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1971 in comics

This is a list of comics-related events in 1971.


Year overall

  • The Comics Code Authority revises the Code a number of times during the year. Initially "liberalized" on January 28, 1971, to allow for (among other things) the sometimes "sympathetic depiction of criminal behavior . . . [and] corruption among public officials" ("as long as it is portrayed as exceptional and the culprit is punished")[1] as well as permitting some criminal activities to kill law-enforcement officers and the "suggestion but not portrayal of seduction."[1] Also newly allowed were "vampires, ghouls and werewolves . . . when handled in the classic tradition such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and other high calibre literary works written by Edgar Allan Poe, Saki, Conan Doyle and other respected authors whose works are read in schools around the world." Zombies, lacking the requisite "literary" background, remain taboo.
  • Jack Kirby introduces his Fourth World series in a number of new DC titles[2]The Forever People, New Gods, and Mister Miracle — while continuing his run on Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. Kirby writes and draws all four titles during the year.
  • Early in the year, DC Comics editorial director Carmine Infantino is promoted to publisher.
  • Bill Schanes and Steve Schanes co-found Pacific Comics, starting out as a mail-order company selling to consumers via ads in the Comics Buyer's Guide.
  • The Air Pirates collective is formed in San Francisco.



First appearances of Highfather, Kalibak, Lightray, and Orion



First appearance of the Squadron Supreme, as well as members Blue Eagle, Doctor Spectrum (Joseph Ledger), Golden Archer, Hyperion (Mark Milton), Lady Lark, Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond, Earth-712), Tom Thumb, and Whizzer (Stanley Stewart)


First appearance of Mister Miracle


First appearance of Talia al Ghul[4]
First appearance of Desaad
First appearance of Granny Goodness
  • With the publication of Savage Tales #1, Marvel creates its black-and-white magazine line, which published material that doesn't carry the seal of the Comics Code Authority.
First appearance of Man-Thing


First appearance of Ra's al Ghul[5]


First appearance of Swamp Thing[6]
The woman appearing on the cover of this issue was modeled after future comics writer Louise Simonson.[7]
First appearance of Doc Samson




First appearance of Big Barda
First appearance of Morbius, the Living Vampire


  • Marvel Comics, following rival DC's lead, raises the price of its typical comic book from 15 cents to 25 cents, and the page-count from 36 to 52.
  • The Avengers #93: Neal Adams begins his celebrated stint as Avengers artist, continuing the "Kree-Skrull War" story arc begun in issue #89 of the title.
  • DC Special (1968 series), with issue #15 (November /December cover date), is cancelled by DC.


First appearance of The Defenders
First appearance of John Stewart


  • April 18–May 2: New York City — first exhibition of comic books[12]



Goethe Awards

Presented July 3, 1972, (for comics published in 1971) at the Comic Art Convention, New York City, in a ceremony emceed by Tony Isabella and Carl Gafford.[24] The Goethe Award ballot was initially published in The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom,[25] The Monster Times,[26] and Graphic Story World.[27] Nominations were sent in from 335 readers. Ultimately, there were 7 categories with 4-7 nominees in each category. 700 fans voted for the final nominees.[24] The award results were also published in Comic Art News & Reviews.[28]

Shazam Awards

Presented in 1972 for comics published in 1971:

First issues by title

Charlton Comics

Ghost Manor vol. 2

Release: October Editor: Sal Gentile.

Ghostly Haunts

Release: September Editor: Sal Gentile.


Release: September Editor: Sal Gentile.

DC Comics

Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

Release: February /March Editor: Dorothy Woolfolk. Artist: Tony DeZuniga.

DC 100 Page Super Spectacular: debuts with issue #4

Release: September /October Editor: Joe Orlando.

Forever People

Release: February /March Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.


Release: September /October Editor: Murray Boltinoff.

Mister Miracle

Release: April. Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.

New Gods

Release: February /March Writer/Artist: Jack Kirby.

Weird War Tales

Release: September /October Editor: Joe Kubert.

Marvel Comics

Kull the Conqueror

Release: June. Writer: Roy Thomas. Artists: Ross Andru and Wally Wood.

Marvel Feature

Release: December. Writer: Roy Thomas. Artists: Ross Andru and Bill Everett.

Marvel Spotlight

Release: November. Writer: Gardner Fox. Artists: Syd Shores and Wally Wood.

Savage Tales

Release: May by Curtis Magazines. Editor: Stan Lee.

Independent titles

Air Pirates Funnies

Release: July by Last Gasp's imprint "Hell Comics".


Release: February 20 by Polystyle Publications.

The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

Release: February by Rip Off Press. Writer/Artist: Gilbert Shelton.

Mickey Rat

Release: December by Los Angeles Comic Book Company. Writer/Artist: Robert Armstrong.


Release: February 6 by IPC Magazines.

Initial appearance by character name

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Independent titles


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Don & Maggie, "Crack in the Code" in Newfangles #44 (February 1971).
  2. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. As the writer, artist, and editor of the Fourth World family of interlocking titles, each of which possessed its own distinct tone and theme, Jack Kirby cemented his legacy as a pioneer of grand-scale storytelling. 
  3. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 144 "New editor Julius Schwartz, new scripter Denny O'Neil, and regular artist Curt Swan removed the Man of Steel's greatest weakness from the face of the Earth."
  4. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145 "Before Batman first encountered one of his greatest adversaries, Ra's al Ghul, he met his daughter, the lovely but lethal Talia [in a story by] writer Denny O'Neil and artist Bob Brown."
  5. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 145: "Writer Denny O'Neil once stated that he and artist Neal Adams 'set out to consciously and deliberately to create a exotic and mysterious that neither we nor Batman were sure what to expect.' Who they came up with was arguably Batman's most cunning adversary: the global eco-terrorist named Ra's al Ghul."
  6. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146: "'Swamp Thing' was the name of Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson's start of the 20th century tale, and its popularity with readers led a modernized version of the character into his own series a year later."
  7. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Taschen America. p. 481. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6. When Swamp Thing debuted in this issue of House of Secrets as a "one-shot", no one could have known it would lead to an enduring hit franchise, least of all its cover model, future comics writer Louise Simonson. 
  8. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 144: "Although decreasing sales and inflation dictated a hefty cover price increase from 15 to 25 cents, [DC Comics Publisher Carmine] Infantino saw to it that extra pages containing classic reprints and new back-up features were added to DC titles."
  9. ^ Levitz, p. 451: "Marvel took advantage of this moment to surpass DC in title production for the first time since 1957, and in sales for the first time ever."
  10. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 146 "It was taboo to depict drugs in comics, even in ways that openly condemned their use. However, writer Denny O'Neil and artist Neal Adams collaborated on an unforgettable two-part arc that brought the issue directly into Green Arrow's home, and demonstrated the power comics had to affect change and perception."
  11. ^ McAvennie "1970s" in Dolan, p. 147: "Believing that new formats were necessary for the comics medium to continue evolving, Kirby oversaw the production of what was labeled his 'Speak-Out Series' of magazines: Spirit World and In the Days of the Mob...Sadly, these unique magazines never found their desired audience."
  12. ^ Pascal, David. "Premiere Exposition de Bandes Dessinées a New York 18 April–2 Mai 1971," Phenix #17 (1971), pp. 22–23.
  13. ^ Skinn, Dez. "Early days of UK comics conventions and marts," Accessed Mar. 3, 2013.
  14. ^ a b c d e Jacobson, Aileen. "Serious Comics Fans," Washington Post (August 16, 1971), p. B2.
  15. ^ "The 1971 Goethe Awards" (ballot), Graphic Story World vol. 2, #2 (whole #6) (July 1972), p. 29.
  16. ^ Miller, John Jackson. "Goethe/Comic Fan Art Award winners, 1971-74," CBGXtra (July 19, 2005).
  17. ^ Eisner interview (excerpt), The Comics Journal #267 (May 1, 2005)
  18. ^ Transcript, Will Eisner's keynote address, Will Eisner Symposium: The 2002 University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels
  19. ^ Karasik, Paul. "Meet Gary," in We Told You So: Comics as Art, edited by Michael Dean & Tom Spurgeon (Fantagraphics, 2016).
  20. ^ Pinaha, Bob. "Creation '71 No Turkey!" Comic Fandom Monthly (Jan. 1971), pp. 4–7.
  21. ^ Beerbohm, Robert. "Update to Comics Dealer Extraordinaire Robert Beerbohm: In His Own Words," Comic-Convention Memories (June 24, 2010).
  22. ^ "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...continued...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.
  24. ^ a b c Miller, John Jackson. "GOETHE/COMIC FAN ART AWARD WINNERS, 1971-74," Comics Buyer's Guide (July 19, 2005). Archived September 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ The Buyer's Guide to Comics Fandom #14 (Apr. 1972).
  26. ^ "Comix Freex Rally! Unite! Vote for your favorite comix!", The Monster Times #7 (Apr. 26, 1972), pp. 6-8.
  27. ^ "The 1971 Goethe Awards," Graphic Story World, v. 2, #2 (whole #6) (July 1972), p. 29.
  28. ^ Seiler, Rick. "Telegraphics," Comic Art News & Reviews v. 1, #1 (Sept. 1972), pp. 3-4.
  29. ^ The Comic Reader #90 (October 1972).