- The 1990s were a wild time for DC Comics, and artist Chris Ouellette pays tribute to this era by creating a dream team of underrated heroes.
- Ouellette’s stunning art piece features characters like Aquaman, Azrael, Artemis, Bloodwynd, and the Eradicator, among others.
- Nostalgia for ’90s comics is high, and DC’s recent celebrations of iconic storylines and characters from this era reflect the continued resonance with fans.
The Justice League’s most underrated heroes unite in 1990s dream team fan art. The 1990s were one of the biggest decades in DC history, an era which saw the publisher take an iconoclastic approach to some of their biggest heroes. Now, artist Chris Ouellette has brought together some of the biggest characters of the 1990s and early 2000s in a stunning new piece of Justice League art.
Ouellette unveiled the art in a post on Instagram. The artist acknowledged this period in DC history, calling it a “wild time.” Ouellette professed his love for the heroes of this period, and decided to honor it by building a “dream team.”
The piece spotlights some of DC’s biggest characters from the 1990s and 2000s, starting with the Sword of Atlantis incarnation of Aquaman (complete with sword). Standing next to him is one-time Batman replacement Azrael, with his flaming swords drawn. Wonder Woman replacement Artemis sits next to them, wielding an enormous mace. Bloodwynd, the one-time Justice League necromancer, stands at attention. In the foreground is the Eradicator, one of the four replacement Supermen. John Fox, the Flash of the 27th century, zips into the picture. Rounding out this ’90s dream team is Green Arrow Connor Hawke and Green Lantern Kyle Rayner.
The 1990s Are Back at DC Comics in a Big Way
The 1990s were not only a wild decade for DC, but for comics in general. The early part of the decade was marked by a speculator boom, fueled in part by massive events such as The Death of Superman and Knightfall. These two storylines, which saw two of the publisher’s biggest heroes killed off and/or replaced, were big hits with fans, which led to DC giving this “replacement” treatment to other icons, such as Green Lantern and Green Arrow. While these stories may have seemed like gimmicks designed solely to sell comics — and, to be fair, they were — the characters from this era still resonate with fans.
Nostalgia for ’90s comics is at an all-time high. Last year, DC released a special one-shot honoring the Death of Superman’s 30th anniversary, and similar celebrations are planned for its follow-up, Reign of the Supermen. A recent Steelworks variant cover by V. Ken Marion and Danny Miki, above, features a team of ’90s heroes, including the Azrael Batman and the Warrior incarnation of Guy Gardner. Many of today’s creators’ first exposure to these DC icons were through characters like Artemis of Bana-Mighdall or Kyle Rayner, which may go a long way to explain this nostalgic phenomenon. Furthermore, many of these iconic stories and characters are celebrating major anniversaries, which has led to renewed attention and reappraisal from fans and creators.
Whatever the case, Ouellette’s stunning new piece brings together some of the decade’s most-loved characters. DC replaced many of their iconic characters with new versions during this decade, and many of them are represented here. It is worth noting the only non-legacy character included is Bloodwynd, who has since slipped into obscurity — though a recent story in the Action Comics Doomsday special indicates there may be more Bloodwynd stories in fans’ futures. Ouellette’s art brings together some of the 1990s best-loved characters in a “new” version of the Justice League.