Grim and Gritty in the '80's
With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice two weeks away, I started thinking back. When Batman '66 - the live action ABC series with Adam West and Burt Ward - was cancelled there was a whole reaction. Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams were making their mark on comics. Not only were they working on Uncanny X-Men, they were the landmark on Green Lantern/Green Arrow. Batman was returning to his Golden Age Gothic roots with stories like "The Secret of the Waiting Graves", the introduction of Man-Bat, sending Dick Grayson off to college and moving from "stately Wayne Manor" to the Wayne Enterprises penthouse.
A lot of fingers tend to point to The Dark Knight Returns as the lightning bolt where comics became dark; grim and gritty. It was more like the latest wave. In 1969, in reaction to the campy television series, Batman was returned to his Gothic roots. So, he was already a dark and brooding force in the Golden Age. From The Dark Knight Returns on through the '89 Batman film forward, the character has wrestled with darkness and light. Dark films and kid friendly cartoons.
Here are some thoughts on comics and characters from the '80's that are not The Dark Knight Returns - or Watchmen - that show comics have been trying to be "grown up" rather than kiddie stuff.
As always, leave your suggestions in the comments below.