In October 1956, issue number four of “Showcase” comics included a story called “Whirlwind Adventures of the Fastest Man Alive – the Flash!” With this reinvention of a Golden Age comic-book character called the Flash, the Silver Age of comics had begun.

At the time, the comic-book industry was suffering from two major setbacks. First, World War II was over, leaving writers and illustrators with a much smaller pool of stock villains to choose from. Second, Frederick Wertham’s book, “Seduction of the Innocent,” echoed accusations aired at a Senate subcommittee hearing on juvenile delinquency in 1954—in that famous hearing, comic books had been blamed for the rise in deviancy among adolescents and teens.

With the success of the Flash, however, superheroes experienced a rush of new life. Another Golden Age hero, Green Lantern, was resurrected, and Marvel—propelled by the creative output of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and others—produced enduring characters like the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, Dr. Doom, and the Amazing Spider-Man.

Unlike the hardy, forever-optimistic heroes of the Golden Age, these characters battled enemies both inside their heads and out on the streets—their human frailties helped readers identify with them. The Silver Age was also contemporaneous with the space race against Russia, and the genre’s fascination with plots and characters that revolved around science—or some imitation of it—spawned characters like the X-Men and settings like Earth-2.

Many comic book collectors peg the end of the Silver Age at 1970, when Jack Kirby left Marvel for DC Comics.


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Recent News: Silver Age Comic Books

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Ask Chris #222: This City Hates You
ComicsAlliance, November 28th

Sprang's skylines were so distinct, in fact, that they became synonymous not just with Batman, but with Golden and Silver Age comics as a whole, this visual imagery of a world so weird that advertising companies would build 30-foot robots on top of...Read more

10 Great Gimmick Covers from the 1990s
Comicbook.com, November 28th

Everything about the 1994's four-part miniseries Marvels is beautiful: Kurt Busiek's reverential script which waxes nostalgic about the Golden and Silver Age of Marvel Comics; and Alex Ross's genre-changing painted artwork which transformed the artist...Read more

'The Flash' 1.7 "Power Outage"
Big Shiny Robot!, November 27th

Blackout's a minor character in the comics (only having one appearance as far as I know), so don't expect him to be around for long. Dr. Wells' eventual solution to the Blackout crisis is a sort of two birds, one stone situation that ... The character...Read more

Grumpy Old Fan | To Grandmother's Earth we go?
Comic Book Resources, November 26th

Still, in a nod to the original version, “Mystery of the Human Thunderbolt” (in October 1956's Showcase #4) had Barry Allen reading Jay Garrick's adventures in an old issue of Flash Comics. Five years after that, September 1961's “Flash of Two Worlds...Read more

Everyone Shut Up, Robin Carrie Kelly's Going To Be On 'Teen Titans Go' Next ...
ComicsAlliance, November 26th

Listen, it's hard for me to get excited when comic book characters I love show up in mass media. I mean, I saw a movie this summer that just threw a hundred foot-tall, Jack Kirby-designed ... With the perfectly rounded hair and pixie boots, we have...Read more

Comic Book Review – COWL #6
Flickering Myth (blog), November 26th

All of this recreates the feel of the early '60s and complements the moral certitude typical of a Silver Age comic. Warner is good, the bad guys are evil, and the hero triumphs. No doubt this is Warner's world view, and he thinks he knows who he is...Read more

EXCLUSIVE: Monteys on Creating his "Universe!" at Panel Syndicate
Comic Book Resources, November 25th

That kind of story, with a shocking premise and a surprising but inevitable ending that can also be seen in Silver Age comic books, has always been very attractive to me. When Marcos [Martin], who lives in Barcelona like me, proposed that I develop a...Read more

Mark Buckingham To Re-Ink Previously Published Issues Of Miracleman: The ...
Bleeding Cool News, November 16th

Buckingham talked about keeping The Golden Age much as it was when published, scanning in original art where available with D'Israeli recolouring the comics. But The Silver Age issues, Buckingham feels were very inconsistent, and has chosen to reink ...Read more