ByGregory McNeill, writer at

This year marks the 80th anniversrary of DC Comics. This is a celebration because DC did set the standard for every other comic book company that followed including Timely Comics (Later known as Marvel), Top Cow, Image, and countless others. The 1930's is the Golden Age of Comics despite the Great Depression that had affected our nation at that time. The first issue of Action Comics #1 (First series) that introduced Superman to the world still has a major impact on comics to this day including Batman's introduction in the 27th issue of Detective Comics (First series) a year later. Characters like Marvel's Hyperion, Sentry, The back in the early 1980s., and others comic book characters are offshoots of Superman and Batman.

Back in the early 1980s, I was ready to give up on comic books altogether because they had gotten boring. I was going to stick to reading DC's adaptation of Star Trek which DC had the licensing rights to at the time 3 decades before IDW. A friend of mine who was reading Crisis on Infinite Earths in its 4th issue at the time had introduced me to Crisis and I was hooked. I didn't realize that it was DC's 50th anniversary at the time. After Crisis, my Junior High School teacher was friends with Klaus Janson who worked at DC at the time and read an adaptation of a story from Ray Bradbury called Frost and Fire in a Graphic Novel which he had showed to his students. That was a treat and a privilegeFr.

The DC Universe had forever changed as a result of this historic event, I learned that change is a part of the human process and without change, there is stagnation. After Crisis, my friend had also recommended the Man of Steel mini-series that updated Superman for a modern era written by John Byrne. It is one of my favorite reboots alongside the recent ones by Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison.

I had the opportunity to visit DC Comics when they was located at 1325 Avenue of The Americas at the time before moving to 1700 years later. I was in college working on a class assignment. I had met the late Kim Yale who was the editor of the Star Trek comic book at the time in 1991. Ms. Yale had given me a brief tour of the office including the archives of every comic published since 1935. That impressed me and I thank Ms. Yale for taking the time out of her busy schedule to see me.

A decade later, I learned that putting together a comic book and writing one isn't as easy as most people think. I learned that from taking 2 writing courses with Danny Fingeroth and Denis O'Neil at NYU. Thanks to the both of them, I have an appreciation for comic book writing.

The DC Universe appeals to me because their heroes are about doing the right thing regardless of what people think and say as well as standing up for those who cannot defend themselves. I am glad that they are becoming more diverse before and following the Convergence and Multiversity mini-series. I am looking forward to buying the Cyborg series by David T. Walker because I had my eye on it for awhile after reading the free preview of Cyborg online on DC's official website including the return of the Milestone characters.

I had received a lot of flack over the years from reading comic books and called a nerd. Now people want to be the ones who they had once mocked. I am glad that I had stayed true to myself which is what my heroes had always inspired me to be. I want to say to DC Comics thank you for 80 wonderful years and looking forward to the next 80 years.


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