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On Line



by Kurt Wood

Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the DC Universe: Part 1
“These Are Your Grandfathers Heroes”

How long have you been reading comics? I’ve been reading for 15 years and have gone thru hundreds of universes and timelines.  Don’t believe me?  Well if you read the DC universe comics as much as I do, then you know I’m telling the truth.

So, how do I explain this?

Prior to 1986, the DCU consisted of the Multi-verse.  This cornucopia of planets and universes was home to millions of beings, including different incarnations of our favorite super-heroes.  There were Supermen up the wazoo, and fans started to get confused as to which Superman was from which Earth (Earth-1, Earth-2, Earth-Prime, you get the idea).

To make matters more confusing for the casual reader, The Justice Society of America, which predated the Justice League of America by 20 years, lived on Earth-2, and the JL of A lived on Earth-1. Yes true believer, things were a mess.

So DC did “Crisis on Infinite Earths”, a mega crossover to perform some house cleaning. The intended purpose of “Crisis” was to streamline the entire DC line into one, coherent universe, and they did, for the most part.

The next step was to give the readers, casual and fan boy alike, a set continuity, one that was complete and made sense of everything.  So we got “History of the DC Universe”, a two issue, 48 page bible of the DCU.  Everything made sense, everything was complete, everything was…

O.K., everything wasn’t perfect. According to “History” Wonder Woman couldn’t have been a founding member of the JL of A. She had not been around for that event.  In fact, she wasn’t even there at “Crisis”.  She didn’t show up until well after “Crisis”.

As the years went on, more glitches occurred that made continuity hungry fans go “huh?”   So, once again DC decided it was time for another house cleaning, “Zero Hour: Crisis in Time”. That, dear reader is for our next installment.

Being the sad fan boy that I am, I decide to sit down and write my definitive history of the DC universe.  I used “Crisis” and “History” as my templates, and expanded on them by using Secret File entries, Elseworld tales, one-shots, DC ultimate guides, and dialogue between characters in regular comics. By the way, the original DC “Who’s Who” series is still a great resource for a project such as this.

By no means is this the way the DCU is. This was just an excuse to read a bunch of great comics, and hopefully have some conversations with my comic reading friends.  If you see something that you think needs to be changed, or something I forgot (contrary to popular belief, I’m not perfect) please send your e-mail’s in. I look forward to the input. Enjoy the Golden age of the DC Universe.

Dr. Richard Occult begins investigating the super natural.

Early 1938
A chain reaction in the core of the planet Krypton causes it to explode.  Scientist Jor-El and wife Lara place their son, Kal-El, in a rocket heading towards Earth.  The child is still in its early developmental stages.

Inspired by the death of a hero not yet born, Lee Travis becomes the Crimson Avenger.

The age of costumed vigilantes begins.

The magician Zatarra first appears.

Late 1938
Jay Garrick is in a lab accident where inhales hard water molecules. The accident puts him the hospital for months.

Jonathan Kent born.

Early 1939
Alan Scott discovers a fragment of the Star Heart. Green Lantern (1) is born.

Wesley Dodds first dons the gas mask of the Sandman (1)

Carter Hall, reincarnation of Prince Khufu, becomes Hawkman (1) 

Martha Clark born.

Mid 1939
Detective Jim Corrigan is murdered.

The Blackhawks fight the growing Nazi terror in war torn Europe.

Uncle Sam, the living embodiment of America, reappears after nearly 50 years.

Ted Knight discovers an unknown form of space radiation.

Martha Kane born.

Late 1939
The Spectre (Jim Corrigan) appears.

Thomas Wayne born.

Early 1940
Jay Garrick becomes the Flash (1)

Rex Tyler invents Miraclo, a drug that increases strength and endurance for an hour.

Dr. Kent Nelson returns to America after years of training with Nabu.  Dr. Fate is born.

Johnny Thunder acquires the thunder bolt. 

Mid 1940
Al Pratt becomes the Atom (1).

Rex Tyler becomes Hourman, with the aid of his wonder drug, Miraclo.

The Crimson Avenger adopts a more colorful costume.  He also adopts a sidekick, Wing.

Late 1940
The Justice Society of America forms.

Terry Sloan becomes Mr. Terrific.

Hippolyta travels back in time and becomes the golden age Wonder Woman (1).

Early 1941
Ted Knight harnesses the space radiation. He uses it to fight crime as Starman (1).

Charles McNider becomes Dr. Mid-Nite.

Both Starman and Dr.Mid-Nite join the JSA.

The Freedom Fighters (the Ray, Dollman, Phantom Lady, the Human Bomb, and Uncle Sam) form.

Ted Grant, inspired by the Green Lantern (1), becomes Wildcat.

Mid 1941
Johnny Chambers, with the aid if his speed formula, becomes Johnny Quick.

Shinning Knight and Winged Victory.

Star Spangled Kid and Stripsey

Liberty Belle

The Tarantula

Late 1941
The Sandman adopts a young side kick, Sandy the golden boy.

Dec. 7th: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

Early 1942
All of the homeland hero’s band together to become the war time super team the All-Star Squadron.

The JSA unofficially disbands. Several members form the Justice Battalion.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt prohibits any American super heroes from interfering with the over sea war effort.

Starman (1) and Bulletman are sent on a secret mission by the US government to the North Pole.

Stories start circulating over seas about “the Rock of Easy Company”. 

Mid 1942
Jim Harper becomes the Guardian. Enter the Newsboy Legion.

Late 1942 
Jeb Stuart and the Haunted Tank enter the European Campaign.

Hop Harrigan gains notoriety.

Early 1943
G.I. Robot makes “his” debut

Mid 1943
Project M creates the Creature Commandos

The Losers enter European Campaign

The JSA unofficially reforms

1944 thru mid 1945
Miss America is more prominent thru out the war.

Late 1945
August 1945: America drops two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  This ushers in a new age of costumed crime fighter.

Nathan Adam born.

Sgt. Rock is “killed” by the last shot fired in World War 2.

The Seven Soldiers of Victory face the Nebula Man.  Wing dies, the others are sent thru out time.

Costumed heroes who flourished thru out the war effort begin to fade away. 

The Red Bee dies.

Late 1946
The Freedom Fighters disband.

TNT and Dan the Dynamite.

Early 1947
Uncle Sam once again disappears.

Mid 1947
Diana Lance becomes Black Canary (1).

Merry, Girl of 1000 Gimmicks.

Early 1948-Late 1949
More costumed heroes decide to retire or simply aren’t noticed.  America starts to turn its suspicions of communism on the former War time heroes.

The 1950’s
The JSA is brought before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in Washington DC.  Instead of reveal who they truly are, the JSA officially disbands.  This ends the Golden Age of Heroes.

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