DC History Club..September 2020 - Secret Origin: The Story of DC Comics, Expanded Weekly Polls, Discussion, Quiz

Golden.Age Fact

It is ofen portrayed
That Siegel and Shuster
Were just some unknown kids
When they proposed
Superman
To what become DC Comics

But look at the actual timeline

1933 Comic Strip (unpublished) Superman by Siegel Shuster (both born 1914 so 19 years old and adults able to sign contracts even then)

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. Siegel Shuster sells rights for 130 dollars, get 10 year contract with 800 dollars a week each.

As shown above, Siegel and Shuster had worked for the Company that became DC Comics for two years before Action Comics 1. They were not unknown teenagers to DC but known, experienced talent.

By the way
Doctor Occult
Is still around
Lately in Books of Magic

He may be the
First comic book superhero.

Later Siegel created
Spectre
And Star Spangled Kid and
Stripesy
From which Stargirl sprang

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Golden Age Fact: Inflation means Siegel and Shuster’s $800 a week each is the equivalent of $14,276.33. Again, the myth of the duped teenagers selling Superman on the cheap doesn’t completely hold up.

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Remember
Watch A Long
Tonight

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One of my Golden Age fascination’s is the quick turn Superman in particular takes from being not just anti-war but actively fighting against interventionists and munition manufacturers. He initially takes the common attitude at the time that World War I was fought to enrich munitions industries. He’s also suspicious of foreign wars and possible American involvement, again in the vein that munition makers are behind these wars for their own benefit. Then, even before Pearl Harbor Superman starts fighting saboteurs and spies. What are these evil men attempting to sabotage, war munition factories. This at time when the US is beginning to build its military, but large segments of the population are strongly against becoming involved in Europe or Asia. As has been noted in a number of books and documentaries, a significant number of comic book creators at the time were Jewish men living in New York who were hearing the stories of Nazi persecution of Jews and recognized the eventual need to fight before many of their fellow Americans.

In 1939, Superman convinces countries that they are at were just to enrich war profiteers.
super ends war

In 1941, well before US entry into WWII, Superman fights people who say that the war is just about enriching war profiteers.
superman war 2

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Silver Age Essential Readings and Polls are active

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I don’t know how my eyes passed by JSA and Lex Luthor, but I would have voted their way, had I not erroneously passed them by​:four_leaf_clover:

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The polls state that
We should consider the
Entire history of a
Character or creator
When voting

Thus characters and creators only appear on
One poll

This post is
Jerry Siegel
The writer of Superman
During the
Silver Age of Comics

Unfortunately
These stories are
not in our library
Which has huge gaps

Such as with the
Superman Titles
From issues 43 to 233

43 1946
76 1952 Batman Superman
123 1958 test for Supergirl
233 1970 1st Julie Schwartz issue

It is similar for Action.Comics

To find his stories
You must buy from
Comixology

Superman: A Celebration of
75 Years
Legion of Superheroes Vol 1

Also the
Secret Origin documentary
Does not dicuss
How Siegel and Shuster
Sued DC
To get Back Superman
And were fired in 1947.

That whole story is in

The whole documentary
Is great
The Silver Age part
Starts about 24 minutes in

Basically
Siegel’s wife shamed DC to
Rehire him as a staff writer

There he created two
Of the great Superman stories

Return to Krypton
Death of Superman

He also wrote most of the early
Legion of Super Heroes
Stories, starting with the second story

And created

Bouncing Boy
Brainiac 5
Cosmic King
Triplicate Girl
Invisible Kid
Matter-Eater Lad
Lightning Lord
Phantom Girl
Chameleon Boy
Saturn Queen

Links are

https://www.cbr.com/silver-age-september-the-first-death-of-superman/

https://www.cbr.com/silver-age-september-supermans-sad-return-to-krypton/

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This is definitely a case of ‘you’ve won, be gracious in victory.’ DC did itself no favors by shutting Seigel and Schuster out after the lawsuit. First, they were so closely tied to the public’s image of Superman’s creation it was inevitable that a backlash would eventually result. Second, it just would have been the right thing to do. Finally, Siegel in particular was really good at his job. With the LoS he created the future in DC Comics.

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in Secret Origins
We saw the screen tests
For Superman
In the 1978 movie

The 1966 Batman TV series
Did the same

The final two
Were
Adam West
And

Lyle Waggoner!

Lyle certainly
Has the jaw to be Batman
And the superior muscular build

Who would you have chosen?

The screen tests
For Lois Lane
Are in

A great documentary
Around 53 and a half minutes
We start to see the various actresses who tried out.

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Secret Origins
Told how
Justice League
Caused the creation of
Marvel’s
Fantastic Four

Here is Stan Lee’s
Version of the story

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Checking out the voting results so far and found a couple of interesting things in the Golden Age
– Superman 1, Batman 1 and Detective 38 all running strong to join the essential reading list
–Flash, JSA and Green Lantern lead to join the trinity
–Lex Luthor, Injustice Society lead the villains with Black Adam in third. That’s the first somewhat of a surprise. I don’t think Black Adam would have ranked that high 25 years ago but his profile certainly has been raised by the Justice Society and 52.
–Here’s the first real voting surprise. Bill Finger, who for years did not get proper credit for helping create Batman gets 89% of the vote while Jerry Siegel who’s character launched the superhero age is tied in second with 73%
–In something of a mirror of the writers in the artists category Jack Kirby leads with Schuster in second and the credited creator of Batman Bob Kane getting just more than 50%

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Silver Age Facts: Silver Age was the height of editor power at DC Comics. From Julius Schwartz’s Man of Two Worlds: My Life in Science Fiction and Comics.
Justice League of America debuted in October 1960 with Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter and Aquaman “with Batman and Superman scheduled to join the lineup at a later day…but then I ran into a slight problem of office politics. Jack Schiff, who was then Batman editor and Mort Weisinger who was then the Superman editor, felt that their two heroes might run the danger of becoming overexposed and together they asked me not to include them in the ongoing Justice League of America series.” Despite occasional cameo or guest appearance they would not appear on the cover.
"The circulation began to slip a little, I went into the publisher…
‘Gee, I’d like to use Superman and Batman on the cover.’
‘You go in and tell those sonuvabitches that Superman and Batman belong to DC Comics and not Mort Weisinger and Jack Schiff!’ Jack Liebowitz bellowed.

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Silver Age Facts: Artists start to take control.
Julius Schwartz recounts Carmine Infantino’s early days rising from a kid given the occasional science fiction story, to the go-to artists who helped launch the Silver Age with his take on the Flash. One day Infantino asked Schwartz if he could attend an editorial meeting without explaining why. At the meeting “Carmine explained that he had taken an entire month’s worth of DC covers and did them over his way.” Infantino’s version were significantly better and he became the equivalent of the cover editor. By 1966, Marvel attempted to hire Infantino away, resulting in a promotion at DC to editorial director. In this position, Infantino began promoting artists like Dick Giordano, Joe Orlando, Joe Kubert and Mike Sekowsky to editors. He also brought new talent like Neal Adams and Denny O’Neil setting the stage for the Bronze Age.

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From my Super Hero Genre History

1966 Comic Book Carmine Infantino becomes DC Editorial Director

1967 Comic Book Wayne Boring was fired as Superman artist by Mort Weisenger, perhaps pushed by Infantino to remove older artists and writers and get newer people.

1967 Comic Book DC Comics becomes part of Warner Brothers.

1968 Comic Book Writers Otto Binder, Bill Finger, John Broome, Arnold Drake, and Gardner Fox and artists Kurt Schaffenberger.asked DC management for more financial benefits, including reprint payments, higher page rates and health insurance. This was a poor time to ask. None were employees, but ‘work for hire’. DC could at any time just not give them assignment. Sales at DC were declining, as sales at Marvel were increasing. Much younger writers, who were former fans, were requesting work, and available at a much lower page rate. It was not so much as people were let go, but if any DC editors was willing to use them (and after the rebellion, that was probably discouraged), that wouldn’t have lasted long.
One result:
Justice League of America 65
Gardner Fox
Justice League of America 66
Denny O Neil
Fox wrote novels. Deadman and Doom Patrol co creator Drake went to Marvel for a brief period, Binder went back to writing science fiction, Broome relocated to Paris.
Some say these writers leaving DC was the true end of the Silver Age.

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As Paul Harvey would say: And now you know the rest of the story

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What Denny said about it

Stroud: You walked into some pretty big shoes when you did take over Justice League as you were mentioning earlier, from Gardner Fox. Did that intimidate you at all?

DO: No. Thank God I didn’t know I was doing anything special. I was so dense that years later I realized there was a kind of pecking order in the comic book business, that the guy who was doing Spider-Man was higher in that order than the guy who was doing Iron Fist. We didn’t really know why DC had hired us. I put this in print 15 years ago and I asked Paul Levitz about it. Basically in our infinite childish ego Steve [Skeates] and the other Steve [Ditko] and I and a couple of other guys thought that those people at DC are seeing the wonderful work we’re doing at Charlton and they can’t wait to get us into their stable. Well, it was really that they were having a conflict with the old line guys and I’m reasonably certain they wouldn’t have known us if they’d run over us and maybe not even recognized our names. I needed the money. The money was triple what we were getting at Charlton and I was working occasionally for Stan [Lee], but irregularly and I had an infant son and an unworking wife. So I didn’t know I was a scab and I don’t know what I would have done if I had known, but it was years and years and years later before we found out.

From

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Pulled the Postal statement numbers of the top 50 or so comics sold from the Comichron website. These are publisher supplied numbers of total sales for periodicals that are sent through the mail (number includes mail, newsstand, etc). I selected 1960, 1963 here and 1967 and 1969 in the following post. I few interesting things these tell us I talk about below.
Title Publisher Average Copies Sold Per Month

1 Uncle Scrooge Dell 1,040,543
2 Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories Dell 1,004,901
3 Superman DC 810,000
4 Superboy DC 635,000
5 Mickey Mouse Dell 568,803
6 Batman DC 502,000
7 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen DC 498,000
8 World’s Finest Comics DC 476,000
9 Looney Tunes Dell 459,344
10 Action Comics DC 458,000
11 Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane DC 458,000
12 Adventure Comics DC 438,000
13 Lone Ranger Dell 408,711
14 Casper Harvey 399,985
15 Turok, Son of Stone Dell 359,013
16 Blackhawk DC 316,000
17 Detective Comics DC 314,000
18 Flash DC 298,000
19 Pep Comics Archie 269,504
20 Mystery in Space DC 248,000
21 Challengers of the Unknown DC 228,000
22 Blondie Harvey 218,344
23 Brave & Bold DC 214,000
24 Showcase DC 213,000
25 Wonder Woman DC 213,000
26 Little Archie Archie 210,089
27 Sugar & Spike DC 209,000
28 My Greatest Adventure DC 208,000
29 House of Mystery DC 208,000
30 Strange Adventures DC 207,000
31 House of Secrets DC 194,000
32 Fox & The Crow DC 193,000
33 Adventures into the Unknown ACG 192,500
34 Unknown Worlds ACG 192,000
35 Tales of the Unexpected DC 192,000
36 Dagwood Harvey 188,819
37 Forbidden Worlds ACG 187,200
38 Tomahawk DC 180,000
39 All-American Men of War DC 176,000
40 Our Fighting Forces DC 175,000
41 Our Army at War DC 172,000
42 Star-Spangled Comics DC 169,000
43 Tales to Astonish Marvel 163,156
44 All Star Western DC 154,000
45 Tales of Suspense Marvel 148,929
46 Kid Colt Outlaw Marvel 144,746
47 Felix the Cat Dell 138,191
48 Space Adventures Charlton 110,166

1 Superman DC 823,829
2 Superboy DC 672,681
3 Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane DC 556,091
4 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen DC 554,931
5 Action Comics DC 525,254
6 Adventure Comics DC 520,440
7 Archie Archie 467,552
8 World’s Finest Comics DC 465,842
9 Batman DC 453,745
10 Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories Gold Key 410,209
11 Justice League of America DC 389,285
12 Treasure Chest Catholic Guild 386,171
13 Flintstones Gold Key 374,322
14 Tarzan Gold Key 356,699
15 Metal Men DC 334,245
16 Uncle Scrooge Gold Key 330,925
17 Betty and Veronica Archie 328,969
18 G.I. Combat DC 320,607
19 Detective Comics DC 304,414
20 Flash DC 298,151
21 Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Gold Key 298,144
22 Life with Archie Archie 293,651
23 Bugs Bunny Gold Key 291,816
24 The Three Stooges Gold Key 288,967
25 Korak Gold Key 278,800
26 Tom and Jerry Gold Key 276,980
27 Archie’s Joke Book Archie 273,679
28 Green Lantern DC 273,527
29 Our Army at War DC 270,100
30 Laugh Comics Archie 269,747
31 Archie’s Pal Jughead Archie 269,512
32 Archie Giant Series Archie 256,516
33 Twilight Zone Gold Key 256,050
34 Atom DC 255,254
35 Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Archie 253,860
36 Woody Woodpecker Gold Key 250,340
37 Turok, Son of Stone Gold Key 250,316
38 Yogi Bear Gold Key 250,175
39 Brave & Bold DC 249,768
40 All-American Men of War DC 247,717
41 Aquaman DC 247,140
42 Little Lulu Gold Key 246,650
43 Top Cat Gold Key 245,387
44 Bonanza Gold Key 244,042
45 Daffy Duck Gold Key 243,825
46 Star-Spangled Comics DC 243,700
47 Beetle Bailey Gold Key 237,700
48 Magnus Gold Key 236,713
49 Showcase DC 235,091
50 Journey into Mystery Marvel 232,644
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1 Batman DC 805,700
2 Superman DC 649,300
3 Superboy DC 547,100
4 World’s Finest Comics DC 537,200
5 Archie Archie 484,648
6 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen DC 450,700
7 Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane DC 448,400
8 Detective Comics DC 425,700
9 Action Comics DC 420,900
10 Adventure Comics DC 412,800
11 Man from U.N.C.L.E. Dell 411,235
12 Justice League of America DC 385,800
13 Tarzan Gold Key 384,450
14 Amazing Spider-Man Marvel 361,663
15 Betty and Veronica Archie 349,632
16 Brave & Bold DC 342,400
17 Fantastic Four Marvel 329,536
18 Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories Gold Key 310,665
19 Dennis the Menace Fawcett 308,736
20 Treasure Chest Catholic Guild 306,803
21 Thor Marvel 298,219
22 Archie’s Pal Jughead Archie 287,422
23 Laugh Comics Archie 285,544
24 Archie’s Joke Book Archie 282,199
25 Flintstones Gold Key 279,885
26 Uncle Scrooge Gold Key 278,901
27 Daredevil Gold Key 275,361
28 Life with Archie Archie 275,099
29 Korak Gold Key 270,050
30 Avengers Marvel 269,139
31 Tales to Astonish Marvel 269,132
32 Flash DC 267,000
33 Bugs Bunny Gold Key 266,815
34 Uncanny X-Men Marvel 266,034
35 Lost in Space Gold Key 264,667
36 Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos Marvel 260,930
37 Tales of Suspense Marvel 257,342
38 Tom and Jerry Gold Key 256,448
39 Walt Disney’s Donald Duck Gold Key 255,470
40 The Three Stooges Gold Key 253,384
41 Archie Giant Series Archie 248,241
42 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Gold Key 243,688
43 Pep Comics Archie 242,821
44 Porky Pig Gold Key 241,735
45 Strange Tales Marvel 241,561
46 Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Archie 240,407
47 Metal Men DC 239,700
48 Mighty Samson Gold Key 238,075
49 Twilight Zone Gold Key 236,720
50 Aquaman DC 234,200
51 Turok, Son of Stone Gold Key 232,565
1 Archie Archie 515,356
2 Superman DC 511,984
3 Superboy DC 465,462
4 Superman’s Girlfriend Lois Lane DC 397,346
5 Betty and Veronica Archie 384,789
6 Action Comics DC 377,535
7 Amazing Spider-Man Marvel 372,352
8 World’s Finest Comics DC 366,618
9 Batman DC 355,782
10 Adventure Comics DC 354,123
11 Archie and Me Archie 345,869
12 Fantastic Four Marvel 340,363
13 Life with Archie Archie 326,488
14 Reggie and Me Archie 276,275
15 Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories Gold Key 272,672
16 Archie Giant Series Archie 271,699
17 Thor Marvel 266,368
18 Incredible Hulk Marvel 262,472
19 Flintstones Gold Key 258,821
20 Archie’s Pals ‘n’ Gals Archie 253,206
21 Daredevil Marvel 245,422
22 Captain America Marvel 243,798
23 Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos Marvel 242,897
24 Brave & Bold DC 242,501
25 Avengers Marvel 239,986
26 Uncanny X-Men Marvel 235,811
27 Justice League of America DC 233,000
28 Treasure Chest Catholic Guild 231,531
29 Reggie’s Wise Guy Jokes Archie 222,732
30 Flash DC 221,470
31 Detective Comics DC 221,267
32 Little Dot Harvey 213,070
33 Little Lotta Harvey 211,039
34 Madhouse Archie 209,897
35 Turok, Son of Stone Gold Key 209,813
36 Rawhide Kid Marvel 204,896
37 Phantom Charlton 199,045
38 Beetle Bailey Charlton 198,020
39 G.I. Combat DC 186,264
40 Unusual Tales Charlton 178,545
41 Adventures of Jerry Lewis DC 174,125
42 House of Mystery DC 173,206
43 Sugar & Spike DC 171,227
44 Wonder Woman DC 171,197
45 Green Lantern DC 160,423
46 Aquaman DC 156,307
47 Tales of the Unexpected DC 155,110
48 Star-Spangled Comics DC 149,170
49 Fightin’ Army Charlton 141,335
50 Strange Adventures DC 141,179
51 Challengers of the Unknown DC 140,238
52 Texas Rangers in Action Charlton 136,378
53 Showcase DC 130,219
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My Thoughts:

  1. Flash, JLA etc may have been more historically important titles in the early '60s, but they still are getting crushed not only by Superman, but Lois and Jimmy too. In fact, look at '62 7 of the top 8 titles are Superman related, with only Betty and Veronica’s boy toy breaking the streak.
  2. Batman/Detective numbers prior to the huge bump they would get from the 1966 Batman show are pretty strong. In '63 Batman is selling 453,000 for #9 among comics. Detective is just over 300,000 and a top 20 title. There’s a belief that Batman or more likely Detective were on the verge of cancellation following their fall after going full camp in imitation of the show. I still don’t believe this to be true. Yes, their numbers are down but Batman is still a top 10 title, and Detective is above 200,000 issues sold in '69.
  3. Though Marvel was not as dominate as some seem to think, they certainly are climbing in '69, breaking the top ten with Spiderman.
  4. Even as the Silver Age draws to a close, non-superhero comics are very important. Nearly half of the top 53 shown here are westerns, combat, or funny books.
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Actually having voted now, I feel like a bit of jerk to limit the number of votes so much. Whether it’s 2 or 3, that last vote is hard.

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