National Comics Publications, Inc.
Company typeSubsidiary[1]
FoundedSeptember 30, 1946; 77 years ago (September 30, 1946)
Defunct1977; 47 years ago (1977)
FateRebranded as DC Comics in 1977
SuccessorDC Comics
HeadquartersNew York City, U.S.
Key people
Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, Jack Liebowitz, Harry Donenfeld
ProductsComic books
ParentKinney National Company (1967–1972)
Warner Communications (1972–1977)

National Comics Publications, Inc.[3] (also known as NCP or simply National) was an American comic book publishing company, and the direct predecessor of modern-day DC Comics.


Cover art of the first comic book by National Comics Publications

The corporation was originally two companies: National Allied Publications, Inc. (also known as National Allied Newspaper Syndicate, Inc.)[4] which was founded by Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson in 1935[5][6][7] to publish New Fun,[note 1] the first American comic book with all-original material rather than comic strip reprints, and Detective Comics, Inc.,[6] formed in 1937 with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz listed as owners. Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year before being forced out in 1938, and Detective Comics, Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied Publications.[8][9]: 20 

National Allied and Detective Comics, Inc. merged to become National Comics Publications, Inc. on September 30, 1946,[10] absorbing Max Gaines' and Liebowitz's All-American Publications as well.[9]: 50 [11] National Comics was renamed National Periodical Publications, Inc. in 1961.[9]: 102 [12][13]

Despite the official names "National Comics" and "National Periodical Publications", the company began branding itself as "Superman-DC" in the early 1940s,[14] and it became known colloquially as DC Comics for years before the official adoption of that name in 1977.[15]

See also


  1. ^ The company debuted in 1935 with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 with a cover date of February 1935; New Fun #1 (Feb. 1935) at the Grand Comics Database. The entry notes that while the logo appears to be simply Fun, the indicia reads, "New FUN is published monthly at 49 West 45th Street, New York, N.Y., by National Allied Publications, Inc.; Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, President ... Inquiries concerning advertising should be addressed to the Advertising Manager, New FUN,...."


  1. ^ Gelder, Lawrence Van (February 4, 1971). "A Comics Magazine Defies Code Ban on Drug Stories". The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 9780465036561.
  3. ^ Bridwell, E. Nelson (1972). Batman: From the 30s to the 70s. Feltham: Spring Books. p. 4. ISBN 0600313034.
  4. ^ Booker, M. Keith (2014). Comics through Time: A History of Icons, Idols, and Ideas. Santa Barbara: Greenwood Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0313397509.
  5. ^ Marx, Barry, Cavalieri, Joey and Hill, Thomas (w), Petruccio, Steven (a), Marx, Barry (ed). "Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson DC Founded" Fifty Who Made DC Great: 5 (1985), DC Comics
  6. ^ a b Goulart, Ron (1986). Ron Goulart's Great History of Comics Books. Contemporary Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-8092-5045-4.
  7. ^ Benton, Mike (1989). The Comic Book in America: An Illustrated History. Dallas, Texas: Taylor Publishing. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0-87833-659-3.
  8. ^ Thomas, Roy (2000). All-Star Companion: An Historical and Speculative Overview of the Justice Society of America. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 1893905055. By 1938 Major had faded into history...
  9. ^ a b c Cowsill, Alan (2014). DC Comics Year by Year: Updated Edition. London: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 9780241015858.
  10. ^ "Young April 12, 1948 Findings of Facts". Scribd. Retrieved 11 December 2016. DETECTIVE COMICS, INC. was a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, and was one of the constituent corporations consolidated on September 30, 1946, into defendant NATIONAL COMICS PUBLICATIONS, INC.
  11. ^ Jones, Gerard (2004). Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters and the Birth of the Comic Book. New York: Basic Books. p. 223. ISBN 0465036562.
  12. ^ Bart, Peter (September 23, 1962). "Advertising: Superman Faces New Hurdles; Publishers of Comic Books Showing a Decline Television Termed Chief Reason for Revenue Drop". The New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2018.
  13. ^ Thompson, Maggie; Dean, Michael; Frankenhoff, Brent; Greenholdt, Joyce; Miller, John Jackson (1995). Comics Buyer's Guide 1996 Annual. Krause Publications. p. 81. ISBN 0873414063. Beginning as National Allied Publications in 1935 [sic] and becoming National Allied Newspaper Syndicate the next year, it changed to National Comic [sic] Publications in 1946 and National Periodical Publications in 1961...
  14. ^ Eury, Michael (December 2002). Captain Action: The Original Super-Hero Action Figure. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 46. ISBN 1893905179. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  15. ^ "DC Comics, Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2016-08-06.

Further reading