DC Comics dominated the golden age of comics throughout the 1930s and ’40s, when Batman, Joker, and Wonder Woman arrived on the scene. But before then, DC boasted plenty of characters that are lesser known today, each with their own unique stories told throughout the years.
If you’re looking to get into DC but aren’t sure where to start, you may choose to follow one of the many ongoing series based on your favorite characters. But if you’re wondering where DC began, you’ll have to go back much further, before Superman was first introduced.
When did DC Comics begin?
In its infancy, what we now know as DC Comics began as Nation Allied Publications. Created by entrepreneur Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, this company would publish the first completely original comic book in years, when comic books were mostly reprinted strips from other publications.
The very first comic book produced by Nation Allied Publications was 1935’s New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine. This book was an anthology starring plenty of different stories from various genres, such as westerns, comedies, and adventures. During its run, New Fun introduced detective Doctor Occult, who is technically the first DC Comics character.
In the late thirties, Nicholson took on a partner to create Detective Comics, hence the name “DC Comics”. After a falling out. Nicholson left the comic book game for good, leaving DC in the hands of Harry Donenfeld.
What was the first DC comic?
Published in 1937, Detective Comics #1 is officially the first time that a comic book was released under the DC banner. But it wouldn’t be until DC launched their new anthology series Action Comics that we would see one of DC’s more well-known characters take center stage.
In April 1938, Action Comics #1 unveiled Superman to the world in his notorious blue and red caped-outfit. This was the first comic to heavily feature a superhero character, paving the way for the genre’s future comics. Along with Clark Kent, this issue also boasted two new characters to the DC series, Zatara and Tex Thompson.
In the years that followed, DC continued to add new characters to their superhero-themed stories, including 1939’s Detective Comics #27—which introduced Bruce Wayne’s Batman to the comics world.