17 Times Comic Books Were Progressive Before It Was Cool

If you hear about comic books in the news today, chances are it's because a comic has made a progressive step. Comics make headlines not because another famous character has died, but because major publishers take surprisingly inclusive or forward-thinking steps, tackling social issues or increasing the diversity of flagship titles.

You might not believe it, but there was a time when being socially progressive in the pages of comics was considered controversial, a time when standing up for a cause or even portraying a female or person of color character in a position of authority was a big no-no. Even then, though, comic books were progressive. These are instances when comic books were ahead of their time, addressing serious issues - racism, for example, including real-life figures who embodied it - in subversive and inspirational ways.