The comic book industry in the US has published the most titles followed closely by British and Japanese comic book publishers. All sectors of the industry cater to young adult readers, although the popularity of comics for grown ups has steadily developed over the years.
Comic book publications are categorized by the following -historic eras-.
The Golden Age 1934 thru 1956
The Silver Age 1956 thru 1970
The Bronze Age 1970 thru 1985
The Modern Age 1985 thru presentent
The Golden Age of Comic Books is defined as a period of American historical past from the introduction of the first comic book in 1934 until the mid 1950’s. Throughout this era some of the most popular and well-known superheroes debuted, including Superman Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel and Captain America. These superheroes continue to enjoy wonderful acceptance even in the modern day. Once launched in the mid to late 30’s, comic books, or comics as they are also referred to as, experienced a surge of acceptance. The archetype superhero and villain were defined during this period as comics became a mainstream art form. The first generation of comic book writers, artists and editors discovered their voice, were heard and left their mark on what was to become a significant market segment for publishing.
The Silver Age of Comic Books ranged from 1956 to 1970. This interval marked a time of excellent inventive advancement and commercial success as comic books, especially American comics moved into the mainstream. The Silver Age gave birth to a large number of important writers and artists which contributed to defining comic books as significant business.
Towards the end of the 2nd World War, popularity of comic books featuring superheroes significantly declined. Comics focused on romance, horror and crime were on the rise leading to controversy over allegations that comic books lead to juvenile delinquency. In 1954, publishers implemented the Comics Code Authority, meant to regulate content. As a result writers and publishers re-introduced a stream of superhero storylines, such as the Fantastic Four consisting of Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Invisible Woman and Thing. Comics from the Silver age are today considered collectible, and are amongst the most sought-after in the industry.
The Bronze Age spans comic book history from 1970 to 1985. It followed the Silver Age and even now consists of many of the conventions of the Silver Age. Defining the Bronze Age are brightly coloured superhero titles, in addition to the introduction of darker plot elements reflecting real world concerns such as alcoholism, drug abuse and pollution. Comic book story lines began to reflect the interests of much more experienced readers in the course of this Age, a precursor to the Modern Age of Comic Books.
The last time period for comics began in 1985 and is coined the Modern Age of Comic Books. This interval of history extends till today. In the Modern Age characters became darker and a lot more complex. Comic book creators grew to become well known , comic books grew to become far more mainstream. Because of this, independent and commercial publishing flourished, creating a new and ever evolving industry. This period of time of comic book publication also is regarded as as the Copper Age, the Iron Age and the Dark Age.