A Brief History of DC Comics


Alex DeGeorge, Staff Writer

DC comics has been the staple for stories about various costumed crusaders for 88 years. On January 11th, 1935, the first DC comic was released. It was dubbed “ New Fun #1” and was the first instance of a recurring character, as Doctor Occult began the DC lineup. The Golden age of comics (Which began with the introduction of Superman) brought us iconic characters such as Batman and Superman. The Golden age saw the first superhero team, being the Justice Society of America. The Golden age of comics lasted from 1938  to 1955. 


A large part of DC’s early to middle history is dubbed “Pre-Crisis” (To be explained later). Later in Pre-Crisis history, The Justice League was created to battle the threat of the Alien Starro the Conqueror. DC continued  with many great runs, such as The Teen Titans. Then, Crisis on Infinite Earths changed DC’s trajectory for years to come. The villainous cosmic being, The Anti-Monitor, decided to destroy the entire multiverse. The event was the biggest crossover ever written at the time, and featured 40 years worth of characters across many different universes. The event ended with the most powerful versions of Lex Luthor and Superman joining forces with The Specter against the Anti-Monitor. The vast multiverse reset, leaving a fresh slate for new continuity. 


In Post-Crisis DC, some of the greatest comics ever created were written. Stories like Batman: The Killing Joke and The Death of Superman changed the idea that comics couldn’t be dark and morbid. In May of 2011, another massive event happened. The event, dubbed “Flashpoint,” focused around The Flash waking up into a radically different reality. Most Superheroes were dead, and the forces of Atlantis and Themyscira were at war. The Flash had to team up with this reality’s Batman (Thomas Wayne, father of Bruce) to figure out what caused the Flashpoint, and how to stop it. It was revealed that The Flash’s most nefarious villain, The Reverse Flash, had orchestrated the whole thing. He was defeated and The Flash had to reset the multiverse, creating ANOTHER fresh slate.


The Flashpoint had created the new continuity, known as The New 52. New 52 being in reference to the 52 new universes introduced. The New 52 breathed fresh life into classic heroes, reinventing them for a more modern age. It also brought about new villains, like The Court of Owls. The New 52 lasted from August 2022 to May 2016. The New 52 ended with the return of The Anti-Monitor. In the event titled “The Darkseid War” Darkseid, the ruler of planet Apokolips, clashed with The Anti-Monitor for control over all reality. The event ended with both forces dead, but the multiverse in a dire state. The Watchmen’s own Dr. Manhattan decided it was his duty to save reality by resetting it. He took control of the Mobius chair and reset reality AGAIN.


Dc relaunched with a new, simplified continuity in DC: Rebirth. Rebirth re-launched classic series like “Detective Comics”. Rebirth introduced a new world in which many superheroes were older and had full rogues galleries. Rebirth has been the current universe since 2016, but most dc comics aren’t clad with the “Rebirth” label anymore. Dc Rebirth is seemingly coming to an end with the new “Dark Crisis” event. Dc has been at the forefront of comic books for years, and they probably won’t be going anywhere soon!