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Were comics at the forefront of social transformation or lagging behind in the 1960s?

I think that comics were very much in the forefront of social transformation during the 1960s. This can be seen throughout the many new comic book series that the soon to be Marvel Comics was putting out at the time. These new superheroes were not the archetype perfect superheroes that people were used to seeing during the Golden Age of comics; they were very human and had the normal desires that we all have. When Spiderman, who is the first teenage superhero as opposed to just being a sidekick, first gets his powers he does not just all of a sudden know that he has to go out and fight crime and protect the innocent. Spiderman first uses his powers for his personal gain, it is only after his uncle is killed that decides to go out and fight crime. In a very similar manner the Fantastic Four have a very human aspect to them in that they don’t always get along perfectly but they do work together in the bigger matter of fighting crime and saving the world. The fact that these new superheroes had very normal and human characteristics gave way for many people to relate and connect to the new superheroes that were being developed. Although they may struggle at times with making the right decisions, these superheroes’ morality is never questioned as they always choose the higher road and make the right decisions. This struggle that the superheroes had very much reflected that struggles that society and individuals were having to make the right decisions both in wars and here in America with the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, even though these comics still didn’t contain very much ethnic diversity.


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