10 Bronze Age Comics That Changed DC & Marvel Forever

Demons, drug addiction, diversity and death, comics were never the same again.

Marvel Comics

Compared to the Golden Age, which gave us the DC trinity of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, or the Silver Age, in which Marvel brought us Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk and Fantastic Four, the Bronze Age of comics doesn't seem so immediately iconic or impactful.

But it would be a mistake to forget the ways in which this era - which ran from around 1970 to the mid-80s - changed comics in a fashion which is still felt today.

By the early 70s the architects of the bright, zany and wildly imaginative Silver Age comics were stepping aside.

Marvel's Stan Lee stopped writing regular monthly comics in 1972 to become the company's publisher and increasingly a symbolic figurehead, while over at DC long-term Superman editor Mort Weisinger retired in 1970. In their place writers like Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Marv Wolfman and the late Denny O'Neil brought new ideas to the table.

Meanwhile, the iron grip of the censorious Comics Code Authority began to loosen with a series of reforms to bring the code more in line with societal attitudes in 1971.

All of this conspired to create an era in which comics became less outlandishly fantastical and embraced a darker edge. Sometimes this meant being more open to socially relevant issues-driven storytelling or characters that were more relatable to the youth of the 70s. Sometimes it meant pushing things in the direction of demons, black magic and other supernatural horrors.

Either way, these Bronze Age comics changed the game for good.


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