What’s up DC fans? Here is a new weekly segment we are starting up called, “History of DC.” With this weekly segment, I will be focusing on a different DC based character, that you, the fans get to decide by commenting on which character’s history you would like me to cover. Each history would be brief but informative giving fans, new and old information of their favorite character(s). So I thought for the first “History of DC” it should be on DC Comics!
DC Comics is the home of some of the most famous comic book heroes, with a list including: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash and Green Arrow. The earliest incarnation of comic books began with comic strips like Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Famous Funnies, which would be the inspiration and beginnings of the comic industry. National Comics as it was first officially known as carried the “DC” logo and was often called that due to one of its most popular comic series, Detective Comics. The company officially changed its name to DC Comics in 1977.
Detective Comics, later known as DC Comics hired writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster to create a new character for Action Comics #1 which sold for only 10 cents in June 1938, this was the first appearance of a new type of character, a superhero called Superman. This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Comics. The Golden Age of Comics (1938 – 1950) was the birth and first appearances of Superman and Batman who at the time were very noir based adventure stories.
The Silver Age of Comics (1956 -1970) introduced a revamped version of The Flash, which helped DC grow into popularity, especially when a new rival company Marvel Comics came into play introducing new superhero characters. During this era, campy, light hearted, humorous stories where the heroes would never fail were the main stories written at the time, much similar to the 1966 Batman television show. The Silver Age introduced sidekicks such as Robin, Speedy and Supergirl as a tactic to sell more issues and for kids to relate more to the characters. Most present day comic writers and artists were most influenced by this era of comics.
The Bronze Age of Comics included some of the most infamous storylines in comics including Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 where Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy is caught using drugs. Darker and more realistic social themes like these were now being introduced into comics around this era. Though it was not until the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, known as the Dark Age of Comics, that comic books were really taken as serious art form with more adult related comics books like Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns.
The modern day era of comics is now known as the Renaissance (late 1990’s – 2011) with books like All-Star Superman, that still keep in the tradition of the past by incorporating humanistic qualities to the characters making them more relatable to the readers of the modern era. Around this time DC had created Vertigo and Wildstorm imprints. Vertigo featured many of the supernatural and weirder characters that were originally based in the Golden Age of DC. The line included titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, The Sandman, V for Vendetta, which were significantly darker, compared to its DC counterpart. Wildstorm Comics, an adult or mature related imprint of DC Comics included two homosexual superheroes Apollo, who was the Superman of this universe and Midnighter who was similar to Batman. The two superheroes would later get married in the comic series, The Authority. This series was a ground breaking for comic’s history and society like introducing gay rights.
The current 2012/2013 era DC Comics took all their characters and rebooted all their series. DC Comics called their universe reboot, The NEW 52. The number 52 was chosen based on a prior story arc called 52 and is the main reason that DC released 52 new series with the reboot of their universe. These reboots modernized the characters even more, giving the characters significant changes in their storylines including their origins and their looks by changing the costumes making it easier for fans, new and old to jump right into a comic series. With these changes writers are using it a platform to give underrated characters within the universe with more respect.
So which DC Comics character’s history would you like to see for next week? Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page with the character’s name and the character most requested will be in the next weeks “History of DC.”