The story of how comic books became public enemy No. 1 in America’s war on juvenile delinquency

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The story of how comic books became public enemy No. 1 in America’s war on juvenile delinquency

Comic books have been a staple of American pop culture for the better part of 90 years.

Superhero franchises now dominate the box office, and graphic novels can win the Pulitzer Prize.

The origin story of comics, however, is much more complicated. In the 1950s, a moral panic swept across the country — one in which parents and children burned comic books by the bushel in public gatherings — and led to the near destruction of the comic book industry.

Laws were passed. Careers were ruined. And comics fell under a strict censorship regime that lasted for decades to come.