John Francis Rosenberger (November 30, 1918 in Richmond Hill, Queens – January 24, 1977), also occasionally credited as John Diehl, was an American comics artist and painter from after the Second World War until the mid-1970s. Educated at the Pratt Institute, he worked primarily in the romance and superhero genres of comics, with forays into many other subjects.
|Born||John Francis Rosenberger|
November 30, 1918
Richmond Hill, Queens
|Died||January 24, 1977 (aged 58)|
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane
The Superman Family
Rosenberger was born and grew up in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens. During early childhood, he was bedridden for two years with scarlet fever. It was during this time he began to draw. His father, a printer, encouraged John's artistic ambitions, and recruited him to help at the print shop. John continued to draw, and took inspiration from such artists as Norman Rockwell, Alex Raymond, Hal Foster and Milton Caniff.
In 1938, Rosenberger enrolled in night classes at the Pratt Institute, where he met and started a romantic relationship with Marguerite "Peggy" Chapellier. Peggy was a fellow student as well as the daughter of prominent art dealer George Chapellier. During their time at Pratt, John was painting houses and Peggy worked for Western Publishing as a comics colorist. The two continued to see each other as they took classes through 1941, and were married on May 27, 1942.
Soon after the marriage, John was drafted into the Army, compelling the couple to relocate to Washington, D.C. There, John taught at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers School at Fort Belvoir, and was editor of the military magazine The Specialist, to which he contributed pin-ups and other illustrations. In 1943 John was sent overseas for the remainder of the war, working on the construction of an oil pipeline in the China Burma India Theater. The Rosenbergers' first son John was born while he was away.
After the war, the Rosenbergers moved into a new house in Jackson Heights, Queens, and John took a job at his father-in-law's gallery, eventually becoming manager. Chapellier Galleries was located next to the Whitney Museum, and dealt in American art, endorsing such painters as William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri and Frank Duveneck. Meanwhile, Rosenberger painted portraits and spent evenings and free time preparing samples of his art and looking for publishers.
Rosenberger had done a bit of work for Dell Comics before the war. He started comics work again in 1946, and by 1949 he was working entirely freelance. He had left his job at the gallery in April 1948, and was soon working on crime, western, adventure, and romance stories for several different publishers.
Robert Bernstein was a writer Rosenberger met while drawing for Brevity, Inc., a company which produced industrial, political, and educational comics in booklet form. The pair pitched an original serial newspaper strip called Sands of the South Seas a couple of years later. The proposal resulted in the publication of one issue of a comic book (retitled Sands of the South Pacific) by Toby Press. Future newspaper strip pitches were less successful, with both Christopher Crown (1959) and Chris Cross (1965) rejected by the syndicates, but the two would become frequent creative collaborators on other projects.
Other work came for Rosenberger in the form of painted covers for paperback book publishers. With his background in oil painting, this kind of work was less stressful than comics jobs, which proved to be a great pressure for him. Indeed, Rosenberger suffered a nervous breakdown in 1952, after which the family temporarily moved to a small town in Connecticut. He soon resumed working on the paperback covers, but was hesitant in going back to work for comics.
John's reentry into regular comics work was facilitated by friendly encouragement from Richard E. Hughes, editor for the American Comics Group (ACG). After about a year in Connecticut, in which the Rosenbergers went deep into debt, John signed on for work with ACG and the family moved to Levittown, Long Island, close to their new good friends the Hugheses.
While there was some work from Dell-affiliated Custom Comics (which produced educational pamphlets), work with Brevity, Inc. ended when its owner unexpectedly died in 1953. There was a dispute over royalties and a failed attempt by Rosenberger and Bernstein to buy the company, but nothing came of it, leaving ACG as Rosenberger's biggest account for the mid- to late-1950s. He covered all genres for ACG, and worked in all the company's titles in some part through the mid-1960s, including Adventures into the Unknown, Forbidden Worlds, Unknown Worlds, and Romantic Adventures, all of which had managed to survive the implementation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954.
On September 6, 1960, Rosenberger started an account with Archie Publications, and soon began work on the Simon & Kirby-created title The Fly for the Archie Adventure Series. Rosenberger then teamed with Robert Bernstein to create the Jaguar in a similar mold. He served as a regular artist on several other titles for the Adventure Series before the group segued into the campy Mighty Comics.
Other projects Rosenberger worked on with Archie included the first issue of a short-lived iteration of The Shadow, written by Jerry Siegel, and some work penciling Archie stories. In late 1966 he stopped all his work with Archie Publications.
Meanwhile, Rosenberger had been working for National (now DC Comics) since 1963 on romance stories. His style suited the still-popular genre in that he kept up-to-date with fashionable hair and clothing styles. Also, he always drew women as ideal beauties and his leading men were all handsome.
In 1965 he drew his first superhero story for DC. It was a Supergirl and Wonder Woman story for The Brave and the Bold #63 titled "The Revolt of the Super Chicks!", and it was an appropriate subject for Rosenberger's expertise. Cartoonist Fred Hembeck has noted that Rosenberger's superhero work showed his background in the romance genre, with "luscious babes" and a unique proficiency in rendering "expressions of impotent bewildered befuddlement" on the faces of male protagonists.
Rosenberger continued with romance work for DC in comic books such as Falling in Love, Girls' Love Stories, Girls' Romances, Secret Hearts, and Young Romance, but the genre's popularity was quickly waning. Around 1972–1974, Rosenberger was regularly working on various features for DC titles such as Strange Sports Stories, The Superman Family, Wonder Woman, and World's Finest Comics, and with such characters as Zatanna and Lois Lane. He and Robert Kanigher co-created Lady Cop in 1975. That character appeared in the fourth season of the Arrow TV series in 2015 and was portrayed by Rutina Wesley.
In 1974, Rosenberger stopped work on DC projects for unknown reasons. He started penciling for Sy Barry, the regular artist for The Phantom newspaper strip, whose eyesight was beginning to fail him. He continued with this task on-and-off for about a year.
Rosenberger suffered a heart attack on April 22, 1976, and took about two months off to recover. In August he was diagnosed with cancer, and he died on January 24, 1977, at the age of 58. His last work was for Wonder Woman #217 (April–May 1975), for which he would pencil only the first four pages before taking ill. Subsequently, this issue was redrawn completely by Dick Dillin. The Rosenberger pages were later published in The Amazing World of DC Comics #15 (Aug. 1977).
Comics work (interior pencil art) includes:
While thoroughly of its time in more than just the title, this issue of The Brave and the Bold is notable for being the first Supergirl/Wonder Woman team-up.
| Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane penciller
| Wonder Woman penciller
Notable events of 1977 in comics. See also List of years in comics.1st Issue Special
1st Issue Special was a comics anthology series from DC Comics, done in a similar style to their Showcase series. It was published from April 1975 to April 1976. The goal was to showcase a new possible first issue of an ongoing series each month, with some issues debuting new characters and others reviving dormant series from DC's past. No series were actually launched from 1st Issue Special but the Warlord made his first appearance in the title and the character's ongoing series was already slated to debut a few months later.Dark Circle Comics
Dark Circle Comics is an imprint of Archie Comics Publications, Inc. Under its previous name, Red Circle Comics, it published non-humor characters, particularly superheroes in the 1970s and 1980s, and was a digital imprint from 2012 to 2014. In 2015, it was converted back to a print imprint and was completely revamped as Dark Circle Comics, featuring darker and more mature content than previous incarnations of Archie's superhero line.
The term "Red Circle characters" is also used to refer to Archie Comics' superheroes, including such characters as the Black Hood, The Shield, the Wizard, the Hangman, The Fly, Flygirl, The Comet, and the Fox.
These characters were previously published when Archie Comics was MLJ Magazines, then published under various Archie imprints: Archie Adventure Series, Radio Comics/Mighty Comics Group, Red Circle Comics and the Red Circle Comics digital imprint (2012).
Archie licensed their Red Circle characters to DC Comics in the early 1990s under the DC imprint Impact Comics, and then again from 2007 to 2011, when DC attempted to integrate them into the DC Universe. When this failed, the characters reverted to Archie Comics, which launched the imprint digitally. The company retired this in late 2014; the line was relaunched as the Dark Circle Comics imprint in 2015.Date with Debbi
Date with Debbi is a DC Comics comic book series, which ran for 18 issues between 1969 and 1972. About Debbi's attempts to find happiness, often through dating, the series combined humor and romance elements. Similar in appearance and tone to Archie Comics titles of the same era, Date with Debbi's title paid homage to the long-running DC comic A Date with Judy (1947–1960). (It also recycled some covers and plots from the earlier series.)The series won recognition in the industry, including the 1970 Shazam Award for Best Inker (Humor Division) for Henry Scarpelli for his work on it, Leave It to Binky, and other DC comics.A spin-off title, Debbi's Dates, ran for 11 issues from 1969 to 1971.Dick Dillin
Richard Allen "Dick" Dillin (December 17, 1928 – March 1, 1980) was an American comics artist best known for a 12-year run as the penciler of the DC Comics superhero-team series Justice League of America. He drew 115 issues from 1968 until his death in 1980.Fawcett Comics
Fawcett Comics, a division of Fawcett Publications, was one of several successful comic book publishers during the Golden Age of Comic Books in the 1940s. Its most popular character was Captain Marvel, the alter ego of radio reporter Billy Batson, who transformed into the hero whenever he said the magic word "Shazam!".
Other characters published by Fawcett include Captain Video, Hopalong Cassidy, Ibis the Invincible, Bulletman and Bulletgirl, Spy Smasher, Captain Midnight, Phantom Eagle, Mister Scarlet and Pinky, Minute-Man, Commando Yank and Golden Arrow.
Aside from the better known superhero books, Fawcett also published a short-lived line of horror comics during the early 1950s, a string of titles which included This Magazine Is Haunted, Beware! Terror Tales, Worlds of Fear, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unknown World. Other genres included teenage humor (Otis and Babs), funny animal (Hoppy the Marvel Bunny), romance (Sweethearts), war (Soldier Comics) and Western (Lash LaRue, Six Gun Heroes). Fawcett also produced comics based on contemporary movie stars (Tom Mix, Monte Hale) and matinee serials (Nyoka the Jungle Girl). The entire line was dropped in 1953, when Fawcett closed down their comics publishing wing (though many titles were picked up by Charlton Comics).Flygirl (Archie Comics)
Flygirl (sometimes spelled Fly Girl or Fly-Girl) is a super-heroine published by Archie Comics.Girls' Love Stories
Girls' Love Stories was an American romance comic book magazine published by DC Comics in the United States. Started in 1949 as DC's first romance title, it ran for 180 issues, ending with the Nov-Dec 1973 issue. The stories covered such topics as girls worrying about getting a man, or marrying out of pressure, not love. Some of the early covers were photographs. The book's initial tagline was "True to Life!"
Writers for the title included Bob Kanigher and George Kashdan. Notable artists for Girls' Love Stories included George Tuska, Tony Abruzzo, Vince Colletta, Bill Draut, Frank Giacoia, Gil Kane, Bob Oksner, Art Peddy, Jay Scott Pike, John Romita Sr., Joe Rosen, John Rosenberger, Bernard Sachs, and Mike Sekowsky.
Editor, Zena Brody began working on Girls' Love Stories in 1952.Images taken from Girls' Love Stories have been used in some of Roy Lichtenstein's work.Girls' Romances
Girls' Romances was a romance comic anthology published by DC Comics in the United States. Debuting with a Feb.,/Mar. 1950 cover-date, it ran for 160 issues, ending with the Oct. 1971 issue. (The final issue came out on October 3, 1971 and sold for $0.25.)Mike Sekowsky was a regular artist on the book from 1952 to the end of its run. Other artists on the title included Gene Colan, Lee Elias, Gil Kane, Win Mortimer, Bob Oksner, John Romita, Sr., John Rosenberger, Art Saaf, Jack Sparling, Alex Toth, and George Tuska. Nick Cardy drew many covers.
Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein based many of his works on panels from Girls' Romances, including In the Car (sometimes called Driving) (1963), We Rose Up Slowly (1964), and Sleeping Girl (1964).Heart Throbs
Heart Throbs was a romance comic published by Quality Comics and DC Comics from 1949 to 1972. Quality published the book from 1949–1957, when it was acquired by DC. Most issues featured a number of short comics stories, as well advice columns, text pieces, and filler. The long-running feature "3 Girls—Their Lives—Their Loves," drawn by Jay Scott Pike and inked by Russ Jones, ran in Heart Throbs from 1966–1970.
In addition to Pike and Jones, regular contributors to Heart Throbs during its run included Bob Kanigher, Barbara Friedlander, Jay Criton, Gene Colan, John Romita, Sr., John Forte, Vince Colletta, Bernard Sachs, Win Mortimer, John Rosenberger, and Tony DeZuniga.Jaguar (Archie Comics)
The Jaguar is a superhero first published in 1961 by Archie Comics. He was created by writer Robert Bernstein and artist John Rosenberger as part of Archie's "Archie Adventure Series". This happened prior to that comics line being camped up as part of their Mighty Comics imprint.
The Jaguar is zoologist Ralph Hardy. While on a dig in Peru, (Hardy, like most Silver Age heroes, is a man of many interests and talents, including archeology), a giant serpent burst forth from the ground and began terrorizing the area. While the others fled, Hardy followed a rare white jaguar into a ruined temple and found a series of cave drawings depicting the ancient Incas battling the same monster, as well as a mystical "nucleon energy belt". The round golden buckle of the belt had the engraved image of a winged Jaguar on the front and on the back an inscription which read: "He who loves the animal kingdom may wear this belt and be transformed into a human Jaguar". Hardy put on the belt and was instantly transformed.
As The Jaguar, he possesses, in addition to the expected feline abilities, all the powers of the animal kingdom, only a thousand times more powerful. The oft-quoted "magnified toughness of a rhinoceros' hide", for example, gives him near Superman-level invulnerability. He also has the Aquaman-style telepathic ability to mentally communicate with and command all animals, including those from alien worlds.
The Jaguar wears a simple, skintight scarlet bodysuit with a flared black collar and the stylized suggestion of a feline face (just the eyes, whiskers, and open mouth) on the chest and jaguar pelt-patterned boots and nucleon belt. The latter has two small rocket packs on either side which gives him the power of supersonic flight. He wears no mask and looks exactly like Ralph Hardy, except that Hardy has a mustache, while The Jaguar does not. (Post-Silver Age comics artists tend to give the latter pointed ears and a more cat-like hairstyle, making him vaguely resemble a cross between the Sub-Mariner and the movie version of Wolverine.)
In many ways The Jaguar is a copy of earlier Archie Comics hero The Fly: magic belt instead of magic ring, powers of the animal kingdom rather than the insect kingdom, etc. The Jaguar first appeared two years after The Fly was introduced.
Unlike The Fly, however, The Jaguar is handsome and has many recurring romantic entanglements. These include the immortal feline sorceress Cat Girl, who had command over the cat kingdom, just as he ruled over the whole animal kingdom. (She was also known as The Sphinx and had originally battled The Fly, but it was quickly decided that she would be a more appropriate foe for The Jaguar.) There is also the green-skinned and white-haired undersea siren Kree-Nal, and Hardy's secretary Jill Ross. Like Pete Ross, she secretly knows that Hardy is her beloved hero The Jaguar and uses that knowledge to help him without him knowing it. Nor were these relationships static; in later stories, Jill left to study nursing so that she could better assist in Hardy's veterinary work.
Cat Girl lost her magic powers due to exposure to highly toxic strontium-90 from atomic testing, retaining only her telepathic mastery over cats. She took on the new mortal identity of jet-set socialite Lydia Fellin, whose "family fortune" was actually a vast treasure trove that she had accumulated over the centuries.
The Jaguar appeared in 15 issues of The Adventures of the Jaguar, as well as a backup feature in other Archie titles: Jughead Jones Comic Digest 7; Laugh Comics 127, 130, 131, 133, 135, 140–142, 144; Laugh Comics Digest 25, 27; Pep Comics 150, 152, 157, 159, and 168. The Jaguar also appears in The Adventures of the Fly #23. When the "Archie Adventure Series" line was canceled and reborn as Archie's "camped up" Mighty Comics line, The Jaguar only made brief appearances in Mighty Crusaders #4 and 5. In #5 The Jaguar would team up with Mr. Justice and Steel Sterling as the "Terrific Three".
The Jaguar would again appear as part of Archie's Red Circle Comics revamp in the 1980s, as a founding member of the new Mighty Crusaders. He was also a backup series in The Fly issues 4–9. In this incarnation it was revealed that the source of The Jaguar's powers was the cherubim-like pre-human god Varigon, Lord of the Animals, a towering golden-winged being with three heads: a bird, a lion, and a bull. Varigon had created the magic belt as a weapon to be worn by his mortal champion in the eternal battle against the scaly green lizard-headed S'ithh, Lord of the Reptiles, who wanted the dinosaurs to rule the Earth once again. The first person to have worn the belt in ancient times was an Incan woman.
It is later revealed that Ralph is the brother of Rose Raymond, the wife of fellow superhero The Web.The most recent appearances of the Ralph Hardy Jaguar have been cameos in Archie's Weird Mysteries #3 and 14 and a cover story crossover appearance in Sabrina the Teenage Witch #30.
A teenage female version of The Jaguar, written by William Messner-Loebs, was used in DC Comics' Impact revamp of the Archie superheroes. She is naive and good-hearted Maria DeGuzman, who came to North America from Rio de Janeiro to study at Elm Harbor University. To her surprise, she inherited from her late aunt the werewolf-like ability to transform into a large, muscular, barefoot and green-eyed Jaguar. Despite wearing a similar, somewhat skimpier skintight red outfit, unlike her male namesake, this ferocious feline's powers are limited to superhuman strength and agility combined with cat-like claws and senses. She eventually marries Impact's version of The Fly at the end of the Crucible miniseries.In the aftermath of the continuity-altering Final Crisis, DC comics once again licensed the Red Circle heroes, this time choosing to bring them directly into the DC Universe. In March 2010 a new Jaguar was set to appear in The Shield #5, a Brazilian man who could transform into a red tattoo-covered "werejaguar".In New Crusaders the role of The Jaguar in the short-lived Red Circle digital comics universe was passed to Ralph Hardy's young apprentice Ivette "Ivy" Velez when the shy, Spanish-speaking orphan was given the cat-like golden helmet of Ai Apaec to become the savage new Jaguar.Lady Cop
The Lady Cop is a fictional police officer, a comic book character published by DC Comics. She debuted in 1st Issue Special #4 (July 1975), and was created by Robert Kanigher and John Rosenberger.
The Lady Cop is Liza Warner, a young woman who watches from beneath a bed as a murderer in cowboy boots slaughters her two roommates, leaving the ace of spades behind as his calling card. Later a policewoman (circa 1975) praises her eidetic memory, calling her a "born police officer". Liza enrolls in the unnamed metropolitan city's police academy, performing her civic duty while hoping to one day find the mysterious "killer in boots". After a long absence, Liza Warner appeared in The All-New Atom #6 and #12, now as chief of police for Ivy Town.
Liza Warner made her live appearance in an episode of the fourth and an episode of the fifth seasons of Arrow played by Rutina Wesley. This version of her was actually an antagonist to the Green Arrow.List of superhero debuts
The following is a list of the first known appearances of various superhero fictional characters and teams.
A superhero (also known as a "super hero" or "super-hero") is a fictional character "of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest." Since the debut of Superman in 1938 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas — have dominated American comic books and crossed over into other media. A female superhero is sometimes called a "superheroine."
By most definitions, characters need not have actual superhuman powers to be deemed superheroes, although sometimes terms such as "costumed crimefighters" are used to refer to those without such powers who have many other common traits of superheroes.
For a list of comic book supervillain debuts, see List of comic book supervillain debuts.Publication history of Wonder Woman
This article is about the history of the fictional DC Comics' character Wonder Woman, who was introduced in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941), then appearing in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942), Six months later appeared in her own comic book series (Summer 1942). Since her debut, five regular series of Wonder Woman have been published, the last launched in June 2016 as part of the DC Rebirth.Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane
Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane is an American comic book series published monthly by DC Comics. The series focusing on the adventures of Lois Lane began publication with a March/April 1958 cover date and ended its run in September/October 1974, with 137 regular issues and two 80-page Annuals. Following the similar themed Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane was the second comic series based on a Superman supporting character.
At the peak of its popularity in 1962, Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane was the third best-selling comic book in the United States, surpassed only by Superman and Superboy in sales.The Shadow
The Shadow is the name of a collection of serialized dramas, originally in 1930s pulp novels, and then in a wide variety of Shadow media. One of the most famous adventure heroes of 20th century North America, the Shadow has been featured on the radio, in a long-running pulp magazine series, in American comic books, comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five feature films. The radio drama included episodes voiced by Orson Welles.
Originally a mysterious radio show narrator, The Shadow was developed into a distinctive literary character in 1931, later to become a pop culture icon, by writer Walter B. Gibson. The character has been cited as a major influence on the subsequent evolution of comic book superheroes, particularly Batman.The Shadow debuted on July 31, 1930, as the mysterious narrator of the radio program Detective Story Hour, which was developed to boost sales of Street and Smith's monthly pulp Detective Story Magazine. When listeners of the program began asking at newsstands for copies of "That Shadow detective magazine", Street & Smith decided to create a magazine based on The Shadow and hired Gibson to create a character concept to fit the name and voice and write a story featuring him. The first issue of The Shadow Magazine went on sale on April 1, 1931, a pulp series.
On September 26, 1937, The Shadow radio drama, a new radio series based on the character as created by Gibson for the pulp magazine, premiered with the story "The Death House Rescue", in which The Shadow was characterized as having "the power to cloud men's minds so they cannot see him". As in the magazine stories, The Shadow was not given the literal ability to become invisible.
The introduction from The Shadow radio program "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!", spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr, has earned a place in the American idiom. These words were accompanied by an ominous laugh and a musical theme, Camille Saint-Saëns' Le Rouet d'Omphale ("Omphale's Spinning Wheel", composed in 1872). At the end of each episode The Shadow reminded listeners that, "The weed of crime bears bitter fruit! Crime does not pay... The Shadow knows!" (Some early episodes, however, used the alternate statement, "As you sow evil, so shall you reap evil! Crime does not pay... The Shadow knows!")The Superman Family
The Superman Family was an American comic book series published by DC Comics from 1974 to 1982 featuring supporting characters in the Superman comics. The term "Superman Family" is often used to refer to the extended cast of characters of comics books associated with Superman. A similarly titled series Superman Family Adventures was launched in 2012.