Most comic-book aficionados agree that the Bronze Age of comics began in 1970, shortly after artist Jack Kirby left Marvel for DC Comics, which promised him a greater degree of artistic freedom since “Superman” editor Mort Weisinger had just retired. Among other things, the Bronze Age challenged established publishing conventions and brought the subject matter of comics into the modern day.

For example, in 1972, Luke Cage, the first African-American superhero, appeared. Around the same time, the concept of the superhero expanded to include foreign heroes (Banshee) as well as women heroes (Hawkwoman), who were more assertive and powerful than their predecessors. Unfortunately, many of the foreign and black characters simply reinforced racial and ethnic stereotypes, but some were genuine attempts to create a more diverse, inclusive world.

Similarly, Bronze Age comics began dealing with more real-world issues, beginning with “The Amazing Spider-Man” #96 and #97, which featured a very strong-anti-drug message at a time when the Comics Code did not allow any references to drugs at all. Other comics followed suit: Green Lantern and Green Arrow teamed up to fight drug abuse and corruption. Captain America—now the product of a disillusioned, post-Watergate, post-Vietnam world—entered the realm of politics when he fought the Secret Empire, a conspiracy to take over America run by a villain who bore an uncanny resemblance to Richard Nixon.

Violence was portrayed more realistically—when villains killed, their innocent victims died. Illustrators also began leveraging the sex appeal of their characters as the Comics Code loosened. And the Bronze Age saw the introduction of the graphic novel, one more form of experimentation and innovation. Even titles that stuck to the traditional comics format took on longer story arcs that spanned multiple issues.

The end of the Bronze Age is widely debated. Some point to 1986, when “Watchmen” and “The Dark Knight Returns” were published. Also of debate is the name of the age that followed it—Dark Age, Modern Age, and Iron Age are often used interchangeably.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Cover Browser

Cover Browser

Philipp Lenssen's incredible archive of over 94,000 comic book covers - Wow! Wham! Yikes! Browse by title from the … [read review or visit site]

TheComicBooks.com

TheComicBooks.com

Jamie Coville's in-progress ode to the history of 20th century comic books. Start with his Newsstand Period Part 1 … [read review or visit site]

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Bruce Shults takes us on a comprehensive Popeye fan tour, from the early comic strips to cartoons and collectible m… [read review or visit site]

Barnacle Press

Barnacle Press

This collection of obscure newspaper comic strips provides scans browsable by title, year and date. Showcases comic… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Incredible Hulk #181 Cgc 9.8 1st Appearance Wolverine!Giant-size X-men #1 -high Grade- Marvel 1975 - 1st App New Xmen - 2nd Wolverine!Iron Man #55 Marvel 1973 - 1st App(s) Of Mentor, Thanos & Drax The Destroyer!!!Giant Size X -men #1 Cgc 9.0, Stan Lee, Romita Sr. ,trimpe, Ayers & Wein! Wp! X -men #141 Cgc 9.8 Ss, Stan Lee, Romita Sr. Trimpe, Rubinstein & Claremont Wp.Iron Man #55 Marvel 1973 - 1st Apps Thanos, Drax, Mentor, Starfox & Kronos!!!!The Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel) 1st Appearance Of The PunisherAmazing Spider-man # 129 (first Appearance Of The Punisher)The Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel) Cgc 7.5Amazing Spider-man #129 Vg+ 4.5 1st App. The Punisher Marvel 1974 No ReserveMarvel Comic - Tomb Of Dracula #10 1st Full App Blade The Vampire Slayer Vf Cgc Graded 7.0 Giant-size X-men #1 (marvel, 1975) Fn/vf *no Reserve*New Teen Titans #2 Super High Grade 9.4-9.6 Nm+ 1st Deathstroke Appearance 1980Amazing Spider-man #129Batman #232 1st App Ra's Al Ghul. Mega Key. Higher Grade Bronzeage Movie Dc. LotWerewolf By Night #32 - Cbcs 8.5 Vf+ Marvel 1975 - 1st App & Origin Moon Knight!Incredible Hulk #181 Bronze Age 1st Wolverine Enormous Key Wow W/stampTha Amazing Spiderman 129 First Punisher Key Issue Marvel Comic Vf To Vf-The Incredible Hulk #181 (1974) 1st Full App Wolverine Signed Wein Stamp IntactGiant-size X-men #1 ([july] 1975, Marvel) Very Good ConditionX -men #142 Cgc 9.8 Ss, Stan Lee, Romita Sr. Trimpe, Rubinstein & Claremont Wp.Marvel Preview #7 Cgc 9.2 White Pages 1st Rocket Raccoon Guardians Of The GalaxyGiant Size X-men #1 Cgc Ss 6.0 White Pages Signed By Stan Lee And Len WeinMarvel Preview #4 High Grade 8.0-8.5 Vf+ 1st Starlord Appearance 1976 Bronze AgeIron Man #55 (feb 1973, Marvel)The Incredible Hulk #181 Nov 1974 Cgc 6.5 Grade 1st Appearance WolverineAmazing Spider-man #122 -near Mint- 9.2 Nm- Marvel 1973 - Death Of Green Goblin!Star Wars #1 Cgc 9.8 White Pages Incredible 1977 Marvel ComicMarvel Spotlight #32 Cgc 9.8 Nm/mt White Pgs (feb 1977, Marvel) 1st Spider-womanMega Marvel Keys! Iron Man #55 Cbcs (like Cgc) 6.0 1st Thanos!Amazing Spider-man 194 Cbcs 9.4 Like Cgc 1st Black CatScooby Doo 1 Cgc 5.5 Very Hard To Find This Nice! 1st Appearance $.99 StartingAmazing Spider-man # 121 (death Of Gwen Stacy)Incredible Hulk Cgc 9.8 1st Appearance Wolverine!House Of Secrets #92 Cgc 7.0 Ss, Bernie Wrightson & Len Wein. 1st Swamp ThingIron Fist #14 Vol 1 Pgx 8.5 Unrestored High Grade 1st Appearance Of SabretoothThe Incredible Hulk #181 (nov 1974, Marvel)Cgc Ss 9.2 Batman #232 Neal Adams & Denny O'neil!! Ow/white! 1st Ras Al Ghul! NmConan The Barbarian #1-275 Complete Set!! Giant Size #1-5 Annuals #1-12 CompleteAvengers # 196 Cgc 9.8 Ss, George Perez ! White Pages. 1st Full Taskmaster !Marvel X-men #94 Graded Comic Cgc 9.0 Beginning Of New X-men From 1975Marvel Premiere #1 Cgc 8.0 Origin Of Adam Warlock Star Wars (1977) #1 Cgc 9.6 1975 - 1980 Uncanny Xmen #94 - #140 45 Issues Marvel Bronze Age Comics LotStar Wars (1977) # 1 Cgc 9.2 Nm- White Pages Hot Book Movie Soon No Reserve!!Star Wars #1 Cgc 9.8 #1108737025("star Wars: A New Hope" Movie Adaptation). WhtWerewolf By Night #32 (two Copies,1975, Marvel) UncertifiedInhumans #1 Cgc (nm+) 9.6 Bronze Age Marvel Comics Inhumans Movie ComingBlack Panther 1 Cgc 9.6 The Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel) 1st Appearance Of Punisher Incredible Hulk #271 Cgc 9.4 Nm - 1st App Rocket RacoonSwamp Thing '72 Series #1-24 Complete Set!! Avg Fine/fine+ Condition Wrightson!!X-men #125 Cgc (nm/m) 9.8 Marvel Comics 1st Appearance Of ProteusGodzilla #1 Cgc 9.8 Ss, Stan Lee & Herb Trimpe. 8/77 , Signature Series Iron Fist #14 (1st Appearance Of Sabretooth) Cgc Ss 6.5 Signed By Stan Lee!Batman #234 High Grade 1st Silver Age Two-face Appearance 1971 Neal Adams ArtAmazing Spider-man 119 120 121 122 No ReserveThe Amazing Spiderman #129 1st Punisher App. Pgx 8.0 Not Cgc Very Fine Wow Hot Daredevil #168 Cgc 9.6 White Pages : 1st Appearance Elecktra Elektra Hott!!!!!Giant Size X-men #1 Cgc 9.0..