History of the DC Universe: Book One

  • Writer: Marv Wolfman
  • Penciller: George Pérez
  • Inker: Karl Kesel
  • Colorist: Tom Ziuko
  • Cover Artist: George Pérez
  • Editor: Mike Gold

Cover: Each of the letters making up the title contain a character or scene.

HISTORY contains Darkseid; Uncle Sam; gorillas from Gorilla City; Kal-El’s spaceship leavin Krypton; Amazing Man (with Sargon the Sorcerer above him, Atom to the top left, and Plastic Man’s neck stretching from top to bottom); Etrigan the Demon; a meteor crashed in Tibet.

OF contains Hourman; THE contains the Blackhawks (with, possibly, Olaf Friedriksen on the left, Andre Blanc-Dumont in the H, and Chop-Chop, or Weng Chan as this is post-CRISIS, in front; DC contains Black Condor.

UNIVERSE contains the Demons Three (Abnegazar at the top, then Ghast, then Rath); Jonah Hex; Taj-Ze of Nanda Parbat; the Changralynians; Hawkman and, beneath his foot, Hawkgirl; Starfire at the top with her father Myand’r and, possibly, her mother Luand’r on the right; the skies during World War II; Dr Occult

Page 1: The narrator of the series is revealed to be Harbinger who was one of the main characters in CRISIS. The image of a hand holding the cosmos is a much-used scene that first appeared in GREEN LANTERN #40 from 1965.

Page 2 – Panel 2: Despite showing the birth of the universe, this panel is a call back to Page 1 – Panel 3 of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS #1 which showed the birth of the Multiverse in much the same way,

Page 2 – Panel 4: The orange planet show here is Oa, home to the Guardians of the Universe.

Page 2 – Panels 5 and 6: This is the anti-matter universe and the planet Qward, Oa’s dark reflection.

Page 2 – Panel 6: This is Harbinger, our narrator. The device she uses is recording her words.

Page 3 – Panel 1: Oa after being colonised by Maltusians.

Page 3 – Panel 2: “It’s full of stars!”

Page 3 – Panel 2: The Oan scientist Krona – in the purple and orange on the left – using his scanner to peer back to the origin of the Universe where he sees the Hand of Creation. Compare that with a scan of the original scene from GREEN LANTERN #40.

Page 3 – Panel 4: As shown in the original story, the sight of the Hand of Creation causes an explosion which created the anti-matter universe. Odd, then, that the anti-matter universe was shown on Page 2, before its creation.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 2: The Oans experiment on lizards that would become the Psion race.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 3: The android Manhunters who would later go on to cause problems in the MILLENNIUM crossover event.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 4: The Central Power Battery on Oa, with the red-garbed Guardians of the Universe in front of it and, facing them, the Green Lantern Corps.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 5: A Guardian at the top with one of the Controllers at the bottom.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 6: The Psions are banished to the Vega system by the Guardians of the Universe. There, they became long time antagonists of the Omega Men among others.

Pages 4 and 5 – Panel 7: The Demons Three

Page 4 and 5 – Panel 7: The Demons Three, foes of the Justice League of America. Top to bottom are Abnegazar, Ghast, and Rath. Below them are the Red Jar of Calythos, the Silver Wheel of Nyorleth, and the Green Bell of Uthool, the three mystical items used to imprison the demons.

Page 6 – Panel 1: This is Pariah, another of the main characters from CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS. Originally he was from a different, unnamed/unnumbered Earth, but here he is from a planet in a different dimension.

Note that in the text, Harbinger refers to Pariah’s experiment having “unleashed a terrible evil” which would be the Anti-Monitor. Issue #10 of CRISIS, however, contradicts this as the Anti-Monitor himself reveals that Pariah’s experiment was not the catalyst for his awakening.

Page 7: Destiny before he joined the Endless

Page 7: Prior to the Crisis, the explosion from Pariah’s experiment created or awoke the Monitor and Anti-Monitor, while in this post-Crisis universe, the result was Destiny. Originally the narrator of WEIRD MYSTERY TALES from the early 1970s, Destiny was later ret-conned to be one of the Endless from THE SANDMAN.

The “silent flash of light” behind Destiny is . . .

Page 8 – Panel 1: . . . a meteor that crashed to Earth and was found by . . .

Page 8 – Panel 2: Vandar Adg, leader of the Blood Tribe who is transformed by the meteor and later becomes the immortal Vandal Savage.

Page 8 – Panel 3: The leader of the Bear Tribe also examines the meteor and later becomes The Immortal Man.

Page 9 – Panel 1: A cavewoman lays murdered at the hands of a caveman.

Page 9 – Panels 2 to 4: The cavewoman’s soul lived on and, tens of thousands of years later, would be reborn as Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.

Page 9 – Panel 5: Left to right are Ne-ahn, leader of the Bear Tribe; Embra; Anthro, the first Cro-Magnon; and Lart, Anthro’s brother.

Page 9 – Panel 6: Kong the Untamed, another Cro-Magnon.

Page 10: At the centre of the circle, side-on, is Majistra, an Atlantean deity. In front of her is Calculha, her husband. Together they fathered Arion (shown towards the bottom left, in blue with red hair) and his brother Garn Daanuth (in white, stood before Arion). The figure to the right is presumably the first Warlord of Skataris.

Page 11 – Panel 1: Running left to right across the top of the page are Lady Chian; Wyynde; and Mara, the blonde haired woman in purple. I’m uncertain if any of the others are named characters – if you can help, use the Contact Me page to let me know.

Page 11 – Panel 2: Arion at the top; Chaon, the Atlantean god of Chaos below him, who had a hand in the sinking of Atlantis.

Page 12 – Panel 2: Black Adam, first hero of Shazam

Page 12 – Panel 1: The burial of the Pharaoh Kha-ef-re which includes the blue scarab that, as the text says, would be rediscovered thousands of years later.

Page 12 – Panel 2: On the right of the page, seated on the throne, is the wizard Shazam. Beneath him is Black Adam.

Page 13: A picture of Harbinger and mention of the Egyptian Prince Khufu and “his wife” who would be reincarnated as Hawkman and Hawkgirl thousands of years later.

The image shows the planet Krypton.

Pages 14 and 15: A brief history of the creation of the Greek Titans and Gods, and the battles between them. On the left of the page, the blue female is Gaea with the Titans being born from the Earth. Top down are (and these are mostly guesses) Hyperion; Rhea (though she’s more usually shown with red hair); Phoebe; Iapetus; Thia; Crius; Oceanus. If you have better identification reasons, let me know via the Contact Me page.

Pages 14 and 15: The Olympian Gods

In the top right is Cronus slaying his father Uranus. Below them on the left is Zeus battling (presumably) an older Cronus. The other gods in the background are indistinct for identification.

Page 16: On the left, top down, are the planet New Genesis, with the floating city of Supertown below it, and the face of Highfather.

On the right is the planet Apokolips, with the Armaghetto and fire pits below it, and the face of Darkseid.

Page 17: The crying woman at the top is the goddess X’hal; working clockwise from her are Nimbus; a Gordanian warrior; Auron; a Citadellian; the Psions; and a Branx warrior.

Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 1: On the left is Heracles, facing him is Hippolyte (this spelling would later revert to the more commonly used Hippolyta)

Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 2: The island of Themyscira, also called Paradise Island.

Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 3: Olympus, home of the Olympian Gods.

Pages 18 and 19 – Panel 4: Zeus, king of the gods.

Page 20 – Panels 1 and 2: A meteor crash lands in Tibet; two thousand years later, it would become the power battery of Alan Scott.

Page 20 – Panels 3 and 4: In Rome, the Golden Gladiator fights.

Page 20 – Panel 6: The evil Druid Blackbriar Thorn.

Page 21 – Panels 1 and 2: The Shining Knight and Camelot.

Page 21 – Panels 5 and 6: Gone, gone, o form of man…

Page 21 – Panels 3 and 4: The Silent Knight and the destruction of Camelot.

Page 21 – Panels 5 and 6: Etrigan the Demon and, presumably, Excalibur.

Page 22 – Panel 1: Arak Red-Hand.

Page 22 – Panel 2: Jon, the Viking Prince standing at the prow of his ship.

Page 22 – Panel 3: The disappearance of Valoric, the Viking Commando

Page 23 – Panel 1: The ship that crashes into the Alaskan Mount Michelson bears Azrael who would later become associated with the Teen Titans.

Page 23 – Panel 2: The hidden city of Nanda Parbat in the background with one its guards, Taj-Ze, in the foreground.

Page 23 – Panel 3: Citrina, in yellow to the left, brings the leaders of the Cities of Gems to their new home, Gemworld.

Page 24 – Panel 1: The Spider Guild of the Vega system.

Page 24 – Panel 2: Sentient gorillas and their hidden Gorilla City.

Page 24 – Panel 3: The Manhunter androids, last seen on Page 4, who have now become a cult dedicated to eliminating life.

Page 25 – Panel 1: Jon Valor, the Black Pirate, and his crew.

Page 25 – Panel 2 – I . . . Vampires

Page 25 – Panel 2: Andrew Bennett on the left and Mary Seward, Queen of Blood on the right.

Page 26 – Panel 1: The murder of Keith Averet (or Everet depending on the source) who would return as the Grim Ghost. His original adventures featured him using the name “The Gay Ghost” the meaning of which had changed between then and the publication of the HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE.

Page 26 – Panel 2: Harbinger, for no real reason.

Page 26 – Panel 3: Captain Fear.

Page 26 – Panel 4: Left to right are Miss Liberty, Tomahawk, Dan Hunter, and the English spy Lord Shilling.

Page 27 – Panel 1: In the top left corner is Don Caballero; in the bottom right is Firehair.

Page 27 – Panel 3: Jonah Hex.

Page 27 – Panel 4: The wanted poster has the misspelled the name of El Papagayo.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 3: El Diablo.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 4: Bartholomew “Bat” Lash.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 5: Left to right are Scalphunter, Super-Chief, and Pow Wow Smith.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 6: Cinnamon.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 7: The Trigger Twins, Wayne and Walt.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 8: Johnny Thunder in the red shirt on the left, Madame 44 in white on the right.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 9: Strong Bow. I can’t find an explanation of him being “a warrior of two worlds” at the time of writing.

Pages 28 and 29 – Panel 10: Jonah Hex (shown above) is transported through time to a post-apocalyptic world.

Pages 30 and 31 – Panel 1: Top left hand corner is the Immortal Man whom we last saw on Page 8.

Pages 30 and 31 – Panel 2: Steve Savage, the Balloon Buster.

Pages 30 and 31 – Panel 3: Hans von Hammer, the Enemy Ace.

Pages 30 and 31 – Panel 4: Vandal Savage who, like the Immortal Man, we last saw on Page 8.

Page 32: The Church of Brother Blood in Zandia and, in the bottom right circle, Brother Blood being reborn.

Page 33 – Panel 1: Dr Occult with his mystical symbol of The Seven . . . which has eight sections, something that’s always made me smile.

Page 33 – Panel 2: Abin Sur of the Green Lantern Corps.

Page 34 – Panel 1: The planet Krypton.

Page 35 – Krypton explodes.

Page 34 – Panel 3: Lara Lor-Van on the left and Jor-El on the right. Behind Jor-El’s shoulder is a birthing matrix being attended to by the robot Kelex. Lara and Jor-El are, of course, the parents of Superman.

Page 35: Krypton exploding with the ship carrying the baby Kal-El toward Earth.

Page 36 – Panel 1: The ships of the Citadel Empire.

Page 36 – Panel 2: The Changralynians suffering from the conquest of the Citadel

Page 36 – Panel 3: Starfire at the top; below her facing away from us is her father Myand’r and, possibly, her mother Luand’r on the right.

Page 37 – Panels 1 to 3: Kal-El’s ship flies overhead as Harbinger continues her recording.

Page 37 – Panel 4: Adolf Hitler.

Page 38 – Panel 1: Left to right are Zatara the magician; the Crimson Avenger; his partner Wing; and Hop Harrigan.

Page 38 – Panel 2: On the left is the Sandman; on the right Doll Man.

Page 39 – Panel 1: Commander Steel shown over a devastated skyline.

Page 39 – Panel 2: The Flash, Jay Garrick, shown above.

Page 40 – Panel 1: Prince Khufu – last mentioned on Page 13 – was reincarnated as Hawkman; his love, Chayara, was reincarnated as Hawkgirl.

Page 40 – Panel 2: The face of the Spectre who was bound with the late police detective Jim Corrigan.

Page 40 – Panel 3: Johnny Thunder (not to be confused with the hero of the same name seen on Pages 28 and 29) on the left and his Thunderbolt on the right.

Page 40 – Panel 4: Hourman, Rex Tyler.

Page 41 – Panel 1: Black Condor, Richard Wright.

Page 41 – Panel 2: The Atom, Al Pratt.

Page 41 – Panel 3: Dr Fate, a partnership between Kent Nelson and Nabu, an ancient Egyptian wizard who would later be revealed to be a Lord of Order.

Page 41 – Panel 4: Green Lantern Alan Scott who uses a lantern and ring carved from the meteor that fell in Tibet back on Page 20.

Page 42 – Panel 1: The Justice Society of America. Left to right are Sandman; the Spectre; the Flash; Hawkman; the Atom; Green Lantern; Hourman; and Dr Fate.

Page 42 – Panel 2: Starman, Ted Knight.

Page 42 – Panel 3: Dr Mid-Nite, Charles McNider.

Page 43: The Injustice Gang of America. At the back is Solomon Grundy; in front of him is Brainwave. The middle row, from left to right, are Sportsmaster; Huntress; the Gambler; Per Degaton; the Thinker; Vandal Savage; the Harlequin; and the Fiddler. In front of them is the Wizard. To the bottom left is the Icicle, and the bottom right is the Shade.

Pages 44 and 45: The All-Star Squadron. Click the image below for a larger version; the numbering starts in the top left and works down to the middle before coming back up to the top right.

1) Magno 2) Green Lantern 3) The Spectre 4) Hawkman 5) Red Bee 6) Hourman 7) The Shining Knight 8) Red Torpedo 9) Air Wave 10) Thunderbolt 11) Human Bomb 12) Sandman 13) Miss America 14) Sandy The Golden Boy 15) Mr. America 16) Manhunter (Paul Kirk) 17) The Ray 18) Johnny Thunder 19) Uncle Sam 20) The Flash 21) The Vigilante 22) The Guardian 23) Mr. Terrific 24) Doll Man 25) Judomaster 26) Manhunter (Dan Richards) 27) Sargon The Sorcerer 28) The Atom 29) Amazing Man 30) Liberty Belle 31) Robotman 32) Tarantula 33) Dr Mid-Nite 34) Starman 35) Plastic Man 36) Firebrand (Danette Reilly) 37) Steel 38) Neon The Unknown 39) Phantom Lady 40) Star-Spangled Kid 41) Stripesy 42) Johnny Quick 43) Wing 44) The Whip 45) Crimson Avenger 46) The Jester 47) Invisible Hood 48) Dr Fate 49) Black Condor 50) TNT 51) Dan the Dyna-Mite 52) Wildcat 53) Dr Occult 54) Midnight 55) Hawkgirl 56) The Spider 57) Firebrand (Rod Reilly) 58) Zatara

Page 46 – Panel 1: This is Blackhawk, Janos Prohaska leader of the Blackhawks team.

Page 46 – Panel 2: The Blackhawks from left to right are Ritter Hendricksen; Stanislaus Drozdowski; Carlo Sirianni at the top; Olaf Friedriksen kneeling; Andre Blanc-Dumont; then Weng Chan.

The identification of Drozdowski, Sirianni and Friedriksen is debatable as there’s little to distinguish them from one another in this picture.

Page 47 – Panel 1: Sergeant Frank Rock.

Page 47 – Panel 2: The Iron Major.

Page 48 – Panel 1: The Freedom Fighters. In the stars at the top, left to right and top to bottom are Invisible Hood; Miss America; Magno; Neon the Unknown; Red Torpedo; and Hourman. Uncle Sam is in front of them.

Below them, working top to bottom, are the Ray; Firebrand; Black Condor; Human Bomb; Phantom Lady; and Doll Man.

Page 48 – Panel 2: The satellite of the Monitor, orbiting the Earth.