Years in comics
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19th Century
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1935 · 1936 · 1937 · 1938 · 1939
1940 · 1941 · 1942 · 1943 · 1944
1945 · 1946 · 1947 · 1948 · 1949
1950 · 1951 · 1952 · 1953 · 1954
1955 · 1956 · 1957 · 1958 · 1959
1960 · 1961 · 1962 · 1963 · 1964
1965 · 1966 · 1967 · 1968 · 1969
1970 · 1971 · 1972 · 1973 · 1974
1975 · 1976 · 1977 · 1978 · 1979
1980 · 1981 · 1982 · 1983 · 1984
1985 · 1986 · 1987 · 1988 · 1989
1990 · 1991 · 1992 · 1993 · 1994
1995 · 1996 · 1997 · 1998 · 1999
2000 · 2001 · 2002 · 2003 · 2004
2005 · 2006 · 2007 · 2008 · 2009
2010 · 2011 · 2012 · 2013 · 2014
2015 · 2016 · 2017 · 2018 · 2019

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.



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
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.


  • After a month-long experimentation with 25-cent comics, Marvel reduces the price of a typical comic to 20 cents, and returns the page-count from 52 to 36 pages.
  • The Avengers #94: First appearance of the Mandroid power armor.
  • Marvel Feature #1 (Marvel Comics)
First appearance of The Defenders
First appearance of John Stewart


I came back into the field because of [convention organizer Phil Seuling]. I remember [him] calling me in New London, [Connecticut], where I was sitting there as chairman of the board of Croft Publishing Co. My secretary said, 'There's a Mr. Seuling on the phone and he's talking about a comics convention. What is that?' ... I came down and was stunned at the existence of the whole world. ... That was a world that I had left, and I found it very exciting, very stimulating.[16] I went down to the convention, which was being held in one of the hotels in New York, and there was a group of guys with long hair and scraggly beards, who had been turning out what spun as literature, really popular 'gutter' literature if you will, but pure literature. And they were taking on illegal [sic] subject matter that no comics had ever dealt with before. ... I came away from that recognizing that a revolution had occurred then, a turning point in the history of this medium.[17]


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 Hell Comics.


Release: February 20 by Polystyle Publications.

Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers

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


Release: February 6 by IPC Magazines.

Initial appearance by character name

DC Comics

Marvel Comics

Independent titles


  1. 1.0 1.1 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. Skinn, Dez. "Early days of UK comics conventions and marts," Accessed Mar. 3, 2013.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Jacobson, Aileen. "Serious Comics Fans," Washington Post (August 16, 1971), p. B2.
  14. "The 1971 Goethe Awards" (ballot), Graphic Story World vol. 2, #2 (whole #6) (July 1972), p. 29.
  15. Miller, John Jackson. "Goethe/Comic Fan Art Award winners, 1971-74," CBGXtra (July 19, 2005).
  16. Eisner interview (excerpt), The Comics Journal #267 (May 1, 2005)
  17. Transcript, Will Eisner's keynote address, Will Eisner Symposium: The 2002 University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels
  18. Pinaha, Bob. "Creation '71 No Turkey!" Comic Fandom Monthly (Jan. 1971), pp. 4–7.
  19. Beerbohm, Robert. "Update to Comics Dealer Extraordinaire Robert Beerbohm: In His Own Words," Comic-Convention Memories (June 24, 2010).
  20. "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...continued...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.
  21. "The Comic Book Conventions: The humble beginnings...," Creation Entertainment website. Accessed June 4, 2012.
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