The Silver Age of Comic Books was a great time for Super Heroes. It was DC's introduction of The Flash in October of 1956 that brought back the Super Hero Comic titles, well at least boosted their popularity once more. The Silver Age of Comics spanned from 1956 to 1970. The commercial success once more brought many Super Heroes back into print. The work of the Artists was also recognized as evolving and advancing during this time as well.
It was during this time period that many of the Legends of Comics first appeared. The big names included Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Gene Nolan and John Romita Senior. The Comic Book media came under fire in the early 1950's and were linked to juvenile delinquency. It was the implementation of the Comic Code Authority that contributed to the resurgence of Super Hero Titles as publishers tried to distance themselves from the controversy attached to Crime and Horror Comic Books.
DC and Marvel Comics were going head to head for readership and control of the market. The winner? The fans of course. Readers got Titles such as; The Flash, Justice League of America, the Fantastic Four and we saw the first appearance of Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15.
Many Super Heroes were revived during the Silver Age, their stories and history were often re-worked for the new age they were in. It was in the mid-1960's that DC made a decision that I think was very smart. They established a rule that the Characters of the Golden Age of Comics were part of a parallel time line. They were part of Earth-Two. The Silver Age Comics took place on Earth-One. I for one am a big fan of continuity. I have been frustrated a number of times when the origin of my favorite titles have changed over time.
Marvel Comics, brought a reality to many comic titles. Their Characters had problems and doubts. This strategy made the characters and stories more real to many readers. All of a sudden readers could actually connect to their heroes. Look at Peter Parker, a teenager who has self-doubt and had to deal with problems every teenager has to go through. During this time Stan Lee was the Editor for Marvel and he worked very closely with his creative teams.
Titles such as Spider-Man, the X-Men and Hulk all debuted during the Silver Age of Comic Books. The origin stories of many titles became very science oriented. Differing from the Magic of many Golden Age Comics. College aged fans grew during these years of social upheaval and the youth counter culture. I remember an interview of Stan Lee's where he recalled this time period. Marvel, was getting things right on and the readers were on board. DC, was a larger Comic Book company and slower to adapt, there was some what of a creative drought towards the later part of the 1960's.
Comic Books were no longer just children's stories. Those first readers of Comic Books had grown up and introduced their children to the new comic books of the era. The Silver Age of Comic Books also brought forth a new kind of comic books and comic creators. Underground Comix, started to show up and there was a market for them. Also the rise of Pop Art came during this time. Interesting point was that the best selling comic book of 1969 was "Archie". As the 1970's came in the Silver Age of Comics is said to of rapped up. Some identify the transition of creative teams on the Green Lantern comic book as a distinct marker of the end of the Silver Age of Comic Books.
Following the Silver Age of Comic Books was the Bronze Age of Comics. After that the Modern Age of Comic Books rolled in.
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