Marvel 30-Day Challenge, Day 28
Favorite comic time period
I got confused by the criteria for today’s challenge, as I’m not sure what it means by “favorite comic time period.” In my view, that either means the run for a specific author or comic book series, or an era of comics in general. I’m going with the latter in this case for Marvel Comics, as there’s only one time period I consider my favorite.
Bronze Age of Comics
If I were to describe Marvel about the different ages of comic books, it would be like this. The Golden Age’s their infancy; the Silver Age is their early to mid-childhood, and the Bronze Age is their late childhood and adolescence. That means it has all the angst and issues that come with it.
Lasting from 1970 to 1986, this is my favorite Marvel Era because it gave us some of the best stories that Marvel’s ever put out. The company spent the 1960s laying the groundwork, but once that was done, they started working with darker, more mature stories. Stan Lee even did a three-part story on drug use in the Amazing Spider-Man, despite it going against the Comic Code Authority. I respect that (stick it, Frederic Wertham).
The Death of Gwen Stacy
This was a watershed moment in the Bronze Age of Marvel. In the span of a single issue, Gwen Stacy, Spider-Man’s girlfriend, was murdered at the hands of the Green Goblin. Before that, you never saw a hero fail so badly, or see a major character die so suddenly. Next to losing Uncle Ben, this was probably the worst moment in Spider-Man’s life.
This moment set the tone for the Bronze Age. From here on out, Marvel wasn’t afraid to deal with things like drug abuse, racism, murder, etc. It led to us getting the new X-Men, Days of Future Past, the Dark Phoenix Saga, and more. Henceforth, it’s my favorite comic time period for Marvel.
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If you’re wondering who Frederic Wertham was, he’s this scholar who published a study in the 1950s that said that comic books were a bad influence on America’s youth. However, evidence has come forth that he may have falsified some of his research to make comic books look bad. Ergo, I hate his guts.
That and the Government witch hunts (I call it for what it is) led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority. Basically, a self-appointed rule book that the comic book industry made for itself to keep the government from making its own rules. It’s no longer followed.