Silver Age Comics

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Who here is a big fan of Silver Age comics? I just want to gauge how often you read them and what you think of them. If you feel the need to write an essay to explain it, feel free - I'll definitely read it.

I know that sounds very broad and general but I'm not looking for anything specific. I just want to know how readers today view Silver Age stories.
 

ProjectX2

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They're corny. That's what I think. But they can also be fun, mainly for nostalgia reasons. The main reason I like the Silver Age is because of the way people like Alex Ross and Geoff Johns use elements and ideas from it, but tell modern and mature stories with them. For an example, look at Justice. It's using Silver Age characters, but it's a very good story, and isn't corny at all.

If we're talking about actual Silver Age comics, then I think it's hard to read a whole lot at once, especially in Essential format. I'll read a couple of them, get tired of the cheesy dialogue and plot, and give up.
 

Random

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Who here is a big fan of Silver Age comics? I just want to gauge how often you read them and what you think of them. If you feel the need to write an essay to explain it, feel free - I'll definitely read it.

I know that sounds very broad and general but I'm not looking for anything specific. I just want to know how readers today view Silver Age stories.

Early Marvel like when Spidey first showed up is silver right? I'm pretty sure but not 100%. I read the first 40 issues of Amazing Spider-man. I go the first volume of Marvel Masterworks one more for the heck of it and was surprized at how much I loved it. I didnt expect to like it with the changes in time and style of comics but I did.
 
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Gideon Stargrave

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Early Marvel like when Spidey first showed up is silver right? I'm pretty sure but not 100%. I read the first 40 issues of Amazing Spider-man. I go the first volume of Marvel Masterworks one more for the heck of it and was surprized at how much I loved it. I didnt expect to like it with the changes in time and style of comics but I did.

Yeah, original spidey was definetley silver age. Gwen Stacey's Death is considered to be one of the ending marks of silver age comics.
 

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Early Marvel like when Spidey first showed up is silver right?

Yep. From Wikipedia:

The beginning (as well as the end) of the Silver Age is cause for debate, but it is generally agreed that the period began with DC Comics’ Showcase #4 in 1956, which introduced the modern version of the Flash. Under editor Julius Schwartz, the Flash was the first of many old characters revised as streamlined, science fiction-influenced models. Others included Green Lantern, the Atom and Hawkman. DC also introduced The Justice League of America, an all-star group consisting of its most popular characters.

The success of these series meant DC had found a viable format that could make for successful properties under Comics Code Authority restrictions. This helped breathe new life into the medium and sales began to recover.

The period also saw the rise of Marvel Comics, under the guidance of writer-editor Stan Lee and artists/cowriters Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko, who introduced more sophisticated characterization and dynamic plotting into superhero comics. The most popular and influential Marvel character of this period was Spider-Man. Other significant and long-lasting Marvel heroes introduced during the Silver Age include The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Daredevil, The X-Men, and Marvel's own all-star group, The Avengers. After an initial period of hesitance, DC began to adopt some of Marvel's creative approaches.

The resurgence of superheroes proved so influential that publishing houses not known for such characters — including Archie Comics, Charlton Comics and Dell Comics — attempted their own superheroes, but met with limited critical and popular success. Tower Comics was an exception with the well-received if short-lived T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents series by Wally Wood.

In addition, new artists, many of whom grew up with comics as well as being formally trained, began to expand the mainstream medium into new art styles. Major examples include Neal Adams who introduced naturalism with his illustrative style, and Jim Steranko who introduced op art, touches of Surrealism, and graphic design elements.

The period hit its commercial peak in 1966-1968 with the popularity of the Batman TV series, which both heightened interest in comics and damaged their public image as a legitimate artistic medium.

Underground comics got their start during the 1960s portion of the Silver Age. However, because the artistic content, goals and marketing of these comic books were so different from the mainstream companies, it is generally considered a separate movement in the medium.

...and...

The precise end of the Silver Age is in some debate. Candidate periods include:

* Jack Kirby's departure from Marvel Comics to produce Fourth World titles at DC Comics (1970).
* The retirement of Mort Weisinger, long-time editor of the Superman family of comics for DC. The Superman titles were divided among several editors, including Julius Schwartz, Murray Boltinoff, E. Nelson Bridwell, Mike Sekowsky and, briefly, Jack Kirby.
* The advent of darker superhero stories in the early 1970s. During this time, Batman returned to his roots as a dubious vigilante, and Dennis O'Neil and Neal Adams started the gritty, urban-themed series Green Lantern/Green Arrow
* The first updating of the Comics Code in the early 1970s, which led to a wave of horror comics such as Ghost Rider and Tomb of Dracula.
* The death of Gwen Stacy, the girlfriend of Peter Parker (Spider-Man) in The Amazing Spider-Man #121, 1973 ("The Night Gwen Stacy Died").
* The debut of the "All-New All-Different" X-Men in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (1975), restarting a franchise that would dominate subsequent decades.
* The change of rules to the Comics Code Authority (1971), which allowed for more controversial topics to be discussed.
* DC Comics' maxiseries Crisis On Infinite Earths (1985), which redefined the landscape of the DC universe.

Actually that's the first suggestion I've seen that the Silver Age began with something other than Fantastic Four #1.
 

Joe Kalicki

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Actually that's the first suggestion I've seen that the Silver Age began with something other than Fantastic Four #1.

I always heard the first appearance of Flash in Showcase, so that works for me. A Silver Age version of a Golden Age character first shows up. Makes sense.
 

Gothamite

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There a lot of elements that I liked about the Silver Age, mostly the outlandish, ridiculous Superman stories that existed back then. Depending on when the 'age ended, I REALLY love the stories from the '70s, including the return of the Dark Knight and a more Marvel-esque Superman, i.e, he wasn't as invincible as before and had many 'human' problems, most notably the fact that he was completely alone in the world and he could never marry Lois as he would be instantly endangering her.
 

Friday

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Actually that's the first suggestion I've seen that the Silver Age began with something other than Fantastic Four #1.

It and Showcase #4 are the accepted mile markers. I could easily see an argument that the Silver Age started at different times for each company.

I really enjoy some Silver Age stuff like The Legion of Super-Heros, but I've found that actually getting any of the stuff is mainly for hardcore collectors. I'd love to get The Amazing Spider-Man issues from the Silver Age but my options are the nigh-unreadable essentials, the overpriced Masterworks, or digging up original copies that are only affordable if they're close to unreadable.

It makes me sad.
 

Jaggyd

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I'm a Silver Age baby, I grew up reading my uncle's comics, him being 11 ay my birth. I loved the Legion, Justice League and Green Arrow/Green Lantern books. I remember reading his old Jonah Hex and Weird War books too, god I loved DC's old horror books.
 

Friday

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I'm a Silver Age baby, I grew up reading my uncle's comics, him being 11 ay my birth. I loved the Legion, Justice League and Green Arrow/Green Lantern books. I remember reading his old Jonah Hex and Weird War books too, god I loved DC's old horror books.

Jonah Hex was as good back then as it is now. You'd think it would have been silly or even just overly reliant on the silly westerns of the 50s and 60s but its not. Its him pissed off and killing them that needs it.
 

Ninja4peace

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After reading all the articles on wiki about the different ages. I think I'll probably only ever go back to Bronze age which is when things start to happen...there don't seem to be any classic stories from silver age, apart from origins of characters.

I think I read a few of the original X-men comics, and they were kinda funny how it started off as almost stereotypical rich white people living in country estate, but then went on to become the most famous allegory against discrimination in comics. But that only started with Giant X-men. Then you have the classic stories, proteus, pheonix saga, days of future past..those will never get old.
Same with Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns and Secret Wars and Crisis on infinite earths. That's when comics started pwning.

I also found out there was a Human torch from the golden age, he was an android.
 

ourchair

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Yep. From Wikipedia:



...and...



Actually that's the first suggestion I've seen that the Silver Age began with something other than Fantastic Four #1.
Anybody ever play games like Age of Empires or Sid Meier's Civilization?

I tend to think that any 'disagreement' on when the Silver Age 'began' is easily resolved by looking at it as happening different times for different companies, in the same way that one could say that the Bronze Age happened at a different time for different cultures around the world, and how some nations only entered the Industrial Age within the last century when it 'officially' began in the late 19th century for Western history.

So if we're talking Marvel, it basically starts with Stan Lee and The Fantastic Four, which signalled a shift away from their monster oriented material, while for DC it's when they finally found a way to 'Ultimatize' their Golden Age properties for the sci-fi-driven zeitgeist of the mid-50s.

And in that sense, I tend to look at the Silver Age as a point in time when the post-Code slump had people have two decades to stop depending on mass-produced literature (pulps, comics, the daily funnies) for their jollies and two decades for TV to take that place as 'common culture', and that both companies essentially rescued themselves from that state by tapping into the zeitgeist of that state of entertainment.

Too bad the 21st century hasn't found a similar solution.
 

Caduceus

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Anybody ever play games like Age of Empires or Sid Meier's Civilization?

I tend to think that any 'disagreement' on when the Silver Age 'began' is easily resolved by looking at it as happening different times for different companies, in the same way that one could say that the Bronze Age happened at a different time for different cultures around the world, and how some nations only entered the Industrial Age within the last century when it 'officially' began in the late 19th century for Western history.
This a very apt analogy.
 

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