- DC Comics
DC Comics Type Subsidiary of Warner Bros. Industry Comics Founded 1934, by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (as National Allied Publications) Headquarters 1700 Broadway
New York, New York
Key people Diane Nelson (President)
Dan DiDio (Co-Publisher of DC Comics)
Jim Lee (Co-Publisher of DC Comics)
Bob Harras (Editor In chief)
Geoff Johns (Chief Creative Officer)
John Rood (Executive Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Business Development)
Products See list of DC Comics publications Owner(s) Time Warner Parent DC Entertainment, Inc.
(Warner Bros. Entertainment)
Divisions Vertigo Website http://www.dccomics.com
DC Comics, Inc. (founded in 1934 as National Allied Publications) is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner. DC Comics produces material featuring a large number of well-known characters, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Aquaman, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern, and the Flash, and such superhero teams as the Justice Society, the Justice League and the Teen Titans, and such antagonists as Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Bane, Catwoman, Sinestro, the Penguin, Two-Face, General Zod, Gorilla Grodd, Brainiac, and Darkseid.
The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series Detective Comics, which subsequently became part of the company's name. The title can be considered a redundant initialism. DC Comics has its headquarters at 1700 Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York, New York. Random House distributes DC Comics' books to the bookstore market, while Diamond Comic Distributors supplies the comics shop specialty market.
DC Comics and its major, longtime competitor Marvel Comics (currently owned by Time Warner's main rival The Walt Disney Company) together shared over 80% of the American comic-book market as of 2008[update].
Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 in February 1935. The company's second title, New Comics #1 (cover date December 1935), appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with slightly larger dimensions than today's[update]. That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic book series.
Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936, eventually premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date. The themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27 (May 1939). By then, however, Wheeler-Nicholson had gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld — who also published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News — Wheeler-Nicholson was compelled to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, and he was forced out. Shortly afterward, Detective Comics Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied, also known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction.
Detective Comics Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, and the premiere of which introduced Superman (a character with which Wheeler-Nicholson had no direct involvement; editor Vin Sullivan chose to run the feature after Sheldon Mayer rescued it from the slush pile). Action Comics #1 (June 1938), the first comic book to feature the new character archetype — soon known as "superheroes" — proved a major sales hit. The company quickly introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman.
On February 22, 2010, a copy of Action Comics #1 (June 1938) sold at auction from an anonymous seller to an anonymous buyer for $1 million, besting the $317,000 record for a comic book set by a different copy, in lesser condition, the previous year.
The Golden Age
National Allied Publications soon merged with Detective Comics Inc. to form National Comics, which in 1944 absorbed an affiliated concern, Max Gaines's and Liebowitz's All-American Publications. That year, Gaines let Liebowitz buy him out, and kept only Picture Stories from the Bible as the foundation of his own new company, EC Comics. At that point, "Liebowitz promptly orchestrated the merger of All-American and Detective Comics into National Comics... Next he took charge of organizing National Comics, [the self-distributorship] Independent News, and their affiliated firms into a single corporate entity, National Periodical Publications". National Periodical Publications became publicly traded on the stock market in 1961.
Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the line used the logo "Superman-DC" throughout (the DC logo could be seen on their covers and ads as early as 1940), and the company became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977.
The company began to move aggressively against what it saw as copyright-violating imitations from other companies, such as Fox Comics' Wonder Man, which (according to court testimony) Fox started as a copy of Superman. This extended to DC suing Fawcett Comics over Captain Marvel, at the time comics' top-selling character. Despite the fact that parallels between Captain Marvel and Superman seemed more tenuous (Captain Marvel's powers came from magic, unlike Superman's), the courts ruled that substantial and deliberate copying of copyrighted material had occurred. Faced with declining sales and the prospect of bankruptcy if it lost, Fawcett capitulated in 1955 and ceased comics publication. Years later, Fawcett ironically sold the rights to Captain Marvel to DC — which in 1973 revived Captain Marvel in the new title Shazam! featuring artwork by his creator, C. C. Beck. In the meantime, the abandoned trademark had been seized by Marvel Comics in 1967, disallowing the DC comic itself to be called that. While Captain Marvel did not recapture his old popularity, he later appeared in a Saturday morning live action TV adaptation and gained a prominent place in the mainstream continuity DC calls the DC Universe.
When the popularity of superheroes faded in the late 1940s, the company focused on such genres as science fiction, Westerns, humor, and romance. DC also published crime and horror titles, but relatively tame ones, and thus avoided the mid-1950s backlash against such comics. A handful of the most popular superhero-titles (most notably Action Comics and Detective Comics, the medium's two longest-running titles) continued publication.
The Silver Age
In the mid-1950s, editorial director Irwin Donenfeld and publisher Liebowitz directed editor Julius Schwartz (whose roots lay in the science-fiction book market) to produce a one-shot Flash story in the try-out title Showcase. Instead of reviving the old character, Schwartz had writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome, penciler Carmine Infantino, and inker Joe Kubert create an entirely new super-speedster, updating and modernizing the Flash's civilian identity, costume, and origin with a science-fiction bent. The Flash's reimagining in Showcase #4 (October 1956) proved sufficiently popular that it soon led to a similar revamping of the Green Lantern character, the introduction of the modern all-star team Justice League of America (JLA), and many more superheroes, heralding what historians and fans call the Silver Age of comic books.
National did not reimagine its continuing characters (primarily Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman), but radically overhauled them. The Superman family of titles, under editor Mort Weisinger, introduced such enduring characters as Supergirl, Bizarro, and Brainiac. The Batman titles, under editor Jack Schiff, introduced the successful Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite in an attempt to modernize the strip with non-science-fiction elements. Schwartz, together with artist Infantino, then revitalized Batman in what the company promoted as the "New Look", re-emphasizing Batman as a detective. Meanwhile, editor Kanigher successfully introduced a whole family of Wonder Woman characters having fantastic adventures in a mythological context.
DC's introduction of the reimagined superheroes did not go unnoticed by other comics companies. In 1961, with DC's JLA as the specific spur, Marvel Comics writer-editor Stan Lee and legendary creator Jack Kirby ushered in the sub-Silver Age "Marvel Age" of comics with the debut issue of The Fantastic Four.
Since the 1940s, when Superman, Batman, and many of the company's other heroes began appearing in stories together, DC's characters inhabited a shared continuity that, decades later, was dubbed[by whom?] the DC Universe. With the story "Flash of Two Worlds", in Flash #123 (September 1961), editor Schwartz (with writer Gardner Fox and artists Infantino and Joe Giella) introduced a concept that allowed slotting the 1930s and 1940s Golden Age heroes into this continuity via the explanation that they lived on an other-dimensional "Earth 2", as opposed to the modern heroes' "Earth 1" — in the process creating the foundation for what would later be called the DC Multiverse.
A 1966 Batman TV show on the ABC network sparked a temporary spike in comic book sales, and a brief fad for superheroes in Saturday morning animation (Filmation created most of DC's initial cartoons) and other media. DC significantly lightened the tone of many DC comics — particularly Batman and Detective Comics — to better complement the "camp" tone of the TV series. This tone coincided with the famous "Go-Go Checks" checkerboard cover-dress which featured a black-and-white checkerboard strip at the top of each comic, a misguided attempt by then-managing editor Irwin Donenfeld to make DC's output "stand out on the newsracks."
In 1967, Batman artist Infantino (who had designed popular Silver Age characters Batgirl and the Phantom Stranger) rose from art director to become DC's editorial director. With the growing popularity of upstart rival Marvel Comics threatening to topple DC from its longtime number-one position in the comics industry, he attempted to infuse the company with new titles and characters, also recruiting major talents such as ex-Marvel artist and Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko and promising newcomer Neal Adams. He also replaced some existing DC editors with artist-editors, including Joe Kubert and Dick Giordano, to give DC's output a more artistic critical eye.
These new editors recruited youthful new creators, in part in an effort to capture a market which had grown from being dominated by children, to include older teens and even college students. Some new talent, such as Dennis O'Neil, who had worked for both Marvel and Charlton, gained critical and popular acclaim on titles including Batman and Green Lantern (his Green Lantern run with artist Neal Adams became a key title in the burgeoning 1970s Bronze Age, and the move away from the Comics Code Authority). Nevertheless, the period was plagued by short-lived series that started out strong but petered out rapidly.
The Fourth World
In 1970, Jack Kirby moved from Marvel Comics to DC, at the end of the Silver Age of Comics, in which Kirby's contributions to Marvel played a large, integral role. Given carte blanche to write and illustrate his own stories, he created a handful of thematically linked series he called collectively The Fourth World. In the existing series Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and in his own, newly launched series New Gods, Mister Miracle, and The Forever People, Kirby introduced such enduring characters and concepts as archvillain Darkseid and the otherdimensional realm Apokolips. While sales were respectable, they did not meet DC management's initially high expectations, and also suffered from a lack of comprehension and internal support from Infantino. By 1973 the "Fourth World" books would all be cancelled, although Kirby's conceptions would soon become integral to the broadening of the DC Universe. Kirby went on to create other "daring and different" series for DC, including Kamandi, about a teenaged boy in a post-apocalyptic world of anthropomorphic talking animals, when directed by the publisher to come up with something resembling Planet of the Apes.
The Bronze Age
Following the science-fiction innovations of the Silver Age, the comics of the 1970s and 1980s would become known as the Bronze Age, as fantasy gave way to more naturalistic and sometimes darker themes. Illegal drug use, banned by the Comics Code Authority, explicitly appeared in comics for the first time in Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man in early 1971, and after the Code's updating in response, DC offered a drug-fueled storyline in writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Neal Adams' Green Lantern, beginning with the story "Snowbirds Don't Fly" in the retitled Green Lantern / Green Arrow #85 (September 1971), which depicted Speedy, the teen sidekick of superhero archer Green Arrow, as having become a heroin addict.
Jenette Kahn, a former children's magazine publisher, replaced Infantino as editorial director in January 1976. DC had attempted to compete with the now-surging Marvel by dramatically increasing its output and attempting to win the market by flooding it. This included launching series featuring such new characters as Firestorm and Shade, the Changing Man, as well as an increasing array of non-superhero titles, in an attempt to recapture the pre-Wertham days of post-War comicdom. In June 1978, five months before the release of the first Superman movie, Kahn expanded the line further, increasing the number of titles and story pages, and raising the price from 35 cents to 50 cents. Most series received eight-page back-up features while some had full-length twenty-five page stories. This was a move the company called the "DC Explosion". The move was not successful, however, and corporate partner Warner dramatically cut back on these largely unsuccessful titles, firing many staffers in what industry watchers dubbed "the DC Implosion." In September 1978, the line was dramatically reduced and standard-size books returned to 17 story pages but for a still-increased 40 cents. By 1980, the books returned to 50 cents with a 25-page story count but the story pages replaced house ads in the books.
Seeking new ways to boost market-share, the new team of publisher Kahn, vice-president Paul Levitz, and managing editor Giordano addressed the issue of talent instability. To that end — and following the example of Atlas/Seaboard Comics and such independent companies as Eclipse Comics — DC began to offer royalties in place of the industry-standard work-for-hire agreement in which creators worked for a flat fee and signed away all rights, giving talent a financial incentive tied to the success of their work. In addition, emulating the era's new television form, the miniseries while addressing the matter of an excessive number of ongoing titles fizzling out within a few issues of their start, DC created the industry concept of the comic book limited series. This publishing format allowed for the deliberate creation of finite storylines within a more flexible publishing format that could showcase creations without forcing the talent into unsustainable openended commitments.
These changes in policy shaped the future of the medium as a whole, and in the short term allowed DC to entice creators away from rival Marvel, and encourage stability on individual titles. In November 1980 DC launched the ongoing series The New Teen Titans, by writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez, two popular talents with a history of success. Their superhero-team comic, superficially similar to Marvel's ensemble series X-Men, but rooted in DC history, earned significant sales in part due to the stability of the creative team, who both continued with the title for six full years. In addition, Wolfman and Pérez took advantage of the limited-series option to create a spin-off title, Tales of the New Teen Titans, to present origin stories of their original characters without having to break the narrative flow of the main series or oblige them to double their work load with another ongoing title.
This successful revitalization of the Silver Age Teen Titans into The New Teen Titans led DC's editors to seek the same for the entire line and for the wider DC Universe. The result, the Wolfman/Pérez 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, gave the company an opportunity to realign and jettison some of the "baggage" of its history, address "errors" in the characters' long histories and - particularly - revise, update and streamline major characters such as Superman and Wonder Woman. A companion publication in the new prestige format, two volumes entitled The History of the DC Universe, set out briefly the revised history of the major DC characters, and set the scene for an effective reboot of all titles, while still rooted in the long tradition and history of the DC Universe. Effectively moving from the realism of the Bronze Age towards the era sometimes called the "Dark Age," Crisis featured many key and resonant deaths which would shape the DC Universe for the following decades, and separate the timeline of DC publications into pre- and post-"Crisis".
Meanwhile, a parallel revolution had started in the non-superhero and horror titles. Since the start of 1984, British writer Alan Moore had re-energized the horror series The Saga of the Swamp Thing, and his acclaimed work sparked the comic-book equivalent of rock music's British Invasion. Building on the dark naturalism of the Bronze Age, numerous British writers, including Neil Gaiman and Grant Morrison, subsequently began freelancing for the company. The resulting influx of sophisticated horror/fantasy material led not only to DC abandoning the Comics Code for particular titles scripted by those talents, but also to establishing in 1993 the Vertigo mature-readers imprint.
Key titles in the subtle shift towards the Modern Age include the two DC-published limited series Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Watchmen by Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. These titles drew attention to changes at DC for their dark psychological complexity and promotion of the antihero. The new creative freedom and attendant publicity that allowed Miller to produce a dark, future Batman and Moore to create a similarly dystopian alternate history allowed DC to challenge Marvel's industry lead. These titles also paved the way for comics to be more widely accepted in literary-criticism circles as suitable reading for adults, and to make inroads into the book industry, with collected editions of these key series selling particularly well as trade paperbacks.
Conversely, while the mainstream DC Universe got a shade darker, the mid-1980s also saw the end of many long-running DC war comics, including venerable series that had been in print since the 1960s. These titles, all with over 100 issues, included Sgt. Rock, G.I. Combat, The Unknown Soldier, and Weird War Tales.
In March 1989, Warner Communications merged with Time Inc., making DC Comics a subsidiary of Time Warner. In June, the first non-camp Batman movie was released, and DC began publishing its hardcover series of DC Archive Editions, collections of many of their early, key comics series, featuring rare and expensive stories unseen by many modern fans. Restoration for many of the Archive Editions was handled by Rick Keene with color restoration by DC's long-time resident colorist, Bob LeRose. These collections attempted to retroactively credit many of the writers and artists who had worked without much recognition for DC during the early period of comics, when individual credits were few and far between.
The comics industry experienced a brief boom in the early 1990s, thanks to a combination of speculative purchasing (mass purchase of the books as collectible items, with intent to resell at a higher value as the rising value of older issues was thought to imply that all comics would rise dramatically in price) and several storylines which gained attention from the mainstream media. DC's extended storylines in which Superman was killed, Batman was crippled, and superhero Green Lantern turned into the supervillain Parallax resulted in dramatically increased sales, but the increases were as temporary as the hero's replacements. Sales dropped off as the industry went into a major slump, while manufactured "collectibles" numbering in the millions replaced quality with quantity until fans and speculators alike deserted the medium in droves.
DC's Piranha Press and other imprints (including the mature readers line Vertigo, and Helix, a short-lived science fiction imprint) were introduced to facilitate compartmentalized diversification and allow for specialized marketing of individual product lines. They increased the use of non-traditional contractual arrangements, including the dramatic rise of creator-owned projects, leading to a significant increase in critically lauded work (much of it for Vertigo) and the licensing of material from other companies. DC also increased publication of book-store friendly formats, including trade paperback collections of individual serial comics, as well as original graphic novels.
DC entered into a publishing agreement with Milestone Media that gave DC a line of comics featuring a culturally and racially diverse range of superhero characters. Although the Milestone line ceased publication after a few short years, it yielded the popular animated series Static Shock. DC established Paradox Press to publish material such as the large-format Big Book of... series of multi-artist interpretations on individual themes, and such crime fiction as the graphic novel Road to Perdition. In 1998, DC purchased Wildstorm Comics, Jim Lee's imprint under the Image Comics banner, continuing it for many years as a wholly separate imprint - and fictional universe - with its own style and audience. As part of this purchase, DC also began to publish titles under the fledgling WildStorm sub-imprint America's Best Comics (ABC), a series of titles created by Alan Moore, including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Tom Strong, and Promethea. Moore strongly contested this situation, and DC eventually stopped publishing ABC.
In March 2003, DC acquired publishing and merchandising rights to the long-running fantasy series Elfquest, previously self-published by creators Wendy and Richard Pini under their WaRP Graphics publication banner. This series then followed another non-DC title, Tower Comics' series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, in collection into DC Archive Editions. In 2004, DC temporarily acquired the North American publishing rights to graphic novels from European publishers 2000 AD and Humanoids. It also rebranded its younger-audience titles with the mascot Johnny DC, and established the CMX imprint to reprint translated manga. In 2006, CMX took over from Dark Horse Comics publication of the webcomic Megatokyo in print form. DC also took advantage of the demise of Kitchen Sink Press and acquired the rights to much of the work of Will Eisner, such as his The Spirit series and his graphic novels.
In 2004, DC began laying the groundwork for a full continuity-reshuffling sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, promising substantial changes to the DC Universe (and side-stepping the 1994 Zero Hour event which similarly tried to ret-con the history of the DCU). In 2005, the critically lauded Batman Begins film was released; also, the company published several limited series establishing increasingly escalated conflicts among DC's heroes, with events climaxing in the Infinite Crisis limited series. Immediately after this event, DC's ongoing series jumped forward a full year in their in-story continuity, as DC launched a weekly series, 52, to gradually fill in the missing time. Concurrently, DC lost the copyright to "Superboy" (while retaining the trademark) when the heirs of Jerry Siegel used a provision of the 1976 revision to the copyright law to regain ownership.
In 2005, DC launched a new "All-Star" line (evoking the title of the 1940s publication), designed to feature some of the company's best-known characters in stories that eschewed the long and convoluted continuity of the DC Universe, and were produced by "all star" creative teams. All-Star Batman & Robin the Boy Wonder launched in July 2005, with All-Star Superman beginning in November 2005. All Star Wonder Woman and All Star Batgirl were announced in 2006, with the release of Superman Returns in movie theaters, but neither have been released or scheduled as of the end of 2009. Adam Hughes, who was initially announced as the writer/artist on All Star Wonder Woman in 2006, explained at the 2010 San Diego Comic-Con International that that project was "in the freezer" for the time being, due to the difficulty involved in both writing and illustrating himself.
DC Entertainment In September 2009, Warner Bros. announced that DC Comics would become a subsidiary of DC Entertainment, Inc., with Diane Nelson, President of Warner Premiere, becoming president of the newly formed company and DC Comics President and Publisher Paul Levitz moving to the position of Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant there.
On February 18, 2010, DC Entertainment named Jim Lee and Dan DiDio as Co-Publishers of DC Comics, Geoff Johns as Chief Creative Officer, John Rood as EVP of Sales, Marketing and Business Development, and Patrick Caldon as EVP of Finance and Administration.
In May 2011, DC announced it would become the first comic-book publisher to begin releasing digital versions of their comics on the same day as paper versions.
On June 1, 2011, DC announced that it would end all ongoing series set in the DC Universe in August and relaunch its comic line with 52 issue #1s, starting with Justice League on August 31, 2011 (written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee), with the rest to follow in September.
DC's first logo appeared on the April 1940 issues of its titles. The letters "DC" stood for Detective Comics, the name of Batman's flagship title. The small logo, with no background, read simply, "A DC Publication".
The November 1941 DC titles introduced an updated logo. This version was almost twice the size of the previous one, and was the first version with a white background. The name "Superman" was added to "A DC Publication", effectively acknowledging both Superman and Batman. This logo was the first to occupy the top-left corner of the cover, where the logo has usually resided since. The company now referred to itself in its advertising as "Superman-DC".
In November 1949, the logo was modified to incorporate the company's formal name, National Comics Publications. This logo would also serve as the round body of Johnny DC, DC's mascot in the 1960s.
In October 1970 DC briefly retired the circular logo in favor of a simple "DC" in a rectangle with the name of the title, or the star of the book; the logo on many issues of Action Comics, for example, read "DC Superman". An image of the lead character either appeared above or below the rectangle. For books that did not have a single star, such as anthologies like House of Mystery or team series such as Justice League of America, the title and "DC" appeared in a stylized logo, such as a bat for House of Mystery. This use of characters as logos helped to establish the likenesses as trademarks, and was similar to Marvel's contemporaneous use of characters as part of its cover branding.
DC's "100 Page Super-Spectacular" titles and later 100-page and "Giant" issues published from 1972 to 1974 featured a logo exclusive to these editions: the letters "DC" in a simple sans-serif typeface within a circle. A variant had the letters in a square.
The July 1972 DC titles featured a new circular logo. The letters "DC" were rendered in a block-like typeface that would remain through later logo revisions until 2005. The title of the book usually appeared inside the circle, either above or below the letters.
In December 1973, this logo was modified with the addition of the words "The Line of DC Super-Stars" and the star motif that would continue in later logos. This logo was placed in the top center of the cover from August 1975 to October 1976.
When Jenette Kahn became DC's publisher in late 1976, she commissioned graphic designer Milton Glaser to design a new logo. Popularly referred to as the "DC bullet", this logo premiered on the February 1977 titles. Although it varied in size and color and was at times cropped by the edges of the cover, or briefly rotated 4 degrees, it remained essentially unchanged for nearly three decades.
In July 1987, DC released variant editions of Justice League #3 and The Fury of Firestorm #61 with a new DC logo. It featured a picture of Superman in a circle surrounded by the words "SUPERMAN COMICS". The company released these variants to newsstands in certain markets as a marketing test.
On May 8, 2005, a new logo was unveiled, debuting on DC titles in June 2005 with DC Special: The Return of Donna Troy #1 and the rest of the titles the following week. In addition to comics, it was designed for DC properties in other media, such as the movies Batman Begins and Superman Returns as well as the new Batman film The Dark Knight and the TV series Smallville, Justice League Unlimited and The Batman, as well as for collectibles and other merchandise. The logo was designed by Josh Beatman of Brainchild Studios and DC executive Richard Bruning.
- DC (1935–present)
- DC Archive Editions (1989–present)
- Johnny DC (2004–present)
- Mad Books (1992–present)
- Vertigo (1993–present)
- Will Eisner Library (2000–present)
- All Star (2005–2008)
- Amalgam Comics (1996–1997; jointly with Marvel Comics)
- DC Focus (2004–2005; merged with main DC line)
- Elseworlds (1989–2004)
- Helix (1996–1998; merged with Vertigo)
- Impact Comics (1991–1993; licensed from Archie Comics)
- Milestone Media (1993–1997)
- Minx (2007–2008)
- Paradox Press (1998–2003)
- Piranha Press (1989–1993; renamed Paradox Press)
- Tangent Comics (1997–1998)
- WildStorm Productions (1999–2010)
- Zuda Comics (2007–2010)
Acquired companies and studios
- All-American Publications (merged 1944)
- Archie Comics (superhero properties licensed 1991–1993 as part of Impact Comics, properties licensed again in 2008)
- Charlton Comics (some properties acquired 1983)
- Fawcett Comics (some properties licensed 1972, acquired early 1990s)
- Flex Comix (made investment in 2007; jointly owned with other companies)
- Mad Magazine (legally owned by EC Publications, but assigned to DC's corporate control in the late 1990s. Both companies are part of Warner Bros. Entertainment)
- Quality Comics (some properties licensed 1956, later acquired)
- WaRP Graphics (properties licenced from 2003 to 2007)
- WildStorm Productions (properties acquired 1999)
- Will Eisner Library (some properties licensed 2000)
- DC Cosmic Cards
- DC Direct
- List of DC Comics publications
- List of DC Comics characters
- List of television series based on DC Comics
- List of video games based on DC Comics
- List of films based on DC Comics
- Major events of the DC Universe
- ^ "DC Entertainment Chronology". http://www.comicbookbin.com/dcchronologyplatinumage_001.html. Retrieved 2008-10-18.
- ^ Melrose, Kevin (2009-10-10). "DC Entertainment - what we know so far". Comic Book Resources. http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2009/09/dc-entertainment-what-we-know-so-far/. Retrieved 2009-09-11.
- ^ Benton, Mike. The Comic Book in America: An Illustrated History (Taylor Publishing: Dallas, Texas, 1989), pp. 178-181, reprinted at website Religious Affiliation of Comics Book Characters: "The Significant Seven: History's Most Influential Super-heroes" [sic]
- ^ "Official Site". Dccomics.com. 2010-04-21. http://www.dccomics.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- ^ a b DC Comics Inc. Hoovers. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
- ^ "DC Comics - Topic | ChaCha Answers". Chacha.com. http://www.chacha.com/topic/dc-comics. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
- ^ Siklos, Richard (October 13, 2008). "Spoiler alert: Comic books are alive and kicking". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/10/news/companies/siklos_marvel.fortune/. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- ^ Associated Press via "Superman's debut sells for $1M at auction", Crain's New York Business, February 22, 2010. WebCitation archive.
- ^ Jones, Gerard. Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book Basic Books, 2004; trade paperback ISBN 0-465-03657-0, p. 223
- ^ Superman Faces New Hurdles: Publishers of Comic Books Showing Decline, New York Times, September 23, 1962, p.166
- ^ DC Comics, Inc. at Bloomberg Businessweek Retrieved December 18, 2010
- ^ Apocryphal legend has it that in 1961, either Jack Liebowitz or Irwin Donenfeld of DC Comics (then known as National Periodical Publications) bragged about DC's success with the Justice League (which had debuted in The Brave and the Bold #28 [February 1960] before going on to its own title) to publisher Martin Goodman (whose holdings included the nascent Marvel Comics) during a game of golf. However, film producer and comics historian Michael Uslan partly debunked the story in a letter published in Alter Ego #43 (December 2004), pp. 43-44: "Irwin said he never played golf with Goodman, so the story is untrue. I heard this story more than a couple of times while sitting in the lunchroom at DC's 909 Third Avenue and 75 Rockefeller Plaza office as Sol Harrison and [production chief] Jack Adler were schmoozing with some of us ... who worked for DC during our college summers.... [T]he way I heard the story from Sol was that Goodman was playing with one of the heads of Independent News, not DC Comics (though DC owned Independent News). ... As the distributor of DC Comics, this man certainly knew all the sales figures and was in the best position to tell this tidbit to Goodman. ... Of course, Goodman would want to be playing golf with this fellow and be in his good graces. ... Sol worked closely with Independent News' top management over the decades and would have gotten this story straight from the horse's mouth." Goodman, a publishing trend-follower aware of the JLA's strong sales, confirmably directed his comics editor, Stan Lee, to create a comic-book series about a team of superheroes. According to Lee in Origins of Marvel Comics (Simon and Schuster/Fireside Books, 1974), p. 16: "Martin mentioned that he had noticed one of the titles published by National Comics seemed to be selling better than most. It was a book called The [sic] Justice League of America and it was composed of a team of superheroes. ... ' If the Justice League is selling ', spoke he, 'why don't we put out a comic book that features a team of superheroes?'"
- ^ Integrative Arts 10: "The Silver Age" by Jamie Coville. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
- ^ "Irwin Donenfeld, R.I.P." by Mark Evanier, December 1, 2004. Retrieved June 11, 2008.
- ^ http://www.toonopedia.com/dc.htm
- ^ Kahn, Jenette. "Publishorial: Onward and Upward," DC Comics cover-dated September 1978.
- ^ "The DC Implosion," The Comics Journal #41 (August 1978), pp. 5-7.
- ^ "Post-Implosion Fill-In Fallout," The Comics Journal #43 (December 1978), p. 13.
- ^ MacDonald, Heidi D. "DC's Titanic Success," The Comics Journal #76 (October 1982), pp. 46-51.
- ^ Brady, Matt. "SDCC '06: HUGHES TO WRITE & DRAW ALL STAR WONDER WOMAN" Newsarama; July 23, 2006
- ^ Brady, Matt. "ADAM HUGHES ON HIS NEW EXCLUSIVE & ALL STAR WONDER WOMAN" Newsarama; August 21, 2006
- ^ "Adam Hughes Sketching 11" YouTube; August 21, 2010; Accessed September 10, 2010
- ^ Newsarama: Warner Bros. Creates DC ENTERTAINMENT To Maximize DC Brands. Retrieved on 9 September 2009.
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- Interview with DC publisher Paul Levitz
- DarkMark's Comics Indexing Domain
- DC Comics at Don Markstein's Toonopedia
- DC Comics Database wiki
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