The full-color history of comic books continues in IDW's The Comics Book History of Comics #5, by Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey. This issue covers American comics from 1955 to 1965, which is an incredibly eventful decade. That takes us from the dawning of the Silver Age at DC Comics, through the birth of the Marvel Universe, and also the beginning of Underground Comix, as the issue incorporates the biography of a young man named Robert Crumb.

As always, Van Lente and Dunlavey put their own humorous spin on history. My favorite bits in the preview pages are Julius Schwartz being backed up by a Lovecraft monster as he makes deals on behalf of pulp authors, and then playing Bear Bryant as he puts DC's Golden Age heroes back in the game. I'm less sure about that last page, "The Evolution of the Super Hero," in which the careful reproduction of racist stereotypes doesn't feel entirely justified by the level of satire, and the "Modern Age" already feels a bit dated.

Nevertheless, if you want to learn more about the history of American comics, and find some laughs along the way, this book is a pretty good bet. You can find it this Wednesday, March 29, wherever you get your comics.

 

Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Art by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW
Variant Cover by Ryan Dunlavey / IDW

 

Here's the official word from IDW:

The inspiring, infuriating, and utterly insane story of comics, graphic novels, and manga continues in four-color glory! This issue, the award-winning Action Philosophers team of Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey bring you FANBASE COMICS, SUPERHERO EVOLUTION, and OUTER SPACE!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99