Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Chapter 1 The Golden Age (1938-1956) Featuring Earth-Two

Click here for a Chronological list of earths and crises

In 1938 there were no continuity problems or alternate universes. There were just stories. Eventually characters would begin to work together in teams, crossing over between one comic book to another. Most of this Golden-Age DC Universe activity took place on a world that we would later call Earth-Two. Why not just call it Earth-One? You will find that out in Chapter 2 when we take a look at the Silver Age.

1938 to 1950 Golden Age

1938 Kal-L/Clark Kent (Superman) first appeared. Most people consider Action Comics #1 the foundation of DC Comics. Superman was not necessarily the embodiment of morality and virtue at that point. His motives were sound, but sometimes his methods were a bit rough.  -Action Comics vol. 1 #1

Lois Lane first appearance –Action Comics vol. 1 #1

1939 Clark Kent gets a job. -Superman vol. 1 #1

1939 Bruce Wayne (the Bat-Man) appeared. From the start his goal was catching crooks and thieves. His primary tool was fear and intimidation. -Detective Comics vol. 1 #27

Introduced in 1930’s: Doctor Occult, Clark Kent (Superman), Zatara, Lee Travis (Crimson Avenger), Bruce Wayne (Batman), Wesley Dodds (The Sandman)

1940 Dick Grayson (Robin - the Boy Wonder) -Detective Comics vol. 1 #38

1940 A story called “The Cat” features the first appearance of Batman’s jewel-thief/love-interest Selena Kyle (Catwoman). -Batman vol. 1 #1
Batman is smitten with her and in spite of Robin's protests, he deliberately lets her escape.

1940 “The Cat” changes her name to “The Cat-Woman”. -Batman vol. 1 #2

1940 “The Cat-Woman” dons a cat-head costume. -Batman vol. 1 #3

1940 Superboy was originally Kal El/Clark Kent (Superman) as a boy. Issues #197-221 of Superboy were titled “Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes” -Superboy vol. 1 #1-221

1940 First appearance of the the Justice Society of America and as a result of the JSA, we now have one big “DC Universe” filled with heroes and villains. –All-Star Comics vol. 1 #3 The JSA was featured in All-Star Comics until issue 74 (1978)

All Star Comics was the first time multiple super-heroes were shown living all in the same world. They were even all on the same team. Actually this was several years before the DC/National Comics/All-American Comics all merged into one company. It is interesting that although Superman and Batman were involved in the formation of the JSA, they were hardly ever shown in action with the group. This was due to the desire of DC to feature some of the lesser-known characters. 

Carter Hall became Hawkman in 1940. He met Shiera at that time. However, Shiera did not take the role of Hawkgirl until 1941. She is the reincarnation of Egyptian Princess Chay-ara. several years later she became a member of the JSA. Shiera was always "Hawkgirl" and never called herself "Hawkwoman". –All-Star Comics vol. 1 #5

1941 Princess Diana of Paradise Island/Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) looks like a pin-up girl, but she is actually a super hero!-Sensation Comics vol. 1 #1

1941 Terry Sloane (Mr. Terrific I). His chest emblem says, "Fair Play". –Sensation Comics vol. 1 #1

1941 Former Heavyweight Champ Ted Grant (Wildcat) likes to use his fists -Sensation Comics vol. 1 #1
(Later, Ted’s goddaughter Yolanda Montez becomes Wildcat II.) - Crisis on Infinite Earths1941

Princess Diana of Paradise Island/Diana Prince (Wonder Woman) –All-Star Comics vol. 1 #8

1942 Catwoman as seen in Batman vol. 1 #10.

1943 Lois Lane has several appearances as "Superwoman" Action Comics vol. 1 #60

1946 to 1956 - The Interregnum - many Heroic comics are sidelined

After WWII readers were looking for tales of adventure, mystery, and cowboys, not Super Heroes. Over the next few years nearly all the Super Hero titles were cancelled or replaced - except for Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman and their supporting cast. Some fans mark the beginning of this period of super-hero decline in 1946 and others say it begun in 1952.

More Fun Comics switched from Superboy, Aquaman and Green Arrow to become a humor comic in 1946. –More Fun Comics vol. 1 #112 shown.

1947 Golden Age Diana Drake (Black Canary I) She will eventually marry Detective Lance and change her name to Diana Lance. -Flash Comics vol. 1 #86

1947 Molly Mayne (Harlequin) first appearance -All American Comics vol. 1 #89

1947 Paula Brooks is “Huntress I”. She is later retconned to “Tigress”. -Sensation Comics vol. 1 #68

1947 Selena Kyle (Catwoman) gets a new costume. -Batman vol. 1 #35

1947 Lois Lane dreams she is Superwoman –Superman vol. 1 #45

1947 Selena Kyle (Catwoman) uses her Cat-O-Nine-Tails. -Batman vol. 1 #39

1949 Lucy of Borgonia/Lucy Regent is “Supergirl” until she goes home. –Superboy vol. 1 #5

Introduced in 1940’s: Jay Garrick (Flash), Carter Hall (Hawkman), Johnny Thunder, Jim Corrigan (Spectre), Rex Tyler (Hourman), Selina Kyle (Catwoman), Richard Grayson (Robin), Kent Nelson & Nabu (Doctor Fate), Alan Scott (Green Lantern), Al Pratt (Atom), Ma Hunkel (Red Tornado), Ted Knight (Starman), Charles McNider (Doctor Mid-Nite), Sargon the Sorcerer, Tex Thompson (Americommando), Johnny Chambers (Johnny Quick), Aquaman, Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Speedy, Sandy the Golden Boy, Diana Prince (Wonder Woman), Wildcat, Terry Sloane (Mister Terrific, Air Wave, Robert Crane (Robotman), Clark Kent (Superboy), Dinah Drake Lance (Black Canary)

1950 The Secret Life of Catwoman. -Batman vol. 1 #62

1951 Lois Lane becomes “SuperWoman” (temporarily) on several Golden-Age occasions.

1951 Wonder Woman vs the Secret Wonder Woman -Wonder Woman vol. 1 #48

1952 Selena Kyle (Catwoman) reforms her ways -Batman vol. 1 #69

1952 First mention of a parallel Earth.

All-Star Comics featuring the Justice Society of America was cancelled in March 1952 –All-Star Comics vol. 1 #57 and it was replaced with All-Star Western – All-Star Western vol. 1 #58

1953 Lana Lang (Sky-Girl) has super powers –Adventure Comics vol. 1 #189

1954 The Golden Age begins to wind down with the advent of the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which changed the tone of comics to happy, safe, and silly.

1954 Selena Kyle (Catwoman) goes AWOL, possibly due to CCA censorship.

1955 Miss Doom! –House of Mystery vol. 1 #34

Click here for Chapter 2

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