Silver, Bronze, Iron, Modern Ages: Start & End Dates

OK, there's been a lot of debate over these start and stop points for years, but I'm wondering if there's any real consensus on these point nowadays.

Silver Age-  Most DC fans will point to the first appearance of the Silver Age Flash in (what, Showcase #4?)  Most Marvel fans point to the first issue of Fantastic Four in Fall, 1961.

For an end date, I hear most fans talk about Marvel issues, of either the death of Gwen Stacy in ASM #121 or the departure of Kirby from Marvel with FF #102 or Thor #180.  I don't know if there's a similar DC point or not.

Or maybe it's the first issue of Marvel Two-On-One (sorry, I couldn't resist!)

As for the Modern Age, does it begin with the adjectiveless X-men multiple covers and five trip-tick scenes?  Or is there another point?


What do you say?

 

(OK, I am SO SORRY that I brought this up again... at 15 pages and growing, this was obviously a touchy subject that should have been left alone.  "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie...")

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Can you imagine Stan Lee working in the field of Advertising, for say, Pepsi?   Or maybe Superball or Wham-o and Silly Putty?  Imagine what copy he might have written for the auto industry... or Charmine bathroom tissue?  Would you have bought his laundry detergent, strong than dirt?

 

The mind boggles....

Here you go.



Kirk G said:

Randy, any chance of scoring a scan of that panel so that I don't have go prowl the back alleys of Metropolis for a back issue copy?  My LCBS tells me that they don't have it in their back issue box...but they're only too willing to order a TPB that might have the issue in it.

This is correct. The silver age concept didn't have a big stamp on it (as it would be today). It started with Showcase #4 and then a gap when Flash #105 began. Batman not entering the silver age until 1964 is a huge gap yes, but not so much when you think Marvel didn't start the silver age until the summer of 1961.  I think of Batman's New Look as the end of the beginning of the silver age. In my opinion it could not have been earlier because the Batman and Detective books of a year before looked very much like the books in the years before.

Dave Blanchard said:

I think we're looking at the same event through different filters, Mr. Age. Today, 50 years later, we can look back and say comics would've been a whole lot different if the Flash hadn't come along to influence the creation of other comic books, but that way of thinking presupposes that without the Flash, nothing else of significance would've come along instead. (snipped)

Batman not entering the silver age until 1964 is a huge gap yes, but not so much when you think Marvel didn't start the silver age until the summer of 1961.

Yikes. I'm having a hard time getting my ticket stamped on that train of logic. 

Were there some Marvel comics that took awhile to enter the SA? Maybe ASM didn't really enter the SA until Romita took over. That was a big artistic change, and if that was when ASM entered the SA, it wouldn't be that much longer after Batman entered due to his artistic change. It's a way shorter time than it took Batman to wise up and enter, considering he was appearing in four comics by then.

I'll be at the Chicago Comic-Con tomorrow, immersed in SA comics instead of talking about them here! Try not to kick Batman out of the SA altogether until I get back.

-- MSA

Please try not to stump too many people with trivia questions while you're there, Mr. S.A...

 

Randy, thanks for the scan, (Gulp) I t hink...  That was pretty subtle, I'll admit.  I think I'd have been upset if I had bought the whole back issue just to see that pannel.  By the way, what are the couple behind Lois and Supergirl doing? It looks like he's being felt up by her.  Is that supposed to be Peter Parker and Betty Byrant?

Batman certainly entered the Silver Age in Brave and Bold 28 with the JLA debut, but I have trouble thinking of the Batman and Detective Comics titles being in the Silver Age before the New Look. The chest symbol is irrelevant. I didn't buy the Batman titles for years before the New Look because of the idiotic alien-of-tthe-week stories and other silliness.

Dandy Forsdyke said:

This is correct. The silver age concept didn't have a big stamp on it (as it would be today). It started with Showcase #4 and then a gap when Flash #105 began. Batman not entering the silver age until 1964 is a huge gap yes, but not so much when you think Marvel didn't start the silver age until the summer of 1961.  I think of Batman's New Look as the end of the beginning of the silver age. In my opinion it could not have been earlier because the Batman and Detective books of a year before looked very much like the books in the years before.

Dave Blanchard said:

I think we're looking at the same event through different filters, Mr. Age. Today, 50 years later, we can look back and say comics would've been a whole lot different if the Flash hadn't come along to influence the creation of other comic books, but that way of thinking presupposes that without the Flash, nothing else of significance would've come along instead. (snipped)

Since no one else has commented on this, I have to interject that "First Heroic Age" and "Second Heroic Age" are terms that I only saw a few years ago. Back in the sixties, when we were in the Silver Age (but before it was named), the comics fandom old hands like Jerry Bails coined the term Golden Age. The term Silver Age came along, I think, in the mid-to-late seventies. Fandom defined the ages by superheroes, since that is what most of us cared about.

Hoy Murphy said:

One thing that seems to divide the discussion is the actual definition of an age. The terms were originally First Heroic Age of Comics and Second Heroic Age of Comics, clearly indicating that ages are based on the popularity of super-hero comics. Those later got shortened to Golden Age and Silver Age, making it less obvious that the supers were what the ages referred to. Many people object to ages being limited to super-hero comics, thinking all types of genres should be deciding factors as well. I disagree.  Those period of popularity (crime, romance, horror, science fiction, etc.) could have occurred during one of the ages, but they don't define them.


Hoy

Richard Willis:

"Batman certainly entered the Silver Age in Brave and Bold 28 with the JLA debut, but I have trouble thinking of the Batman and Detective Comics titles being in the Silver Age before the New Look. The chest symbol is irrelevant. I didn't buy the Batman titles for years before the New Look because of the idiotic alien-of-tthe-week stories and other silliness."

The problem, of course, is that Gardner Fox's JLA stories practically define "alien-of-the-week stories and other silliness", not to mention outrageous, totally non-sensical "psuedo-science".

I stil recal the first time I saw the 2nd Bat-serial, BATMAN & ROBIN (1948), the villain, The Wizard, had a machine which was able to do things that just made no sense in any possible logical scientific way. I laughed and thought, "This is a Garnder Fox JLA villain!"

So, one could say, the Batman comics being done when the JLA debuted were very much in the same vein as the JLA comics. But then, in '64, Batman got "streamlined".

Hmm. It wouldn't surprise me if it were supposed to be Peter and Betty, but it also wouldn't surprise me if they're just two random people.

I don't think you would have been quite so upset to purchase that particular issue, as the story was pretty good.

Kirk G said:

 

Randy, thanks for the scan, (Gulp) I t hink...  That was pretty subtle, I'll admit.  I think I'd have been upset if I had bought the whole back issue just to see that pannel.  By the way, what are the couple behind Lois and Supergirl doing? It looks like he's being felt up by her.  Is that supposed to be Peter Parker and Betty Byrant?

I wish I could comment more but my computer time is VERY limited right now but I can't believe that DC's Bronze Age began with New Teen Titans. O'Neil & Adams' Batman/Detective, Wein & Dillin's Justice League of America and Bates/Shooter/Cockrum/Grell's Legion of Super-Heroes are practically seperate entities from their Silver Age counterparts, as examples. The Bronze Age started way earlier than 1980 for DC. Trust me, I was there! ;-)

Could Batman may have entered the silver age in B&B #28 with the JLA? I don't know, but not the Batman we see in his own mag and Detective. There's nothing in the books, no 'defining moment', to suggest he is any different than from the mid-late 50's.

That's OK Philip,

We'll hold a space for you... LOL!

Philip Portelli said:

I wish I could comment more but my computer time is VERY limited right now but I can't believe that DC's Bronze Age began with New Teen Titans. O'Neil & Adams' Batman/Detective, Wein & Dillin's Justice League of America and Bates/Shooter/Cockrum/Grell's Legion of Super-Heroes are practically seperate entities from their Silver Age counterparts, as examples. The Bronze Age started way earlier than 1980 for DC. Trust me, I was there! ;-)

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