Debuting in the pages of Hawkman #4 by Murphy Anderson and Gardner Fox this week in 1964, Zatanna is a magician in a science fiction world; a magic user in a shared universe built upon Superman's otherworldly power and Batman's human ingenuity. She is both a “real” magician and a performance magician, as much at home with a genuine mind-wipe as she is with a dove up her sleeve.
As the genre of superhero comics has become increasingly event-driven over the last thirty years, the need to push each event as more important than the last has increased with it. Every new event promises, somehow with a straight face, that “nothing will ever be the same again.”
There are, in fact, comics that actually affect everything that comes after them one way or another — Action Comics #1, Amazing Fantasy #15, Uncanny X-Men #132 — but they rarely come with much fanfare, or with empty and overreaching promises. One such comic debuted on this day in 1961: Flash vol 1 #123, “The Flash of Two Worlds.”
Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.
With this new feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the Green Lantern.
If you're the kind of person who keeps up with news about people spending truly massive amounts of money on comic books, then you're probably aware that there was a copy of Action Comics #1 rated at 9.0 that sold for $3,000,000 earlier this year. On one level, that makes sense. It is, after all, an incredibly important historical artifact, featuring the first appearance of Superman and Lois Lane in a story that kickstarted the entire superhero genre. On the other hand, if you really want to read that comic, you don't need to spend three mil. You can get it for like fifteen bucks.
Either way, the CGC corporation put the entire issue online to read for free -- presumably to prove that these crisp, unblemished pages really are as good as they say they are -- and there's a lot more in there than just Superman, whose first appearance has naturally overshadowed the numerous other short features contained in this most coveted comic.
Gardner Fox and George Gladir have been selected to receive the 2007 Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. The choice was made unanimously by a blue-ribbon committee chaired by writer and historian Mark Evanier.
The Bill Finger