Here's my list of the top 5 Silver Age heroes NOT from DC or Marvel. This is highly subjective and pure opinion. I would have been happy to include characters like The Phantom, or Plastic Man, or Captain Marvel... but I feel that their pedigrees are more Golden Age. So...*drumroll*...#5: Doctor Weird
First Appearance: Star Studded Comics#1, September 1963
Publisher: Texas Trio
Story: In the 24th century, Dr. Rex Ward invents a means of time travel. He travels back in time to 1963, where he subsequently dies. The paradox created by dying before he was born leaves Ward trapped between worlds, a living ghost.
Superpowers/abilities: from Wikipedia
"Dr. Weird can pass through walls with ease, making himself immaterial and invisible at will. He has a sixth sense that alerts him to the presence of evil. He can teleport anywhere, and his glare can petrify anyone who sees it. He is abnormally strong and can fly. Dr. Weird seems to be able to send visions of himself to other places, and can make contact with any spiritual beings."#4: Captain Flash
Created by fanzine author Howard Keltner in the 1940's, Dr Weird made his debut in a small-press publication Star Studded Comics #1. In the 1970's Dr. Weird got his own title with some stories written by Jim Starlin and George, R.R. Martin. Dr. Weird eventually found his way to Big Bang! Comics, where he has the distinction of being the only hero in their stable with a legitimate publishing history.
What's so cool about him?:
Well, I always like a good,mystical hero and this one has the added dimension of being a sci-fi hero as well. Sort of like if Doctor Strange could become intangible due to a teleporter accident. Plus I'm a sucker for heroes named "Doctor". Especially when they actually have the credentials.
First Appearance: Captain Flash #1, November 1954
Publisher: Sterling Comics
Story: Exposed to a lethal dose of Cobalt during a laboratory demonstration, Professor Keith Spencer does not die, but instead gains phenomenal super powers. Spencer decides to use his newfound abilities for the betterment of mankind and the defense of the good, ol' U.S.A. as Captain Flash.
Superpowers/Abilities: By clapping his hands together, Captain Flash creates a "miniature nuclear explosion" which, rather than causing him to blow up, instead turns him into a living reactor. He is superhumanly strong and resistant to injury and he can move at superfast speed.
What's so cool about him?: Arguably the first hero of The Silver Age, Captain Flash is THE first "Atomic superman" beating out Solar, Nukla and Captain Atom by a decade. The comic's artwork by (Future JLA artist) Mike Sekowski has a decidedly ahead- of- it's- time look to it, that makes it feel like it was printed a decade too soon.
#3: Blue Beetle
First Appearance: Captain Atom#83, November, 1966
Story: Dan Garrett, the original Blue Beetle passes his mantle to Genius Inventor Ted Kord. Kord can't seem to make Garrett's mystical scarab (the source of his powers) work, so he compensates by inventing a high-tech airship, and numerous crime-fighting gadgets.
What's so cool about him?: The Blue Beetle is a wise-cracking gadgeteer. He's a very human character, but-by far- the least angsty or heavy character associated with Steve Ditko.
Charlton had already bought the rights to the Golden Age Blue Beetle and had tried to make a go of publishing a series featuring him in the early 1960's but it was a no-go. Apparently the missing element was Steve Ditko. Ditko, fresh from Marvel where he had co-created Spider-Man gave BB a make-over that included a new origin, new alter-ego and a whole new schtick. Basically, he kept the name and wove the earlier beetle into the new character's backstory. Very reminiscent of the DC Silver-Age makeovers of Hawkman, or The Atom.
#2: Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom
First Appearance: Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom#1, October, 1962
Publisher: Gold Key
Story: Nuclear physicist, Phil Solar is exposed to lethal amounts of radiation saving a co-worker from radiation exposure. Instead of dying, Solar gains the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level, converting his human form into any kind of energy.
Superpowers/Abilities: Ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level,
fly and blast bolts of energy
What's so cool about him?: A god in human form, Solar is almost infinitely powerful. As time goes on, he becomes less and less able to relate to his fellow humans. This comic was fairly sophisticated and way ahead of its time.
#1: Space Ghost
First Appearance: Space Ghost television program, 1966 season
Aired on: CBS
Story: Space Ghost is so cool, he doesn't HAVE a back-story.
Superpowers/Abilities: Flight, invisibility, freeze ray, heat ray, force field, stun ray... you name it, he's got it.
What's so cool about him?: The BEST of the Hanna-Barbera superheroes, hands down (sorry, Birdman) Space Ghost has a really boss spaceship, TWO kid sidekicks and a monkey! Do any of you have a money? I didn't think so. Seriously, though, the look of this cartoon (designed by Alex Toth)would go on to influence a whole generation of animators and comic-book artists.