Mike Kooiman

1998: It all began with two little sections hosted on Bitstream.net. No early versions of the site were saved, so these screen captures are from the Wayback Machine. Sadly, not all graphics are intact.
1999: Myke's Media Maelstrom (ugh). The home page was a simple index.
2008: Trying to accommodate an ever increasing body of work.
2009: Updating to more modern CSS structure, away from tables and frames.
Update to responsive design, 2014.

DC Cosmic Teams is the creation of Mike Kooiman. Professionally, Mike is a Graphic and Web Designer who has worked as an Art Director for various publications for over ten years.

In 2010, he wrote The Quality Companion along with Jim Amash. Amash is a frequent contributor to Alter Ego magazine, and Kooiman re-purposed Amash's material about the Golden Age's Quality Comics to construct a master history. The book includes additional in-depth research, and for Cosmic Teams fans, an exhaustive set of character biographies. Keep up-to-date with Quality news at Kooiman's other blog, The Quality Companion Companion.

(It's pronounced KOY-mun. Dutch.)

About Cosmic Teams

Cosmic Teams was originally the Justice League FAQ. The first pages were written in 1996, and hosted on America Online's personal space. The goal of these pages was to sort out the Internet noise regarding the membership of the JLA. (The JLA Membership page is still one of the site's highest hit-getters.) This simple effort set the first standard for the site: Accuracy is Priority #1. Attribution to the source material was of utmost importance, so that any reader could verify or follow a data trail.

The Justice League information was soon propagated for similar Legion of Super-Heroes material. But it wasn't enough to list members. Next was the site's massive Chronologies. "What happened when?" In the earlier days of the Web, such information was not available via speedy search. This site aimed to put all the most basic information about the JLA and Legion timelines into a digestible format, a quick reference. (It's debatable whether the references here are "quick" anymore, as the chronologies have grown to mammoth size.)

The site grew like weeds and the title changed to Myke's Media Maelstrom in 1999. The Justice League FAQ was now an ever-changing component and it was renamed the "Justice League Library" By 2002, the breadth of information had grown much beyond the JLA. A 1993 set of trading cardsCosmic Teams —  inspired a new name and also a new mission—to cover all of the teams in the DC Universe. A few mega-sections broke apart from this, including the Justice Society, the Omega Men and Outsiders.

In time, Cosmic Teams became the home to some of the web's best "orphaned sites." Maintaining a custom site is a lot of work and countless web authors abandoned their efforts. Some big additions came under the Cosmic Teams umbrella, including the Obscure DC section, the Pocket Universe Primer, and the Golden Age Batman Chronology. The Obscure DC character histories were originally posted to the official DC Message Boards. The thread was moderated by a frequent early contributor to this site's Legion module, John Censullo. The DC Message Boards were ultimately killed but John had archived all the threads. Cosmic Teams edited, alphabetized, and indexed them into its current form.

The Pocket Universe and Golden Age Batman material is written by Aaron Severson, another huge contributor to the Legion and JSA sections.

The site remained at Bitstream for a long time, moving in 2004 when Kooiman secured a personal domain, mykey3000.com. Cosmic Teams occupied a subdirectory thereunder. In 2010, the family was finally expanded to include a proper domain for cosmicteams.com.

In 2011, when DC Comics rebooted its universe into the "New 52," it was decided that Cosmic Teams would cease covering DC teams and the Justice League. Frankly, it was heart-breaking to see all of that work become irrelevant, so the site was refocused. In late 2011, when Kooiman's Quality Companion was published by TwoMorrows, Golden Age material became of greater interest. This was reflected in the efforts put into Cosmic Team's Justice Society section. The site continues to track Legion events, and things related to the DC Multiverse. The book also influenced the standards used in writing and editing the material. It is unlike Wikipedia, which dictates that fictional characters' history must be written in the present tense. Cosmic Teams prefers the DC Who's Who approach, writing as though a character really exists. Material is liberally annotated with notes about continuity and external references.

In 2014, the site went through a redesign to make it responsive and better-read via mobile. It's also now enhanced with presences on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

If for any reason you are interested in unearthing something from the Wayback Internet Archive, the Cosmic Teams URL history is:

  • http://www2.bitstream.net/~myke4 (1998–2004)
  • http://www.mykey3000.com/cosmicteams (2004-2010)
  • http://www.cosmicteams.com (2010–present)

 

29 January 2017

DC Golden Age Hero Chronology!

Many of DC's heroes ended their runs because of reduction in page counts, or canceled or reformatted titles.

A long time ago I did this sort of graphing with Quality Comics titles and it revealed something unexpected. I was curious to see if there were any such trends at DC in the Golden Age of heroes. There are a few things, but nothing terribly surprising:

  • With June 1943 issues, page counts dropped from 68 to 60 in some books. The King, Tarantula, and Sargon were axed.
  • In August 1944 issues, pages went from 60 to 52. One super-hero from every anthology was dropped: Crimson Avenger, Mr. America, the Whip, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado, and Manhunter.
  • A few features — Johnny Quick, Aquaman, and Green Arrow — survived an editorial change in More Fun Comics and moved to Adventure Comics with #103 (April 1946).
  • Some JSA members (Flash, Hawkman, the Atom) survived the end of Flash Comics (#104, Feb. 1949) and continued a bit longer, along with Green Lantern, in the pages of All-Star Comics (through #57, Feb./Mar. 1951).
  • As is fairly well-known, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman remained in continuous publication. Aquaman and Green Arrow survived well into the Silver Age as well. All of these heroes become anchors of the Justice League when that team debuted in 1960 (along with two reinvigorated Golden Age properties, the Flash and Green Lantern).
  • It's interesting that some of the heroes from the Seven Soldiers of Victory (Vigilante, Shining Knight, Star-Spangled Kid, and Green Arrow) were generally around for longer, despite the team having lasted only 14 issues in Leading Comics (ending in mid-1945).