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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Green Lantern #44 - Emergency Stop Review
Comic Vine, September 2nd

GREEN LANTERN #44 is a one-shot, and one that hearkens back to silver age stories of the hero going to a new world/city/land and having to save the people from the gang in town. This is very much a Wild West story where the Thanagarians are rough ...Read more

Supergirl's roster of villains continues to grow with Red Tornado casting
A.V. Club Austin, September 2nd

Consistent with silver age bylaws governing bad pun names, the Red Tornado is actually the alter-ego of Dr. T.O. Morrow, a military scientist. This is a deviation from the comics storyline, where Red Tornado is Morrow's robotic creation, much like...Read more

Casting Call: Fantastic Four
moviepilot.com, September 2nd

With the Ant-Man film acknowledging that there was a Silver Age of Marvel heroes (with the Hank Pym Ant-Man and Wasp team), along with Peggy Carter and Howard Stark contributing; who's to say that the FF wasn't active back then? Our FF would begin with...Read more

Ask Chris #255: In Defense Of Snapper Carr
ComicsAlliance, August 28th

And yet, while Jimmy ranks at #3 in my illustrious and immutable list of the greatest comic book characters of all time, Snapper is one of the most ignored and forgotten characters of the entire Silver Age. But the thing is, it's not because he's a bad...Read more

20 Best Things to Do in L.A. This Week
L.A. Weekly, August 27th

The San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention has an intimate, old-timey vibe, with hourly raffles, dozens of vendors and a spate of golden-age and silver-age comics, along with free pizza for the first 100 paid attendees. Special guests include...Read more

Born 104 Years Ago Today: Remembering Otto Binder, Comics' Forgotten Genius
ComicsAlliance, August 26th

Besides such enduring characters, Binder's style in this period was the epitome of the Silver Age DC, with bizarre twists, puzzle plots, anxiety-derived conflicts, and dream logic resolutions. In addition to his most popular creations, Binder also co...Read more

Ask Chris #254: What's So Great About The Silver Age?
ComicsAlliance, August 21st

So, first things first: When we talk about “The Silver Age,” we're not actually talking about all comics printed between October of 1956 and October of 1970. Not really, anyway. It's certainly the catch-all term for that particular time, and a very...Read more

Meet Arlen Schumer Author of The Silver Age of Comic Book Art
The Daily Voice, August 7th

Comic book art historian Arlen Schumer's presentation will be based on his coffee table book, The Silver Age of Comic Book Art (Archway Publishing), explores the origins of the superhero traditions and their personification of American ideals and...Read more