THE BRONZE AGE OF DC COMICS

PrintE-mail Written by Jordan Royce

For many of a certain age, the Bronze Age of DC represented a turning point in the history of comics. Vietnam and Watergate had ushered in a new sense of social awareness, a loss of innocence, and DC Comics were quickly swept up by all of these changes. Comics would never be the same again. In came sexuality, religion was no longer taboo (although did we really need The Bible comic?), and even (shock, horror!) ethnically grounded characters. Comics finally had something useful to say. Something that reflected the world that readers actually lived in.

Following on from his companion books focussing on the golden and silver eras, Paul Levitz has created a truly definitive tome on this period with The Bronze Age of DC Comics. The first thing to strike you is the lavish feel and quality, which together with the exquisite binding present something that oozes quality from cover to bronze foiled cover. The Bronze Age of DC Comics covers the years 1970 up until 1985, when Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow brought down the curtain on the era when comics grew a set of balls and threw off the shackles of the Comics Code.

Levitz looks to all of the greats to weave the tapestry of this saga. Dennis O’Neil, Joe Orlando, Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson, Dick Giordano, Robert Kanigher, Joe Kubert, Marv Wolfman, George Perez, Alan Moore, Frank Miller, and many more. Levitz tells the tale of the era in parallel with the contribution made by these comic book legends. Coupled with a mixtures of classic covers, iconic moments, and genuine curiosities – All beautifully restored and printed for future generations to easily experience.

You are taken back to a time when ISIS was a superheroine battling the evil Scarab. Lois Lane would change colour, and immediately start jive talking. Wonder Woman changed into an Emma Peel knock off. Superman put on the boxing gloves for a match with Muhammad Ali, and in the real world Neal Adams designed the ultimate Superman Theme Park. Levitz covers the outlandish meeting the real world with aplomb, and rightly gives great kudos to the ground breaking team-up of Green Lantern and Green Arrow, which scooped awards with its introduction of complex social issues of the time. By comparison in the modern DC New 52, Roy Harper has never been a junkie, merely previously overdoing the vodka Red Bulls.

By the time Frank Miller’s Dark Knight returned the party was well and truly over. The Bronze Age of DC Comics takes you back to when the party was in full swing and anything felt possible. The greatest compliment I can give this book is the stern look I gave to my iPhone, whose ringing had broken the spell after being engrossed in this joyous book for two hours. It’s a bronze foiled time machine. Buy it. Be happy.

THE BRONZE AGE OF DC COMICS / AUTHOR: PAUL LEVITZ / PUBLISHER: TASCHEN GMBH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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