Something of a preamble, here, so sit tight and now dig this: The comics-censorship ruckus of the post-WWII years had begun to peter out, if only just, as the phobic 1950s gave way to the larger struggles – expression vs. repression, in the long wake of the Depression – of the presumably more free-wheeling 1960s. All were rooted in a popular urge to embrace the freedoms that the close of World War II was supposed to have heralded; a contrary urge to confine such freedoms to a privileged few was as intense, if not necessarily as popularly widespread.
Everybody wants freedom, but not everybody wants freedom for everybody: Hence the entrenchment of Oligarchy within Democracy, like that essential flaw in Green Lantern’s otherwise limitless Power Ring.
(Some handy background: Van Jensen’s ComicMix commentary, “Was Frederic Wertham a Villain?”)
The comic-book flap was an element of a larger insurgency-and-putdown cycle that pitted, for example, Cavalier Hollywood against a Roundhead Congress in the purges of the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities. Within the microcosm of Hollywood itself, struggles erupted over whether individual films – such as Dore Schary’s production of a pacifist fable called The Boy with Green Hair (1948) at hawkish Howard Hughes’ RKO-Radio Pictures – should convey instead a war-preparedness message in those days when much of America was still looking for another Axis to whip.