Why Superheroes Matter

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The Silver Age (1956-1970)
By the time the Silver Age was upon the comic industry the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority and self-regulation was in full swing and restricted how and what content could be presented and in what circumstances. Even though there were limitations, there was Science! The Silver Age of comics grew alongside the Space Race. Science was seen as that answer and the source of every problem. The fantasy-based heroes of the Golden Age were remade in this new image, and new characters were created in light of these new science fiction tropes. In the 1960s Marvel introduced the Fantastic Four who while on a scientific mission to outer space gained their powers after exposure to cosmic rays. The X-Men are a subspecies of human that are born with superhuman abilities who fight for peace and equality between normal humans and mutants where anti-mutant bigotry is widespread. The most interesting of the rise of these new heroes is that they are self-doubting, deeply flawed, and socially aware. They were vastly different from their Golden Age predecessors, they were more real and believable, even though they were in fantasy stories.

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