DC Comics is one of the oldest comic book companies, and started the superhero genre in the world of comics. With that fact alone, there's quite an enormous amount of characters in the DC Comics library, both heroes and villains.
However, this hub deals with the top DC Comics first appearances ever, for superheroes that is. I know there's a lot of characters, and everybody has a favorite. I'm pretty sure I'll get a why isn't so-and-so on here?
These are the top character first appearances of superhero characters that are the most valuable, hard-to-find, or significantly important to DC Comics' history or in the history of comic books in general. Enjoy!
Action Comics #1 - First appearance of Superman!
The very first superhero in comics and the one who set the mold for all other comic characters that would later follow, Superman is the supreme iconic superhero comic character of all time. He may not be the most liked, unlike Batman, but he is the most recognized.
Superman's first appearance in Action Comics #1 is the holy grail of all comics to own. The highest graded copy of Action Comics #1 sold for 2.5 million dollars, and lower grades are worth 6 figures and up. Not bad for something that is just seen as kid's stuff.
Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, Superman is an alien refuge from the planet Krypton who is sent to earth just before his home planet is destroyed. Here, Kal-El grows up as Clark Kent, adopted by John and Martha Kent.
What is normally forgotten is that the character of Superman evolved through time. Actually, he did not fly at first in the comics. Like John Carter of Mars, in which I believe the character of Superman was partly inspired from, could jump far - "Leap tall buildings in a single bound." Yes, I still remember the advertising phrases. The character was given the power to fly when Superman became an animated short in the 1940s. The animators, the Fleischer Brothers, had trouble in constantly animating Superman leaping around. So they pleaded with DC Comics to give him the ability to fly, as this was easier to animate. And, of course, we all know the end result.
Also, Superman in the early comics was a lot rougher. He had no problems using his full strength on criminals and had a much looser moral code than the Superman we know of today. That all changed when Whitney Ellsworth instituted a code of conduct for the character to bar him from ever killing and to give him a more humanitarian image.
Whether you like the character or not, it's clear that Superman's first appearance is one of the most historic and important creations in the world of comics.
Detective Comics #27 - First appearance of Batman!
If this DC Comics first appearance wasn't expected to be on this list. There's little doubt that Batman has become, perhaps, the most popular DC Comics character ever! Yes, even beating out Superman, but that, of course, is subject to debate.
Not to mention that Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman, is a holy grail comic for any comic collector to own even in lower grades. This golden age key issue comic is the second most sought after and valuable comic book in very rare high grades.
Countless movies has been made for Batman, including the well-praised recent Dark Knight trilogy from director Chris Nolan. Also, who can forget the 60s T.V. series starring Adam West.
Even more so, Ben Affleck will step into the role of the new Batman when the character finally meets up with Superman in Zack Snyder's follow up to Man of Steel. No doubt that in the world of superhero comics, Batman is truly one of the top most iconic characters.
All Star Comics #8 - First appearance of Wonder Woman!
There is no doubt that Wonder Woman is the first female superhero to become such an icon in pop culture around the world. She is by far the most popular and well-known female superhero in DC Comics, perhaps of all comic books.
She has been immortalized in the famous television series starring Lynda Carter, whom also became an icon due to the role, and it's hard to envision anyone else playing Wonder Woman. Which might be one of the reasons why the t.v. series starring Adrianne Palicki was a complete dud.
However, it has been announced that Wonder Woman will be making an appearance in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel and will be played by Gal Gadot. The actress will be the first in movie history to play the role of Wonder Woman on the big screen. No pressure!
As for her in the comics. Wonder Woman's first appearance was in All Star Comics #8, and this golden age comic is a key issue that's highly sought out for. Wonder Woman, along with Batman and Superman, is considered part of DC Comic's "Big Three". The character has been a member of The Justice Society of America and The Justice League of America.
All Star Comics #8 is on the hot burner for sure, and prices are climbing for those copies that can be found for sale. It is quite a hunt for even very good copies.
More Fun Comics #73 - First appearance of Aquaman and Green Arrow!
No matter what you think of Aquaman, he is still one of DC Comics' most recognizable comic characters, and he has always been an integral part of The Justice League. Actually it's kinda hard to think of a Justice League without an Aquaman.
But More Fun Comics #73 just doesn't hold the first appearance of Aquaman, but it also hold the first appearance of Green Arrow. No doubt that Green Arrow has become quite a fan favorite, even garnishing his own quite popular television series. Furthermore, he is a fellow member of the Justice League and for awhile became crime fighting partners with Hal Jordan in Green Lantern's titled series.
As for more of the golden age key issue that is More Fun Comics #73, this is also another highly sought out gem, and quite rare.
All American Comics #16 - First appearance of original Green Lantern Alan Scott!
One of the most important key issues of the golden age of comics, the first appearance of Green Lantern was a character by the name of Alan Scott. Although quite different from his silver age counterpart, Hal Jordan, the second Green Lantern of the silver age, it's pretty well-known that Scott was the basis for the reboot of the character later on.
Scott was a member of the Justice Society of America, the Earth One counterpart to the silver age and Earth Two Justice League of America. During the golden age, Alan Scott was a pretty popular character for DC Comics. Creator Martin Nodell based the character off the folktale of Aladdin, who had a magic lamp and ring also.
All American Comics #10 is one of the most valuable comics in the world at high grades as well as low grades.
Flash Comics #1 - First appearance of original Flash Jay Garrick and Hawkman!
This is a double whammy golden age key issue, and features the debut of two DC Comic heroes. Of course, the first appearance of the original Flash and the first appearance of the golden age Hawkman inhabits this Flash Comics #1.
The original Flash is Jay Garrick and, like the Alan Scott Green Lantern, was the basis that helped to revamp the character of Flash into the silver age version of Barry Allen. Extremely important golden age first appearance, and extremely hard to find and valuable in all grades.
The golden age of comics gave birth to many of the aspects of superheroes that we know of today and helped to lay the groundwork for mostly all comic book superheroes that would follow into the silver, bronze, copper, and even modern age comics.
Showcase #4 - First appearance of silver age Flash Barry Allen!
This is an ultra important comic for various reasons in the history of comics. For one, and most noticeable, it's the first appearance of Barry Allen, the second Flash. This Flash is known as the silver age Flash for DC Comics, and that's the second reason why this comic is so important.
Aside from being the first appearance of The Flash, this comic is widely considered the issue that marks the silver age era of comic books. It was during this age that DC Comics revamped many of their superheroes.
Green Lantern was another notable character who got a complete overhaul like The Flash. Characters like Superman and Batman and Wonder Woman went through less changes but did go through some during the silver age.
Because of this issue and many of the characters like Green Lantern and The Flash getting revamped while characters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman pretty much stayed the same, DC Comics had to later come up with the idea of the multiverse. Therefore, golden age characters were from Earth One, while the newer silver age characters were from Earth Two.
Showcase #22 - First appearance of silver age Green Lantern Hal Jordan!
Like I mentioned earlier, Green Lantern got a major overhaul during the silver age of comics and Hal Jordan would become the most popular Green Lantern we know today. The character was completely revamped from the Earth One golden age Alan Scott version. Instead of the ring being driven by magic like in the golden age version, Hal Jordan's ring was powered by the green energy of will and created from the technology of the Guardians. A whole new mythology was created for the silver age Green Lantern that was larger and more rich than the golden age Green Lantern, Alan Scott.
Of course, there were still similarities like the ring needing to be charged by the lantern and such, as well as the Green Lantern oath, but there aren't many.
Showcase #22 marks the first appearance of Hal Jordan, the silver age Green Lantern, and this is no cheap or easy find. A high grade copy will break most people's bank accounts. Low grade copies are bit more affordable but still in the thousands!
This is one of the most sought out DC Comics silver age key issues.
Marvel fan? If so, check out this list of the Top Marvel 1st Appearances in comics. Hope you enjoy and there are some more hubs below as well. Thanks for reading.
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© 2014 Vic
Vic (author) on February 04, 2014:
Thanks Jayfort and thanks for the votes. Yeah, I hear you on the new DC logo, not a big fan of it either, but I already used the old DC logo countless times.
I know Geekdom, an endless supply of money would be great to snag all these awesome key issues. I wished I had the same.
Thanks GL blogger, and I must say that Green Lantern is my 2nd favorite character from the DCU. I love the vintage comics, the artwork, stories, and the whole mythology they build around the characters is awesome. Even if one can't afford the actual issues, I do recommend getting a tpb or digital comics to read up on them. They are well worth it.
GL blogger on February 01, 2014:
Great Hub... I'm a DC fan myself, Green Lantern in particular. Though there had been so much reboot done with the characters origin to keep up with the interest of today's readers, it is still good to be reminded on how these great comic book characters started.
Geekdom on January 30, 2014:
Great Issues. Makes me want an unlimited supply of money.
Jayfort on January 30, 2014:
Very well done Hub, Rabbit! I agree with your choices (although I'd wished you had used an older DC logo as DC Entertainment is on my doo-doo list for the New 52!). I voted Up and Awesome!