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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CKRTLAB Toys' Bloodshot Urban Vinyl Figure Is Coming To NYCC '15Bleeding Cool News, October 4th
Their vinyl figure lines include Valiant Comics Universe, Captain Canuck, Golden Age Guardians, Silver Age Centurions, and Captain Action. Keep your eyes peeled for their Bloodshot Urban Vinyl Figure. The hyper-stylized figure is 5.5 inches tall with 6 ...Read more
Legends of Tomorrow's Hawkman and Hawkgirl: A Closer LookComicbook.com, October 3rd
Probably the closest analogue to the costumes seen in the photo at top is the one seen directly above. Printed on a trading card marked "Golden Age Hawkman," it is rare to find other art online of Hawkman wearing so much in the Golden and Silver Age eras...Read more
Ask Chris #260: On the Dramatics of Superhero Love InterestsComicsAlliance, October 2nd
Like everything in a comic book story, they exist to create drama, but superhero comics have historically had a very specific kind of drama in mind when it came to the fates of romantic partners, especially, overwhelmingly, women: They tend to wind up...Read more
Boy Wonders and Camouflaged Giant Robots The Buy PileComic Book Resources, October 1st
Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile...Read more
Why Are We Already Acting Like 'Jessica Jones' and 'Supergirl' Are Competing?MTV.com, October 1st
Supergirl was an invention of the Silver Age of comics and was intended to be “Superman's secret weapon” — while he got to play the part of the public hero, her existence was kept a secret until a few years after she was introduced. During that time...Read more
Comics and the Dilemma of Wanting More In Your Face JamComic Book Resources, September 30th
Wonder Woman and Lois Lane's evolution throughout the years maps the start-and-stop progress of women in this country, from their feminist 1940s origins to their regressive Silver Age stories through to today. The mutant metaphor of the X-Men has...Read more
Owner of Empire Collectibles Comics & Games takes life-long hobby to next levelThe East County Californian, September 24th
Koppy said the hottest trends are Silver Age comic books, any first appearance, in particular if that first appearance is going to be featured in a movie. “That puts the book on fire,” he said. He said Harley Quinn is going to be in the new “Suicide...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