What book started the Bronze Age of Comics????
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My opinion on this whole debate is that the main trends I see as comprising the Bronze Age, such as anti-heroes, increased violence, heroes killing villains, villains killing heroes/bystanders, minority representation (as both heroes and villains) and an influx of brand-new characters exhibiting these characteristics....

 

By the way, I'd agree with all of Joe's criteria above, but add another I've mentioned before (& would be curious if y'all agree or not):

Many of the Bronze Age books were, I believe, a self-conscious attempt by the creators to do something of lasting permanence and mainstream acceptance, and had greater literary pretensions than their Silver Age predecessors.

This attitude was typified for me by the early-1970s paperback reprints of GL/GA, marketed as "Comix That Give a Damn" (note the appropriation of the underground/adult "comix" label).

 

The 1970-74 period was the time when the pretentious-sounding "Academy of Comic Book Arts" was handing out the ACBA Shazam awards. DC and Marvel both made a lot of noise about these awards in their Bullpin Bulletins and Direct Currents pages, and the awards were basically divided up between Conan, Swamp Thing, GL/GA and Manhunter, with occasional nominations for Spider-Man, Kull, Dr. Strange, Batman, etc.

 

Discuss...

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Theagenes, WOW what a post! I agree with Conan The Barbarian #1 being the start of the bronze age.

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I vote for Brave and Bold No. 79. (Adams' Batman and Deadman)

I have that issue.

If it's recognized as the start of the Bronze Age, maybe it will go up in value. grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Theagenes- GREAT post. I grew up and started collecting during this period. I remember the buzz that Conan #1 generated during this period. I agree with you that this book marks the starting point for the Bronze Age. I also remember at the time that many other collectors were feeling the same way. We didn't realize there was a change happening at the time, we just knew that the comics we were reading were somehow different.

Hindsight allows us 20/20 vision and history gives us the oppotunity to analyze the details, but to me Conan #1 epitomizes the beginning of the Bronze age. Whether other books were similar and printed a few months earlier or later, they just don't capture the moment the way Conan #1 does.

Theagenes, I'm looking foward the reading more of your posts.

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Thanks guys, glad you enjoyed the post. Like I said I have a real interest in this topic. Maybe it's just cool that the comics I was reading when I was a kid finally have their own "Age." On the other hand it makes me feel a little old.

 

Zonker, I understand your point about Conan not being an original comic book character, but I don't really think it's a problem in this case. When most mainstream average people think of Conan they usually think of the movies and the Marvel Thomas/Smith/Buscema Conan comics. Not many people really know about REH and Weird Tales. It's true the L. S. de Camp edited Ace/Tor paperbacks that came out in the 60's were very popular, but Marvel's version of Conan is what most people picture in their mind when they think of Conan. Did you know that Roy Thomas actually co-wrote the first version of the screen play for the movie? But then they decided to go a second version by some guy named Oliver Stone. But at any rate it was Marvel that brought Conan into mainstream pop culture and made the movies possible.

 

My only real complaint against Conan #1 as the start of the Bronze Age in October 1970 is it excludes a number of earlier books with more in common with what followed (Bronze Age) than what preceeded (Silver)--

- Detective 395, 397, 400, 402 (Adams books)

- Batman 219 (Adams)

- Green Lantern / Green Arrow 76-79 (O'Neil/Adams)

- Teen Titans 25-29 (disillusioned TT give up costumes, take on new members)

- JLA 78-83 (JLA leave Earth)

 

These are good points and I don't disagree. That's why I really don't have a problem with having a different book for Marvel and DC. That really better reflects reality. As joe_collector pointed out, it was Marvel that was really the one experimenting with different genres as well more sophisticated content. DC for the most part (there are exceptions of course) stuck the superhero genre, but made their chararcters grittier, etc. When you look at that way, Conan best epitomizes what Marvel was doing in the BA, while GL/GA best epitomizes what DC was doing.

 

But I had forgotten that Detective 400 (1st Man-Bat) preceded GL/GA. Now I'm leaning toward that book as the first DC Bronze Age comic. Man-Bat is definitely a Bronze Age character on many levels, and not just chronologically. He's ambigous as to whether or not he's a hero or villain/monster, etc. Also 400 isn't a no. 1, but it is a nice round symbolic number.

 

I still think Conan no.1 is more significant and representative of the time period, so if I had to pick one book I would go with that one, but it is probably more accurate to have Conan no. 1 for Marvel and Det. 400 or GL/GA 76 for DC, ala Showcase 4 and FF no.1 in the Siver Age.

 

 

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Welcome to the boards! Great and fascinating post. Your arguements are well thought out and well supported. I really think you may be onto something w/ the whole Fantasy genre coming into play. I always felt that GS Xmen #1 was too late to be the start of the Bronze Age, and was always more comfortable w/ 1970 as the first Bronze year.

 

I also like the idea of starting having a DC Bronze beginning and a Marvel Bronze beginning, much like your Showcase #4 / FF #1 example.

 

Chris

 

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Damn!

 

I had never really considered Conan #1 as beginning of the Bronze Age, but now, thanks to Theagenes, I feel very compelled to break off the Silver Age right there! And the idea of a split for Marvel and DC feels much more comfortable than choosing just one book to represent everything, as a freakin' lot was going on! Damn! Now I have to go out and pick up Conan #1 again! Thanks for the great pair o' posts, Theagens!!

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that was an incredible post Theag. I tried to work on this problem when i forst got here but got all twisted up in logic and false memories of the time....But youve given it a lot of thought and pretty much nailed it for most .

 

I cant remember if you said this part, (and as lucid as it was, I dont want to reread it smirk.gif ) but I have a problem with 2 books getting the nod, one for each company. If one company did something that started IT'S Bronze Age, then the other company's first BA book was only a reaction (if the time span was more than 3 months that's what it would have been, like JLA/FF in Silver) therefore only the FIRST BA book deserves the honors.

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blush.gif BUMP blush.gif

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*BUMP* for the newbies gossip.gif

 

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It would be hard for me to say for sure when the bronze age began.I can say for a certainty when the silver age ENDED for me.Amazing Spider-man #122.Without a doubt.I remember buying it off the stands.I continued to buy ASM for several more months out of habit but finally quit for nearly 10 years.That book floored me flamed.gif !! The beginning of the bronze age is always an interesting topic, but one that I think will never be fully nailed down.I definitely remember the Adams/O'Neil GL/GA run as being very ground breaking.It surprises me that I don't hear more about Tomb Of Dracula.That series definitely took comics to a new level.The Kirby Fourth World stuff was another departure from the old.I suppose what ushered in the change for me was a change in theme from irony/satire(silver age) to an emphasis on tragedy(bronze age).Comics had grown up.I suppose it could be argued that books like Conan,Swamp Thing,and the Shadow were probably the first to break the mold.For those of us who were buying off the rack in those days the transformation was profound.And the end of the bronze age?Definitely the Byrne FF run and the Perez Teen Titans.Walt Simonson Thor and the Age of revitilization.Sometimes it just amazes me how much water has truly gone under the bridge.What a hobbby.GOD BLESS...

 

-jimbo(a friend of jesus) thumbsup2.gif

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Twenty years ago (when I was 12), my friends and I always felt that 12 centers were Silver and 15 centers were Bronze. Now I can actually quantify that position. If we are looking at GL/GA #76 as the start of Bronze, due to the human and true to life storytelling and the loss of innocence in comic books...then why don't we go back as far as ASM #96-98. Marvel did it first, they knowingly took on the code, took a risk and they did it with their most popular book! Harry was hooked on something (pills, acid, something) and having flashbacks, a lot earlier than Speedy was. Thats the book(s) that opened the door for everyone else to follow suit and push the envelope.

 

Jim

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Amazing Spider-Man, The #96

1963 Series - Marvel, May 1971, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

 

Green Lantern #76

1960 Series - DC, April 1970, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

 

893scratchchin-thumb.gif

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Amazing Spider-Man, The #96

1963 Series - Marvel, May 1971, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

 

Green Lantern #76

1960 Series - DC, April 1970, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

Well there you have it... thumbsup2.gif

 

Jim

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Amazing Spider-Man, The #96

1963 Series - Marvel, May 1971, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

 

Green Lantern #76

1960 Series - DC, April 1970, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

Well there you have it... thumbsup2.gif

 

But he's talking about the codeless DRUG ISSUES, which translated (using 20/20 hindsight) into a growing appreciation for the ENTIRE GL/GA run, which started in 1970.

 

I do believe Marvel was first in introducing codeless drug stories to the world, and that GL/GA followed their lead.

 

Hey, I WAS right:

 

Amazing Spider-Man, The #96

1963 Series - Marvel, May 1971, coverprice 0.15 , 36 pages.

 

Green Lantern 85

1960 Series - DC, August-September 1971, coverprice 0.25 , 52 pages.

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I suppose that I overlook the ASM drug issues inadvertantly because I was living in a small Missouri town(population 2300) when they hit the stands and I missed them.I missed quite a few issues during those couple of years.Those books and the GL/GA series both recieved some national press and the price change is a good point also.I know I definitely don't consider any 20 centers to be silver.I guess if I had to choose,I would probably agree with you.I do remember Kirby leaving marvel had a big affect on me,but that event would only have true significance to other Kirby freaks like me.GOD BLESS...

 

-jimbo(a friend of jesus) thumbsup2.gif

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What are you talking about? The GL issues were near a year before the Spidey drug issues?

 

Jim

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