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    The Golden Ages of DC and Marvel

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    The first American publication of a comic was in 1933 and it was called Funnies on Parade. Funnies on Parade was just old clipped cartoon comics that were in newspapers put into a book. That was the start of what we have today in comics. Comics have different ages like The Golden Age, from the late 1930s to early 1950s, and The Silver Age, from the mid-1950s to 1970, they have Rebirths, Crisis, and Convergences.

    There are a lot of comic book publishers, Dark Horse Comics founded by Mike Richardson in 1986 and they are known for Hellboy (published in 1993) and The Mask (published in 1987), Image Comics founded by seven of Marvel Comics’ best-selling artists in 1992 and are known for Spawn (published 1992) and Witch blade (published 1995), Valiant Comics founded by Jim Shooter in 1989 and changed to Valiant Entertainment and launched its publishing division in 2012 and is best known for X-O Manowar (published in 1992 and 2012) and Harbinger (published in 1992 and 2012), but the two comic book publishers that have overshadowed all other publishers are DC Comics and Marvel Comics. How did DC and Marvel get to the status they have and made a gap in between them and all the other publishers.

    DC Comics is a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment, a division of Time Warner that was founded approximately 83 years ago in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson. Before it was called DC Comics, it was called National Allied Publications and under Wheeler-Nicholson the company would release three comics named New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine # 1 in February 1935, New Comics # 1 in December, and Detective Comics in March 1937.

    It was not until Wheeler-Nicholson had to leave the company in 1937 and then DC Comics was taking over by Harry Donenfeld and Jack Liebowitz who, in 1938 they released DC Comics’ fourth title called Actions Comics in June 1938 and took the idea of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the two men who gave us the first superhero, the foundation of all heroes, the Man of Steel, the Last Son of Krypton, Kal-El, Clark Kent, Superman. When DC Comics published Superman, they changed the comic book industry, at the time there was no real superhero comics. DC Comics introduced the superhero genre and has been the mainstay of comic books industry ever since.

    DC didn’t just stop there, they went on and published Batman in 1939 Detective Comics # 27 in and made by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, with Wonder Woman following in 1941 All-Star Comics # 8 made by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter, who went uncredited for his part of her creation. The success of DC Comics’ comics led them to production other forms of media outlet. The radio program, television shows, blockbuster movies animated movies, and triple-A video games help DC Comics to spread their visions to a wider audience.

    The radio program was of Superman called The Adventures of Superman that aired from February 12, 1940, all the way to March 1, 1951, in total 2088 episodes. The tv shows DC has is plentiful, from the cartoons they have, Batman the Animated series, Batman Beyond, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Superman the Animated series, Static Shock, and Young Justice to name a few. Their live action tv show includes, Arrow, Constantine, The Flash, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow, Lucifer, and Smallville are some of DC’s live-action shows. Both have great reviews and people love the shows.

    DC Comics blockbuster movies have been Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises), Man of Steel, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman are a few movies they made based on their comics. The triple-A video games they have are the Batman Arkham games (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Knight), Injustice: Gods Among Us, Injustice 2, and DC Universe Online. DC Comics has put out a lot of content for fans to enjoy, just as much as their rival good old Marvel Comics.

    “You’ve heard of Batman no doubt, but if you don’t read comics” – Justin Calvert “The cast sees the return of familiar faces” – Peter Brown “The affection that fans have had for Young Justice, and their rallying cry for more episodes, has always resonated with us,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Digital Series, in a statement. – Eric Goldman Marvel Comics was founded five years after DC Comics in 1939 by Martin Goodman. Goodman wanted to capitalize on the growing popularity of superhero comic books and Timely Comics and made their first comic was called Marvel Comics # 1 in October 1939.

    Timely Comics’ first hero was a member of the Fantastic Four, the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner. During the ‘Golden Age’ of comic books, Timely Comics introduced one of Marvel’s most recognized hero, Steve Rogers, Captain America. His first time appearing in the comic was a self-titled Captain America Comics # 1 that was published on March 1941.

    Timely mostly had their heroes fight against Nazis and the Japanese before the United States entered World War II. Goodman, in 1951, formed a distribution company, while Timely Comics changed into Atlas Comics. During the early 1960s Atlas Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics and was a publicly held company in 1991 due to how many hands Marvel has been in throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

    Finally, in 1996, Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy, selling some of their licenses for their heroes, Spiderman to Sony, Deadpool, Galactus, The Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer, Wolverine, and X-men to 20th Century Fox, and The Hulk to Universal. Marvel Comics’ parent company, Marvel Entertainment, was brought by Walt Disney Company in 2009 for $ 4 billion. Just how DC Comics has their vast cast of heroes, so does Marvel Comics. A few big names are Captain America (published 1941), Fantastic Four (published 1961), Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and the X-Men were published around the early 1960s. They also have Thor (published 1962), Iron Man (published 1963) and Black Panther (published 1966) just to name a few of their heroes.

    Marvel’s success just like DC Comics’ allowed them to branch into other forms of media with television shows, Netflix originals, blockbuster movies, triple-A video games, and cartoon shows. Their tv shows include Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013 – present), Agent Carter (2015 – 2016), and Legion (2017 – present) to state a few. Netflix shows include Daredevil (2015 – present), Jessica Jones (2015 – present), Luke Cage (2016 – present), and The Punisher (2017- present).

    Marvel has had a lot of video games made after their heroes over the years, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance (October 2006), Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 (September 2009), Spiderman: Shattered Dimensions (September 2010) just to list a few, but their biggest game is Marvel vs Capcom series. Marvel vs Capcom is a fighting game that pits Marvel’s heroes against Capcom’s own roster of charters. The oldest game was X-Men vs Street Fighter in 1996 and the newest game is Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite in 2017.

    Marvel has seen profit and success for their shows and video games but, the one media where they see a lot of profit is from their blockbuster movies kick-starting the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the MCU has 17 main movies for the universe with more to come later. Iron Man (2008) starring Robert Downey Jr. started the MCU off and gross about $318,412,101. Next came The Incredible Hulk (2008) and gross $134,806,913. After was Iron Man 2 (2010), gross $312,433,331, Thor (2011) followed grossing $181,030,624. Naming all the 17 movies will take a while but all together, the current MCU movies brought Marvel Comics about $5,251,350,604.

    “Iron Man the film has retained both that maturity and adolescent mischievousness, in the process creating one of the more tonally successful if somewhat insubstantial adaptations in the history of superhero movies.” – Todd Gilchrist “What it is, though, is tremendous fun, and further proof that Marvel Studios knows how to handle its back catalog.’ – Chris Hewitt The reason for the back story of DC Comics and Marvel Comics is so that we can understand where each company came from, to see why both DC and Marvel have had a successful run that they have and why it will keep going on and on.

    The main reasons why DC Comics and Marvel Comics have been successful is due to longevity, DC Comics has been around since 1934 and Marvel Comics has been around since 1939, that is 83 years for DC and 78 years for Marvel. DC and Marvel had time to design and flesh out their main cast of superheroes and make a lot of them also.

    Due to DC Comics and Marvel Comics been around for so long, their superheroes become recognizable, a red and blue cape-wearing hero with an S on his chest, crimson red and gold armor, a hero with a shield that has the America flag on it, a man running around with a bat symbol on him. Kids and Adults alike can recite some of the heroes’ backstory as if it was their own life. You could ask simple questions such as, where did Superman come from? How did Bruce Wayne become Batman? Who is Thor and where did he come from? What did uncle Ben tell Peter? Dc and Marvel made characters that can be relatable to every person no matter age, race, and religion.

    On the contrary, we should not discredit the other studios, a few of them like Dark Horse Comics and Image Comics were able to land movies for their big named hero and show. George Gene Gustines, a senior editor at The New York Times, began writing about the comic book industry in 2002. Gustines argues that Dark Horse Comics is basically forgot about when it comes to Marvel and Dc. “…the world’s largest distributor of English-language comics, Marvel had 36.9 percent of the market last year and DC (owned by Time Warner) had 32.9 percent; Dark Horse came in at 5.6 percent.

    “Dark Horse Comics’ Hellboy has gotten two movies Hellboy (2004), Hellboy: The Golden Army (2008) and two animated movies, Hellboy: Sword of Storms and Hellboy: Blood and Iron. Image Comics’ Spawn got a movie and a highly rated animated show on HBO, but ever since their initial releases Dark Horse and Image haven’t put out movies, shows, and games like DC and Marvel have. Gustines has a point when it comes to the fact of these smaller comic companies are typically forgotten about.

    Yet, they can not be too forgotten about because they make big movies that love and adore just as much as the other comics. DC Comics and Marvel Comics’ success just overshadows the rest of the competition, they have big studios behind them, Time Warner, known for Looney Tunes and Walt Disney, known for Mickey Mouse, with their memorable heroes, their stories and how many people grew up with them makes DC Comics and Marvel Comics stand above their peers.

    Works Cited

    1. Albert, Aaron. “Here is a List of the Top Comic Book Publishers and Companies.” ThoughtCo, 6 Aug. 2017,
    2. Brown, Peter. ‘Injustice 2 Review.’ GameSpot. Gamespot, 16 May 2017. Web. 06 Dec. 2017.
    3. Bowman, Nick. ‘Superheroes That Marvel Does Not Own the Rights to Anymore.’ The Cheat Sheet. N.p., 07 Nov. 2017. Web. 06 Dec. 2017.
    4. Calvert, Justin. ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum Review.’ GameSpot. Game spot, 24 Aug. 2009. Web. 06 Dec. 2017.
    5. Dark Horse Comics. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2017.
    6. DeForest, Tim. ‘Marvel Comics.’ Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Dec. 2016.
    7. Web. 06 Dec. 2017 DeForest, Tim. “DC Comics.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., 26 Jan. 2016,
    8. Gustines, George Gene. “A Quirky Superhero of the Comics Trade.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Nov. 2006,
    9. Gilchrist, Todd. ‘Iron Man Review.’ IGN. IGN, 29 Apr. 2008. Web. 06 Dec. 2017.
    10. Goldman, Eric. “Young Justice Returning for Season 3.” IGN, IGN, 7 Nov. 2016,
    11. Hewitt, Chris. “Thor.” Empire, Bauer Media Group., 27 July 2016, ‘Image Comics.’ Image Comics. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2017.
    12. “Marvel Cinematic Universe.” Box Office Mojo, ‘Movies.’ N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2017.
    13. NerdSyncProductions. “What Are the Different AGES of COMICS? || Comic Misconceptions || NerdSync.”
    14. YouTube, YouTube, 11 June 2014,
    15. “Valiant Entertainment.” Valiant Entertainment, VariantComics. “The History Of Superman!”
    16. YouTube, YouTube, 26 June 2013,

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