A beaker full of death wrote:
Greg Cox wrote:
It was a simpler time.
I have to reject that. We always think that. You've grouped together writers from a huge swath of time. I'm sure that, in the post-Pearl Harbor world, writers looked at the 19th century as being a simpler time. Now it's post 9/11, and we look at the 20th century as a simpler time. I, for one, don't believe it. I know I grew up in tough times, nothing simple about them. I certainly find the world as represented in the arts today (movies and tv, primarily) as far less complex than the artistic representations of 30-40 years ago.
Good point. That was an overly glib way to put it. But one could argue perhaps that, as a society, we're perhaps a bit more sensitive on the issue of child safety than earlier eras. And, of course, that we expect comic books to be more "adult" and "realistic" these days.
I'm just saying that readers in the forties and fifties might have just accepted a child fighting crime as a bit of juvenile comic-book silliness that didn't need to be defended or rationalized.
(Have you ever watched the old black-and-white NANCY DREW movies? They're hilarious, at least to modern eyes. Nancy comes off as an utter loon without a trace of self-preservation. "Come on, Ned! I'll bet we can track down those armed bank robbers all by ourselves. I'll just tell my dad we're going fishing!")