8/15/2011

1960-1965
This is an attempt to list significant events in the history of DC Comics in as chronological order as possible.  Most dates are the cover dates from the comics themselves.  It should be recognized that these dates tend to be two months after the actual release date.  Other dates come from various published sources and have varying degrees of precision.  Everything is relative. No attempt is made to list everything that ever happened.  More detailed information is contained in the various works cited in the bibliography.  Non-DC comics events listed are included because of their relevance to the history of DC Comics, not to their own companies.  An attempt has been made to refer to the company by the appropriate name in each time period.  This is not an attempt to explain super-hero continuity.  There are other web sites that do that.  All opinions given are mine and probably can't be changed.  Factual errors will be thankfully corrected. Comments
1929-1945
 1956-1959
1966-1969
1976-1979
 1986-1989
1996-1999
1946-1955
1960-1965
1970-1975
1980-1985
 1990-1995
2000-2005
 Piranha
DC's "other" comics
Vertigo
Paradox

 
   
1960
 
Jan  Mxyzptlk retconned into Superboy’s time in Superboy 78.
Feb 
Robert Bernstein's Aqualad joins Aquaman in Adventure 260.

Justice League of America, a revival of the Justice Society begins a trial run in Brave and Bold 28. Brave and Bold is no longer a sword and sorcery comic, but a "tryout" comic like Showcase.

Congorilla ends in Action (moves to Adventure)- from now on only two features in Action.
 

Mar  Sgt. Bilko (#18) and Pvt. Doberman (11) cancelled as the TV show ends.

John Broome's Star Hawkins begins as an occasional series in Strange Adventures 114.  Mike Sekowsky  creates the deadbeat detective's vision of the future.

Apr  John Broome's Elongated Man appears in Flash 112, but Plastic Man is still nowhere to be found.  One of Carmine Infantino's masterpieces.

Lex Luthor 1st appears in Adventure 271.  Jerry Siegel retcons Luthor into Superboy’s time and shows how Superboy made him bald (and bad).

Otto Binder grafts some old Captain Marvel concepts onto the Bizarros and creates the Bizarro World in Action 263.

The Second Batman and Robin Team is the 1st Imaginary story in Batman 131.

"Dinosaurs vs  Tanks!  Who will win the war of armored giants?" The War that Time Forgot begins in Star Spangled War 90.
 

May  The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis begins and lasts 24 issues- National's last significant licensed TV title, until Star Trek in 1989.

Tomahawk becomes "The Frontier Superman" in #68
 

Jun  John Broome's Atomic Knights begin in Strange Adventures 117, perhaps the most fondly rememberd of the science fiction series of the Silver Age.  Murphy Anderson illustrates.

Jul  Green Lantern graduates to his own title.
Aug  Jerry Siegel's "Mr and Mrs Clark (Superman) Kent" is the 1st official  "imaginary story" in Lois Lane 19.

National publishes its first oversized book since World's Finest 71 with Superman Annual #1, although the 84 page book is technically published by All-American Comics!

Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath create Sea Devils for Showcase 27.
 

Sep  Several DC humor titles bear an IND in the center of the bullet symbol instead of a DC logo, including Flippity and Flop 47,  Peter Porkchops 62 (Oct) and Three Mouseketeers 25 and 26 (Oct).  All these final issues appeared after a one year gap in publication.   Indicias say Signal Publishing Corp.

Dick Lupoff publishes the fanzine Xero, which contains the first installment of the series "All In Color For A Dime".  Comics fandom is officially born.

Oct  Justice League Of America gets its own title.

A Date With Judy cancelled (#79). It lasted a long time considering the radio program had been off the air for years and the TV show only lasted one season (1953).

Independent News allows Goodman to increase his line to 10 books a month. (Alter Ego 49)

Nov  Robert Kanigher and Irv Novick create Navaho Ace Johnny Cloud in All American Men of War 82

November 1, 1960- Marvel releases Millie the Model 101, their only comic for the month.

Dec  December 29, 1960 Marvel releases four titles -one western, two romance books and Journery Into Mystery, making it effectively two months in which Marvel mysteriously published nothing.  (This is possibly related to the renegotiation of their distribution contract.)
   
1961 
 
Jan  After 20 years Aquaman gets a shot at his own comic book in Showcase 30.  George Kashdan edits, Jack Miller writes, as Aquaman visits Atlantis, probably for the first time in the series.

TV Screen Comics is cancelled (138), leaving 
only one humor title left from the Golden Age, Fox and Crow.

Western Comics cancelled (#85), followed by All-Star Western in June, leaving DC western-less, unless you count Tomahawk.

Superman Annual #2 appears 6 months after Annual #1!
 

Feb  Features begin to be cut from the anthology titles to make longer stories.  Congorilla ends in Adventure 280.  Aquaman ends in Detective 300 (4/62)

Hawkman revived by Gardner Fox and Joe Kubert in Brave and Bold 34.  As usual the new version is more science fiction oriented.  Hawkman and Hawkgirl become the first pair of married super-heroes.

Super Chief debuts in All Star Western 111, effectively converting it into a super-hero title, but the book is still cancelled 2 issues later.
 

Mar  Rip Hunter, Time Master gets his own title.

Jerry Bails publishes Alter-Ego #1, featuring Roy Thomas' Bestest League of America.  the magazine carries four pages of news about upcoming comic books still "On the Drawing Board".

Don and Maggie Thompson publish Comic Art #1 featuring the article "Re-Birth" in which Dick Lupoff coins the phrase "golden age of comics".

Nick Cardy draws Aquaman's second appearance in Showcase 31, ending Ramona Fradon's 10 year streak on the character.

Apr  Dell raises their price to $.15 with no ads.  National holds steady.

Robert Kanigher and Russ Heath create the Haunted Tank in GI Combat 87.

Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff create Bat-Girl in Batman 139.

Robert Bernstein adds Kryptonian criminals to the "Empty Doom" from the second Superman serial and comes up with the Phantom Zone in Adventure 283.
 

May  Wonder Tot debuts in Wonder Woman 122

Jun  All-Star Western cancelled (#119).

Tales of the Bizarro World begins in Adventure 285.  Aquaman moves to Detective. Congorilla ends.

Roy Raymond ends in Detective 292 after 12 years.

"Superboy's Big Brother" Mon-El is introduced in Superboy 89.
 

Jul  Robert Kanigher combines Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot into an "Impossible Tale" in Wonder Woman 124.

National expands its line of 84 page books with Secret Origins #1 and  Batman Annual #1.

Jerry Siegel begins a Supergirl serial in Action 278 that will last for six months, Mort Weisinger continues to explore longer format storylines.
 

Aug 
Sep  Sea Devils begins its own title.  To capture the look of being undersea, almost every issues sports an Adler wash cover.

The  Golden Age Flash returns in Flash 123's- "Flash of Two Worlds!"  Gardner Fox and Julius Schwartz create the concept of  Earth 2. 

Gil Kane's Atom begins in Showcase 34, a revival of the Golden Age character Doll Man. The  letters page contains an illustration of the first JSA cover (All Star 3), introducing the concept to a whole new generation of readers.  Gardner Fox writes.
 

Oct 
Nov  National Comics becomes National Periodical Publications, a publicly traded corporation.

Signal titles, Girls' Love (83) and Girls' Romances (80) moved to Arleigh.  Arleigh becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of National Periodical Publications.

Jerry Siegel's famous "Death of Superman" imaginary story appears in Superman 149.

Showcase 35 contains 1st? comic book reference to the "Golden Age".

Canaam Publishers Sales Corporation publishes Fantastic Four #1, by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.  Last possible date for the Silver Age to begin.
 

Dec  National raises price to $.12!  Dell drops their price to $.12 soon after.
   
1962 
 
Jan  Aquaman graduates from Showcase to his own title.  He also gains his own person pixie, Quisp.
Feb  Jerry Siegel reveals Supergirl’s existence to the world in a book length story in Action 285. 

The "Origin of the Justice League" appears in Justice League 9.
 

Mar  Robert Kanigher creates the Metal Men over a weekend to fill in for a late issue of Showcase (#37). Ross Andru illustrates.

Last Tommy Tommorow in World's Finest.  Replaced by Aquaman.

Apr 
May  Romance comics bullet changed to Superman-DC National Comics (same as everyone else).

The JLA guest star in Adam Strange and don’t even get to be on the cover of Mystery In Space 75!
 

Jun  The Atom begins, following his Showcase run.

Hawkman comes back for a second 3 issue run in Brave and Bold 42.
 

Jul  Murray Boltinoff and George Kashdan become full editors, (instead of Jack Schiff’s assistants).  Boltinoff takes over House of Secrets (55), My Greatest Adventure (71), Tomahawk (82) and Challengers of the Unknown (28).  Kashdan takes over Aquaman (5),  Rip Hunter (10). House of Mystery (126) and Tales of the Unexpected (73).  Schiff, at this point, keeps Batman, Detective, World’s Finest and Blackhawk.

A Yellow Submarine appears on the cover of Superman 154.  DC Comics are prominently featured in the Beatles movie Help.  Is this the source of John Lennon's "Yellow Submarine"?  You decide.

Miss Liberty appears in Tomahawk 81- 1st revolutionary era costumed hero.

Aug  First Lois Lane Annual.
Sep  The Legion begins its own feature in Adventure 300, ousting Bizarro World. 

Supergirl meets Super Horse in Action 292.

Oct  Green Lantern’s girl friend Carol Ferris becomes the super-villain Star Sapphire in Green Lantern 16.
Nov 

Dec  Dell splits with Western which launches its own line, Gold Key.

Last Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (80 pg Giant).

Tomahawk’s Rangers introduced as "The GIs of 1775" (83).

   
1963 
 
Jan  Lightning Lad dies in Adventure 304.

Arnold Drake begins a new direction for Mark Merlin in House of Secrets 58 as he gets an origin and a swing towards the occult.

DC introduces a new company mascot, Johnny DC.

Feb 
Mar  Kid Flash gets a new costume in Flash 135 that is not identical to Flash’s.
Apr Metal Men awarded their own series.
May  Tomahawk battles King Colosso the giant gorilla (86)
Jun  Arnold Drake and Bob Haney create the Doom Patrol, the World’s Strangest Super Heroes" for My Greatest Adventure 80.

Inevitably, the Justice Society is revived in Flash 137.
 

Jul  Bob Haney’s Eclipso (Hero and villain in one man!) begins in House of Secrets 61
Aug  Prize/Crestwood leaves the comic book business.  National's Arleigh Publishing subsidiary takes over their two ailing romance titles, Young Love (39) and Young Romance (125).  Larry Nadle takes over the romance comics from Phyllis Reed.

Justice League 21 has the first team-up of the Justice League and Justice Society,  "Crisis on Earth -1"- continued in JLA 22.
 

Sep  X-Men, "the World’s Strangest Super-Heroes"  debuts from Marvel.

Mary Robin, RN by Robert Kanigher and Johnny Romita, begins in Young Love 39: National’s first continuing series in a romance title.
 

Oct  Bonnie Taylor, Stewardess begins in Young Romance 126.

Flash Annual #1 appears.

Brave and Bold (50) becomes a team-up book, starting with Green Arrow and Martian Manhunter, abandoning the Showcase concept.  George Kashdan edits.

Luthor forgoes a certain chance to kill Superman in order to save the inhabitants of an alien planet in Superman 164, thus completing the conversion of the formerly blood thirsty killer into a tragic anti-hero.  Ed Hamilton writes.

Nov  Alex Toth returns and takes over the art in Eclipso. (House of Secrets 63).

Hawkman gets his own series in Mystery In Space 87. Murphy Anderson takes over the art.

Dec  Last new Superboy story in Adventure.  Reprints backing up new Legion stories begin.
   
1964 
 
Jan 
Feb 
Mar  My Greatest Adventure renamed Doom Patrol (#86).
Arnold Drake introduces the Brotherhood of Evil.
Coincidentally, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby introduce the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4 in the same month.

Sgt Rock’s Prize Battle Tales #1 is the first war book annual.

Wendy Winthrop, Television Model is the third romance comic continuing series in Girls’ Romances 99.

George Kashdan takes over Sea Devils from Bob Kanigher with #16.  Howard Purcell replaces Irv Novick on the art.

Apr  Hawkman begins own title.
May  Robert Kanigher’s Captain Storm begins.  Irv Novick draws.

"New Look" Batman begins as Julius Schwartz becomes editor of Batman and Detective.  Carmine Infantino becomes the first artist other than Bob Kane to be credited with drawing Batman.  Infantino draws every other issue of Detective.  Kane’s ghost, Sheldon Moldoff is instructed to make "Kane’s" work look more like Infantino.  Elongated Man replaces John Jones in the back of Detective.  Infantino pencils and inks most of these stories.

Jack Schiff takes over Strange Adventures (164), and Mystery In Space (92) from Julie Schwartz.  Also, Tales of the Unexpected from Kashdan (83) and House of Secrets from Boltinoff (66).  Schiff moves Space Ranger into Mystery In Space, sharing with Adam Strange.  Star Rovers, Atomic Knights and Space Museum are dropped from Strange Adventures.  The only series that continues is Star Hawkins.

Mort Weisinger takes over World’s Finest (141). Mort’s deal gains him an assistant editor (E. Nelson Bridwell) and an agreement that he can use reprints in the back of two books a month to cut his workload.  Initially the two books are World’s Finest and Adventure, but eventually he sprinkles them throughout the super titles so they’re less obvious.   Green Arrow loses his feature spot and doesn’t get it back again until the 70’s.

Murray Boltinoff takes over Blackhawk from Jack Schiff (196). New Look Blackhawks begin as traditional blue/black outfits are replaced by red and green uniforms.  The Blackhawks now work for Mr. Cipher.
 

Jun  National subsidiary All-American Printing buys Mad Magazine.

Jack Schiff takes House of Mystery (143) back from Kashdan and puts Martian Manhunter into the book and occasionally on the cover.  Schiff now edits all 5 mystery/sf anthology titles.

Larry Nadle dies.  Murray Boltinoff takes over Sugar and Spike (53).  Jack Miller becomes editor of the romance titles.  Bob Hope (86) and Jerry Lewis go to Murray Boltinoff.  Arnold Drake takes over writing and introduces cast changes- (Harvard Harvard III, Bob’s talking dog.) Boltinoff also takes over Fox and Crow.

Robin , Kid Flash and Aqualad team up in Brave and Bold 54 (Kashdan and Haney).  Sales on this issue would lead to the Teen Titans.

Amy Ames by Robert Kanigher and Gene Colan, begins in Secret Hearts 96.

Superboy Annual #1 is added to the giant issue schedule.
 

Jul  April O’Day, with art by Bob Oksner, begins in Girls’ Love Stories 104.
The Editorial Line-up After the Great Shift-.August 1964
Mort Weisinger Jack Schiff Murray Boltinoff Jack Miller
Action
Adventure
Jimmy Olsen
Lois Lane
Superboy
Superman
World's Finest
Strange Adventures
Mystery in Space
Tales of the Unexpected
House of Mystery
House of Secrets
Sugar and Spike
Bob Hope
Jerry Lewis
Fox and Crow
Doom Patrol
Challengers
Tomahawk
Falling In Love
Girls' Love Stories
Girls' Romances
Heart Throbs
Secret Hearts
Young Love
Young Romance
George Kashdan Robert Kanigher Julius Schwartz
Blackhawk
Brave and Bold
Aquaman
Rip Hunter
Sea Devils
All American Men of War
GI Combat
Our Army At War
Captain Storm
Our Fighting Forces
Star Spangled War Stories
Wonder Woman
Metal Men
Flash
Green Lantern
Justice League
Batman
Detective
Atom
Hawkman
Aug  In an attempt to increase sales in Canada, National reconfigures their annuals as a separate comic series, 80-Page Giant.  (Canada taxes Annuals as if they were books.)

The story page count in the regular size titles drops to 24.

Sam Moskowitz's biography of Mort Weisinger "The Superman behind Superman" appears in Amazing Stories.  Moskowitz attempts to minimize the contributions of Siegel and Shuster and give all the credit for the character's success to Weisinger.  The article would be reprinted in Moskowitz's 1966 book "Seekers of Tomorrow".

Sep  1st Giant Jimmy Olsen (80 Page Giant #2)
Oct  The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis is cancelled (#26).  DC leaves the licensed TV show business to Gold Key.

Aquaman marries Mera (18) in DC's (or anybody's?) 1st super-hero wedding.

Zatanna, daughter of Zatarra, debuts in Hawkman 4 and begins a quest to find her father that will take her through appearances in most of Julie Schwartz’s super-hero titles. 1st crossover series?
 

Nov  Arnold Drake introduces Renfrew, Jerry’s nephew in Jerry Lewis 85.

1st Tales of the Green Glob in Tales of the Unexpected.
 

Dec  Warren begins Creepy Magazine

Tomahawk 101 cover bills the "Rip Roaring Rangers" but he’s still battling ghosts, dinosaurs, monsters and giant gorillas.

Bob Haney’s Metamorpho debuts in Brave and Bold 57 (Kashdan edits).  Ramona Fradon draws.
 

   
1965 
 
Jules Feiffer's the Great Comic Book Heroes is published by Dial Press.  In addition to his memoir, the book includes the first generally available golden age reprints, including early Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman and Wonder Woman stories.  National's Jack Adler did the art restoration.  Feiffer is single handedly responsible for turning fandom against teen age super-heroes and sidekicks.

The 1943 Batman movie serial is re-released to theatres and inspires talk of a new Batman tv series.

Feb  Harry Donenfeld dies.  He had been ill for at least 3 years and had no input into company operations.

Robert Kanigher’s Enemy Ace debuts in Our Army at War 151.

Mar  Showcase 55 teams up Dr Fate and Hourman.

Apr  1st Batman team-up in Brave and Bold 59, with Green Lantern. 
May  Witch Kraft introduced in Jerry Lewis 88.

The Riddler revived from the forties in Batman 171.

Challengers get new bright yellow uniforms in Challengers 43.
 

Jun  1st appearance of the Teen Titans in Brave and Bold 60: Kid Flash, Robin, Aqualad and Wonder Girl.

Roy Thomas works for National for two weeks as Mort Weisinger's assistant before quitting to go to work for Marvel.

Jul  Metamorpho gets his own title.

Enemy Ace gets a shot at Showcase 57
 

Aug  Wonder Woman converted from a girl's comic to a fan-boy oriented  super hero book.  Sales plummet (WW156). "The Brain Pirate of the Inner World" is a take off on the Golden Age style artwork of Harry G. Peter, vaguely based on Sensation 82.

Gene Colan begins working for Marvel on Sub-Mariner (as Adam Austin).

Starman and Black Canary team up in Brave and Bold 61.

Last Gunner and Sarge in Our Fighting Forces 94.
 

Sep  Mark Merlin becomes Prince Ra-Man in House of Secrets, as the book  is converted into a Marvel style double feature.  Bernard Baily draws.

Dave Woods'  Animal Man debuts in Strange Adventures 180.  Carmine Infantino draws the first tale.

Oct  Arnold Drake introduces Bob's nephew 
Super-Hip in Bob Hope.

Bob Kanigher and Irv Novick introduce Larry Rock, Fighting Devil Dog in Our Fighting Forces 95.

Fox and Crow 94 introduces the Brat Finks.

Nov  National changes their art standards.  Original art is no longer done twice the size of the printed book, but only 1 1/2 times the size.  This saves on production costs, but a lot of artists complain about loss of detail.  The change was instituted slowly across the line.  One way to tell whether a book was done before or after the change is to look at the top of each page.  If the book title and DC bullet appears, the art was done twice up.  If not, 1 1/2.

Rip Hunter, Time Master cancelled (#29)

1st Justice League "annual"  (JLA 39- 80 Page Giants are now included in the regular series numbering.)

Adam Strange and Space Ranger are booted out of Mystery In Space and replaced by Dave Wood's Ultra-the Multi-Alien.

Steve Savage, Balloon Buster begins in All American Men Of War 112 (Kanigher and Heath).

Last "Impossible Tale" in Wonder Woman 158.

Dec  Arnold Drake’s Stanley and his Monster begins in Fox and Crow 95
 
Bibliography
All characters and artwork copyright by DC Comics Inc.