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 Vol 1 Super High Grade 1st App Wolverine Complete With MvsJoe Chiodo Original Comic Art Cover Savage Sword Of Conan #66 Vintage Bronze AgeIncredible Hulk #181 Vol 1 Very Nice Unrestored Qualified 1st App Of WolverineWerewolf By Night #32 Cgc 8.5 Origin & 1st Appearance Of Moon Knight White PagesIncredible Hulk 181; 1st Full Wolverine; Mvs Intact; No ReserveIncredible Hulk #181 Bronze Age 1st Wolverine Enormous Key Wow W/mvs Fine- SolidAmazing Spider-man #129 Marvel 1974 - 1st App(s) Of The Punisher & The Jackal!!!Amazing Spider-man #129 - 9.6 Near Mint Nm - 1st App Of The Punisher! Cgc Comic Cgc Ss 8.0 Giant-size X-men # 1 Signed By Herb Trimpe, Stan Lee, Romita Sr. WeinIncredible Hulk 181 1st Full Wolverine Cgc 4.0 Qualified Mvs Intact! Ow Pgs! Nr!The Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel) Cgc 8.0 White Pages 1st PunisherThe Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel)X-men #101 -near Mint- 9.4 Nm - Marvel 1976 - 1st App & Origin Of The Phoenix!!!Amazing Spider-man #129 (1974) And #135 (first & Second Punisher)Amazing Spider-man #121 -higher Grade- Marvel 1973 - Death Of Gwen Stacy!!!Batman #227 -higher Grade- Dc 1970 - Neal Adams Cover Swipe Detective Comics #31Invincible Iron Man #55 Giant Size X-men #1. Grade 9.8Giant-size X-men #1 ([july] 1975, Marvel) Key Marvel, First New X-men!!!Incredible Hulk #181 Cgc 7.5 No Reserve1 Giant Size X-men Lot! 97 -136! 97,98,109,120,121,125,129 More! 15 Total! 101*Iron Man 55 Cbcs 8.5 1st Appearance Thanos, Drax CgcHero For Hire #1 (1972, Marvel) Cgc 8.5 Ow/w Pages Origin & 1st App Luke CageIron Fist #14 (aug 1977, Marvel), Mint ConditionKey Dc Bronze House Of Secrets #92 Cgc 8.5 1971 1'st Appearance Swamp ThingX-men #94 -higher Grade- Marvel 1975 - 2nd App Colossus & Storm - 3rd Wolverine!Ghost Rider #1 Cgc 9.6 White Pages! Marvel 1973!House Of Secrets #92 Cgc 5.0 No Reserve Marvel Premiere 15 Cgc 9.2 1st Iron Fist Dc Comics Presents #26 Cgc 9.6 1980 1st Appearance Cyborg, Raven, StarfireThe Amazing Spider-man #129 Marvel Comics 1st Appearance Of The PunisherGreen Lantern #87 -higher Grade- Dc 1972 - 1st John Stewart - 2nd Guy Gardener!Batman 232 Cgc 8.5 Vf+ 1st Ra's Al Ghul Neal Adams ClassicGiant-size X-men #1 ([july] 1975, Marvel) Uncanny Mid Grade New Characters**comics 4 Trade** Amazing Spider-man 129 Cgc 6.5 1st App. Of The Punisher! Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen 134 Cbcs (not Cgc) 8.5 Vf+ High Grade 1st DarkseidAmazing Spider-man 238 Cgc 9.6 Wp!! 1st Hobgoblin, W/ "tattooz" Inside! 1¢ Nr!!Incredible Hulk 181 Cgc 4 1st Full Wolverine 11/74 Key Book Ow/wGhost Rider #1, Marvel Comics, 9/73, Cgc 9.4New Mutants # 98 - (nm+) - Rare- Mark Jewelers Insert - 1st App Of DeadpoolIron Fist #14 (1977) - Cgc 8.5 White Pages - 1st Sabretooth - Key BookGreen Lantern #76 4/70 Cgc 8.0 White Pages Neal Adams Classic Cover Key Issue!X-men #1 Giant-size Special July 1975, Marvel ComicsAmazing Spider-man 122 Cgc 9.0 Ow/w (marvel, 1973) "death" Of The Green GoblinAmazing Spider-man #119 -near Mint- 9.6 Nm+ Marvel 1973 - Spidey Vs The Hulk!!!Incredible Hulk #181 High Grade 1st Appearance Of Wolverine W Marvel StampBatman #244 Cgc 9.4 White Nm (9/72) Rá's Al Ghúl & Talia Neal Adams Cover & ArtIron Fist #14 Cgc Ss 9.4 Signed By Stan Lee 1st Appearance Of Sabretooth !!!Dr. Strange #1 June 1974 1st Silver Dagger Pgx Graded 9.6Large Lot Silver Age Marvel Comic Books Iron Man Daredevil Avengers Hulk VintageGiant-size X-men No. 1 Cgc 7.0 White Pages 1975 - Cgc Graded On July 29thMs Marvel 1 Cgc 9.4 Nm 1977 First Carol Danvers Solo Series First IssueWerewolf By Night 33 Cgc 9.6 White Second Appearance Of Moon KnightThe Amazing Spider-man #238, Cgc Signature Series, Cgc 9.6, 1st HobgoblinUncanny X-men #94 1st New Team In Title 3rd Wolverine Huge Key Fine- BeautyNew Mutants #98 High Grade Vf 1st Appearance Deadpool Domino And GideonStar Wars #1 35 Cent Price Variant Cgc Universal Grade 5.5X-men #94 Cgc 8.5 New X-men Marvel Comics Wolverine Colossus ClaremontThe Amazing Spider-man #121 (jun 1973, Marvel) Cgc 9.0 Death Of Gwen StacyMarvel Comics Conan The Barbarian 1-24 Issues Barry Smith Comic Book Lot 1970's