DC Bronze Age

The House of Secrets (1971)

Posted on Updated on

The House of Secrets was revived in 1969 after a 3 year absence. Now its horror and suspense tales were introduced by a host named Abel, who would also host the satirical comic Plop!. His brother Cain hosted House of Mystery. Swamp Thing first appeared in House of Secrets #92 (July 1971) in a stand-alone horror story set in the early 20th century written by Len Wein and drawn by Bernie Wrightson. The woman appearing on the cover of this issue was modeled after future comics writer Louise Simonson.

This revival, sporting many covers by Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, and Michael Kaluta, ran through issue #154 (Nov. 1978), with three months passing between #140 (April 1976) and #141 (July 1976). It was then ‘merged’ into The Unexpected with issue #189, through issue #199. The series was 68 ad-free pages, allowing all three portions to be full-length issues.

The House of Secrets also came to be the name of the actual edifice in which Abel lives. Writer Mike Friedrich and artist Jerry Grandenetti introduced the house and explained its origins. The Sandman series revealed it exists both in the real world of the DC Universe and in the Dreaming, as a repository for secrets of all kinds.

The House of Secrets #92 VF-
The House of Secrets #92 VF-

Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (1970’s)

Posted on Updated on

Superboy became Superboy starring the Legion of Super-Heroes with issue #197 (August 1973). Crafted by Bates and Cockrum, the feature proved popular and saw such events as the wedding of Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel in Superboy #200 (Feb 1974). Cockrum was replaced on art by Mike Grell as of issue #203 (August 1974) which featured the death of Invisible Kid. With #231 (September 1977), the book’s title officially changed to Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes and also became a “giant-size” title. At this point, the book was written by longtime fan Paul Levitz and drawn by James Sherman, although Gerry Conway frequently wrote as well. Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad were married in All-New Collectors’ Edition #C-55 (1978), a treasury-sized special written by Levitz and drawn by Grell. In #241–245 (July–December 1978) Levitz and Sherman (and then Joe Staton) produced what was at that time the most ambitious Legion storyline: “Earthwar“, a galactic war between the United Planets and the Khunds, with several other villains lurking in the background. During this period, Karate Kid was spun off into his own 20th Century-based self-titled series, which lasted 15 issues. Levitz left the book, to be replaced full-time by Gerry Conway.

Superboy departed from the Legion due to a plot of a villain, and the book was renamed simply Legion of Super-Heroes starting with issue #259 (January 1980). Editor Jack C. Harris hired Steve Ditko as guest artist on several issues, a decision which garnered a mixed reaction from the title’s readership. Jimmy Janes became the regular artist in a lengthy tale by Conway (and later Roy Thomas) involving Ultra Boy’s disappearance during a mission, and his long odyssey to rejoin the team. This story told the tale of the Legionnaire Reflecto (only glimpsed during the “Adult Legion” stories in Adventure Comics), featured villainy by the Time Trapper and Grimbor the Chainsman, and saw Superboy rejoin the team.

World’s Finest (1970’s)

Posted on Updated on

World’s Finest featured Superman and Batman team-ups until issue #197. Noted Batman artist Neal Adams first drew the character in an interior story in “The Superman-Batman Revenge Squads” in issue #175 (May 1968). The title briefly featured Superman teaming with heroes other than Batman in the early 1970s beginning with issue #198 (November 1970). That issue featured the first part of a two-issue team-up with the Flash. The series reverted to Superman and Batman team-ups after issue #214, initially with a unique twist, featuring the children they might one day have, Superman Jr. and Batman Jr. These characters, billed as the Super-Sons, were co-created by writer Bob Haney and artist Dick Dillin in issue #215 (January 1973).

Detective Comics (1970’s)

Posted on Updated on

Writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams had their first collaboration on Batman on the story “The Secret of the Waiting Graves” in issue #395 (Jan. 1970). The duo, under the direction of Schwartz, would revitalize the character with a series of noteworthy stories reestablishing Batman’s dark, brooding nature and taking the books away from the campy look and feel of the 1966-68 ABC TV series. Comics historian Les Daniels observed that “O’Neil’s interpretation of Batman as a vengeful obsessive-compulsive, which he modestly describes as a return to the roots, was actually an act of creative imagination that has influenced every subsequent version of the Dark Knight.”

 O’Neil and artist Dick Giordano created the Batman supporting character Leslie Thompkins in the story “There Is No Hope in Crime Alley” appearing in issue #457 (March 1976). Writer Steve Englehart and artist Marshall Rogers produced an acclaimed run of Batman stories in Detective Comics #471-476 (Aug. 1977 – April 1978), and provided one of the definitive interpretations that influenced the 1989 Batman movie and would be adapted for the 1990s animated series. The Englehart and Rogers pairing, was described in 2009 by comics writer and historian Robert Greenberger as “one of the greatest” creative teams to work on the Batman character.  From issue #481 (Dec. 1978 – Jan. 1979) through #495 (Oct. 1980), the magazine adopted the expanded Dollar Comics format.

Detective Comics #457 F-VF $12
Detective Comics #457 F-VF $12

Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen

Posted on Updated on

Superman’s Pal, Jimmy Olsen is a series published by DC Comics from September–October 1954 until March 1974, spanning a total of 163 issues. Featuring the adventures of Superman supporting character Jimmy Olsen, it contains stories often of humorous nature.

The 1952 television series Adventures of Superman co-starred actor Jack Larson, who appeared regularly as Jimmy Olsen. Largely because of the popularity of Larson and his portrayal of the character, National Comics Publications (DC Comics) decided to create a regular title featuring Jimmy as the leading character.[2] Curt Swan was the main artist on the series for its first decade.

Many of the issues include Jimmy undergoing a transformation of some form.

Forever People – Bronze Age

Posted on Updated on

The Forever People are a fictional group of extraterrestrial superheroes published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Forever People #1 (February–March 1971), and were created by Jack Kirby as part of his “Fourth World” epic.

The Forever People lasted eleven issues. They mainly fought Darkseid’s forces such as Glorious Godfrey in issue #3. Issues #9 and 10 guest-starred Deadman; according to writer/artist Jack Kirby‘s assistant Mark Evanier, “We were ordered to put Deadman into New Gods, but we slipped him into Forever People instead, where he was a little less obtrusive. Jack didn’t like the character and didn’t want to do it. He didn’t feel he should be doing someone else’s character. … He doesn’t want to trample on someone else’s vision. Carmine [Infantino, DC Comics publisher and Deadman’s co-creator] said the character hadn’t sold and he wanted the Kirby touch on it.”

Omega Men (1983)

Posted on Updated on

The Omega Men are a team of extraterrestrial superheroes who have appeared in various comic book series published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Green Lantern #141 (June 1981), and were created by Marv Wolfman and Joe Staton.

After appearances in Green Lantern, Action Comics and The New Teen Titans, the Omega Men were featured in their own comics series which ran for 38 issues from April 1983 to May 1986. During its run, writer Roger Slifer and artist Keith Giffen created the mercenary anti-hero Lobo.

The Omega Men were assembled as a group of renegades and representatives of conquered Vegan worlds to fight Citadelian aggression. Pre-Infinite Crisis the team was based on the planet Kuraq. The Omega Men are important peacekeepers in their sector because the Green Lantern Corps is not allowed into Vegan space, due to a long standing agreement with the Psions.