Silver age comic books: Uncovering their importance in the midst of political, social and cultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s
This research attempts to show the need to expand comic-book scholarship through critically examining how comic writers and artists express cultural, political, and social concepts in the past and present. The reason that this is needed is because most current comic-book scholarship falls short in critically examining comic books. Much of today's scholarship fails in the examination of the crucial content which is inside the panels. This work hopes to demonstrate the necessity of comic-book expansion through showing the importance of the Silver Age of comic book history; that the pieces of art created can be more than what the basic definition of Silver Age comic books limits them to be. The time period that this research focuses on is the 1960s and 1970s, two decades of social, political, and cultural unrest. Many social movements, such as the civil rights movement, women's liberation movement, and the counterculture movement have their rise to power in these two decades. The research focuses on three comic-book series that have their publication during the aforementioned timeframe. These comic books traverse multiple time periods, taking characteristics from more than one era. Captain America's Secret Empire series followed an iconic superhero who lost faith in his identity and country after traumatic events unfolded in the White House. Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane was a series that attempted to shift its main character, Lois Lane, to be more aligned with current views on women's issues. Teen Titans was a series that encapsulated the mood and ideals of the youth culture in the 1960s and 1970s. By examining Captain America's Secret Empire, Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane, and Teen Titans series in the subsequent chapters, the analysis will show that comic books of the Silver Age are culturally deeper and more influential than the boundaries that current scholar's definition set them to be.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History