The Silver Age of Comics

About the Silver Age of Comics

The Silver Age of Comics is marked with a returned focus towards Superhero comics. Following mounting criticism regarding the negative influence comics, which gravitated towards other genres such as romance and horror following the end of WWII, supposedly had on violence in kids, the Comic Code Authority was created.

DC Comics and Marvel Comics officially took on those names from National Comics and Timely Comics respectively. For DC, the Silver Age of Comics represented a rebirth of its main characters, while Marvel saw the launch of its staples characters. DC’s refreshed lined and Stan Lee’s innovative new superhero archetypes caused a resurgence of superhero comics.

Silver Age of Comics Years

Silver Age of Comics
Showcase #4, featuring a new Flash, launched the Silver Age of Comics.

Most sources point to 1956 as the beginning of the Silver Age of Comics. DC comics published Showcase #4, featuring a new Flash, which flew off the shelves. Yet, while DC was responsible for this first sign of new life in the comic book industry, Marvel Comics was able to capitalize even more from this trend as the 60’s came around.

Stan Lee wrote the stories that launched this new banner under which a new, more serialized type of storytelling was presented that broke down the superhero archetype. It all began for Marvel with the Fantastic Four #1, a last ditched attempt by Stan Lee to tell the type of stories he would like. After sales soared, he continued launching successful heroes such as The Hulk, X-Men and the most popular Silver Age Comic Book of all, Amazing Fantasy #15 featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man.

Essential Silver Age of Comics Issues

While the issues above perfectly represent the type of storytelling that launched and formed the Silver Age, some other stories that came sometime within this period really show off its tone. Spider-Man’s “If this be my destiny” storyline is one of the most popular run of Silver Age issues.

Silver Age Spider-Man
"If This Be My Destiny" storyline in Amazing Spider-Man #32 & #33

The Brave and the Bold #28 features the first appearance of the Justice League of America.

Silver Age Justice League
Brave and the Bold #28, the first appearance of the now-familiar Justice League of America

Fantastic Four #48 featured the first appearance of Galactus and the Silver Surfer.

Silver Age of Comics Fantastic Four
Fantastic Four #48, one of the most famous Silver Age stories.

What’s your favorite Silver Age of Comics issue?

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