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Robbery: They actually reference this in Superman & Batman: Generations. Where in Lex Luthor is just a thug and the Ultra Humanite had stolen his body.
That's actually a really cool idea... By way of extrapolation, imagine if Lex Luthor actually WAS a benevolent billionaire philanthropist and he was abducted by the Ultra-Humanite, brains were transplanted, and voila...villianous super-scientist Luthor!
The "I never ever take a life" heroes came about with comics' growing popularity. The more attention they got, the more pressure they were under to tone down that kind of violence. Batman and Superman both killed bad guys in some of their first appearances.
I think the guys making the comics were wary of presenting too much violence to children anyway. Batman's no gun policy was implemented after a scene where he machine guns a van full of minions. I don't think there was much outside pressure on comics at this time, it's likely the editor thought the writer had gone too far and took precautions against it happening again.
Alot of the Golden Age writer had fought in wars or at least there was a war going on. The "Killing is Always Bad" rule would have been an odd fit for them.
One of the reasons Robin was introduced was to soften up Batman's image and appeal more to the kids reading the book. And it was only a year after the character of Batman was first introduced. It didn't take long for concerns over violence to manifest and for the creators to address them.
Above all else, though, the Silver Age began shortly after the birth of the Comics Code Authority. "The hero shalt not kill" had become universally enforced policy.
I think that was even one of the dictums of the Comics Code Authority.
Of course it didn't happen during the Silver Age, because once it did happen, we called the Bronze Age.
Anyone heard about Roy Thomas? He was Marvel's first big writer after Stan Lee and he was crazy about the Golden Age. To wit:
- He brought back Toro, Red Raven and Marvel Boy as opponents for Sub-Mariner and Fantastic Four.
- He revealed that Johnny Storm was huge fan of original original Human Torch (he even implied that influenced this powers he got) and actually had him wear red costume like G.A. Torch for a while.
- He revealed that Wanda and Pietro were children of Whizzer and Miss America.
- He banished Captain Marvel to Negative Zone, forcing him to switch places with Rick Jones to appear on earth in reference to Billy Batson.
- He based Vision on Golden Age hero in look, name and slightly in powers.
- He wrote most of Invaders, book staring Sub-Mariner, Human Torch and Captain America (plus their sidekicks) that took place during the WWII and during that book he introduced Liberty Legion which constituted of seven more GA heroes.
- And he finished his infamous Kree-Skrull War story with Rick Jones getting super powers and using them to create bunch of Golden Age heroes from thin air to save the day.
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