Back in 1934, when Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson founded DC Comics, he might not have known that it will become a global brand of entertainment one day. The DC characters we know today are not what they were supposed to be when they were first introduced. Be it Superman or the Joker, the characters have gone through a lot of metamorphism to evolve as the current ones. You might be a very loyal fan of DC Comics, but are you acquainted with the most surprising facts about them? If not, here is a list of the top eight facts of DC Comics that you should know as a DC stan.
8. The Original Superman could not Fly
The loyal fans of DC Comics already know that there have been several versions of Superman with various backgrounds and reimagined storylines existing in parallel universes. However, the most popular one of them all, who is the Superman we know today did not possess the power to fly originally. His superpowers user to let him jump over tall buildings in a single bounce but it was definitely not flying. Later, in 1940, the animators decided to grant him the power to fly in order to get rid of themselves drawing the character jumping from one place to another in order to reach his destination. Moreover, the animation did not appear to be pleasing enough and eventually, we know what was finalized.
7. Superman wasn’t Always Vulnerable to Kryptonite
The last son of Krypton, Superman is one of the most popular and admired Superheroes of all time. The fact that the tall, remarkably handsome, strong and black-haired alien tries to avoid Kryptonite as much as he can is not something he used to do since the very beginning. Kryptonite is radioactive fragments belonging to his home planet and whenever he’s exposed to it, he begins to get weaken and can even die if he stays in its presence for a longer time, which is exactly why his enemies always try to use Kryptonite against him. The storyline with Kryptonite in it was hurriedly written up for the 1943 Superman radio show which was meant to explain the disappearance of the Superhero for a week, while Bud Collyer, who voiced Superman for the show, was on a week-long vacation. After the broadcast, the Kryptonite was officially launched in 1949’s Superman #69.
6. The Characters of Joker and Harley Quinn were Originally Created for Throwaway
Many of the fans of DC might not know that the character of Harley Quinn was originally supposed to be there for just an episode in ‘Batman: The Animated Series’. However, the creators of the show, Paul Dini and Bruce Timm realised that they could experiment a lot more with such a fierce character like hers and that she deserved to get greater recognition. They wrote more episodes featuring Harley which eventually made her a hit and that’s how she became one of the most admired antagonists in the DC universe. We even got to see her in her first feature movie appearance in the 2016 movie, ‘Suicide Squad‘. A standalone sequel of the movie titled, ‘The Suicide Squad’ will be out in a few weeks in the US.
Moreover, the character of our green-haired psychotic killer, Joker, the ultimate adversary of Batman, was almost turned into a throwaway character as well. Joker was first introduced as Batman’s major rival in Batman #1 in 1940 but the creator of the comic, Bob Kane did not plan on giving the character more opportunities since he considered him to be very clownish. Although he tried his best to convince the studio writer Bill Finger to put him on hold, the editor of the book Whitney Ellsworth foresaw the underlying potential in him which finally led him to change his mind. Therefore, Joker was brought back to life to entertain the readers to play with Batman for decades more.
5. Marvel had Almost Acquired Some of DC’s Best Heroes
Back in 1984, when DC was struggling at the comic book market due to the dominance of Marvel, they eventually decided to sell off some of the best heroes of DC comics like Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Green Lantern to Marvel. However, the then Marvel President, Jim Galton rejected their offer to buy the DC line-up because he thought that DC wanted to sell them off because the characters must not be helping them in increasing their sales. However, Jim Shooter who was one of the most controversial editors of Marvel had made up his mind to convince Galton into buying the characters as he believed that Marvel would be more popular with those characters. Everything almost worked out and even a full cover by John Byrne, for ‘Superman: 1st Marvel Issue!’ was created. However, the deal did not work out since Marvel was suddenly troubled with an anti-trust lawsuit and taking over their largest competitors in the middle of the allegations wasn’t something they would have liked to do.
4. Superman and Flash Raced Each Other
A race between the fastest man alive and the man of steel— sounds interesting! While Flash has the power to travel with a speed greater than that of time and thus enter other dimensions because of his speed force, that doesn’t mean Superman is any less. Although both of them see each other eye-to-eye while dealing with crime and justice, when they are challenged to test each others’ speed and agility, none of them would slack off. The DC fans have imagined numerous scenarios in which Superman or Flash would win if one of them chases the other. However, in official competitions, both of them have ended up being in a tie and thus it is still hard to come to a conclusion as to which member of Justice League is faster.
3. Clark Kent used to Exist in Marvel Universe as well
We have got to witness some cross-overs between DC and Marvel at times, be it official or unofficial. One of such cross-overs happened with the character Clark Kent who was present in the Marvel Universe as a mild-mannered reporter who used to write about superheroes rather than being a super-powered hero himself. He was spotted in X-Men I #98 in 1976 where Stan Lee and Lois Lane both made cameo appearances during a party. Moreover, he was also seen several other times after that, usually during TV newscasts, press conferences, and other social events involving superheroes and mutants. One of his most remembered appearances includes a time at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters when he bumped into Thor and almost recognised him. Also, he was once rescued by Ghost Rider and was seen dancing with She-Hulk at a party. Other than that Clark Kent is also one of the friends of Joe Robertson.
2. Stan Lee Was Involved With DC Comics
Stan Lee had been one of the primary creators of Marvel comics for many years, expanding it to a successful multimedia corporation from a small division of a publishing house, before he left it in the late 1990s. He joined Marvel’s biggest competitor, DC Comics, and created and wrote his own rendition of the popular character in a series titled, ‘Just Imagine’ which was published in 2001. He re-imagined characters like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Catwoman, Green Lantern, Justice League, Robin, Captain Marvel and Sandman and featured them in different issues of his series. Lee was inspired by the original model of Superman which was created by Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, and was devoid of the ability to fly. He did not support the idea of Superman flying since it did not sound pleasing to him scientifically. He also experimented with giving alliterated names to the already famous characters for their hidden identities such as Wayne Willams instead of Bruce Wayne, so that the readers could remember them easily.
1. Superman was Defeated by Muhammad Ali in a Boxing Match
Yes, that actually happened! All of us are acquainted with Muhammad Ali’s boxing skills and how no one stood a chance against him during his prime. In one of the books of Superman, he got into a boxing match against Muhammad Ali and lost which was witnessed by numerous fictional iconic figures like the Beatles and Justice League. However, there is a side-story to it. During the match, Superman was deprived of his superpowers owing to a red sun and thus was no better than an average guy with average strength. Him losing against a boxing beast is not something to get surprised of. For Superman the fight was nothing more than a part of his plan which will help in saving Earth from an alien species. Whatever it is, Ali still won by knock-out, coming to be known as Earth’s Champion.