Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

1965, the year everything changed! Okay, not really

So I’m in early 1965 in my Silver Age reread and DC Comics have changed a lot from when I started rereading the Silver Age.

As I mentioned in my first rereading post, when the Silver Age began DC’s superhero roster consisted of the Trinity (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) and affiliated characters such as Lois and Jimmy. That was it unless you count the Blackhawks.

Instead of superheroes we had war books, funny animal books—Westerns, SF and horror anthologies ——and TV/radio adaptations such as Big Town and Gangbusters.In 1965, DC’s Westerns are dead (unless you count the Revolutionary War “Indian Fighter” Tomahawk). There are no TV adaptations (some, such as Welcome Back Kotter, would come along in later years) but Bob Hope’s and Jerry Lewis’s comics are still soldiering on. No teen books in early 1965, though Scooter and Binky would crop up before long.

War comics are still around, but with regular characters (Sgt. Rock, Johnny Cloud, Gunner and Sarge) rather than all-anthology. Love comics will stay on the stands until the early Bronze Age but they’re also using semi-regular characters such as airline stewardess Bonnie Taylor.The multiple SF anthologies have likewise succumbed to the series trend. My Greatest Adventure is Doom Patrol, House of Secrets is divided between Mark Merlin (soon to become Prince Ra-Man) and Eclipso, Mystery in Space is Adam Strange and Space Ranger. Tales of the Unexpected launched a regular feature, “The Green Glob”about a glowing green glob (what did you expect?) that grants peoples’ wishes like a glowing green Fantasy Island (if you think Brother Power is DC’s dumbest character, you’ve never read a Green Glob story). Strange Adventures is a hold-out but not for lack of trying. In 1964 it introduced the unsuccessful Split Man (one man — two bodies!) in #166 and would offer up Immortal Man, Animal Man and Enchantress before the decade was out.

This doesn’t capture the scope of the industry as a whole: Charlton still had plenty of spooky anthology books, for instance. But it does give a feeling for why some books had to change to adapt to the time. Details in a subsequent post.

#SFWApro. Covers by Sheldon Mayer, Mort Meskin, Bob Brown, possibly John Romita and unknown



  1. John King

    for me 1965 was the year that everything changed.
    It also changed a lot for my parents with the arrival of a baby crying loudly …
    which is probably why I don’t have any younger siblings…

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