During the '70s, writer Denny O’Neil and artist Neal Adams attempted to add social commentary and political thought into the slumping title Green Lantern. Teaming the right-wing Emerald Warrior up with the liberally minded Green Arrow, O’Neil and Adams had the duo fight more than just costumed psychopaths; they fought social injustice and worldwide cruelty.

Their most famous story was in Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85-86, when it was discovered that the Green Arrow’s former ward, Speedy, had become a drug addict. Arrow and Lantern quickly headed off to take down the dealers who provided Speedy with the heroine, but they soon found out that a corrupt CEO was behind the whole drug trade. The story treats the drugs believably, rather than as a plot point, and portrays the addicts as victims as opposed to criminals.

Not only did this story shatter people’s expectations of a superhero tale, but it was actually commended by former New York Mayor, John V Lindsay, for being socially relevant for the youth of America.