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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Countdown To The Eisners 2015 - Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism
Bleeding Cool News, July 6th

continue to consistently produce one of the longest running monthly comics magazines. The ongoing history of the Comics Code in particular was a fascinating read, as well as continuing coverage of some of the best Golden Age and Silver Age creators...Read more

Impressive Art Experimentation For The Fox: Preview Fox Hunt #4 Out This Week
Bleeding Cool News, July 6th

Well, I've been reading Dean Haspiel's work for a few years now, and recently interviewed him for an upcoming issue of Bleeding Cool Magazine (#18) where he talks about his indie work and the evolution of his career in comics, but I've been convinced...Read more

Supergirl, Superwoman & Power Girl Historical Timeline Part 2: 1988 - 2015
The Mary Sue, July 5th

Last week, we rocked out PART 1 of our timeline tracing the history of the various Supergirls and Superwomen of DC Comics, along with two ladies who called themselves Power Girl. Now, we're continuing with the Post-Crisis DC Universe all the ... Since...Read more

Recalling other comics, heroes
Toledo Blade, July 4th

The League of Regrettable Superheroes is divided into sections based on the three eras of comics: The Golden Age (1938-1949), the Silver Age (1950-1969), and the Modern Age (1970-Present). The Golden Age featured such quickly forgotten superheroes ...Read more

How Many Captain Americas Does Marvel Have?
Comicbook.com, July 4th

Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Marvel revived Captain America during Marvel's Silver Age of Comics, joining the Avengers and becoming one of Marvel's best known heroes. While the effects of the Super Soldier serum has usually kept Rogers young ...Read more

That's just Bizarro!
Boston Globe, July 2nd

Anyone interested in the comedic possibilities of Bizarro or the weirdness of Silver Age comics should check out “Tales of the Bizarro World,” a collection of Bizarro-focused stories published in Adventure Comics from 1961 and 1962. These stories all...Read more

Why Snoopy is the first perfect pick to be the ALA's Library Card Month luminary
Washington Post, June 30th

Now, at least Stan the Man knew some years of struggle as a writer before seemingly everything he touched with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko et al. during Marvel's Silver Age in the '60s turned to commercial gold. (And according to lore, his nom-de-toon...Read more

Today in Comics History: A Tribute to Julius Schwartz
ComicsAlliance, June 19th

Julius “Julie” Schwartz was born on this day in 1915. Schwartz was a literary agent, early fanzine editor and convention organizer, but he is perhaps best known as one of the most prominent editors at DC Comics and, ultimately, the midwife of the...Read more