The Silver Age of Comics is largely credit with beginning in 1956 with the publication of Showcase 4, which introduced the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen.) In the wake of the publication of SOTI (Seduction of the Innocent), which introduced the comic code and marked the dawn of the Golden Age, a new era of heroes began to emerge driven by Marvel and DC Comics.
Silver Age DC Comics
A new group of leaders at DC Comics, drawn from talent who helped create many iconic characters, led by Carmine Infantino (art), Gardner Fox (writer) and Julius Schwartz (Editing), gave new life to characters in the Silver Age. All of the major DC super-heroes, including Green Lantern, Flash, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman were re-imagined in this new era.
Superhero teams, led by the Justice League, also garnered new inspiration from the post-war Era when heroes sought to unite around new causes. In this context, the DC team introduced the notion of Earth One, Two and Three, foretelling scientific theories of multiple universes.
Silver Age Marvel Comics
While DC helped to initiate the Silver Age, Marvel came to develop some of its most compelling and lasting narratives in the early 1960s under the leadership of legends Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby. The Marvel silver age represented creative freedom, beginning with pre-hero titles from Atlas and accelerating with the introduction of the Fantastic Four in 1961.
As the Marvel Age of Comics took shape, many of the most well-known superheroes were introduced in the early to mid 1960s, led by Spider-Man in Amazing Fantasy 15, Thor in Journey into Mystery 83, Hulk in Incredible Hulk 1, X-Men in X-Men 1, Daredevil in Darevil 1, Iron Man in Tales of Suspense 39, as well as other characters such as Silver Surfer and teams such as the Avengers.