Major Super Hero Genre History
Identified according to Medium
Interesting fact; The Company that would become DC had Siegel and Shuster working for them for two years before Action Comics 1. They were not unknown teenagers to DC but experienced creators.
Also, the woman who modeled for Siegel Shuster as Lois Lane became Siegel’s second wife, not his only wife. She was the one who shamed DC to employ Siegel as a writer for Superman stories again from 1956 to 1967 where he wrote Return to Krypton and Imaginary Story Death of Superman.
Super Hero Genre History
1933 Comic Strip (unpublished) Superman by Siegel Shuster (both born 1914 so 19 years old)
1935 Comic Book New Fun Comics has first all New Material
1936 Comic Book New Fun Siegel Shuster does Federal Men
1938 Comic Book Siegel Shuster
produces Slam Bradley, Radio Squad, Spy, Federal Men and Dr. Occult.
1938 Comic Book Siegel Shuster Superman and alter ego Clark Kent, Lois Lane appear in Action Comics 1
Golden Age begins.
Siegel Shuster sells rights for 130 dollars, get 10 year contract
1939 Comic Strip Siegel Shuster Superman
1939 Comic Book Kane Finger Batman Detective 27
1939 Comic Book Timely now Marvel Android Human Torch by Burgos and Anti hero Namor the Submariner by Everett appear.
1940 Comic Book MLJ now Archie First patriotic super hero The Shield.
1940 Comic Book All Star Comics 3 Justice Society of America, first super hero team.
Superman and Batman excluded because had own title. Original members are Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Atom, Sandman, Hourman, Spectre and Doctor Fate. Last issue 57, replaced by All Star Western, in 1951.
1940 Comic Book Fawcette Whiz Comics Captain Marvel
1940 Comic Book All Star Comics 8 (Justice Society of America comic) Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston and H G Peter. Golden Lasso based on lie detector developed by Marston. Early Wonder Woman had a lot of bondage in Sensation and Wonder Woman Titles, due to psychological beliefs, lifestyle of Marston.
1940 Batman 1 First appearance of Joker and Catwoman
1940 Comic Book Detective 38 Robin, first sidekick. Gave Batman someone to talk to. Kids wanted to be Robin. Batman takes a more gentle tone after Robin appears
1940 Radio Adventures of Superman Added Jimmy Olson (gave Superman someone to talk to, essential in radio), Kryptonite, Batman and Robin
1940 16 page Comic Insert for Newspapers The Spirit Will Eisner.
1941 Comic Book Timely now Marvel Captain America Simon and Kirby
1941 Comic Book MLJ now Archie Pep Comics Archie Andrews
1941 Movie Superman Max Fleischer Cartoons Superman flies, not leaps, in later cartoons.
1941 Movie serial Captain.Marvel
1941-1970 Comic Books Mort Weisenger was editor of Superman and Batman. Supergirl, Batwoman, Red Kryptonite, Bizarro, Bat Mite, Giant Typewriters, Imaginary Stories, all were his ideas.
1942-45 WW II
Siegel drafted. Poor eyesight of Shuster causes him to be rejected.
30% of the reading material shipped to soldiers are comic books
Paper needed to be donated for War effort. These paper drives make older comics very rare.
1945 Comic book More Fun 101 introduced Superboy - Superman when he was young. Superboy was not part of Siegel Shuster contract. Siegel suggested it but DC said no. DC used character while Siegel was in Army…
1946 Soldiers return home.
Comic book sales drop dramatically because no longer shipped to soldiers, former soldiers think of comics as related to war, comic book covers no longer can carry dramatic and patriotic War themes.
1947 Court Case As 10 year contract nears end, Siegel Shuster sue DC for rights to Superman and Superboy lose case and fired by DC.
1947 Comic Book Simon Kirby Young Romance
1948 Movie Serial Superman
1950 Comic Book EC Comics Crime Horror
1950s Most superheroes no longer puplished. Only Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superboy, and backups Aquaman and Green Arrow survived
Replacements were Cowboy titles (Atlas now Marvel had Kid Colt Outlaw, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid, and Wild Western, all by Stan Lee. Harvey had Boys’ Ranch, by Simon and Kirby, DC Comics All-Star Western, which replaced the JSA in All Star Comics) Romance, Archie, Atlas Miller the Model and Patsy Walker (lHellcat decades later) by Stan Lee, and EC Comics Crime, Horror, Science Fiction, War and Humor (Mad)
1952 TV Adventures of Superman
1954 Book Seduction of the Innocent Comic book says comic books cause juvenile delinquency
Batman Robin were portrayed in the book as homosexuals living together Superman was a fascist. Wonder Woman was a Lesbian.
1954 Congressional Hearing on Comics EC Publisher Bill Gaines Testifies. Public Relations disaster
1954 Comic Code Authority
(CCA) created, providing self censorship guidelines for remaining publishers.
1954 Wholesalers refuse EC Comics because no CCA seal on covers
1955 Magazine Mad first appears.
1955 Comic Book Detective Comics backup Martian Manhunter
1956 Comic Book Showcase 4 The Flash. Julius Schwartz editor. Kanigher Infantino Kubert
The Silver Age Starts
1958 Comic Book Adventure Comics Legion of Super Heroes.
1958 Magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, started by publisher James Warren and editor Forrest J Ackerman.
1959 Comic Book Supergirl Action Comics 252.
1959 Comic Book Archie Publishers Adventures of the Fly (originally child orphan with Captain Marvel transformation, then adult, prototype for Spider-Man when Kirby did inital drawings for Stan Lee which he rejected for leaner Steve Ditko version) and Double Life of Private Strong (revival of Archie’s patriotic super hero Shield, which predated Captain America, with Superman like powers, sued out of existence by DC) by Simon and Kirby. Simon Estate now owns both of these characters, but not related character Fly Girl or original 1940s Shield.
1959 Comic Book Showcase 22 Green Lantern by Schwartz Broome Kane
1960 Comic Book Brave and Bold Justice League of America Schwartz Fox Sekowsky
1961 Comic Book Marvel Fantastic Four Lee Kirby. On golf course, DC publisher Jack Liebowitz told Marvel Publisher Martin Goodman of big hit JLA by editor Julius Schwartz. Goodman tells Stan Lee, cousin to Goodman’s wife, to create a title with a group of super heroes. Julie said later on, “I not only saved DC Comics, I saved Marvel Comics too.”
1961 Comic Book Flash 123 Flash of Two Worlds Original Flash Jay Garrick, Earth 2 parallel world introduced. Schwartz Fox Infantino.
1961 Fan Magazine Alter Ego Jerry Bails Roy Thomas
1962 Comic Book Marvel Amazing Fantasy 15 Spider-Man Lee Ditko
1963 Comic Book My Greatest Adventure 80 Doom Patrol Drake Haney
1964 Comic Book Marvel Avengers 4 Captain America thawed from ice Lee Kirby
1964 Magazine Creepy James Warren Publisher revival of horror comics. Like Mad Magazine, not under CCA code.
1965 Comic Book Brave and the Bold 60 Teen Titans Haney
1966 Comic Book Adventure Comics 346, Jim Shooter,
14 years old at the time,
wrote his first Legion of Super Heroes story.
1966 TV Batman. Camp craze begins. 20th Century Fox Television (now Disney, which own Marvel) still holds the rights to this show, not Warner Brothers.
1966 Comic Book Marvel Fantastic Four 52 Black Panther Lee Kirby
1967 Comic Books DC Comics becomes part of Warner Brothers.
1970 Comic Book Detective Comics 395 Batman serious character again O’Neill Adams Bronze Age starts
1970 Comic Book Green Lantern Green Arrow 76 O’Neill Adams
1970 Comic Book Marvel Conan the Barbarian Roy Thomas
1971 Comic Book New Gods Kirby comes to DC
1971 Comic Book Marvel Kree–Skrull War Roy Thomas,Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, and John Buscema.
1972 Fan Magazine Comic Reader by Paul Levitz In 1975, left NYU to work for DC Comics Wrote Legion of Super Heroes and JSA in All Star Comics. Served as Batman editor, vice president, executive vice president, president and publisher of DC Comics. Along with publisher Jenette Kahn and editor Dick Giordano, he was responsible for hiring creaotrs such as Alan Moore, Marv Wolfman, John Byrne, George Perez, Keith Giffen and editor Karen Berger. In 2009 he stepped down as President and Publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly-formed DC Entertainment. Afterward, as the co-creator of the Earth-2 Huntress with artist Joe Staton he wrote a mini series on her which continued into Worlds Finest with Power Girl in the New 52.
1971 Comic Book Marvel Man Thing, Thomas Conway later The Writer of Man Thing Steve Gerber
1972 Comic Book Swamp Thing Wein Wrightson
1972 Comic Book Marvel Tomb of Dracula Wolfman Colan
1973 Magazine James Warren reprints The Spirit by Will Eisner
1973 TV Super Friends
1973 Comic Book DC Comics Shazam The Original Captain Marvel C C Beck
1975 TV Wonder Woman First season set in World War II
1975 Comic Book Marvel Invaders Marvel Captain.America Human Torch Namor in World War II, Thomas
1975 Comic Book Marvel X men Giant 1 Wein Cockrum Storm Wolverine major characters later writer Claremont artist Byrne
1975 Neal Adams Jerry Robinson and others campaign for justice for Siegel Shuster who are destitue while millions are spent on new Superman movie. DC Vice President Paul Levitz, later to become DC Publisher, helped push Warner Brothers to agree on final deal. Eventually Siegel Shuster got 20,000 each a year, extendable to heirs, medical benefits, and credits on comic books, TV and movies.
1975 Comic Book Marvel Defenders non team Hulk Dr Strange Namor sometimes Silver Surfer later Nighthawk, Valykrie, Hellcat (Patsy Walker, created in 1950s as teenager) First issue by Gerber, created by Thomas
1976 Comic Book All Star Comics 58 revival of Justice Society of America Power Girl introduced later Helena Wayne, Huntress, daughter of Earth 2 Batman and Catwoman Conway Wood, later Levitz Stanton
1976 Jenette Kahn, 28 years old, became publisher of DC Comics.
Offers Royalties to creators. The implementation of these incentives proved useful as Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter, was alienating much of his company’s creative staff with his authoritarian manner and major talents there went to DC like Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Marv Wolfman, and George Perez. Resigned in 2002 still President. She revitalized DC Comic including creating Vertigo with editor Karen Burger.
1976 Comic Book Marvel Howard the Duck Gerber Brunner
1977 Comic Book Black Lightning Tony Isabella
1978 Movie Superman Warner Brothers and DC get a lot of good publicity as Siegel and his wife and Shuster attended Premiere of Superman the Movie and saw ‘Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’ credit appear on the screen.
1979 Movie Michael Uslan, buys movie rights to Batman, when Warner Brothers thought TV Batman made character unprofitable for movies. Uslan still owns movie rights to Batman. Also got movie rights to Swamp Thing for free because Warner Brother executive considered character to be useless in terms of profit. How times (don’t) change.
1980 Comic Book New Teen Titans Wolfman Petez.
1982 Movie Swamp Thing Wes Craven Producer Michael Uslan.
1984 Comic Books DC Comics were not selling well while Marvel was doing great. Warner Brothers almost closed down the DC Comics publishing imprint and wanted to license the characters to Marvel. According to Jim Shooter. Marvel would have continued to publish DC’s seven most popular properties – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Justice League, Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes – and would have had room to expand the line later if they so chose.
Shooter wanted deal but Marvel executives declined, thinking that DC was failing because of the characters, and that it would not be profitable for Marvel.
1984 Comic Book All Star Squadron Set in World War II, original members Hawkman Atom, Dr Midnight (from JSA) Plastic Man, Robotman, Jonny Quick, Liberty Belle. Thomas
1984 Comic Book Swamp Thing Anatomy Lesson Alan Moore
1985 Comic book Crisis on Infinite Earths by Wolfman Perez
Bronze Age ends and Modern Age begins.
1986 Comic Book Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller, later to be first hugely successful Graphic Novel.
1986 Comic Book Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons… Also converted to hugely successful Graphic Novel.
Continuously in print so rights never reverted to creators, as promised.
1986 Comic Book Man of Steel Byrne
1987 Comic Book Wonder Woman Perez
1988 Graphic Novel Killing Joke by Alan Moore. Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, paralized for 23 years, later becomes Oracke.
1989 Comic Book Sandman Neil Gaiman
1989 Comic Book Doom Patrol Grant Morrison
1989 Movie Batman Director Tim Burton and Producer Michael Uslan, who bought movie rights to Batman in 1979, .
1992 Movie Batman Returns Catwoman Penguin
1992 TV Batman The Animated Series Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Start of DCAU.
1992 Comic Book Death of Superman. Sells millions of copies. Event created because TV show Lois and Clark in development and planned Lois Lane Clark Kent marriage had to be postponed to coordinate with new series.
1993 TV Lois and Clark
1993 Comic Book Vertigo Imprint
Karen Burger Editor until pushed out in 2013. Now works for Dark Horse. Successful titles under Vertigo included Fables, Hellblazer, The Invisibles, 100 Bullets, Preacher, V for Vendetta, The Unwritten and Y: The Last Man, plus already existing titles Sandman, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol and Animal Man.
1994 Jack Kirby dies. Co Creator of Marvel Comics Captain America, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Thor, Sgt Fury and Howling Commandos, Original X men. For Archie Comics The Fly, and Lancelot Strong. Created Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion, redesigned Sandman, Green Arrow, Challenger of the Unknown, later New Gods, Mister Miracle, Forever People, Darksaid, Etrigan the Demon, Kamandi for DC.
1996 Comic Book Kingdom Come Waid Ross
2000 Movie X men
2001 TV Smallville
2001 TV Justice League Animated
2002 Movie Spider-Man
2002 TV Birds of Prey
2003 TV Teen Titans Animated
2004 TV Justice League Unlimited Animated
2004 Comic Julius Schwartz died, editor in late 40s of Golden Age Green Lantern and Justice Society of America and Silver Age Flash. Green Lantern, Justice League of America, Atom. Hawkman and later in the 70s Batman and Superman.
2004 - 20013 Siegel heirs sue DC, after an inital agreement in 1997. Part of suit was that Superboy was not part of the original 10 year work for hire contract but an independent matter. That is why Superboy was not used by DC in this time period. A judge ruled in 2013 that the 1997 agreement had been done freely and with forethought. That agreement gave the Siegel heirs a $2 million advance, a $1 million non-recoupable signing bonus forgiveness of a previous
$250,000 advance, a guarantee of $500,000 per year for 10 years, a 6 percent royalty of gross revenues, and various other royalties
2005 Movie Batman Begins Nolan
2005 Movie Constantine
2006 TV Legion of Super Heroes
2008 Movie The Dark Knight Joker (Oscar Nomonation) Nolan
2008 Movie Iron Man
2008 Movie Magazine Famous Monster of Filmland creator, Forrest J. Ackerman dies.
A typical obit from Paul Dini, who with Bruce Timm, created BTAS and the DCAU:
Before the internet, before Entertainment Weekly and the nightly show biz shows, we fans of the cinema fantastic had no touchstone to that world other than through Forry and FAMOUS MONSTERS. Each month in its pages we would learn of Hollywood’s horror lore, of Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney, Sr., and Jr., and of wonders to come – Star Wars, Superman, Carrie, and hundreds of others. We devoured the articles, we marveled at the photos, we groaned at the puns, we ordered the models and horror masks, and most of all we loved the man who brought it all to us.
Here’s to you, Forry. And thanks, from me and every kid you held in your spooky, but always thrilling Dracula-like trance each month.
Ackerman provided inspiration to many who would later become successful artists, including Joe Dante, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Penn & Teller, Gene Simmons (of the band Kiss), Rick Baker, George Lucas, Danny Elfman, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, television producer Kevin Burns and countless other writers, directors, artists, and craftsmen.
Many of them wrote their own obits for him, echoing Deni.
2009 Movie Watchmen
2009 Movie Disney buys Marvel
2010 TV Young Justice
2011 Comic Book DC NEW 52 Reboot characters much younger.
Many characters and marriages go into oblivion.
Timeline shortened except for Batman and Green Lantern Batman urban legend in his beginning years.
2011 Movie Green Lantern bombs
2012 Movie Avengers a massive hit. Warner Brothers realizes it is behind, pushes quick route to movie Justice League.
2012 TV CW Green Arrow
2013 Movie Man of Steel start of DCEU
2013 TV Teen Titans Go
2014 TV CW Flash
2014 TV Constantine
2014 TV Gotham Batman presequel
2015 TV CW Supergirl
2016 Movie Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice introduces Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Brief glimpses of Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman.
2016 Movie Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Amanda Waller
2016 Internet YouTube DVD DC Super Hero Girls set in Super Hero High School
2016 Comic Book DC Rebirth Legacy Characters like Wally West and older Superman back
2017 TV Batman actor Adam West dies.
2017 Comic Book Len Wein, creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine, dies.
2017 Movie Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins
2017 Movie Batman Lego
2017 Movie Disney buys Fox, who had movie rights to X men and Fantastic Four.
2018 Comic Book Steve Ditko died. Co creator of Spider-man, his major villains and Dr Strange. Creator of Captain Atom, Qustion, Creeper, Hawk and Dove, Nightshade and Squirrel Girl
2018 TV CW Black Lightning
2018 Movie Black Panther
2018 Movie Justice League, does not recover costs. Mixture of two directors, may have been released early, after expensive and extended reshoots, so Warner Brothers Executives could get bonuses.
2018 Movie Teen Titans Go
2018 Internet DC Universe Titans
2018 Movie Aquaman
2018 Comic Book Stan Lee dies. Co creator of early Marvel characters: Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Spider Man, Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos, Dr. Strange, Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, Original X men, Daredevil. Revived Namor Captain America
2019.Internet DC Universe Compete Digital Library
2019 Internet DC Universe Young Justice Season 3, Doom Patrol (unexpected hit) and Swamp Thing (cancelled)
2019 Movie Shazam
2019 TV DC Super Heroes Girls Version 2 Teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Batgirl, Zatanna, and Jessica Cruz, students of Metropolis High School with Secret Identities.
2019 Internet Krypton, Pennyworth (both presequels to Superman, Batman - Alfred). Titans season 2. Sandman (Netflicks,) Watchmen (HBO) in Development