In 1938, “Action Comics” #1 changed the course of print entertainment when Superman was introduced, ushering in what collectors today term the Golden Age of comic books. Coinciding with the start of World War II, Golden Age comics provided an outlet for social desires and fantasies, as heroes with superhuman strength were often put to work fighting the Nazis and other enemies abroad.

Comic books generally sold for about 10 cents each—thanks to their low production cost many titles became quite lucrative for publishing companies. Popular heroes from the Golden Age included Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman (from National Periodical Publications, which became DC); Captain Marvel (from Fawcett); and Captain America and the Human Torch (from Timely Comics, the precursor to Marvel).

The Golden Age came to an end around 1954, when a televised Senate subcommittee hearing on juvenile delinquency drew negative attention to the comic book industry for its depictions of violence. Soon after, comic-book publishers established the Comics Code Authority as a way of preventing censorship from the outside by policing itself from within.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Golden Age Comic Cover Gallery

Golden Age Comic Cover Gallery

Ben Samuels' site includes high resolution scans of about 250 classic comic book covers from the 1940s and 50s. Div… [read review or visit site]

Cover Browser

Cover Browser

Philipp Lenssen's incredible archive of over 94,000 comic book covers - Wow! Wham! Yikes! Browse by title from the … [read review or visit site]

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site

Doug Gilford's great Mad Magazine reference site features cover scans and reference information on every issue of t… [read review or visit site]

TheComicBooks.com

TheComicBooks.com

Jamie Coville's in-progress ode to the history of 20th century comic books. Start with his Newsstand Period Part 1 … [read review or visit site]

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Popeye's Thimble Theatre

Bruce Shults takes us on a comprehensive Popeye fan tour, from the early comic strips to cartoons and collectible m… [read review or visit site]

Barnacle Press

Barnacle Press

This collection of obscure newspaper comic strips provides scans browsable by title, year and date. Showcases comic… [read review or visit site]



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