Revised Super Hero Genre History

This is a revision of my super
hero genre history, based on comments and further research

The second post discusses
mythological, fictional, pulp
magazines, silent films and radio shows that influenced the creation of the Trinity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

Please review and correct.

Major Super Hero Genre History
Identified according to Medium

This post starts with the work of Siegal and Shuster, who created Superman. There is another post following, describing all the mythical, literary, pulp magazines and radio shows that lead up to the Trinity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, starting with Gilgamesh.

Interesting fact; The Company that would become DC had Siegel and Shuster working for them for two years before Action Comics 1. They were not unknown teenagers to DC but experienced creators.

Also, the woman who modeled for Siegel Shuster as Lois Lane became Siegel’s second wife, not his only wife. She was the one who shamed DC to employ Siegel as a writer for Superman stories again from 1956 to 1967 where he wrote Return to Krypton and Imaginary Story Death of Superman.

Super Hero Genre History

1933 Comic Strip (unpublished) Superman by Siegel Shuster (both born 1914 so 19 years old)

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.

The Golden Age begins.

1939 Comic Strip Siegel Shuster Superman

1939 Comic Book Bob Kane Bill Finger (co creator writer uncredited) Detective 27, first appearance of Batman.

1939 Comic Book Timely now Marvel Android Human Torch by Burgos and Anti hero Namor the Submariner by Everett appear.

1940 Comic Book MLJ, now Archie First patriotic super hero The Shield.

1940 Comic Book All Star Comics 3 Justice Society of America, first super hero team.
Superman and Batman excluded because had own title. Original members are Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Atom, Sandman, Hourman, Spectre and Doctor Fate. Last issue 57, replaced by All Star Western, in 1951.

1940 Comic Book Fawcette Whiz Comics Captain Marvel.
The child Billy Batson is granted super powers by shouting Shazam (First Letters of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury)

1940 Comic Book All Star Comics 8 (Justice Society of America comic) Wonder Woman by William Moulton Marston and H G Peter.

1940 Batman 1 First appearance of Joker and Catwoman

1940 Comic Book Detective 38 Robin, first sidekick. Gave Batman someone to talk to. Kids wanted to be Robin. Batman takes a more gentle tone after Robin appears

1940 Radio Adventures of Superman Added Jimmy Olsen (gave Superman someone to talk to, essential in radio), Kryptonite, Batman and Robin

1940 16 page Comic Insert for Newspapers The Spirit Will Eisner.

1941 Comic Book Timely now Marvel Captain America Simon and Kirby

1941 Comic Book MLJ, now Archie Pep Comics Archie Andrews

1941 Movie Superman Max Fleischer Cartoons Superman flies, not leaps, in later cartoons.

1941 Movie serial Captain.Marvel

1941-1970 Comic Books Mort Weisenger was editor of Superman and Batman. Supergirl, the Original Batwoman, Red Kryptonite, Bizarro, Bat Mite, Transformations of Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, Imaginary Stories, all were his ideas.

1942-45 WW II

Siegel drafted. Poor eyesight of Shuster causes him to be rejected.

30% of the reading material shipped to soldiers are comic books

Paper needed to be donated for War effort. These paper drives make older comics very rare.

1945 Comic book More Fun 101 introduced Superboy - Superman when he was young. Superboy was not part of Siegel Shuster contract. Siegel suggested it but DC said no. DC used character while Siegel was in Army…

1946 Soldiers return home.
Comic book sales drop dramatically because no longer shipped to soldiers, former soldiers think of comics as related to war, comic book covers no longer can carry dramatic and patriotic War themes.

1947 Court Case As 10 year contract nears end, Siegel Shuster sue DC for rights to Superman and Superboy lose case and fired by DC.

1947 Comic Book Simon Kirby Young Romance

1947 Wonder Woman creator Marston dies. His wife Elizabeth asks for her being given the right to write Wonder Woman, as she worked with her husband on it. DC refuses.

1948 Movie Serial Superman

1950 Comic Book EC Comics Crime Horror

1950s Most superheroes no longer puplished. Only Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Superboy, and backups Aquaman and Green Arrow survived

Replacements were Cowboy titles (Atlas, now Marvel, had Kid Colt Outlaw, Rawhide Kid, Two-Gun Kid, and Wild Western, all by Stan Lee. Harvey had Boys’ Ranch, by Simon and Kirby, DC Comics All-Star Western, which replaced the JSA in All Star Comics in 1951) Romance, Archie, Atlas Miller the Model and Patsy Walker (lHellcat decades later) by Stan Lee, and EC Comics Crime, Horror, Science Fiction, War and Humor (Mad)

1951 to 1972 Magazine
PS Magazine, the Preventive Maintenance Monthly, for US Army, Will Eisner

1954 Court Case National Comics Publications versus Fawcette Publications. Judge ruled Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman in 1952, after 11 years of litigation. Fawcette paid 400,000 in damages and got out of declining super hero market. Whiz Comics ended
with issue #155 in June
1953, Captain Marvel
Adventures was canceled
with #150 in November
1953, and The Marvel
Family ended its run with
#89 in January 1954.

1952 TV Adventures of Superman

1954 Book Seduction of the Innocent Comic book says comic books cause juvenile delinquency

Batman Robin were portrayed in the book as homosexuals living together Superman was a fascist. Wonder Woman was a Lesbian.

1954 Congressional Hearing on Comics EC Publisher Bill Gaines Testifies. Public Relations disaster

1954 Comic Code Authority
(CCA) created, providing self censorship guidelines for remaining publishers.

1954 Wholesalers refuse EC Comics because no CCA seal on covers

1955 Magazine Mad first appears.

1955 Comic Book Detective Comics backup Martian Manhunter

1956 Comic Book Showcase 4 The Flash. Julius Schwartz editor. Kanigher Infantino Kubert

The Silver Age Starts

1958 Comic Book Adventure Comics Legion of Super Heroes.

1958 Magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, started by publisher James Warren and editor Forrest J Ackerman.

1959 Comic Book Supergirl Action Comics 252. Otto Binder

1959 Comic Book Archie Publishers Adventures of the Fly (originally child orphan with Captain Marvel transformation, then adult, prototype for Spider-Man when Kirby did inital drawings for Stan Lee which he rejected for leaner Steve Ditko version) and Double Life of Private Strong (revival of Archie’s patriotic super hero Shield, which predated Captain America, with Superman like powers, sued out of existence by DC) by Simon and Kirby. Simon Estate now owns both of these characters, but not related character Fly Girl or original 1940s Shield.

1959 Comic Book Showcase 22 Green Lantern by Schwartz Broome Kane

1960 Comic Book Brave and Bold Justice League of America Schwartz Fox Sekowsky

1961 Comic Book Marvel Fantastic Four Lee Kirby. On golf course, DC publisher Jack Liebowitz told Marvel Publisher Martin Goodman of big hit JLA by editor Julius Schwartz. Goodman tells Stan Lee, cousin to Goodman’s wife, to create a title with a group of super heroes. Julie said later on, “I not only saved DC Comics, I saved Marvel Comics too.”

1961 Comic Book Flash 123 Flash of Two Worlds Original Flash Jay Garrick, Earth 2 parallel world introduced. Schwartz Fox Infantino.

1961 Comic Book Brave and the Bold 34 Hawkman Kubert Fox

1961 Fan Magazine Alter Ego Jerry Bails Roy Thomas

1962 Comic Book Marvel Amazing Fantasy 15 Spider-Man Lee Ditko

1963 Comic Book My Greatest Adventure 80 Doom Patrol Drake Haney

1964 The parents of 13 year old Mike Uslan and his friend Bobby drive up to Otto Binder’s house, known in comic book pro circles as “The House That Captain Marvel Built” (based on the years of comic book script checks Otto received for writing Captain Marvel stories), He met Mrs. Binder and their blonde, pretty, almost 14 year-old daughter, Mary (named after Otto’s earlier creation, Mary Marvel), and here was the one girl on Earth, who did NOT look at a teenage boy who read and loved comic books as any sort of nerd, geek, or loser. The two boys then spent the next ten hours with Otto Binder in his attic office. Otto brought to life the history of comics. He talked about pulp magazines, radio shows, movie serials with weekly cliffhanger endings, how the comic book companies like DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Harvey Comics and Archie Comics all came to be, and how and by whom the great comic book heroes were created, starting with Superman and Batman and Captain Marvel, how the early comic books were created, written, drawn, edited, inked, lettered, colored, printed, and distributed, what “lawsuits” were, and then detailed the time Superman hired a lawyer to sue Captain Marvel, claiming Cap was a copy of Superman.
As night began to fall, Otto gave the two boys copies of his actual comic book scripts for Superman, Superboy, Jimmy
Olsen, Lois Lane, a Legion of Super-Heroes story, and a Bizarro tale. Then a copy of his most famous science fiction work, “I, Robot,” the amazing story of Adam Link, the first
robot to be accorded human rights. Finally, Otto Binder gave them stacks of Golden Age comic books he had duplicates of, including Captain Marvel Ad-
ventures #9 with the first comic book story he ever wrote about Captain Marvel, “Captain Marvel, Saving the King”: Captain Marvel, Jr. #1; and tons of Whiz Comics and Master Comics.

1965 Convention Broadway Central Hotel. Mike Uslan, Bobby and Mike’s parents, on a humid July day in downtown New York City. The world’s first ever comic book convention, with nearly two hundred fans. At the bar, 13 year old Uslan was introduced to uncredited Batman co creator Bill Finger by Otto Binder. Flo Steinberg, the gal Friday of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, Maggie Thompson and her husband Don, Roy Thomas, Len Wein and Marv Wolfman attended. Dr. Jerry Bails, a professor at Wayne State University in Michigan, co-founder of comic book fandom, presided over the comic book auction. Action.Comics 1 went for $40. Uslan wanted Batman 1 badly. He was aware that in addition to this being the first edition of Batman Comics, it also marked the first appearance of BOTH the Joker and the Catwoman! He had $22.50 and begged for five dollars more from his dad. He then bid 27.50. It sold for $29.
Then came the Costume Parade Contest, judged by Binder. Uslan’s mom had created a costume of the original 1939 DC comic book character the Sandman, who wore a green double-breasted suit, a purple cape, orange gloves, a gold fedora, and a gas mask, while packing a Wirepoon Gun. Uslan assumed he was the first color-blind superhero. He remembered a chubby Marv Wolfman dressed as Herbie, the Fat Fury. Then Phil Seuling and his wife, Carole, entered as Captain Marvel and Mary Marvel costumes, as Phil struck a classic superhero hands-on-hips pose and looked about at all the superheroes assembled in the run-down ballroom, including Batman and Spider-Man, and proclaimed, “It’s a bad night for evildoers!’” Then Dave Kaler, in full makeup and garbed in a swirl of blue satin that could have been designed by Bob Mackie for Cher’s Las Vegas act. He WAS Dr. Strange. He won the contest.

1964 Comic Book Marvel Avengers 4 Captain America thawed from ice Lee Kirby

1964 Magazine Creepy James Warren Publisher revival of horror comics. Like Mad Magazine, not under CCA code.

1965 Comic Book Brave and the Bold 60 Teen Titans Haney

1966 Comic Book Adventure Comics 346, Jim Shooter,
14 years old at the time,
wrote his first Legion of Super Heroes story.

1966 TV Batman. Camp craze begins. 20th Century Fox Television (now Disney, which own Marvel) still holds the rights to this show, not Warner Brothers. When Camp craze dies, Batman comic book sales plummet.

1966 Comic Book Marvel Fantastic Four 52 Black Panther Lee Kirby

1967 Comic Books DC Comics becomes part of Warner Brothers.

1968 Comic Books Writers Otto Binder, Bill Finger, John Broome, Arnold Drake, and Gardner Fox and artist 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 going up. 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 him (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.

1968 Comic Books Wonder Woman surrendered her powers to remain in “Man’s World” rather than join her fellow Amazons to another dimension where they could "restore their magic’ (part of her motivation was to assist Steve Trevor, who was facing criminal charges). This new era of the comic book was influenced by the British television series The Avengers, with Wonder Woman bcoming like Emma Peel. Diana Prince ran a boutique, and fought crime. Denny O’Neil and editor/plotter/artist Mike Sekowsky

1970 Comic Book Green Lantern Green Arrow 76 O’Neill Adams

1970 Comic Book Marvel Conan the Barbarian Roy Thomas

1971 Comic Book Batman 232 “Daughter of the Demon” writer Denny O’ Neil and atist Neal Adams redefined the Batman from the campy figure in the 1966 Batman TV series into a dread avenger of the night. This story is one of the high points of their legendary run.

The Bronze Age starts.

1971 Comic Book New Gods Kirby comes to DC

1971 Comic Book Marvel Kree–Skrull War Roy Thomas,Sal Buscema, Neal Adams, and John Buscema.

1971 College Course on Comic Books Indiana University Mike Usland instructor. Dean refused initially.

Mike asked, “So would you VERY
briefly just summarize for me the basic stor of Moses?”

“The Hebrew people were being persecuted, their first-born were being slain,” The dean said, “A Hebrew couple placed their
infant son into a little wicker basket and sent him drifting down the Nile. The basket was
found by an Egyptian couple who raised the child as their own son. When he grew up and
learned of his true heritage, he became a great hero to his peo-
ple by…”

“Do you recall the origin of Su-
perman?” I asked. “Sure,” he repliesd, “The planet Krypton was
about to explode. A scientist and his wife placed their infant son into a little rocket ship
and sent him to earth where he was found by the Kents, who raised him as their own son.
When he grew up and
learned of his true…”

Suddenly, the dean stopped talking. And then he said, “Mr. Uslan, your Course is accredited.”

1972 Fan Magazine Comic Reader by Paul Levitz In 1975, left NYU to work for DC Comics Wrote Legion of Super Heroes and JSA in All Star Comics. Served as Batman editor, vice president, executive vice president, president and publisher of DC Comics. Along with publisher Jenette Kahn and editor Dick Giordano, he was responsible for hiring creators such as Alan Moore, Marv Wolfman, John Byrne, George Perez, Keith Giffen and editor Karen Berger. In 2009 he stepped down as President and Publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly-formed DC Entertainment. Afterward, as the co-creator of the Earth-2 Huntress with artist Joe Staton he wrote a mini series on her which continued into Worlds Finest with Power Girl in the New 52.

1971 Comic Book Marvel Savage Tales 1 First appearance of Man Thing, Thomas Conway later THE Writer of Man Thing was Steve Gerber

1972 Comic Book Swamp Thing Wein Wrightson

1972 Comic Book Marvel Tomb of Dracula Wolfman Colan

1972 Magazine Ms Magazine Gloria Steinem, who grew up reading Wonder Woman comics, was offended that the most famous female superheroine had been depowered, placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of Ms. (1972). Warner Communications, DC Comics’ owner, was an investor which also contained an appreciative essay about the character.

1972 Comic Book Hardcover
reprinting the Golden Age Wonder Woman stories of Marston and H G Peter. Gloria Steinem selected the stories and wrote of them, "Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of the women’s culture that Feminists are now trying to
introduce into the mainstream: strength and self reliance for women; sisterhood and mutual support among women; peacefulness and esteem for human life; a diminishment both of ‘masculine’ aggression
and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving confiicts.

1973 Comic Book Wonder Woman’s powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204. Robert Kanigher returned as the title’s writer-editor.

1973 Magazine James Warren reprints The Spirit by Will Eisner

1973 TV Super Friends

1973 Comic Book DC Comics Shazam The Original Captain Marvel on Earth S. Dr Sivana had placed characters in suspended animation for 20 years. Original Artist C C Beck left after 10 issues. Lasted 35 issues.

1973 Comic Book Batman #251 “The Joker’s Five Way Revenge!”
This issue of Batman diverged from the established conventions of The Joker, which at that point were more in line with a prankster or mild annoyance more than a wildcard killer. Joker tracks down his old gang knowing that one of them was a snitch… It was said Snitch’s testimony sent him to jail and so he picks them off one by one, as he murders each, Batman finds it harder to stop him from getting to the next victim.

1974 TV Movie Wonder
Woman, featuring Cathy Lee Crosby, as a non-superpowered globe-trotting super-spy.

1974 TV Series Shazam

1974 Otto Binder dies. Best know as co-creator of Mary Marvel and Supergirl. He was prolific in the comic book field and is credited with writing over 4400 stories across a variety of publishers under his own name.
During his time at Fawcett,
Binder co-created with Marc Swayze and C. C. Beck such
characters as Mary Marvel, Uncle Dudley, Mr. Tawky
Tawny, Black Adam and Mr. Mind, as well as two of
Doctor Sivana’s four children: the evil teens Thaddeus Sivana Jr. and daughter Georgia. For DC comics he co-created the Legion of Super-Heroes, a teen
superhero team from the future that eventually became one of DC’s most popular features. Also Brainiac and the Bottle City of Kandor, Supergirl, Krypto the Super Dog. the Phantom Zone, and the supporting characters Lucy Lane, Beppo the Super Monkey, and Titano the Super Ape. He introduced Jimmy Olsen’s signal-watch, and Jimmy’s Elastic Lad identity. He wrote the Lois Lane feature in
Showcase #9, creating the first “Imaginary Tale, for Lois Lane” and of writing 'most of the early" Bizarro stories, including at least the first “Tales of the Bizarro World” feature.
Otto never recovered from the death of his only child, Mary in 1967 at age 16. She had been on her way to school one morning when a car jumped the curb, went intro the driveway in front of the school and killed her. Memories of his daughter forced him and his wife to move from Englewood, New Jersey, to upstate New York where his brother, artist Jack lived.
As film producer and comics
historian Michael Uslan, a family friend, recalled, “Otto never recovered. His wife never recovered. She had a breakdown, and Otto started drinking, and
eventually he dropped dead of a heart attack. And the three of them were gone, like in a flash.”

1975 TV Wonder Woman First season set in World War II. Other two season set in the current era. Lynda Carter was Wonder Woman and Lyle Waggoner the 1940s Steve Trevor in the first season.and his son in the other two seasons.

1975 Comic Book Marvel Invaders Marvel Captain.America Human Torch Namor in World War II, Thomas

1975 Comic Book Marvel X men Giant 1 Wein Cockrum Storm Wolverine major characters later writer Claremont artist Byrne

1975 Neal Adams Jerry Robinson and others campaign for justice for Siegel Shuster who are destitue while millions are spent on new Superman movie. DC Vice President Paul Levitz, later to become DC Publisher, helped push Warner Brothers to agree on final deal. Eventually Siegel Shuster got 20,000 each a year, extendable to heirs, medical benefits, and credits on comic books, TV and movies.

1975 Comic Book Marvel Defenders non team Hulk Dr Strange Namor sometimes Silver Surfer later Nighthawk, Valykrie, Hellcat (Patsy Walker, created in 1950s as teenager) First issue by Gerber, created by Thomas

1976 Comic Book All Star Comics 58 revival of Justice Society of America Power Girl introduced later Helena Wayne, Huntress, daughter of Earth 2 Batman and Catwoman Conway Wood, later Levitz Stanton

1976 Jenette Kahn, 28 years old, became publisher of DC Comics.
Offers Royalties to creators. The implementation of these incentives proved useful as Marvel Comics’ Editor-in-Chief, Jim Shooter, was alienating much of his company’s creative staff with his authoritarian manner and major talents there went to DC like Roy Thomas, Gene Colan, Marv Wolfman, and George Perez. Resigned in 2002 still President. She revitalized DC Comics including creating Vertigo with editor Karen Burger.

1976 Comic Book Marvel Howard the Duck Gerber Brunner

1977 Comic Book Black Lightning Tony Isabella

1978 Movie Superman Warner Brothers and DC get a lot of good publicity as Siegel and his wife and Shuster attended Premiere of Superman the Movie and saw ‘Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’ credit appear on the screen.

1979 Movie Michael Uslan, buys movie rights to Batman, when Warner Brothers thought TV Batman made character unprofitable for movies. Uslan still owns movie rights to Batman. Also got movie rights to Swamp Thing and John Constantine for free because Warner Brother executive considered characters to be useless in terms of profit. How times (don’t) change.

1980 Comic Book New Teen Titans Wolfman Petez.

1982 Movie Swamp Thing Wes Craven Producer Michael Uslan.

1982 Comic Book Camelot 3000 is a twelve-issue comic book limited series written by Mike W. Barr and penciled by Brian Bolland. It was published by DC
Comics from 1982 to 1985 as one of its first direct market projects, and as its first maxi-series. It was also the first comic book series to be printed on better quality Baxter paper instead of newsprint.

1984 Comic Books DC Comics were not selling well while Marvel was doing great. Warner Brothers almost closed down the DC Comics publishing imprint and wanted to license the characters to Marvel. According to Jim Shooter. Marvel would have continued to publish DC’s seven most popular properties – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Justice League, Teen Titans and Legion of Super-Heroes – and would have had room to expand the line later if they so chose.
Shooter wanted deal but Marvel executives declined, thinking that DC was failing because of the characters, and that it would not be profitable for Marvel.

1984 Comic Book All Star Squadron Set in World War II, original members Hawkman Atom, Dr Midnight (from JSA) Plastic Man, Robotman, Jonny Quick, Liberty Belle. Thomas

1984 Comic Book Swamp Thing Anatomy Lesson Alan Moore

1985 Comic book Crisis on Infinite Earths by Wolfman Perez

Bronze Age ends and Modern Age begins.

1986 Comic Book Dark Knight Returns Frank Miller, later to be first hugely successful Graphic Novel.

1986 Comic Book Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons… Also converted to hugely successful Graphic Novel.
Continuously in print so rights never reverted to creators, as promised.

1986 Comic Book “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” Written by Alan Moore with help from Superman editor Julius Schwartz, the story was published in two parts, beginning in Superman #423 and ending in Action Comics #583, both published in September 1986. The story was drawn by long-time artist Curt
Swan in his final major contribution to the Superman
titles and was inked by George Pérez in the issue of Superman and Kurt Schaffenberger in the issue of Action Comics. The story was an imaginary story
which told the final tale of the Silver Age Superman and his long history which was being rebooted following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths,

1986 Comic Book Man of Steel Byrne

1986 Movie First Marvel film Howard the Duck

1987 Comic Book Wonder Woman Perez

1987 Comic Book Justice League then Justice League International (JLI) with issue 7 DeMatteis Griffen Inital Members: Batman, Black Canary,
Blue Beetle (Charlton),
Captain Marvel (Fawcette),Doctor Fate (Earth 2), a female Dr. Light, Guy Gardner, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle
The comedic tone was Giffen’s idea, Booster Gold added. Guy Gardner was now a loutish hothead, Booster Gold was greedier and more inept than before, and Captain Marvel displayed a childlike personality.
Captain Atom and Rocket Red #7 are added to the team by the United States and Russia
respectively. Captain Marvel and Doctor Fate quit the team for personal reasons; Batman steps down as leader, appointing Martian Manhunter to replace him.

1987 Comic Book Shazam!: The New Beginning. Roy and Dani Thomas artist Tom Mandrake. The personality of young Billy
Batson is retained when he transforms into the Captain. This change was justification for his sunny. Golden-Age personality in the darker modern-day comic book world

1988 Graphic Novel Killing Joke by Alan Moore. Barbara Gordon, Batgirl, paralyzed for 23 years, later becomes Oracke.

1989 Comic Book Sandman Neil Gaiman

1989 Comic Book Doom Patrol 19 Crawling from the Wreckage Grant Morrison

1989 Movie Batman Director Tim Burton and Producer Michael Uslan, who bought movie rights to Batman in 1979. Uslan gives a speech at the premiere, praising his mother and father as well as two teachers, who had encouraged his early writings. He arrainged for all four to come by limousine.

1991 DC Comics acquires all right to Captain Marvel and related characters from Fawcette Publications.

1992 Movie Batman Returns Catwoman Penguin

1992 TV Batman The Animated Series Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. Start of DCAU.

1992 Comic Book Death of Superman. Sells millions of copies. Event created because TV show Lois and Clark in development and planned Lois Lane Clark Kent marriage had to be postponed to coordinate with new series.

1993 TV Lois and Clark

1993 Comic Book Vertigo Imprint
Karen Burger Editor until pushed out in 2013. Now works for Dark Horse. Successful titles under Vertigo included Fables, Hellblazer, The Invisibles, 100 Bullets, Preacher, V for Vendetta, The Unwritten and Y: The Last Man, plus already existing titles Sandman, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol and Animal Man.

1993 Death High Cost of Living The Trade includes Death’s First Appearance in Sandman 8, 1991, Sound of Her Wings Neil Gaiman

1994 Jack Kirby dies. Co Creator of Marvel Comics Captain America, Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Silver Surfer, Black Panther, Thor, Sgt Fury and Howling Commandos, Original X men. For Archie Comics The Fly, and Lancelot Strong. Created Boy Commandos, Newsboy Legion, redesigned Sandman, Green Arrow, Challengers of the Unknown, later New Gods, Mister Miracle, Forever People, Darkseod, Etrigan the Demon, Kamandi for DC.

1996 Comic Book Kingdom Come Waid Ross

1996 Comic Book Supergirl 75 to 80 Peter David
Linda Danvers Supergirl meets Silver Age Kara el Supergirl

2000 Movie X men

2000 Comic Book Planetary Warren Ellis John Cassidy
The book’s primary concern is unearthing the confluence of influences that led to the idea of The Superhero as our modern culture now knows it. From Doc Savage to James Bond; the Lone Ranger, Green Hornet and The Shadow; Tarzan, noir Private Eyes and Fu Man Chu; 1950’s Sci-Fi B-Movies, Godzilla and Hong Kong action flicks; Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern; early Marvel comics, and more predominately, the work of Jack Kirby; the re-inventive, post-modern 1980’s DC comics work from English writers like Moore, Grant Morrision, Peter Milligan and company; all the way back to 19th century superhero precursors like Sherlock Holmes, Dracula and Frankenstein - - Ellis and Cassaday leave no stone unturned when it comes to excavating the heart of the superhuman myth as it existed in the 20th Century and continues to exist to this day.

2001 TV Smallville

2001 TV Justice League Animated

2002 Movie Spider-Man

2002 TV Birds of Prey

2002 Comic Book Vertigo Fables Willingham

2003 TV Teen Titans Animated

2004 TV Justice League Unlimited Animated

2004 Comic Julius Schwartz died, editor in late 40s of Golden Age Green Lantern and Justice Society of America and Silver Age Flash. Green Lantern, Justice League of America, Atom. Hawkman and later in the 70s Batman and Superman.

2004 - 20013 Siegel heirs sue DC, after an inital agreement in 1997. Part of suit was that Superboy was not part of the original 10 year work for hire contract but an independent matter. That is why Superboy was not used by DC in this time period. A judge ruled in 2013 that the 1997 agreement had been done freely and with forethought. That agreement gave the Siegel heirs a $2 million advance, a $1 million non-recoupable signing bonus forgiveness of a previous
$250,000 advance, a guarantee of $500,000 per year for 10 years, a 6 percent royalty of gross revenues, and various other royalties

2005 Movie Batman Begins Nolan

2005 Movie Constantine

2006 TV Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century animated

2008 Movie The Dark Knight Joker (Oscar Nomination) Nolan

2008 Movie Iron Man

2008 Movie Magazine Famous Monster of Filmland creator, Forrest J. Ackerman dies.

A typical obit from Paul Dini, who with Bruce Timm, created BTAS and the DCAU:

Before the internet, before Entertainment Weekly and the nightly show biz shows, we fans of the cinema fantastic had no touchstone to that world other than through Forry and FAMOUS MONSTERS. Each month in its pages we would learn of Hollywood’s horror lore, of Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney, Sr., and Jr., and of wonders to come – Star Wars, Superman, Carrie, and hundreds of others. We devoured the articles, we marveled at the photos, we groaned at the puns, we ordered the models and horror masks, and most of all we loved the man who brought it all to us.

Here’s to you, Forry. And thanks, from me and every kid you held in your spooky, but always thrilling Dracula-like trance each month.

Ackerman provided inspiration to many who would later become successful artists, including Joe Dante, Peter Jackson, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, Stephen King, Penn & Teller, Gene Simmons (of the band Kiss), Rick Baker, George Lucas, Danny Elfman, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, television producer Kevin Burns and countless other writers, directors, artists, and craftsmen.

Many of them wrote their own obits for him, echoing Deni.

2009 Movie Watchmen

2009 Movie Disney buys Marvel.

2009 Comic Book "Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?"featuring Batman. The story is published in two parts in the final issues of the series Batman (#686) and
Detective Comics (#853), released in February and
April, respectively. Written by Neil Gaiman, pencilled
by Andy Kubert and inked by Scott Williams, the story is purported to be the “last” Batman story in the wake of severe psychological trauma that Batman endures within the story Batman R.I.P and his
ultimate fate in Final Crisis.

2010 TV Young Justice

2011 Comic Book DC NEW 52 Reboot characters much younger.
Many characters and marriages go into oblivion.
Timeline shortened except for Batman and Green Lantern Batman urban legend in his beginning years.

2011 Movie Green Lantern bombs

2012 Movie Avengers a massive hit. Warner Brothers realizes it is behind, pushes quick route to movie Justice League.

2012 TV CW Green Arrow

2013 Movie Man of Steel start of DCEU

2013 TV Teen Titans Go

2014 TV CW Flash

2014 TV Constantine

2014 TV Gotham Batman presequel

2015 TV CW Supergirl

2015 Comic Book Superman Lois and Clark Introduction of Jon Kent, their son. Dan Jurgens

2016 Movie Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice introduces Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. Brief glimpses of Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. Acknowledging Bill Finger for his work.on.Batman for the first time, Warner Brothers agreed to put on the credits: “Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.” Athena Finger, the granddaughter of Bill Finger and her son went with Mike Uslan in his limousine to the premiere.

2016 Movie Suicide Squad Harley Quinn Amanda Waller

2016 Internet YouTube DVD DC Super Hero Girls set in Super Hero High School

2016 Comic Book DC Rebirth Legacy Characters like Wally West and older Superman back

2017 TV Batman actor Adam West dies. Goodbye Old Chum

2017 Comic Book Len Wein, creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine, dies.

2017 Movie Wonder Woman directed by Patty Jenkins

2017 Movie Batman Lego

2017 Movie Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. a fictional biographical drama
portraying William Moulton
Marston, his wife Elizabeth, their mutual lover Olive Byrne, all living together and the creation of Wonder Woman. William and Elizabeth Marston’s granddaughter, Christie Marston, criticized the film, saying the idea
that Elizabeth and Olive Byrne were lovers was purely

2017 Movie Disney buys Fox, who had movie rights to X men and Fantastic Four.

2018 Comic Book Steve Ditko died. Co creator of Spider-man, his major villains and Dr Strange. Creator of Captain Atom, Qustion, Creeper, Hawk and Dove, Nightshade and Squirrel Girl

2018 TV CW Black Lightning

2018 Movie Black Panther

2018 Movie Justice League, does not recover costs. Mixture of two directors, may have been released early, after expensive and extended reshoots, so Warner Brothers Executives could get bonuses.

2018 Movie Teen Titans Go

2018 Internet DC Universe Titans

2018 Movie Aquaman

2018 Comic Book Stan Lee dies. Co creator of early Marvel characters: Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom, Hulk, Spider Man, Sgt Fury and the Howling Commandos, Dr. Strange, Thor, Iron Man, Ant Man, Original X men, Daredevil. Revived Namor Captain America.

2019.Internet DC Universe Compete DC Comics Digital Library

2019 Internet DC Universe Young Justice Season 3, Doom Patrol (unexpected hit) and Swamp Thing (cancelled)

2019 Movie Shazam

2019 TV DC Super Heroes Girls Version 2 Teenage versions of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Bumblebee, Batgirl, Zatanna, and Jessica Cruz, students of Metropolis High School with Secret Identities.

2019 Internet Krypton, Pennyworth (both presequels to Superman, Batman - Alfred). Titans season 2. Sandman (Netflicks,) Watchmen (HBO) in Development

The Road to the Trinity: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman

From Gilgamesh to Wonder Woman

There are three parts to this post

An Introduction

What the creators said was the influences on the creation of these three characters

A timeline on fictional heroic characters that influenced each other and eventually produced Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.

From.The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore:

Superman owes a debt to science fiction, Batman to the
hard-boiled pulp and detective stories. Wonder Woman’s debt is to the struggle for women’s rights. Her origins lie in William Moulton Marston’s past, and in the lives of the women he loved; they created Wonder Woman, too. Wonder Woman is no ordinary comic-book character because Marston was no ordinary man and his family was no ordinary family. Marston led a secret life: he had four children by two women; they lived together under one roof. They were masters of the art of concealment. Their favorite hiding place was the comics they produced. The women Marston loved were suffragists, feminists, and birth control advocates. Unknown to the world, Margaret Sanger, one of the most influential feminists of the twentieth century, was part of Marston’s family.

In Detective Comics 500 (March, 1981, “To Kill a Legend” written by Alan Brennert, penciled and inked by Dick Giordano), The Phantom Stranger opens a portal for Batman and Robin to go to a parallel world, where Thomas and Martha Wayne will be murdered in a few day. Batman vows to prevent that.

Dick Grayson goes to a library on that world and finds that “There aren’t any heroic mythology on this world. No Robin Hood, No Camelot, No.Odysseus, Hercules or Gilgamesh.” And if Batman saves the Waynes, no Batman either.

If the idea of a hero had not evoluted through the centuries, in mythology and literature, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman would never have been created.

If there had never been stories of Achilles, Mercury, Hercules, Samson, John Carter of Mars and the 1920 novel Gladiator, there might never have been a Superman.

Without the circus strongmen of the 1930s, Superman would never have worn pants over his tights or wore a cape.

Without the Scarlet Pimpernel, there might never have been a Clark Kent.

Without the Scarlet Pimpernel, there might never have been Zorro, and hence Batman.

Without the Greek Gods, Hercules and the Amazons, there might never have been a Wonder Woman

What was the ‘official’ influences on creating these characters?

Let’s start with Superman.

Superman was created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.

Jerry Siegal said, “I’'m lying in bed counting sheep when all of a sudden it hits me. I conceive a character like Samson, Hercules and all the strong men I heard tell of rolled into one. Only more so.”

“As a high school student,” Jerry Siegel once recalled, “I thought that some day I might become a reporter, and I had crushes on several attractive girls who either didn’t know I existed or didn’t care I existed. . . It occurred to me: What if I… . had something special going for me, like jumping over buildings or throwing cars around or something like that?”

What led me into creating Superman in the early 30s?"
said Siegel. “Hearing and reading of the oppression and
slaughter of helpless, oppressed Jews in Nazi Germany… seeing movies depicting the horrors of
privation suffered by the downtrodden. had the great urge to help the downtrodden
masses, somehow. How could I help them when I could
barely help myself? Superman was the answer.”

Also Siegel’s father died of
a heart attack in 1932 during a robbery at the family clothing
store, when Jerry was 18 years old.

Jerry Siegal read every Science Fiction story, not so much Pulp Magazines. He must have known of the 1930 novel Gladiator, whose hero had powers identical to the early Superman.

Other influences: writer Jerry Slegel may have loosely based the storyline on the John
Carter of Mars books, a series about a Civil War soldier who
travels to Mars and realizes he is extremely powerful due to the weak gravity there

Also Flash Gordon. He’s in many ways the inverse of Superman. Whereas Superman is an alien who comes to Earth and uses his fantastic powers to perform heroic deeds, Flash is an earthling who goes to an alien planet where he uses nothing but his Bad Ass Normal skills to perform heroic deeds Moreover, his classic appearance (blond and clad primarily in red with
blue and gold accents) contrasts with Superman’s (dark-haired and clad primarily in blue with red and gold accents). They also have arch nemeses in the form of a bald egomaniac with a thing for green and purple (Lex Luthor and Ming the Merciless). Both villains view their respective
heroes similarly (Luthor sees
Superman as a challenge to his
narcissistic belief that he is the
ultimate human being, as well as to his control of Metropolis. Ming sees Flash as a threat to his fascist belief in Mongonian superiority, as well as his control over Mongo). Finally, the portrayal of Krypton is similar enough to Mongo (both being neo-medieval, Science-fiction wonderlands) to be seen as an alternate version of the same planet.

In a 1983 interview, Shuster
stated: “Douglas Fairbanks had a stance which I often used in drawing Superman…you’ll
see in many of his roles, including Robin Hood, that
he always stood with his hands on his hips and his feet spread apart, laughing - taking nothing seriously.”

Superman’s Costume.
Circus strongmen of the 1930s wore “the familiar, faintly disturbing overpants-belt combo” as Grant Morrison describes it. “Underpants on tights were signifiers of extra-masculine strength and endurance in 1938. The cape, showman-like boots, belt and skintight spandex were all derived from circus outfits and helped to emphasize the performative, even freak-show-esque, aspect of Superman’s adventures. Lifting bridges, stopping trains with his bare hands, wrestling elephants: these were superstrongman feats that benefited from the carnival flair implied by skintight spandex. Shuster had dressed the first superhero as his culture’s most prominent exemplar of the strongman ideal, unwittingly setting him up as the butt of ten thousand jokes.” Traveling circuses and fairs once held a prominence that’s hard to imagine now. They were emissaries of the unknown, the otherworldly, the freakish, the tantalizing, the magnificent, the imagined, the stuff of dreams. Superheroes came from these exact realms.

Siegel and Shuster also gave
Superman the mild-mannered
alter ego Clark Kent (who had
glasses a la Harold Lloyd). Alter egos had become popular through stories about the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Lone Ranger, and especially Zorro. And who had helped make Zorro a household name? Why, Fairbanks, of course, whose The Mask of Zorro had been a huge hit in 1920.

Superman’s alter ego is Clark Kent. Clark Kent’s name was derived from two movie actors: Clark Gable and Kent Taylor. Everyone knows who Clark Gable is-the immortal Oscar-winning actor and star of Gone With The Wind (1939)
as well as many other great
films. But who was Kent Taylor?

Kent Taylor appeared in over 100 movies, mostly in the 1930’s, and mostly as a B-actor. his movie credits include I’m No Angel (1933) with Mae West. (Kent appeared in 14 films in
1932 alone.) In the 1950’s, he
switched over to television,
doing guest spots on The
Rifleman, My Little Margie,
and Bat Masterson. He ended
his career appearing in
“slasher films” in the
seventies, including Hell’s
Bloody Devils, I Spit On Your
Corpse, Satan’s Sisters, and
Brain of Blood. Kent Taylor
passed away in 1987 at the
age of 79.

Clark Kent
Clark Kent’s bespectacled,
slightly nervous, insecure
persona, was based, at least
in part, on the classic silent
movie comedian Harold
Lloyd. Lloyd was probably
the movie’s first-ever “nerd”
clumsy, fumbling, insecure
with women, a ne’er-do-wel
who would always redeem
himself in the end.

Lois Lane
Writer Jerry Siegel first conceived Lois Lane in 1934,
when Siegel and Joe Shuster were still developing
Superman. One of the major influence on Lois’ characterization was actress Glenda Farrell and her portrayal of the fictional reporter Torchy Blane in a series of Warner Bros. films. The Torchy Blane movies were popular second features during the later 1930s. On the conception of Lois Lane, Siegel
stated in the 1988 Time magazine: “My wife Joanne was Joe’s original art model for Superman’s girlfriend Lois Lane back in the 1930s. Our heroine was, of course, a working girl whose priority was grabbing scoops. What inspired me in the creation was Glenda Farrell, the movie star who portrayed Torchy Blane, a gutsy, beautiful headline-hunting reporter, in a series of exciting motion pictures. Because the name of the actress Lola Lane (who also played Torchy) appealed to me, I called my character Lois Lane. Strangely, the characterization of Lois is amazingly like the
real-life personality of my lovely wife.”

Batman was created by Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, then Artist Jerry Robinson contributed.

Once Superman was on the scene the pressure was
on to create more superheroes.

If it wasn’t for Superman, there would be no Batman. and the heroes are now two iconic sides of the same heroic coin.

In response, Bob Kane conceived "the Bat-Man.’ Kane
said his influences for the character included actor
Douglas Fairbanks’ film portrayal of the swashbuckler Zorro; Leonardo da Vinci’s diagram of the ornithopter, a flying machine with huge bat-like wings; and the 1930 film The Bat Whispers, with its villain a thief and murderer who wore a bat like costume… Later he said that Bill Finger had wanted Batman to be a detective, so Sherlock Holmes was also an influence.

While not a character, Leonardo Da Vinci’s early designs of a flying device planted the seed for artist Bob Kane. When he set
out to create the character, Kane remembered the images he had seen in his youth of a machine that appeared to have bat wings. Kane dug up the old Da Vinci drawings and knew he wanted his character to be a superheroic Batman.

Like Siegel and Shuster, Kane was most influenced by The
Mask of Zorro in particular. Certain traits of his “BatMan” were more than a little
similar to the rapier-wielding

The Mark of Zorro, with Douglas Fairbanks Sr. Zorro had the dual identity. By day, like Bruce Wayne, he feigned being a bored, foppish count, the son of one of the richest Mexico. By night, he became a vigilante. He would disquise himself, wearing a handkerchief mask with the eyes slit out. He exited on a black horse from a cave underneath his home, and that’s the inspiration for the Batcave and the Batmobile. If it wasn’t for Fairbanks we would never have had Batman at all.

Kane’s idea did not go much further than a character named Batman. He enlisted a writer named Bill Finger, who had done some uncredited work (“ghostwriting”) for Kane on “Rusty and Pals” to help develop the hero.

An aspiring writer and part-time shoe salesperson, he had met Kane at a party, and Kane offered him a job ghost writing the strips Rusty and Clip Carson. He recalled that Kane had an idea for a character called ‘Batman’, and he’d like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane’s, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of reddish tights, I believe, with boots… no gloves, no gauntlets. with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out looking like bat wings. And underit was a big sign … BATMAN.

He was not a scientific detective and he wasn’t named Bruce Wayne.

Finger said he offered such suggestions as giving
the character a cowl and scalloped cape instead of
wings; adding gloves; leaving the mask’s eyeholes blank to connote mystery; and removing the bright red sections of the original costume, suggesting
instead a gray-and-black color scheme. Finger additionally said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk’s The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic strip character with which Kane was familiar as well.

So Kane actually came up with
the basic idea of Batman, but it was Finger who came up with his look (as well as much of iconic Batman’s lore).

Bill would add a few more things, namely: Gotham City, the Batmobile, and (with Jerry Robinson) Alfred the butler, the Joker, the Catwoman, the Penguin, and Two-Face. Robin was Jerry’s creation with input
from Bill and Bob.

Finger then came up with
the backstory for the character.

Admittedly, Finger was himself
cribbing much of his idea for Bruce Wayne from Lamont
Cranston, the millionaire playboy alter-ego of the popular pulp fiction character, The Shadow. The first Batman story, was a reworked Shadow story and the character’s second appearance, was written by Finger, while Kane provided the art.

Eventually both would end up taking a lot more from other existing characters, like the Lone Ranger, Doc Savage and The Shadow.

As for the name Bruce Wayne, the name fused Scottish royalty with an American Revolutionary War hero

According to Kane, he and Finger chose the first name after a medieval Scottish king called Robert the Bruce. They
thought it appropriate for a
billionaire to be a descendant of a noble family. As for his surname, Finger took the
name Wayne after the American army officer and statesman “Mad
Anthony” Wayne.

So who were these two men? Robert the Bruce was a Scottish king from 1306 until his death in 1329. He became one of the best warriors and leaders in Scotland’s history; he led the country during Scotland’s war for independence from England. He won many successful battles, and today he
is celebrated as a national hero of Scotland A legend about
Robert the Bruce suggests a link to the 20th century superhero. Once, while Bruce was on the run, hiding in a cave on Rathlin Island (Ireland), he
watched a spider trying to make a web from one side of the cave ceiling to another. After trying and failing several
times, the spider finally succeeded in weaving its web.
This motivated Bruce to try and fight the English with more
determination. The legend fits
perfectly with Batman’s life. He often fails to defeat his enemies, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. He always returns to the fight, eventually managing to eradicate the evil forces from Gotham.

The other gentleman who
inspired Batman’s surname, Anthony Wayne, was an
officer in the colonial army during the American
Revolution. His bravery
and strategic smarts made him a brigadier general in a very short time. His easilv ignitable
personality earned him the nickname “Mad” Anthony Wayne.
Wayne led troops in several successful battles against the
British forces, including the Battle of Monmouth and
the Battle of Stony Point.

The character now settled, Kane sold the new comic idea to National Comics. The issue was that Finger was workinng
for Kane independently and
thus only Kane had business dealings with National Comics.

The bigger issue was that Kane
later reworked his deal with National during a time when
Siegel and Shuster were in a lawsuit with National for
ownership of Superman (no one knows the particulars of this secretive agreement, but
legend has it that Kane claimed that he was under the legal age to make a binding contract
when he first sold Batman to National, thus nulling and
voiding his original deal with the company). The deal was mutually beneficial to both
Kane and National Comics. For Kane, it guaranteed him steady, well-paying work on the character for the rest of his life and for National, it guaranteed that they would own the copyright to Batman completely and without worry of later legal challenges (unlike Siegel and Shuster, Kane was not looking to get the rights to his character back). That deal remained, with modifications in the 1960s, for the rest of Kane’s life.

This contract with National Comics, the future DC Comics,
that signed away ownership of the character in exchange
for, among other
compensations, a mandatory byline on all Batman comics
(and adaptations there of). Finger’s name, in contrast, does not appear as an official credit on Batman stories or films, even the comics he wrote in the 1940s and 1950s.

Kane was the only person given an official company credit for Batman’s creation. Jerry Robinson also did not get credit for creating the Joker.

Thus, if DC Comics were ever to credit Bill Finger as the co-creator of Batman, that would make their deal with Kane void and open themselves up to a lawsuit by Finger’s estate over the Batman copyright.

Hence, Finger did not get any credit as Batman’s creator. Kane, for his part, also made sure never to give Finger credit for the creation of Batman. Only in the last years of his life (Finger passed away in 1974, Kane in 1998) did Kane even acknowledge Finger’s role, noting in his book, Batman and Me, “Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning. He wrote most of the great stories and was influential in setting the style and genre other writers would emulate… I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective.”

Only from 2015 onwards, acknowledging Bill Finger for his work on Batman for the first time, did Warner Brothers agreed to put on the credits: “Batman was created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger.”

The aesthetic of the Joker was inspired by German actor Conrad Veidt’s role as Gwynplain in the 1928 silent film The Man Who Laughs, which was directed by the German Expressionist
filmmaker Paul Leni. In the movie, the character is sentenced to have his face surgically altered into an eternal grin.

For Catwoman, the creators drew their inspiration from
actresses Hedy Lamarr and Jean Harlow. Catwoman was also partially inspired by Kane’s second cousin by marriage, Ruth Steel.

Kane hired art assistants Jerry Robinson (initially as an
inker) and George Roussos (backgrounds artist and
letterer). Though Robinson and Roussos worked out
of Kane’s art studio in The New York Times building, Kane himself did all his drawing at home. Shortly afterward, when DC wanted more Batman stories than Kane’s studio could deliver, the company assigned Dick Sprang and other in-house pencilers as 'ghost artists", drawing uncredited under Kane’s
supervision. Future Justice League writer Gardner Fox wrote some early scripts, including the two-part story “The Monk” that introduced some of The Batman’s first "Bat-"equipment.
In 1943, Kane left the Batman comic books to focus on penciling the daily Batman newspaper comic strip. Dc Comics artists ghosting the comic-book stories now included Jack Burnley and Win Mortimer, with Robinson moving up as penciler and Fred Ray contributing some covers. After the strip finished in 1946, Kane returned to the comic books but, unknown to DC, had hired his own personal ghosts, including Lew Schwartz and Sheldon Moldoff

Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.

Links The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore

In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics,

William Moulton Marston, a
psychologist struck upon an idea for a new kind of
superhero, one who would
triumph not with fists or
firepower, but with love. “Fine,”
said his wife Elizabeth, also a psychologist, “But make her a

Marston introduced the idea to Gaines. Given the go ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman, whom he believed to be a model of that era’s unconventional, liberated woman. Wonder Woman’s bracelets (which she used to deflect bullets) were inspired by the jewelry bracelets worn
by Olive Byrne, who lived with the Marston and his wife Elizabeth, in a polyamorous relationship.

Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8 (cover date
Dec/Jan 1941/1942, released in October 1941).scripted by Marston.

Marston was the creator of the systolic blood pressure test, which became one component of the modern polygraph invented by John Augustus

Wonder Woman’s Magic Lasso is a form of a lie detector.

Marston designed Wonder Woman to be an allegory
for the ideal love leader; the kind of women who he believed should run society.
“Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I
believe, should rule the world,” Marston wrote.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t
want to be tender, submissive,
peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

William Moulton Marston was an outspoken feminist, and
firm believer in the superiority of women. He described bondage and submission as a “respectable and noble practice”. Marston wrote in a weakness for Wonder Woman, which was attached to a fictional stipulation that he dubbed "Aphrodite’s Law’, that made the chaining of her “Bracelets of Submission” together by a man take away her Amazonian super strength.

“The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbounded force to enjoy being bound…only when the control of self by others is more pleasant than the unbound assertion of self in human relationships can we hope for a stable, peaceful human society.”

Wonder Woman often ended up in chains before inevitably breaking free. This not only represented Marston’s affinity for bondage, but women’s
subjugation, which he roundly rejected.

His major contribution to psychology came when he generated the DISC characteristics of emotions and behavior of normal people (at the time, ‘normal’ had the meaning of 'typical rather than an antonym for 'abnormal). Marston, after conducting research on human emotions, published his findings in his 1928 book called Emotions of
Normal People in which he explained that people illustrate their emotions using four behavior types: Dominance (D), Inducement (I), Submission (S), and Compliance ©. He argued that these behavioral types came from people’s sense of self and their interaction with the environment. He included two dimensions that influenced people’s emotional behavior. The first dimension is whether a person views his environment as favorable or unfavorable. The second dimension is whether a person perceives himself as having control or lack of control over his environment.
Dominance produces activity in an antagonistic environment
Inducement produces activity in a favorable environment
Submission produces passivity in a favorable environment
Compliance produces passivity in an antagonistic environment.
Marston posited that there is a masculine notion of freedom that is inherently anarchic and violent and an opposing feminine notion based on 'Love Allure" that leads to an ideal state of submission to loving

H G Peter most lasting work came when the 61-year-old was the artist on Wonder Woman.
Before that, he did illustration for Suffragettes Magazines. Wonder Woman was inspired in part by Varga Girl centerfolds
in Esquire that Marston viewed as “erotic” and “Cosmopolitan.” Her costume was inspired by Marston’s interest in erotic pinup art, as he wanted her feminine appearance to help counteract the intense masculinity of other comic characters. Wonder Woman was also directly inspired by characteristics and
mannerisms of Marston’s wife and mistress, both of
whom lived with him.
Peter continued with Wonder Woman until his death in 1958.


1400 BCE Stone Tablets Gilgamesh is the semi-mythic King of Uruk in Mesopotamią best known from The Epic of
Gilgamesh written. The great
Sumerian/Babylon poetic work
which pre-dates Homer’s writing by 1500 years. The motif of the quest for the meaning of life is first fully explored in Gilgamesh as the hero-king leaves his kingdom following the death of his best friend, Enkidu, to find the mystical figure Utnapishtim and Gilgamesh’s fear of death is actually a fear of meaninglessness and, although he fails to win immortality, the
quest itself gives his life meaning This theme has
been explored by Writers and
philosophers from antiquity u
to the present day. Accordingly, Gilgamesh was a demi-god who was said to have lived an exceptionally long life (the Sumerian King List records his reign as 126 years) and to be possessed of super-human strength.

Jewish heroes

Samson super strength

Daniel vs Goliath

Solomon wisdom, ability to control demons.

Greek/Roman Gods

Zeus Lightning bolts, Many loves

Athena Shapeshifter, Medusa Shield

Mercury Super Speed, Flight

Greek Heroes

Achilles Invulnerable except for heel

Atlas Strength Endurance condemned to hold up the celestial heavens for eternity

Hercules Super Strength

Odysseus The Man of Many Ways, like Mister Terrific

Perseus, son of Zeus, given Gift from Gods. Zeus gave him an adamantine sword and Hades’ helm of darkness to hide.
Hermes lent Perseus winged
sandals to fly, and Athena gave him a polished shield.
Perseus uses these gifts to cut off Medusa’s head. From that act, the winged horse Pegasus appeared and he used Medusa’s head to turn living things, including monsters to stone. Later gave head to Athena.


Themiscyra is mentioned as their former capital

Classicist Peter Walcot wrote, "Wherever the Amazons are located by the Greeks, whether it is somewhere along the Black Sea in the distant north-east, or in Libya in the furthest south, it is always beyond the confines of the civilized world. The
Amazons exist outside the narratives.

Once a year, in order to prevent their race from dying out, they visited the Gargareans, a neighbouring tribe. There were two special months in the spring in which they would go up into the neighboring mountain which separates them and the Gargareans. The Gargareans also, in accordance with an ancient custom, would go there to offer sacrifice with the Amazons and also to have
intercourse with them for the sake of begetting children. They did this in secrecy and darkness, any Gargareans at random with any Amazon, and after making them pregnant they would send them away.
Any females that were born are retained by the Amazons themselves, but the males would be taken to the Gargareans to be brought up

Herodotus mentions that when Greeks defeated the Amazons at war, they sailed away carrying in three ships as many Amazons as they had been able to take alive, but out at sea the Amazons attacked the crews and killed them. But the Amazons knew nothing about ships so they were driven about by waves and winds and they were disembarked at the
land of the Scythians,

Queen Hippolyta

In Classical Greek mythology, Hippolyta was the Amazonian
queen who possessed a magical girdle (a waist belt
that signified her authority as queen of the Amazons) given to her by her father Ares, the god of war. Hippolyta figures prominently in the myths of both Heracles and Theseus. There are many versions of these myth, most of which have Queen Hippolyta acting out of character.

The myths about her are varied enough that they may therefore be about several different women, sometimes with different names…

Most versions of the myth
indicate that Hippolyta was so impressed with Hercules that she gave him the girdle without argument, perhaps while visiting him on his ship.
Then the goddess Hera, making herself appear as one of the Amazons, spread a rumor among them that Hercules and his crew were abducting their queen, so the Amazons attacked the ship. In the fray that followed, Hercules slew Hippolyta, stripped her of the belt, fought off the attackers and sailed away.

In the myth of Theseus, the hero joined Heracles in his expedition, or went on a separate expedition
later, and was actually the one who had the encounter with Hippolyta. Some versions say he abducted her, some that Heracles did the abducting
but gave her to Theseus as spoils, and others say that she fell in love with Theseus and betrayed the Amazons by willingly leaving with him. In any case, she was taken to Athens where she was wed to Theseus, being the only Amazon to ever marry. In some renditions the other Amazons became enraged at the mariage and attacked Athens.

In other renditions Theseus later put Hippolyta aside to marry Phaedra. So Hippolyta rallied her Amazons to attack the wedding ceremony. When the defenders closed the doors on the attackers, either Hippolyta was killed, Theseus directly killed her in the fight, she was accidentally killed by another Amazon, Molpadia, while fighting by Theseus’ side, or was accidentally killed by her sister Penthesilea during this battle or in a separate incident. This killer was in turn slain by Theseus or Achilles. Some stories paint Theseus in a more favorable light, saying that Hippolyta was dead before he and Phaedra were wed, and this battle did
not occur. Further complicating the narratives, the narratives, a number of ancient writers say the Amazon in question was not Hippolyta at all, but her sister Antiope, Melanippe, or Glauce.

Moreover, there are combined versions of the tale in which Heracles abducts and kills Hippolyta while Theseus, assistedcby Sthenelus and Telamon, abducts and marries
Antiope. There are also stories that Hippolyta or Antiope later bore Theseus a son, Hippolytus.

Melanippe, sister of Hippolyta. Heracles captured her and demanded Hippolyta’s girdle in exchange for her freedom. Hippolyta complied

Heroes from Great Britain

8th to 11th Centuries Beowulf, slayer of Monsters

12th Century King Arthur, living in 5th 6th Century. Arthur appears either as a great warrior defending Britain from human and supernatural enemies or as a magical figure of folklore, sometimes associated with the Welsh otherworld Annwn.

12th Century Robin Hood. fighting against an unjust sheriff and king.

1844 Novel The Three Musketeers features
the lead character d’Artagnan, who was based on the
real captain of the Musketeers
(Charles de Batz-Castlemore
d’Artagnan). D’Artagnan was a
daring, brave, and impetuous
swashbuckler who became a fan favorite early on. He caught the eye of Bill Finger, who wanted to model part of d’Artagnan’s character on
Batman. Finger wanted Batman to be as much a man of action, as he was a man of intellect.
It was d’Artagnan’s heroism and willingness to do the right thing that surely connected most with Finger and readers alike. Today, Batman and d’Artagnan seem quite different save for their
incessant need to pursue justice, even at the risks of their own lives.

1887 Magazine First Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet” was published Arthur Conan Doyle. Bill Finger based Batman mainly on two characters. The first being d’Artagnan, and the second was Sherlock Holmes.Bill Finger realized the value of making Batman a self-made hero, and in order to do that he had to be really smart. Who better to model an intelligent character after than fiction’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes? Kane said, “I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective.”

1897 Novel Dracula Bram Stoker
Dracula’s influence on Batman
shouldn’t seem like much of a stretch. After all, the Count is a nocturnal creature who wears a black cape and dark clothing.
Kane and Finger wanted criminals to fear Batman, and for him to seem like a true creature of the night. The
gothic nature of Dracula is the most immediate influence that
stands out. The dark ambiance and mysterious tone of Dracula was something that both creators set to emulate, but with their own heroic spin on it. While Bob Kane and Bill Finger never cited Dracula as a huge inspiration, they did acknowledge their admiration his gothic style and tone. The duality between both characters would fittingly lead to tales of the two battling against each other.

1905 Play then Novel The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emma Orczy The story starred Sir Percy Blakeney, a British
baronet married to Marguerite -“the cleverest woman in Europe.” Sir Percy is a man skilled in swordsmanship, disguise, and strategy. During the early days of the French Revolution, he secretly rescues people he considers unjustly sentenced to death by Madame Guillotine. To cover his tracks,.he uses an alias taken from an old family seal, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and recruits nineteen friends as agents in his “League of the Scarlet Pimpernel.” In public, Sir Percy acts like a shallow fop, one who grows faint at the mention of violence and believes that all problems can be solved by luxury relaxation, and beautiful clothing. His wife hates him for what he has become.

We needed The Scarlet Pimpernel before we could figure out how to take things further. Superman debuted in Action Comics #1, published in 1938. There was still the element of a man who pretended to be meek in public so none would suspect he was a hero who protected others from harm and evil. The Scarlet Pimpernel was not a traditional superhero. He was actually the proto-superhero, that first model that eventually led to Superman and the rest. Orczy’s premise of a daring hero who cultivates a
secret identity disguised by a meek or ineffectual manner proved enduring. Zorro, The Shadow, Superman and Batman followed within a few decades, and the trope remains a popular one in serial fiction today.

1912 Magazine Serial John Carter of Mars. John Carter is a fictional Virginian - a veteran of the American Civil War -transported to Mars and the initial protagonist of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom stories. As a result of the lesser gravity of Mars, he had super strength and great leaping ability.

1915 Novel Doctor Syn: A Tale of the Romney Marsh by Russell Thorndike. Dr. Christopher Syn, a pirate turned reverend living in Dymchurch (a town in Kent, England) who decided not to simply stand by as his parishioners were victimized by the government and criminal elements. At night, Dr. Syn rode a dark stallion, which he kept in a hidden lair, and donned the costume of a demonic scarecrow. None suspected that the kindly, somber reverend was secretly the terrifying Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, feared even by those he helped.
Syn is a very different character on the surface, but Thorndyke followed many beats from the Scarlet Pimpernel. Similar to Orczy’s hero, Dr. Syn acted
less aggressive in his public life, using tricks to appear older and weaker than he was. While Blakeney had the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Syn had a few trusted agents, including a witch.

1919 Pulp Magazine. Zorro was the creation of Finger and Kane’s favorite writer, Johnston McCully. They often admitted to loving the pulp stories and the film The Mark of Zorro. They even featured the movie in Batman’s origin. Zorro bears so many similarities to Batman. it’s astounding. Kane loved Zorro’s dual identity and mainly used that to develop Bruce Wavne and Batman The list of Zorro’s similarities to Batman doesn’t end there. Zorro had his
own secret lair, like Batman, and the entrance to his hideout was behind an old grandfather
clock, also like Batman.
Zorro sported a black mask that covered half of his.face and a long black cape. He even
had his own form of a Batmobile; Tornado, his trustynblack stallion. Zorro was also a self made hero, who trained himself to be the best swordsman the world had ever seen.

1920s Film Douglas Fairbanks Senior By 1920, Fairbanks had completed twenty-nine films
(twenty-eight features and one two-reel short), which showcased his ebullient screen persona and athletic ability. By 1920, he had the inspiration of staging a new type of adventure-costume picture, a genre that was then out of favor with the public; Fairbanks had been a comic in his previous films. In The Mark of Zorro (1920), Fairbanks combined his appealing screen persona with the new adventurous costume
element. It was a smash success and parlayed the
actor into the rank of superstar. For the remainder of his career in silent films he continued to produce and star in ever more elaborate, impressive costume
films, such as The Three Musketeers (1921). Robin Hood (1922), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), The Black Pirate (1926), and The Gaucho (1927). Fairbanks spared no expense and effort in these films, which established the standard for all future swashbuckling films.
While Fairbanks had flourished in the silent genre, the restrictions of early sound films dulled his enthusiasm for film-making. His athletic abilities and general health also began to decline at this time, in part due to his years of chain-smoking.

1930 Novel Gladiator, a science fiction novel by American author Philip Wylie. The story concerns a scientist who invents an “alkaline free radical” serum to “improve” humankind by granting the proportionate strength of an ant and the leaping ability of the grasshopper. The scientist injects his pregnant wife with the serum and his son Hugo
Danner is born with superhuman strength, speed, and bulletproof skin. Hugo spends much of the novel hiding his powers, rarely getting a chance to openly
use them.

1931 Pulp Magazine, Radio The Shadow is the first ever pulp hero, and also the one that had the biggest impact in the creation of the Dark Knight. The Shadow was a dark and mysterious avenger who had the ability to cloud men’s minds (on radio). He would use this ability to blend with the shadows, striking fear in evil hearts everywhere. By day he was. a wealthy playboy named Lamont Cranston (on radio). His persona as the Shadow was completely different from his playboy persona. Kane and Finger took the darkness and gritty tone of the Shadow and applied it to Batman. The Shadow’s New York city is very similar to Batman’s Gotham City. Much of Batman’s brooding and dark nature must also be attributed to The Shadow.

The Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in American comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video
games, and at least five feature films. The radio drama included episodes voiced by Orson Welles

Alter egos Kent Allard (print)
Lamont Cranston (radio,
film and television)

In print, radio, and film:
Expert detective, Skilled marksman, hand-to-hand
combatant, Master of disguise and stealth

In radio and film only:
Ability to make himself nearly invisible to others
Hypnotic/telepathic mental-clouding abilities altering and
reading a person’s thoughts and perceptions

1931 Comic Strip Dick Tracy
We mentioned how much Bill Finger liked Sherlock Holmes and detective pulp characters, but one of Bob Kane’s favorite detectives was Dick Tracy; a
man of action and a great detective in his own right. He
bore a slight resemblance to
Batman’s alter ego, Bruce Wayne
Kane always admired Chester
Gould’s style of art and tried to emulate that in his Batman
artwork as well. One of the most important. influences that came from the Dick Tracy comic strip was his impressive cast of colorful villains like Flat Top, Pruneface, Big Boby Caprice, and more. Bob Kane has stated several times that he admired Gould’s eccentric villains and wanted to create villains that were as strange and as interesting as Batman himself. Today, Batman’s rogue gallery is almost as iconic as its lead character.

1933 Pulp.Magazine Doc Savage is yet another pulp
character that sought to fight
crime and right wrongs. He was raised to be a perfect physical and intellectual specimen. He possessed great strength and had mastery over several forms of martial arts. What Kane and Finger liked the most was Doc Savage’s scientific mind. The character commonly referred as " the world’s greatest detective", frequently used many specialized gadgets And much like Batman, he relies on them a great deal. While Doc Savage was also a billionaire, you would hardly call him a playboy like Bruce Wayne.

1933 Radio The Lone Ranger
Kane and Finger were fans of
both the show and the pulp magazines that came after it.
The few similarities between Batman and the Lone Ranger that stick out are their strict
codes and the concealing of their identity with a mask.
The mask stood for something more than himself, while also protecting his identity. The Lone Ranger was one of the first heroes to do this. His strict moral code of no killing would eventually become a staple of Batman’s code as well.

1933 Pulp Magazine The Phantom Detective is another
lesser-known hero from the pulps. The Phantom Detective
is the second masked pulp
character to have appeared. Hisi nfluence on Batman can’t be denied. The Phantom Detective was a rich playboy who was a master of disguise and a brilliant forensic scientist. He became a
master detective and used his skills in the fight against evil. The Phantom Detective had his own secret lab, like Batman, but his most glaring similarity has to be the method with which other do-gooders contacted him. The Phantom Detective had installed a flashing red light atop the
police tower for certain members of the press and law
enforcement to contact him
whenever they needed his help.
Batman would soon adopt a similar method and develop the iconic Bat signal.

1933 Pulp Magazine The Black Bat is often considered to be the first vigilante to carry the moniker of Bat anything. The Black Bat was lawyer Anthony Quinn by day and a masked crusader by night. In an origin story eerily similar to DC’s Two Face, Anthony Quinn was
tragically blinded in court when the defendant he was prosecuting threw acid into his eyes. Through an experimental
procedure, Quinn was not only able to see again, but could
now see in the dark.
Think the pulp version of DC’s Doctor Midnight or Marvel’s
Daredevil. He used his newfound abilities to wage war on organized crime. It turns out that Bill Finger liked the spiked fins on the Black Bat’s gloves, and advised Kane to draw them on Batman. Soon after, both companies threatened lawsuits
against each other. They eventually managed to coexist
peacefully, but it’s safe to say that Batman came out on top.

1934 Comic Strip Flash Gordon was the brainchild of the immensely talented artist Alex Raymond. Flash Gordon was one of the first comic strip
spaceman and a huge influence on Superman and Hawkman.
Artists and fans marveled at the detailed art on display in many of the Flash Gordon comic strips. Much of Raymond’s artwork stands up, even today. The high concept look and feel of Flash Gordon dazzled the eye of Bob Kane, who was a huge fan of Alex Raymond. Kane tried to
emulate the style of Alex Raymond during the early
stages of Batman’s creation. Even Kane’s first Batman
cover, Detective Comics #27, is said to be an homage to
Flash Gordon.

1934 Pulp Magazine
The Bat is a very obscure pulp
character that was only featured in a handful of stories. The Bat was created by Johnston McCuly, who had previously created Zorro. Reporter Dawson Clade was framed for a murder he didn’t commit. He decided to take on the crooks who framed him and he became a hooded
avenger called the Bat. As the Bat he wore a black hooded mask with a white bat emblem
on his forehead. Perhaps the most startling similarity comes from a scene where Dawson Clade is trying to figure out his origin. As Clade sits in his chair,
stumped and unable to come up with a name for his new alter ego, a bat flies in through the window. Clade gazes at it and says “That’s it!” Kane and Fingecreated nearly the exact same scene for when Bruce Wayne figures out his alter ego. Kane and Finger were practically fanboys of Johnston McCully, so it’s hard to imagine this was ++a coincidence.

1936 Pulp Magazine The Whisperer. If it isn’t obvious by
now, Bob Kane and Bill Finger really liked the pulp magazines. The Whisperer is a forgotten favorite of many pulp fans but
in his heyday, the Whisperer made a major impact on
Kane and, particularly, Finger.
The Whisperer started out as a a police officer who had to go
outside the law to get things properly done. He took no
prisoners and sometimes relished in making criminals
pay. It should be noted that Batman himself was a bit
more bloodthirsty in his first few issues. The most obvious influence the Whisperer had on A Batman character wasn’t Batman himself. The Whisperers true identity was Commissioner
James Gordon. Kane and Robinson paid homage to the
Whisperer by naming Batman’s greatest ally after him.

Inital Batman drawing by Bob Kane

Early Batman drawings

Leonardo da Vinci’s airplane drawing

Detective Comics 27 Cover of Batman

Olive Byrne’s bracelets