Secret History of the Universe: Part Five



GO TO PART FOUR: 1760-1899

GO TO PART SIX: 1940-1959

DISCLAIMER: This timeline won’t necessarily reflect what you’re used to in your history books, your literature, your films, your television shows or your comic books. Because this is what really happened...

The Early 1900s / Edwardian Era


It was around this time that human beings began to generate unstable climate change on Earth.

After working since 1891 to perfect it, Louis Philip Perew of Tonawanda, New York unveiled his “Electric Man,” an updated version of Frank Reade, Jr.’s 1885 Electric Man. While still not capable of independent thought, Perew’s construct was more life-like and could speak certain pre-programmed phrases. Perew saw his automoton as a novelty and used it for advertising instead of adventure, as Reade had.

Confirming Nikola Tesla’s findings from the prior year, the Lowell Observatory in Arizona detected radio signals sent from Mars.

Dan Reid, Jr., the nephew of John Reid (The Lone Ranger), used the fortune in silver he had received from his uncle to realize his life-long dream of owning a newspaper by buying the assets of the recently closed Detroit Sentinel (1897-1899) and re-starting it as The Detroit Daily Sentinel.

A group of American gunmen, dubbed “The Magnificent Seven” by the townspeople, were hired to protect a small agricultural village in Mexico from the Calvera gang of marauding bandits. Only three of the Americans survived, but Calvera and his gang were defeated.

On September 8, a devastating hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, killing 8,000.

Music of 1900
The Tale of Tsar Saltan (including “Flight of the Bumblebee”) composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov


Near Copper Canyon in Chihuahua, Mexico, Rodeo manager T.J. Breckenridge and her crew discovered the prehistoric valley where Turok and Andar had become lost more than 400 years earlier. Although warned that the valley is forbidden, they capture an allosaurus (“Gwangi”) and incorporate it into their act. However, during the first show, the dinosaur escapes and terrorizes the town until it is finally trapped and dies in a burning cathedral. [Turok's adventures were originally said to happen in New Mexico, but this location works well for both Turok and Gwangi, and ties them into my larger theories on Subterranea.]

On an expedition to South America, artist and explorer Maple White discovered a plateau inhabited by dinosaurs from the prehistoric past hidden deep in the Amazon Basin. He managed to escape this “lost world” and return to his home in Detroit. [The Lost World]

The Commonwealth of Australia was founded on January 1.

Queen Victoria of Great Britain died on January 22 and was succeeded by King Edward VII.

The eight-team American League of Professional Baseball Clubs was founded on January 28 as a new “major league” to compete with the established National League.

William McKinley was inaugurated for his second term as U.S. President on March 4. While on tour in Buffalo, the President was shot by an assassin on September 6 and died on September 14. He was succeeded by Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, who became the 26th U.S. President (1901-1909). An outpouring of grief swept over the nation at the passing of the extremely popular McKinley, but his young, energetic successor soon captured the public’s attention.

On December 12, radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi conducted the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph broadcast, sending a signal more than 2,000 miles from England to Newfoundland.

Music of 1901
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 in D composed by Edward Elgar


In Detroit, Maple White died of a strange fever. His notes about the land of dinosaurs in the Amazon were discovered by the noted English biologist Professor George Edward Challenger. [The Lost World]

Alan Wayne, the founder of Wayne Corp, died of pneumonia at the age of 74, leaving the company in the hands of his son Kenneth (age 42). [Speculation.]

Daniel Plainview discovered oil in California and began to build his oil business.

The first movie theater in the U.S. opened in Los Angeles, California.

Prince Eson (age 148 in Earth years) inherited the throne of the Spartoi Empire in the Triangulum galaxy, and gave up his secret life as the adventurer “Star-Lord.”

The first college football bowl game was played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 1.

Mount Pelée began erupting on April 23, culminating in a massive eruption on May 8 that destroyed the town of Saint-Pierre, Martinique, killing 30,000 people.

Music of 1902
♫ The Entertainer composed by Scott Joplin
Symphony No. 5 composed by Gustav Mahler


Professor George Challenger led an expedition to find the prehistoric plateau in South America discovered in 1901 by Maple White. [The Lost World]

The brilliant Robur reappeared with a new invention, which he had dubbed the Terror. The ten-meter long vehicle could alternately function as a speedboat, submarine, automobile or aircraft. It could travel at the then unheard of speed of 150 miles per hour on land or at over 200 mph when flying. John Strock, head inspector in the U.S. federal police department, tried to apprehend Robur, but was himself captured. The Terror was then struck by lightning over the Caribbean and destroyed. Strock was rescued, but Robur was never found and was presumed killed in the accident.

In July, the Ford Motor Company began producing its first automobile, the Ford Model A.

On Wednesday, August 12, U.S.  Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn died in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

On approximately September 22 (by Earth's calendar), a daughter, Kara Zor-El, was born to Zor-El and Allura In-Zee on the planet Krypton in the Rao system of the Andromeda galaxy. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In October, baseball’s first modern World Series was held between the Pittsburgh Pirates, champions of the National League, and the Boston Americans, champions of the American League. Boston prevailed, five games to three, in the best-of-nine series, bringing legitimacy to the new American League and strengthening the demand for future World Series competitions.

On December 17, the Wright brothers of Ohio (Orville, 1871–1948, and Wilbur, 1867–1912) performed the first confirmed, sustained, powered heavier-than-air flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Music of 1903
♫ James I. Lent, “The Ragtime Drummer” (Lambert 25)


New York’s first underground subway opened.

In Arizona, the misunderstood outlaw Copperhead (Homer Wayne, age 36) fell in love with Myrtle Bronson (age 19) and retired from being a masked vigilante to settle down. [Mysterious Doctor Satan]

At the age of 65, Jonah Hex was shot and killed in cold blood by George Barrow.

Sherlock Holmes retired from detective work and moved from London to the English countryside.

In Alberta, Canada, a young Irish girl named Rose was brought to the Howlett estate to be James Howlett’s companion. The two children befriended a third youth, “Dog” Logan, son of groundskeeper Thomas Logan.

On Sunday, February 7 and Monday, February 8, the Great Baltimore Fire destroyed over 1,500 buildings and caused over $150 million worth of damage.

The Russo-Japanese War began (1904-1905) on February 8.

The U.S. gained control of the Panama Canal Zone on May 4, and began building the canal.

Music of 1904
Csárdás composed by Vittorio Monti
Madama Butterfly (opera) composed by Giacomo Puccini
Shchedryk (a.k.a. “Carol of the Bells”) composed by  Mykola Leontovych
♫ Haydn Quartet, “Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)” (Victor 2934)


Albert Einstein (b. 1879) published his Theory of Special Relativity.

The Sinn Féin political party was founded in Ireland.

On the planet Krypton (in the Rao system of the Andromeda galaxy), the scientist Non began advocating a violent overthrow of the Science Council based on his belief that the planet was doomed. He was found guilty of treason and lobotomized and muted for his crime.

In Louisiana, brilliant young scientist Alex Olsen was murdered by his assistant, Damian Ridge, who was in love with Alex’s wife. Ridge sabotaged Olsen’s lab equipment, causing a chemical explosion, an then buried Olsen’s body in the swamp. However, the chemicals coating Olsen’s body caused it to react with the vegetation in the swamp, transforming him into a shambling, muck-encrusted “Swamp Thing.”

The Russo-Japanese War concluded on September 5 with the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The victory for Japan surprised everyone and transformed the balance of power in the East.

Music of 1905
Suite bergamasque composed by Claude Debussy


The first radio program was broadcast from Brant Rock Station, Massachusetts.

The Victor Victrola record player debuted.

On the planet Krypton (in the Rao system of the Andromeda galaxy), General Dru-Zod broke rank and tried to take over control of the planet from the Science Council with an army of robots. He had been convince by the scientist Non that the planet was doomed, and believed that he was better suited to rule over it. He was capture and found guilty of treason. For their crime, he and his associates were sentenced to “300 cycles” (30 Kryptonian years, or about 41 years 8 months on Earth) imprisoned in the Phantom Zone.

On Wednesday, April 18, the Great San Francisco Earthquake struck the city, estimated at a 7.8 magnitude.

Music of 1906
♫ The Ossman-Dudley Trio, “St. Louis Tickle” (Victor 4624)
♫ Bert Williams, “Nobody” (Columbia 33011)


Pablo Picasso (b. 1881, d. 1973) painted Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. With its abandonment of perspective and radical departure from traditional European painting, the work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both Cubism and Modern art.

Thomas and Dog Logan were dismissed from the Howlett estate due to misconduct, but the two returned shortly afterward. In a drunken, jealous rage, Thomas Logan killed John Howlett. A 15-year-old James Howlett witnessed the murder and it was at that moment that his mutation manifested itself, as bone claws extend from the backs of his hands. The grief-stricken youth attacked and killed Thomas Logan and scared his son Dog’s face. James’ mother, Elizabeth, became hysterical and drove James and his friend Rose from the house, then killed herself. James fled with Rose to a mining community in British Columbia, where James began going by the alias “Logan.”

In Louisiana, Damian Ridge had married the widow of the man he had secretly murdered, Alex Olsen. However, suspecting that she was about to discover the truth, he decided to kill her as well. Before he could do this, Olsen returned in the form of the “Swamp Thing” and killed Ridge. However, he could not communicate with his wife and frightened her away. He then returned to the swamp, where he became its protector.

On Monday, January 14, an earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica killed more than 1,000.

The second Hague Conference was held between June 15 and October 18, and resulted in additional international treaties addressing the conducts of warfare.

Oklahoma became the 46th U.S. state on Saturday, November 16.

On Tuesday, December 31, the Times Square Ball dropped for the first time on New Year’s Eve in New York City.


The Grand Canyon was designated a U.S. national monument.

Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. (b. 1872, d. 1955), a professor of medieval literature at Princeton University and an expert on Holy Grail lore, embarked on a two-year lecture tour around the world, together with his wife Anna and son Henry Jr. (who would later be known as “Indiana” Jones).

Kit Walker XIX (b. 1890) became the 19th Phantom in Bangalla, Tanzania, Africa (1908-1935).

As an adolescent, the Eternal known as Thanos (age 18 in Earth years) began studying mysticism and became obsessed with nihilism and death. He fell in love with Mistress Death, the physical embodiment of death, and dedicated his life to her.

In London, England, women competed in the Olympics for the first time (April 27-October 31).

On Tuesday, June 30, the Tunguska Event, the largest land impact event in Earth’s recent history, occurred in a remote part of Siberia. An asteroid, comet or alien spacecraft approximately 50 meters in diameter exploded at an altitude of 5-10 km with a force equal to 5-30 megatons of TNT (about 1,000 times as powerful as the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima). It knocked over an estimated 80 million trees covering 2,150 square km.

In October, the Ford Motor Company began producing the Ford Model T, the first affordable automobile.

On Saturday, December 26, boxer Jack Johnson defeated Canadian Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia to become the first African American heavyweight champion.


The NAACP was founded in the U.S.

A 20-year-old Tarzan was discovered in west equatorial Africa (modern-day Gabon) by Jane Porter (b. 1890) of Baltimore, Maryland, and her father.

On March 4, William Howard Taft became the 27th U.S. President (1909-1913).

In June, Charles Foster Kane (age 46) bought the foundering San Francisco Evening Globe newspaper and renamed it The San Francisco Inquirer. [Speculation on how the Daily Planet newspaper came into existence from existing newspapers in San Francisco.]

Music of 1909
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff

The Tumultuous Teens / World War I Era


Halley’s Comet was visible from Earth.

Now 18 years old and going by the name “Logan,” James Howlett had undergone noticeable changes and has earned the nickname “Wolverine.” He had become estranged from his friend Rose, who had married the mining camp’s foreman, Smitty. “Logan” was confronted by his old friend Dog and accidentally killed Rose. He fled and took to living in the wild.

Myrtle Wayne (age 25) died giving birth to her son, Robert, leaving him to be raised by his father, Homer (age 42). [Mysterious Doctor Satan]

On May 6, King Edward VII of Great Britain died and was succeeded by his son, George V.

On Monday, July 4 in Reno, Nevada, heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson defeated former champion James J. Jeffries in what was billed as the “Fight of the Century.”

On Tuesday, August 9 in Shanghai, China, legendary martial artist Huo Yuanjia (b. 1868) defeated three Western fighting champions and then faced a Japanese fighter called Anno Tanaka. Tanaka conceded the fight just before Huo died of arsenic poisoning. [Fearless]

On Thursday, September 22, Tarzan and Jane Porter were married.

Music of 1910
The Firebird (ballet) composed by Igor Stravinsky


Thar and Berra became King and Queen of the Hidden Valley, a secluded colony of Homo mermanus located in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland. Thar and his brother Zath were both sorcerers. Zath believed the throne should have been his and, obsessed with revenge, began studying dark magic.

In the Triangulum galaxy, Prince J’son of Spartax (b. 1867 by Earth’s calendar) discovered that his father, Emperor Eson, had been the mysterious adventurer known as “Star-Lord.” With his father’s blessing, J’son continued the legacy and became the second Star-Lord.

James “Logan” Howlett (age 19) was living in the woods in northern Canada with a pack of wolves when it was attacked by a polar bear. The wolves were killed, but Logan killed the bear. Logan was then found a captured by circus owner Hugo Haversham and his cruel tracker Victor Creed, who displayed him in the circus as “The Clawed Man of the Woods.” Dr. Nathaniel Essex (later known as “Mister Sinister,” b. 1831) soon caught up with them and killed Haversham. He conducted experiments on Logan and intended to submit him to is mind-altering serum to turn him into the ultimate weapon. However, Logan was rescued by Victor Creed’s sister Clara, the circus’ kindhearted animal handler, and his brother Saul, and the three of them escaped. When it became obvious that Clara and Logan had feelings for each other, though, Saul became enraged and led Essex to Logan. When Logan discovered that Saul had betrayed him, he held Saul down in a vat of Essex’s mind-wiping serum until his mind had been completely erased. Victor Creed would never forgive Logan for this, and the two would remain lifelong enemies.

On July 24, the ruins of Machu Picchu were re-discovered in Peru by American historian Hiram Bingham.

In October, Burma police commissioner Denis Nayland Smith (age 26) and Dr. Dexter Flinders Petrie (age 27) first encountered the criminal genius Dr. Fu Manchu (age 71, but kept in a much younger state by means of the elixir vitae).

On December 14, a group led by Roald Amundsen became the first explorers to reach the South Pole.

Music of 1911
♫ Gene Greene, “King of the Bungaloos” (Victor 5854)


This year saw the widespread development of corrosion-resistant (or “stainless”) steel, both in Europe and the U.S.

Anna Jones (mother of Henry “Indiana” Jones) contracted scarlet fever and died. Later that year in Utah, the young Indiana Jones witnessed private treasure hunters take the Cross of Coronado from some Indian ruins.

Kenneth Wayne died in a car crash at the age of 52, leaving Wayne Corp and the vast Wayne family fortune to his wife, Laura Elizabeth Wayne (age 51) and his sons Patrick (age 33) and Thomas (age 29). Thomas, who was just finishing his residency as a surgeon and was engaged to be married, took possession of the ancestral family home, Wayne Manor.

James “Logan” Howlett (age 20) began living with the Blackfoot people in Alberta, Canada. There, he met and fell in love with a woman named Silver Fox (b. 1893).

Hugo Danner graduated high school in Colorado and went to New York to attend college, where he joined the football team and became a star. [Gladiator]

The Republic of China (1912-1949) was founded on January 1.

New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state on Saturday, January 6, and Arizona became the 48th on Wednesday, February 14.

On Sunday, April 14, the RMS Titanic passenger liner struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean on her maiden voyage from Belfast to New York, and sank early the following morning. There were 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, but only enough lifeboats for 1,178 people. As a result, more than 1,500 people died. One of the estimated 705 survivors was Rose DeWitt Bukater, who would recount her amazing story in 1996.

On Monday, May 20, John Paul Clayton, also known as Korak, was born to John (Tarzan, age 23) and Jane (age 22) Clayton in Greystoke House, London.


Henry Ford introduced the moving assembly line in Detroit.

After a long engagement, Dr. Thomas Wayne married Martha Kane in Boston, Massachusetts.

After botching a bank robbery in Texas, Pike Bishop and his wild bunch of aging outlaws found themselves pursued across the Rio Grande and into Mexico by bounty hunters led by his former partner Deke Thornton.

On March 4, Woodrow Wilson became the 28th U.S. President (1913-1921).

During the summer, Hugo Danner used his super strength to work as a carnival strongman in Coney Island under the name “Hogarth the Mighty.” In the fall, he returned to college but accidentally killed another player in a football game. Struck by remorse, Danner left the United States. [Gladiator]

Music of 1913
The Rite of Spring composed by Igor Stravinsky


Sherlock Holmes solved his last case, taken in his retirement.

On June 28, Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, in Sarajevo. This set off a diplomatic crisis that would soon spiral into World War I.

On approximately July 10 (by Earth's calendar) a son, Kal-El, was born to Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van on the planet Krypton in the Andromeda Galaxy.

On July 23, Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia, and entangled international alliances formed over the previous decades were invoked. Russia was certain to back Serbia, and France was bound to Russia, while Germany had committed itself to the side of Austria-Hungary. Within weeks, the major powers of Europe were at war, and the conflict soon spread around the world. On July 28, World War I (1914-1918), also known as “The Great War,” began as Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and subsequently invaded. Russia began mobilizing against Austria-Hungary in support of Serbia on July 29, and against Germany the following day.

Germany declared war on Russia in August 1. The following day, Germany invaded Luxembourg, and on August 3, they declared war on France. After neutral Belgium refused to allow German troops to cross its border into France on August 4, Germany declared war on Belgium as well and proceeded to enter by force. This violation of Belgium’s neutrality drew Britain into the war, as they declared war on Germany later that day.

The Panama Canal opened on August 15.

In late summer, Hugo Danner enrolled in the French Foreign Legion to go fight in World War I. He would eventually discover that his skin was bullet-proof and would take on entire platoons of enemy soldiers at a time. [Gladiator]

On the Eastern Front of the war, the Germans decisively turned back the Russian invasion of East Prussia. However, this conflict drew troops away from the Western Front of the war, where the Germans had less of an advantage. Although they had initial success in the west, Germany’s advance into France was halted by the French and British east of Paris at the First Battle of the Marne, September 5–12.

After trying to outflank each other and failing, German and Allied forces then became entrenched along battle lines that would remain active, hardly moving, for most of the duration of the war.

James “Logan” Howlett’s lover Silver Fox (age 21) was killed by Victor Creed. Logan subsequently enlisted in the Canadian Army to fight for the Allies in World War I.

Thanks to their parents, the newborn Kal-El and his cousin Kara Zor-El (now just days shy of her 8th Kryptonian birthday, or 11 years old in Earth years) escaped in separate rockets before planet Krypton was destroyed (on approximately October 17 by Earth’s calendar). The rest of the planet and all of its inhabitants perished in the cataclysm. [July 10, 1914 and October 17, 1914 are the birthdates of Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, respectively.]

In November, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Middle East.

At the outbreak of the war, extraterrestrials known as Mondoshawans arrived at an ancient Egyptian temple to collect an ancient weapon from a secret chamber for safekeeping. The Mondoshawans promised their human contact, a priest, that they would return in 300 years with the weapon in time to defeat a “Great Evil” that appears every five thousand years, but an accident forced them to give their key to the secret chamber to the priest and instruct him to pass it on to future generations until they return.

Music of 1914
Colonel Bogey March composed by F.J. Ricketts
♫ Europe’s Society Band, “Castle House Rag (Castles in Europe)” (Victor 35372)


By this time, approximately 20% of U.S. homes had electricity and 30% had a telephone.

British soldier Arthur Garret discovered the blue, beetle-shaped Scarab of Kha-Ef-Re buried in the sand while stationed in Egypt during World War I. He kept it as a good luck charm. After the war, he fell in love with an American woman. He moved to Philadelphia to marry her, where he ended up working as a police officer. He would later give the scarab to his son Daniel (b. 1921).

In New York City, private investigator Nick Carter retired after a 29 year career.

Patrick Wayne, the older brother of Thomas, relocated to London in order to use Wayne Corp assets to secretly aid the Allied war effort, two years before the United States would officially enter the war. He soon made the acquaintance of Jarvis Pennyworth, a British actor-turned-spy who became his personal valet and closest confidant.

The Golem of Prague was destroyed.

In April, Italy allied itself with the Triple Entente (Britain, France and Russia).

Bruce Anthony Wayne was born to Thomas and Martha Wayne in Boston on Wednesday, April 7[This was the original Golden Age birthday of Batman.]

On April 22, at the Second Battle of Ypres on the Western Front of World War I, the Germans (in violation of the Hague Convention) began using poisonous chlorine gas against its enemies.

On Friday, May 7, the large British ocean liner RMS Lusitania was sunk off the southern coast of Ireland by a torpedo fired from a German submarine. Of the 1,962 passengers and crew aboard, 1,191 lost their lives, including 128 Americans. The sinking provided Britain with a propaganda opportunity and helped shift public opinion in the United States against Germany.

On May 23, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary and officially entered the war.

In June (by Earth’s calendar), a series of worldwide wars began on the planet Rann in the Alpha Centauri star system (4.37 light years from Earth). They would last for decades and decimate the planet. [As shown in Showcase #17; date chosen in honor of the birthdate of Julius Schwartz, the creator of Adam Strange.]

On September 6, Germany and Austria-Hungary convinced Bulgaria to join their side in attacking Serbia.


Newspaper millionaire Charles Foster Kane (age 53) ran for Governor of New York, but lost after being caught in a sex-scandal with a young starlet. [Citizen Kane]

When widower Homer Wayne died (age 48), his son Robert (age 6) went to live with his uncle, James “Governor” Bronson (age 34), in Los Angeles. [Mysterious Doctor Satan]

Finding himself rescued by a British crew aboard a captured German U-boat, Bowen J. Tyler rediscovered the island of Caprona (also known as “Skull Island” or “Monster Island”) in the south Indian Ocean. They found it populated by dinosaurs and other prehistoric and giant fauna.

Indiana Jones was captured by Pancho Villa in the spring in Mexico and ended up aiding him. Later that year, he joined the World War I effort as a member of the Belgian army. (Later in the war, he would serve in various other capacities as well, including as a French spy.)

The Battle of Verdun (France) began on February 21. It would last until mid-December, becoming one of the longest and most costly battles in human history. The battle resulted in more than 377,000 French and 337,000 German casualties, an average of 70,000 casualties each month.

The Battle of Jutland was fought in the North Sea between the British and German navies, May 31–June 1. The only full-scale clash of battleships during World War I, the battle saw the British outmaneuver the Germans and assert their control of the sea. The German surface fleet would thereafter remain confined to port for the duration of the war.

On the night of June 10, British occultist Roderick Burgess and his Order of Ancient Mysteries accidentally summoned Dream of the Endless while trying to summon and imprison Death. Drained from a recent odyssey, Dream was no match for Burgess, who stole his ruby, helm and pouch and held him captive in a crystal prison in the basement of his house in Wych Cross. Burgess hoped Dream could be coerced into setting up a trap for his sister, but Dream refused to speak to him. Dream’s imprisonment led to worldwide problems. Some people slept all day, while others couldn’t sleep or experienced waking dreams.

The Battle of the Somme was fought from July 1–November 18. It became one of the bloodiest battles of the war, with over a million casualties in total. The British suffered 60,000 casualties on the first day alone.

On Sunday, July 30, two German secret agents sabotaged two million pounds of American ammunition supplies (including 100,000 pounds of TNT) on Black Tom Island in New Jersey to prevent the material from being used by the Allies in World War I. They caused an explosion equal to a 5.0 to 5.5 earthquake on the Richter scale. It littered debris on the Statue of Liberty and Jersey City and could be felt as far away as Philadelphia. Seven people were killed, including Tom Higgins, the father of future FBI agent Joe Higgins.

In August, Italy declared war on Germany, expanding their involvement in World War I. That same month, Romania entered the war on the side of the Allies.

In September, the British introduced the first armored tanks into the Battle of the Somme.

In December, the Germans began to make peace overtures. Soon after this, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson attempted to act as a peace broker.

On the evening of December 16, at a dinner in his honor in Russia, Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin (b. January 21, 1869), the Russian mystic often referred to as “The Mad Monk,” was poisoned, shot, stabbed, clubbed, castrated and drowned, but escaped and survived. He was then recruited by the Ogdru Jahad, the “Dragon of Revelation,” a cult dedicated to bringing about the end of the world.

Music of 1916
The Planets composed by Gustav Holst


In January, after peace negotiations broke down, Germany resumed unrestricted submarine warfare, despite the threat that it would lead to U.S. entry into World War I.

Following several workers’ strikes, the Russian Revolution began in Petrograd (modern St. Petersburg) on March 8, protesting the policies of the unpopular Tsar Nicholas II. As the revolution gained steam, loyalists soon switched sides and joined the opposition. The Tsar abdicated the throne on March 15, and a provisional government was announced the following day. The provisional government soon became mired in the problems that had plagued the previous administration, however, such as conducting the unpopular war against Germany. This provided an opportunity for the radical socialist Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin, to gain in popularity.

On Friday, April 6, the United States Congress declared war on Germany, ending the nation’s long-standing policy of non-intervention in European wars. Among the American soldiers killed in action in the first year of battle was inventor and adventurer Frank Reade III (age 35).

Capt. Jim “Red” Albright earned the code name “Captain Midnight” performing dangerous missions as a U.S. Army fighter pilot in World War I.

American stunt-pilot Karl Kaufman joined the Allied war effort as a U.S. Army Air Corps test pilot. Using the codename “Phantom Eagle,” he led a fighter squadron against an experimental dirigible with which German forces attempted to invade New York. Later, he joined a group of four other war heroes to form a secret, special operations team called “The Freedom’s Five.” The group fought against the Germans, their allies and their super-powered agents, such as the vampire Baron Blood. Inspired by the likes of Zorro and the Scarlet Pimpernel, they did so in themed costumes rather than military uniforms. In addition to the one American, the team consisted of one Frenchman (Crimson Cavalier) and three Brits (Union Jack, Sir Steel and the Silver Squire).

A boy named Johnny Thunder was born on Saturday, July 7 in the United States. (The day fell on the seventh day of the week and the seventh day of the seventh month of a year ending in seven.) The infant was kidnapped by a strange cult with a plan to rule the world and taken to the cult’s secret headquarters in the mountains of Waziristan (now part of Pakistan).

Lois Lane was born on a farm in central Iowa on Friday, August 17[Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

On November 7–8, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin led his socialist revolutionaries in a revolt against Russia’s ineffective provisional government. The Bolsheviks established a new Communist government, but their opponents would fight back, sparking the Russian Civil War (1917–1922).

The National Hockey League was founded by four Canadian teams on November 26.

Music of 1917
♫ The Original Dixieland Jazz Band, “Livery Stable Blues” (Victor 18255)


After years of being ridiculed throughout Europe for his scientific theories, the recently widowed Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (b. January 25, 1892) decided he was through with humanity. In his lab in Vienna, he built a rocket ship and took his son Magnificus (b. October 19, 1912) and his daughter Beautia (b. May 21, 1917) to the planet Venus. [Whiz Comics #15. Birthdays taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.] The Sivana family would find the hot, swampy planet a dangerous place, but would eventually become revered as royalty among the Metalunan people of the North.

Newspaper millionaire Charles Foster Kane’s wife and son were killed in a car accident. [Citizen Kane]

The Spanish Flu infected one in three people and killed 1% of the world’s population (50-100 million people) from 1918-1919.

Using the alias “Quentin Locke,” U.S. Secret Service agent Heath Haldane (b. 1874) went undercover as an employee of International Patents, Inc. (IPI). There, he discovered a conspiracy to protect corporations from competition by buying and then suppressing patents for better products. IPI also enforced its goals through criminal activity. Haldane was also surprised to find that they were using a mechanical man, an automoton that was said to contain the brain of a human being.

On March 3, the newly formed Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, formally ending the war on the Eastern Front. This permitted the redeployment of German soldiers to the Western Front, where the British and French armies were awaiting American reinforcements.

Wounded on the battlefield of World War I, U.S. soldier Ulysses S. Paxton was transported to Mars on August 20. There, he would become known as Vad Varo. [The Master Mind of Mars]

On Saturday, October 12, Baron Erich von Emmelmann’s plane was shot down over the Kampinos Forest, just west of Warsaw, Poland. As he lay dying in the swamp, his indomitable will to live somehow allowed him to tap into “The Green,” the morphogenetic field of plant energy all around him. Over the next two and a half decades, his life force would slowly merge with the surrounding swamp, until his humanity was completely lost and only a heap of man-shaped vegetation remained.

World War I ended with an armistice on Monday, November 11. Following this, the Allies redeployed some troops to Russia to support anti-Bolshevik forces in that nation’s civil war, but this effort was hindered by war-weariness and a lack of public support.

The Phantom Eagle (American pilot Karl Kaufman) had been killed in action just prior to the end of the war. Most of the rest of the Freedom’s Five retired at the war’s end, although at least one (Union Jack) was known to be active for number of years afterwards, both in and out of costume.

After the war ended, James “Logan” Howlett began wandering around the world. Among other places visited, he would end up spending a significant period of time in Singapore.


The fascist movement began in Italy.

On Saturn’s moon Titan, the Eternal known as Thanos (age 29 in Earth years) was wed and soon started a family.

The Elder Goddess Gaea selected the eighth human being that she intended to present to the Fourth Host of the Celestials: a 16-year-old boy from Chicago, Illinois named Mark Cadmon. She placed him in suspended animation to await the moment he would be needed.

U.S. Secret Service agent Heath Haldane (age 44) discovered that the automoton used by International Patents, Inc. (IPI) was not a robot or cyborg, but a mechanized metal suit worn by a human being. After several narrow escapes, he managed to shut down the company. Much of the seized technology would end up forgotten in federal storage facilities until World War II, when it would be rediscovered by industrialist Howard Stark working for the Strategic Scientific Reserve.

Near the undersea Atlantean city of Thakorr off the coast of Antarctica, Emperor Thakorr’s daughter Fen went to spy on the American icebreaker Oracle and ended up falling in love with the ship’s captain, Leonard McKenzie. When Fen did not return, Atlantean warriors attacked the ship and killed the crew, including McKenzie. By that time, however, Fen was already pregnant.

The Roaring Twenties / Jazz Age


Indiana Jones enrolled at the University of Chicago to finish his undergraduate education.

Prohibition began in the United States (1920-1933).

A young American boy named Kent Nelson (b. January 17, 1906) accompanied his archaeologist father Sven on an expedition to the Valley of Ur in Mesopotamia. Kent opened the tomb of Nabu, an ancient Egyptian wizard, accidentally releasing a poisonous gas that killed his father. The spirit of Nabu took pity on the boy and taught him wizarding skills, giving him an ancient magic amulet, cape and helmet. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

T.E. Lawrence began helping Arabs fight a guerrilla war against the Ottoman Empire.

The first commercial radio station in the U.S. was founded in Detroit, Michigan.

The Nazi party was founded in Germany.

At the age of 14, Irene Adler (b. 1906 in Salzburg, Austria) began to have prophetic visions. These would last for a year, during which time she would produce 13 volumes of prophecies concerning the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Vito Corleone (b. Vito Andolini in Sicily, 1887) became the head of a crime family in New York (1920-1954).

At the University of North Carolina, Professor Detmold invented an artificial, “metal brain.” However, the brain soon proved to be too alien for him to comprehend. His colleagues ridiculed him and he was driven to leave his academic position. When Detmold left his office unattended for a few days, he discovered that the brain had developed mobility. Both Detmold and the brain soon disappeared. The brain had secretly begun building an army of metal giants, while Detmold worked on a plan to try to stop it. [“The Metal Giants” by Edmond Hamilton, 1926]

The League of Nations was founded on January 10 (1920-1946). It was the first international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

The pink-skinned, half-human Namor was born May 18 to Princess Fen in the undersea city of Thakorr, where he was raised as a prince of Atlantis. From a very early age, he demonstrated unusual abilities, far beyond those of normal humans of Atlanteans. [Namnor's birthday in honor of Bill Everett.]

Music of 1920
In a Persian Market composed by Albert Ketèlbey
Le bœuf sur le toit (ballet) composed by Darius Milhaud
♫ Al Jolson, “Swanee” (Columbia A2884)
♫ Ben Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra, “Dardanella” (Victor 18633)
♫ Mamie Smith, “Crazy Blues” (Okeh 4169)
♫ Paul Whiteman and His Ambassador Orchestra, “Whispering” (Victor 18690)


In Italy, the mad genius Dr. D’Ara created blueprints for a remote-controlled mechanical man, with plans to use it to destroy his enemies. However, one of his intended victims, the mob boss Mado, killed him and used the blueprints to make her own mechanical man. Mado’s criminal plans came to a halt, though, when D’Ara’s son confronted her with a second mechanical man. The two machines destroyed each other, and the blueprints were lost.

Captain Elliott Spenser (b. 1887) purchased the demonic Lament Configuration (black puzzle box) from a market in India, which later transforms him into “Pinhead.”

The Danvers State Insane Asylum in Danvers, Massachusetts changed its name to the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

After Hugo Danner’s father died, he went to Washington, D.C. with the goal of using his super powers to change the government for the better, but he soon became disillusioned. [Gladiator]

The man who would eventually be known as Max Mercury arrived in 1921 after his second attempt to enter the Speed Force. He spent part of the decade living under the identity of “Lightning” before again being thrown into the future (this time to 1940).

Ireland gained its independence from the U.K.

After a year, Irene Adler’s haunting, prophetic visions ceased, but she simultaneously went blind. However, as a mutant (Homo sapiens superior), she continued to have precognitive abilities that gave her a form of “second sight.”

The National Football League was founded.

On March 4, Warren G. Harding became the 29th U.S. President (1921-1923).

The baby Kal-El arrived on Earth from the planet Krypton. He landed near Hutchinson, Kansas on Saturday, June 18, where he was found by Jonathan and Martha Kent. Seven days later, they adopted him and named him Clark. (Note that because he was traveling at near-light speed for much of his voyage, time passed more slowly for him than it did for those not traveling at such speeds. When he completed his journey, Kal-El/Clark was only about one year old, even though he had been traveling for seven years from the perspective of someone on Earth.)

The first Miss America Pageant was held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on September 8.

Music of 1921
♫ Eubie Blake, “Sounds of Africa” (Emerson 10434)
♫ Lucille Hegamin and Her Blue Flame Syncopaters, “Arkansas Blues” (Arto 9053)
♫ Van & Schenck, “Ain’t We Got Fun” (Columbia A3412)


The BBC began radio service in the U.K.

Indiana Jones enrolled in a graduate program in linguistics at the Sorbonne in Paris. While there, he developed his lifelong love for archaeology.

In Boston, Laura Elizabeth Wayne died at age 61 and left the vast Wayne family fortune to her two sons, Patrick (age 43) and Thomas (age 39).

The Teapot Dome Scandal began to break as allegations surfaced that U.S. Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall had leased public oil fields in exchange for personal loans.

The Irish Civil War began between the IRA and the Irish Free State (1922-1923).

At the age of 16, Irene Adler met Raven Darkhölme (b. 1890), a mutant (Homo sapiens superior) like her, and the two began a lifelong friendship that would eventually develop into a physical relationship.

In Britain, World War I veteran James Braddock (b. 1893) was recruited by Merlyn and his daughter Roma, agents of the extradimensional Otherworld, to represent our universe in the Captain Britain Corps. He traveled to Otherworld and left our universe behind.

On the island of Themyscira (a.k.a. “Paradise Island”), Queen Hippolyta had long prayed to the gods to give her a child. On Wednesday, March 22, they answered her. Six members of the Olympian pantheon instructed her to create a child out of clay. They then brought that child to life and bestowed gifts upon her. Demeter gave her strength; Athena, wisdom and courage; Artemis, a hunter’s heart and communion with animals; Aphrodite, beauty and a loving heart; Hestia, sisterhood with fire; and Hermes gave her speed and lightning-fast reflexes. Hippolyta then named her Diana, an alternative name for the Olympian goddess Artemis, who had brought the first generation of Amazons to life from clay more than 3,000 years before in 1250 BCE.

The Russian Civil War ended on October 25, as Bolshevik forces defeated the last of the resistance in the Russian Far East.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (a.k.a. Soviet Union) was founded on December 30.

Music of 1922
♫ James P. Johnson, “Carolina Shout” (Okeh 4495)
♫ James P. Johnson, “Keep Off the Grass” (Okeh 4495)


An archaeological expedition in Egypt led by Sir Joseph Whemple discovered Imhotep’s mummy. When Wemple’s assistant Ralph Norton read aloud an ancient life-giving scroll, Imhotep was revived and escaped from the archaeologists, taking the scroll with him.

In Boston, Thomas Wayne saved the life of gangster Carmine Falcone.

Roger Sterling, Sr. and Bertram Cooper founded the Sterling Cooper advertising agency in Manhattan.

U.S. Secret Service agent Heath Haldane (age 48) followed an international counterfeiting cartel across Europe in an effort to rescue the woman he loved.

Jim Gordon, Sr. (b. January 5, 1900) spent his rookie year on the Chicago police force. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

Hugo Danner met Dr. Daniel Hardin, and the two became friends. Danner set off with him on an expedition to some Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. [Gladiator]

In Paris, a inventor named Norbert placed the brain of guillotined, convicted murderer Benedict Masson into the body of a clockwork android, making him the world’s first cyborg. Going by the name “Gabriel,” Masson left with Norbert’s daughter Christine, who was the one who witnessed him burying a body in his basement, leading to his murder conviction. Police detective Lebouc captured Gabriel, believing that he had been out for revenge. However, Gabriel escaped and rescued Christine from the Thuggee cultists who had actually committed the crimes for which he had been convicted. Gabriel was then destroyed when he leaped into a river. [La machine à assassiner by Gaston Leroux]

U.S. President Warren G. Harding died in office on Thursday, August 2. He was succeeded by Vice President Calvin Coolidge, who became the 30th U.S. President (1923-1929).

In October, a detective known only by the codename “The Op” began taking special assignments for the San Francisco office of the Continental Detective Agency.

Turkey was declared a republic on October 29.

Music of 1923
♫ Fiddlin’ John Carson, “The Little Old Cabin in the Lane” (Okeh 4890)
♫ Isham Jones and His Orchestra, “Swingin’ Down the Lane” (Brunswick 2438)
♫ King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, “Chimes Blues” (Gennet 5135)
♫ King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, “Dipper Mouth Blues” (Okeh 4918)
♫ Eck Robertson, “Sally Gooden” (Victor 18956)
♫ Bessie Smith, “‘Downhearted Blues” (Columbia A3844)
♫ Bessie Smith, “‘Tain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do” (Columbia A3898)
♫ Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, “Wild Cat Blues” (Okeh 4925)


An airplane crashed while flying over the North Atlantic from Scotland to Iceland, leaving only an infant as a survivor. The child was adopted by the Aerie, a winged “Bird-People” offshoot of the Inhumans. He would become known among them as “Red Raven.”

Hugo Danner died (at age 30) after being struck by lightning on a mountain in the Yucatan. His father’s research was destroyed in the resulting fire. [Gladiator] Dr. Hardin returned Danner’s body to his family in Colorado. There, Dr. Herbert Warren, a former student of Danner’s father who had spent years painstakingly trying to recreate his research, was able to steal tissue samples from Hugo’s body. Soon thereafter, he injected genetic material from Hugo Danner into his own four-year-old son, Daniel, hoping to instill the boy with similar super powers. The results were not immediate apparent, but Dr. Warren continued to study his son as he aged. [Speculation; there are some nice parallels between Professor Supermind's son and Hugo Danner.]

Al Capone (b. 1899, d. 1947) began to build his criminal empire in Chicago (1924-1931).

Sanger Rainsford, a big-game hunter from New York, fell off his boat in the Caribbean and found himself being hunted on Ship-Trap Island by General Zaroff and his gigantic deaf-mute servant Ivan.

J. Edgar Hoover (b. January 1, 1895) became director of the Bureau of Investigation, the predecessor of the FBI.

Vladimir Lenin died on Monday, January 21. Alexei Rykov became de jure leader of the Soviet Union, but never had de facto control. As General Secretary of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, Josef Stalin (b. 1878) soon managed to consolidate power and become the country’s new leader.

The first Winter Olympics games took place in Chamonix, France, January 25-February 5.

Late on the evening of Sunday, June 8, Thomas and Martha Wayne were killed by a petty criminal known as “Joe Chill” in Boston. Their young son Bruce survived the encounter. [Detective Comics #33] Thomas’ brother and Bruce’s godfather, Patrick Wayne, returned from London to the family estate, Wayne Manor, to care for Bruce and look after the family business. He was accompanied by his English butler Jarvis Pennyworth. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar. It has been established that Alfred Pennyworth's father is named Jarvis.Some tellings of the Batman mythos have included a brother of Thomas, although Patrick Wayne is sometimes listed as Bruce's grandfather.]

Johnny Thunder received a magic ring containing the genie Yz during a mystic ritual on his seventh birthday, July 7. This was part of the cultists’ plot to use him as a weapon to rule the world.

On December 6, Calvin Coolidge delivered a speech via radio, becoming the first U.S. President to do so.

Music of 1924
Pines of Rome composed by Ottorino Respighi
Rhapsody in Blue composed by George Gershwin
♫ Vernon Dalhart, “The Prisoner’s Song” (Victor 19427)
♫ Uncle Dave Macon, “Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy” (Vocalion 14848)
♫ Ma Rainey and Her Georgia Band, “Shave ‘Em Dry” (Paramount 12222)
♫ Ernest Thompson, “Are You from Dixie?” (Columbia 130-D)
♫ Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, “Everybody Loves My Baby” (Okeh 8181)


Dr. Jules de Grandin (b. 1871) and his assistant Dr. Samuel Trowbridge (b. 1876) began investigating occult phenomena around the small town of Harrisonville in Gloucester County, New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia.

In the “Scopes Monkey Trial,” formally known as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas Scopes, the Tennessee courts upheld a state law banning the teaching of evolution in schools. National attention on the case, however, swung public opinion against the anti-evolution forces.

Three down-on-their-luck Americans searched for the Treasure of the Sierra Madre in the wilds of central Mexico.

Indiana Jones completed his studies at the Sorbonne and was hired for his first professional job: teaching a summer archaeology course at London University. In the fall, he began teaching at Marshall College in Connecticut.

Inventor Paul Parsons developed a new method of balloon travel. While testing it on a cross-country trip with his family, however, they were shot down by jealous rival inventor Brand Braddock over a rugged patch of countryside in the southwestern U.S. When Braddock arrived at the crash site, he found they had all died except the youngest son, three-year-old Roger, who was being dragged away by a mountain lion. Satisfied, he left. However, the boy was rescued by a prospector, “Nugget Ned,” who adopted him and raised him in the wilderness. Roger Parsons would grow up to be a particularly gifted athlete, especially at archery.

In May, the metal brain that Prof. Detmold had created in 1920 reappeared after a six-year hiatus. This time, it had an army of 300-foot-tall (90 m) giant metal robots under its command. It began marching toward the University of North Carolina, destroying the community of Coal Glen along the way. However, before the robots could advance any further, they were met by Prof. Detmold in a giant metal vehicle resembling a wheel. Detmold destroyed the brain and its giant robots, although he too was killed in the process. [“The Metal Giants” by Edmond Hamilton, 1926]

At age eight, Johnny Thunder escaped from the cultists in Waziristan during British air raids in the spring. He found his way to British-controlled Pakistan, and from there he was returned home to his family in the United States. He retained his magic ring, but he had no idea of its powers or the genie within. [The 1925 British air raids in Waziristan, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, match up well with the escape in Johnny Thunder's origin story.]

The cargo ship SS Cotopaxi sent a distress signal on December 1 while en route between Charleston, South Carolina and Havana, Cuba. It was never heard from again, but it would be uncovered half a century later, halfway around the world in the Gobi Desert.

Music of 1925
♫ Eddie Cantor, “If You Knew Susie” (Columbia 364-D)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “Sugar Foot Stomp” (Columbia 395-D)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “T.N.T.” (Columbia 509-D)
♫ Papa Charlie Jackson, “Shake That Thing” (Paramount 12281)
♫ Lonnie Johnson, “Mr. Johnson’s Blues” (Okeh 8253)
♫ Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers, “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down Blues” (Columbia 15038-D)
♫ Ma Rainey and Her Georgia Band, “See See Rider” (Paramount 12252)
♫ Bessie Smith, “St. Louis Blues” (Columbia 14064-D)
♫ Carl T. Sprague, “When the Work’s All Done This Fall” (Victor 19747)
♫ Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, “Charleston” (Victor 19671)
♫ Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, “Cake Walkin’ Babies (From Home)” (Okeh 40321)
♫ Clarence Williams’ Blue Five, “Mandy, Make Up Your Mind” (Okeh 40260)


After eight years on the planet Venus, Earth scientist Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (age 34 in Earth years) and his children Magnificus (age 14) and Beautia (age 9) had allied themselves with the Metalunan kingdom of the Northern Continent. Dr. Sivana had helped them develop the insect-like “mutoid” species for manual labor, and was beginning to unlock the secrets of atomic energy to power spacecraft, weapons and ion shields. The Metalunans began making secret voyages to study Earth. On one of those trips, Dr. Sivana accompanied them so that he could bring a new, human wife back with him to Venus. His second marriage would produce two additional Sivana children: Georgia (b. December 29, 1928 by Earth’s calendar) and Thaddeus Jr. (b. September 13, 1930).

Jim and Barbara Gordon were married in Chicago.

The first films were made with synchronized audio.

Indiana Jones married Deirdre Campbell, but Deirdre was subsequently killed in a plane crash during an expedition to Brazil.

The NBC radio network opened in the U.S. with 24 stations.

Extremely heavy rains fell throughout the summer in the Mississippi River basin. By September, the Mississippi’s tributaries in Kansas and Iowa were swollen to capacity. On Christmas Day, December 25, the Cumberland River at Nashville, Tennessee set a record high-water level in excess of 56.2 feet (17 m).

Music of 1926
♫ Turandot (opera) composed by Giacomo Puccini (unfinished at the time of his death in 1924) and Franco Alfano
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “Cornet Chop Suey” (Okeh 8320)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “Heebie Jeebies” (Okeh 8300)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “Muskrat Ramble” (Okeh 8300)
♫ Johnny Hamp’s Kentucky Serenaders, “Black Bottom” (Victor 20101)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “The Chant” (Columbia 817-D)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “The Stampede” (Columbia 654-D)
♫ Ted Lewis and His Band with Sophie Tucker, “Some of These Days” (Columbia 826-D)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Black Bottom Stomp” (Victor 20221)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Dead Man Blues” (Victor 20252)
♫ King Oliver’s Dixie Syncopaters, “Snag It” (Vocalion 1007)
♫ Paul Robeson, “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” (Victor 20013)
♫ Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, “Valencia (A Song of Spain)” (Victor 20007)


The Hardy brothers, Frank (b. 1909) and Joe (b. 1910), solved their first mystery in the Long Island town of Bayport, New York.

World War I veteran Anthony “Buck” Rogers was lost in a mine collapse near Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania.

Thanos (age 37 in Earth years) murdered his family as a sacrifice to Mistress Death, then fled the Titan colony of the Eternals. He would spend the next few decades traveling the galaxy and studying the mysteries of death, all the while growing in power.

Following the excessive rains of 1926, the Mississippi River broke out of its levee system in 145 places and flooded 27,000 square miles (70,000 sqaure km). The Great Mississippi Flood affected 700,000 people in the states of Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.

The silent film Metropolis premiered in Berlin on January 10. It would premier in the U.S. and U.K. in March.

Charles Lindbergh made the world’s first nonstop transatlantic flight May 20–21, from Garden City on New York’s Long Island to Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles (5,800 km).

By August, the Great Mississippi Flood finally subsided.

Music of 1927
♫ Texas Alexander, “Long Lonesome Day Blues” (Okeh 8511)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Seven, “Potato Head Blues” (Okeh 8503)
♫ Gene Austin, “My Blue Heaven” (Victor 20964)
♫ Barbecue Bob, “Barbecue Blues” (Columbia 14205-D)
♫ Bix Beiderbecke, “In a Mist (Bixology)” (Okeh 40916)
♫ Dock Boggs, “Country Blues” (Brunswick 131)
♫ Dock Boggs, “Sugar Baby” (Brunswick 118)
♫ The Carter Family, “Bury Me Under the Weeping Willow” (Victor 21074)
♫ Julius Daniels, “99 Year Blues” (Victor 20658)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, “Black and Tan Fantasie” (Victor 21137)
♫ Blind Mamie Forehand, “Honey in the Rock” (Anchor 381)
♫ George Gershwin with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra conducted by Nat Shilkret, “Rhapsody in Blue” (Victor 35822)
♫ Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra, “My Pretty Girl” (Victor 20588)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “Fidgety Feet” (Vocalion 1092)
♫ Blind Lemon Jefferson, “Black Snake Moan” (Okeh 8455)
♫ Blind Lemon Jefferson, “Match Box Blues” (Paramount 12474)
♫ Memphis Jug Band, “Memphis Jug Blues” (Victor 20576)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton, “Wolverine Blues” (Victor 21064)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Doctor Jazz” (Victor 20415)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Grandpa’s Spells” (Victor 20431)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “The Pearls” (Victor 20948)
♫ Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, “Someday Sweetheart” (Victor 20405)
♫ George Olsen and His Music, “The Varsity Drag” (Victor 20875)
♫ Paul Robeson, “Deep River” (Victor 20793)
♫ Bessie Smith, “‘Back-Water Blues” (Columbia 14195-D)
♫ Victoria Spivey, “‘Dope Head Blues” (Okeh 8531)
♫ Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, “I’m Coming Virginia” (Okeh 40843)
♫ Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, “Riverboat Shuffle” (Okeh 40822)
♫ Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, “Singin’ the Blues” (Okeh 40772)
♫ Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, “Trumbology” (Okeh 40871)
♫ Frankie Trumbauer and His Orchestra, “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” (Okeh 40843)
♫ Crockett Ward and His Boys, “Sugar Hill” (Okeh 45179)


The half-giant Hagrid was born.

A child named Victor was born to Werner and Cynthia von Doom in a gypsy camp in northern Serbia near the frontier city of Latveria.

The antibiotic penicillin was discovered.

The first television broadcast licenses were issued in the U.S.

The right to vote was extended to all women in England.

In the Hidden Valley, a secluded colony of Homo mermanus located in the North Atlantic east of Newfoundland, King Thar discovered his brother Zath practicing dark sorcery and banished him from the realm.

Growing up, Clark Kent had known that he was different, and had discussed with his parents the importance of keeping his powers hidden and using them safely. Now seven years old, he had recently begun to experience X-ray vision and it terrified him, opening a flood of new questions about who he was and why he had these powers. On Wednesday, February 29, Leap Year’s Day, Jonathan and Martha Kent told their adopted son all they knew about his true heritage. They showed him the wreckage of his spaceship and gave him artifacts from his home planet, including nearly-indestructible blue, red and yellow clothing. Clark now began actively contemplating his purpose in life. He also became obsessed with the “S” shaped symbol that was on everything from the ship, and wondered what it meant. Citing this event, Clark would later refer to February 29 as the “birthday” of his superhero alter ego “Superman.”

The Walt Disney cartoon character Mickey Mouse debuted in the animated short “Plane Crazy” on Tuesday, May 15.

Music of 1928
Boléro composed by Maurice Ravel
Sir John in Love (opera, featuring Fantasia on “Greensleeves” for strings and harp) composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams
♫ Irving Aaronson and His Commanders, “Let’s Misbehave” (Victor 21260)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “Hotter Than That” (Okeh 8535)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “Struttin’ with Some Barbecue” (Okeh 8566)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Hot Five, “West End Blues” (Okeh 8597)
♫ DeFord Bailey, “Davidson County Blues” (Victor V-38014)
♫ Ishman Bracey, “Trouble Hearted Blues” (Victor 21691)
♫ Burnett & Rutherford, “All Night Long Blues” (Columbia 15314-D)
♫ Carolina Tar Heels, “Peg and Awl” (Victor V-40007)
♫ Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, “How Long, How Long Blues” (Vocalion 1191)
♫ The Carter Family, “Keep On the Sunny Side” (Victor 21434)
♫ The Carter Family, “Wildwood Flower” (Victor V-40000)
♫ Cow Cow Davenport, “Cow Cow Blues” (Vocalion 1198)
♫ The Elders McIntorsh & Edwards’ Sanctified Singers, “Since I Laid My Burden Down” (Okeh 8698)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Cotton Club Orchestra, “Black Beauty” (Victor 21580)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, “East St. Louis Toodle-Oo” (Victor 21703)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, “The Mooche” (Okeh 8623)
♫ Joe Falcon, “Allons à Lafayette” (Columbia 15275-D)
♫ Jim Jackson, “Jim Jackson's Kansas City Blues (Part 1)” (Vocalion 1144)
♫ Blind Lemon Jefferson, “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (Paramount 12608)
♫ Tommy Johnson, “Big Road Blues” (Victor 21279)
♫ Tommy Johnson, “Cool Drink of Water Blues” (Victor 21279)
♫ Blind Willie Johnson, “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” (Columbia 14303-D)
♫ Blind Willie Johnson, “If I Had My Way I'd Tear the Building Down” (Columbia 14343-D)
♫ Helen Kane, “I Wanna Be Loved by You” (Victor 21684)
♫ Buell Kazee, “The Butcher’s Boy (The Railroad Boy)” (Brunswick 213)
♫ Furry Lewis, “Kassie Jones (Parts 1 & 2)” (Victor 21664)
♫ Bascom Lamar Lunsford, “I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground” (Brunswick 219)
♫ Harry McClintock, “Big Rock Candy Mountain” (Victor 21704)
♫ Blind Willie McTell, “Statesboro Blues” (Victor V-38001)
♫ Hoyt “Floyd” Ming and His Pep-Steppers, “Indian War Whoop” (Victor 21294)
♫ Jimmie Rodgers, “Away out on the Mountain” (Victor 21142)
♫ Jimmie Rodgers, “Blue Yodel (T for Texas)” (Victor 21142)
♫ Jimmie Rodgers, “In the Jailhouse Now” (Victor 21245)
♫ Frank Stokes, “Downtown Blues” (Victor 21272)
♫ Ernest V. Stoneman and His Dixie Mountaineers, “Unlucky Road to Washington” (Edison 52299)
♫ Tampa Red & Georgia Tom, “It’s Tight Like That” (Vocalion 1216)
♫ Henry Thomas, “Bull Doze Blues” (Vocalion 1230)
♫ Weems String Band, “Greenback Dollar” (Columbia 15300-D)


After a lengthy investigation, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall was found guilty of bribery for the Teapot Dome Scandal. He was fined $100,000 and sentenced to one year in prison, making him the first Presidential cabinet member to go to prison for his actions in office.

Tara Brooks was a prostitute at Madame Vanity’s Brothel in London’s Soho neighborhood who had become pregnant. When she began to have complications during birth, a doctor was called. The doctor who answered the summons was Deacon Frost, a vampire who intended to feast upon the ill-fated mother and child. He drained Tara of her blood and killed her; however, his was discovered by the other prostitutes and fled before he could kill the infant as well. The other prostitutes named the boy Eric and raised him at the brothel. As he grew, he discovered that being in utero during the vampire’s attack had left him with a host of quasi-vampiric abilities: many of a vampire’s strengths and abilities, without a traditional vampire’s weaknesses.

Visiting our Earth for the first time from the parallel universe of Earth-M, 18-year old Nathaniel Richards (the man who would later be known as “Kang the Conqueror”) established a false identity for himself as “Victor Timely, Jr.” He founded the Timely Engineering Company in Illinois and secretly began using it to develop advanced technology that would allow him to operate as a “god among men” in this universe. Two of his first hires were scientist and inventor Charles Link (b. 1891), and engineer Phineas T. Horton (b. 1907), a recent college graduate. Without realizing what their employer’s purpose was, they began trying to decipher Richards’ incomplete blueprints to try to build 30th century androids with 20th century materials.

On Thursday, February 14, several members of Al Capone’s criminal organization dressed as police officers and raided a rival gang’s operation. They lined up seven rival gang members and massacred them with machine guns and shotguns. Photos of the victims of the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre” turned public opinion sharply against Al Capone, who until this time had largely been seen as a byproduct of Prohibition, an alcohol smuggler who was “just giving the people what they want.”

On March 4, Herbert Hoover became the 31st U.S. President (1929-1933).

In September, hard-boiled San Francisco private detective Sam Spade began investigating the case of the Maltese Falcon.

The worldwide Great Depression (1929-1941) began with the “Black Tuesday” crash of the U.S. stock market on October 29.

During the stock market collapse, stage actor Richard Stanton, Jr. (the son of silent film era actor and director Richard Stanton) made shrewd investment moves that would soon make him a millionaire – one of the few to profit from the downturn. Around this time, he also got married. Unfortunately, his bride was a former associate of gangster John Carver, who was still obsessed with her and insanely jealous.

With the onset of the Great Depression, Charles Foster Kane (age 66) was forced to sell most of his newspaper holdings to Walter Thatcher. To disassociate them from Kane and revive sales, Thatcher renamed many of them. The San Francisco Inquirer was renamed The San Francisco Daily StarThe Daily Star soon absorbed another paper, The San Francisco Call-Bulletin[Citizen Kane, with speculation regarding how the Daily Planet newspaper came into existence from existing newspapers in San Francisco.]

Music of 1929
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (Okeh 8714)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “Basin Street Blues” (Okeh 8690)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “Muggles” (Okeh 8703)
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Savoy Ballroom Five, “Mahogany Hall Stomp” (Okeh 8680)
♫ The Bently Boys, “Down on Penny’s Farm” (Columbia 15565-D)
♫ Blind Blake, “Diddie Wa Diddie” (Paramount 12888)
♫ The Carter Family, “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” (Victor V-40089)
♫ The Carter Family, “John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man” (Victor V-40190)
♫ The Cincinnati Jug Band, “Newport Blues” (Paramount 12743)
♫ Blind Willie Dunn and His Gin Bottle Four (Eddie Lang and Lonnie Johnson), “A Handful of Riffs” (Okeh 8695)
♫ Ruth Etting, “Love Me or Leave Me” (Columbia 1680-D)
♫ Annette Hanshaw, “Lovable and Sweet” (Okeh 41292)
♫ Peg Leg Howell, “Broke and Hungry Blues” (Columbia 14438-D)
♫ Mississippi John Hurt, “Stack O’ Lee” (Okeh 8654)
♫ Tommy Johnson, “Canned Heat Blues” (Victor V-38535)
♫ Dick Justice, “Cocaine” (Brunswick 395)
♫ Memphis Jug Band, “K.C. Moan” (Victor V-38558)
♫ Narmour and Smith, “Carroll County Blues” (Okeh 45317)
♫ Walter Page’s Blue Devils, “Blue Devil Blues” (Vocalion 1463)
♫ Charley Patton, “Mississippi Bo Weevil Blues” (Paramount 12805)
♫ Charley Patton, “Pony Blues” (Paramount 12792)
♫ Charley Patton, “Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues” (Paramount 12805)
♫ Charley Patton, “Shake It and Break It (But Don’t Let It Fall Mama)” (Paramount 12869)
♫ Jimmie Rodgers, “Waiting for a Train” (Victor V-40014)
♫ Bessie Smith, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” (Columbia 14451-D)
♫ Jabbo Smith’s Rhythm Aces, “Jazz Battle” (Brunswick 4244)
♫ Pine Top Smith, “Pine Top’s Boogie Woogie” (Vocalion 1245)
♫ Speckled Red, “The Dirty Dozen” (Brunswick 7116)
♫ Roosevelt Sykes, “44 Blues” (Okeh 8702)
♫ Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, “Soldier’s Joy” (Columbia 15538-D)
♫ Taylor-Griggs Louisiana Melody Makers, “Where The Sweet Magnolias Bloom” (Victor 40184)
♫ Henry Thomas, “Fishing Blues” (Vocalion 1249)
♫ Sippie Wallace, “I’m a Mighty Tight Woman” (Victor V-38502)
♫ Fats Waller, “Handful of Keys” (Victor V-38508)
♫ Ethel Waters, “Am I Blue?” (Columbia 1837-D)

The Pulp Thirties / Depression Era


The BBC began regular television transmission in the U.K.

Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto, the first object discovered in the Kuiper Belt.

The Xindi Civil War began on the planet Xindus in the Delphic Expanse region of the Milky Way Galaxy (approximately 50 light-years from Earth). As of the early 21st century, it is still ongoing.

Frankenstein’s monster was first sighted in the U.S., including reports of an eight-foot-tall monster on the loose in New York City.

The Op” (real name unknown) took his last case for the San Francisco office of the Continental Detective Agency.

The “Dust Bowl” dust storms (1930-1936) began plaguing many U.S. states in the Great Plains region, including Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas.

Bureau of prohibition agent Eliot Ness (b. 1903) recruited a team of law enforcement agents, including incorruptible Chicago police officer Jimmy Malone, to take on Al Capone in Chicago. They soon became known as “The Untouchables.”

Kent Allard, a former World War I hero, began observing and studying criminals in New York City.

Hugo Danner’s life story was recounted in the biography Gladiator by Philip Wylie, as told to him by Dr. Daniel Hardin. In Hutchinson, Kansas, a young Clark Kent (now age 10) would find solace in the book.

Recent high school graduate turned detective Nancy Drew (b. 1914; girls graduated high school at age 16 at that time) solved her first mystery in Toledo, Ohio.

The Mandarin (real name unknown) was born to a wealthy Chinese man and an English noblewoman in mainland China. Both parents died soon after he was born, and he was raised by his paternal aunt, who was embittered against the world. His upbringing was harsh and militaristic, and he was pushed to excel both intellectually in the sciences and physically in the martial arts.

Jewish physicist Professor Hersh Grobshield (later anglicized as Horace Grayson) married Marna Feigenbaum in Germany, and began working for the German government as part of a scientific team investigating a small spacecraft recovered in the Alps. (The craft had been left there by the Eternals.) Marna soon became pregnant with their first child (a daughter). Meanwhile, Hersh began to suspect that the Nazi party had nefarious plans for the spacecraft and began a long-term plan to transport the vessel to a colleague in the U.S.

In March, construction began on the Boulder Dam (now known as the Hoover Dam) in Nevada and on the Empire State Building in New York City.

On May 1, stage actor Richard Stanton, Jr. gave his final performance and then retired. The renowned character actor and “master of makeup” convincingly portrayed the old lady “Madame Fatal” in a role that “thrilled and amazed his audience,” according to one noted theater critic.

In September, William Dyer, professor emeritus of geology at Miskatonic University in Wenham, Massachusetts, departed with the Pabodie Expedition bound for Antarctica.

James Bond was born on November 11 in Vienna to Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix.

Music of 1930
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “St. Louis Blues” (Okeh 41350)
♫ Louis Armstrong & Earl Hines, “Weather Bird” (Okeh 41454)
♫ Fred Astaire, “Puttin’ On the Ritz” (Columbia DB 96)
♫ Don Azpiazu and His Havana Casino Orchestra, “The Peanut Vendor (El Manicero)” (Victor 22483)
♫ Blues Birdhead, “Mean Low Blues” (Okeh 8824)
♫ Cannon’s Jug Stompers, “Walk Right In” (Victor V-38611)
♫ The Carter Family, “Worried Man Blues” (Victor V-40317)
♫ Sleepy John Estes, “Milk Cow Blues” (Victor V-38614)
♫ Son House, “Preachin’ the Blues (Parts 1 & 2)” (Paramount 13013)
♫ Mississippi John Hurt, “Avalon Blues” (Okeh 8759)
♫ Blind Willie Johnson, “God Moves on the Water” (Columbia 14520-D)
♫ Blind Willie Johnson, “John the Revelator” (Columbia 14530-D)
♫ The Jungle Band (Duke Ellington and His Orchestra), “Mood Indigo” (Brunswick 4952)
♫ Kansas Joe & Memphis Minne, “Bumble Bee (Columbia 14542-D)
♫ Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, “I’m Confessin’ (That I Love You)” (Columbia 2259-D)
♫ Mississippi Sheiks, “Sitting on Top of the World” (Okeh 8784)
♫ Charley Patton, “High Water Everywhere (Parts 1 & 2)” (Paramount 12909)
♫ Charlie Poole and His North Carolina Ramblers, “If the River Was Whiskey” (Columbia 15545-D)
♫ Ben Selvin and His Orchestra, “Happy Days Are Here Again” (Columbia 2116-D)
♫ Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra, “Dancing with Tears in My Eyes” (Victor 22425)
♫ Geeshie Wiley, “Last Kind Words Blues” (Paramount 12951)


Thanks to Eliot Ness and “The Untouchables,” Al Capone was arrested by the FBI and convicted on federal charges of tax evasion. “Big Boy” Malone, his hand-picked successor, took over the Capone crime organization and steadily began to make a name for himself.

In Chicago, police officer Richard “Dick” Tracy (b. 1900) was promoted to plainclothes detective. Taking his new role very seriously, he put his engagement to Tess Trueheart (b. 1910) on hold.

In New York City, Kent Allard debuted as the mysterious crime fighter known as “The Shadow.” Within the criminal underworld, his feats were soon exaggerated into tales of paranormal powers and it was rumored that he had the power of invisibility and to control men’s minds. (This would later prove a major inspiration for Batman.)

In Houston, Texas, multi-field scientist Dr. Tom Strange first began developing and testing the radioactive “miracle serum” that would eventually be known as “Alosun.”

Gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada.

In July and August, a series of floods occurred in central China along the Yangtze and Huai Rivers. Among the deadliest natural disasters ever, between 3.7 and 4 million people were killed, and flood damage affected 28.5 million more. Among those killed was American citizen Charteris Preston (b. 1891), who was visiting China with his son Gary (b. 1918). The boy was rescued from the flood by Tibetan lamas and taken to the mountains. Studying their mystical ways, he soon displayed the amazing ability to control firer and heat.

Gangster John Carver kidnapped the infant daughter of stage actor Richard Stanton, Jr. Carver had been in love with Stanton’s wife, and committed the crime out of jealousy. When police could not recover the girl, Stanton’s wife died of grief. Stanton retired from acting and swore to bring Carver to justice. To conceal his true identity, he donned his last stage costume – that of “Madame Fatal” – and pretended to be a harmless old lady as he traveled around the country for years pursuing Carver and his missing daughter.

Adam Blake was born on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Adam was born a mutant (Homo sapiens superior), and as he grew, he began to exhibit special powers, including genius-level intelligence, photographic memory, clairvoyance, telepathy, telekinesis, and enhanced physical strength, speed, endurance and durability.

Hugh Conway, a veteran member of the British diplomatic service, found inner peace, love and a sense of purpose in the Himalayan valley of Shangri-La (a.k.a. Shambhala), whose inhabitants enjoyed unheard-of longevity.

In Louisville, Kentucky, Patrick O’Brian (b. August 29, 1921) was orphaned at age 10 and forced to live on the streets. He soon fell into a life of crime, earning the nickname “The Eel” as he turned out to be a slippery thief. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In January, the Pabodie Expedition from Miskatonic University reached Antarctica and met with disaster at the “Mountains of Madness.”

In Attilan, the ruler Agon and his second wife Rynda had a son, whom they named Blackagar. As a member of the Royal Family, the child was exposed to the mutagenic Terrigen Mist while still an embryo, and eventually demonstrated the ability to manipulate vast quantities of energy with his voice. To protect the Inhuman community from unintentional devastation, Blackagar was placed inside a sound-proof chamber and tutored in the use of his powers.

Construction was completed on the Empire State Building in New York City, which would hold the title of tallest building in the world until 1972. The building was officially opened on May 1.

Music of 1931
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “Stardust” [alternate take] (Okeh 41530)
♫ Willie Brown, “Future Blues” (Paramount 13090)
♫ Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, “Minnie the Moocher” (Brunswick 6074)
♫ Cab Calloway and His Orchestra, “St. James Infirmary” (Brunswick 6105)
♫ Crockett’s Kentucky Mountaineers, “Little Rabbit / Rabbit Where’s Your Mammy?” (Crown 3172)
♫ East Texas Serenaders, “Mineola Rag” (Brunswick 562)
♫ Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, “Casa Loma Stomp” (Okeh 41492)
♫ Skip James, “Devil Got My Woman” (Paramount 13088)
♫ Skip James, “I’m So Glad” (Paramount 13098)
♫ The Jungle Band, “Rockin’ in Rhythm” (Brunswick 6038)
♫ Blind Willie McTell, “Broke Down Engine Blues” (Columbia 14632-D)
♫ The Mills Brothers, “Tiger Rag” (Brunswick 6197)
♫ Willie Walker, “South Carolina Rag” (Columbia 14578-D)


The U.S. banking system collapsed.

In a small town in Alabama, a black man named Tom Robinson was accused of raping a white woman. He was defended in court by the town lawyer Atticus Finch. Despite significant evidence of his innocence, Robinson was convicted of the crime and later shot to death while trying to escape from prison.

Carson Napier (b. 1899) discovered an abandoned Venusian spacecraft and tried to use it to “fly to Mars.” The ship instead piloted him automatically to Venus, where he crash-landed on the southern continent. He would remain on that planet, which the locals called “Amtor,” until his death in 1953.

The vigilante known as “The Lobster” (a.k.a. “Lobster Johnson”) debuted in New York City.

Chicago police detective Dick Tracy took a homeless, nameless youth (b. 1926) under his wing. The kid started calling himself “Dick Tracy, Jr.,” which soon became his legal name when Tracy adopted him. Tracy himself called the kid “Junior.”

Mahatma Gandhi undertook a 21-day hunger strike to protest British oppression in India.

The infant son of Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped and murdered.

As a young boy, Wendell Rand (b. 1924) discovered the mystical city of K’un-Lun, which only appears in our dimension once every ten years. During his time there, Rand saved the life of the city’s ruler, Lord Tuan, and was adopted as Tuan’s son.

Daniel Grimm, older brother of Benjamin Jacob Grimm (b. 1924), was killed in a street gang fight in New York City’s Lower East Side.

Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow began their crime spree.

The revived mummy Imhotep was by this time living in Cairo, Egypt under the name Ardath Bey, and still seeking the tomb of his former lover, Ankh-es-sn-amon. He discovered a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her and, believing her to be his lover reincarnated, attempted to kill her, mummify her, resurrect her and make her his bride.

Filmmaker Carl Denham journeyed to “Skull Island” (a.k.a. “Caprona” or “Monster Island”) in the South Indian Ocean, where he intended to make a jungle film. There, he and his crew encounter dinosaurs, giant insects and a 25-foot-tall ape whom the natives call “Kong.” They managed to capture the giant ape and load it aboard their ship for the return journey to New York City.

On November 11, Richard “Dick” Grayson was born to John and Mary Grayson, members of a traveling, trapeze-artist circus family, “The Flying Graysons.”

Music of 1932
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “All of Me” (Columbia 2606-D)
♫ The Boswell Sisters, “Everybody Loves My Baby” (Brunswick 6271)
♫ Bing Crosby with Isham Jones and His Orchestra, “Sweet Georgia Brown” (Brunswick 6320)
♫ Bing Crosby with the Mills Brothers, “Dinah” (Brunswick 6240)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” (Brunswick 6265)
♫ The New Orleans Feetwarmers, “Shag” (Victor 24150)


This was the worst year of the Great Depression.

Prohibition was repealed in the United States.

A World’s Fair known as “Century of Progress” was held in Chicago (1933-1934).

Albert Einstein moved to the United States from Germany.

Alcatraz Island prison opened in the San Francisco Bay.

The current Iron Fist, Orson Randall (b. 1902), learned of the curse that had struck all who had held the title before him: they had all been killed by the age of 33. Now 31 years old, he abandoned his role as protector of the mystical city of K’un-Lun, thereby escaping the curse.

In World War I, wealthy, idle playboy Richard Curtis Van Loan (b. 1897) had found his sense of purpose as an ace pilot. After the war, he continued to acquire new skills, becoming a forensics expert and a master of disguise. In February of 1933, he debuted as the costumed crime fighter “The Phantom Detective.”

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (a Prussian nobleman who had relocated to Bavaria after the Franco-Pruissian War and had fought for Germany in World War I) joined the Nazi party.

In Los Angeles, detective Dan Dunn made his debut.

Clark “Doc” Savage, Jr. (b. 1901) and his associates began their adventures.

A private investigator calling himself Nick Carter debuted. Nick Carter was not his real name, but an alias – the name of a detective he had met as a child.

Baron Heinrich Zemo began his rise to prominence in Germany.

Under assumed name “Victor Timely, Jr.,” 22-year-old Nathaniel Richards of Earth-M (the man who would later be known as “Kang the Conqueror”) established a second manufacturing facility on our Earth. This one was based in the frontier city of Latveria in Serbian Banat, an easier place to conceal the manufacture of an army of world-conquering robots. To manage the Latveria facility, he hired Vladimir Sikandur (b. 1892). He left the research and development at his Illinois facility, where his core engineering team of Charles Link (age 42), Phineas Horton (age 26), Robet Crane (age 25) and James Bradley (age 24) was making great progress.

The giant ape King Kong arrived in New York City from Caprona (a.k.a. “Skull Island”). On Thursday, March 2, Carl Denham unveiled the creature for public display, billing him as “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” However, Kong escaped and climbed the Empire State Building, whereupon he was shot by U.S. Army planes and fell to his death. The incident was quickly covered up by Hollywood at the government's request, establishing a long tradition of government brainwashing using doctored news footage disguised as entertainment.

On March 4, Franklin D. Roosevelt (b. 1882) became the 32nd U.S. President (1933-1945) and began enacting his “New Deal” recovery measures designed to lift the nation out of the Great Depression.

In the early summer, San Francisco Daily Star editor-in-chief George Taylor hired 15-year-old Lois Lane (she turned 16 on Thursday, August 17) as an office assistant. She promptly convinced Taylor to let her be a cub reporter, and over the next few years established herself as one of the newspaper’s best investigative journalists. [The Daily Planet was originally called The Daily Star and its original editor was George Taylor, not Perry White. This is about the right age for Lois Lane to get her start. Lois' birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In June, detective-sergeant Stephen Thatcher became the masked vigilante “Moon Man,” robbing criminals and distributing the money to the poor.

The first reports began to come in of the “Miracles of the Plains,” as a pre-teen Clark Kent first began rescuing people in need around Hutchinson, Kansas. He first wore his Kryptonian costume on Sunday, June 11, and soon legends sprang up about a guardian angel with a boy’s face who wore a giant “S” on his chest. But Clark was careful to keep a low profile, sightings were few and far between, and people of good sense considered this “Superboy” a hoax.

On Saturday, July 22George “Machine Gun” Kelly’s kidnapped millionaire oilman Charles Urschel. He collected a $200,000 ransom on Sunday, July 30 from Urschel’s family in exchange for his release, but was later caught by the FBI on Tuesday, September 26.

Indiana Jones accepted a teaching position at Princeton University in the fall. While there, his students included a young Bruce Anthony Wayne, who had just enrolled at the university and took Archaeology 101 with Dr. Jones in his freshman year.

New York millionaire Richard Wentworth (b. 1888), who had served as a Major in the U.S. Army in World War I, debuted as the masked crime fighter “The Spider” in October.

Music of 1933
♫ Bing Crosby, “You’re Getting to Be a Habit with Me” (Brunswick 6472)
♫ Duke Ellington and His Orchestra, “Sophisticated Lady” (Brunswick 6600)
♫ Kanui & Lula, “My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii” (Parlophone R-1957)
♫ Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra, “Moten Swing” (Victor 23384)
♫ Art Tatum, “Tiger Rag” (Brunswick 6543)
♫ Ethel Waters, “Stormy Weather” (Brunswick 6564)
♫ Ted Weems and His Orchestra, “Heartaches” (Bluebird B-5131)
♫ Joshua White, “Jesus Gonna Make Up My Dyin’ Bed” (Perfect 0258)


Nathaniel Richards, the man who will later be known as “Kang the Conqueror,” fled his own universe (Earth-M) when his colleagues in the Legion of Super Heroes discovered that he had been traveling to other universes and behaving unethically. Under his assumed identity of Victor Timely, Jr., he took the android prototypes from Timely Engineering’s Illinois research facility to Latveria, and explained his plan to conquer the world to Vladimir Sikandur (age 42), promising to make Sikandur governor of this world as Richards built a mutlidimensional empire. However, Sikandur immediately became resentful and desired to be the conqueror, not the second-in-command.

By this time, New York City native Duvid Jerome Fortunov had relocated to Los Angeles, California, changed his name to Dominic Fortune, and become a costumed adventurer for hire and a mercenary.

Professor Hersh Grobshield managed to secretly transport the Eternals’ spacecraft by boat to the U.S. There, with the assistance of an old colleague, Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., he established a laboratory in Trenton, New Jersey. He had brought his one-year-old son Hershel (b. 1933, later known as Robert Grayson) with him, but when his wife and daughter tried to fly to the U.S. from Germany, their plane was intercepted and shot down. Distraught, Grobshield (now going by the name Horace Grayson) threw himself into his work.

Having lost Grobshield, the Nazis asked Swiss bio-chemist Arnim Zola (b. 1900) to try to salvage what he could of the research that had been done. Zola himself had discovered artifacts from another ancient, technologically advanced race known as the Deviants. Under his leadership, the Nazi scientific program soon began to flourish.

A young scientist named Alexei “Lex” Luthor (b. September 28, 1913) moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, lured there by the rumors of “Superboy” and his obsession with extraterrestrial life and advanced technology. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

Nikola Tesla devised his “teleforce” technology, which the press dubbed a “death ray.”

District attorney Anthony Quinn was blinded and disfigured by acid thrown by a thug working for crime lord Oliver Snate.

In Attilan, the ruler Agon and his second wife Rynda had their second child, another son, whom they named Maximus. As the youngest of the king’s six children (including four from his late first wife), Maximus was given everything he wanted, but he still found himself jealous of his slightly older brother Blackagar.

Britt Reid (b. 1906), the son of Dan Reid, Jr. (and great nephew of the Lone Ranger, John Reid), became a crime reporter at his father’s newspaper, The Detroit Daily Sentinel.

On Sunday, January 7, as the Earth was being bombarded by meteors, Dr. Hans Zarkov invented a rocket ship to locate their place of origin in outer space. Half mad, he kidnapped Flash Gordon (a polo player and Yale University graduate) and Dale Arden, whose plane had crashed in the area due to the meteors. The three were transported to the planet Mongo, where they discovered the meteors were weapons devised by Ming the Merciless, evil ruler of Mongo. For many years, the three companions would have adventures on Mongo, traveling to the forest kingdom of Arboria, ruled by Prince Barin; the ice kingdom of Frigia, ruled by Queen Fria; the jungle kingdom of Tropica, ruled by Queen Desira; the undersea kingdom of the Shark Men, ruled by King Kala; and the flying city of the Hawkmen, ruled by Prince Vultan. They would be joined in several early adventures by Prince Thun of the Lion Men.

In February, the man known as “Secret Agent X” began working highly classified missions undercover for the U.S. government.

On Saturday, March 3, notorious criminal John Dillinger, America’s “Public Enemy Number 1,” escaped from a jail in Crown Point, Indiana using a wooden pistol. On Sunday, July 22, outside the Biograph Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, he was killed in a hail of bullets by federal agents.

On Monday, March 19William “Red” Barry began working undercover in Chinatown for the San Francisco Police Department.

Outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were gunned down by officers in Texas on Wednesday, May 23.

In June, Mandrake the Magician (age 33) and Lothar, Prince of Seven Nations (age 21), began their adventures together by taking on the mysterious villain known as “The Cobra” (who would later prove to be Mandrake’s half-brother Luciphor). In November, Mandrake would meet his longtime love interest Narda, a princess of the magical European kingdom known as Cockaigne. [Cockaigne is a wizardly realm in the Harry Potter tradition that roughly overlays Switzerland on the muggle map.]

In June, Dan Turner started his detective business in Hollywood.

Sonny “Dinkie” Black, leader of the notorious Purple Gang, was gunned down by Federal Agents outside the Bijou Vaudeville Theater on Washington Street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday, July 18.

On Thursday, August 2Adolph Hitler (b. 1889) was formally named as Führer und Reichskanzler (leader and chancellor), completing his rise to power in Germany.

Soon after Hitler came to power, he met a teenage bellhop named Johann Schmidt (b. 1915) while staying at a hotel. Taken with the youth’s initiative and sensing his dark inner nature, Hitler used him as an example while furiously scolding one of his officers for letting a prisoner escape. Hitler declared, “I could create a better National Socialist out of the bellhop!” He then decided to act on his words and recruited Schmidt, training him personally as his assistant.

Music of 1934
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff
♫ Kokomo Arnold, “Milk Cow Blues” (Decca 7026)
♫ Kokomo Arnold, “Old Original Kokomo Blues” (Decca 7026)
♫ Big Bill Broonzy, “Mississippi River Blues” (Bluebird B-5535)
♫ Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, “Blues Before Sunrise” (Vocalion 02657)
♫ Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, “Blue Moon” (Decca 312)
♫ Sol Hoopii, “Hula Girl” (Brunswick 6768)
♫ Memphis Minnie, “Moaning the Blues” (Decca 7037)
♫ Charley Patton, “Poor Me” (Vocalion 02651)
♫ The Prairie Ramblers, “Shady Grove My Darling” (Bluebird B-5322)
♫ Joe Pullum, “Black Gal, What Makes Your Head So Hard?” (Bluebird B-5459)
♫ Bessie Smith, “Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer)” (Okeh 8949)
♫ The Sons of the Pioneers, “Way Out There” (Decca 5013)
♫ Fats Waller and His Rhythm, “Honeysuckle Rose” (Victor 24826)
♫ Chick Webb’s Savoy Orchestra, “Stomping at the Savoy” (Columbia 2926-D)


Adolf Hitler announced German rearmament in violation of the Versailles Treaty.

The noted French chemist Dr. Anton Barmell discovered a chemical/radioactive process that would allow him to shrink people to a height of six inches. His process involved stealing some sensitive chemicals, and he was caught, ending up imprisoned in the penal colony on Devil's Island off the coast of French Guiana in South America. However, he concealed his true identity and went by the assumed name “Marcel.”

The great inventor Dr. Abraham Davis fled Nazi-controlled Germany and made his way to America. There, he was granted asylum and given a laboratory and funding in which to continue his research by Sandra Knight, daughter of U.S. Senator Henry Knight of Maryland. Davis soon hired an engineering graduate student assistant named Jim Barr (b. 1912) to help him work on his latest research into “black light rays” and “gravity waves.”

In Germany, Hitler’s regime began funding the eugenics experiments of Doctors Reinstein and Koch, and charged them with creating “super soldiers.” Dr. Abraham Erskine joined the program as an assistant to Dr. Reinstein.

Britt Reid saved the life of Ikano Kato (b. 1919) in Japan, and Ikano returned with him to the U.S.

Indiana Jones escaped Chinese gangsters in Shanghai and then ended up in India, where he uncovered a Thuggee cult’s nefarious plot. By the time he returned to Princeton, he was late for the fall semester and had not reported his whereabouts for quite some time. Dr. Jones was therefore asked to resign and returned to Marshall College in Connecticut in a temporary teaching position.

In Germany, Hitler put his assistant Johann Schmidt (age 20) in charge of a special Nazi “terror squad” to further Nazi espionage and sabotage goals abroad. In time, Schmidt would become more and more twisted in the execution of his duties and would take to wearing a blood-red skeletal mask and going exclusively by the name “Red Skull.”

John Coffey was executed on Death Row for a crime he didn’t commit. Before dying, he exhibited supernatural healing powers.

Kit Walker XX (b. 1912) became the 20th Phantom in Bangalla, Tanzania, Africa (1935-1959).

Belgian private detective Hercule Poirot solved a case of murder while traveling on the Orient Express train.

The Bureau of Investigation became the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). J. Edgar Hoover remained its director.

James Vega (b. 1910), great-grandson of Don Diego de la Vega, returned to his ancestral home near Los Angeles and became the fourth crime fighter to adopt the costumed identity of “Zorro” that had originated with his great-grandfather. As Zorro, he thwarted a gang of villains led by “El Lobo” who were plotting to gain control of the new railroad under construction between the U.S. and Mexico.

April 14 was known as “Black Sunday,” one of the worst dust storms in history, estimated to have displaced 300 million tons of topsoil from the Great Plains in the U.S. It started in Oklahoma and moved south through Texas.

In July, “Doctor Occult” and “Rose Psychic” (real names unknown) opened their own detective agency in Cleveland, Ohio, specializing in crimes of a mystical nature.

Lex Luthor (age 21) struck up a friendship with Superboy (age 15), even saving him from Kryptonite after discovering it and accidentally exposing him to it on Monday, August 5. However, a fire broke out in Luthor’s lab on Tuesday, August 27, and Superboy tried to put it out, in the process accidentally causing an explosion that permanently singed off Luthor’s hair and destroyed much of his work. Luthor swore revenge and began several engineering projects designed to humiliate and destroy Superboy, but was thwarted each time. [Dates taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

With most of the work completed, the Hoover Dam was formally dedicated on Monday, September 30.

On Friday, November 1, the 6.2 magnitude Temiskamingue earthquake occurred in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec, Canada. The quake opened a portal to Otherworld, and a solitary centaur came through to our universe. The centaur was found wandering in the snow by trapper Maurice Norton, who took him in, taught him English and French, and nicknamed him “Speed.”

Music of 1935
Romeo and Juliet (including “Dance of the Knights”) composed by Sergei Prokofiev
♫ Amédé Ardoin and Denus McGee, “Les Blues de Voyage” (Bluebird B-2189)
♫ Fred Astaire, “Cheek to Cheek” (Brunswick 7486)
♫ Bill Boyd’s Cowboy Ramblers, “Under the Double Eagle” (Victor 5945)
♫ Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, “Brownie’s Stomp” (Bluebird B-5775)
♫ Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies, “Down by the O-H-I-O” (Decca 5111)
♫ Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, “When the Sun Goes Down” (Bluebird B-5877)
♫ The Carter Family, “Can the Circle Be Unbroken? (Bye and Bye)” (Melotone 13432)
♫ The Dorsey Brothers featuring Bob Crosby, “Lullaby of Broadway” (Decca 370)
♫ Duke Ellington, “In a Sentimental Mood” (Brunswick 7461)
♫ Sleepy John Estes, “Drop Down Mama” (Champion 50048)
♫ Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “King Porter Stomp” (Victor 25090)
♫ Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra, “Rhythm Is Our Business” (Decca 369)
♫ Patsy Montana and the Prairie Ramblers, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (Conqueror 8575)
♫ Fats Waller and His Rhythm, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” (Victor 25044)
♫ Big Joe Williams, “Baby Please Don’t Go” (Bluebird B-6200)
♫ Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday, “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” (Brunswick 7498)


Bruce Anthony Wayne graduated from Princeton University (after only three years) and began to travel the world. He attended the Olympics in Berlin and visited Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, now a German Intelligence agent, was sent to the United States to assassinate Senator Fulton, but was foiled by brigand-for-hire Dominic Fortune.

An especially cruel German officer named Reiter was blinded and disfigured when a concentration camp prisoner threw a bottle in his face. Reiter volunteered to become the first test subject for Reinstein and Koch’s eugenics program, which gave him increased strength and invulnerability, but also further warped his mind and body. Now calling himself “Baron Blitzkrieg,” he would volunteer for additional operations and experiments over the next few years that would give him additional abilities, including optical energy beams and flight. It would take some time for him to recover and to master his newfound abilities.

In Detroit, Michigan, newspaper heir Britt Reid began his crime fighting career as “The Green Hornet,” along with his friend Ikano Kato.

Kang the Conqueror (Nathaniel Richards of Earth-M, age 25) traveled to parallel universes on one of his regular scouting missions, looking for more worlds to conquer. In this way, he had already established plans to conquer a dozen different alternate Earths, including our own. However, on this journey, his inter-dimensional “time sphere” transport devices had been sabotaged by his henchman Vladimir Sikandur (age 44). One time sphere ceased working, causing it to remain behind in the parallel, future universe of “Earth-Hexa,” where it was the year 2461. The back-up time sphere ceased working when he arrived at his next destination, and Kang found himself trapped on a Bronze Age version of Earth (“Earth-E”) where it was the year 2956 BCE. He soon established himself as Egypt’s first pharaoh, “Rama-Tut.” He eventually repaired his time sphere and would again become able to travel between universes, but a special radioactive isotope prevented him from returning to our universe where he could take revenge on the traitorous Sikandur.

Meanwhile, Sikandur took complete control of Kang’s Latveria manufacturing operation and accelerated the plans to build an android army with which to conquer the planet. And in the Earth-Hexa universe, the damaged time sphere ended up in a museum, where it was stlen by museum guard Michael Jon Carter. However, in that universe, Carter could not get it to work and never became Booster Gold. [Note: this is an alternate-universe verion of Booster Gold, who becomes the father of Rip Hunter. This removes time-travel from the equation.]

At Kang’s facility in Illinois, the research division of Timely Engineering was puzzled by the disappearance of their boss. As their paychecks stopped coming, they soon contacted the police, who in turn contacted the FBI. The FBI conducted interviews with the three project engineers and an extensive interview, but turned up nothing regarding Victor Timely’s disappearance. However, they were even more interested by the technology recovered in the facility, which appeared to be years beyond anything they had ever seen before. Charles Link (age 45), Phineas Horton (age 29), Robet Crane (age 28) and James Bradley (age 27) were all offered positions with the FBI’s technology research division to try to make sense of it all. Only Crane accepted. Horton and Bradley had secretly been developing the same technology in parallel, and they now moved to Manhattan to continue their research together. Meanwhile, Link had already built a semi-functioning prototype on his own, and believed he could complete a fully functioning artificial human by the end of the decade.

On the Northern Continent of the planet Venus, Beautia Sivana of Earth (age 19 in Earth years) was crowned Queen of the Metalunan kingdom.

Indiana Jones overcame numerous traps in order to obtain the Hovito idol, only to have it quickly stolen away by his rival Rene Belloq. Dr. Jones then raced against the Nazis to rediscover the lost Ark of the Covenant, which was buried in Egypt.

Johnny Hooker went to top con-artist Henry Gondorff to help him “sting” mob boss Doyle Lonnegan in Joliet, Illinois.

In New Orleans, society man and former district attorney Brian O’Brien debuted as the masked vigilante known as “The Clock.”

Los Angeles private investigator Thomas Halloway started using the experimental detective techniques that would eventually become his trademark as the “The Angel.”

Frustrated by his inability to defeat SuperboyLex Luthor finally left Hutchinson, Kansas, but still harbored deep resentment and turned to a life of crime to further fund his experiments.

While young American David Merrywether (b. 1912) lost his parents to a bandit attack in the Burmese jungle, he was rescued and raised by a tigress. The she-tiger brought him a mystical cloth, out of which he fashioned a hooded, cat-like costume and took to protecting the jungle from bandits. During one such confrontation in 1936, Merrywether was killed, but the mystical cloth revived him, and he realized intuitively that he had gained the fabled “nine lives” of a cat. Now calling himself “Cat-Man,” he began traveling the world to find his destiny.

The “Dust Bowl” dust storms finally came to an end in the U.S. Great Plains.

In January, FBI agent Steve Carson began investigating crimes beyond the reach of local law enforcement. Carson would soon be J. Edgar Hoover’s top agent for crimes outside of the realm of normal scientific understanding. [New Comics #2]

Edward VIII became King of the U.K. following the death of his father, George V, on January 20.

Future Green Lantern Harold “Hal” Jordan was born on Thursday, February 20.

Early in the year, Los Angeles district attorney Owen Patrick was murdered. In May, his daughter, Berkeley-educated Ellen Patrick (b. 1912), put on a black domino mask and set out to avenge him by taking down organized crime in the city as “The Domino Lady.” She would have a lot of success throughout the year, but would ultimately meet her own demise at the hands of those same criminals at year’s end.

In May, Philadelphia native Terry Sloane (b. October 20, 1922) graduated college at the age of 13. He soon became a self-made millionaire. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

The “gentleman thief” known as “The Eel” committed his first big robbery in June.

In July, Dr. Anton Barmell (going by the assumed name “Marcel”) convinced fellow prisoner Paul Lavond to help him escape from Devil's Island. Barmell faked his own death and headed for the United States, while Lavond met Barmell's “widow,” Malita, in France and used Barmell's shrinking formula for revenge against those who had sent him to Devil's Island. Malita then planned to continue using the formula for personal gain, but ended up blowing up the lab and killing herself.

On July 17, the Spanish Civil War began when the Nationalists, a rebel group loyal to General Francisco Franco rose up against the established Spanish Republic. During the war, U.S. citizen Dan Kane wore a mask and fought against Franco’s forces under the alias “Captain Terror” (El Capitán Terror).

In August, African American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals at the Olympics in Berlin. The triumph of Owens and other black athletes at the games was seen as egg in the face of Adolph Hitler, who as head of the host country believed non-white athletes to be inferior.

Will Everett, another African American athlete, won two medals at those same Olympics. After the games, though, he would have a hard time translating that success into a career and would end up working as a janitor for scientist Terrence Curtis in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.

Elizabeth “Libby” Lawrence (b. 1918) won a gold medal in swimming for the United States at the Olympic games.

In November, paranormal detective Doctor Occult embraced the growing “costumed crime fighter” movement and began wearing a more theatrical blue costume with a red cape, instead of traditional clothing.

After less than a year as monarch, Edward VIII abdicated the throne of the U.K. on December 11, and was succeeded by his brother George VI.

Music of 1936
Adagio for Strings composed by Samuel Barber
♫ Carmina Burana composed by Carl Orff
Peter and the Wolf composed by Sergei Prokofiev
♫ Fred Astaire, “The Way You Look Tonight” (Brunswick 7717)
♫ The Blue Sky Boys, “On the Sunny Side of Life” (Bluebird B-6457)
♫ Bing Crosby, “Pennies from Heaven” (Decca 947)
♫ Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” (Victor 25236)
♫ Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “The Glory of Love” (Victor 25316)
♫ Blind Roosevelt Graves and Brother, “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus)” (Melotone 6-11-74)
♫ Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra, “Christopher Columbus (A Rhythm Cocktail)” (Vocalion 3211)
♫ Billie Holiday, “Billie’s Blues” (Vocalion 3288)
♫ The Monroe Brothers, “What Would You Give in Exchange?” (Bluebird B-6309)
♫ Le Quintette Du Hot Club De France, “Djangology” (Decca 23003)
♫ Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, “Right or Wrong” (Vocalion 3451)
♫ Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, “Steel Guitar Rag” (Vocalion 3394)


In late 1936 or early 1937, a Venusian spaceship crashed in Nazi-controlled Germany. Hitler’s top scientists, including Arnim Zola, soon went to work trying to learn the secrets of the recovered alien technology.

Adolph Hitler joined the Thule Society, a secret collective of German aristocrats obsessed with the occult.

China and Japan began a state of undeclared war.

In Louisiana, Alex Olsen, the first “Swamp Thing,” grew weary of humanity. He lost his humanoid form and allowed himself to be absorbed fully into the swamp, becoming part of the hive-mind of the “Parliament of Trees,”

Under Baron Vladimir Sikandur, the gypsies of Latveria had suffered greatly. Tired of her people suffering, Cynthia von Doom, a gypsy who dabbled in dark magic, made a deal with the demon Mephisto, promising him her soul in return for power. Cynthia  walked into a village and started killing the Baron’s men, but unbeknownst to her, the magic she was using also killed every child in the village, just as Mephisto had planned. Horrified over what she had done, she renounced the power, and was stabbed by a dying guardsman. She survived long enough to wander into the woods, where she died in the arms of her husband Werner, making him promise to keep their son Victor (age 9) from walking the same path as her. Upon her death, her soul was trapped in Mephisto’s realm, to be tortured for all eternity.

While working on their android prototypes in Manhattan, Phineas Horton (age 30) and James Bradley (age 28) split over a difference of opinion. Both men would continue working separately toward their goal, with Horton hiring unemployed welder Fred Raymond (age 29) as an assistant.

In New York City, private investigator Cyril “Speed” Saunders started working with the FBI to support the harbor police force.

Detective Jake Gittes got his nose slashed while investigating a case involving adultery, murder and water rights in Los Angeles, California.

Indiana Jones left Marshall College once again to take a full-time teaching position at Cornell University. Meanwhile, Henry Walton “Mutt” Jones III was born to Marion Ravenswood after parting ways with Dr. Jones, who would not discover he had a son until 1957.

Inventor and explorer Kate Reade (age 54) went missing over the South Pacific in her helicopter airship and was presumed dead.

African American boxer Joe Louis became the world heavyweight champion.

Samuel Emerson "Slam" Bradley debuted as a private investigator in Cleveland, Ohio.

At Oxford University, Herbert Edgar Wyndham (b. 1916 in Manchester, England) began experimenting with genetic manipulation.

In January, Moon Man (Stephen Thatcher) was arrested by the FBI, ending his vigilante activities.

On Monday, April 19, construction was completed on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The bridge opened to the public on Thursday, May 27.

On Thursday, May 6, the German airship LZ 129 Hindenburg caught fire and was destroyed while attempting to dock near Lakehurst, New Jersey. The incident shook public confidence in airships and marked the end of the brief airship era.

On Monday, August 9Clark Kent's father Jonathan Kent died of a heart attack in Hutchinson, Kansas. With his father now dead and his mother’s health failing, Clark decided to leave Kansas and get a job. On Friday, September 3, “Superboy” made his last appearance in Hutchinson and said goodbye to Lana Lang. From that point on, Clark no longer used his superpowers, and concentrated only on his personal life. He arranged the sale of the family farm, with the exception of a small plot of land where their home stood. Keeping his promise to his mother, he stayed in school to finish his senior year of high school and earn his diploma, but he started planning a move to California, where he thought his chances were best of making a living.

Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered in Los Angeles on Tuesday, December 21.

Music of 1937
♫ Roy Acuff and His Crazy Tennesseans, “Great Speckled Bird” (Conqueror 8740)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra with Jimmy Rushing, “Boogie Woogie (I May Be Wrong)” (Decca 1252)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra, “One O’Clock Jump” (Decca 1363)
♫ Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra, “I Can’t Get Started” (Victor 36208)
♫ Barney Bigard and His Jazzopators (Duke Ellington), “Caravan” (Variety VA 515)
♫ Bing Crosby with Lani McIntyre and His Hawaiians, “Sweet Leilani” (Decca 1175)
♫ Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra featuring Jack Leonard, “Marie” (Victor 25523)
♫ Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, “Song of India” (Victor 25523)
♫ Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)” (Victor 36205)
♫ Billie Holiday and Her Orchestra, “Without Your Love” (Vocalion 3593)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Come on in My Kitchen” (Vocalion 03563)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Cross Road Blues” (Vocalion 03519)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Hellhound on My Trail” (Vocalion 03623)
♫ Robert Johnson, “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” (Vocalion 03475)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Sweet Home Chicago” (Vocalion 03601)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Terraplane Blues” (Vocalion 03416)
♫ Robert Johnson, “32-20 Blues” (Vocalion 03445)
♫ Jones-Smith, Incorporated, “Lady, Be Good” (Vocalion 3459)
♫ Meade “Lux” Lewis, “Honky Tonk Train Blues” (Victor 25541)
♫ Jimmie Lunceford and His Orchestra, “For Dancers Only” (Decca 1340)
♫ The Raymond Scott Quintette, “Twilight in Turkey” (Master MA 108)
♫ Maxine Sullivan and Her Orchestra, “Loch Lomond” (Vocalion 3654)
♫ Peetie Wheatstraw, “Peetie Wheatstraw Stomp” (Decca 7292)
♫ Bukka White, “Shake ‘Em On Down” (Vocalion 03711)
♫ John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, “Good Morning, Little School Girl” (Bluebird B-7059)
♫ John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, “Sugar Mama Blues” (Bluebird B-7059)


The Holocaust began in Germany (1938-1945).

James Vega retired as Zorro at age 27.

In the U.S., industrialist Sanford Williams (b. 1906) founded Williams Innovations, which would become a leading munitions supplier during World War II. He hired his younger brothers, inventors Joel (b. 1910) and Joshua (b. 1913), and put them in charge of research and development.

Scientist Dr. Von Thorp discovered the automoton captured by the U.S. Secret Service from International Patents, Inc. (IPI) in 1918. He stole it from a federal storage facility and began modifying it for his own use.

As a private aviator, Capt. Jim “Red” Albright began helping people as “Captain Midnight,” a code name he had earned as a U.S. Army fighter pilot in World War I.

In New York City, detective Cyril “Speed” Saunders started working with the Office of Strategic Services, through which he began participating in counterespionage operations.

Tired of “letting the bad guys win,” 42-year-old FBI agent Ralph Payne (b. 1896) retired from government work and became a masked vigilante archer known only as “The Arrow.”

In March, Germany occupied and then annexed Austria.

Clark Kent moved from Hutchinson, Kansas to San Francisco, California. On June 30, he was hired by editor George Taylor as a cub reporter at The San Francisco Daily Star newspaper, where he met fellow reporter (and his future wife) Lois Lane. Later that year, he debuted as Superman.

Lois Lane connected the new mystery man with the “Superboy” phenomenon of Kansas, but used the more mature moniker “Superman” in her articles, a name which soon spread.

Responding to reports of a “super-powered vigilante” in the San Francisco Bay area, the local FBI field office initiated “Project Metropolis” (said to be named after the 1927 Fritz Lang movie) to identify facts of the case. They soon reported back to Director Hoover and President Roosevelt that they believed they were, in fact, dealing with a single individual of extraordinary power, but that he appeared to be “a good Samaritan” with the public interest in mind, and had thus far broken no federal laws. Nevertheless, Hoover doubled the FBI manpower on the case, and urged Roosevelt to consider all possibilities.

After hearing about Superman, Bruce Wayne returned to the U.S. from Asia to investigate.

Doctor Occult was mortally wounded in battle with an otherworldly entity. “The Seven” helped Rose Psychic save his life by fusing the two of them into one being. The caveat was that they would have to take turns: they shared a single life, and only one of their bodies could exist at a time, while the other would disappear until they again switched places.

In Los Angeles, racing pilot and barnstormer Cliff Secord discovered a mysterious package hidden by two gangsters who were fleeing the police. In that package, he found what the police were looking for: a stolen rocket-pack prototype. Cliff used the jetpack to fight crime, becoming the Rocketeer.

Horrified by the Hitler’s abuse of power, Dr. Abraham Erskine escaped from Germany, bringing Nazi “super soldier” program secrets with him to the United States.

In Trenton, New Jersey, Professor Horace Grayson (formerly known as Hersh Grobshield) got his recovered spacecraft in operating order and launched it with himself and his four-year-old son Robert (formerly known as Hershel) on board. While originally only planning to take it for a test flight (“possibly as far as the Moon”), Grayson soon found that the craft was not in his control and returned automatically to the Eternals’ colony on Uranus where it had originated. There, after telling his story, Horace and his son were allowed to live among the Uranians as refugees. Robert was trained in the ways of the Eternals and eventually came into the possession of the Quantum Bands, which he inherited when the Uranian Eternal who had served briefly as Eon’s “Protector of the Universe” died and gave them to him.

In Wismar, Germany, a port town on the Baltic Sea, Ellen Hutter sacrificed her life to slay Count Orlok, also known as the vampire Nosferatu, who had followed her husband Thomas to Germany from his castle in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania.

At age 11, Tom Marvolo Riddle (b. December 31, 1926) started his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland.

Tex Thomson, an oil millionaire from Texas, decided to use his fortune to live a life of adventure, traveling the globe to foil spies and criminals.

Hitler acquired the Spear of Longinus that pierced the side of Jesus on the cross, increasing his power greatly. Also known as the “Spear of Destiny,” the artifact granted its holder invincibility and power over magic.

Indiana Jones traveled to Venice, Italy to find his father, who had been kidnapped by Nazis while searching for the Holy Grail.

Magician Giovanni “John” Zatara debuted as a crime fighter in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Charles Link (age 47), the former head of technology development at Timely Engineering, succeeded in bringing a humanoid robot of his own creation online. In a matter of a few weeks, Link taught the robot how to walk and move, speak English and behave civilly. Link then named the robot “Adam Link,” giving it his own last name and calling it his “son.” Soon afterward, a heavy object accidentally fell upon the scientist and killed him. Dr. Link’s housekeeper mistakenly believed that the robot had killed her employer, causing several men to come after Adam, who barricaded himself in the house. After reading about Frankenstein, Adam decided that it was not worth killing in order to preserve his own life. He announced his surrender and turned himself off.

While attending college, Jason Peter “Jay” Garrick (b. April 2, 1918) discovered the ability to tap into the “Speed Force,” giving him super-speed powers. (He attributed this to having inhaled heavy water vapors, although this likely had nothing to do with it or merely served as a catalyst, unlocking a metahuman power that was already within him.) At first, he used his new abilities to become a college football star. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In October, inspired by The Shadow in New York and The Green Hornet in Detroit, Lee Walter Travis (b. March 11, 1916) became the masked crime fighter known as “The Crimson Avenger” in St. Louis. He was joined in fighting crime by his trusted Chinese chauffeur and valet Wing How (b. August 18, 1914). [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

On Monday, October 31, panic reigned throughout the eastern United States when a Martian invasion of Earth was reported near Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. The attack was later called a radio hoax and covered up by authorities.

In December, the German ship Schwabenland discovered a vast network of underground warm-water rivers and caves in the Queen Maud Land area of Antarctica.

In late December, Patrick Wayne died suddenly of liver disease (at age 59) in Boston, and the estate attempted to contact his nephew Bruce.

In December, Eric Brooks (age 9) witnessed an old man being attacked by three vampires. Brooks rushed to the man’s aid and watched as he used a silver cane to kill the vampires. The man was Jamal Afari (b. 1906), a jazz trumpeter and vampire hunter. He took Brooks under his wing, training him in both music and combat. Based on his quick study with bladed weapons, Afarui soon gave Brooks the nickname “Blade.”

Music of 1938
Alexander Nevsky (score) composed by Sergei Prokofiev
♫ Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (Decca 2230)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra, “Blue and Sentimental” (Decca 1965)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra, “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” (Decca 2212)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra with Jimmy Rushing, “Sent for You Yesterday” (Decca 1880)
♫ Cliff Bruner’s Texas Wanderers, “It Makes No Difference Now” (Decca 5604)
♫ Larry Clinton and His Orchestra featuring Bea Wain, “My Reverie” (Victor 26006)
♫ Eddie Condon and His Windy City Seven, “Ja-Da” (Commodore 500)
♫ Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, “Don’t Be That Way” (Victor 25792)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Me and the Devil Blues” (Vocalion 04108)
♫ Red Norvo and His Orchestra featuring Mildred Bailey, “Please Be Kind” (Brunswick 8088)
♫ Le Quintette du Hot Club de France, “Minor Swing” (Swing 23)
♫ Artie Shaw and His Orchestra, “Begin the Beguine” (Bluebird B-7746)
♫ Artie Shaw and His Orchestra featuring Billie Holiday, “Any Old Time” (Bluebird B-7759)
♫ Slim & Slam, “The Flat Foot Floogee” (Vocalion 4021)
♫ Chick Webb and His Orchestra featuring Ella Fitzgerald, “A-Tisket A-Tasket” (Decca 1840)
♫ Chick Webb and His Orchestra, “Harlem Congo” (Decca 1681)
♫ John Lee “Sonny Boy” Williamson, “Whiskey Head Blues” (Bluebird B-7707)


Nicholas Joseph “Nick” Fury (b. 1919) and his friend Red Hargrove traveled to Britain, where they were hired to train British commandos.

Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was appointed wing commander of the Death's Head Squadron by Hitler. He would later prove to be a powerful foe against the allies throughout the war, particularly Nick Fury’s Howling Commandos.

Nazi bio-chemist Arnim Zola (age 39) successfully created a test-tube clone of Adolph Hitler. This clone aged at a normal rate, and Zola intended to keep it alive but brain-dead, preserving it for an emergency. He also began working on a device to imprint a person’s brain-wave patterns, believing that the two technologies together could be used to prolong a person’s life indefinitely.

Kent Nelson (age 23) met Inza Cramer (age 24) in Alexandria, Egypt, before both of them traveled back to the United States. The two would stay in touch, and would eventually marry.

The debut of Superman brought several copy-cat “costumed heroes” in his wake. One calling himself “Wonder Man” debuted early in the year in New York City, claiming to be “as strong as Superman,” but by May he had been killed by criminals. Some of the new heroes proved longer-lasting, though.

In January, it was determined that the robot Adam Link would stand trial for the death of Dr. Charles Link.

On Wednesday, January 4Bruce Anthony Wayne (age 23) returned to Boston from his world travels to become the new chairman of Wayne Industries. He became very socially active upon his return and began a brief relationship with Viveca Beausoleil during this time. Secretly, however, he was also preparing to begin his one-man war on crime in the city. Around that same time, Chicago native James Gordon (age 39) moved to town and joined the Boston Police Department as a lieutenant.

In March, the man known as “Secret Agent X” was killed while working undercover for the U.S. government.

On Saturday, March 11Bruce Wayne went on his first vigilante patrol, disguised as a scarred, World War I army vet. That patrol went poorly and he barely made it home alive. That evening, a bat dramatically flew in through his open window, inspiring him to become a costumed vigilante.

The Lobster was killed on Monday, March 20 at Hunte Castle in Austria while attempting to prevent the Nazis from launching a space capsule using recovered Venusian technology. The Lobster’s ghost would haunt the castle ruins for years to come.

By April, Germany had begun full-scale excavation of a secret underground city and military base in Antarctica, which they named “New Berlin.”

In April, three childhood friends, Harry “Red” Dugan of the U.S. Marine Corps, Leslie “Whitey” Smith of the U.S. Army and Frank “Blooey” Blue of the U.S. Navy, began working with FBI agent Doris West on special missions for the U.S. government as part of a joint task force designated “Red, White and Blue.”

On Saturday, April 1, the Spanish Civil War ended with a victory for General Francisco Franco’s Nationalists. Franco would rule Spain for the next 36 years until his death in 1975. Dan Kane, who had fought against the Nationalists under the alias “Captain Terror,” returned to the United States.

On Thursday, April 6Bruce Wayne made his first patrol as “The Bat-Man” (soon known just as “Batman”) in Boston. Soon afterwards, he broke up with Viveca Beausoleil to concentrate on fighting crime.

Using advanced technology that he had obtained while working for Timely Engineering in Illinois, Professor Phineas T. Horton invented the world’s first android. However, when the android was activated, it unexpectedly caught on fire when air was allowed into its glass chamber. When Horton unveiled his creation to the public in New York, it terrified the audience and he was urged to destroy it. Instead, he decided to bury it in an air-tight chamber. On Tuesday, April 18, a crack in the chamber gave the android his freedom again, and it escaped, engulfed in flames. It soon learned to control the flames, though, and decided to become a crime fighter using the name “The Human Torch.” For a civilian identity, it chose the name Jim Hammond. [Marvel Comics #1; date of the android's escape chosen in honor of Carl Burgos.]

In May, New York newspaper reporter Phil Sheldon first encountered The Human Torch and began covering supernormal beings, which he called “marvels.”

On Friday, May 19Batman made his presence known to the Boston mafia and threatened mob bosses Carmine “The Roman” Falcone and Sal Maroni, as well as crooked BPD Commissioner Gillian B. Loeb. The following day, the Boston police, who had previously treated Batman as a rumor or joke, made catching the vigilante their top priority. However, by the end of May, Batman had established a secret working relationship with Boston’s Assistant District Attorney Harvey Dent.

The Tibetan lamas who had raised Gary Preston (age 21) since the death of his father in 1931 now sent him , was now sent him back into the world on a spiritual quest. He would soon find himself back in the U.S., fighting crime as “The Flame.”

In June, Superman encountered his first “supervillain,” the criminal mastermind and mad scientist known only as the “Ultra-Humanite.” Earlier in the year, the Ultra-Humanite had discovered San Francisco detective William “Red” Barry working undercover within his organization and had him killed. The Ultra-Humanite would prove to be a challenging foe, narrowly escaping capture and apparent death several times in his clashes with Superman.

In June, Wesley Dodds (b. November 3, 1910) became “The Sandman” in New York City, using a sleeping gas gun of his own design to fight crime. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In the summer, recent Connecticut high-school graduate Al Pratt (b. January 27, 1920) began training with ex-boxer Joe Morgan. Pratt was only 5'1" and had not been athletic, but he found that he was a natural. In the fall, he started his first year of classes at Bridgeport Junior College. [Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

Over the summer, Bruce Wayne began dating again, this time falling for Boston socialite and aspiring actress Julie Madison. In July, Batman encountered his first supervillain, “Doctor Death,” and suffered a minor gunshot wound in the encounter. This led him to begin wearing a bullet-proof vest for a time, although he found it cumbersome and soon discontinued using it on a regular basis.

In July, Dr. Philip Bertoff became a masked crime fighter from his secret stronghold in the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas. Bertoff was a genius inventor, albeit a terribly shy and eccentric man. He flew an amphibious aircraft and used a number of ingenious weapons, including a paralyzing ray gun. He was assisted by three other men, former FBI agents whom he referred to only as “ZL,” “ZR” and “ZY.” Although he never gave himself an alias, eyewitness reports started referring to him as “The Masked Marvel.”

Former district attorney Anthony Quinn, who had been blinded in 1934, had spent the past five years developing his other senses to a heightened degree. In July, he underwent a secret, experimental cornea transplant that allowed him to see again, even in the dark. He continued to pretend to be blind, but secretly became the crime fighter “The Black Bat.”

In July, a mysterious figure clad all in black appeared and fought criminals who had infiltrated the New York World’s Fair. Called “The Fantom of the Fair” in newspapers, reports of the stranger continued sporadically after that. Soon, he was seen outside the Fairgrounds and became known as “Fantoman.” He was last seen in September of the following year.

In July, the robot Adam Link stood trial and was found guilty of the murder of Dr. Charles Link. Before Adam could be hauled away to be dismantled, however, he broke free of his bonds outside the courthouse to throw a child aside from the path of an oncoming truck, and was smashed into scrap metal in the process.

On Tuesday, July 11, a criminal known only as “The Red Hood” fell into a vat of chemicals at the Ace Chemical Plant in Boston during a scuffle with Batman. Although believed dead, he actually survived. He was mutated, though, with his skin turning white and his hair turning green. With this new, clown-like appearance he would later go by the alias “The Joker” and become Batman’s archenemy. [Date taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

On Sunday, July 23, New York City police officer Jim Corrigan was murdered. His restless spirit, however, was refused entry into the afterlife.

On Friday, July 28, Boston burglar and former prostitute Selina Kyle (b. March 14, 1918) witnessed Batman in action. Taking inspiration from him, she adopted a costume of her own and in August debuted as “The Cat” (soon to be known as “Catwoman”). At first, she was fairly inconspicuous. [Date of first encounter taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

In August, Kent Thurston debuted as a crime fighter in New York using the alias “The Invisible Hood,” thanks to a special cloak he had that could turn him invisible.

In August, scientist Dr. Von Thorp completed his retrofit of the International Patents, Inc. automoton that he had stolen from a federal storage facility. He then began using it to commit crimes in the Philadelphia area. Police detective Hugh Hazzard (b. 1912) managed to deactivate it and defeat Dr. Von Thorp. He then began using the semi-autonomous robotic suit, which he nicknamed “Bozo,” to fight crime.

In August, New York reporter Jerry “Reel” McCoy discovered the centaur Speed living in Quebec and convinced him to come to New York.

In August, one of Dr. Erskine’s lab assistants, Michael Shelby tested the not-yet-perfected Vita-Ray machine on himself without authorization. Shelby was summarily dismissed from the program and criminal charges were considered but ultimately dropped. Shelby found that he had heightened strength, speed and reflexes, and became the masked crime fighter “The Green Mask.”

In August, physicists Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner drafted a letter to President Roosevelt, which was signed by Albert Einstein, warning of the potential of nuclear weapons, and urging the United States to take steps to accelerate research in this area. An advisory committee reported back to Roosevelt in November that uranium “would provide a possible source of bombs with a destructiveness vastly greater than anything now known.”

In Philadelphia, Dan Garret (b. 1921) became a police officer the year after his father, who had also been a cop, was killed by a gangster’s bullet. In August, frustrated by the red tape of police work, Dan decided to become a masked crime fighter using the alias “Blue Beetle.” He took that name from a blue, beetle-shaped scarab his father had given him, which he had found buried in the sand in Egypt during World War I. Although Garret didn’t realize it at the time, the scarab was in reality an ancient alien artifact.

On Wednesday, August 23, Germany and the U.S.S.R. signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol that divided territories of Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland into Nazi and Soviet “spheres of influence,” anticipating potential “territorial and political rearrangements” of these countries. The pact remained in force until the German government broke it by invading the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.

In September, Dr. Anton Barmell kidnapped adventurer Jack Rhodes and a woman named Ritty and shrunk them to a height of six inches to use them to commit murders. Rhodes and Ritty were soon killed (Rhodes in a mousetrap), and Barmell was cornered by the FBI and blew himself and his lab up.

In September, a young man was discovered living in an isolated valley in Arizona who was about 15 feet tall – more than twice the height of a normal man. He had no name that he knew of and could only remember a little English, since he had not spoken to anyone in years. He was given the name John Doe, but dubbed “Mighty Man,” and he started to have adventures across the southwest. Eventually, scientists performed experiments on Doe. During those experiments, he discovered that he had the mutant power to control his size, shrinking to a matter of inches or growing to 100 feet tall at will in a matter of moments.

In September, Bruce Wayne and Julie Madison took a trip to Europe, where they encountered a vampire known as “The Monk.”

After making millions as a professional adventurer, Richard Henry Benson had settled down in Buffalo, married and started a family. In September, however, his wife and young daughter were kidnapped and killed during a family trip. Benson swore to use his fortune and abilities to avenge himself against criminals as “The Avenger.” He moved to New York City and formed Justice, Inc. with his associates Fergus MacMurdie and Algernon Smith.

John Aman (b. 1914), a.k.a. “The Amazing-Man” or “The Green Mist,” had been raised by Tibetan monks to be an Immortal Weapon and a champion for the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. In September, he was sent on a quest into the world, but found himself opposed by another of the Immortal Weapons, going by the name “The Great Question.”

World War II (1939-1945) began when Germany invaded Poland on Friday, September 1. The U.K., France and others soon declared war on Germany, while the U.S. initially remained neutral.

Elizabeth “Libby” Lawrence was in Poland with her father, U.S. Army Major James Lawrence, when the war started. He was killed in the initial Nazi assault, but Libby managed to escape and made it back to America.

After Germany invaded Poland, biology student Henry “Hank” Heywood’s sense of patriotism compelled him to drop out of college and enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was soon gravely injured when saboteurs attacked his base at Paris Island, South Carolina. His life was saved by his former college mentor Dr. Gilbert Giles, who was friends with Dr. Robert Crane (age 31) of the FBI. Dr. Crane had worked on android technology at Timely Engineering and now worked for Dr. Herbert Goettler (b. 1879) in the FBI’s technology research division, based in New York City. At great risk to both men’s careers, he secretly supplied Giles with experimental cybernetic technology to rebuild Heywood’s body with mechanical devices and steel. Heywood somehow survived the series of operations and began the long road to recovery, vowing to complete his service in the Marine Corps.

In October, Los Angeles private detective Thomas Halloway began wearing a costume and mask and using the alias “The Angel.” [Marvel Comics #1]

In October, Robert Charles Gibson (b. 1918) decided to put his electro-magnetic mutant (Homo sapiens superior) powers to work fighting crime in Los Angeles as “The Shock” (or “Shock Gibson” to those more familiar with him).

In October, when Atlanteans from the city of Thakorr discovered American divers searching wreckage near their home in the south Atlantic, King Thakorr believed them to be invaders. He soon sent Prince Namor (b. 1920), later known as “The Sub-Mariner,” to attack the surface world to deter further aggression. By December, Namor and his cousin Dorma had followed the coast of the Americas north all the way to Cape Ann, Massachusetts, where the divers’ ship had originated, and there they damaged a lighthouse. [Marvel Comics #1] Dorma returned south in a captured bi-plane, but Namor was fascinated by the sight of New York City as they passed by, and he jumped into the harbor to investigate further. While there, he wrecked havoc at an electrical plant. [Marvel Mystery Comics #2]

On Thursday, October 12 (Columbus Day), James Gordon, Jr., was born to James and Barbara Gordon in Boston. That same day, it was discovered that Catwoman had executed a series of four high-profile burglaries (known as the “Columbus Day Capers”) throughout the city. [Batman: Year One]

In November, after learning of the actions of her Atlantean kin from Thakorr, Princess Atlanna of Poseidonis traveled to the Massachusetts lighthouse that Namor and Dorma had damaged. There, she helped lighthouse keeper, Tom Curry, repair the damage. The two soon fell in love and Atlanna decided to marry Tom and live with him instead of returning to Atlantis. [Aquaman’s mother and father.]

In November, one of the astronomy grants funded by wealthy Baltimore socialite and amateur astronomer Ted Knight uncovered an odd kind of “cosmic ray” activity in our Solar System. Knight contacted his cousin, Sandra, who had been funding the work of inventor Dr. Abraham Davis. Davis began researching the cosmic rays to see if they were the answer to powering his inventions. He also contacted his former assistant, Jim Barr, who was now working in Cincinnati, to discuss the problem, and the two had many long conversations by telephone about the topic.

On Friday, November 3Batman saved James Gordon’s infant son from mobsters, cementing their friendship. Soon after this, Gordon was promoted to captain. [Batman: Year One]

On Wednesday, November 8 just outside of Columbus, Ohio, 11-year-old (almost 12) homeless newsboy William Joseph “Billy” Batson (b. December 23, 1927) found a cave that led to a strange subway train, which took him to a secret chamber. There, the ancient wizard Shazam granted him the power to become a champion of the gods by speaking aloud the wizard’s name: “Shazam!” The wizard told him that each letter of this magic word represented a different gift that he would receive: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. (In reality, the power was transferred not from these mythical figures, but from much older, long-forgotten beings known as the Valar.) Batson spoke the word aloud and was transformed into an adult of great power; speaking the word again would return him to normal. As he left, the chamber collapsed, killing Shazam, as had been prophesied. Also killed was the wizard’s old apprentice Oggar, who had been spying on his former master. The spirits of Shazam and Oggar did not pass into the afterlife, however. The wizard’s returned to reside at the Rock of Eternity, where Batson could occasionally seek his predecessor’s counsel, while Oggar’s ghost escaped into the world intent on finding his own successor. Using the alias “Captain Marvel” in his altered state, Batson fought on the side of justice. In his unaltered form, the 12-year-old Batson soon got a job working for WHIZ radio in nearby Zanesville, Ohio. [Whiz Comics #2, with some added speculation regarding Oggar. Birthday taken from the 1976 DC Calendar.]

Captain Marvel would soon cross paths with the man who would become his most persistent foe: Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana, who had recently returned to Earth from Venus. Recently widowed for a second time, Sivana had channeled his pain into hatred and had returned on a mission to take revenge on humanity.

As World War II began, the U.S. government began Operation Rebirth, a clandestine project led by Dr. Abraham Erskine to develop their own “super soldier” program. Erskine had developed a unique, improved formula and an irradiation process he called “Vita-Rays” that were far beyond what his counterparts Reinstein and Koch were doing in Germany.

In December, Steve Rogers (b. October 11, 1922) was administered a “Super Soldier” formula in a top-secret U.S. government experiment in New York, and underwent a remarkable physical transformation. He would soon become known as Captain America. Erskine was immediately assassinated by a Nazi spy, however, and as Erskine had not written down the final details of his process, the secret of his successful formula died with him. [Birthday in honor of Joe Simon.]

Upon Erskine’s death, the U.S. government continued Operation Rebirth without him. The top chemists in the nation were assembled at the headquarters of Bannermain Chemical Company in New York City to analyze and try to reproduce various test samples of the super-soldier serum.

However, the Vita-Ray machine was damaged beyond repair when one Dr. Slade, of Dr. Erskine's former assistants, stole a mummy from a museum and tried to revive it using the machine. The experiment was successful, bringing life back to the mummy of Ra-emhet, the seer of Egyptian Pharaoh Sheshonk I of the 22nd Dynasty. However, it caused an explosion that killed Dr. Slade. The wreckage of the Vita-Ray machine was then sent to engineers at the Wilbur Wright Army Air Field in Dayton, Ohio for further study.

In December, Perry Chase, son of the publisher of the Los Angeles Herald-Express, started writing articles for the newspaper about First Amendment rights while secretly moonlighting as the crime fighter “The Falcon.”

In December, a man claiming to be a direct descendant of the biblical Samson debuted under his supposed ancestor’s name. This new Samson did have super strength, possibly as the result of being a mutant (Homo sapiens superior), but also suffered clear signs of mental illness. He believed that, like the Samson of legend, cutting his hair would make him lose his strength, but he would sometimes have hallucinations that it was cut when it wasn’t, and at other times he would hallucinate that his cut hair had suddenly regrown.

In December, the spirit of murdered New York City cop Jim Corrigan was accompanied back to Earth by “The Spectre,” an otherworldly agent of vengeance. Using Corrigan’s spirit merely as a conduit, The Spectre began appearing to people on Earth as a giant, flaming eyeball and selecting cases where it could bring about justice on Earth.

In December, Dr. Herbert Goettler (age 60), head of the FBI’s technology research division, accidentally activated the android model he had been working on since the FBI had confiscated the technology from Timely Engineering in 1936. Startled by the sudden activation and movement of this synthetic person, he promptly had a heart attack and died. The android, which had been fully programmed to understand written and spoken English, discovered that Dr. Goettler had actually created a false identity for him: Curt Cowen. The android adopted this name and the backstory that Dr. Goettler had prepared for him, which included falsified documents such as a birth certificate, passport, and high school and college diplomas. Deciding that Goettler was the closest thing he had to a father, he applied to the FBI to follow in his footsteps. With Goettler’s letter of recommendation, he was soon accepted into the two-month special training program for new agents.

In December, the Ultra-Humanite tried to unleash the “purple plague” on San Francisco, and was again confronted by Superman. This time, he had devised a special electric gun that he believed would kill Superman, but the gun exploded, killing him instead. However, the Ultra-Humanite had a contingency plan for even this scenario in place. Working quickly, his henchmen kept his brain alive and transplanted it into the next suitable host they could find, which happened to be up-and-coming actress Dolores Winters.

In Baltimore, Maryland, research chemist Darrell Dane had unwittingly aided the mad scientist Anton Barmell earlier in the year by supplying him the chemicals needed for his shrinking formula. In December, he managed to figure out how Barmell had done it, and even improved the formula somewhat. Dane's chemical/radioactive process would allow him to shrink to a height of six inches while retaining the strength he had at full size. He could also later return to full height, something Barmell's formula had been unable to do. Dane debuted as “Doll Man” and began to fight crime in Baltimore.

In December, New York newspaper gossip columnist Walt Whitney began to moonlight as a costumed crime fighter, calling himself “Bob Phantom.” He used sleight-of-hand tricks to make it appear he had magical powers.

In December, magician Blane Whitney debuted in Chicago as the crime fighter “The Wizard.”

Music of 1939
♫ Gene Autry, “Back in the Saddle Again” (Vocalion 05080)
♫ Charlie Barnet and His Orchestra, “Cherokee” (Bluebird B-10373)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra, “Jive at Five” (Decca 2922)
♫ Count Basie and His Orchestra, “Taxi War Dance” (Vocalion 4748)
♫ Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven, “Lester Leaps In” (Vocalion 5118)
♫ Sidney Bechet Quintet, “Summertime” (Blue Note 6)
♫ Larry Clinton and His Orchestra featuring Bea Wain, “Deep Purple” (Victor 26141)
♫ Judy Garland, “Over the Rainbow” (Decca 2672)
♫ Benny Goodman and His Orchestra featuring Martha Tilton, “And the Angels Sing” (Victor 26170)
♫ Coleman Hawkins, “Body and Soul” (Bluebird B-10523)
♫ Erskine Hawkins and His Orchestra, “Tuxedo Junction” (Bluebird B-10409)
♫ Woody Herman and His Orchestra, “(At the) Woodchopper’s Ball” (Decca 2440)
♫ Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” (Commodore 526)
♫ The Ink Spots, “If I Didn’t Care” (Decca 2286)
♫ The Ink Spots, “My Prayer” (Decca 2790)
♫ Robert Johnson, “Love in Vain Blues” (Vocalion 04630)
♫ Lead Belly, “Gallis Pole” (Musicraft 227; Negro Sinful Songs, Musicraft 31)
♫ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, “In the Mood” (Bluebird B-10416)
♫ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, “Little Brown Jug” (Bluebird B-10286)
♫ Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, “Moonlight Serenade” (Bluebird B-10214)
♫ Willie “The Lion” Smith, “Echoes of Spring” (Commodore 521)
♫ Art Tatum, “Tea for Two” (Decca 2456)
♫ Big Joe Turner & Pete Johnson, “Roll ‘Em Pete” (Vocalion 4607)

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