Compared to Marvel in the 1990's , DC seemed to really have a defined focus and kept their shit togethor. There was instances where DC had dropped the ball at times on certain characters but its not like DC had a Marvel decade. They seemingly managed to keep their comics pretty solid thru much of the decade and a lotta big events helped.
The Failure to IMPACT !
Since we started the Marvel thread with a silly instance , we'll do the same for DC. In the early 1990's DC had decided that what they needed was a kids line or young adults line of comics. This would be the Impact line. Of course in no time DC sabaotoged the line themselves...as the link below will tell.
DC had licensed the characters from Archie and they included the Web, the Comet , the Shield , the Jaguar and Fly. The Archie heroes had last been seen in the early 80's and now DC was attempting to revive them here.
Whats really scary is that the people behind this were in fact scouring old heroes to introduce to kids in this line. One of them looked at was Solar , Magnus and the old Gold Key line . They decided against that (I'm sure Jim Shooter/Vallient was happy looking back) and kept searching. DC's luck had them land on the MLJ heroes ..or Archie Universe heroes for short.
The line faced problems as it was envisioned to be released on the newsstand . After 2 years and falling sales , DC decided to pull the plug at the last minute in the Crucible mini-series to wrap up the line and not do a 3rd year. This link gives a history of Impact Comics and how it sadly died.
The saving grace of Impact was that it helped get Mark Waid exposed and Waid would go on to bigger fame somehow. :p
Mike Carlin doesn't like geratric superheroes !
In one of the bad displays of the 1990's DC VP Mike Carlin had pretty much put the hammer down on the Justice Society. Its said Carlin didn't like the older generation of heroes and decided they needed to be put out to pasture.
This was coming off a series that many have contended sold very well from the 10 issues done. The JSA were then 2 years later nearly all slaughtered by Extent (Monarch-Hank Hall-Hawk). Dr.Midnite , Hourman and the Atom all die and the rest are super aged to retirement.
The only one saved was Alan Scott who became young and was saved the JSA's fate then. He became Sentinal. But the hammer had fallen and many of these older heroes were replaced. Some very well like Starman (Jack Knight) and some comically bad on levels that many fans laughed hard like Fate (Jared Stevens).
The Big Events ERA !
It all began in 1992 really. DC had decided to throw the 1st volley at Marvel and decided that shaking up the Universe was more fun than staying pat. So what kicked it off..... The DEATH OF SUPERMAN !
Supes death was a huge event as many already know. This didn't stop the rest of the hammer falling as soon Batman had himself get exhuasted and have his back broke . Then we saw Hal Jordan angry and over the edge destroy the Green Lantern Corps , as a new Green Lantern would emerge.
Wonder Woman would lose the right to call herself WW. Green Arrow would die and be replaced by his long lost son , then Zero Hour would happen ...whew. This all happened in a 2 to 3 year span of reading.
DC had on many cases did very well with the events. They of course suffered critics who bashed them for daring to replace a popular hero like Hal Jordan with a young guy like Kyle Rayner. But 9 times outta 10....they'd keep the course and push on. Eventually finishing a highly debated turn like Knightfall/Knightquest and putting out good comics.
The shakeups also gave fans something to do in the 1990's. Because Marvel was a pit except for a few things and at least DC was trying to fire out something. They had clunkers as you'll read ahead. Any company will....but 9 times outta 10....they had something good with the risks taken like Starman or Green Lantern.
(please wait til all 3 to 4 parts are posted to reply guys..working on it all ok)