The History of Comics Documents:
Seminal Golden Age Comics (~1938 - 1957):
The Golden Age of comic books is recognized as being kicked off by the publication of Action Comics #1 and the introduction of Superman and the archetype of the superhero in general. We also see the introduction of Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Captain America and many more iconic superheros, as well as the predecessors to many of our prized comic book companies such as Detective Comics (DC Comics), Timely Comics (Marvel Comics). Many of these superheros can be seen fighting America’s real-life enemies such as Hitler, providing the nation and the troops with a much needed moral boost along with cheap entertainment.
Seminal Silver Age Comics (~1956 - 1970):
The Silver Age of comics is when comic books really hit their stride and became mainstream sources of entertainment in America. Comic books covering superheros lost popularity towards the end of the Golden Age and the beginning of the Silver Age but quickly rose back to popularity once the content of comic books began to be more closely regulated in fear of spurring more juvenile delinquents from questionable content found in horror and mystery genres. This is where Fantastic Four #1 began as well as Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy #15 in August 1962.
The Bronze Age / The Dark Age of Comics (~1970 - 1985):
The Dark Age of Comic Books was the culmination of a gradual move towards an older audience for Comic Books, particularly those featuring superheroes that had started in The Bronze Age of Comic Books. Sometimes, to follow the Gold/Silver/Bronze progression, the Dark Age is folded in with the Modern Age and called The Iron Age of Comic Books, but "Dark Age" is the much more common term. Usually characterized as a Darker and Edgier period featuring an increased focus on sex, violence and dark, gritty portrayals of the characters involved, much of the content produced during this era is very controversial among comic book fans and is (depending on whom you ask) regarded as either a welcome breath of fresh air after the medium languished for so long in its own version of the Animation Age Ghetto, or a period of grotesque excess and immaturity... or a little of both.
Seminal Modern Age Comics (~1985 - Present Day):
The Modern Age, which began in the mid-1980s and continued to present day, is identified by a number of trends: the commercialization of comic book publishers, more psychologically-complex characters and twisting plots. Some argue that the later years of the Bronze Age overlap with the very early years of the Modern Age. One argument for that is the rise in the so-called “anti-hero” as seen in Elektra and Wolverine, and the rise in the X-Men overall.
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Alex Ross: Romanticizing the Past
The History of Comics Videos: