All-American Comics

All-American Comics was a comics anthology and the flagship title of comic book publisher All-American Publications, one of the forerunners of DC Comics. It ran for 102 issues from 1939 to 1948. Characters created for the title, including Green Lantern, the Atom, the Red Tornado, Doctor Mid-Nite, and Sargon the Sorcerer, later became mainstays of the DC comics line.

All-American Comics
All American Comics 61
Solomon Grundy's first appearance in All-American Comics #61 (Oct. 1944).
Art by Paul Reinman.
Publication information
PublisherAll-American Publications
#1–49, #71–102
Eight times a year:
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateApril 1939 – October 1948
No. of issues102
Creative team
Written byAlfred Bester, Bill Finger, Sheldon Mayer, Bill O'Connor
Artist(s)Ben Flinton, Sheldon Mayer, Martin Nodell, Paul Reinman

Publication history

All-American Comics published 102 issues from April 1939 to October 1948.[1] The series was an anthology which included a mixture of new material and reprints of newspaper strips. Sheldon Mayer's Scribbly was introduced in the first issue as was Hop Harrigan.[2][3] The Golden Age Green Lantern was introduced by artist/creator Martin Nodell in issue #16 (July 1940).[4] The Golden Age Atom debuted in #19 (October 1940)[5][6] and Mayer created the original Red Tornado in #20 (November 1940).[7][8] Doctor Mid-Nite first appeared in #25 (April 1941),[9][10] while Howard Purcell and John Wentworth introduced Sargon the Sorcerer in the following month's issue.[11] Alfred Bester and Paul Reinman created the monstrous super villain Solomon Grundy in #61 (October 1944).[12] Other features included "Toonerville Folks",[13] "Mutt and Jeff",[14] and "Ripley's Believe It or Not!".

All-American Publications and all its titles were purchased by National Periodicals (DC Comics) in 1946. Responding to the demand for Western comics, All-American Comics changed title and format with #103 (November 1948) to All-American Western. The retitled series had Johnny Thunder as the lead feature.[15][16] It changed title and format again to All-American Men of War as of #127 (August–September 1952).[17]

A May 1999 one-shot issue by writer Ron Marz and artist Eduardo Barreto was a part of the "Justice Society Returns" storyline.[18]


  1. ^ All-American Comics at the Grand Comics Database
  2. ^ Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1930s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Edited by Sheldon Mayer, the title contained newspaper reprints and puzzle pages alongside original material such as Mayer's own 'Scribbly'...The features 'Hop Harrigan' and 'Red, White, and Blue' also debuted in this issue.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ Markstein, Don (2005). "Hop Harrigan". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on 2016-02-05. Hop was introduced in All-American's first release, appropriately titled All-American Comics #1, which was dated April 1939.
  4. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 32: "Alan Scott underwent an unexpected career change into the costumed hero Green Lantern in a story by creator Martin Nodell (using the pseudonym 'Mart Dellon') and writer Bill Finger."
  5. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 33: "Writer Bill O'Connor and artist Ben Flinton revealed the Atom in a short, six-page story, though the non-superpowered character soon went on to bigger things."
  6. ^ Markstein, Don (2008). "The Atom". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on 2017-10-16. The Atom debuted in DC's All-American Comics #19 (November 1940).
  7. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 33: "The Red Tornado was the first outright super hero parody at DC, and she was also one of the company's first prominent female characters."
  8. ^ Markstein, Don (2009). "The Red Tornado". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on January 9, 2017.
  9. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 37: "April's All-American Comics #25 saw the costumed hero Doctor Mid-Nite make his first appearance."
  10. ^ Markstein, Don (2008). "Dr. Mid-Nite". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016.
  11. ^ Markstein, Don (2008). "Sargon the Sorcerer". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on October 25, 2011.
  12. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 47: "Green Lantern faced a monstrous foe in All-American Comics #61. Solomon Grundy was a zombielike strongman...His origin, recounted in a story by writer Alfred Bester and artist Paul Reinman, involved the corpse of a murdered man."
  13. ^ Markstein, Don (2007). "Toonerville Folks". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on 2017-10-16. Unlike most strips published through the 1930s and '40s, Toonerville never made it into Big Little Books or comic books (except some reprints in the back pages of early issues of DC's All-American Comics).
  14. ^ Markstein, Don (2006). "Mutt and Jeff". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. [Mutt and Jeff] found a lasting berth in DC's All-American Comics, where, starting in the first issue, they were among several newspaper comics scattered among the non-reprinted features
  15. ^ Wallace "1940s" in Dolan, p. 59: "All-American Comics became All-American Western with this issue [#103], and Johnny Thunder leaped out from a backdrop of comic pages on the cover to announce the radical transition."
  16. ^ All-American Western at the Grand Comics Database
  17. ^ All-American Men of War at the Grand Comics Database
  18. ^ All-American Comics one-shot at the Grand Comics Database

External links

1939 in comics

Notable events of 1939 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1940 in comics

Notable events of 1940 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1941 in comics

Notable events of 1941 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1942 in comics

Notable events of 1942 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

1947 in comics

Notable events of 1947 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

Alan Scott

Alan Scott is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, and the first character to bear the name Green Lantern. He fights evil with the aid of a magical ring which grants him a variety of powers. He was created by Martin Nodell first appearing in the comic book All-American Comics #16, published in 1940.

Alan Scott was created after Nodell became inspired by the characters from Greek and Norse myths, seeking to create a popular entertainment character who fought evil with the aid of a magic ring which grants him a variety of supernatural powers. After debuting in All-American Comics, Alan Scott soon became popular enough to sustain his own comic book, Green Lantern. Around this time DC also began experimenting with fictional crossovers between its characters, leading towards a shared universe of characters. As one of the publisher's most popular heroes, Alan became a founding member of the Justice Society of America, one of the first such teams of "mystery men" or superheroes in comic books.

Following World War II, the character's popularity began to fade along with the decline of the Golden Age of Comic Books, leading to cancellation. After 12 years out of print, DC chose to reinvent Green Lantern as science fiction hero Hal Jordan in 1959. Later, DC would again revisit Alan Scott, establishing that Alan and Hal were the Green Lanterns of two different parallel worlds, with Alan residing on Earth-Two and Hal on Earth-One. Stories set on Earth-Two thereafter showed that Alan became the father to two superheroic children, the twins Obsidian and Jade, each with powers a bit like his own. When in 1985 DC chose to reboot its internal continuity, it merged the worlds of Earth-One and Earth-Two, and Alan was again reimagined as an elder statesman of the DC Universe, the magical Green Lantern of an earlier generation who coexists with the more science fiction-oriented heroes of the Green Lantern Corps. When DC brought back its internal Multiverse concept in the 2000s, it reintroduced a new, young version of Alan on the new Earth-Two, this time as a gay man and the owner of a media conglomerate whose magical powers stem from his role as champion of the Green, an entity embodying plant life on Earth.

All-American Publications

All-American Publications is one of three American comic book companies that merged to form the modern day DC Comics, one of two largest publishers of comic books in the United States. Superheroes created for All-American include the original Atom, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and Wonder Woman, all in the 1940s' Golden Age of Comic Books.

Comic Cavalcade

Comic Cavalcade was an anthology comic book published by DC Comics from 1942 to 1954.

Most American comic book publishers in the 1930s and 1940s Golden Age of comic books published anthology titles that showcased a variety of characters, usually with one star—such as Green Lantern in All-American Comics or Wonder Woman in Sensation Comics. Comic Cavalcade, however, featured both those star characters as well as the Flash, a star in his own namesake title as well as the spin-off All-Flash.

At 96 pages initially, Comic Cavalcade was about one-and-one-half-times the length of the average comic book of the time. It was priced at 15 cents, when the average comic cost a dime.

Many stories in Comic Cavalcade were scripted by other than the characters' regular writers, for deadline reasons. Batman writer Bill Finger, for example, would occasionally write Flash stories for Comic Cavalcade when regular Flash writer Gardner Fox was preoccupied with other projects.

One non-superhero ongoing character introduced in Comic Cavalcade was newspaperman Johnny Peril. His roots, prior to his first appearance, came in the one-off story "Just a Story" in issue #15 (July 1946), by writer-artist Howard Purcell. With issue #22 (Sept. 1947), the anthological "Just a Story" series gained Peril as, generally, a witness or narrator rather than as an integral part of the narrative. With this issue, the series title became "Johnny Peril Tells Just a Story", eventually changed to "Johnny Peril's Surprise Story" as Johnny became the series' two-fisted hero until the series ended with issue #29 (Nov. 1948). The character went on to appear in his own feature in All-Star Comics, Danger Trail and Sensation Comics through 1953. He returned in the Silver Age of Comic Books in 1958, in The Unexpected.Initially published quarterly, the title went bi-monthly beginning with #14 (April–May 1946). It was revamped completely with #30 (December–January 1948), becoming a funny-animal humor book when superheroes faded from popularity in the post-war era. Featured were animator Frank Tashlin's movie-cartoon duo The Fox and the Crow, along with cartoonist Woody Gelman's creations, The Dodo and the Frog and Nutsy Squirrel. The book's length by this time had been reduced to 76 pages.

The title would later be referenced with DC's 1970s Cancelled Comic Cavalcade series.

Doctor Light (Arthur Light)

Doctor Light is a bipartite character, comprising supervillain Arthur Light and superhero Jacob Finlay, appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.His stint as Doctor Light is concurrent with that of a superheroine using the same name and nearly identical costume, Kimiyo Hoshi. In 2009, Doctor Light was ranked as IGN's 84th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

Doctor Mid-Nite

Doctor Mid-Nite (also Doctor Midnight) is a fictional superhero physician in DC Comics. The figure has been represented in the comics by three different individuals, Charles McNider, Beth Chapel, and Pieter Anton Cross. Dr. Mid-Nite was originally created by writer Charles Reizenstein and artist Stanley Josephs Aschmeier in 1941. The hero, represented first by Charles McNider, appeared for the first time in All-American Comics #25 (April 1941).Like many Golden Age heroic characters, the original Doctor Mid-Nite appeared as a member of DC's Justice Society of America. His two successors were also represented as members of the group or an offshoot. Doctor Mid-Nite has never appeared as the solo protagonist of a regular title magazine, but the figure has been the subject of an anthology and a mini-series.

All three versions of Doctor Mid-Nite have exhibited the same basic features: a cowled costume featuring a crescent moon symbol, keen ability to see in the darkness at the cost of near or total blindness in sunlight, the use of special visors and “blackout” smoke bombs to gain tactical advantage in combat, a high degree of skill in martial arts, and jobs as physicians serving both normal human beings and "metahuman" superheroes. Additionally, two of the doctors have been accompanied by sidekick owls.

As a blind character, Doctor Mid-Nite is widely regarded as the first superhero in comics to exhibit a physical impairment, pre-dating the creation of Daredevil of Marvel Comics by more than twenty years.

Dr. Mid-Nite made his live appearance on the second season of DC's Legends of Tomorrow played by Kwesi Ameyaw. Doctor Mid-Nite will appear in the upcoming DC Universe series Stargirl and will be portrayed by Henry Thomas.

Doiby Dickles

Charles "Doiby (Derby)" Dickles is a fictional character from DC Comics. He was the original sidekick for Alan Scott (the first Green Lantern), appearing in comic book stories starring that hero from 1941 to 1949.

First appearance

In American comic books and other stories with a long history, first appearance refers to the first issue to feature a fictional character. These issues are often highly valued by collectors due to their rarity and iconic status.

Hop Harrigan

Hop Harrigan (also known as The Guardian Angel and Black Lamp) first appeared in All American Comics #1 created by Jon Blummer (Fighting Yank, Little Boy Blue) as one of the first successful aviation heroes in comic history (Hop appeared after Tailspin Tommy, Barney Baxter, Connie Kurridge and others). Hop Harrigan was technically not a true superhero (as he had no costume or special powers) though he did meet the Justice Society of America in All-Star Comics #8, and he did eventually become a superhero from All American Comics #25 (April 1941) to #28 (July) as the costumed Guardian Angel.

Power ring (DC Comics)

A power ring is an object featured in American comic books published by DC Comics. The power ring first appeared in All-American Comics #16 on July 14, 1940.

Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel)

For information on the Silver Age Red Tornado, see Red Tornado.The Red Tornado is a fictional character, a superheroine in the DC Comics Universe, debuting during the Golden Age of Comic Books. Created by Sheldon Mayer, she first appeared in her civilian identity as Abigail Mathilda "Ma" Hunkel in All-American Publications' All-American Comics #3 (June 1939), and became the Red Tornado in All-American Comics #20 (Nov. 1940). As the Red Tornado, she was one of the first superhero parodies, as well as one of the first female superheroes (possibly the very first), and, when occasionally disguised as a man, comics' first cross-dressing heroine. (Madame Fatal, earlier that year, was the first cross-dressing hero.)

Sargon the Sorcerer

Sargon the Sorcerer is a fictional character, a second-string mystic, superhero and sorcerer appearing in DC Comics publications during the Golden Age. The original Sargon first appeared in All-American Comics #26, (May 1941), and was created by John B. Wentworth and Howard Purcell. The modern Sargon first appears in Helmet of Fate: Sargon #1 (April 2007) and was created by Steve Niles and Scott Hampton. The name Sargon is of Mesopotamian origin, and one king of Akkad and two of Assyria bore this name.

Sheldon Mayer

Sheldon Mayer (; April 1, 1917 – December 21, 1991) was an American comics artist, writer, and editor. One of the earliest employees of Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications, Mayer produced almost all of his comics work for the company that would become known as DC Comics.

He is among those credited with rescuing the unsold Superman comic strip from the rejection pile.

Mayer was inducted into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2000. Mayer is not to be confused with fellow Golden Age comics professional Sheldon Moldoff.


Gary Concord, the Ultra-Man is the name of two fictional comic-book superheroes, father and son, that first appeared during the 1940s, the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books. Both were characters of All-American Publications, which merged, in 1946, with DC Comics-predecessor National Periodical Publications.

They are separate from the DC Universe character Ultraman, a supervillain and evil counterpart of Superman, who was introduced in Justice League of America #29 (cover-dated Aug. 1964) and from the Japanese superhero Ultraman.

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