SHOWCASE #4: An INSIDE LOOK at the Birth of the Silver Age

The Silver Age is 67 years old this year…

UPDATED 7/3/23: Showcase #4 came out 67 years ago! This piece first ran in February 2021 but it obviously holds up today. The books are still available too! — Dan

TwoMorrows this week is re-releasing two volumes from its popular and highly informative American Comic Book Chronicles series of hardcovers — the 1950s by the late Bill Schelly and the 1990s by Jason Sacks and Keith Dallas.

The timing of the rare 1950s edition almost couldn’t be better — this summer marks the 65th anniversary of 1956’s Showcase #4, which launched the Silver Age by bringing fans a brand new Flash: Barry Allen.

So dig this EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT that dives into the ups, downs, backs and forths of the first appearance of DC’s Scarlet Speedster.


Naturally, this is a tiny fraction of what the book has to offer. Every year of the decade is explored with tons of illustrations, timelines and whatnot.

Check out the table of contents:

American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1950s, by the late Bill Schelly, is 240 full-color pages and listed at $46.95. It will be available at comics shops, through booksellers and directly from TwoMorrows itself. (Click here.)


— 13 GREAT COMICS SERIES Launched by DC’s SHOWCASE. Click here.

— TwoMorrows’ MARVEL COMICS IN THE 1970s Going Back to Print. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. 1959, when Flash got an ongoing title, was not so much “traction” as part of the real birth of the Silver Age. DC and Marrvel’s revival tryouts in the middle 1950s were more the conception.

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  2. I re-read Showcase #4 a few months ago. As someone who was mostly familiar with Carmine Infantino’s work from the 1980s when he was arguably hacking it out, I was pleasantly surprised by just how visually sophisticated the storytelling is. I can understand now why this story was such a seismic shift.

    Kirby and Ditko get the lions share of the praise that’s attributed to Silver Age artists (and not necessarily undeservedly), but I think DC’s less flashy (no pun intended) but technically superb stable of artists (Infantino, Gil Kane, Mike Sekwosky, Alex Toth, Bruno Permiani, NIck Cardy, Ross Andru, Dick Sprang, Wayne Boring, Al Plastino) was just as good in their own slicker way.

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  3. I know this has been reprinted numerous times but I’m surprised that a facsimile issue hasn’t been printed yet.

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