My Hero Academia: Reconstructing the Silver Age of ComicsEven though they were never really unpopular, superheroes have received a resurgence in popularity in recent years. This can largely be attributed to the smash success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, who owe their influences to more recent decades of superhero comics, causing other recent superhero movies to follow the trend and look to the 80’s onward for inspiration. In all this celebration for the recent history of comics, however, the older era has been largely forgotten. However, recently, there have been two works that choose to forgo this attitude and reach back into the Silver Age of comic books for their aesthetic, and do so in entirely different ways.
They began to be replaced by other genres, such as horror and westerns, and slowly vanished off the shelves.
This sparked a moral panic that led to the creation of the Comics Code, which prohibited any moral ambiguity, questioning of authority figures, any hint of sexuality and any ending that wasn’t happy, among other things. The only problem was that the Comics Code was still being rigidly enforced, which meant that writers were forced to basically write stories for children. This led to what was known as the Silver Age of Comics, which spawned the Adam West Batman and a broadway musical about Superman. Very, very silly.Mainstays of the Silver Age included black and white morality, goofy villains with unthreatening plans, superheroes developing new powers with no rhyme or reason as the plot demands it and science being the cause of, and solution to, every single problem. This would go on until the early 70’s, when the moral panic surrounding comic books was completely forgotten.
Superhero comics, now free to do as they pleased, began to tell more serious stories about real-world issues, sparking the Bronze Age of Comics and culminating in the infamous 90’s Dark Age. In the modern day, superhero movies, which form a large part of the modern mythos, mainly take their influences from the Bronze Age onward, leaving the Silver Age largely forgotten as a relic of a bygone era or simply a charming novelty.Enter One Punch Man and My Hero Academia. One Punch Man follows Saitama, a lazy and simple man who happens to be so powerful that he can take out basically anything with one punch. Saitama lives in a world of superheroes where the earth is in constant danger from villains and giant monsters. One day, Genos, a half-man half-cyborg superhero, witnesses Saitama in action and appoints himself his pupil. This leads to Saitama discovering that there is actually a whole league of superheroes with specific rankings and hierarchy, and because he is not a part of this organization, all his accomplishments have been completely ignored. This leads to costumed superheroes becoming the norm and gradually becoming part of society. The story follows Izuru Midoriya, a boy with a strong sense of justice who is one of the few unfortunate people without a Quirk. One day, he witnesses All Might, the most powerful superhero in the world, deflate into a skeletal man who constantly coughs up blood, and discovers that because of a wound he received in a fight with a powerful supervillain, his powers are slowly fading. After All Might sees Izuru jumping in to save his childhood friend from a supervillain, he decides to reveal the truth: his Quirk is actually one that is passed down from generation to generation, and he has decided that Izuru is a worthy successor. With that, All Might begins training Izuru for the task of entering Yuuei Academy, the most prestigious school for young superheroes, where they train, grow stronger and come into conflict with a shadowy alliance of villains with mysterious plans…Both these stories choose to forgo the Bronze to Modern Age of Comics and reach back to the Silver Age instead, with ridiculous powers and odd internal logic. However, rather than simply copying the formula, they put their own spins on the tropes of the era. One Punch Man provides a cynically comedic look at the superheroes of the time, while My Hero Academia chooses the approach of looking back fondly on the period with perfect hindsight.
This country is perpetually under attack by monsters to a ridiculous degree, ranging from sea monsters to an army of molemen to an alien invasion. The setting in One Punch Man is as vaguely defined as possible in order to give more time to the real focus – the superheroes and their interactions. Where all these monsters come from and why there are so many people with superpowers is never explained. However, this also has the side effect of commentating on the lack of development in the Silver Age.


Often, monsters would come out of nowhere, or be given a handwave-y explanation as to why they were there.
This led to a consistent lack of internal logic, as all that mattered was presenting the superheroes and their powers to the reader. Aspects of this world’s history and how it operates, including the police force and education system, are explained in much greater detail.
However, elements such as the majority of the human race having superpowers with no explanation come right out of the Silver Age, but unlike One Punch Man, they are played completely straight.
While there is comedy in My Hero Academia, it comes in the form of character interaction, and the ridiculousness of the premise itself is never presented for laughs. An effort is made to provide internal logic to this world, which is more than can be said for One Punch Man or even the original Silver Age comics My Hero Academia takes inspiration from.
Instead of simply taking apart the tropes of the Silver Age, it adds onto them in order to create something completely new.
It takes a ridiculous setting and premise from the Silver Age, and tries to develop it beyond what the originals were ever capable of.HeroesMy Hero Academia follows the adventures of Class 1-A of Yuuei Academy, the most prestigious high school in the world for young superheroes.
Though every member of the class gets at least a personality, a name and a power, the primary main characters are Izuru, his childhood friend-turned-bully Katsuki Bakugou, a cheerful girl he befriends named Ochako Uraraka, the earnest class president Tenya Iida and a mysterious ace named Shouto Todoroki.
While My Hero Academia‘s setting comes right out of the Silver Age, their characters do not. Katsuki and Shouto are both far more dark and violent characters than what would’ve been allowed in the era, while Ochako and Tenya, initially positive and light-hearted characters, get more serious development as the manga goes on. Even All Might, whose design is the most blatant homage to American comics in the entire manga, has his own personal issues, although when taken by itself his character would definitely fit in alongside the pure and untouchable superheroes of the Silver Age.
The only character who fully represents the ideals of the Silver Age is the main character, Izuru. A noble and courageous boy who always works to save everyone he can, his only character flaw is his relative weakness and youth, which the manga centers around improving. In this world, heroes are ranked according to the Hero Association, a governing body that protects threats to the planet. After taking the admissions test, they are given a grade from C to S based on their power, and advance through the ranks by defeating villains and protecting the innocent.
The manga follows Saitama as he enters this competitive and cutthroat world and completely turns it on it’s head, dealing with the various challenges thrown his way in a completely apathetic and casual way. This is another way One Punch Man purposefully goes against the conventions of the Silver Age: the most powerful and heroic character is not a beloved and perfect specimen, but a simple man with incredible power. This ties into a theme prominent in both One Punch Man and My Hero Academia – anyone can be a hero. The only difference is that My Hero Academia is optimistic about both heroism and the concept of superheroes, while One Punch Man, judging by it’s portrayal of the bureaucracy of the Hero Association, is optimistic about heroes but cynical about superheroes.
Both of these manga make an effort to avert that message, and in doing so either intentionally or unintentionally provide commentary on the comics they draw influence from. These manga reject the specific molds of the Silver Age in favour of telling their readers that you can be just a normal person who works hard, and in the end you will be rewarded. Their sole function is to establish themselves as ridiculously powerful, only to get crushed by Saitama in one blow for comedy’s sake. Both these villains are presented as having at least some kind of motivation, with Boros even being similar to Saitama in many ways. During the course of their fight, it’s revealed that the reason Boros attacked Earth was due to a prophecy that there would be someone able to put up a fight against him there. Boros, who is so strong that nobody in the galaxy can fight him, goes there to relieve his unease. Garou, meanwhile, wants to become so powerful a villain that all the heroes of the world, currently at odds with each other, band together to stop him.


In any other work, these would be one-dimensional monsters, and even here most of them are. If they do have motivations or reasons to sympathize with them, they have yet to be revealed. In the effort to reconstruct the Silver Age of superheroes, My Hero Academia subscribes firmly to black and white morality. My Hero Academia, at least for the time being, firmly ascribes to black and white morality, while One Punch Man is a little more flexible with it. It’s very much a typical formula for a fighting manga, but when adding the Silver Age influences to the mix, it becomes something completely new.
Basically, One Punch Man is the aesthetic of the Silver Age with the principles of post-modern comics. It questions the structures it resides in, but resides in them all the same.The only question is: which is more productive? Animals in general are pretty cool, really Edited by LaRose, LilyaRider, Joseph Manduke IV, Emily Deibler, Jiraiyan, Munjeera.
It usually involved some sort of a risk merely because it had never been done before This would be something that was so remarkable, it not only changed the way things had been done before but also the way people looked and regarded them from that point forward. Just because both of them have a same theme with the hero stuff it doesn’t mean both are for the same target group. Devil Fruit Users and people with quirks just seem to kinda fit together like two puzzle pieces. I would invent time travel just to go to the future and read the entirety of both stories and never use it again.
No its not a groundbreaking new concept with a bold direction but I love it for what it is.Is it the return of the silver age? Shonen is a pretty good middle ground to read when you’re burnt out on both super serious and lighthearted stuff. They have animals with abilities like the School President but not monsters like in OnePunch-Man.
Finally, OPM is more of a Seinen parody manga where Boku no Hero is a straight up Shounen manga. Once Midoriya masters his ability and becomes more powerful than All Might then Midoriya and Saitama are going to basically have the same sort of power and possibly be on the same power level. What this means is that eventually, maybe it won’t be Midoriya but the person after him or after them etc, a user of One-For-All is going to be on par with Saitama.
Also, most fights in One Punch Man bore me, I want the characters to struggle in their fights and grow from it and not an overpowered character from the start. Big minus.Boko no Hero Academia is the serious one when it comes to the life of a hero, with his struggles, dreams.
With that I always read OPM as some kind of super Captain Planet who’s job is to keep the status quo. He kills a duo who have caused mass biological changes to the human forms by creating giants. Final, he beat a group hellbent on forcing evolutionary advancement.With all that in mind it seems like while he is the intergalactic defender of the planet he is also in charge of making sure the planet continues down a natural progression and that all things are in their right place. He is literally THE force of nature based on the planet’s landmass being named after the same region of Japan he takes his name from.



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