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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Superman: Overpowered or Underrated?
The Koalition, December 20th

Recently for school, I wrote an essay on how the first superheroes in comics have affected pop culture throughout the past seven (almost 8 now) decades. For this essay, I had to research the golden and silver age of comics. Interestingly enough, some...Read more

10 Super-Heroes Who Died & Managed to Stay Dead
PJ Media, December 20th

Caveat Emptor: although the following list includes characters who have been thoroughly killed (and numbered in the order of least likely to be revived), their deaths have mostly taken place in the traditional continuity stemming from comics' silver...Read more

2014 Comics Should Be Good Advent Calendar
Comic Book Resources, December 19th

As with any traditional Advent Calendar, each day reveals a treat. Just click on the current day and you'll be linked to a neat comic-related Christmas treat. This year, we're spotlighting Silver Age Christmas, Christmas tales from the Silver Age of...Read more

Arrow S3.08 – The Brave And The Bold Review
GamesRadar, December 19th

Fittingly for the hero that launched the Silver Age of comics, Flash belongs to a brighter, sweeter, more playful world. He's from Central City, after all – “where it's sunny all the time and your enemies get cute nicknames,” sneers Oliver, neatly...Read more

The Flash: Wells... Help Or Hindrance?, December 18th

Wells knows that all this has to happen, so creates a version of The Silver Age suit, a Flash suit that allows Barry to have his powers without actually having them. In the comics it is naturally Red until Zoom finds it in a time capsule and alters it...Read more

Surprise! I Love "Flash Gordon!" In Your Face Jam
Comic Book Resources, December 17th

As a self-diagnosed list maniac, the holiday season always arrives hand-in-hand with retrospection as I begin to prep my year-end "Best Of" lists. I've started finishing off my stack of comics that have slipped past my attention ('tis the season to get...Read more

Marvel Shows Jack Kirby Some Love With New Omnibus
Den of Geek!, December 17th

It's like a "greatest hits" collection that spans four decades of his work, from relatively obscure Golden and Silver Age titles to all time classics like "The Galactus Trilogy" from Fantastic Four. Nevertheless, that's a lot of Jack in one place...Read more

Fan Brings Silver Surfer Art To Life With Body Paint, December 10th

The illustration is actually a photographed portrait by artist Cris Alex who, through body paint and clever lighting, fashioned a photo shoot that belongs on the comics page. Alex, a professional makeup effects artist, has lent her talents to comic...Read more