Silver Age

The Silver Age (1956 - 1973)

The Feel of the Silver Age

Superheroes return, and they’re bigger than ever. Relative to the Golden Age, the upper levels of power available to the most powerful superheroes is increased dramatically. Forget “nothing less that a burst shell could pierce his skin” - the top-tier heroes are surviving atomic explosions. Interstellar travel, sometime under the hero’s own power, becomes a common event in the lives of major heroes.
The morality of the era is vastly different than the previous one, and even the Golden Age. Heroes of the Silver Age never kill the bad guy – even the ones who deserve it. (Conversely, very few bad guys actually deserve it.) The teen sidekick vanishes from the field - but no one noticed as the Silver Age also ushered in the concept of the teen hero or teen hero team.
The style of the stories is diverse but contains a huge sense of wonder. The heroes are pure and their relationships – although frequently interfering with or complicating their “heroic” IDs - are innocent. There is very little in the way of social relevancy, but occasionally bits of it would sneak into the stories in a hidden way, in many ways foreshadowing the era to follow.
Stories tended to be very light-hearted. Much of this can be attributed to the Comics Code Authority (see below). Villains, and their crimes, were campy; and heroes never faced truly tragic situations. The threat of imminent death of the hero (and, more importantly; his friends, loved ones, and family) simply didn’t exist. Heroes didn’t die, and neither did anyone else.
Heroes frequently fought huge monsters and drove off alien invasion (although many of these “invasions” were invasions of one). If “action” was the key word for the Golden Age, “fun” is the word for the Silver Age. Lastly (and, to some, most importantly) the Silver Age introduces a truly astounding array of super apes.
Magic versus Science The Silver Age of Comics is defined in large part by the re-imagining of many classic Golden Age characters. In most cases, this re-imagining follows a very basic line of thought: take a Golden Age character and replace every bit of magic in his or her origin/back-story/power and replace it with Atomic Age science.
The Silver Age was heavily based on science fiction, which is understandable given the times... it was the beginning of the Nuclear Age, the Space Age, and the Computer Age, all rolled into one. Extraterrestrials abounded as both heroes and villains. Characters gained their powers through intentional application of science and technology, or else gained their powers in some sort of scientific accident
By and large, this meant that magic became a rarity in the Silver Age as science (and science-fiction) was considered more hip.

Silver Age Characters

The Silver Age ushers in not just the return of true superheroes (and supervillains) but also a shift from the murky moral grayness of the Gap Era to the very black and white perceptions that we associate with the post-CCA comic book world.
Silver age characters were more rounded and well-conceived than their Golden Age predecessors. It was no longer enough to say a character’s motivation was “his parents were killed by a mugger.” A Silver Age character’s origin would often explain why and how this drove him to become a hero. The most common origins are being an extraterrestrial, being exposed to radiation, getting an extraterrestrial's toys, or inventing a fashion accessory that gives you powers. As a part of this, many of the earliest Silver Age characters we revamped Golden Age characters with their origins re-worked for the sensibilities and tastes of the era.
Recommended Psychological Limitations for Silver Age characters (Typically at the Common to Very Common and Strong to Total, 15 to 25 points. It would not be uncommon for a character to have two or three from this list):
  • Sworn to Uphold the Law
  • Fights for Truth, Justice, American Way
  • Sworn to Uphold the Good
  • Protective of Normals
  • Heroic Code
  • Honorable
  • Committed to Fighting Crime
  • Code Versus Killing
Character Build: 200 point base + 150 points in disadvantages Note: Consider more base points, fewer disads (Maybe 250 + 100)
Note: Consider severely limiting the number and/or total value of limitations on powers.Note: Possible active point cap: 75 for main power, 60 for all others.

Classic Power Origins for the Silver Age
  • Radiation
  • Alien
  • Gadgetry, especially alien gadgetry
  • Scientific accident
  • Cosmic rays
  • Struck by lightning
  • Mutant
  • Robot
  • God
  • Magic

Defining Events in Neptune City

After McCarthy's fall from grace in 1954, superheroes slowly begin making a comeback. A small number of GA heroes come out of retirement, but mostly it's a whole crop of new heroes who learned what it meant to be a hero by watching and reading about the exploits of Centurion and the relationship he had with local, state and federal law enforcement.
A whole horde of garishly clad heroes and villains eventually make themselves known, including that Machiavellian menace, Mental Midget (Note: Mental Midget is a place holder name, feel free to replace this with any SA mentalist you feel will work).
Throughout the Silver Age, Centurion remains an active hero (he eventually discovers that his powers cause him to age more slowly than normal humans) and an active influence on the heroic community. Then, on that fateful day in 1973 (or sometime around there - whenever the Silver Age ended) when, while fighting the Time Baron (or, some other SA time based villain) he was struck with a high intensity chrono beam and simply vanished (Actually, he was broken lose from this time stream and went back to his own time).