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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Welcome to Night Vale Recap: Episode 41, "WALK"
The Mary Sue, November 29th

A brief note before we begin today. We're now at the point where the recording of the first Welcome to Night Vale live show, “Condos”, was released. I had initially planned to write recaps of the live shows as well, but I've changed my mind. I know not...Read more

Classic Comic Cover Corner – Fantastic Four #52
Nerdvana (blog), November 29th

In perfect silver-age comic logic, the Wakandan Chief only tricked the Fantastic Four into fighting him in order to test his readiness for going up against his true foe, the “Master of Sound,” Klaw! But none of this would be explained until FF #53...Read more

Amazing Posters Give Classic Movies a New Face
WIRED, November 28th

Caption: Back to the Future is one of the most popular choices among alternative movie poster artists. This version is by Andy Fairhurst. Andy Fairhurst/courtesy Schiffer Publishing. Gallery Image. Slide: 2 / of 15 . Caption: In his poster for...Read more

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Is An Honest To God Delight
io9, November 27th

You have this wild, zany action in the past, all dramatic dialogue that wouldn't sound out of place in a silver age comic, sharply contrasted with the very modern Marvel setting of a young girl at school. It's very Ms. Marvel, but with an even younger...Read more

CBR's Black Friday Shopping Guide Brings Deals on Comics, Clothing ...
Comic Book Resources, November 27th

For a more physical comics deal, longtime history magazine publisher Two Morrows has kickstarted a sale where all back issue are 40% including Golden and Silver Age Bible "Alter Ego," the famed "Jack Kirby Collector." the series of "Modern Masters...Read more

Marvel's 'Doctor Strange' begins filming, reveals list of main cast
CNET, November 27th

If Marvel stays true to the story originally created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the Silver Age of comics, we could end up seeing Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange portrayed as the Sorcerer Supreme, protecting humanity from magical threats. Marvel...Read more

12 Great Gift Ideas For The Comics Geek In Your Life
Forbes, November 27th

All ages. For the Comics Historian: The Silver Age of Comic Art (Schumer, Archway Publishing). Scholar Arlen Schumer connects iconic comics art from the 1960s by folks like Kirby, Ditko, Adams and Steranko with larger cultural trends in 60s design, pop...Read more

Wizard World Attendees Create Budget for Comic Book Memorabilia
KTVN, November 22nd

While Kramer says he doesn't buy a lot of merchandise at comic cons, he says many attendees will bring extra cash with them in case they run into something that they won't find anywhere else. "You'll find the guys down there with the silver age and...Read more