Fifty Who Made DC Great

Fifty Who Made DC Great is a one shot published by DC Comics to commemorate the company's 50th anniversary in 1985. It was published in comic book format but contained text articles with photographs and background caricatures.

Fifty Who Made DC Great
50WhoMadeDCGreat 00fc
Fifty Who Made DC Great
Cover art by Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, and Arne Starr.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
Publication date1985
No. of issues1
Creative team
Written byJoey Cavalieri
Thomas Hill
Barry Marx
Artist(s)Steven Petruccio
Editor(s)Barry Marx

Publication history

As explained by DC's then-President and Publisher Jenette Kahn, the profiles were of "fifty people and companies who have helped make DC Comics great." Kahn stated "[W]e have chosen representatives from those who have pioneered new territory and who, by doing so, have shaped our past or our future." The articles were written by Barry Marx, Thomas Hill, and Joey Cavalieri and caricatures were provided by Steven Petruccio. Barry Marx was also the book's editor. Neal Pozner was the design director. The cover art, featuring Clark Kent holding the "DC Bullet", was drawn by Curt Swan, Murphy Anderson, and Arne Starr.[1]

The Fifty

Name Field Notes
M. C. Gaines publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson writer, entrepreneur founder of National Allied Publications, the precursor company to DC Comics
Harry Donenfeld publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Jack Liebowitz publisher co-owner of National Allied Publications
Jerry Siegel writer co-creator of Superman
Joe Shuster artist co-creator of Superman
Bob Kane writer, artist co-creator of Batman
Bill Finger writer co-creator of Batman[2]
Warner Publishing Services distribution company DC sister company responsible for newsstand distribution, formerly known as Independent News Company, Inc.[3]
Sheldon Mayer writer, artist, editor creator of Sugar and Spike
Sol Harrison executive DC's President 1976-1980
Erwin M. "Bud" Budner distribution agent founder of Delmar News Agency
Gardner Fox writer co-creator of the Justice Society of America and the Justice League of America
William Moulton Marston writer co-creator of Wonder Woman with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston
Emile Keirsbilk publisher publisher of DC Comics in France
Carroll Rheinstrom publishing agent responsible for licensing DC's international publishing rights
Fleischer Studios animation studio produced the 1940s Superman cartoons
Bud Collyer actor portrayed Superman in the Adventures of Superman radio program
Kirk Alyn actor portrayed Superman in the 1948 film serial Superman, and its 1950 sequel Atom Man Vs. Superman
Mort Weisinger editor editor of Superman during the mid-1950s to 1970; co-creator of Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Johnny Quick.
Whitney Ellsworth writer, editor producer and story editor on the Adventures of Superman television series.
George Reeves actor portrayed Superman in the Adventures of Superman television series
Wayne Boring artist artist on Superman from the late 1940s through the 1950s.
Curt Swan artist artist most associated with Superman during the Silver and Bronze Ages of comic books.
Bernard Trout editor editor of DC Comics in France
World Color Press printing company In 1985, the largest player in the comic and newsstand special-interest publication market.[4]
Robert Kanigher writer, editor co-creator of Sgt. Rock
Julius Schwartz editor oversaw the revival of characters such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and the Atom; longtime editor of the Batman and Superman comic book lines
Jerry Bails popular culturist a primary force in establishing 1960s comics fandom.
Roy Thomas writer, editor co-creator of All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc.
Adam West actor portrayed Batman in the 1960s television series
Burt Ward actor portrayed Robin in the Batman television series
Licensing Company of America licensing company merchandising rights for DC's characters
Carmine Infantino artist, executive co-creator of the Silver Age Flash; editorial director and publisher
Neal Adams artist artist of Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow features of the 1970s
Denny O'Neil writer, editor writer of Batman and Green Lantern/Green Arrow features of the 1970s
Adolf Kabatek publisher publisher of DC Comics in Germany
Hanna-Barbera Productions animation studio producer of the Super Friends television series
Ilya Salkind film producer co-producer of the Superman film series
Alexander Salkind film producer co-producer of the Superman film series
Christopher Reeve actor portrayed Superman in the film series
Lynda Carter actress portrayed Wonder Woman in the 1970s television series
Phil Seuling distributor,
fan convention organizer
developed the concept of the direct market distribution system for getting comics directly into comic book specialty shops
Bud Plant distributor early direct market distributor
Marv Wolfman writer, editor co-creator of the New Teen Titans, writer of Crisis on Infinite Earths
George Pérez artist co-creator of the New Teen Titans, artist of Crisis on Infinite Earths
Frank Miller writer, artist creator of Ronin
Helen Slater actress portrayed Supergirl in the 1984 film
Superman Peanut Butter product DC's first food related licence
Kenner Products toy manufacturer manufacturer of the Super Powers Collection toyline

Celebrity reminiscences

Brief statements made by several prominent individuals were included as "Celebrity Reminiscences". These included comments by Daniel P. Moynihan, Richard Corben, Ray Bradbury, Gloria Steinem, Mort Walker, Milton Glaser, Walter Koenig, Gene Siskel, Stephen King, Gene Simmons, Jim Henson, David L. Wolper, Stan Lee, Susan Stamberg, Roger Ebert, Brooke Shields, Carol Bellamy, and Whoopi Goldberg.


Fifty Who Made DC Great has been used as a cited reference source for several books. Among these are the following:

  • The All-Star Companion Volume 1 by Roy Thomas.[5]
  • Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford W. Wright.[6]
  • American National Biography: Supplement by Paul R. Betz and Mark Christopher Carnes.[7]
  • Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books by Jean-Paul Gabilliet, Bart Beaty, and Nick Nguyen.[8]
  • 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking by Paul Levitz[9]


  1. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). Fifty Who Made DC Great (1985), DC Comics
  2. ^ Kane, Bob; Andrae, Tom (1989). Batman & Me. Forestville, California: Eclipse Books. p. 44. ISBN 1-56060-017-9.
  3. ^ "FTC Docket Nos. National Comics/Independent, 7614 Independent, 7611". Washington, D.C.: Federal Trade Commission. June 16, 1995. Archived from the original on June 7, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2011. The Federal Trade Commission has set aside 1960 orders against Warner Publisher Services, Inc. (formerly, Independent News Company, Inc.).
  4. ^ Rozanski, Chuck. "Tales From the Database: Evolution of the Direct Market Part II," Mile High Comics (2003).
  5. ^ Thomas, Roy (2000). All-Star Companion Volume 1. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 1893905055.
  6. ^ Wright, Bradford W. (2003). Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 326. ISBN 0-8018-6514-X.
  7. ^ Betz, Paul R.; Carnes, Mark Christopher (2005). 'American National Biography: Supplement. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 350. ISBN 0-19-522202-4.
  8. ^ Gabilliet, Jean-Paul; Beaty, Bart; Nguyen, Nick (2009). Of Comics and Men: A Cultural History of American Comic Books. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. p. 325. ISBN 1-60473-267-9.
  9. ^ Levitz, Paul (2010). 75 Years of DC Comics The Art of Modern Mythmaking. Cologne, Germany: Taschen. p. 718. ISBN 978-3-8365-1981-6.

External links

Alexander Salkind

Alexander Salkind (; 2 June 1921 – 8 March 1997) was the second of three generations of successful international film producers.

Bob Kane

Robert Kane (born Robert Kahn ; October 24, 1915 – November 3, 1998) was an American comic book writer and artist who co-created, with Bill Finger, the DC Comics character Batman. He was inducted into the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.

Bud Collyer

Bud Collyer (born Clayton Johnson Heermance Jr., June 18, 1908 – September 8, 1969) was an American radio actor/announcer who became one of the nation's first major television game show stars. He is best remembered for his work as the first host of the TV game shows Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth, but he was also famous in the roles of Clark Kent/Superman on radio and in animated cartoons, initially in theatrical short subjects and later on television.

Bud Plant Inc.

Bud Plant was a wholesale comics distributor active in the 1970s and 1980s during the growth of the direct market. He also published a selection of comics and zines during the same period. Starting in 1970 as a mail-order distributor specializing in underground comix, Plant absorbed some of his smaller rivals in the 1980s, and then sold his business to Diamond Comics Distributors in 1988.

Burt Ward

Burt Ward (born Bert John Gervis Jr. , July 6, 1945) is an American actor and activist best known for his portrayal of Robin, the sidekick of Batman (played by Adam West), in the television series Batman (1966–1968), its theatrical feature film, the 1977 Saturday Morning animated series The New Adventures of Batman, Legends of the Superheroes (1979), and two animated feature films, Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders (2016) and Batman vs. Two-Face (2017).

Harry Donenfeld

Harry Donenfeld (; October 17, 1893 – February 1, 1965) was an American publisher who is known primarily for being the owner of National Allied Publications, which distributed Detective Comics and Action Comics, the originator publications for the superhero characters Superman and Batman. Donenfeld was also a founder of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Helen Slater

Helen Rachel Slater (born December 15, 1963) is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She played the title role in the 1984 film Supergirl, and returned to the 2015 TV series of the same name, this time as Supergirl's adoptive mother. In the following years, she starred in several comedy-drama films such as Ruthless People (1986), The Secret of My Success (1987), and City Slickers (1991). She additionally found work as an actress in television, and stage projects, including three guest appearances on the series Smallville (2007–2010). She was a series regular for the two-season run (2011–2013) on the ABC Family series The Lying Game.

In the 2000s, Slater recorded five albums, singing her own compositions and playing the piano.

Independent News

Independent News Co. was a magazine and comic book distribution business owned by National Periodical Publications, the parent company of DC Comics. Independent News distributed all DC publications, as well as those of a few rival publishers, such as Marvel Comics from 1957 to 1969, in addition to pulp and popular magazines. The company was founded in 1932 and operated until c. 1970.

Jack Liebowitz

Jacob S. "Jack" Liebowitz (; born Yacov Lebovitz October 10, 1900 – December 11, 2000) was an American accountant and publisher, known primarily as the co-owner with Harry Donenfeld of National Allied Publications (later DC Comics).

Joey Cavalieri

Joey Cavalieri is an American writer and editor of comic books. He is best known for his work on the characters Green Arrow and the Huntress for DC Comics.

Kenner Products

Kenner Products was an American toy company founded in 1946. Throughout its history the Kenner brand produced several highly recognizable toys and merchandise lines, including action figures like the original series of Star Wars and Jurassic Park, as well as die cast models. The company was closed by its corporate parent Hasbro in 2000.

Lynda Carter

Lynda Carter (born Linda Jean Córdova Carter; July 24, 1951) is an American actress, singer, songwriter, model, and beauty pageant titleholder, who was crowned Miss World America 1972. She would go on to finish as a semifinalist in the Miss World 1972 pageant.

Carter is most widely known as the star of the American live action television series Wonder Woman, in the role of Diana Prince / Wonder Woman, based on the DC comic book fictional superheroine character of the same name, which aired on ABC and later on CBS from 1975 to 1979.

Max Gaines

Maxwell Charles Gaines (born Max Ginzberg September 21, 1894 – August 20, 1947) was a pioneering figure in the creation of the modern comic book.In 1933, Gaines devised the first four-color, saddle-stitched newsprint pamphlet, a precursor to the color-comics format that became the standard for the American comic book industry. He was co-publisher of All-American Publications, a seminal comic-book company that introduced such enduring fictional characters as Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and Hawkman. He went on to found Educational Comics, producing the series Picture Stories from the Bible. He authored one of the earliest essays on comic books, a 1942 pamphlet titled Narrative Illustration, The Story of the Comics.

After Gaines' death in 1947, Educational Comics was taken over by his son Bill Gaines, who transformed the company (now known as EC Comics) into a pioneer of horror, science fiction, and satirical comics.

Mort Weisinger

Mortimer "Mort" Weisinger (; April 25, 1915 – May 7, 1978) was an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books. He also co-created such features as Aquaman, Green Arrow, Johnny Quick, and the original Vigilante, served as story editor for the Adventures of Superman television series, and compiled the often-revised paperback 1001 Valuable Things You Can Get Free.

Phil Seuling

Philip Nicholas Seuling (January 20, 1934 – August 21, 1984) was a comic book fan convention organizer and comics distributor primarily active in the 1970s. Seuling was the organizer of the annual New York Comic Art Convention, originally held in New York City every July 4 weekend throughout the 1970s. Later, with his Sea Gate Distributors company, Seuling developed the concept of the direct market distribution system for getting comics directly into comic book specialty shops, bypassing the then established newspaper/magazine distributor method, where no choices of title, quantity, or delivery directions were permitted.

Sol Harrison

Sol Harrison (1917 – November 19, 1989) was an American comic book colorist, production manager, and executive whose career spanned nearly 50 years in the industry.

Superman (1940s cartoons)

The Fleischer Superman cartoons are a series of seventeen animated short films released in Technicolor by Paramount Pictures and based upon the comic book character Superman, making them his first animated appearance.

They were originally produced by Fleischer Studios, who completed the initial short and eight further cartoons in 1941 and 1942. Production was assumed in May 1942 by Famous Studios, a successor company to Fleischer, who produced eight more cartoons in 1942 and 1943. Superman was the final animated series intitiated by Fleischer Studios, before Famous Studios officially took over production.Although all entries are in the public domain, ancillary rights such as merchandising contract rights, as well as the original 35mm master elements, are owned today by Warner Bros. Entertainment. Warner has owned Superman publisher DC Comics since 1969.

Whitney Ellsworth

Fredric Whitney Ellsworth (November 27, 1908 – September 7, 1980) was an American comic book editor, and sometime writer and artist for DC Comics during the period known to historians and fans as the Golden Age of Comic Books. He was also DC's "movie studio contact," becoming both a producer and story editor on the TV series The Adventures of Superman.

William Moulton Marston

William Moulton Marston (May 9, 1893 – May 2, 1947), also known by the pen name Charles Moulton (), was an American psychologist, inventor of an early prototype of the lie detector, self-help author, and comic book writer who created the character Wonder Woman.Two women, his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and their polyamorous life partner, Olive Byrne, greatly influenced Wonder Woman's creation.He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.