Following from The Silver Age of Comics, the term Bronze-Age was first used by comic fans and then the Overstreet Price Guide to refer to the more mature comics of the early seventies to the mid-eighties. An example of one of the first Bronze-Age comics was the April Green Lantern which added Green Arrow as a title character. Written by Dennis O'Neil, this focused on Green Lantern being exposed to poverty and experiencing self doubt. The beginning of the Bronze-Age also began with the end of many of the veteran writers and artists of the time. The Bronze-Age also started a new and different distribution method for comics. Instead of being sold at news stands they would start to be sold at special comic shops.
Though social issues were evident from the dawn of the comic book, in the seventies it became something books showed on the covers to increase sales. X-Men stories compared the treatment of mutants to the similar treatment of minorities in the real world. While the Iron Man story Demon in a Bottle, examined Tony Stark's battle with alcoholism.
The Bronze-Age also saw an increase in the number superheroes from different ethnic backgrounds. Before this era, there were very few non-white superheroes besides Black Panther and the Falcon. The early seventies saw the introduction of characters like Luke Cage, Storm, Blade, Green Lantern John Stewart, Bronze Tiger, Black Lightning, Vixen and Cyborg.
In the Bronze-Age a new style of realism became apparent in the industry. A second line of DC Comics that focused on horror titles established different styles and sought talent form Asia and Latin America.
During the Bronze-Age two characters often teamed up in a new comic like Green Arrow and Green Lantern. Other combinations included Daredevil and Black Widow as well as Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes.
In the Bronze-Age Marvel also started issuing reprints of their previous comics like X-Men, Sgt.Fury, Outlaw Kid as well as many other titles.
In the mid-70's DC launched a lot of new titles like Jack Kirby's New Gods and Steve Ditko's Shade, the Changing Man. The company referred to this as the DC explosion but inaccurate sales predictions brought the company close to bankruptcy. Marvel eventually gained 50% of the market.
The revision of the comics code led to non-superhero comics becoming more popular. One very popular non-superhero comic was Conan and Savage Sword of Conan which lasted over 200 issues. The Tomb of Dracula, Swamp Thing, Jonah Hex and Howard the Duck were all popular non-superhero comics during the Bronze-Age.
End of Bronze Age
A commonly agreed upon ending point for the Bronze-Age is 1985-1986. DC had just finished its event Crisis on Infinite Earths and became a serious challenger for Marvel again. This was also the time of Alan Moore's Watchmen and Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns which redefined the superhero genre making it more "gritty". The Bronze-Age was followed by the Modern Age of comics.