DC Comics, Inc. is an American comic book publisher. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. since 1967. DC Comics is one of the largest and oldest American comic book companies, and produces material featuring numerous culturally iconic heroic characters including: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Shazam, Martian Manhunter, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Hawkman, Cyborg, Batgirl and Supergirl.
DC's the two most superheroes featuring Superman and Batman in were created 1938 and 1939 respectively, official brought found studio company its for DC Comics.
The history of the contemporary DC Comics universe goes far back in the past, or rather, into the 1930s, and has undergone a number of development stages in the meantime. Therefore it is difficult for a newcomer to understand the influences of the past. In the following we present you a small round trip and thus relevant events in the history of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman & Co.!
History of DC Comics
New York, U.S. Monday Jun 25, 1934 National Allied Publications Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded National Allied Publications in autumn 1934.
U.S. 1935 The earliest DC Comics character to still be in the DC Universe In 1935, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the future creators of Superman, created Doctor Occult, who is the earliest DC Comics character to still be in the DC Universe.
Jerry Siegel Joe Shuster
U.S. Feb, 1935 The Big Comic Magazine The company debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935.
New York, U.S. Dec, 1935 New Comics The company's second title, New Comics #1 (Dec. 1935), appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with slightly larger dimensions than today's.
U.S. 1937 Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld—who also published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News—Wheeler-Nicholson had to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, and he was forced out. Shortly afterwards, Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied, also known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction.
Jack S. Liebowitz
U.S. Mar, 1937 Detective Comics Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936, eventually premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date.
U.S. Apr, 1938 Action Comics Detective Comics, Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, the premiere of which introduced Superman. Action Comics #1 (April 18, 1938/June 1938), the first comic book to feature the new character archetype—soon known as "superheroes"—proved a sales hit. The company quickly introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman.
U.S. Mar, 1939 The introduction of Batman The themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27 (March 30, 1939/May 1939).
U.S. Apr, 1940 DC's first logo appeared DC's first logo appeared on the April 1940 issues of its titles. The letters "DC" stood for Detective Comics, the name of Batman's flagship title. The small logo, with no background, read simply, "A DC Publication".
U.S. Oct, 1941 The introduction of Wonder Woman The themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Wonder Woman in issue #8 (October 21, 1941/December 1941).
U.S. Nov, 1941 DC titles introduced an updated logo The November 1941 DC titles introduced an updated logo. This version was almost twice the size of the previous one and was the first version with a white background. The name "Superman" was added to "A DC Publication", effectively acknowledging both Superman and Batman. This logo was the first to occupy the top-left corner of the cover, where the logo has usually resided since. The company now referred to itself in its advertising as "Superman-DC".
New York, U.S. Monday Sep 30, 1946 National Comics Publications National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics, Inc., forming National Comics Publications on September 30, 1946.
U.S. Monday Sep 30, 1946 National Periodical Publications National Comics Publications absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines' and Liebowitz' All-American Publications. In the same year Gaines let Liebowitz buy him out, and kept only Picture Stories from the Bible as the foundation of his own new company, EC Comics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics into National Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, [the self-distributorship] Independent News, and their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity, National Periodical Publications".
U.S. Nov, 1949 The logo was modified to incorporate the company's formal name National Comics Publications In November 1949, the logo was modified to incorporate the company's formal name, National Comics Publications. This logo would also serve as the round body of Johnny DC, DC's mascot in the 1960s.
U.S. Mar, 1956 Showcase In the mid-1950s, editorial director Irwin Donenfeld and publisher Liebowitz directed editor Julius Schwartz (whose roots lay in the science-fiction book market) to produce a one-shot Flash story in the try-out title Showcase.
Jack S. Liebowitz
New York, U.S. 1961 National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961.
U.S. 1966 Batman TV show on the ABC network sparked a temporary spike in comic book sales A 1966 Batman TV show on the ABC network sparked a temporary spike in comic book sales, and a brief fad for superheroes in Saturday morning animation (Filmation created most of DC's initial cartoons) and other media.
U.S. 1967 National Periodical Publications was purchased by Kinney National Company In 1967, National Periodical Publications was purchased by Kinney National Company, which purchased Warner Bros.-Seven Arts in 1969. Kinney National spun off its non-entertainment assets in 1972 (as National Kinney Corporation) and changed its name to Warner Communications Inc.
U.S. 1967 Batman artist Infantino (who had designed popular Silver Age characters Batgirl and the Phantom Stranger) rose from art director to become DC's editorial director In 1967, Batman artist Infantino (who had designed popular Silver Age characters Batgirl and the Phantom Stranger) rose from art director to become DC's editorial director.
New York, U.S. 1970 Jack Kirby moved from Marvel Comics to DC In 1970, Jack Kirby moved from Marvel Comics to DC, at the end of the Silver Age of Comics, in which Kirby's contributions to Marvel played a large, integral role. Given carte blanche to write and illustrate his own stories, he created a handful of thematically linked series he called collectively The Fourth World. In the existing series Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and in his own, newly launched series New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People, Kirby introduced such enduring characters and concepts as archvillain Darkseid and the other-dimensional realm Apokolips. An attempt to buy DC was frustrated by their refusal to sell their entire library of characters (Marvel wanted to retain control of The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man and they were sold to Marvel instead).
U.S. Oct, 1970 DC briefly retired the circular logo in favour of a simple "DC" in a rectangle with the name of the title In October 1970, DC briefly retired the circular logo in favour of a simple "DC" in a rectangle with the name of the title, or the star of the book; the logo on many issues of Action Comics, for example, read "DC Superman". An image of the lead character either appeared above or below the rectangle. For books that did not have a single star, such as anthologies like House of Mystery or team series such as Justice League of America, the title and "DC" appeared in a stylized logo, such as a bat for "House of Mystery". This use of characters as logos helped to establish the likenesses as trademarks, and was similar to Marvel's contemporaneous use of characters as part of its cover branding.
U.S. 1972 Giant DC's "100 Page Super-Spectacular" titles and later 100-page and "Giant" issues published from 1972 to 1974 featured a logo exclusive to these editions: the letters "DC" in a simple sans-serif typeface within a circle. A variant had the letters in a square.
U.S. Jul, 1972 DC titles featured a new circular logo The July 1972 DC titles featured a new circular logo. The letters "DC" were rendered in a block-like typeface that would remain through later logo revisions until 2005. The title of the book usually appeared inside the circle, either above or below the letters.
1977–2005 logo, known as the "DC Bullet"
U.S. Dec, 1973 The Line of DC Super-Stars In December 1973, this logo was modified with the addition of the words "The Line of DC Super-Stars" and the star motif that would continue in later logos. This logo was placed in the top center of the cover from August 1975 to October 1976.
U.S. Jan, 1976 Jenette Kahn, a former children's magazine publisher, replaced Infantino as editorial director Jenette Kahn, a former children's magazine publisher, replaced Infantino as editorial director in January 1976.
U.S. Jun, 1978 Raising the price from 35 cents to 50 cents In June 1978, five months before the release of the first Superman movie, Kahn expanded the line further, increasing the number of titles and story pages, and raising the price from 35 cents to 50 cents. Most series received eight-page back-up features while some had full-length twenty-five-page stories.
U.S. Nov, 1980 The New Teen Titans In November 1980 DC launched the ongoing series The New Teen Titans, by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, two popular talents with a history of success.
Marv Wolfman George Pérez
U.S. 1983 One of the longest-running comic-book series That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic-book series. In 2009 DC revived Adventure Comics with its original numbering.
U.S. Mar, 2003 Elfquest In March 2003 DC acquired publishing and merchandising rights to the long-running fantasy series Elfquest, previously self-published by creators Wendy and Richard Pini under their WaRP Graphics publication banner. This series then followed another non-DC title, Tower Comics' series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, in collection into DC Archive Editions.
Wendy and Richard Pini
U.S. 2004 DC temporarily acquired the North American publishing rights to graphic novels from European publishers 2000 AD and Humanoids In 2004 DC temporarily acquired the North American publishing rights to graphic novels from European publishers 2000 AD and Humanoids. It also rebranded its younger-audience titles with the mascot Johnny DC and established the CMX imprint to reprint translated manga.
U.S. 2005 All-Star In 2005, DC launched its "All-Star" line (evoking the title of the 1940s publication), designed to feature some of the company's best-known characters in stories that eschewed the long and convoluted continuity of the DC Universe. The line began with All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder and All-Star Superman, with All-Star Wonder Woman and All-Star Batgirl announced in 2006 but neither being released nor scheduled as of the end of 2009.
U.S. Sunday May 8, 2005 A New logo (dubbed the "DC spin") On May 8, 2005, a new logo (dubbed the "DC spin") was unveiled, debuting on DC titles in June 2005 with DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1 and the rest of the titles the following week. In addition to comics, it was designed for DC properties in other media, which was used for movies since Batman Begins, with Superman Returns showing the logo's normal variant, and the TV series Smallville, the animated series Justice League Unlimited and others, as well as for collectibles and other merchandise. The logo was designed by Josh Beatman of Brainchild Studios
U.S. Wednesday Jun 15, 2005 Batman Begins film was released In 2005, the critically lauded Batman Begins film was released; also, the company published several limited series establishing increasingly escalated conflicts among DC's heroes, with events climaxing in the Infinite Crisis limited series.
U.S. 2006 Megatokyo In 2006, CMX took over from Dark Horse Comics publication of the webcomic Megatokyo in print form.
U.S. 2007 DC licensed characters from the Archie Comics DC licensed characters from the Archie Comics imprint Red Circle Comics by 2007.
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Sep, 2009 Warner Bros. announced that DC Comics would become a subsidiary of DC Entertainment, Inc. In September 2009, Warner Bros. announced that DC Comics would become a subsidiary of DC Entertainment, Inc., with Diane Nelson, President of Warner Premiere, becoming president of the newly formed holding company and DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz moving to the position of Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant there. Warner Bros. have owned DC Comics since 1967.
Paul Levitz Warner Bros. logo
U.S. Thursday Feb 18, 2010 DC Entertainment named Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as Co-Publishers of DC Comics On February 18, 2010, DC Entertainment named Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as Co-Publishers of DC Comics, Geoff Johns as Chief Creative Officer, John Rood as EVP (Executive Vice President) of Sales, Marketing and Business Development, and Patrick Caldon as EVP of Finance and Administration.
John Rood Dan DiDio
U.S. Monday Feb 22, 2010 Anonymous buyer On February 22, 2010, a copy of Action Comics #1 (June 1938) sold at an auction from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lesser condition, the previous year.
U.S. 2011 DC rebooted all of its running titles following the Flashpoint storyline In 2011, DC rebooted all of its running titles following the Flashpoint storyline. The reboot called The New 52 gave new origin stories and costume designs to many of DC's characters.
U.S. Thursday Jan 6, 2011 DC announced that it would end all ongoing series set in the DC Universe in August and relaunch its comic line On June 1, 2011, DC announced that it would end all ongoing series set in the DC Universe in August and relaunch its comic line with 52 issue #1s, starting with Justice League on August 31 (written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee), with the rest to follow later on in September.
U.S. May, 2011 DC announced it would begin releasing digital versions of their comics on the same day as paper versions In May 2011, DC announced it would begin releasing digital versions of their comics on the same day as paper versions.
U.S. Mar, 2012 DC unveiled a new logo consisting of the letter "D" flipping back to reveal the letter "C" and "DC ENTERTAINMENT" In March 2012, DC unveiled a new logo consisting of the letter "D" flipping back to reveal the letter "C" and "DC ENTERTAINMENT". The Dark Knight Rises was the first film to use the new logo, while the TV series Arrow was the first series to feature the new logo.
U.S. Tuesday Jun 4, 2013 DC unveiled two new digital comic innovations to enhance interactivity: DC2 and DC2 Multiverse On June 4, 2013, DC unveiled two new digital comic innovations to enhance interactivity: DC2 and DC2 Multiverse. DC2 layers dynamic artwork onto digital comic panels, adding a new level of dimension to digital storytelling, while DC2 Multiverse allows readers to determine a specific story outcome by selecting individual characters, storylines and plot developments while reading the comic, meaning one digital comic has multiple outcomes. DC2 will first appear in the upcoming digital-first title, Batman '66, based on the 1960s television series and DC2 Multiverse will first appear in Batman: Arkham Origins, a digital-first title based on the video game of the same name.
Burbank, California, U.S. Oct, 2013 DC Entertainment announced that the DC Comics offices would be moved from New York City to Warner Bros. Burbank, California In October 2013, DC Entertainment announced that the DC Comics offices would be moved from New York City to Warner Bros. Burbank, California, headquarters in 2015. The other units, animation, movie, TV and portfolio planning, had preceded DC Comics by moving there in 2010.
U.S. Apr, 2015 Convergence In 2014, DC announced an eight-issue miniseries titled "Convergence" which began in April 2015.
U.S. Apr, 2015 DC Super Hero Girls universe DC Entertainment announced its first franchise, the DC Super Hero Girls universe, in April 2015 with multi-platform content, toys and apparel to start appearing in 2016.
U.S. 2016 DC announced a line-wide relaunch titled DC Rebirth In 2016, DC announced a line-wide relaunch titled DC Rebirth. The new line would launch with an 80-page one-shot titled DC Universe: Rebirth, written by Geoff Johns, with art from Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, and more. After that, many new series would launch with a twice-monthly release schedule and new creative teams for nearly every title. The relaunch was meant to bring back the legacy and heart many felt had been missing from DC characters since the launch of the New 52. Rebirth brought huge success, both financially and critically.
Geoff Johns Gary Frank Ethan Van Sciver
U.S. Tuesday May 17, 2016 The new logo DC Entertainment announced a new identity and logo for another iconic DC Comics universe brand on May 17, 2016. The new logo was first used on May 25, 2016, in conjunction with the release of DC Universe: Rebirth Special #1 by Geoff Johns.
U.S. May, 2018 DC Universe is a video on demand service operated by DC Entertainment DC Universe is a video on demand service operated by DC Entertainment. It was announced in April 2017, with the title and service formally announced in May 2018. DC Universe is expected to offer more than video content through the inclusion of an immersive experience with fan interaction that encompasses comics in addition to television.