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The impact of socially relevance stories in the late 1960s

During the 1960s there were many things going on socially that seemed to transfer onto the pages of comics. Super heroes that related to the troubling student aged population such as Spiderman discussed what was really going on during this time. For example drugs were a major issue over the course of this decade. People were experimenting with many new drugs. The hippie movement was a major advocate in experimentation. With drugs being apart of the culture, there were many negative outcomes. Frequent users became addicts in a fairly short period of time. It was not until later when America declared its “war on drugs”. In Spiderman the writers address the drug problem by bringing up the villain the green goblin. Norman Osborne is exposed to a gas like drug in an experiment causing him to become the crazy sociopath villain. He becomes one of Spiderman’s most frequent villains that he has to deal with. In the first comic that he appears in Peter Parker’s friend Harry Osborne, son of Norman, is dealing with a drug problem himself. Though they are prescribed, Harry is overdosing on his medication. It is the subtleties that Marvel reveals to the readers regarding the issues during the time.

Another problem in the 1960s was the unpopularity of the war in Vietnam. There were many student protests, and like usual Spiderman was one of the few comics that students could relate to. One of the issues of Spiderman is titled “crisis on campus”. Since most of the protests were on campuses, the title is pretty outspoken about what is happening in the real world. Issues beyond the war are also brought up. Civil rights are very important and the protests cover this issue as well. The cover shows black students standing up for their rights. Later the first black hero is written into the history books. The Black Panther who is African American helps create a hero that stands up for the civil rights movement. This is very important for African Americans because now they can read about how one can truly stand up for what he/she believes in.

All in all Spiderman has been an important spokesman for social justice for current events. Targeting the students, the writers were very successful in capturing the unrest that was happening during the 1960s.


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