Karen Turner PHD | How Comics and Baby Boomers Influenced the World: A Comparative Study (Pt:5)
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How Comics and Baby Boomers Influenced the World: A Comparative Study (Pt:5)

How Comics and Baby Boomers Influenced the World: A Comparative Study (Pt:5)

Psychological Article on Baby Boomer Comic Book Anti-Heroes

Psychological Article on Baby Boomer Comic Book Anti-Heroes

Psychological Articles by Boomeryearbook

By the eighties, comics and baby boomers had established themselves as part and parcel of American culture. The seventies had set a stage of social transformation that manifested an acceptance of cultural diversity, gender empowerment, and a general attitude of liberalism that affected most walks of life. This transformation wasn’t without challenges that continue to this day. Trends toward violence and sexual exploitation concerns (naming just two), are among some of the issues that many point towards as manifestations of the baby boomers attitudes and the mediums that promote their ideas such as comics.

Comics in the eighties began to shift toward darker (and some would say realistic) story lines. Two seminal works, Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, highlight this shift. Comics would become more violent, and more sexually explicit. Women were portrayed in ever increasingly roles; exemplifying strength and overt sexuality. Female Superheroes such as Storm (of the X-men) and Witchblade are examples.

Feminist applauded the movement toward more female characters, but not their general use as powerful sex objects. Unfortunately, this was a trend that was being mirrored in other mediums as well. Women were increasingly becoming more prevalent in leading roles in movies and television, for example, yet their sexuality was nevertheless a key contributor.

This trend was due in part to the demands of readers who were not the slightest bit interested in reading light hearted comics. Of course the majority of comic readers by this time were young males (there was a time the majority of readers were women), as well. Baby boomers were now dealing with the realities of the various problems that troubled a nation. However, their open mindedness was still a dominant trait, and this was reflected in the mediums that they enjoyed. Readers demanded storylines that were every bit as reflective of the society that they were dealing with everyday. One could argue that comics and baby boomers reinforced in each other the ideas that were defining them.

It was during this period that the anti hero began to emerge. These were ostensibly heroes who didn’t mind “getting dirty” to accomplish their goals. Heroes of this variety would actually kill another character if necessary. These heroes, in essence, began to blur the line of what was right and wrong, and in many ways personified the concept that the end justified the means. Characters such as Wolverine and surprisingly Batman would epitomize this line of new heroes. Pure idealism, such a hallmark of early incarnations of comic books has been replaced by ultra realistic portrayals of society.

These ideas would begin to play a role in society at large, as many baby boomers accepted this same concept in pursuit of the various professions that they found themselves engaged in. Critics would argue that the idea of community obligation was being replaced by individualism. The argument that has been put forth is that baby boomers, unlike their parents and grand parents, were only concerned about their immediate welfare and professional growth. Baby boomers, while triumphant in transforming a society, are now struggling with recapturing many of the facets of past generations that have been lost in the process, such as strong family structures. The struggle to find a workable balance continues.

Both baby boomers and comics have aged and are approaching their twilight years. Baby boomers are reaching retirement age and are coming to face with end of life issues. Comics are dealing with dwindling audience as other mediums such as the internet capture the attention of traditional young readers. Nevertheless, regardless of what the future holds, both comics and baby boomers have made their contributable imprints upon American society.

The Psychological Article How Comics and Baby Boomers Influenced the World: A Comparative Study (Pt:5) is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of fun articles to alleviate elderly problems and keep our hearts and brains young. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Boomer Yearbook is Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!

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