Are you guilty of saving your favourite comics, piles of them collecting dust in the back of your wardrobe or in a box in the attic?
Just me then… well not really, but every now and again I come across a few comics that are mixed up with some books or magazines. Great memories of reading them when I was a kid and the jokes are still as funny!
There is a good reason for keeping a select few of them, just recently the LA Times reported that a copy of a comic book featuring the debut of Superman in 1938 was sold for $1.5M thats about £1M at todays rates. Do you have one hidden away somewhere (maybe your dad does?).
I’m not sure that the Beano or Dandy will sell for as much, but it just goes to show that those collecters of comics are prepared to pay big money for those special first editions.
Check out those boxes in the attic, I’m off to check mine now!
1. Superman – Truth, Justice, and the American Way. It seems like anyone could describe Superman without a problem. With his classic blue, red, and yellow outfit, the S emblem and the red cape. Superman is everyone’s definition of a classic super hero. He’s originally from the planet Krypton and has taken the alter ego of Clark Kent.
2. Batman – After seeing his parents gunned down, Bruce Wayne vowed to avenge them. Becoming the Dark Knight, Batman used his physical prowess, mental skills, and array of gadgets to take on villains like the Joker and the penguin. His sidekick Robin and others help Batman control the crime in Gotham City.
DC Comics – Wonder Woman
3. Wonder Woman – The beautiful Amazon from Themyscira is probably the most distinguishable female superhero. Diana Prince’s powers were given by the gods, “Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules.” She has the indistinguishable bullet-proof bracelets, truth-telling lasso, and invisible jet.
4. The Flash – The Flash is a streak of red and lightning as he runs circles around his enemies. Wally West is the current Flash and he has the ability to tap into the Speed Force to run at supersonic speeds. He can also vibrate fast enough to walk through walls. His quick wit often leads him to being the comic relief for the Justice League.
DC Comics – The Flash
5. Green Lantern – Hal Jordan was a pilot who was chosen to be a guardian of the universe. His ring runs off of the willpower of Jordan and with it he can create objects with his mind. Green Lantern is known for the Green Lantern Oath he recites when he has to charge his ring: In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight, Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power, Green Lantern’s light!
6. Martian Manhunter – The last Martian of his race, J’onn J’onzz has taken up the fight against the villains of Earth. He has a variety of powers, like strength and flight, but has a weakness to fire. He has been a member of several incarnations of the Justice League and has even masqueraded as the superhero Bloodwynd.
DC Comics – Green Lantern
7. Aquaman – Aquaman tends to be the brunt of jokes in popular culture. It’s a shame because Aquaman can contact aquatic beings with mental telepathy and also has strong physical power on land because of the deep pressure in the water. He has been portrayed as the King of Atlantis.
8. Green Arrow – The master marksman and millionaire Oliver Queen has no super abilities. Instead, he has an array of “trick arrows” that can fell the enemy. He is known for his gritty attitude and love for Black Canary.
DC Comics – Captain Marvel
9. Captain Marvel – By shouting “Shazam!” a lightning bolt strikes Billy Batson and he transforms from a normal boy, to an adult superhero. The word Shazam is actually an acronym of where he gets his abilities from (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury).
10. Zatanna is the resident magician for the Justice League. Whenever anything supernatural happens, she’s on call for analysis. Armed with the ability to cast spells by speaking verbal commands backwards, Zatanna understands the mystical and supernatural. With her powers and abilities could actually take down Superman or Batman if she tried.
These are just my top ten DC Comics Super Heroes. Who would you have put in your list?
DC Comics is a pioneering company. They created the first superhero, original material (instead of newspaper reprints), they created the Silver Age of comics, and they were the first to create a super-group consisting of popular heroes. DC Comics has made a remarkable impact with their well recognisable characters and combination of talented writers and artists. Some superheroes have come and gone, but the lasting power of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman shows the connect-ability with their audience. Through their comics, television shows, cartoons, and movies, DC Comics has launched several pop-culture phenomena that many generations can celebrate.
Although DC Comics started off in 1934 as National Allied Publications, the company got its initials DC from their series Detective Comics. The big breakout happened in 1938 with Action Comics #1. It was the first appearance of Superman. Soon Batman was introduced in Detective Comics in 1939 and in 1941 Wonder Woman was created in All Star Comics. DC Comics has many more superheroes besides Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The Flash, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Black Canary are just some of the heroes. Also, there are many super teams like the New Gods, the Birds of Prey, and the Justice Society of America. DC Comics continued their popularity by moving their characters to other mediums including radio shows and television shows.
Dominating TV shows during the Fifties was George Reeves playing Superman and during the sixties Batman was all the rage. Adam West played Batman while Burt Ward starred as his side-kick Robin. Superman regained his number one superhero status when the first Superman movie was released in the late seventies and starred Christopher Reeve. By the 80s, DC targeted the older and more mature market of comics fans with their titles such as Watchmen, The Dark Knight Returns, and Sandman. This allowed them to introduce darker and more realistic super heroes such as the Punisher and Hellboy which are still around today.
Along with their live television shows, DC Comics spun off classic cartoons. Probably the most memorable cartoon was Super Friends. The cartoon was based on the Justice League and Hanna-Barbera originals. Hannah-Barbera added characters like Zan, Jayna, Gleek, Black Vulcan, Apache Chief, and Samurai. In the 90s, both Batman and Superman had successful cartoons. Both were stylised by producer Bruce Timm and the cartoons had a distinctive, angular look to it. The Justice League and the Teen Titans had animated versions in the 2000s as well.
Today Superman and Batman have continued the popularity of DC Comics. It seems like everything has happened to the two: Superman has died and come back, Batman broke his back, and the city of Gotham suffered from an earthquake. Still people continue to read about many DC superheroes vigilantly. Shows like Smallville and the Batman movies have reinvigorated the superheroes for the masses. People can still sing the theme song to Batman or Wonder Woman’s television show. The Super Friends are still referenced in popular culture on shows like Harvey Birdman and Family Guy.
Everyone has a favourite hero, television show, or moment. What’s yours? Add your favourite DC Comics super hero to the comments below.