Debut of the Silver Age

While it has been regarded that Barry Allen A.K.A. The Flash is recognized as the beginning of the Silver Age, what if the Silver Age really began with the Silent Knight? Reasons to support this include: the publication year, 1955, which also marked the first year the Comic Code Authority began; his first comic, Brave and the Bold #1, marking a similar path with Superman through Action Comics; the subtle hints that Jonathan Kent is a descendant of Brian Kent; and how some abilities of his match Batman’s. If the criteria is superhero, then there is also Mr. Mxyzptlk, Krypto, or Martian Manhunter. I know this idea might be moot, but still, something to consider.

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Nicely done very good points, wish I had more to offer but u covered it very well.

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Thank you.

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You bet. Your post was so thorough I tried to add to it but u nailed it.

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You could add on to it by mentioning your criteria for the Silver Age: revitalization of Golden Age Heroes, introduction to new superheroes, or just heroes. One thing I did not include was that there was a Golden Age Mr. Mxyztplk, but nothing major.

I realize I would have allowed more communication by asking an open-ended question and then provide trivia, but unlike Barry Allen, I can’t go back in time (and probably for the better).

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Great post with well presented posts. I’m curious now and will have to delve into this some more

No, there’s nothing wrong with your post, smarter people than me could probably add to it. I just read it a few days back & thought man he’s dropping Science.

I have also seen others posit that the Silver Age began with the intro of The Martian Manhunter in Detective Comics #225/Nov 1955. I have always liked to float the idea that it actually began with Superman #76(vol1/May/June 1952) with “The Mightiest Team In The World”. This was the first time Superman and Batman were paired in a story all their own. The art was by the great Curt Swan who would go on the depict Superman for the next forty years. The story was by Edmond Hamilton who would, for the next decade, write many seminal tales laying Superman’s Silver Age foundation for editor Mort Weisinger. Seeing print shortly after the demise of almost all the Golden Age heroes and their titles, this story reestablishes the shared, nascent DC Universe by pairing its two biggest stars.

The issue with the Batman and Superman team-up, while incredible, was not the first time great superheroes worked together. The main example is the JSA. It had the Golden Age Flash and Green Lantern as part of the same team, so creating a new age based on a team up seems a little unmonumental. Then again, if criteria is to engross, I am not sure if the Silent Knight captivated people’s attention at the time.

The main reason I would keep it with Showcase #4 is that issue marks the start of a trend: Julius Schwartz’s reinvention of tge golden age heroes as more futuristic science fiction creations. While you can certainly point to other the debuts of other heroes or issues that predate Showcase #4, the first appearance of Barry Allen is where it really starts to be a thing. Also I’d be hesitant to read too much into the early similarities between Shining Knight and Clark Kent’s names as the connection between the two was almost certainly a retcon after the fact as was the Knight’s connection to Hawkman.

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Showcase #4 is good, but re-engineering an already established superhero is not as monumental as other entry points. One such example, that I did not include, is the introduction of certain writers to DC Comics especially Otto Binder. He created Supergirl, Legion of Superheroes, and revamped Superman. But, then the question becomes a matter of publication: Barry Allen’s first appearance before Otto Binder’s work, since both reshaped heroes.

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