Slightly quicker to the draw, DC published their first Superhero comic in 1938. As many of you probably know, this comic came in the form of Action Comics #1 and would house the very first Superman Story. The success of this individual comic created an entire genre of comics and because of it, costumed heroes have been around ever since.
Within the next 3 years, DC would create and introduce two more mainstays to their arsenal of characters. These characters would come in the form of Batman (1939) and Wonder Woman (1941). These 3 characters achieved monumental success and became superstars in their own right through the Licensing Corporation of America. Because of this astute manoeuver, DC was able to market these characters in a wide range of products and media.
During the 1950’s, Superhero comics began to waiver and as such DC cancelled all its Superhero comics with the exception of the Big 3 noted above. The industry began to focus on Westerns, Science Fiction and Crime stories.
By 1956, DC made an effort to reintroduce its Superhero characters, which included an updated version of The Flash. With this move, DC ushered in what is now known as the Silver Age of Comics. DC’s overwhelming success in the genre had an unwanted effect. Companies that had previously stopped writing Superhero Comics began to return to the genre, most notably Marvel Comics.
The 1970’s brought change to DC comics. A new level of maturity was brought into comics that dealt with race, pollution and drugs. The Green Arrow would be used as a catalyst for this new, edgy writing and instantly became one of the quintessential comics to own from the era.
The 1980’s came in like a tornado and effected change everywhere. The writers at DC realized that the stories had become far too convoluted for its readers and decided that the best way to fix this problem was to create a ‘reset’ of its titles.
Because of this ‘reset’, the reader was treated to a whole new telling of its most popular characters and stories. This ‘reset’ brought the reader such classics as Frank Millers’ epic run on Batman, the fan-favorite “Dark Knight Returns” as well as John Byrne retelling the Superman origin with his book, “Man of Steel.”
Comic books reached an all time high in popularity during the 1990’s and DC sought to capitalize on this. DC would do the unthinkable and kill off its most beloved character, Superman. Fans and Non-Fans alike raced to the stores in droves to get a piece of history and DC reaped the benefits.
Most recently, because of the success of comic book movies, DC has released many of its characters to the silver screen. Most notably and often considered its best work was Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Trilogy.