SUPERHERO COMICS OF THE SILVER AGE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY
This continues Benton's series of comics histories (the first was The Illustrated History of Horror Comics , LJ 4/15/91). He talks about the era from the late 1950s to 1969 when interest in superheroes was revitalized after waning following World War II. DC Comics--with new versions of old heroes like Flash and the Green Lantern--and Marvel Comics--with their slew of quasi-realistic, character-oriented heroes--were the foremost superhero publishers, a distinction they retain today. The subtitle is misleading--Benton disposes of the history portion in 30 pages (a reflection of the subject matter's lack of depth), leaving the rest of the book to reference material: a list of artists, characters, and titles of the era. This work is less than satisfying. Comics are a collaborative medium, and it is unfair to devote a chapter to listing artists and not writers (though some artists were also writers). Still, this is very well researched and is recommended for pop culture and/or comics collections in academic libraries and any public library that has the previous volume in the series.-- Keith R.A. DeCandido, "Library Journal"