One of the biggest things that sets American comics apart from, say, French or Japanese comics is the dominance of the superhero genre — and the long-standing American perception that comic books, regardless of their subject, are not suitable reading for adults.
Today, on Issue at Hand, Polygon’s show about the past, present and future of comic books, we (and by we, I mean I, your comic book expert) cover one of the biggest reasons that American comics are the way they are: the Comics Code.
Why were comics in the ’60s so silly? Why were comics in the ’80s so dark? What’s that little white box on all my old comics? Was there really a 1972 comic called Bizzare Sex #1 with the cover story “The Giant Penis That Invaded New York?”