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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GRANT MORRISON on MULTIVERSITY: It's Going to 'F' People UpNewsarama, July 28th
Writing comics that can be called "bizarre" is nothing new for Morrison, yet his mind-bending storytelling has made him a darling of critics and a favorite among fans — particularly at DC, where he just finished a seven-year run on Batman and will...Read more
SDCC: O'Neil, Adams & More Revisit Batman of the 1970sComic Book Resources, July 28th
The nostalgia-fueled celebration of all things Gotham was moderated by comic book historian extraordinaire Mark Evanier and attended by a who's who of Bat legends celebrating 75 years of the DC Comics hero: legendary artist Neal Adams, acclaimed editor...Read more
Reading The Great War: Comics' Greatest World War I StoriesComic Book Resources, July 28th
Coupled with the fact that he was not one of "us," but rather one of the people Americans were trying to kill, the moral ambiguity that created for readers cheering the character on helped make these stories some of the best of DC's Silver Age war comics...Read more
Marvel Comics Blowout Through July 29Guardian Liberty Voice, July 26th
Diehard comics fans or those reading comics for the first time will have access to Silver age or Golden age Comics as recent as the last six months. Although only digital versions of the magazines, Marvel Unlimited also offers its online readers...Read more
From Pizza Dog to Vincent Van Goat, the best comic book petsSalon, July 25th
Comic books were sillier back in the Silver Age, but the appeal of comic book animals hasn't diminished, even when comic books are generally more serious fare. These days, you can find critters aplenty at nearly every comics company, and they aren't...Read more
Read Marvel Comics until your tablet battery diesMinneapolis Star Tribune (blog), July 25th
Maybe you've seen the movies and want to see those characters in true comic book form. Or maybe you're looking for a new series to read. Wired explains that Marvel Unlimited includes "books that hit the stand six months ago to the Golden and Silver Age ...Read more
Kirby a king for Casey's 'Valhalla Mad' godsUSA TODAY, July 23rd
A trio of deities arrive in Manhattan looking to live it up in the upcoming Image Comics series Valhalla Mad, a collaboration debuting next year by writer Joe Casey and artist Paul Maybury that uses a bygone era of comic books — specifically the...Read more
Fricking Awesome Maps From the Silver Age of Comic BooksWired, July 14th
Kamandi was a post-apocalyptic story where the world's last human fought against legions of mutant animals. Hilgart says Jack Kirby's 1974 world map only hints at some of the craziness from the comic book. "You have these mad stories where Kamandi ...Read more