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

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

Publication history

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

The Fifty

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

Celebrity reminiscences

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


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


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