This is the second of a currently unknown number of parts of Chapter Eight of The Last War in Albion, focusing on Alan Moore’s run on Swamp Thing.
The stories discussed in this chapter are currently available in six volumes. The first volume is available in the US here, and the UK here. Finding volume 2-6 are, for now, left as an exercise for the reader, although I will update these links as the narrative gets to those issues.
Previously in The Last War in Albion:
French postmodernists Deleuze and Guattari used vegetable metaphors to argue against the notion of fixed identity, while Alan Moore got a phone call from Len Wein, acting as a representative of the assemblage known as DC Comics.
“It’s a secret story. It’s a story of two brothers.” – Neil Gaiman
|Figure 382: Detective Comics gave DC |
Comics its name, was the reason Jack
Liebowitz had a financial stake in the
company, and, in its first issue, featured
an appallingly racist cover.
The Time Warner subsidiary known as DC Comics has its origins in the merger between National Comics, itself a merger of two companies initially formed in the mid-1930s by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, a World War I veteran turned pulp writer, and All-American Publications, which, at the time of their merger was co-owned by Jack Liebowitz, who had also come to own National Comics after forcing Wheeler-Nicholson out. National Comics’ two major publications were Action Comics and Detective Comics, the latter of which was the title that had given Liebowitz a stake in the company, as he underwrote its publication. All-American Publications was a 1938 partnership between Liebowitz and Max Gaines, and published a number of other significant characters: the Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman, most notably. The companies, due to the shared presence of Liebowitz, were always stablemates, but after Liebowitz bought Gaines out, leaving him free to create the competing EC Comics, they officially merged into one company in 1944 under the official name of National Perodical Publications, although they were by this time generally referred to as DC Comics, a name they’d officially adopt in 1977.
During its early days, unlike what would eventually become its sole major competitor, DC invested hard in superheroes, churning out characters to follow its initial smash success with the adventures of Superman in Action Comics. This began with Batman, created by Bill Finger, with Bob Kane on art, which appeared in Detective Comics, and eventually expanded to a large and familiar stable of characters. The breadth and success of this line meant that when superheroes went out of fashion at the end of World War II, DC, unlike Marvel/Timely, did not entirely abandon superheroes, publishing title featuring Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman continually through the 1940s and 50s. And when the superhero comic proved a useful way of getting around the censorship imposed on the industry in the wake of psychologist and public intellectual Frederic Wertham’s 1954 attack on comic books, it was DC that jumped back upon that bandwagon, developing new versions of many of its old superhero properties and eventually, in 1960, teaming several of them up in the Justice League of America, a move that prompted Stan Lee and Jack Kirby to create the Fantastic Four for Marvel.