Social relevance has always been an important aspect to the comic book Super hero plot line. even in their golden age, WW2 comics dealt with the war and anxieties about it at home. They showed the strong wall of nationalism and the scary realizations of many soldiers, in there own misgivings about morality. It is no surprise that superhero's would have to update themselves as times worries and strengths changed.
In the 1960's comics took two routes one was to deal with social change from an authority figures perspective, and the other was to help be responsible for that social change. IT was mostly sen in DC comics but many superheros took jobs synonymous with their role as a super hero and peacekeeper. This removed the duality of lying about their day job, and it allowed them to show the perspective of authority to those protesting at the time as one of empathy despite commitment. DC shows that by working within the system peace can be achieved, or the MLK stance if you will.
Marvel characters reacted more like real people to the issue, taking sides and even sometimes disagreeing although disagreements where usually on fictional issues like whether or not the hulk was a safe crime fighter. In the Spider man comics dealing with drug abuse, the problem is ignored by papa Osborne (he scorns it as a racial issue), only to find his own son is abusing drugs as well. You won't find these kinds of heartwarming coincidences in the real world, but marvel did have a point that drug abuse was not limited to the poor and hopeless.
The idea that any social medium is cut off from its public is absurd; all art is made to be viewed and mass produced comic books are included in that. In fact to be commercially successful, I would argue that you have to pick a side, otherwise neither side will buy your product because they can neither condemn it or relate to it. The best stories where stories between ambiguous antagonists were the hero learns something new about the e way the world is run, and the 1960's created and atmosphere of ambiguous if you know what I mean.