Lovers of comic books rightly eulogise the skilled drawing and design on display in the stories Lichtenstein borrowed from, but they are less likely to extol the brilliance of the stories or writing. The uncomfortable truth is that publishers DC were becoming increasingly out of touch with the changing times of the early Sixties. The values of machismo, of bloodless battles, of Americans always winning and always being in the right, would start to ring hollow as its young men became increasingly embroiled in the war in Vietnam. Similarly, the enfeebled, petal-like, lovestruck heroines of the romance comics, regularly bursting into tears and stuttering with uncertainty, failed to acknowledge the emerging independence of women and the onset of feminism. Their simplicity and outdatedness were ripe for being mocked and in many ways deserved it. It should be stressed that American comic books were no more guilty of perpetuating these sexist stereotypes than a good deal of the mass-market books, Hollywood movies or television dramas and soap operas of this period. The big difference was that comic books did this not in film or prose but in hand-made texts and pictures and with such succinct, graphic power.