Author Archive

Gina Misiroglu is a pop-culture historian, best-selling author, and editor of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (2nd edition, Visible Ink Press). To find out more about what happens to superheroes in the Modern Age, look for Gina’s next guest blog coming soon!

The Bronze Age: Cultural Innuendo, Relevance, and More

By Gina Misiroglu, author of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (Visible Ink Press / $24.95).

During the 1960s, Marvel Comics snuck up on DC Comics and usurped the industry’s number-one spot. DC’s editorial director, Carmine Infantino, started the 1970s with both guns blazing, vowing to regain DC’s market share. The biggest bullet in Infantino’s holster was the illustrious Jack Kirby, the veteran artist who co-created most of Marvel’s major superheroes, including Captain America, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, and the X-Men.

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[GUEST POST] Gina Misiroglu on The Silver Age of Superheroes

Gina Misiroglu is a pop-culture historian, best-selling author, and editor of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (2nd edition, Visible Ink Press). To find out more about what happens to superheroes in the Silver Age, look for Gina’s next guest blog coming soon!

The Silver Age: Heroes Reemerge

By Gina Misiroglu, author of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (Visible Ink Press / $24.95).

In 1956 DC Comics, struggling to find new concepts that might attract readers, introduced a “tryout” title, Showcase. “The first three Showcases “flopped,” editor Julius “Julie” Schwartz recalled in his autobiography, Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics (2000), “and we were at an editorial meeting trying to decide what to do in number four when I suggested that we try to revive the Flash.” This renewal was given the green light despite the trepidation of other editors still battle-weary from the demise of superheroes several years earlier.

Schwartz steered the project into a fresh direction. Jay Garrick, the Flash of comics’ Golden Age (1938-1954), was ignored-for a time, at least-and a new character, police scientist Barry Allen, obtained superspeed in his initial excursion in Showcase #4 (September-October 1956). Given a sporty costume by artist Carmine Infantino, the Flash mixed action, style, and imagination, an attractive alternative to DC’s other series and to then-current television fare, where special-effects limitations made such superactivity impossible (or laughable when attempted). Brisk sales warranted three more Showcase appearances before the “Fastest Man Alive” sped into his own magazine.
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Gina Misiroglu is a pop-culture historian, best-selling author, and editor of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (Visible Ink Press, $24.95).

The Superhero Century: It’s Not Just Capes and Spandex Anymore

By Gina Misiroglu, author of The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes (Visible Ink Press / $24.95).

An advent of the twentieth century and a clear marker of American popular culture, costumed superheroes have achieved historic milestones within the last seventy-five years of American history. Much like in radio, film, and television, several key “ages” have defined comic-book history in general and the superhero genre specifically. Characterized as periods of artistic advancement and commercial success, the superhero ages are generally classified as the Golden Age (1938-1954), the Silver Age (1956-1969), the Bronze Age (1970-1980), the Late Bronze Age (1980-1984), and the Modern Age (1985-present).
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