SAT Writing and Language - OG 2018 - test 6 - Gold into Silver: The “Reverse Alchemy”

Questions 34-44 are based on the following

Gold into Silver: The “Reverse Alchemy” of Superhero Comics History

Q34 Popular film franchises are often “rebooted” in an effort to make their characters and stories fresh and relevant for new audiences. Superhero comic books are periodically reworked to try to increase their appeal to contemporary readers. This practice is almost as Q35 elderly as the medium itself and has in large part established the “ages” that compose comic book history. The shift from the Golden to the Silver Age is probably the most successful Q36 example: of publishers responding to changing times and tastes.

The start of the first (“Golden”) age of comic books is often dated to 1938 with the debut of Superman in Action Comics #1. Besides beginning the age, Superman in many respects defined it, becoming the model on which many later superheroes were based. His characterization, as established in Superman #1 (1939), was relatively simple. He could “hurdle skyscrapers” and “leap an eighth of a mile”; “run faster than a streamline train”; withstand anything less than a “bursting shell”; and Q37 lift a car over his head. Sent to Earth from the “doomed planet” Krypton, he was raised by human foster parents, whose love helped infuse him with an unapologetic desire to “benefit mankind.” Admirable but aloof, the Golden Age Superman was arguably more paragon than character, a problem only partially solved by giving him a human alter ego. Other Golden Age superheroes were similarly archetypal: Batman was a crime-fighting millionaire, Wonder Woman a warrior princess from a mythical island.

By contrast, the second (“Silver”) age of comics was marked by characters that, though somewhat simplistic by today’s standards, Q38 were provided with origin stories often involving scientific experiments gone wrong. In addition to super villains, the new, soon-to-be-iconic characters of the Q39 age: Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, and the Hulk among them—had to cope with mundane, real-life problems, including paying the rent, dealing with family squabbles, and facing anger, loneliness, and ostracism. Their interior lives were richer and their motivations more complex. Although sales remained strong for Golden Age stalwarts Superman and, to a lesser extent, Batman, Q40 subsequent decades would show the enduring appeal of these characters.

More transformations would take place in the medium as the Silver Age gave way to the Bronze and Modern (and possibly Postmodern) Ages. Such efforts Q41 have yielded diminishing returns, as even the complete relaunch of DC Q42 Comics’ superhero’s, line in 2011 has failed to arrest the steep two-decade decline of comic book sales. For both commercial and, arguably, creative reasons, Q43 then, no transition was more successful than Q44 those from the Golden to Silver Age.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
Question 34 Which choice most effectively combines the underlined sentences?