The Influence and Controversy of Comics in the 20th Century

Essay by poppy_marse March 2007

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superman! It's a comic book. The literary community has never held the flimsy paper periodicals in very high regard, but I think it's time they get the recognition they deserve. Comics have had a huge influence on the youth of society, starting trends and discussing controversial issues of the time. Disguised in cool graphics and super characters are powerful messages.

In the past, comics, or graphic novels as they are now known, were viewed as the lowest form of literature. Comics came under heavy fire during the excessively moral decades of the 40s and 50s. Teachers, parents, world leaders and the Church publicly proclaimed the evils of comic books, saying that they "corrupted the youth" and "poisoned the mind". Various churches, particularly the Landover Baptists, held bonfires declaring "The Lord loves the smell of burning books!" Not all people consider comic books to be evil.

Many people get hours of enjoyment from them. However, when most people look at comic books they only see colourful pictures and nonsense characters, but comics are about much more than that. Comic books are one of the most influential media forms of the 20th century, daringly attempting to break down all kinds of prejudice.

The two most well known comic book publishers in the world are Marvel Comics and DC Comics. DC created perhaps the most famous superheroes of all, Superman and Batman. Personally, I prefer comics by Marvel, the company who brought us such gems as Daredevil, Fantastic Four and of course, The X-Men.

Marvel's comic "The X-Men" debuted in 1963 and told the story of a team of crime fighting teenagers. The teenagers were Homo superior, a race created by a genetic mutation, which gave the teenagers supernatural abilities. The writers of the...