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 ...
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.
Interviews & Articles
When I was growing up in the ’60s and ’70s, reading comics wasn't as popular as it had been in the ’40s or ’50s. But my older sist… [more]
Harvey Pekar carried himself with a slouch. He had a disheveled comb-over and dark, haunted eyes. A file clerk at the Veterans Adm… [more]
I’ve been interested in comic books since I was very young. My two older brothers had Spider-Man and Fantastic Four comic books. I… [more]
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Recent News: Silver Age Comic Books
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Q&A: Chris Burnham, Batman Incorporated Artist ExtraordinaireNew York Post (blog), June 17th
Burnham's style is not only reminiscent of Frank Quitely's, it's reminiscent, in its own way, of the Silver Age. It's cartoony without being cartoonish and stays away from the mundane, shadowy world of modern Gotham Between my junior and senior...Read more
Superman III celebrates 30th anniversaryNewsOK.com, June 17th
movie than a Superman one. But it certainly is more enjoyable to watch than “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace,” and it does give us the Evil Superman vs. Good Clark Kent fight that could have been pulled right from the pages of a Silver Age comic book...Read more
Cover of the Week: June 12Comic Book Resources, June 17th
I don't have an affinity for the talking gorillas of DC's Silver Age, or those who have donned jetpacks or ridden dinosaurs in far more recent indie comics; the concepts too often come across as "Mad Libs" gone astray for my tastes. But the BOOM...Read more
Man of Steel's Popularity: Is It Really a Surprise?Comicbook.com (blog), June 16th
If you believe the comics press (and we've been guilty of this ourselves from time to time), nobody has done right by Big Blue in years, and the Silver Age Superman remains the unchallenged beacon of light from which everything shines. Mark Waid, who ...Read more
Can't get enough of Superman? Try these stand-out graphic novelsStandardNet, June 15th
First, some background: What pops into most people's heads when they think of Superman comic books are the stories and concepts that were developed in what is called the “Silver Age” of comics, which coincided with editor Mort Weisinger's time on the ...Read more
Satisfy your inner geek at Philly Comic-ConDaily Local News, June 12th
The show will host dealers from all over the Northeast who will have sales booths featuring Gold & Silver Age comics, Japanese Manga, gaming cards such as Yuh-Gi-Oh and Magic the Gathering, action figures, non-sport cards (including the new Angry Birds ...Read more
Ask the Retailer: Comics from the front linesNew York Post (blog), June 12th
4: The first appearance of Barry (Flash) Allen, officially ushering in the Silver Age. DC Comics. Gerry Gladston, co-owner of Midtown Comics, locations all over Manhattan. Hot Stuff: The Little Devil No. 1 from Harvey Comics, 1957. I believe this comic...Read more
EXCLUSIVE: JMS Explores Dark Side of Teenage Superheroing in "Sidekick"Comic Book Resources, June 10th
The more this looks like a classic Silver Age comic, the more subversive the story becomes. You've talked about taking a kind of "BBC approach" to the current batch of Joe's Comics books, getting in, telling your story and getting out. What's the plan...Read more