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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Reviews: graphic novels, February 27th

Vol. 3. J. Michael Straczynski and Ardian Syaf. DC Comics. 128 pages. $22.99; Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 2: 1961-1963. IDW Publishing. 288 pages. $49.99; Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies Volume 3: 1963-1966...Read more

Agent of S.T.Y.L.E. - Aquaman's Aquatic Apparel
The Mary Sue, February 27th

While many superheroes vanished from comics in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Aquaman was one of the few who remained in publication. The Silver Age of Comics began in 1958. Several heroes were rebooted from scratch. In many cases, mystical ...Read more

Grumpy Old Fan | Snow-day comics
Comic Book Resources, February 26th

Speaking of Silver Age fusions, this six-issue miniseries convincingly recast the original Teen Titans as 21st-century teenagers, struggling to establish their own identities in the shadows of their Justice League mentors. Wolfram was a writer on the...Read more

8 Key Moments in Gwen Stacy History, February 25th

This series will follow the story of a dramatically different version of Gwen Stacy from what most comic book readers are familiar with. Created during the Silver Age of Amazing Spider-Man, Gwen is arguably best known for her death in the iconic “The...Read more

The Political Leanings Of Your Favorite Superheroes, February 24th

He was the first superhero in comics, but he is pre-dated by many pulp fiction superheroes, such as The Phantom, who had the masks, powers and tights long before there ever was a Superman. Still, Superman is considered by many to be the quintessential...Read more

'The Flash' is brilliant, but why does Barry need to be?
CNET, February 24th

Esteemed colleague and Flash fan Jeff Sparkman tells me the comics suggest this is a perfectly reasonable idea. [Update: Helpful Twitter .... He's always been brainer than an average CSI, since the Silver Age comics onwards. That's just who he is, and...Read more

The Complete History of Comic-Book Movies, Chapter 5: 'Hop Harrigan'
ScreenCrush, February 24th

of All American Comics (the book that also launched the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott). All American's characters eventually became DC Comics properties, but unlike his more colorful contemporaries, Hop never got a Silver Age revival and...Read more

Camden Comic Con: Focus on 'artistry, education and community', February 24th

Nearly 100 vendors will be there, selling comics from the Silver Age through the present day, as well as a variety of comics-related memorabilia, art, and merchandise. This year's convention features an expanded list of guest creators, illustrators...Read more