Part 1 | Part 2
Since the continuity of the DC Universe has shifted so much in the past 25 years, I have limited some of the finer details of characters' histories in this chronologoy. Instead it deals mostly with major events, and things related to the Golden Age publishing era.
Sequence of Events
1776: Shortly after signing the Declaration of Independence, the founding fathers, led by Benjamin Franklin, conduct a ritual to create a talisman that represents the spirit of the new nation. The talisman in turn creates a mystical avatar that embodies that spirit. It first manifests during the Revolutionary War as the Minuteman, and fades away in 1781 after the Battle of Yorktown. He then manifests as Brother Jonathan during the war of 1812; he will later be known as Uncle Sam. Note: This was Uncle Sam's earliest chronological appearance.
Spectre v.3 #38 (Feb. 1996)
1863-1868: After the Navajo fall to Col. Kit Carson in Arizona, they begin symbolizing condors as escorts for their fallen's souls to the afterlife. When finally the people return to their own land, they are protected by this condor spirit. It first takes root in a young man who begs them for protection.
Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #3 (Nov. 2006)
May 20, 1899: Everett M. ("Busy") Arnold is born on in Providence, Rhode Island, the only child to Earl and Ada Arnold. He becomes Quality Comics' founder.
The 20th Century
Oct. 31, 1912: Janos Prohaska (Blackhawk) is born in Krakow, Poland. Note: Post-Crisis only.
Blackhawk Annual #1 (1989)
August 3-4, 1914: World War I begins with declarations of war between Germany and the alliance of Britain and France.
November 11, 1918: Germany signs an armistice with the Allies, ending the first world war.
January 20, 1920: Germany is forced to sign the Treaty of Versailles, limiting the size of its military and requiring the payment of massive reparations to the Allied powers. Reparations payments eventually lead to the near-bankruptcy of Germany, setting the stage for the rise of National Socialism.
March 23, 1933: The Enabling Act gives Adolf Hitler dictatorial powers.
Oct. 13, 1933: Germany withdraws from the League of Nations.
Eastern Color begins packaging reprints of popular newspaper comic strips in a "comic book" package. Busy Arnold represents their color printer, Goss Printing.
Famous Funnies #1 (July 1934)
Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson of National Allied Publications (now DC) begins publishing new material. Most of these occupied only one page and the themes range from historical to adventure to humor. The first "super-hero" is Dr. Occult, in New Fun Comics #6 (Oct. 1935)
New Fun #1 (Feb. 1935)
March 7, 1936: Germany occupies the Rhineland.
Two defectors from National, William Cook and John Mahon form Comics Magazine Co., Inc.
The Comics Magazine #1 (May 1936)
June 18, 1936: Polish aviator Janos Prohaska later fights on the Loyalist side of the Spanish Civil War.
Secret Origins #45 (Oct. 89)
Oct. 27, 1936: Hitler and Mussolini sign the Rome-Berlin Axis.
November 3, 1936: Franklin Roosevelt is reelected to a second term as President.
George Brenner creates "The Clock"—the first masked comic book character—for Comics Magazine Co.
Funny Pages #6 (Nov. 1936)
November 25, 1936: Germany and Japan sign the Anti-Comintern Pact.
July 9, 1937: The Japanese-Chinese War begins with the Japanese invasion of Peking.
August 1937: Everett M. ("Busy") Arnold partners with three comics syndicators to publish his first comic book for Comic Favorites, Inc.: the Register & Tribune, McNaught, and Frank Jay Markey. Note: It's well established by house ads that the street date differed from the publication date by two months.
Feature Funnies #1 (Oct. 1937)
Will Eisner creates his first work for Quality, the adventure strip "Hawks of the Seas."
Feature Funnies #3 (Dec. 1937)
December 1937: The "Rape of Nanking": More than 200,000 Chinese civilians are massacred as the Japanese army invades mainland China.
12-13 March 1938: Germany annexes Austria.
National's Superman debuts, soon transforming comic books into a bona fide super-fad.
Action Comics #1 (June 1938)
9 Nov. 1938: After the assassination of Ernst von Rath, a secretary in the Germany embassy in Paris, by a young Jewish refugee, the Nazis launch a vicious anti-Jewish pogrom throughout Germany. Hundreds of homes and shops are burned and more than 20,000 Jews are arrested, many later sent to concentration camps. The date is later dubbed "Kristallnacht" (Night of Broken Glass).
Doctor Robert Oppenheimer hears about the discovery of nuclear fission, within a few minutes realizes that excess neutrons must be emitted, and that it might be possible to build an atomic bomb.
15 March 1939: German troops move into Czechoslovakia, which is absorbed into the Third Reich without resistance.
30 April 1939–27 Oct. 1940: The New York World's Fair opens in Queens, New York. In 1939, The Clock visits the spectacular and stops some crooks.
Feature Comics #21 (June 1939)
The Blackhawk: Polish aviator Janos Prohaska comes to America with a flying circus, seeking funds for European resistance to the Nazis, and is framed for a series of murders. He is ultimately exonerated through the efforts of the Sandman and Dian Belmont (who dons a mask and aids Wesley as "Sandy") and returns to Poland. A few days later, Wes Dodds and Dian Belmont receive a false report that he has been shot down and killed by Nazi fighters in the Mediterranean. Note: Prohaska is shown flying an XF5-F Skyrocket, the signature Blackhawk aircraft, which is not historically accurate; the Grumman Skyrocket first flew on April 1, 1940.
Sandman Mystery Theater #45-48 (Dec. 96-3. 1997)
National's Batman debuts.
Detective Comics #1 (June 1938)
1st apps. of Quality's first original, ongoing super-heroes: Hugh Hazard and his Iron Man, Bozo, and Hooded Justice/the Invisible Hood. Note: Smash Comics also featured the adventures of non-super adventurers: spy Black Ace (later Black X), reporter Chic Carter, Philpot Veep, Simple Simon, Wings Wendall, Archie O'Toole, Clip Chance, Captain Cook and Abdul the Arab.
Smash Comics #1 (Aug. 1940)
April 1939: Quality retitles Feature Funnies as Feature Comics. Note: This might have been in response to a lawsuit by Eastern Color, which claimed rights to the word "funnies." Though that publisher lost the case, Quality changed this comic's title around the same time anyway.
Feature Comics #21 (June 1939)
June 1939: Quality's second title, Smash Comics.
Smash Comics #1 (Aug. 1939)
August 23, 1939: Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin sign a German-Soviet nonaggression pact.
World War II
September 1, 1939: Germany invades Poland.
September 2, 1939: Janos Prohaska's family is slain by a German fighter attack led by Wolfgang Teppel. Calling himself Blackhawk, Prohaska organizes an independent multinational squadron to fight the Nazis. NOTES: Blackhawk originally was a Quality Comics character. His real name was not revealed in his first appearance in Military #1. The name Janos Prohaska, inspired by an actor and stuntman of the sixties and seventies, was given in the Blackhawk: Blood and Iron mini-series (1988). Blackhawk's origin was reprinted in Blackhawk v.2 #7 (1990) and retold in Secret Origins #45.
Military #1 (Aug. 1941), Secret Origins #45 (Oct. 89)
September 3, 1939: Britain, France, Australia, and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
September 17, 1939: Soviet troops invade Poland.
September 27-28: Poland surrenders to its invaders. Germany and the U.S.S.R. divide the nation between them.
Will Eisner invents Quality's first super-powred hero, Doll Man. He is Darrell Dane, who takes a serum enabling him to shrink to six inches while retaining his normal strength.
Feature #27 (Dec. 1939), Secret Origins #8 (Nov. 1986)
March 1940: Quality's third title.
Crack Comics#1 (May 1940)
Sept. 1940: All titles begin bearing the Quality Comics "seal."
April 9-10, 1940: German troops invade Denmark and Norway.
Richard Grey, Jr., raised in Mongolia by wild condors and granted the power of flight by a mysterious meteorite, adopts the identity of murdered Senator Thomas Wright and fights crime as the Black Condor. 1st apps. of the (Alias the) Spider, the Red Torpedo, and the infamous cross-dressing Madame Fatal. NOTES: Black Condor's origin was retold in Secret Origins #21. Crack Comics also featured the adventures of non-super adventurers: the Space Legion, inventor Wizard Wells, Molly the Model, athlete Ned Brant, Lee Preston of the Red Cross, Jane Arden, Off the Record, Slap Happy Pappy. The Clock also moved here from his previous feature in Feature Comics.
Crack Comics #1 (May 1940), Secret Origins #21 (Dec. 87)
April 21, 1940: The first combat between German troops and the British Expeditionary Force takes place north of Hamar, Norway. The British troops are badly routed and forced to retreat.
May 10-14, 1940: Germany invades Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, then moves into France. Winston Churchill becomes the Prime Minister of Great Britain.
June 14, 1940: German troops occupy Paris. Eight days later, France's Vichy government signs an armistice with Germany.
First appearance of the Red Bee, Joe Hercules, and Neon the Unknown. NOTE: Hit Comics also featured the adventures of non-super adventurers: secret agent X-5, sleuths Jack and Jill, the Strange Twins (Douglas and Rodney Strange), Bob and Swab, engineer Casey Jones, Tommy Tinkle, future-man Blaze Barton.
Hit Comics #1 (July 1940)
Uncle Sam manifests for the first time in the 20th century. 1st apps. of Wonder Boy and Merlin (Jock Kellog). NOTE: Uncle Sam's origin was retold in Secret Origins #19. National Comics also features the adventures of non-super adventurers: pilot Prop Powers, policewoman Sally O'Neil, boxer Kid Dixon, Yankee Doodle Boy, cartoonist Pen Miller, Paul Bunyan, Windy Breeze and the Kid Patrol.
National Comics #1 (July 1940)
2 June 1940: Will Eisner's the Spirit, Lady Luck, and Mr. Mystic debut in a coverless Sunday comic book supplement. This "Spirit Section" is syndicated to newspapers who subscribe to Quality's partner, the Register and Tribune Syndicate. Will Eisner is the full owner of these features. Note: The insert's editions were not sequentially numbered, as comic book issues were.
The "Spirit Section  (2 June 1940)
June 20, 1940: Japanese troops occupy French Indochina.
July 10-August 25, 1940. The Battle of Britain: The Royal Air Force clashes with the German Luftwaffe.
September 7, 1940. The Blitz: The German Luftwaffe begins nightly raids on England in preparation for Operation Sea Lion, a planned invasion of England.
September 16, 1940: President Roosevelt signs the Selective Service Act, beginning draft registration in America; by Oct. 16, 16,000,000 men have registered.
September 27, 1940: Japan signs the Tripartite pact and the Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis. The Axis powers are officially formed.
November 5, 1940: Franklin Roosevelt is reelected to a 3rd term as President.
First appearance of Quicksilver. Note: At DC, this character became the popular Max Mercury, and Flash Secret Files #1 (Nov. 1997) placed the hero's debut earlier, in 1937—before the Flash.
National Comics #5 (Nov. 1940)
November 9, 1940: At FDR's suggestion, the Justice Society of America is formed (first chronological appearance).
DC Special #29 (Sept. 77), Secret Origins #31 (Nov. 88)
Nov. 1940: Arnold hires freelancer Jack Cole, who creates Midnight (Dave Clark), a Spirit "clone" (for Smash Comics), and takes over "Slap Happy Pappy" (created by Gill Fox, for Crack).
Smash Comics #18 (Jan. 1941), Crack Comics #9 (Jan. 1941)
1941: Lou Fine hired away from Eisner; Reed Crandall leaves Eisner/Iger to freelance.
March 1, 1941: German extermination camps begin full operation, eventually leading to the murders of some 6,000,000 Jews and 3,000,000 Communists, Roma, and other dissidents.
April 6, 1941: Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece. Yugoslavia surrenders on April 17, Greece on April 21.
Ted Knight's cousin Sandra Knight becomes the Phantom Lady, the first costumed heroine. Petty crook Eel O'Brian gains the power to stretch his body and change his shape after being doused with acid. Renouncing his life of crime, he becomes Plastic Man. Chemist Roy Lincoln invents explosive QRX-27 and transforms himself into the Human Bomb. 1st apps. of Firebrand (Rod Reilly), 711 (Daniel Dyce), the Mouthpiece (Bill Perkins). NOTE: Starman v.2 #44 (July 19 1998) describes Phantom Lady as the first heroine, so this goes before Military #1. Police Comics also featured non-super adventurers: Eagle Evans, Super Snooper, Steele Kerrigan, and Dewey Drip. It also continues the adventures of Chic Carter, who dons a mask to become the Sword.
Police Comics #1 (Aug. 1941)
Late Spring, 1941: On Liberty Island, reporter Joan Dale has a dream that the Statue of Liberty comes to life and grants her mystical power over the nature of matter. Creating a colorful costume, she becomes Miss America. Unbeknownst to her, her powers actually are the result of a secret experiment carried out by the top secret Project M. NOTES: The addition of Project M to her origin was revealed in Secret Origins #26, which also established the date of her debut. She did not don a costume until Military #4.
Military Comics #1 (Aug. 1941), Secret Origins #26 ()
June 22, 1941: German troops carry out Operation Barbarossa, an invasion of Soviet-occupied Poland, breaking Hitler's nonaggression pact with Stalin and embroiling Germany in a two-front war.
July 26, 1941: FDR freezes Japanese assets in the U.S., suspends trade with Japan, and orders an embargo on the sale of oil and gasoline to Japan and its territories.
Late Summer 1941: Quality's eighth and ninth titles. During the war, they publish rarely, because of paper rationing.
Doll Man Quarterly #1 & Uncle Sam Quarterly #1 (Autumn 1941)
Oct. 2, 1941: German troops advance towards Moscow, but are stymied by the harsh Russian winter.
Oct. 26, 1941: Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoye is replaced by General Hideki Tojo.
The Crimson Avenger, the Spider, the Shining Knight, the Star-Spangled Kid, Stripsey, Vigilante and Billy Gunn join forces as the Seven Soldiers of Victory (a.k.a. the Law's Legionnaires). The Crimson Avenger's partner, Wing, is an unofficial members. NOTES: Wing first appeared in Detective #20 (1938), Billy Gunn in Action #42 (19 1941), and Stuff in Action #45 (19 1942).
Leading #1 (Win 1941), Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000)
December 6, 1941: Pondering rumors of an imminent Japanese attack, President Roosevelt considers forming a battalion of American superheroes. Meanwhile, Per Degaton travels through time from 1947, accompanied by the King Bee, the Monster, Professor Zodiac, Sky Pirate, Solomon Grundy and Wotan. Together, the villains capture Dr. Fate, the Flash, Green Lantern, Johnny Thunder, the Sandman, the Spectre and Starman. The Shining Knight encounters vulcanologist Danette Reilly. NOTES: This story appeared as a preview insert. The charity competition in this story was inspired by the cover of Comics Cavalcade #1 (1943). The King Bee first appeared in All-Star Comics #18 (1943), the Monster in All-Star Comics #20 (1944), Professor Zodiac in All-Star Comics #42 (1948), and Sky Pirate in Green Lantern #27 (1947).
Justice League of America #193 (Aug. 81)
December 6-7, 1941: More than a thousand American soldiers die at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the Japanese attack. When Hawkman arrives at JSA headquarters, he discovers Plastic Man waiting there for him. As an FBI operative, he delivers an invitation from FDR himself to the Capitol. On the radio, they hear about the other JSA members being kidnapped. En route, they're attacked by the King Bee and his men, who disappear. Per Degaton captures the Shining Knight and Danette Reilly. Ed Simmons of the FBI recruits Dr. Mid-Nite, Atom and Robotman. Liberty Belle and Johnny Quick join them when they notice them approaching the White House. They all learn about the Japanese attack and FDR asks them to mobilize all costumed heroes, to form an All-Star Squadron. Degaton also launches an attack on San Francisco.
All-Star Squadron #1 (Sept. 81)
December 7, 1941: Uncle Sam discovers the Japanese plan to bomb Pearl Harbor and forms the Freedom Fighters: Hourman, the Invisible Hood, Magno, Miss America, Neon the Unknown and the Red Torpedo. Hourman is taken by the Japanese. Uncle Sam and Miss America are recovered. The rest are lost (all but Magno are later revealed to have survived.) Miss America returns, comatose, to Project M. NOTES: The original pre-Crisis tale took place on Earth-X. Post-Crisis retelling was in the Miss America origin from Secret Origins #26. The Invisible Hood (1st app. Smash #1) survives until 1974 when he was murdered by the Icicle and the Mist (Starman v.2 #2). Hourman resurfaces in All-Star Squadron #32. The Red Torpedo (1st app. Crack #1) later aids in creating the 1951 Starman (Starman v.2 #77). Neon (1st app. Hit #1) awoke in a desert oasis, transformed (Uncle Sam & F.F. v.2 #6). Magno 1st appeared in Smash #13. All but Hourman were originally published by Quality Comics. Except for Uncle Sam, this was their 1st DC Comics app.
All-Star Squadron #31 (Mar. 84), Secret Origins #26 (May 88)
December 7, 1941: Happy Terrill gains energy powers during the events of Pearl Harbor and becomes the Ray. After a visit from his time-travelling son (Ray II), he later attacks the Japanese fleet. NOTES: The Ray was originally published by Quality Comics. The Ray II designs a costume for his dad, but Happy, annoyed with his son, doesn't accept it and fashions his own. The events in The Ray push the hero's origin forward a bit from his original debut.
Smash #14 (Sept. 1940), Ray v.2 #9-10 (Feb. 95-3. 1995)
The Jester (Chuck Lane) debuts.
Smash Comics #22 (May 1941)
The All-Stars swap origin stories as they head to California to defend the west coast against a possible Japanese follow-up attack. They're joined by Phantom Lady. Meanwhile, Per Degaton launches a bogus Japanese air raid on San Francisco using a flight of Zeroes commanded by the Sky Pirate. Degaton reveals that in 1941 he was an assistant to the Time Trust, and was responsible for sabotaging the bomb defense formula (obtained by the JSA in All-Star Comics #10) on its second test.
All-Star Squadron #2 (Oct. 81)
The Shining Knight and Danette Reilly free the captive heroes from Wotan's spell. The assembled heroes defeat Degaton and his allies, sending Degaton back to his own era and stripping all involved of their memories of his actions. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt makes a radio announcement about the founding of the All-Star Squadron.
All-Star Squadron #3 (Nov. 81)
December 8, 1941: The Japanese invade the Philippines and attack Guam and Hong Kong. The All-Star Squadron attempts to attack the Japanese mainland, only to discover that Premier Tojo, with the help of the Dragon King, has used the Holy Grail to extend the Sphere of Influence over Japanese territory. Some of the most powerful All-Stars fall under the Dragon King's control, but their comrades manage to lure them outside the Sphere's range. The All-Stars retreat, realizing that they must fight the war from Allied territory. The Sphere affects all metahumans.
All-Star Squadron #4 (Dec. 81)
December 9, 1941: The JSA disbands so that its members can join the armed forces. Danette Reilly discovers that she has the power to project and control flames; she becomes Firebrand II and joins the All-Star Squadron. A group of All-Stars travels to Mexico to free Hawkgirl from the Feathered Serpent. NOTE: The disbanding of the JSA was first described in the beginning of All-Star Comics #11.
All-Star Comics #11 (6-7. 1942), All-Star Squadron #5 (Jan. 82)
December 11, 1941: Germany and Italy declare war on the U.S.
December 22, 1941: Winston Churchill visits President Roosevelt in Washington, D.C. The All-Stars and Plastic Man narrowly avert the assassination of both leaders by Baron Blitzkrieg.
All-Star Squadron #7 (Mar. 82)
December 25, 1941: British troops surrender Hong Kong to the Japanese.
1942: US government allots paper quotas to publishers to supply troops with reading material. Comics business booms.
January 2, 1942: As Japanese troops enter Manila, the capitol of the Philippines, American forces are forced to withdraw to Bataan.
The Seven Soldiers of Victory battle Dr. Doome. NOTE: This story was retold in All-Star Squadron #29, but took place shortly before All-Star Squadron #13.
Leading #3 (Sum 1942), All-Star Squadron #29 (Nov. 83)
Policeman Dan Richards becomes Manhunter I. he is an agent of the Manhunters, although he was unaware of their true nature. His dog Thor was a Manhunter android. NOTE: A few weeks later, Paul Kirk becomes Manhunter II. He is also an agent of the Manhunters, although he is unaware of their true nature. (Young All-Stars #8, Adventure #73, 4. 1942),
Police #8 (Mar. 1942), Secret Origins #22 (Jan. 88)
The All-Star Squadron holds its first official meeting. Present are the Atom, Commander Steel, Firebrand II, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle, Robotman and the Shining Knight. Liberty Belle is elected as the chair. The Shining Knight returns to England to become Winston Churchill's bodyguard. He also mentions that the Seven Soldiers of Victory are ready to serve the Squadron.
All-Star Squadron #13 (Sept. 82)
Cyclotron is revealed as scientist Terry Curtis, a former lover of Danette Reilly (Firebrand).The Ultra-Humanite and Deathbolt retrieve the Powerstone and the Hammer of Thor and capture Firebrand and Robotman. NOTES: Terry Curtis first appeared in Action #21 (1940, not as Cyclotron).
All-Star Squadron #22 (June 83)
Feb. 2., 1942: A workman's torch sets the SS Normandie afire in the New York harbor.
The All-Stars and Infinitors take on Ultra and the Secret Society of Super-Villains. The Atom is irradiated by Cyclotron, who turns on Ultra, apparently destroying them both. The Secret Society and Infinitors return to their own era and Firebrand takes custody of Terry Curtis's infant daughter, Terri. NOTES: Cyclotron does not die immediately; he was thrust forward to the time of the Crisis (see All-Star Squadron #54) and returned to the instant he left. The radiation to which the Atom is exposed later gives him super-strength. This issue contains Jerry Ordway reproduction of the cover of All-Star Comics Comics #3 and a reprint of the page from All-Star Comics Comics #11 in which the JSA members join the armed forces.
All-Star Squadron Annual #2 (1983)
February 15, 1942: British forces surrender Singapore to the Japanese.
February 19, 1942: President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, ordering the internment of 120,000 Japanese-American citizens.
February 22, 1942: At the direct order of FDR and under protest, General Douglas MacArthur retreats from Bataan, vowing, "I shall return."
THE FREEDOM FIGHTERS SAGA
February 23, 1942: The first full meeting of the All-Star Squadron in the Perisphere. Uncle Sam reveals the fate of the original Freedom Fighters, who tried to stop the attack on Pearl Harbor. Elsewhere, Midnight flees from German Fifth Columnists with the unconscious Doll Man. Commander Steel activates the Squadron's new butler, Gernsback the robot. NOTES: 1st DC apps. of the Quality Comics characters Midnight, Manhunter (Dan Richards), the Jester and Red Bee.
All-Star Squadron #31 (Mar. 84)
Uncle Sam explains how Hourman, the Invisible Hood, Magno, Miss America, Neon and the Red Torpedo apparently died at Pearl Harbor. NOTES: Hourman was revealed alive in the next issue. Miss America was revealed alive in Young All-Stars #12. The Invisible Hood is rumored to have been the grandfather of Tyson Gilford, a member of the Relative Heroes.
All-Star Squadron #32 (Apr. 84), Secret Origins #26 (May 88)
Uncle Sam assembles the Black Condor, Doll Man, the Human Bomb, Phantom Lady, the Ray and the Red Bee, who dub themselves the "Freedom Fighters" and battle Baron Blitzkrieg, who has captured Hourman. Firebrand, Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle and Starman, joined by Neptune Perkins, battle Tsunami (Miya Shimada). NOTES: Neptune Perkins's 1st app. in print was Flash #66 (1945). The Red Bee, a Quality Comics character, first appeared in Hit Comics #1 (19 1940).
All-Star Squadron #33 (May 84)
The All-Stars stop a Japanese submarine from bombarding American oil refineries. The Freedom Fighters are captured by Baron Blitzkrieg.
All-Star Squadron #34 (June 84)
Phantom Lady uses her black light ray to activate the Miraclo residue in Hourman's body, enabling him to escape. Blitzkrieg kills the Red Bee and flees. The Freedom Fighters continue to operate throughout the war.
All-Star Squadron #35 (July 84)
Hourman and Firebrand go on a double date with Tarantula and Phantom Lady. At a masquerade party, Danette Reilly's father is killed by a pair of Nazi metahumans, Night & Fog.
All-Star Squadron #44 (Apr. 1985)
Late March 1942: Posing as King Arthur, Wotan forces the Shining Knight to battle the All-Stars and the Blackhawks in England. NOTES: Includes pinups of Dr. Mid-Nite, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern by Mike Clark and Jerry Acerno.
All-Star Squadron #48 (Aug. 1985)
Wotan captures the All-Stars and the Blackhawks and lays siege to Great Britain. The All-Stars discover that the villain has already captured Dr. Occult (1st modern app.). Hourman nearly dies after taking another Miraclo pill to rescue his comrades and defeat Wotan.
All-Star Squadron #49 (Sept. 1985)
THE CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
April 1, 1942: Dr. Fate casts a spell to remove the traces of Miraclo from Hourman's body, leaving him powerless. Johnny Quick marries Liberty Belle. The members of the Justice Battalion (Atom, Dr. Mid-Nite, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder, Sandman, Spectre, Starman) are launched into space by German agents. Harbinger arrives to recruit Firebrand to join the Monitor's army. (Crisis #1) The temporal energies of her passage displace the Justice Battalion into an alternate dimension where the other planets of the solar system are habitable. Uncle Sam recruits a new group of Freedom Fighters (Black Condor, Doll Man, Firebrand I, the Human Bomb, the Jester, Manhunter I, Midnight, Phantom Lady, Plastic Man, Quicksilver, the Ray and the Spider) to fight the Axis powers. At this time, the Freedom Fighters "separated from the All-Star Squadron and were based in Washington D.C." (Who's Who Update '87 #5). Firebrand meets her brother, Rod, who has been discharged from the navy for injury. NOTE: The JSA portion of this story is adapted from All-Star Comics #13, "Shanghaied into Space."
All-Star Squadron #50 (Oct. 1985), All-Star Comics #13 (10-11. 1942), Crisis #1 (Apr. 1985)
The Seven Soldiers of Victory battle the Sense-Master. Meanwhile, Dr. Mid-Nite has an adventure on Hyperspace-Neptune. NOTE: All-Star Squadron #56 retells part of Leading Comics #4.
All-Star Squadron #56 (Apr. 1986), Leading #4 (Fall 1942)
Early April, 1942: Mekanique (1st chronological app.) arrives from the future and is taken in by Robotman. Firebrand swears off romance with fellow All-Stars. Johnny Thunder has an adventure on Hyperspace-Mercury. NOTES: Mekanique's 1st app. in print was Infinity, Inc. #19 (19 1985). Mekanique and her creator, Rotwang, were characters in the 1926 silent film Metropolis, although Rotwang's robot was not called Mekanique in the film.
All-Star Squadron #58 (June 1986)
The Spectre, Johnny Thunder and Johnny's Thunderbolt free the JSA from Hyperspace, but all the items they brought with them from Hyperspace vanish. At Mekanique's urging, Green Lantern and Firebrand save a young girl from being hit by a car, altering history; unbeknownst to the heroes, their actions will permit the evil Rotwang, Mekanique's creator, to dominate Mekanique's native era, the 23rd century. Hawkman is elected cochairman of the Squadron. NOTES: Originally, the photo in this story depicted Superman, Batman, Robin, Aquaman and Wonder Woman. After the Crisis, they're replaced by Uncle Sam and Doll Man, the Ray, Plastic Man, Black Condor and Phantom Lady, adding the Human Bomb and Jester. FDR says "... any costumed hero who isn't in this photo must be someone so obscure that nobody ever heard of them!")
All-Star Squadron #60 (July 1986)
Mid-1942: Will Eisner is drafted. Jack Cole takes over the Spirit.
Millennium: The Grandmaster of the Manhunters convinces Manhunter I (Dan Richards) and Manhunter II (Paul Kirk) that Green Lantern is an Axis collaborator. Green Lantern's power ring causes him to behave erratically as a result of the Millennium Project 50 years in future. NOTES: First modern appearance of Hop Harrigan, an aviator hero who first appeared in All-American Comics #1 (1939).
Young All-Stars #8 (Jan. 88)
Robotman and the Young All-Stars visit Project M, where they discover that Miss America is still alive (albeit comatose). NOTES: Project M was also behind the creation of the Creature Commandos (Weird War Tales #93, 11.80).
Young All-Stars #12 (May 88)
Miss America awakens from her coma. Tisiphone is reclaimed by her sisters, freeing Fury from her control. Mekanique and Per Degaton hatch a plan for the conquest of past and future.
Young All-Stars #14 (July 88)
Late May 1942: Miss America joins the JSA as the group's secretary. The All-Star Squadron is attacked by Per Degaton and Mekanique. NOTES: Miss America's status with the JSA is unclear in the wake of Hippolyta becoming the Golden Age Wonder Woman.
Young All-Stars Annual #1 (1988)
June 4-6, 1942: A massive battle between the American and Japanese fleets near the island of Midway sinks four Japanese aircraft carriers, the first major American naval victory in the war in the Pacific.
Fury documents the activities of the All-Star Squadron, Seven Soldiers of Victory, Freedom Fighters, Young All-Stars and the JSA. She strikes up a tentative friendship with Miss America, who acts as the recording secretary at a JSA meeting. Plastic Man is revealed as the liaison between the All-Stars and the Freedom Fighters.
Young All-Stars #27 (July 89), Action #52 (Sept. 1942), Secret Origins #29 (Aug. 88)
June 1942: Part 1: Arn returns to Project M and demands to know the location of Dinosaur Island. There he meets Georgia Challenger, who accompanies him instead to Maple White Land in South America. They do find Hugo Danner and his "offspring," the Sons of Dawn. NOTES: Maple White Land first appeared in Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel The Lost World. Georgia Challenger is the granddaughter of that novel's hero, Dr. Edward Challenger.
Young All-Stars #28 (Aug. 89)
Part 2: Iron Munro learns of his father's activities since his purported death. Danner used his father's formula to bestow powers on the Sons of Dawn. Übermensch's creators had also stolen that formula.
Young All-Stars #29 (Sept. 89)
Part 3: Iron Munro squares off against Hugo Danner as the Sons of Dawn attack a Brazilian city. NOTES: Miss America is mistakenly drawn as Phantom Lady in this issue.
Young All-Stars #30 (Oct. 89)
Part 4: The JSA, All-Star Squadron and Young All-Stars defeat the Sons of Dawn. Liberty Belle dissolves the Young All-Stars and grants its members full membership in the All-Star Squadron. NOTES: This was the final issue of Young All-Stars.
Young All-Stars #31 (Nov. 89)
September 1942: The U.S. launches the Manhattan Project, a top-secret project to develop an atomic bomb.
September 15, 1942: Soviet troops surround the German army, beginning the Battle of Stalingrad.
Last Uncle Sam strip signed by Will Eisner. Last Quality Comics apps. of Wonder Boy and Merlin. Notes: Will Eisner was drafted into the war in mid-1942. Iger later revives Wonder Boy for Fox in Bomber Comics #1 (March 1944).
National Comics #26 (Nov. 1942)
November 8, 1942: American forces in North Africa join the campaign against Rommel's Afrika Korps.
Late 1942: Quality relocates its offices to 370 Lexington Ave. in Manhattan.
February 2, 1943: The German 6th Army surrenders at Stalingrad.
Wonder Woman criticizes the sexual politics of fellow All-Star Squadron members Liberty Belle and Phantom Lady. Afterwards, the three heroines help the Red Tornado destroy a Nazi "air fortress" and are surprised to discover that Red Tornado is a woman. NOTES: Wonder Woman mistakenly remarks that Johnny Quick, Liberty Belle and Phantom Lady were members of the JSA, which is incorrect; they were members of the All-Star Squadron only.
All-Star Comics 80-Page Giant #1 (Sept. 1999)
Late Spring 1943: Quality's tenth title Plastic Man #1 (Summer 1943)
April 18, 1943: American fighters shoot down Admiral Yamamoto, the supreme commander of the Japanese fleet.
May 7, 1943: The Allied campaign to retake North Africa ends with the capture of Tunis.
July 9-10, 1943: Allied forces begin Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily.
July 25, 1943: Benito Mussolini is forced to resign as prime minister of Italy.
September 8, 1943: Italy surrenders to the Allies. On Oct. 13, it declares war on Germany.
Starman fights the Prairie Witch (Abigail Moorland). NOTE: The Prairie Witch was not a Golden Age villain. She bears a strong resemblance to a Quality Comics heroine, the Spider Widow. Her name was revealed in Starman v.2 #68.
Starman Annual #1 (19 1996)
November 10, 1943: Starman teams with Phantom Lady for a second battle with the Prairie Witch. NOTE: The Phantom Lady and Prairie Witch's feuding mirrors the one she had Spider Widow.
Starman v.2 #44 (July 19 1998)
Uncle Sam is retitled Blackhawk.
Blackhawk #9 (Winter 1944)
April 1944: Mr. Terrific II and Hawkgirl II arrive from the future via Black Barax's Time Cube. The original Mr. Terrific (Terry Sloane) and the Freedom Fighters come to their aid. Barax seeks the power of the Human Bomb to activate his cube. NOTE: The Red Bee appears here incorrectly; he died in 1942. Barax is from Sensation #28; the post-Crisis version is embellished.
Sensation #28 (April 1944), JSA #41-42 (Dec. 02-1.03)
June 6, 1944: D-Day: Allied troops storm the beaches of Normandy, beginning Operation Overlord, the invasion of France.
July 18, 1944: Hideki Tojo is forced to step down as premier of Japan.
August 25, 1944: Allied troops liberate Paris.
November 7, 1944: FDR is reelected to a fourth term as President.
January 27, 1945: The Soviet army liberates the Auschwitz extermination camp, uncovering evidence of the horrific scope of the Nazi "Final Solution."
The JSA RETURNS Event
February 1945: The Stalker appears on Earth, where he defeats Dr. Fate, Dr. Occult, the Spectre and Zatara and kills Merlin and Tor. He creates seven disciples to help him destroy all life. Hourman comes out of retirement and rejoins the JSA. Note: Stalker first appeared in Stalker #1 (1975).
All-Star Comics Comics v.2 #1 (E5. 1999)
February 4, 1945: Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin begin talks at Yalta.
February 13-14, 1945: The Allies firebomb the German city of Dresden while the Flash and Mister Terrific battle a disciple of Stalker. They encounter the Americommando, still operating undercover, who dies in an explosion. Note: The Marksman appears in cameo.
National v.2 #1 (May 1999)
The Allies produce anthrax for deterrence and retaliation against Germany, if necessary, and the project (which was inaugurated by Neville Chamberlain in the mid/late 1930s and pushed forward by Churchill; the USA provide some material assistance) took place on the remote Scottish island of Gruinard. NOTES: This is referenced in the next entry's story. Gruinard was not pronounced decontaminated until 19 1986). The UK developed an "anthrax bomb" and by the end of 1944 the U.S. was ready to produce a half-million four pound anthrax bombs. But the Allies never had enough anthrax itself for large-scale warfare.
February 19, 1945: The U.S. Marines invade Iwo Jima.
April 12, 1945: FDR dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while posing for a portrait. Vice-president Harry Truman is sworn in as President.
April 21, 1945: Soviet troops enter Berlin. Four days later, American and Soviet troops meet at the Elbe river, their forces now splitting Germany in two.
May 1, 1945: Hitler's death is announced by Grand Admiral Karl Donitz, who claims that the dictator died in battle with Allied soldiers. Donitz declares himself Reichsfuhrer.
May 7, 1945: Germany officially surrenders, ending the war in Europe. May 8 is celebrated as V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.
May 25, 1945: The American Joint Chiefs of Staff approve Operation Olympic, a planned invasion of the Japanese mainland.
July 16, 1945: The first atomic bomb is detonated at Los Alamos, New Mexico.
August 8, 1945: The Soviet Union declares war on Japan and moves into Manchuria and North Korea.
August 9, 1945: A second atomic bomb, code-named Fat Man, is dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing 70,000.
August 14, 1945: The Japanese high command surrenders unconditionally.
August 15, 1945: The U.S. celebrates V-J (Victory in Japan) Day, marking the end of the second world war.
September 2, 1945: The formal document of Japanese surrender is signed aboard the battleship U.S.S. Missouri, officially ending World War 2.
Representative J. Parnell Thomas (R-NJ) becomes the chairman of the House Un-American Activities Committee, which renews its efforts to rout out communism in America.
Modern Comics #44 (Nov. 1945)
December 7, 1945: On the 4th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, the All-Star Squadron disbands. NOTES: Mentioned only in the World at War Sourcebook for Mayfair Games' DC Heroes Role-Playing Game.
World at War Sourcebook (1991)
In the wake of World War Two, the American Talisman is shattered and Uncle Sam disappears. NOTE: In current DC continuity all postwar appearances of Uncle Sam should be considered apocryphal.
Spectre v.3 #38 (Feb. 1996)
Late Winter 1946: Quality's last hero-based title Kid Eternity #1 (Spring 1946).
Seduction of the Innocent is published. Its attacks on the comic book industry result in massive changes.
Oct. 1947: A group of screenwriters and directors known as the "Hollywood Ten" is forced to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and answer questions about their connections with the Communist Party. All are subsequently blacklisted in Hollywood, virtually ending their careers.
In the "latter part of the JSA's first decade," they share an adventure with several All-Stars including Captain Triumph and Doll Man. They battle the Shade, Grundy, Icicle, Brain Wave and the Wizard.
Starman v.2 #62 (Feb. 2000)
Late Oct. 1948: The Seven Soldiers of Victory are betrayed by their teammate, the Spider. Following a battle with the Nebula Man, they are scattered throughout time. Both the Crimson Avenger's partner Wing and Vigilante's partner Billy Gunn perish. Note: The date was established in Infinity, Inc. #3 (1984). The Spider's last Golden Age appearance was in Crack #30 (1943).
JLofA #100-102 (8-10.72), Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. #9 (Apr. 2000)
Late 1949: Anthology titles, which were largely super-hero-based, are changed to other genres or canceled.
Crack Comics #62 (Sept. 1949)
Final issue of Kid Eternity, which becomes Buccaneers with issue #19.
Kid Eternity #18 (Nov. 1949)
ELSEWORLDS: 1946-1950: After successfully transferring his brain into the body of Mister America in 1945, the Ultra-Humanite rises in political power and develops a way to create a "superman." He transplants the brain of Adolf Hitler into Dan Dunbar, creating a new American hero, Dyaman. "Tex Thompson" is betrayed by his wife, Miss America, who finds his journals and gives them to her old All-Star friends. The story references January 1950, when Alan Scott is summoned to the HUAC hearings. NOTES: Although this was an "Elseworlds" series, it's themes were powerful enough to make it into mainstream comics as well. The most prominent of these is James Robinson's Starman, which he continued to develop in 1994's Starman series. Other things introduced include the potential evil in Captain Triumph (1st post-Crisis appearance) and the fall of the Tigress. It features first-time post-Crisis appearances by Joe Hercules, "Stormy" Foster, Wildfire, Madame Fatal, [guy in red outfit & mask] and other obscure heroes like Captain X.
The Golden Age #1-4 (19 1993)
Final issue of Hit Comics. Kid Eternity was the last hero, through #60 (Sept. 1949)
Hit Comics #65 (July 1950)
Final issue of The Spirit.
The Spirit #22 (August 1950)
1950: Arnold buys out the Cowles brothers' (Register and Tribune) share in Quality.
Ted Knight's girlfriend, Doris Lee, is murdered. Wracked by guilt over her death and over his involvement in the creation of the atomic bomb, Ted suffers a mental breakdown. He leaves Opal City for a year, finally seeking psychiatric treament. NOTE: The pre-Crisis account was in America vs. the JSA, the post-Crisis version in Starman Secret Files. Date of the murder confirmed in Starman #77.
America vs. the JSA #3 (Mar. 1985), Starman Secret Files #1 (Apr. 19 1998), Starman v.2 #77 (May 20 2001)
Charles McNider (Dr. Mid-Nite), with the help of Jim Lockhart (the Red Torpedo) and Paul Dennis/Bob Crane (Robotman) decides to use Ted's technology to create a new champion for Opal City Starman II. When David Knight, Ted's future son, mysteriously appears in Opal, McNider trains him to become Starman. NOTES: David was transported to 1951 from the moment of his death in the future, courtesy of the magic of Dr. Fate.
Starman v.2 #77 (May 20 2001)
Starman (David Knight) pursues but fails to capture Bobo Benetti.
Starman v.2 80-Page Giant #1 (Jan. 1999)
The Flash announces his retirement, leaving Keystone City in the hands of the Spider. The Shade discovers that the Spider is a criminal and kills him before he can murder Jay and Joan Garrick; the press attributes his actions to Dr. Mid-Nite. The Flash resumes his heroic career.
The Shade #3 (June 1997)
Jack Knight appears from the future in Opal City and discovers that his brother David is acting as Starman. They join forces against the original Mist.
Starman v.2 #76-77 (Apr.-May 20 2001)
Jack and David Knight, aided by Hourman, Charles McNider and Wesley Dodds, attempt to stop the Mist from terrorizing Opal City with LSD. The Mist is stopped but escapes. Thom Kallor (Star Boy/Starman VIII) returns Jack to the future.
Starman v.2 #78-79 (6-7 20 2001)
Final edition of The Spirit Section.
Oct. 5, 1952
Final issue of Police Comics. Plastic Man, Manhunter and the Spirit lasted until #101-102 (1950).
Police Comics #127 (Oct. 1953)
Final issue of Doll Man Quarterly.
Doll Man Quarterly #47 (Oct. 1953)
Fredric Wertham publishes Seduction of the Innocent, which indicts the comic book industry as a whole as indecent.
Jack Cole's first illustation appears in Playboy.
Playboy #5 (April 1954 )
Under the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver holds hearings in Congress that targeted indecent publications and pornography. Among his targets were pin-ups, including Bettie Page, and the magazines that featured them.
April 21, 22 and June 4, 1954
The Comics Magazine Association of America is formed by comics publishers in response to widespread condemnation of the medium for its "unwholesome" content. Most publishers adopt the standards of the Comics Code Authority, which banned material which was too violent, horrific or sexual. Quality
The Shade and Bobo Bennetti surreptitiously help Starman and the Jester defeat the Fiddler, the Gambler, and the Icicle.
Starman v.2 #46 (Sept. 19 1998)
Final issue of Plastic Man.
Plastic Man #64 (Nov. 1956)
Oct. 1956: Quality Comics publishes its last comics—still over a dozen titles. Some of the last issues are Blackhawk #107, G.I. Combat #43, Robin Hood Tales #6, Marmaduke Mouse #65, Brides Romances #23, Girls In Love #57, Heart Throbs #46, Love Confessions #54, Love Letters #51, Love Secrets #56, T-Man #38, Yanks In Battle #4.
Covers dated Dec. 1956
Late 1956: DC Comics continues to publish four Quality Comics titles. Dick Dillin and Chuck Cuidera continue to work on Blackhawk.
Blackhawk #108, G.I. Combat #44, Robin Hood Tales #7 (Jan. 1957); Heart Throbs #47 (Apr. 1957)
August 13, 1958: Jack Cole commits suicide.