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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Ka-Pow! Can Comics Help Treat Mental Illness?
MedPage Today, October 24th

These superheroes, coming in the "Silver Age" of comics from 1956 to 1970, were considered "self-doubting and deeply flawed," with "more human personalities." The "Bronze Age" of comics (1970 to 1985) featured superheroes that were not so super, like ...Read more

All Tomorrow's Progs: An Exclusive Preview of "2000AD: Winter Special '14"
PopMatters, October 24th

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Silver Age, the Golden Age, the Avengers, comics consistently seems to produce theses magnificent throughlines of popculture. And if you haven't dove into 2000 AD in a while, or perhaps never have, there's hardly a ...Read more

What The Flash Has Already Given Us From Wally West And Jay Garrick
Bam! Smack! Pow!, October 23rd

One of the best parts of the Flash as a comic book character is that he's the ultimate legacy hero. Not only has the role been passed off from person to person like a baton in a relay race — appropriate, given the power of super-speed — but the...Read more

Balloonless | Tim Hanley's 'Wonder Woman Unbound'
Comic Book Resources, October 23rd

More so than even Superman and Batman, the only other heroes whose comics have been in continuous publication since their creation, Wonder Woman is a character with sharp, often difficult to reconcile (or even wrestle with) contradictions built into...Read more

NYCC 2014: DC and USPS Debut Batman Forever Stamps
Science Fiction, October 23rd

Four versions of Batman are depicted from the four eras of comic book history: the Modern Age (top row), the Bronze Age (second row), the Silver Age (third row), and the Golden Age (bottom row). In addition, there are four incarnations of the famed Bat...Read more

Rachel Maddow Explains The Shootings In Ottowa So We Don't Have To (Video)
Wonkette (satire), October 23rd

Wednesday, a guy with a rifle, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, went on his own one-man jihad in Ottowa, killing a soldier at the national war memorial and then going into the Parliament building, where he was shot by security before he could harm anyone else...Read more

In Your Face Jam: "She-Hulk" and the False Promise of 'Ongoing'
Comic Book Resources, October 22nd

His storytelling is clear yet detailed, dynamic yet restrained, and somehow looks incredibly modern while drawing so much inspiration from the Silver Age of comics. From facial expressions (a double page spread of just Jen's hulking out eyes, Patsy's...Read more

Dean Haspiel Invokes A Silver Age Comics Bio For Emcee MF Doom At Red Bull ...
Bleeding Cool News, October 21st

Dean Haspiel is never still. When I asked him recently what he was currently working on, he said Fox Hunt for Dark Circle Comics at Archie with Mark Waid, Garbage Pail Kids for IDW, and a couple more specific projects off the record. He tacked on an ...Read more