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The Impact of socially relevant comics in the 1960s.

Socially relevant comics during the decade of the 1960s of were something that was becoming more and more popular in most comic series. The growing popularity of social relevance in comics lead to more freedom to discuss a variety of different and more realistic and personal real-world social problems in the 1970s. Comics like the Green Lantern/Green Arrow series dealt with issues like racism and America’s involvement in world affairs more than domestic affairs. During the 1960s the hippy movement was also another prominent social change that dealt much with drugs. This lead to President Nixon asking Marvel to write an anti-drug message. Marvel answered by publishing several anti-drug messages in comics such as The Amazing Spiderman in the early 1970s, where Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborne starts popping pills for headaches and girls problems which then later leads to him buying illegal drugs. The overall message of this story was to portray something different from the stereotype that was associated with people who used drugs; he was just a normal person who started using drugs because he had normal stress and problems, not because he was just an overall bad person. In addition to the Spiderman series, the X-men with their series with their mutants became a metaphor for real-world minorities. Other socially relevant stories that came in the 1970s were in the Iron Man series; in one story Iron Man confronts his alcoholism. There were also stories that confronted feminism and female empowerment with female versions of male characters like Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, and She-Hulk. The growing popularity of socially relevant comics during the 1960s gave way for the comic writer’s of the 1970s to be free to talk about more personal and realistic social problems that people face everyday.


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