100 COVERS: A JULIUS SCHWARTZ Centennial Celebration

He was a giant among giants.

One of the great artists, Wally Wood, was born last week. So was one of the great writers, Bob Kanigher. But a man who surpassed both, whose impact on popular culture was extraordinary in retrospect, was also born last week: Julius Schwartz, perhaps the most important and influential editor in DC Comics history.

He was an editor in the Golden Age and a successful agent in the world of science fiction literature. Most importantly, was the father of the Silver Age, rolling the dice on reinventing the Flash and ushering in the era of modern superheroes. Without DC‘s success at bringing back characters like Green Lantern and dusting off the idea of the superteam with the Justice League of America, you can easily argue that Stan Lee might have ended up a footnote in comics history.

Over the last 59 years, there have been substantial changes and improvisations on the notion of the superhero. Today’s comics bear little resemblance to those made in 1956, 1966 or even 1976.

But the foundation was built by Schwartz on the bones of an industry laid low by ugly congressional hearings and a charlatan shrink.

Barry Allen, Hal Jordan, Ray Palmer, John Stewart, Ra’s al Ghul, Barbara Gordon. Superman, Batman, the JLA. The list goes on and on and on.

All were created or flourished under the watchful eye of Julius Schwartz, entering the broader public consciousness with help from fellow editors, writers and artists — and the spiritual godchildren who followed.

I could do 13 COVERS honoring Schwartz‘s legacy but that would never be enough. Instead, it’s 100 COVERS — (mostly) from the Silver Age onward — celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth, June 19, 1915. (Thanks to the Grand Comics Database for the images.):

13266

13284

3882

6213

9681

13296

3888

2626

13279

15554

6217

6223

6253

6310

6229

6267

6202

6205

6237

970

15585

1069

1025

15621

951

832536

1108

18246

15597

780848

9797

13221

9690

9724

9714

9780

9667

9721

9713

9715

2645

2653

5464

5492

5500

2694

5507

5580

9267

3132

14577

17810

14368

11004

11015

11023

8028

8019

3898

8032

8020

14244

5444

3903

13323

16473

4585

4573

18251

18259

13318

2399

13298

2373

2376

2389

14322

14213

14291

13286

7680

7709

7689

7674

7683

7701

7695

7719

7728

7730

38_LRG

196983

196981

196979

196978

196980

196984

196982

196977

53274

Author: Dan Greenfield

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3 Comments

  1. informative and excellent !

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