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With contemporary relevance a major priority, existing characters experienced major changes as writers tried to "update" them for the times. Superman briefly lost his vulnerability to Kryptonite and quit his job at the ''Daily Planet'' to work as a TV Reporter. Wonder Woman was [[DorkAge infamously]] stripped of her powers and made to [[BoxingClassesForSuperman learn]] UsefulNotes/{{Karate}}. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel, the top superhero of the Golden Age, returned under the imprint of the very rival who laid him low in the courts, DC, even though it had to bow to trademark reality and be titled under the hero's magic word, ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Shazam!]]''.

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With contemporary relevance a major priority, existing characters experienced major changes as writers tried to "update" them for the times. Superman briefly lost his vulnerability to Kryptonite and quit his job at the ''Daily Planet'' to work as a TV Reporter. Wonder Woman was [[DorkAge infamously]] stripped of her powers and made to [[BoxingClassesForSuperman [[BoxingLessonsForSuperman learn]] UsefulNotes/{{Karate}}. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel, the top superhero of the Golden Age, returned under the imprint of the very rival who laid him low in the courts, DC, even though it had to bow to trademark reality and be titled under the hero's magic word, ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Shazam!]]''.


With contemporary relevance a major priority, existing characters experienced major changes as writers tried to "update" them for the times. Superman briefly lost his vulnerability to Kryptonite and quit his job at the ''Daily Planet'' to work as a TV Reporter. Wonder Woman was [[DorkAge infamously]] stripped of her powers and made to learn karate. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel, the top superhero of the Golden Age, returned under the imprint of the very rival who laid him low in the courts, DC, even though it had to bow to trademark reality and be titled under the hero's magic word, ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Shazam!]]''.

to:

With contemporary relevance a major priority, existing characters experienced major changes as writers tried to "update" them for the times. Superman briefly lost his vulnerability to Kryptonite and quit his job at the ''Daily Planet'' to work as a TV Reporter. Wonder Woman was [[DorkAge infamously]] stripped of her powers and made to learn karate.[[BoxingClassesForSuperman learn]] UsefulNotes/{{Karate}}. Meanwhile, Captain Marvel, the top superhero of the Golden Age, returned under the imprint of the very rival who laid him low in the courts, DC, even though it had to bow to trademark reality and be titled under the hero's magic word, ''[[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Shazam!]]''.


Usually accepted as lasting from Creator/JackKirby's move to DC, to the publication of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' (1970-1986). Alternatively starting when comics began costing 15 cents (1969) or ''Spider-Man'' #100 (1971).

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Usually accepted as lasting from Creator/JackKirby's move to DC, to the publication of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' (1970-1986). Alternatively starting when comics began costing 15 cents (1969) or ''Spider-Man'' #100 (1971).


* ''Comicbook/XMen'', which eventually became so popular it nearly took over the MarvelUniverse. The Bronze Age X-Men was defined by Creator/ChrisClaremont's long run as writer, which brought such classic storylines as the Phoenix Saga.

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* ''Comicbook/XMen'', which eventually became so popular it nearly took over the MarvelUniverse. The Bronze Age X-Men was defined by Creator/ChrisClaremont's long run as writer, which brought such classic storylines as [[ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga the (Dark) Phoenix Saga.Saga]].


Not only the content but the format of comics was being experimented with. Comics creators were ready to take chances for the first time since the creation of UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode in the late 1950s. The first "{{graphic novel}}s" showed up, complete book-sized stories in a single volume, which the great Creator/WillEisner set to work popularizing after he left the US Army after decades of doing instructional comics. Black-and-white, non-Code-approved magazines appeared on the newsstands. Satirical comics, political comics, comics that pushed the envelope of art, many different gimmicks were thrown at the wall to see what would stick. At DC, this meant a boom of new titles, and larger comics with more pages dedicated to story, in what was called the "DC Explosion". Over 50 new titles were created. Unfortunately, most of these were later canceled in the infamous "DC Implosion" of 1978. With that debacle, the new management of DC picked up the pieces with more sensible moves like the "limited series" publishing concept, which allowed comics that could tell stories in deliberately short runs that don't have to trap the talent into unsustainable indefinite runs. In addition, the magazine, ''Heavy Metal'', introduced North American readers to translated continental European fantasy comics, which had an alluring content freedom and narrative daring undreamed of for native talents.

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Not only the content but the format of comics was being experimented with. Comics creators were ready to take chances for the first time since the creation of UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode in the late 1950s. The first "{{graphic novel}}s" showed up, complete book-sized stories in a single volume, which the great Creator/WillEisner set to work popularizing after he left the US Army after decades of doing instructional comics. Black-and-white, non-Code-approved magazines appeared on the newsstands. Satirical comics, political comics, comics that pushed the envelope of art, many different gimmicks were thrown at the wall to see what would stick. At DC, this meant a boom of new titles, and larger comics with more pages dedicated to story, in what was called the "DC Explosion". Over 50 new titles were created. Unfortunately, most of these were later canceled in the infamous "DC Implosion" of 1978. With that debacle, the new management of DC picked up the pieces with more sensible moves like the "limited series" publishing concept, which allowed comics that could tell stories in deliberately short runs that don't have to trap the talent into unsustainable indefinite runs. In addition, the magazine, ''Heavy Metal'', ''Magazine/HeavyMetal'', introduced North American readers to translated continental European fantasy comics, which had an alluring content freedom and narrative daring undreamed of for native talents.



* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(magazine) Heavy Metal]]'', for more artsy, experimental and, frequently, sexual and violent content. It originated in France as ''Metal Hurlant''. The U.S. version mixed European and original content.

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* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(magazine) Heavy Metal]]'', ''Magazine/HeavyMetal'', for more artsy, experimental and, frequently, sexual and violent content. It originated in France as ''Metal Hurlant''. The U.S. version mixed European and original content.


Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/SpiderMan'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a U.S. Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.

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Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks The Bronze Age Of Comic Books started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/SpiderMan'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a U.S. Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.



* Jack Kirby's Fourth World cycle consisting of ''ComicBook/MisterMiracle'', ''The ComicBook/NewGods'', ''ComicBook/ForeverPeople'', and ''ComicBook/JimmyOlsen''. (Kirby had just defected from Marvel. Indeed, a [[TakeThat thinly-veiled attack on]] Creator/StanLee appears in one of these books.) This introduced such popular characters as the BigBad {{ComicBook/Darkseid}}. He intended the story to work, after release, in what we would now call a graphic novel-style trade paperback format. Unfortunately, Kirby was ahead of his time and DC editor in chief, Carmine Infantino, pulled the plug when sales apparently didn't match the hype, although the characters soon became mainstays of Franchise/TheDCU.

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* Jack Kirby's Fourth World cycle consisting of ''ComicBook/MisterMiracle'', ''The ComicBook/NewGods'', ''ComicBook/ForeverPeople'', and ''ComicBook/JimmyOlsen''. (Kirby had just defected from Marvel. Indeed, a [[TakeThat thinly-veiled attack on]] Creator/StanLee appears in one of these books.) This introduced such popular characters as the BigBad {{ComicBook/Darkseid}}.ComicBook/{{Darkseid}}. He intended the story to work, after release, in what we would now call a graphic novel-style trade paperback format. Unfortunately, Kirby was ahead of his time and DC editor in chief, Carmine Infantino, pulled the plug when sales apparently didn't match the hype, although the characters soon became mainstays of Franchise/TheDCU.



* The Superman story ''Comicbook/WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow'' by Creator/AlanMoore, released simultaneously in Superman and Action Comics in 1986, during the one month gap between the end of ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and the beginning of the ''[[Comicbook/TheManOfSteel Man of Steel]]'' reboot. It serves as a finale to the storyline of pre-ComicBook/{{Crisis|on Infinite Earths}} Superman, taking every element of Silver Age and Bronze Age Superman that was removed ComicBook/PostCrisis, and follows it to a dark, sad, (semi-)logical conclusion. This could easily be considered the last [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Age]] story, and a eulogy for the Silver Age as embodied in Superman.

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* The Superman story ''Comicbook/WhateverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow'' by Creator/AlanMoore, released simultaneously in Superman and Action Comics in 1986, during the one month gap between the end of ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' and the beginning of the ''[[Comicbook/TheManOfSteel Man of Steel]]'' reboot. It serves as a finale to the storyline of pre-ComicBook/{{Crisis|on Infinite Earths}} Superman, taking every element of Silver Age and Bronze Age Superman that was removed ComicBook/PostCrisis, and follows it to a dark, sad, (semi-)logical conclusion. This could easily be considered the last [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Age]] Age story, and a eulogy for the Silver Age as embodied in Superman.


* ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', which eventually became so popular it nearly took over the MarvelUniverse. The Bronze Age X-Men was defined by Creator/ChrisClaremont's long run as writer, which brought such classic storylines as the Phoenix Saga.

to:

* ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'', ''Comicbook/XMen'', which eventually became so popular it nearly took over the MarvelUniverse. The Bronze Age X-Men was defined by Creator/ChrisClaremont's long run as writer, which brought such classic storylines as the Phoenix Saga.


Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/SpiderMan'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.

to:

Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/SpiderMan'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US U.S. Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.



* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'', both the original version (debuting in a short story DC's horror series ''The House of Secrets'' in 1971), and a revived incarnation. In 1984, Creator/AlanMoore took over the script and made a name for himself in the US. TheMovie came out in 1983. Under Moore, it became deeply political, dealing with themes such as race, feminism, environmentalism, and animal rights.

to:

* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'', both the original version (debuting in a short story published in DC's horror series ''The House of Secrets'' in 1971), and a revived incarnation. In 1984, Creator/AlanMoore took over the script and made a name for himself in the US.U.S. TheMovie came out in 1983. Under Moore, it became deeply political, dealing with themes such as race, feminism, environmentalism, and animal rights.



* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(magazine) Heavy Metal]]'', for more artsy, experimental and, frequently, sexual and violent content. It originated in France as ''Metal Hurlant''. The US version mixed European and original content.
* Marvel's ''ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian'', as well as spin-off title ''The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian'' (usually just called "Savage Sword" for short), both the biggest [[HeroicFantasy sword and sorcery]] ComicBooks [[note]] but not the ''first'' sword and sorcery comic; that honour goes to little-known horror title ''Chamber of Darkness'' - specifically, the fourth issue, which starred Conan {{Expy}} Starr the Slayer, and came out [[OlderThanYouThink a whole six months before Conan the Barbarian #1]]. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle And now you know!]] [[/note]]

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* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heavy_Metal_(magazine) Heavy Metal]]'', for more artsy, experimental and, frequently, sexual and violent content. It originated in France as ''Metal Hurlant''. The US U.S. version mixed European and original content.
* Marvel's ''ComicBook/ConanTheBarbarian'', as well as spin-off title ''The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian'' (usually just called "Savage Sword" for short), both the biggest [[HeroicFantasy sword and sorcery]] ComicBooks [[note]] but not the ''first'' sword and sorcery comic; that honour goes to little-known horror title ''Chamber of Darkness'' - specifically, the fourth issue, which starred Conan {{Expy}} Starr the Slayer, and came out [[OlderThanYouThink a whole six months before Conan ''Conan the Barbarian Barbarian'' #1]]. [[AndKnowingIsHalfTheBattle And now you know!]] [[/note]]



Usually accepted as lasting from Creator/JackKirby's move to DC, to the publication of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' (1970-1986). Alternatively starting when comics began costing 15 cents (1969) or Spider-Man #100 (1971).

to:

Usually accepted as lasting from Creator/JackKirby's move to DC, to the publication of ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns'' (1970-1986). Alternatively starting when comics began costing 15 cents (1969) or Spider-Man ''Spider-Man'' #100 (1971).


On the DC side, it was during this time that GreenLantern and ComicBook/GreenArrow teamed up for a groundbreaking socially conscious series where they [[VerySpecialEpisode tackled real-world problems facing society, such as racism, poverty, corruption, and drug abuse]]. Franchise/{{Batman}} began to return to his roots as a brooding, tortured vigilante, and his enemies (especially SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker) were allowed to kill again. They took full advantage of the privilege, as did other villains, who proved they would even kill main characters when the Reverse Flash murdered Iris West, wife of TheFlash, six years after the death of Gwen Stacy.

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On the DC side, it was during this time that GreenLantern and ComicBook/GreenArrow teamed up for a groundbreaking socially conscious series where they [[VerySpecialEpisode tackled real-world problems facing society, such as racism, poverty, corruption, and drug abuse]]. Franchise/{{Batman}} began to return to his roots as a brooding, tortured vigilante, and his enemies (especially SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker) were allowed to kill again. They took full advantage of the privilege, as did other villains, who proved they would even kill main characters when the Reverse Flash murdered Iris West, wife of TheFlash, ComicBook/TheFlash, six years after the death of Gwen Stacy.


Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.

to:

Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'' Comicbook/SpiderMan'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.



This was the time when many now-classic comic stories appeared -- epic story arcs that covered multiple issues, a radical departure from the self-contained stories of the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver]] and [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden]] Ages, which usually had the [[ResetButton status quo comfortably restored]] at the end of each issue. ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga deserves special mention as an epic storyline that not only put a female character in the TragicHero role, but ended with a major, well-established superhero KilledOffForReal -- and, just as unprecedented, her death was not immediately forgotten, but continued to affect the characters who had known her. The Bronze Age also saw Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'s girlfriend Gwen Stacy killed, an unprecedented move that sent shockwaves throughout the industry. It was the first time a superhero had failed in the attempt to save the life of his own LoveInterest, and as with the Phoenix Saga, characters who had known Gwen grieved over the course of multiple issues rather than immediately moving on. Perhaps more than any other single event, Gwen's death was a big red sign that the innocence of the Silver Age was over.

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This was the time when many now-classic comic stories appeared -- epic story arcs that covered multiple issues, a radical departure from the self-contained stories of the [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver]] and [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden]] Ages, which usually had the [[ResetButton status quo comfortably restored]] at the end of each issue. ComicBook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga deserves special mention as an epic storyline that not only put a female character in the TragicHero role, but ended with a major, well-established superhero KilledOffForReal -- and, just as unprecedented, her death was not immediately forgotten, but continued to affect the characters who had known her. The Bronze Age also saw Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'s Comicbook/SpiderMan's girlfriend Gwen Stacy killed, an unprecedented move that sent shockwaves throughout the industry. It was the first time a superhero had failed in the attempt to save the life of his own LoveInterest, and as with the Phoenix Saga, characters who had known Gwen grieved over the course of multiple issues rather than immediately moving on. Perhaps more than any other single event, Gwen's death was a big red sign that the innocence of the Silver Age was over.


* Britain's ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'', a weekly SciFi [[AnthologyComic anthology]] debuted in 1977. It would go on to launch the careers of many influential British comic writers and artists during the early [[TheEighties 80s]], including comics legend Creator/AlanMoore. Its most popular strip, ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' flirted with a kind of proto-CyberPunk seven years before WilliamGibson wrote ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}''. British comics heroes had more of a leaning towards the "[[AntiHero anti]]" side, and Dread's series exploited that to the fell. ''2000 A.D.'' more or less ''created'' the British comic industry as we know it today, and is to this day the most successful British comic series of all time.

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* Britain's ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'', a weekly SciFi [[AnthologyComic anthology]] debuted in 1977. It would go on to launch the careers of many influential British comic writers and artists during the early [[TheEighties 80s]], including comics legend Creator/AlanMoore. Its most popular strip, ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' flirted with a kind of proto-CyberPunk seven years before WilliamGibson Creator/WilliamGibson wrote ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}''. British comics heroes had more of a leaning towards the "[[AntiHero anti]]" side, and Dread's Dredd's series exploited that to the fell.full. ''2000 A.D.'' more or less ''created'' the British comic industry as we know it today, and is to this day the most successful British comic series of all time.


Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks the Silver Age]] ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left [[MarvelComics Marvel]] to work for [[Creator/DCComics DC]], bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.

to:

Sources differ on when UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks started and [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks the UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age]] Age|Of Comic Books}} ended. The most inclusive definition is that it started in 1970, when Jack Kirby left [[MarvelComics Marvel]] Creator/{{Marvel|Comics}} to work for [[Creator/DCComics DC]], Creator/{{DC|Comics}}, bringing with him the characterization-based style that had become Marvel's trademark, and created his ambitious, if short-lived, ''[[ComicBook/NewGods Fourth World]]'' titles. The same year saw the retirement of Mort Weisinger, Silver Age editor of the Comicbook/{{Superman}} titles. ''Amazing Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}}'' #96 and #97 were the first to abandon UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode entirely; these issues ran a US Government requested story with a strong anti-drug message, but the Code at the time didn't allow any references to drugs at all. Considering who asked for the story, Creator/StanLee decided to [[DefyingTheCensors defy the censors]] and had the story published anyway. The issues sold well even with[[note]]Or perhaps ''[[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity because of]]''[[/note]] the controversy, and the gates were opened.


* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'', both the original version (debuting in a short story DC's horror series ''The House of Secrets'' in 1971), and a revived incarnation. In 1984, AlanMoore took over the script and made a name for himself in the US. TheMovie came out in 1983. Under Moore, it became deeply political, dealing with themes such as race, feminism, environmentalism, and animal rights.

to:

* ''ComicBook/SwampThing'', both the original version (debuting in a short story DC's horror series ''The House of Secrets'' in 1971), and a revived incarnation. In 1984, AlanMoore Creator/AlanMoore took over the script and made a name for himself in the US. TheMovie came out in 1983. Under Moore, it became deeply political, dealing with themes such as race, feminism, environmentalism, and animal rights.


With the looser constraints of the Comics Code's 1971 revision, comics were free to address [[DarkerAndEdgier more mature issues]]. Creators were eager to prove to skeptical audiences that despite the Silver Age silliness that had become synonymous with the medium, comics could tell stories that were compelling to older readers. The Bronze Age is thus known for the first attempts to bring realism and adult issues to SuperHero comic books, themes which would later overtake the genre entirely in UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks. [[FanService Overt sexuality]] appeared; necklines came down and hemlines came up. The BreastPlate started to appear on female characters such as Red Sonja, while males like ConanTheBarbarian ran around with no shirt on. Religion also became available as a subject of discussion. TheLegionsOfHell started showing up, and religion-themed horror comics became popular. Perhaps most prominently, contemporary political issues appeared in comics for the first time since [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks the Golden Age]]. For instance, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica went up against the Secret Empire, a conspiracy to take over the United States government whose leader was finally unmasked as a thinly veiled version of then-President UsefulNotes/RichardNixon, who then committed suicide in front of the superhero. This shook Cap so badly that he temporarily abandoned his hero identity, taking on the name, Nomad. Eventually, though, [[ToBeLawfulOrGood Cap realized he could champion the ideals of America without necessarily always supporting the government]], and returned to the red-white-and-blue.

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With the looser constraints of the Comics Code's 1971 revision, comics were free to address [[DarkerAndEdgier more mature issues]]. Creators were eager to prove to skeptical audiences that despite the Silver Age silliness that had become synonymous with the medium, comics could tell stories that were compelling to older readers. The Bronze Age is thus known for the first attempts to bring realism and adult issues to SuperHero comic books, themes which would later overtake the genre entirely in UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks. [[FanService Overt sexuality]] appeared; necklines came down and hemlines came up. The BreastPlate started to appear on female characters such as Red Sonja, while males like ConanTheBarbarian Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian ran around with no shirt on. Religion also became available as a subject of discussion. TheLegionsOfHell started showing up, and religion-themed horror comics became popular. Perhaps most prominently, contemporary political issues appeared in comics for the first time since [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks the Golden Age]]. For instance, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica went up against the Secret Empire, a conspiracy to take over the United States government whose leader was finally unmasked as a thinly veiled version of then-President UsefulNotes/RichardNixon, who then committed suicide in front of the superhero. This shook Cap so badly that he temporarily abandoned his hero identity, taking on the name, Nomad. Eventually, though, [[ToBeLawfulOrGood Cap realized he could champion the ideals of America without necessarily always supporting the government]], and returned to the red-white-and-blue.


The Bronze Age's end is debated, including whether it has ended at all. One suggested turning point is 1986, when DC's ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' concluded and ushered in a wholesale revision of the DC Universe, making the company a legitimate challenger to Marvel once more. In addition, the company published the seminal and highly influential miniseries ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'', which introduced a new and darker take on the superhero genre. However, some works with [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Dark Age]] sensibilities such as Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' (1982), and FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/{{Ronin}}'' (1983) had debuted a few years previously. Even Marvel's ComicBook/ThePunisher, one of the key figures of UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, debuted as early as 1974!

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The Bronze Age's end is debated, including whether it has ended at all. One suggested turning point is 1986, when DC's ''ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths'' concluded and ushered in a wholesale revision of the DC Universe, making the company a legitimate challenger to Marvel once more. In addition, the company published the seminal and highly influential miniseries ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'', which introduced a new and darker take on the superhero genre. However, some works with [[UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks Dark Age]] sensibilities such as Creator/AlanMoore's ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'' (1982), and FrankMiller's Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/{{Ronin}}'' (1983) had debuted a few years previously. Even Marvel's ComicBook/ThePunisher, one of the key figures of UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks, debuted as early as 1974!

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