Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Elongated Man and the Silver Age Timeline!, pt. III: Post-Classic

By 1968 DC Comics lost the leadership of the comics book industry as well as some of the key people of the silver age: Gardner Fox, John Broome and Otto Binder, who were there since the golden age. In their place came people like Len Wein, Denny O'Neil, who grew reading comics and started to write for adults (the Comics Code Authority started to lose control).
1968 - 1973 is the transition between the Silver Age and the Bronze age of comics. There were still a great amount of important charcters created every year, but they were not as conventional as the ones from the classic years of the Silver Age. The new characters of this era embraced completely the Marvel tendencies. They were diverse, tragic, unconventional and freaky.
The early 70s saw the return of the horror and western genre, as well as that of Jack Kirby, who created a great number of legendary characters in worlds of their own.
Adam Strange and the Martian Manhunter are notoriusly absent from most of these years.
  • Creeper (Showcase #63),
  • Guy Gardner (Green Lantern #59).
  • Anthro (Showcase #74),
  • Secret Six (Secret Six #1).
  • Hawk and Dove (Showcase #75),
  • Copperhead (The Brave and the Bold #78).
  • Bat Lash (Showcase #76), 
  • Red Tornado (Justice League of America #64),
  • Cain (House of Mystery #175).
  • Angel and the Ape (Showcase #77).
  • General Zahl. The Doom Patrol sacrifices their lives (Doom Patrol #121).
  • Sensei (Strange Adventures #215),
  • Hellgrammite (The Brave and the Bold #80),
  • Johnny Double (Showcase #78).

  • Dolphin (Showcase #79).

May: Nightmaster (Showcase #82).
June: The Gentleman Ghost of Earth-1(Atom and Hawkman #43).
September: Abel (House of Secrets #81).
November: Black Canary joins JLA (Justice League of America #75).
  • J.L.A. Satellite, Vigilante a.k.a Greg Saunders of Earth-One appears (Justice League of America #78).
March: Wildcat a.k.a. Ted Grant of Earth-One appears (The Brave and the Bold #88). 
  • Manbat (Detective Comics #400),
  • Manhunter 2070 (Showcase #91).
  • Intergang, Morgan Edge (Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen #133), 
  • Thorn of Earth-1 (Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105),
  • El Diablo (All-Star Western #2).
  • Darkseid (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134),
  • the Ten-Eyed Man (Batman #226).

  • Orion, Highfather, Kalibak, Lightray (New Gods #1),
  • Forever People (Forever People #1),
  • the Phantom Stranger returns (Showcase #80).
  • Talia (Detective Comics #411),
  • Desaad, Mantis (Forever People #2).
  • Mr. Miracle, Oberon (Mister Miracle #1),
  • Ruby Ryder (The Brave and the Bold #95).
  • Granny Goodness,
  • Dr. Bedlam (Mister Miracle #2).
  • Ra's Al Ghul (Batman #232),
  • Glorious Godfrey (Forever People #3).
  • Swamp Thing (House of Secrets #92),
  • Black Racer (New Gods #3),
  • Bruno Manheim (Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #139).
August: Two-face of Earth-1(Batman #234).
September: Don Rickles (Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #141).
  • Big Barda (Mister Miracle #4),
  • Dabney Donovan (Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #142).
December: Virman Vundabar (Mister Miracle #5).

  • Bernadeth, Lashina, Mad Harriet, Stompa, and Funky Flashman (Mister Miracle #6),
  • John Stewart (Green Lanten #87).
  • Jonah Hex (All-Star Western #10), 
  • Steppenwolf (New Gods #7).
March: Kanto (Mister Miracle #7).
April: Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (Tarzan #1).
  • Etrigan the Demon (The Demon #1),
  • Forager (New Gods #9),
  • Kamandi (Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth #1),
  • Manhunter a.k.a. Paul Kirk (Detective Comics #437).

November: Swamp Thing, the Un-men (Swamp Thing #1).
December: The Human Target II (Action Comics #419).

Notes: I used cover dates for this list (wich means you have to substract a couple of months).
Font types are modified according to the character.
  • Important character,
  • Character with an equivalent on Earth-2,
  • Character with an Earth-2 double,
  • Might have Earth-2 double, but their debut date makes it abiguous,
  • Crossed-over descendant of an Earth-2 character,
  • Created in other media first.
  • Not tied to the DCU yet,
  • Related to the Elongated Man.  
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  1. An ambitious list. And I realize it's not meant to be exhaustive, but there are one or two omissions that strike me. You omitted Captain Comet who was introduced in 1951.

    And then there's the Human Targert (co-created by Len Wein and Carmine Infantino) in 1972.

    Also Batgirl actually first appeared in late 1966, prior to the appearance of Deadman.

    [By the way I did finish my list of Carmine Infantino co-creations--one of my final acts on the DC message board--though you may have to search the Flash boards to find it].

    I might have a few other additions to suggest as I peruse your list some more. But a great job.

  2. You got it. I actually added Captain Comet (and a much needed spell check) before I had the chance of reading your comment.

    That kinda lead me to add a lot of those space/future characters that were kinda popular during the 50s and early 60s. I knew about them, but I never really paid attention. A lot of them had a word that describes their field in their names: Adam Strange, Tommy Tomorrow, Cave Carson or even Congo Bill. I still have to add Ultra.

    Any suggestion is welcomed. Specially from the 70s. I'm also missing most of the celebrities. I added Woody Allen, but I know I'm missing Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Don Rickles... who else? They should do one of Superman with Jerry Seinfeld. I don't know what the hell are they waiting.

    Anyway, I'll check your Infantino co-creations list. Btw, you should totally include that list in your blog. I find that the blog is a lot more satisfactory than the boards when it comes to investigating and exposing stuff.

  3. In terms of celebrities there were lots in the 50s based on TV shows, like the Honey Mooners, Sgt. Bilko, and Dobie Gillis.

    In the 70s, DC briefly used a DCTV logo to identify their TV related comics--including Super Friends and Shazam!--but also The Mighty Isis and Welcome Back Kotter.

    Isis had a crossover with Captain Marvel--so she could be considered to exist on Earth S!

    Of course DC also had characters they had licensed from other media groups--but most of these existed in different timeframes and most didn't cross over with the DC characters. These included Tarzan, Korak, Justice Inc. (featuring The Avenger), Rima the Jungle Girl (she might have been in the public domain), and The Shadow. The Shadow did cross over with Batman a couple of times. Also Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser who belonged to Fritiz Lieber but appeared in a couple of issues of Wonder Woman before getting their own title--Swords and Sorcery. They existed in an alternate universe.

    Actually the Marvel Family themselves were being licensed from Fawcett, as DC didn't own them outright yet.

  4. Wait. So, the Earth-S-based Shazam! title was based on the TV show? That's kinda like if they gave the Johnny DC titles an Earth in the new multiverse.

    Maybe I should focus on the celebrities that got to interact with the DC characters. Like Ali or Rickles.

    In the Supreme series, Alan Moore made a big deal out of Tarzan belonging to the DC continuity. That James Bond thing in Showcase was a complete oddity. It went nowhere and was out of tune with the rest of the characters from the series.

  5. Well there was a kind of retroactive trick that E. Nelson Bridwell did in Shazam!

    The TV show came on the air and of course it varied from the reality of the comic book quite a bit. Billy was roaming around America in an R.V. with an old radio personality who called himself Mr. Mentor. Far from the fun loving Shazam! comics of the day, these shows seemed to be inspired by Green Lantern-Green Arrow.

    Instead of just ignoring the TV show, Bridwell decided to make an advantage out of it. Billy's hair was a little bit longer and he decided to travel America with a mentor--but it turned out this was good ol' Uncle Dudley who had grown a moustache.

    It was a nice way to make the comic book work with the TV show, without throwing out any established continuity (now isn't that a neat trick).

    On the TV show, Shazam! and Isis crossed over. So in the comic book, to introduce the Isis series, they had her appear in the Shazam! comic. Sadly these stories weren't reprinted in the Shazam! Showcase--because DC no longer has the license.

    Yes, it's probably best to stay away from all the show biz characters that didn't cross over with the DC heroes directly. There's enough that have crossed over with them directly to account for.

    I'll try to track down some of those. But I know that both Jerry Lewis and Bob Hope had some cross overs with the DC heroes.

  6. I had no idea. It sounds very interesting. I really like that Uncle Dudley character, haha.

    Any help tracking the celebrities that crossed over would be appreciated.

    I'm going to rest for a bit, but I'll keep updating these articles. I know I'm missing Stanley and the reintroduction of the Gentleman Ghost, at least.

    Btw, I just finished one about the transition between the Golden Age and the silver age. Lots of writing, and you know already, I'm not a native English speaker, so I'd deeply appreciate any corrections. I hope you enjoy it.

  7. I tend to think of John Jones as a sci-fi/crime character who was simply drafted into super-heroics heading into the 1960s. Like Captain Comet, he falls into that gray period between the end of the golden age of super-heroes and the Silver Age.

  8. The 50s added a lot of alien-falvor to the superhero genre. I think the 1947-1964 should be renamed the "Theremin age". It fits most of those characters: Phantom Stranger, Captain Comet, Adam Strange, Tommy Tomorrow, the Challengers, Brainiac, the nameless alien races that Batman, Superman and even Flash and the Elongated Man fought, the Martian Manhunter, the Legion of Super Heroes, etc.