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Why did superheroes become “dark” in the 1980’s?

Superheroes became dark in the 1980’s because they reflected the dark events happening during this decade. In the 80’s, crime rates, violence, and drug abuse were increasing in society. Cocaine, in particular, was used among many people. As a result, comic book creators added these elements into their stories to gain public interests in the Comic Book Industry. They wanted to attract a more mature age of readers, instead of the children that was their main audience. Also, the political and social events in the 1970’s left a mark on Americans entering the 1980’s. The country’s lost in the Vietnam War, The Watergate scandal, and protesters and riots against the government made many American confused and glum about the future. Superheroes, especially Batman’s in Frank Millers’ The Dark Knight Returns, reflected the countries need to pull out of their “funk” and return to time that was better for Americans. A time when American values were important and the country thrived and prospered off of them.


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