Superhero comics

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Superhero comics
Cover of Wow Comics 38 (Sept./Oct. 1941).
 
This topic covers comics that fall under the Superhero genre.
Publishers DC Comics
Marvel Comics
Image Comics
Valiant Comics
Charlton Comics
Publications Superman
Batman
The Amazing Spider-Man
Watchmen
Astro City
Creators Jack Kirby
Stan Lee
Dennis O'Neil
Alan Moore
Steve Ditko
Series "The Death of Superman"
"Gods and Mortals"
"Days of Future Past"
"The Night Gwen Stacy Died"
"Snowbirds Don't Fly"
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Superhero comics are a form of American comic books. The form rose to prominence in the 1930s and 1940s and has remained the dominant form of comic book in North America since the 1960s. Superhero comics feature stories about superheroes and the universes these characters inhabit.

Beginning with the introduction of Superman in 1938 in Action Comics #1 — an anthology of adventure features — comic books devoted to superheroes (heroic people with extraordinary or superhuman abilities and skills, or god-like powers and attributes) ballooned into a huge genre, coincident with the beginnings of World War II and the end of The Great Depression.

Precursors[edit]

In comics format, superpowered and costumed heroes like Popeye and The Phantom had appeared in newspaper comic strips for several years prior to Superman. The masked detective The Clock first appeared in the comic book Funny Pages #6 (Nov. 1936).

The Golden Age[edit]

In the Great Depression and World War II era the first Superhero Comics appeared, the most popular being Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman and Captain America.

Decline[edit]

After World War II superhero comic books gradually declined in popularity, their sales hindered in part by the publication of Seduction of the Innocent and the investigations of The Senate Subcommittee hearings on juvenile delinquency.

The Silver Age[edit]

Beginning in the 1950s, DC began publishing revised versions of their 1940s superhero characters such as The Flash and Green Lantern with more of a science fiction focus. Marvel Comics followed suit in the 1960s, introducing characters such as Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, the X Men and Iron Man who featured more complex personalities which had more dramatic potential.

The Bronze Age[edit]

Superhero Comics became much more political and dealt with social issues such as the short-lived run of Green Lantern/Green Arrow by Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams and the Captain America story arc of the superhero's political disillusionment by Steve Englehart. This was eventually supplanted by more sophisticated character driven titles of The Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont and John Byrne for Marvel and The New Teen Titans by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez for DC. Anti-Hero becomes popular with appearances of The Punisher, Wolverine, Ghost Rider and a 1980s revival of Daredevil by Frank Miller.

The Modern Age[edit]

Superhero Comics became darker with the release of landmark deconstructive works such as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, which led to many imitations. In the 1990s, Image Comics released successful new characters including the Anti-Hero Spawn which were predominately creator owned as opposed to Marvel and DC's which were corporate owned. The Comic Book Mini Series Kingdom Come brought an end to the popularity of the Anti-Hero and encouraged instead a reconstruction of the genre with superhero characters that endeavored to combine artistic and literary sophistication with idealism

See also[edit]

References[edit]