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 - (nm) - 1st Full Appearance Of Wolverine - High Grade1975 Marvel Giant Size X-men #1 Cgc 7.5 Ow-w 1st Appearance New X-men Werewolf By Night #32 Vf/nm 8.5/9.0 Unread White Pages!moon Knight!freeship Us!The Incredible Hulk #181 Cgc 8.0Giant-size X-men #1 -higher Grade- Marvel 1975 - 1st New Xmen - 2nd Wolverine!!!Werewolf By Night #32 (aug 1975, Marvel) First Appearance Moon Knight Cgc 9.2 Amazing Spider-man #129 - 1st Punisher - 1974 - Near Mint MinusIncredible Hulk 181 - First Wolverine App – Including Value Stamp! Vf+ 8.5 / 9!The Amazing Spider-man Issue The Punisher Issue #129Werewolf By Night #32 • 1st Moon Knight • Hi Grade Vf Or Higher • Key MarvelGiant-size X-men #1 Marvel Comics 1st Appearance Of The New X-men G/vgAmazing Spider-man #129 Mj Vg-, 1st Punisher Frank Castle, Jackal, Mark JewelersIncredible Hulk #181 Cgc 7.5 No ReserveBatman # 171 Cgc 8.5 1st Silver Age Appearance Riddler!super Hot!key Issue!l@@k!Batman #232 (jun 1971, Dc) Daughter Of The Demon, Cover & Art By Neal AdamsWerewolf By Night #32 First Appearance Moon Knight! Great Copy!!! High Grade!!!Cgc 8.5 Amazing Spider-man #121 - Green Goblin - Death Of Gwen Stacy - 1973Minty Ungraded 1971 Dc Comic Batman With Robin, Robin Dies No. 232New Teen Titans #2 -near Mint- 9.6 Nm+ Dc 1980 - 1st App Of Deathstroke!!!The Incredible Hulk 181 Cgc 8.0 1st Appearance WolverineBatman #232 -near Mint- 9.2 Nm- Dc 1971 - 1st App Of Ra's Al Ghul - Neal Adams!Marvel Premiere #15 • Cgc 7.5 Vf- • 1st Iron Fist • Huge Key! Netflix (marvel)Iron Man 55, 56 First ThanosBatman #251 -high Grade- Dc 1973 - A Joker App - Neal Adams Art - Look!!!X-men #94 -near Mint- 9.2 Nm- Marvel 1975 - 2nd App Of New Xmen - 2nd Wolverine!Marvel Premiere #15 -high Grade- Marvel 1974 - 1st App & Origin Of Iron Fist!!!Incredible Hulk #181 Marvel 1974 - 1st App Of Wolverine - X-men - Holy Grail!!!1973 Marvel Iron Man #55 Cgc 7.0 Ow-w Pages 1st Appearance Of Thanos Drax1971 Batman #252 1st Appearance Ra's Al Ghul Talia Cameo Cgc 9.4 Ow-w PagesBatman #251 (1973, Dc) - Neil Adams Iconic Joker Cover! Starts @ Penny!The Incredible Hulk #181 - Cgc 4.5 - Wolverine 1st Full Appearance (1974 Marvel)Batman #232 Cgc 6.5 1st Appearance Of Ra's Al Ghul Origin Of Batman & Robin KeyAmazing Spider-man #194 -near Mint- 9.6 Nm+ Marvel 1979 - 1st App Of Black Cat!Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 -higher Grade- Dc 1970 - 1st App Of Darkseid!!!The Amazing Spider-man #129 (feb 1974, Marvel) Cgc 6.5Ms Marvel Comic Book Run 1970s ~ 1-23 Complete W/18 Many Nm! Nice Single Owner!X-men #94 Very Good 1975Bronze Age Comic Book 1973 Ghost Rider #1Amazing Spider-man #129 -higher Grade- Marvel 1974 - 1st App Of The Punisher!!!Amazing Spider-man #121 Marvel 1973 - Death Of Gwen Stacy - Check Our Comics!!!Marvel Premiere #15, Iron Fist, Origin, Gil Kane Art, Cbcs 8.5, White PagesSpecial Marvel Edition #15 Cgc 9.6 White Nm+ (12/73) 1st Master Of Kung FuSavage Tales 1 Cgc 9.6 White Nm+ (5/71) 0258170003 Conan, 1st Man-thing, Ka-zarDaredevil #168 Cgc 9.0 (origin & 1st Appearance Of Elektra) Very Htf Vf/nm Copy!Gene Colan Original Painting - Cover Art - Tomb Of Dracula, Kirby, WrightsonGraded Amazing Spider-man #129 Vg (marvel, 1974) 1st Appearance Of The Punisher!New Mutants # 98 X-force # 2 1st, 2nd Appearance Deadpool Domino Nuff Said C-87Iron Fist 15 Cgc 9.8 White Nm/mt (9/77) Vs X-men 1305172009Avengers Annual 10 Cgc 9.8 White Nm/mt (1981) 1st Rogue 0763856004Black Panther #1 Cgc 8.5 Vf+ Signed Stan Lee Kirby & Royer ArtAmazing Spider-man #100 Extremely High Grade, Original Owner, Unread, Cgc Ready!Werewolf By Night #32 (aug 1975, Marvel) 1st App. Moon Knight Hot KeyTomb Of Dracula #1 Cgc 9.6 White Nm+ (4/72) 1st Issue Frank Drank Clifton GravesCgc 7.5 Amazing Spider-man #122 - Green Goblin - Death Of Gwen Stacy - 1973Marvel Spotlight #5 (cgc 8.5) White Pages; Origin/1st App. Ghost Rider (c#08162)Amazing Spider-man #121 Cgc 9.6: Gwen Stacy Death! Bronze Age Key! $1,600 Value!Harley Quinn Rebirth #1 Puddin' Pack Set (hatless, Color, B&w) Michael TurnerThor 193 Cgc 9.4 - Ow/w Pages - No Reserve AuctionThe Uncanny X-men #94 -- Vg 4.0 (marvel 1975) New X-menIncredible Hulk #181 First Appearance Wolverine Marvel Nice!