Skip to main content

Why did superheroes become dark during the 1980s?

With the fallout of Vietnam, the continuing threat of mutually assured destruction, and other socio-political issues spilling over from the 70s into the 80s a darker tone in comics was inevitable. But that is just the backdrop for comics. Comics had to adapt their content for the direct market. Their readership was aging, and so, they had to adapt the content to reflect their aging readers. Inevitably, the comics grew darker. They became more violent. They grew more socially and politically aware of the world and would comment and parody it. Because of the aging readership, comics had to grow and adapt. So not only did they become darker, they became more self-referential, commenting on comics history and past issues. Instead of broadening their audience, comics selected and reduced their audience, focusing on readers that they already had.


Popular posts from this blog

The Zero Hour DESPERATE WITNESS (Conclusion) hosted by Rod Serling

Marvel, Iron Man, and Media Convergence

When munitions manufacturer and millionaire playboy Anthony “Tony” Stark goes to observe some of his military hardware in action in Vietnam, he is wounded by an enemy mine and taken prisoner. His communist captors threaten to kill him unless he creates weapons, but in a desperate bid to survive (shrapnel from the mine is slowly moving toward his heart) he works with a fellow captive, Professor Yinsen, to create a chest-plate to support his damaged heart and transistor-powered iron armor that amplifies his strength and destructive power. While Yinsen is killed, Stark escapes to return to the United States. Like most Marvel heroes, Stark’s power is as much a curse as blessing. As Iron Man, corporate spoke-man for Stark Industries, Stark battles Cold War inspired foes to protect his company and his country. Yet, his condition has not been cured; he must wear his armor chest-plate to stay alive. Iron Man was the most political of all Marvel comic characters. Iron Man was overtly pro-…