A Tribute to the of





Pre-Silver-Age Chronology 1934-1955:

May 1934:


Eastern Color Printing Company releases the first monthly newsstand comic book: Famous Funnies #1.

1935:


DC Comics begins its publishing history with New Fun Comics #1.

New Comics #1 debuts.

1937:


Detective Comics begins.

New Comics becomes New Adventure Comics with issue #12.

1938:


New Adventure Comics becomes just plain ol' Adventure Comics as of issue #32. The final issue of Adventure Comics, #503, is dated September, 1983.

1939:


The Bat-Man encounters Dr. Death, the first of many super-villains to come, in Detective Comics #29.

1940:


The cover of the July 1940 issue of Standard Magazines' Thrilling Wonder Stories, edited by future DC editor Mort Weisinger, inspired the covers of Superboy #30 (01/54) and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #53 (06/61).

1942:


Superman co-creator Jerry Siegel appears in the Joker story "Comedy of Tears!", published in Batman #13.

The quest for a special copy of Flash Comics #26 (+ splash page) drives the plot of The Flash #268 (12/78).

1944:


All Funny Comics and the teen humor title Buzzy (+back cover) begin.

Batman & Robin experience their first taste of time travel in Batman #24.

1945:


Here's Dick Sprang's rough cover sketch for Detective Comics #99.

All-Star Comics #26 (+ back cover) dated Fall 1945, starring the Justice Society of America in the interesting and well-written story "The Vampires of the Void!" (On the cover, the title is shown as "The Mystery of the Metal Menace!")

This is one of the key All-Star Comics issues, as it features one of the most famous bloopers in comic book history. The blooper was the result of the corporate split that occurred at DC Comics in early 1945 in which the comics edited by Sheldon Mayer (including All-Star Comics) were spun off as a separate entity and began appearing with an A-A (All-American) logo on the covers rather than the familiar DC-Superman logo. All Star Comics #26 is one of only three issues (the others being #24 and 25) of this title to be published without the DC-Superman logo. At the time of the split, the story planned for All-Star #26 had already been written and drawn, and included two non-All-American heroes, Starman and Spectre.

The story was quickly modified so that all references to Starman and Spectre were changed to Green Lantern and The Flash respectively, and the figures of Starman and Spectre were modified by artist Martin Nodell to become Green Lantern and Flash. In the haste of making this change, Nodell failed to blot out Starman's Gravity Rod in two panels, which resulted in the famous blooper of Green Lantern flying with Starman's Gravity Rod.

Story is by JSA co-creator Gardner Fox, who many fans consider to be the best JSA writer of all time. In addition to Nodell, other artists on this issue include Stan Aschmeier, Joe Kubert and Joe Gallagher. Cover is by Gallagher and Nodell.

1946:


"The Penguin's Nest!" published in Batman #36 dated August-September, 1946 reaches a new audience as episodes #61 ("The Penguin's Nest"--air date: 12/07/66) and #62 ("The Bird's Last Jest"--air date: 12/08/66) of the Batman TV series.

1947:


The first mention and appearance, in a flashback, of Superboy in the Superman title ocurs in #46. Superman #48's "Autograph Please!" features the Man of Steel's first self-powered time trip.

The cover of Batman #41 entices potential readers to spend a dime on Batman & Robin's first Science Fiction themed adventure.

1948:


Superman #53 comemorates Superman's 10th anniversary by revealing new facts of his origin.


1949:


A house ad for Superboy #1 appears in Detective Comics #144.

The Joker story published in Batman #53 (06/49) is adapted and presented as a Riddler caper in episodes #23 ("The Ring of Wax"--air date: 03/30/66) and #24 ("Give ‘em The Axe"--air date: 03/31/66) of the Batman TV series.

After encountering a mysterious gem that saps his strength, Superman traces its origin by breaking the time barrier and traveling back to his home planet Krypton in Superman #61.


1951:


In the autobiography of long-time DC editor Julius Schwartz "Man Of Two Worlds", (a title first used in Strange Adventures #181, dated 10/65) Strange Adventures #8 (05/51) is dubbed: "The issue that launched a thousand gorillas."

Captain Comet debuts in Strange Adventures #9 (06/51). "The man born 100,000 years before his time" continues to issue #49, 10/54. After a 22 year hiatus the Captain appears in the Bronze Age title The Secret Society of Super Villains beginning with issue #2 (08/76).

Superman's origin is retold in Action Comics #158 (+ splash page.)

Lex Luthor's first cover appearance in the Superman title is #68 (+ splash page.)

1952:


Detective Comics #180's (02/52) cover story, "The Joker's Millions!" is the basis for the 1998 Batman: The Animated Series episode of the same name.

"The Joker's Utility Belt!", published in Batman #73 (10-11/52) is adapted and presented as The Joker's debut in episodes #5 ("The Joker Is Wild"--air date: 01/26/66) and #6 ("Batman Is Riled"--air date: 01/27/66) of the Batman TV series.

In Strange Adventures #22 (+ splash page) Captain Comet answers an urgent summons from the Guardians of the Universe. This, however is not the same august body that serves as the benefactor of the Green Lantern Corps.

1954:


Action Comics #188, slightly modified in appearance, plays a brief but important role in Warner Bros. 1999 animated masterpiece "The Iron Giant."

Take a look at Murphy Anderson's original cover art for Mystery In Space #21.

Congo Bill's adventures continue in issue #1 of his own title.

1955:


The year begins with the release of the 200th issue of Action Comics.

The Comics Code Authority seal (Your guarantee of good, clean wholesome fun!) appears on all DC Comics early 1955 issues. The provisions of The Code may be read HERE.

Krypto appears for the first time in Adventure Comics #210 (+ splash page). The titles Frontier Fighters & My Greatest Adventure begin.

The number 7 isn't lucky for Congo Bill, it's the final issue of his magazine.

Batman unites "The Batmen of all Nations" in Detective Comics #215. Some comic book pundits contend that the DC Silver-Age actually began with the publication of a back-up story in Detective Comics #225 (+ splash page) November 1955 (and continued in #226). This story introduced J'onn J'onzz, The Martian Manhunter and some make the case that he, not The Flash, is the first super-hero of the Silver-Age. I leave it up to you decide. I present it as merely an historical curiosity. J'onn J'onzz wasn't the first "Manhunter from Mars" to arrive on Earth, that honor belongs to Roh Kar in Batman #78 (08-09/53). Batman #92 introduces "Ace" the Bat-Hound. Batman gains super powers in World's Finest #77.

Superman #100 (+ splash page) is published this year. The 1st issue (+ 1st page & back cover) was released in Summer 1939. This ad appeared in an early issue of Action Comics. The title's run ends in 1986 with issue #423. Here's Superman #59, a 1955 issue published in Australia. Three Superman mini comics were included as giveaways in boxes of Kellogg's Sugar Smacks cereal. One of them, "Duel in Space" + back, was reprinted (in black and white) in issue #7 of DC's Bronze-Age fanzine The Amazing World of DC Comics.

The Romance title Falling in Love begins.

#1 and #2 (+ splash page) are released this year, begining a run that lasts 200 issues (July 1983).

Rudolph and the gang make their usual year-end appearance in this festive mag.

   

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