Capture

By Jacobus Dixon

Why do they call it the Golden Age of comics? There were only three real big shot characters that anyone cared about. You got Superman, Captain Marvel, and Batman — what more was there? Well…actually there were quite a number of them. True, they may not have been as successful as Superman, but they were definitely hits. And like Superman and Batman, they belonged to Harry Donenfeld. Ol’ Donny had his hands in exactly three comic book publishers; Detective Comics Inc., National Allied Publications, and All-American Publications. He’d eventually combine the three into National Periodical Publications by the mid-40s, but for now they were separate companies run by separate guys (but all bankrolled by Donenfeld). While Superman headlined National Allied Publications, and Batman did the same for Detective Comics Inc., All-American would pitch its own superhero heavy hitters, and give Donenfeld a tight fist on the superhero genre.

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By Jacobus Dixon

With the arrival of Whiz Comics #2 (later renumbered to #1) and Captain Marvel, National Comics had some true competition against Superman, their star seller. What tipped the balance was a demographic that neither National Comics nor Fawcett Publications really paid much heed to, children. Ever since their onset, comic book magazines were really meant to be an all-ages form of entertainment. And all ages did indeed read them. From Little Lulu to Tarzan to Gasoline Alley, readers from a variety of demographics would indulge in the books to get some disposable entertainment while on the go or whenever they had a little downtime. As long as there was a demand for the comics, the publishers were happy to print them. As long as the profits came in, who cared who was paying for them? Although Captain Marvel was definitely not the first comic to feature a series based around a child or children, it combined the sensibilities of those previous comics with that of the superhero genre, and as a result swayed many children away from Superman to Captain Marvel.

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Detective Comics #31

By Jacobus Dixon

It’s late 1939, we’re coming out of the Great Depression, World War II has started everywhere except the U.S., Gone with the Wind is the motion picture everyone’s talking about, the New York World’s Fair has opened, and Superman is dominating comic book magazine sales. A close second of course, was Batman (originally Bat-Man, but I guess National Comics figured the hyphen cut in on the name’s appeal). Unlike Superman, Batman was not super-powered and relied on his athletic abilities, gadgets, spooky appearance, and sheer determination to get him out of a jam.  But he wasn’t the only popular character to have these traits.

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Batman No. 27

By Jacobus Dixon

Now as much of a smash that Action Comics #1 was, it was by no means the first comic book cover. And Superman was not the first recurring famous character. Characters like Doc Savage, The Shadow, Slam Bradley (also a Siegel and Shuster creation), Buck Rogers, and Flash Gordon were quite famous already and had their own fan bases to boot. However, none equaled Superman when it came to sales. The simple-but-appealing back-story, combined with amazing powers to take on current societal ills, wrapped in a dynamic costume really stuck out for readers. What happens when you’re digging and strike gold? Well, you’re gonna mine that vein till it’s dry! Which is exactly what National Comics (remember they weren’t DC just yet) were going to do.

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07 Feb, 2012

DC NEW 52 REVISIT PART 1!

Posted by Raphael in: Blog|Opinion|Reviews | No Comments

We’ve recently gone through the Marvel Universe to give you a good idea of what you should be reading, so it’s time to look at the DCU’s New 52! We took a look at each of the #1’s a few months ago, and now that most of the books have had at least 1 story arc done, let’s look at the relaunch so far:

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