Social Movements as Presented Throughout Comic Book History; Focusing Primarily on DC's "The Green Lantern"
Too often are American superhero comics dismissed as childish or simplistic. However, American superhero comics have evolved alongside American society throughout history, and have, in many cases, made a conscious effort to represent progressive movements that have arisen within various respective decades. This thesis will analyze the progression of American superhero comics as they have evolved throughout the decades, this essay will focus primarily on the comic book storylines of DC's, The Green Lantern, throughout the Golden, Silver, Bronze and Modern Ages of comic book history. The Golden Age was defined by war efforts and support for World War II. The Silver Age was under heavy regulation by the Comic Code Authority and had to water down content from serious topics. Despite this regulation, Silver Age comics were able to symbolize and support or oppose social movements during their respective decade. However, the Bronze Age acted as a turning point for comic book plotlines and characterization. After the Bronze Age, censorship of comic book content was nonexistent and more complex plotlines were developed. From then on the Modern Age of comics would continue to openly explore societal movements and serve as a social commentary. To explore this change, the contents of this essay will usher a discourse on how the American superhero was used to first express American propaganda, and how, throughout the twentieth century and even to this day, the superhero was transformed into a medium that examines social phenomena such as political causes and discrimination. To further analyze and compare social movements to American comics, this will focus primarily on DC's The Green Lantern comic books and how the superhero changed throughout comic book history.