Welcome to the first installment of JOLLY JIM’S JIBBER JABBER!
THE SILVER AGE
I first heard the term Silver Age of Comics in late 1965. I was living in southern California and there had been of late a barrage of publicity on the soon to debut Batman TV show. One of the local stations was doing a program about comics and the host was talking about the early years of comics and also about the resurgence of present day comics. In comparing the current 1960’s comics to their predecessors he remarked “If those early years of comics were the Golden Age we are surely in the Silver Age of comics now.” How right he was!
Anyone who has ever read Silver Age comics knows how cool they were and still are. One of the things I’ve always thought was cool about the Silver Age was that I knew it was the Silver Age while I was in the midst of it.
But, what is the Silver Age? There is some general agreement but it really isn’t set in stone. Many say it began with the publication of Showcase #4, published by DC Comics, featuring the Carmine Infantino-designed Flash in September 1956. However, I remember a time when the consensus was November 1961 – the month when Fantastic Four #1, published by Marvel Comics, premiered. I’ve also heard convincing arguments for November 1955 which gave us Detective Comics #225, also from DC Comics, featuring the first appearance of Martian Manhunter.
As for when the Silver Age ended and the Bronze Age began things get even murkier. Ask 20 people and you’ll likely get 20 different answers. It’s a question whose answer is all over the map. Personally, I go along with the beginning of the Silver Age as September, 1956 because as it happens that’s when I myself came into this world! As for its ending I think that the Silver Age overlaps with the coming of the Bronze Age. I’ll get into that at a future date, but for now, what do YOU think?