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# While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with

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While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 14 Oct 2019, 03:52
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While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with the introduction of Superman in 1938 in Action Comics #1, there is less agreement about when exactly the Golden Age ended. There is a general consensus, however, about the factors that brought the Golden Age to a close: the rise of the horror comic book in the late 1940s, and the resulting backlash against comic books in the early 1950s.

Superhero comic books reached their peak of popularity in the early 1940s because of all the GIs in Europe and Japan who eagerly read about Superman, Batman, and The Spirit. When these soldiers came home, they still wanted to read comic books, but they sought out more adult content. William Gaines of EC Comics was happy to meet the market demand with such grim and gritty titles as Weird Fantasy and The Crypt of Terror. The creators of superhero comic books, not wanting to be left behind, responded by matching their protagonists against darker criminals in more violent encounters.

These darker comic books aroused the anger of child psychologist Fredric Wertham, who believed that comic books were leading the nation’s youth into crime, violence, and drug abuse. Wertham’s book, The Seduction of the Innocent, was a national best-seller that helped bring about congressional investigations into the corrupting influence of comic books. The Senate committee that reviewed Wertham’s charges decided to create the Comics Code Authority, a regulatory body that prohibited comic books from
mentioning sexuality, alcohol, drugs, criminal behavior, or any themes related to the horror genre.

These regulations had a numbing effect on the industry. EC Comics was nearly driven out of the comics business, and the other major players canceled many of their most prominent titles. The comics business did not recover until the Marvel revolution of the early 1960s ushered in the Silver Age.

1. This passage is primarily interested in which of the following?

A. Investigating the factors that brought about the Marvel revolution and the Silver Age of comic books
B. Reviewing the factors that brought about the end of the Golden Age of comic books
C. Comparing and contrasting two eras in the history of comic books
D. Condemning the horror comic book for its corrupting influence on the nation’s youth
E. Evaluating the historical legacy of William Gaines’s EC Comics

2. According to the passage, which of the following was true of the creators of superhero comic books in the postwar years?

A. They sought to head off the censorship of the Comics Code Authority by voluntarily prohibiting stories dealing with sexuality, drugs, or criminal behavior.
B. They introduced characters such as Superman and The Spirit.
C. They unintentionally laid the groundwork for the transition from the Golden Age of comic books to the Silver Age.
D. They focused increasingly on flashy artwork and less on well-developed stories.
E. They responded to the competitive pressure from horror comic books by increasing the amount of violence in their stories.

3. According to the passage, what can we infer to be the central message of Fredric Wertham’s The Seduction of the Innocent?

A. Adults reading violent comic books were as likely to be corrupted by them as young people were.
B. The horror comic books of the late 1940s were inferior to the superhero comic books that gained popularity during World War II.
C. Comic books were leading the nation’s youth into crime, violence, and drug abuse.
D. Creating a regulatory board to censor the comic book industry would drive the worst offenders out of the business.
E. Comic books would never be able to convey stories of any serious literary merit.

4. According to the final paragraph of the passage, what may we infer about the comic book companies of the Silver Age?

A. They were able to create popular comic books despite the regulations of the Comics Code Authority.
B. They achieved commercial success because of the popularity of characters such as Spider-Man, the Hulk, and the Fantastic Four.
C. They repeated the same mistakes as the comic book companies of the Golden Age.
D. They failed to succeed because of the numbing effect of the Comics Code Authority regulations.
E. Marvel Comics was the only major comic book company to survive from the Golden Age into the Silver Age.

5. In what light does the passage depict the efforts by Fredric Wertham to bring about regulation of the comic book industry?

B. As a witch-hunt roughly analogous to the concurrent anti-Communist hearings by the House Committee on Un-American Activities
C. As a reasonable response to an industry that had gone too far
D. As an angry response to a trend in the subject matter of the comic book industry
E. As an inappropriate response to a phenomenon that was not actually hurting anyone

6. According to the passage, which of the following statements can be made about the content of Weird Fantasy and The Crypt of Terror?

B. Their grim and gritty content was a market response to the demands of soldiers home from World War II.
C. They frequently depicted violence and criminal behavior, but shied away from sexuality or drug abuse.
D. Their sales surpassed those of previous best-selling titles such as Superman or Batman.
E. The publication of Weird Fantasy #1 coincided with the end of the Golden Age of comic books.

Source: McGraw Hill GMAT 2013
Difficulty Level: 600

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 14 Oct 2019, 03:52, edited 4 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (968).
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Re: While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with  [#permalink]

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22 Jan 2019, 08:39
Official Explanation

Question # 1

ANSWER: B The introductory paragraph brings up the subject of the factors that brought the Golden Age to an end, and the next three paragraphs discuss these factors.

Question # 2

ANSWER: E The passage states, “The creators of superhero comic books, not wanting to be left behind, responded by matching their protagonists against darker criminals in more violent encounters.”

Question # 3

ANSWER: C The sentence preceding the mention of Wertham’s book states that he believed that comic books “were leading the nation’s youth into crime, violence, and drug abuse.”

Question # 4

ANSWER: A The last paragraph states that the CCA regulations had a numbing effect on comic book publishers, but it concludes with the statement that the industry recovered in the Silver Age. Since the passage did not state that the CCA regulations were repealed, we can infer that the companies succeeded despite the regulations.

Question # 5

ANSWER: D The passage describes the trend toward horror comics in neutral terms, and it states that horror comics “aroused the anger” of Wertham.

Question # 6

ANSWER: B The second paragraph states: “When these soldiers came home, they still wanted to read comic books, but they sought out more adult content. William Gaines of EC Comics was happy to meet the market demand with such grim and gritty titles as Weird Fantasy and The Crypt of Terror.”

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##### General Discussion
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Re: While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with  [#permalink]

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11 Mar 2017, 04:24
sunilreddy wrote:
For 5th question how can you say its an angry response, I choose C ??

"These darker comic books aroused the anger of child psychologist Fredric Wertham,
who believed that comic books were leading the nation’s youth into crime, violence, and
drug abuse" from this sentence it is clear that FW was angry about the comic books. So D is the correct answer
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Re: While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with  [#permalink]

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17 Jan 2019, 18:40
Hi, I'd like to know #6 why can't I choose A?
Thanks!

6. According to the passage, which of the following statements can be made about the content of Weird Fantasy and The Crypt of Terror?

Re: While most people agree that the Golden Age of comic books began with   [#permalink] 17 Jan 2019, 18:40
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