offline. Luckily, the Marvel Universe is home to super-geniuses, and they’ve created non-electric technology to adapt (e.g. Spider-Man created new non-electric web-shooters, while Iron Man flies around in power armor). steam). While Died is a story of zombies, the virus is technological in nature: it is the anti-life equation broadcast on the Internet with Cyborg as patient zero.


7 Different: types of apocalypse

As can be seen immediately from its pun-tastic title, Died is about a zombie apocalypse. The comic tries to play with the formula through the outbreak’s unique origins and have the undead eat not for sustenance but to spread Anti-Life (Cyborg even communes with Anti-Life via a Wonder Woman infected). Ultimately, though, readers have to call a spade a spade.

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On the other hand, dark times is basically the Marvel universe vampires more Revolution. There are no zombies in sight, although it is mentioned that the lack of lights made vampires a problem (for DC’s return on this, see dc the vampire slayer by James Tynion IV and Matthew Rosenberg).


6 The same: both run for six numbers

Both Died and dark times were six-issue miniseries events. While the first had some linking issues, the core miniseries could easily be enjoyed on its own as a standalone entity. Also, while both stories are definitely beneficial if the reader is a fan, it would be easy to pick them up with little prior knowledge and have a good time. In a world where keeping track of comic book continuity becomes more difficult every year, the short print runs and self-contained nature of Died and dark times the same is a blessing.

5 Different: DCeased had follow-ups and spin-offs

Barely three years after its publication, the Died the universe has been prolific. He deserved a sequel dead planet, with a trilogy capper soon to follow. On top of that, there were spin-offs such as the one-shot A good day to dieas well as two other miniseries named Invincible and Hope at the end of the world. Until now, dark times only has one miniseries. With Taylor having signed an exclusive contract with DC, more stories are uncertain at best. It’s a shame, because there are certainly more parameters to explore.


4 The same: both have a high body count

One of the benefits of out-of-continuity stories is how the writer can kill off characters at will, and Taylor is clearly happy with that. Died has the highest body count; all seven founding members of the Justice League are dead by the end of the series, not to mention most of the Bat-Family, Lex Luthor, the Joker, and more. The main survivors are Lois Lane, Jon Kent, Damian Wayne, Alfred Pennyworth, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. dark times doesn’t go that far, but it still kills high-level heroes: The Thing, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, and Vision all perish fighting The Unmaker. From there, Hawkeye, Human Torch, Wolverine, Doc Ock, and Apocalypse also drop.


3 Different: DCeased shows Apocalypse; The Dark Ages is the Sequel

Died takes place over a shorter period, retracing the weeks of the outbreak. On the other hand, dark times recounts the last day of power in its first issue, then jumps forward about seven years, showing the world that the survivors have managed to build. How this happened is told in brief flashbacks to the opening of issue #2. There is no clear winner here. dark times has a more unique setting; its short length means that little is explored in the depth it deserves. On the other hand, Died is a well-paced take on a story readers have already read.


2 The same: both focus on the next generation of heroes

One could argue that the real main characters of Died are Jon Kent and Damian Wayne. Both boys lose their respective fathers over the course of the series and have to take on the roles of Superman and Batman respectively. Cassie Sandmark also remains the last of the Amazons and the sole heir to Wonder Woman’s legacy. The book’s narrator, Lois Lane, even ponders what the world will be like for her son.

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Likewise, The Dark Ages features May Parker, daughter of Peter and MJ and budding Spider-Girl, and Dani, daughter of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage. Given the story’s time jump, the inclusion of a new generation was natural.


1 Different: Dark Ages is more optimistic

Even though it is the end of the world as readers know, dark times is ultimately an optimistic story. The thesis is that the end of the world is not the end, but the chance to do something new. The opening narration of issue 2 is Spider-Man catching up with readers over the past seven years, and it concludes “at the end of the world something better came”. This is repeated in the final narration of issue #6. In contrast, Died has a more cynical ending. Cyborg is killed by the undead Wonder Woman before he can spread word of a possible cure. Ultimately, 7 million of humanity leaves Earth and many more behind them, deciding that planetary quarantine and interstellar colonization is the only way to defeat anti-life.


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