Open main menu

Timeline of DC Comics (1940s)

First appearance of Fawcett's Captain Marvel. A character who would rival DC's flagship character Superman in the 1940s until being acquired by DC in the decades to come.

The 1940s were an essential time for DC Comics. Both National Comics Publications and All-American Publications would introduce many new featured superheroes in American comic books in superhero comics anthology tales like More Fun Comics, Adventure Comics, Detective Comics, Action Comics, All-American Comics, Superman, Flash Comics, Batman, All Star Comics, World's Finest Comics, All-Flash, Star Spangled Comics, Green Lantern, Leading Comics, Sensation Comics, Wonder Woman, Comic Cavalcade and Superboy that would be a staple for the comic book company. Examples of the superheroes include the Flash, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, Johnny Thunder and Thunderbolt, Spectre, Hourman, Robin, Doctor Fate, Green Lantern, Atom, Manhunter, Doctor Mid-Nite, Sargon the Sorcerer, Starman, the Shining Knight, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy, Vigilante, Green Arrow and Speedy, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Sandy, the Golden Boy, Mister Terrific, Wildcat, Gaurdian, Superboy and Black Canary. These characters would later crossover in superhero team titles in the 1940s such as the Justice Society of America and the Seven Soldiers of Victory helping pave a way to a shared universe of the publication company. Other less used featured characters included Congo Bill, Johnny Quick, Tarantula, Robotman, the Newsboy Legion, TNT and Dan the Dyna-Mite, the Boy Commandos, Liberty Belle, Johnny Thunder, Nighthawk and Pow Wow Smith.

Quality Comics would produce comics titles such as Feature Comics, Smash Comics, Crack Comics, Hit Comics, National Comics, Military Comics and Police Comics and introduce heroes like Black Condor, Uncle Sam, Ray, Blackhawk, Miss America, Firebrand, Plastic Man, Phantom Lady and the Human Bomb. Also the character Spirit would be introduced in comic strips until being later acquired by Quality.

Fawcett Comics had popular mainstay titles like Whiz Comics, Master Comics, Wow Comics and Captain Marvel Adventures that featured renown superheroes like Captain Marvel, Ibis the Invincible, Spy Smasher, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Mr. Scarlet and Pinky the Whiz Kid, Captain Marvel Jr. and Mary Marvel. The superhero team Marvel Family would also be formed.

More supporting characters of Superman stories were introduced like Perry White alongside supervillain rogues Lex Luthor, Toyman and Mister Mxyzptlk. The first name of Superwoman and the object Kryptonite was also introduced. Batman stories included supporting characters like Alfred Pennyworth and Vicki Vale alongside supervillain rogues like Hugo Strange, Joker, Catwoman, Clayface, Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face, Mad Hatter and Riddler. Other fictional elements include the locations of Gotham City and Batcave along with the iconic Bat-Signal and also the Batboat. Flash comics would introduce supervillain enemies like Shade and Star Sapphire. Hawkman comics included the supervillain rogue, Gentleman Ghost. The fictional metal named Nth metal was also introduced. Captain Marvel comics introduced supporting characters like Shazam, Uncle Marvel and Tawky Tawny and supervillain rogues Doctor Sivana and Mister Mind and the Monster Society of Evil. The Green Lantern comics included popular supervillains like Vandal Savage, Solomon Grundy and Icicle. The Justice Society of America comics introduced supervilains like Psycho-Pirate and also introduced DC's original supervillain team, the Injustice Society. Green Arrow comics debuted the company Queen Industries. The Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) comics (or Wonder Girl) includes supporting characters such as Steve Trevor, Hippolyta, Etta Candy, and Zeus alongside supervillain rogues like Doctor Poison, Paula von Gunther, Ares, Doctor Psycho, Cheetah, Giganta, Queen Clea and Circe. Also debuted was the supervillain team, Villainy Inc.. Other Races and factions / species include the Amazons, Olympian Gods and the Kangas. Fictional devices like the Wonder Woman's bracelets, the Invisible plane, the Lasso of Truth were debuted and the major location called Themysciria was also introduced. The Marvel Family comic introduced the supervillain Black Adam and the Rock of Eternity. Also in the Superboy comics is introduced the city of Smallville. Other major locations introduced by DC include the Suicide Slum.

Media adaptions of DC and Fawcett ranged from radio drama like The Adventures of Superman to serial films in live-action like the Adventures of Captain Marvel, Batman, Superman and Batman and Robin and also in animation the Superman shorts starting with Superman and also the comic strip, Batman.

Superhero comics declined in popularity after the end of World War II around the late 1940s. DC shifted their focus on other genres such as Western comics and Teen humor comics outside of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman related titles.

1940Edit

1941Edit

1942Edit

1943Edit

  • January - The character Captain Triumph is debuted by Alfred Andriola.
  • February - The first Brainwave was debuted by Gardner Fox and Joe Gallagher. The first Sabbac is debuted by Otto Binder and Al Carreno. The fourteenth of the Superman theatrical animated short series would be released.
  • March - The fifteenth of the Superman theatrical animated short series would be released.
  • April - The character Alfred Beagle was debuted by Bob Cameron and Bob Kane. The characters Tweedledum and Tweedledee were debuted by Bob Kane, Don Cameron and Jerry Robinson.
  • May - The first usage of the name Superwoman was debuted by Jerry Siegel and George Roussos. The sixteenth of the Superman theatrical animated short series would be released.
  • June / July - The object Kryptonite first appeared publicly in radio. The character Doctor Psycho was debuted by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter. Batman film serial was released. The seventeenth of the Superman theatrical animated short series would be released.
  • September- The first Toyman is debuted by Don Cameron and Ed Dobrotka.
  • Autumn / October - The first Cheetah was debuted by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter. The character Uncle Marvel is debuted by Otto Binder and Mark Swayze. The first Thinker is debuted by Gardner Fox and E.E. Hibbard.
  • November - The first Cavalier was debuted by Don Cameron and Bob Kane.
  • Winter - The character Vandal Savage was debuted by Alfred Bester and Martin Nodell.

1944Edit

  • February / Spring - The character Mister Mxyzptlk that was debuted by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster would see print in comic strips before his actual first printed appearance. The character Queen Clea was debuted by William Moulton Morston.
  • May / June - DC's representation of the mythological god Zeus was debuted by George Pérez.
  • Summer - The character Giganta was debuted by William Moulton Morston. The character Gambler was debuted by Henry Kuttner and Martin Nodell.
  • October - The character Solomon Grundy was debuted by Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman.
  • December - The first Psycho-Pirate was debuted by Gardner Fox and Joe Gallagher.

1945Edit

  • January / February - Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster and Don Cameron's Superboy first appears.
  • December - The character Black Adam the location Rock of Eternity was debuted by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.
  • Winter - The first Turtle was debuted by Gardner Fox and Martin Nyadell.

1946Edit

1947Edit

  • January / February - The character Tommy Tomorrow was debuted by Jack Schiff, George Kashdan, Bernie Breslauer, Virgil Finlay and Howard Sherman.
  • April - The character Wizard was debuted by Gardner Fox and Irwin Hasen.
  • May / June / July - The first Sportsmaster was debuted by John Broome and Irwin Hasen. The name Wonder Girl was debuted. The Vigilante film serial was debuted. The character Tomahawk was debuted by Joe Samachson and Edmund Good. The character Per Degaton was debuted by John Brown and Irwin Hasen.
  • August - The first Black Canary was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino. The first Huntress was debuted by Mort Meskin and Roy Thomas.
  • September - The first Harlequin was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Irwin Hasen.
  • October - The character Gentleman Ghost was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Joe Kubert. The first Icicle was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Irwin Hasen. The team Injustice Society was debuted by Sheldon Mayer and Bob Kanigher.
  • November - The first Rose / Thorn was debuted by John Broome and Carmine Infantino. The character Mister Atom is debuted by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck.
  • December - The character Tawky Tawny was debuted by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck. The first Star Sapphire was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Lee Elias. (Or January 1938) The first Fiddler was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Lee Elias. (Or January 1938)

1948Edit

  • January / February / March / April - Western Comics series was debuted. Superman film serial was released. The character Larry Lance was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino. Leave It to Binky series was debuted. The team Villainy Inc. was debuted by William Moulton Morston and Harry G. Peter.
  • August - The character Johnny Thunder was debuted by Alex Toth and Robert Kanigher.
  • September / October - The character Nighthawk was debuted by Joe Millard and Charles Paris. The characters Vicki Vale and Mad Hatter were debuted by Bob Kane, Bill Finger and Lew Sayre Schwartz. The character Riddler was debuted by Bill Finger and Dick Sprang. Congo Bill serial was released.
  • December - The first Evil Star was debuted by John Broome and Irwin Hasen.

1949Edit

  • February - The first Reverse-Flash was debuted by John Broome and Joe Kubert.
  • March / April - The series Superboy was debuted.
  • May / June - The fictional town of Smallville was debuted. Batman and Robin serial was debuted.
  • August / September / October - The series Heart Throbs was debuted by Quality Comics. The series Girls' Love Stories was debuted. The character Pow Wow Smith was debuted by Don Cameron and Carmine Infantino. The character Circe was debuted by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Flash Comics at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. DC shattered the sound barrier with the debut of the Flash, a blindingly fast mystery man written by Gardner Fox and drawn by Harry Lampert.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 30: "Flash Comics scored a third hit with Johnny Thunder, star of a humorous feature about a boy raised in the distant land of Badhnisia and blessed with the ability to raise an all-powerful, genie-like Thunderbolt."