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

Throughout the 60’s, comics were at the forefront of social transformation. Possibly the best example of this is through comics reflection of the public’s view of the Vietnam War. At the beginning of the war a majority of Americans fully supported the cause. The idea that communism, the most evil idea conceived, could spread first through South-East Asia and eventually to the US lead Americans to accept the need to occupy Vietnam. However as the war progressed it became more obvious that it was less to defend democracy and actually just a proxy war against Russia. As support for the war diminished, comics greatly altered their position on the war to question the causes of the war, and whether the US should actually be there. The comic Iron Man accurately represented this shift in support as he stopped dealing arms, and took a moral stand against their use. As well as Vietnam War culture, comics also accurately portrayed youth culture in the US throughout the 60’s. Comics such as Amazing Fantasy #15 references of school protests or other forms of revolt reflected youth uprising and feelings of resent towards the government and authority. Incidents of acting up against authority figures such as police or parents was unheard of in the 50’s, but became a popular form of expression in the 60’s.


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