For as much as I love the madness that was the comics of the 1990s, I cannot even imagine how incredible it must have been to be a comic-loving kid (or weird comic loving adult) in the 1950/60s period known as The Silver Age.

Comics, and specifically superhero comics, had been big business since Superman’s debut in 1938, and reached even greater heights of circulation and public interest when both kids and servicemen were reading them during World War II. But following the war, superheroes fell out of fashion as crime, mystery, and horror comics became more popular. When crackpots started trying to blame all of society’s ills on those darn, awful comic books, as crackpots always seem to do with whatever is popular with the young people at the time, superheroes were given a new lease on life, and The Silver Age was born.

Superhero comics in the past had been weird, moody, atmospheric, and had no problem showing evil-doers meeting their fates in fantastically violent ways, but after all the horror comics were run out of Comicville, and the industry chose to regulate itself with the Comics Code, superheroes had to find new ways to be weird. So, in lieu of violence and anything that might be deemed too scary, superheroes got more light-hearted, but also much more bizarre. And as the first and greatest superhero of them all, it only stands to reason that Superman would be leading the charge with some of the wildest and weirdest comics of the time. His amazing list of super-powers allowed him to have crazy adventures that many other characters couldn’t dream of having, but he also got strange new (but often very short-lived) powers to let the creators go even crazier with him.

All of which leads us to why you’re really here, to see this gallery of panels from Silver Age Superman comics presented completely without context. Some are weird, some are wacky, some are befuddling, but they’re all pretty fun, and the best part is this is just the teeniest, tiniest tip of the iceberg when it comes to Silver Age insanity. Just try to make sense out of them and enjoy!


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