A Tribute to the of





DC Comics Silver-Age Chronology


1961:


begins the year with a four issue try-out in Showcase, #s 30 (+ back cover & house ad), 31, 32 and 33. The King of the Seven Seas also has back-up features in Detective Comics & World's Finest Comics at this time. He first appeared in More Fun Comics #73, 11/1941, this issue also contains the debut of The Green Arrow & Speedy.

Showcase 34 (+ splash page & house ad) and 35 (+ splash page) present another Golden Age great retooled for the Silver Age: The Atom.

DC publishes the first issue of Secret Origins (+ back cover & house ad) as an 80 page 25˘ giant. Batman Annual #1 is also released this year; here's the house ad as it appeared in Batman #142. The strange lives of Superman are explored in the Summer '61 Annual (+ house ad). Bat-Girl meets Bat-Mite in Batman #144 (+ Sheldon Moldoff's & Charles Paris' original black & white splash page line art for the issue's first story, "Alien Feud on Earth!").

Clayface enters the Silver-Age (to plague Batman & Robin) in Detective Comics #298, his Golden Age debut occurs in Detective Comics #40 (06/40). This classic issue also features a full page ad for Batman #1. To return the favor Batman #1's back page is taken up by an ad for Detective Comics #40.

Superboy gains a best friend with the arrival of Pete Ross in Superboy #86, Lightining Lad makes a brief appearance also. In the Spring of 1961 filming begins on a pilot for a live action Superboy television series; the pilot is based on a story published in issue #88. Mon-El makes his first appearance in the DC Universe in Superboy #89 (+ splash page), Lex Luthor's dog gains super powers and is trained to destroy Superboy and Krypto in Superboy #92. Chameleon Boy comes to the rescue in #93.

Merlin comes to the aid of the JLA in issue #2 (+ splash page), one of the JLA's deadliest foes, Kanjar Ro appears for the first time in Justice League of America #3 (+ splash page), Green Arrow joins the JLA in #4 (+ splash page & house ad), [In the Golden Age, Green Arrow was a charter member of The Seven Soldiers of Victory; their adventures appeared in Leading Comics from 1941 (+ 1st page) to 1945.] Dr. Destiny repeals the law of gravity in JLA #5 (+ splash page), Prof. Amos Fortune brings bad luck to JLA #6 (+ splash page), a cosmic Funhouse is encountered in JLA #7 (+ splash page original art & finished page). The tale's remaining 24 pages of original art may be seen HERE.

Here's another page of original art: Challengers of the Unknown #7's page 12 by Jack Kirby. & Wally Wood.

The grey tone cover of G.I. Combat #85 is the work of Joe Kubert. The Haunted Tank rumbles into G.I. Combat #87 (+ splash page). Russ Heath drew these great covers for All-American Men of War #85 (+ a recreation rendered in the late 1990s) & G.I. Combat #88. G.I. Combat #90 and Our Fighting Forces #64 are Jerry Grandenetti grey tones.

The Flash begins 1961 with #118 (+ splash page) and a visit to a movie set where he saves the life of the actor playing him; in #119 the Mirror Master discoves a way to control his hated foe! [Click HERE to browse a gallery of original art from this story.] Flash & Kid Flash team-up for the first time in #120; Wally (Kid Flash) West learns Flash's true identity in this story. The Trickster returns in #121; The Top spins into the ranks of Flash's Rogues Gallery in Flash #122. This is followed by one of the major events of the Silver-Age: The Flash #123 (+ splash page) is published. "The Flash of Two Worlds!" reintroduces the Golden-Age Flash, to a new generation of fans and is awarded the first "Alley Award" by official fandom as being the single most important comic book of the year. The GA Flash first appeared in 1940 and was featured in two other books: All-Flash starting in 1941, ending in 1948 with #32 and Comic Cavalcade (co-starring fellow JSA'ers Green Lantern & Wonder Woman) begining with the Winter 1942-43 issue and ending with #29 dated 10-11/48. The original Flash also appeared in a 1944 132 page, 25˘ one-shot: The Big All-American Comic Book + back cover. The Flash & Elongated Man and Captain Boomerang set aside their differences and band together to turn back an alien threat in #124; Flash appears in the Elongated Man back-up story. The Flash hops aboard the Cosmic Treadmill for the first time in Flash #125. Here’s an interesting bit of comic book trivia: In the first issue of Marvel Comics’ Fantastic Four (on sale 08/08/61) the team’s base of operations was Central City (as stated on pages 1 and 7) a name familiar to Flash fans as the Scarlet Speedster’s hometown. By issue #4 the FF had “moved” to New York City.

Rip Hunter--Time Master #1 debuts.

All-Star Western ends with issue #119, The title began in 1951. Western Comics ends too with issue #85. It started in 1948.

Superboy goes to Atlantis in Adventure Comics #280 (+ splash page) Legion of Super-Heroes member Star Boy is introduced in Adventure Comics #282 (+splash page). Superboy learns first hand why it's called "The Phantom Zone" in Adventure Comics #283. The first of many "Tales of the Bizarro World" is told in issue #285. Dev-Em, another survivor of the destruction of Krypton, one with a grudge against Kal-El's father, arrives on Earth and traps Superboy in the Phantom Zone in Adventure Comics #287 (+ splash page) and #288. Superman creates Blue Kryptonite to thwart an invading army of Bizarros in Superman #140. Bizarro meets "Frankenstein" in Superman #143. Superboy's first public appearance is recalled in Superman #144. Superman's life story is told in Superman #146. The cover of Superman #147 is a reprise of the cover of Adventure Comics #247 with some "minor" differences, see if you can spot them. The unthinkable occurs (again) in Superman #149. Superman's loss is Lois Lane's gain in Action Comics #274; Lois first gained Superman's powers in Action Comics #60 (+ splash page), 1943. Supergirl joins The Legion of Super-Heroes in Action Comics #276, Sun Boy joins in Adventure Comics #290. Daily Planet editor Perry White gains super powers in Action Comics #278. The story of how Supergirl came to Earth is told in Action Comics #280, readers are treated to a tale of Superman's early childhood on Krypton in #281 (+ splash page). Action Comics #283 is an all Red Kryptonite issue.

Sea Devils get their own title, Russ Heath grey tone covers provide a spectacular glimpse of the action within issues #1 & #2 (+ house ad).

Green Lantern receives an urgent call from fellow GL Corps member Tomar-Re in Green Lantern #6 (+ splash page); #7 (+ splash page & page 3 origial art) introduces the rogue Green Lantern, Sinestro! Earh's Emerald Warrior faces a challenge from 5700 A.D. in issue #8 (+ splash page), a spectacular grey tone cover by Gil Kane. The process used to create these unique covers is explained HERE.

Cave Carson continues in The Brave and the Bold 32 & 33. Hawkman stars in The Brave and the Bold 34, 35 and 36 (+ pages 8 & 11 original art). The cover scans for these issues can be seen in the 1964 section of the chronology. Task Force X: Suicide Squad appears in Brave & the Bold #37.

The Faceless Creature shows its lack thereof for the first time in Strange Adventures #124. Murphy Anderson did this great cover for Strange Adventures #133.

Wonder Tot appears for the first time in Wonder Woman #122. The entire "Wonder Family" appears together in Wonder Woman #124.

Lois Lane becomes Elastic Lass in issue #23; this book also introduces the sister of Lex Luthor in "The Curse of Lena Thorul!". JLA membesAquaman, Batman and Green Arrow guest in Lois Lane #29, due to a printing error Lana Lang appears as a blonde on the cover; in #111 Lois' encounter with the JLA is not as friendly.

The National Comics Romance line is touted in this ad.

Rudolph and the gang are back for their yearly mirth-fest, barely contained within the pages of this mag.


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