Golden Age Heroes of Earth-1 Timeline
In no way is this intended as a comprehensive timeline of Earth-1. Rather, it is set up to cover certain important events described in the Golden Age heroes of Earth-1 article. I have designated three key eras for this timeline; pre-Superboy, Superboy era, and Barry Allen Flash era. I did this because Superboy encountered many future adventurers in his time. Thanks to Lou Mougin, Darkmark, and Jess Nevins for inspiration. I have not assigned specific dates to anything after the time of the emergence of Superboy. Due to the sliding timescale element of Earth-1's history after the emergence of Superboy, setting down specific years and periods of time between events becomes a slippery process. Pre-History ======================= A caveman becomes Immortal Man. Unspecified Points in Ancient History ======================= Doctor Mist is active. [Chapter XVIII of Wisdom's Daughter by H. Rider Haggard, DC Comics Presents #46] The first vampire, Caitiff, emerges probably in ancient history. [Action Comics #577]
16th Century ======================== Andrew Bennett begins his existence as a vampire.
1860's ======================== Louis and Dala Dubois become vampires. [Detective Comics #517]
1928 ======================== Abin Sur captures Al Magone. [Green Lantern #56]
1931 ======================== The Shadow begins his career.
1934 ======================== Microwave Man leaves Earth. [Action Comics #487-488]
1938 ======================== Zatara begins his career. [Action Comics #1]
1939 ======================== Richard Benson becomes the Avenger.
1940 ======================== Killer Shark works for the Third Reich. [Blackhawk #269-270]
1941 ======================== Richard "Buck" Dare becomes Captain X of the R.A.F. [Gardner Fox & John Blummer] [Star-Spangled #1] G.I. Robot and Creature Commandos emerge. Kana the Shadow Warrior begins career. Viking Prince and Viking Commando return to Earth. 1942 ======================== On April 1, Commander Steel arrives from Earth-2. [All-Star Squadron #50] Larry Jordan becomes Air Wave. [Mort Weisinger & Lee Harris] [Detective #60] James Harper becomes the Guardian, then becomes legal "guardian" for members of The Newsboy Legion. [Joe Simon & Jack Kirby] [Star-Spangled #7] Paul Kirk becomes Manhunter in Empire City. [Joe Simon & Jack Kirby] [Adventure #73] Dr. Robert Crane becomes Robotman. [Jerry Siegel & Joe Schuster] [Star-Spangled #7] Thomas N. Thomas & Daniel Dunbar become TNT & Dan the Dyna-Mite. [Mort Weisinger] [Star-Spangled #7] Albert Hollerer becomes the Heap. Agent Axis active for the Axis. [World's Finest Comics #250] 1943 ======================== TNT and Dyna-Mite's powers go out of control, and they are placed in suspended animation. 1946 ======================== Apparent death of Paul Kirk/Manhunter; resumes big game hunting and is seriously injured by the charge of a bull elephant, only to be placed in suspended animation by a group of covert scientists called the Council who had intended to recruit him as an agent. [Detective #439] Possibly at this point in time, an unnamed individual replaces him as Manhunter. [First Issue Special #5]
1950 ======================== Sargon immigrates from Earth-2. [Justice League of America #220]
1951 ======================== Adam Blake begins career as Captain Comet. [Strange Adventures #9]
Pre-Superboy Era ======================== Eel O'Brien attempts a robbery, but instead becomes embroiled in the accident that makes him Plastic Man. Another criminal, Skizzle Shanks, is also present. [Plastic Man #17, DC Comics Presents #93] Greg Saunders becomes the Vigilante on November 27. [Mort Weisinger & Mort Meskin] Theodore Grant becomes Wildcat on July 19th (date from the 1976 Super DC Calendar). [Bill Finger & Irwin Hasen] [Sensation #1]
Superboy Era ======================== Zatara has an adventure with Kal-El as Superbaby. [New Adventures of Superboy #14] Probably not too long afterwards at some point he meets Sindella and Zatanna is born. [Justice League of America #163-165] No later than this period of time, Jim Harper dies. His brother has a son named Roy. [Superman Family #192] Bruce and Thomas Wayne meet the Shadow. [Batman #259] Superboy encounters Ace, a future member of the Challengers of the Unknown, at an airshow, just after his public debut as a crimefighter. [New Adventures of Superboy #1] Bruce Wayne, after the death of his parents, wears a costume similar to that of Robin, and teams with Harvey Harris. [Detective Comics #226] Henry Darwin active as the Masked Hero. [Adventure Comics #181] Bruce Wayne visits Smallville. [World's Finest Comics #84] Dick Grayson as Robin time-travels back to Superboy's time. [Adventure Comics #253] Oliver Queen encounters Superboy. [Adventure Comics #258] A young Bruce Wayne briefly moves to Smallville with his guardians and becomes the Flying Fox. Superboy uses a special device to show him his future as an adult, but with Wayne's permission, uses a device to erase his memory of what he saw. [Adventure Comics #275, World's Finest Comics #271] As Aquaboy, at some point, Arthur Curry encounters Captain Harte. [Adventure Comics #268] Superboy encounters Aquaboy. [Superboy #171] Bruce Wayne briefly adopts identity of the Executioner. It may be after this encounter that Superboy erases his memory of his earlier meetings with Wayne. [Superboy #182, World's Finest Comics #271] [Note: This story may not be canonical, since no other reference to Bruce Wayne as the Executioner ever occured.] A very young Barbara Gordon encounters Superboy, and even briefly gains power from a Mordru crystal to become Mighty Girl. [Adventure Comics #453] Bruce Wayne again encounters Superboy. [Superboy Spectacular #1] A young Hal Jordan-nephew of Air Wave-encounters Superboy. [New Adventures of Superboy #13] Superboy encounters the Larry Jordan Air Wave. [DC Comics Presents #55] Air Wave is at some later time murdered by a criminal, but is avenged by his wife Helen, who briefly assumes the Air Wave identity to do so. Years later, Larry's son Hal became the new Air Wave. [DC Comics Presents #40] Zatara again encounters Kal-El. [New Adventures of Superboy #49] At some point aftewards, he must flee the Earth due to a curse. [Justice League of America #51] Possibly during this period, Princess Diana enters "Man's World" as Wonder Woman, and saves an infant Donna Troy from a fire. [Teen Titans #22, New Teen Titans #38] No later than this period of time, Sergeant Slade Wilson and Staff-Sergeant Wintergreen serve under one Colonel Sampson in a United Nations peace-keeping mission. The loutish Sampson places the inexperienced Wilson in unneeded danger, but Wintergreen, disobeying orders, charges to Wilson's rescue. [Tales of the Teen Titans Annual#3] No later than this period of time, Slade Wilson attends Camp Washington. He meets and marries Adeline Kane. She teaches him tactics her father in turn learned from Mao Tse-Tung's Chinese Communist guerrillas. Grant Wilson, Slade's son, is born while he is off fighting in the U.S. army. Later, Slade volunteers for a medical experiment for resisting truth serums. At first he almost dies due to a violent reaction, but later Slade develops superhuman reflexes. One week after the birth of his second son, Joseph, Slade Wilson discovers that his friend Wintergreen was captured enemy soldiers and abandoned by his superiors-including Sampson. Somehow commandeering a plane, Wilson goes to save his friend, and even wears a prototype of the costume that he will wear in the future as the infamous mercenary Deathstroke the Terminator. However, Sampson dismesses Wilson from the army for this stunt. [Tales of the Teen Titans#44, Tales of the Teen Titans Annual#3]
Post-Superboy Era, pre-Barry Allen as Flash Era ======================== Perry White calls his reporters in for a meeting after reports of a strange "Batman" in Gotham start to proliferate. [World's Finest Comics #271] No later than this period of time, Slade Wilson begins his mercenary career as Deathstroke the Terminator. Though his identity was apparently known to his potential clientele, he managed to hide his dual life from his wife Adeline, and the public apparently did not even know of Deathstroke's activities. His assignments included the murder of Colonel Akba Kadar. An associate of Kadar's hires the Jackal, an international terrorist based in Uganda, to discover who paid for the murder. To that end, they kidnap Slade's son Joseph. Slade slays the Jackal, but his son is injured, so that he can no longer speak. [Tales of the Teen Titans#44] With Robin, Batman first meets Superman as an adult. [World's Finest Comics #94] The incident on the Varania takes place in which the two learn (or re-learn) each other's dual identities. [Superman #76] Another early adventure between the two, in which they fool Lois Lane. [World's Finest Comics #71] J'onn J'onzz comes to Earth, begins career as crimefighter. [Detective Comics #225] A stranded Oliver Queen, lost on a deserted island, hones the archery skills he will use as the Green Arrow, at some point during this time. [Adventure Comics #256] Later, Oliver Queen takes a ward in Roy Harper, Speedy. [Adventure Comics #262]
Barry Allen as the Flash Era ======================== Barry Allen becomes the Flash [Showcase #4] Commander Blax attempts to slay J'onn J'onzz, but is repulsed by Earth's heroes-including Plastic Man, the Vigilante, Robotman, and even a pre-Green Lantern Hal Jordan. [Justice League of America #144] Simultaneously, Oliver Queen has an adventure on the island where he first learned to become a master bowman. He and Speedy take a short vacation there. [Adventure Comics #256, JLA #144] Abin Sur dies, Hal Jordan becomes Green Lantern. [Showcase #22] Appelaxian aliens arrive on Earth, are defeated by many of its heroes, who become JLA. [Justice League of America #9, Justice League #97-99]
I am guessing that the Earth-1 Superman and Batman had their first adventure together as adults before Barry Allen became the Flash; they certainly had it before the founding of the JLA. I am also presuming that Oliver Queen began his career as Green Arrow before Barry Allen became the Flash; in any event, he began his career before the founding of the JLA.
I have presumed that Donna Troy is about the same age as Dick Grayson, and that Dick Grayson became Robin (at the age of at least 8) before Barry Allen became the Flash. Hence, Donna Troy being saved by Wonder Woman as an infant would place her career as beginning some time before Dick Grayson became Robin. I will also presume a roughly similar age for Barbara Gordon and Donna Troy, so the meeting of Barbara Gordon with Superboy butresses the presumption that Donna Troy was born while Kal-El was still Superboy. Similarly, I have presumed roughly similar ages for Bruce Wayne and Kal-El, hence my placement of the Shadow meeting the young Bruce Wayne. The origin of the JLA was shown in JLA #9, but it was not until JLA #97-99 that Superman and Batman's defeat of their Appelaxian alien opponent in the North Pole was fleshed out.
Deathstroke the Terminator
The inclusion of Deathstroke the Terminator on this timeline has to do with the same logic that I used to place Wonder Woman's career as starting during the time of Superboy; namely, the flashbacks in Tales of the Teen Titans and TTTA Annual indicate that Slade Wilson had gained his superhuman powers before his son Joe was born, and his adventure in the prototype Deathstroke costume is explicitly slated as at one week after the birth of his son Joe. In the present day, Joe Wilson is at least twenty years old, at least about the same age as Dick Grayson or Donna Troy. So, the adventure where he saved Wintergreen took place twenty years earlier at least.
It is unclear when Slade Wilson began his regular career as a mercenary, if he began it immediately after his discharge from the army, or much later. The first confirmed case of his as a mercenary that we know of is the death of Akba Kadar, which prompted the Jackal's mission. Joe Wilson is depicted as no older than 11 in the incident with the Jackal, and it was noted that he had already developed an interest in music and singing by the time the Jackal incident took place. He was old enough to be able to talk. Slade Wilson is also drawn as younger looking, as he still has blond hair, not the white hair he has in modern era appearances.
Based on these clues, I can confidently say that the incident with the Jackal in the days before Barry Allen became the Flash, and certainly before the Justice League of America was founded. I might even allow that Slade Wilson's career as Deathstroke the Terminator began when Superman was still Superboy. Deathstroke apparently largely worked in secret, since his wife not only was not aware of her husband being Deathstroke, she had never even heard of Deathstroke.
So that could explain why Deathstroke never encountered anyone of note until his initial encounter with the Titans in New Teen Titans #2. But, if anyone is up for fan fiction, feel free to write a story where he encounters Wonder Woman or Harvey Harris (it clearly ought to be someone with familial ties to the Teen Titans, however tenuous).
Lenny Carlson proposed an Earth-1 time table involving both publication dates and sliding dates: Earth-1 Publication Dates Earth-1 Sliding Dates 1954 1964 (Note: Superman began that date) 1955 1965 (Note: Batman began that date) 1956 1966 1958 1968 (Note: Robin started that date; his appearances before 1958 may be Earth-2/Earth-12 while Batman's solo adventures in 1955 to 1958 are Earth-1...if there are SA solo Batman takes during that time) 1959 1969 1960 1970 1961 1971 (Note: Batwoman/Bat-Hound began that (Or 1973) date) 1962-1963 1972 1964-1965 1973 1966-1967 1974 1968-1969 1975 1970-1971 1976 1972-1973 1977 1974-1975 1978 1976-1977 1979 1978-1980 (three dates) 1980 1981-1985 1981-1985 (this part is in Real Time)
Listing of Silver Age characters available for Earth-1 consideration, including retcons: JLA and friends: Aquaman, Atom, Batman, Black Canary, Snapper Carr, Elongated Man, Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, J'onn J'onzz, Mera, Moon Maid, Phantom Stranger, Red Tornado, Sargon, Supergirl, Superman, Wonder Woman, Zatanna Teen Titans and friends: the Ant, Aquagirl, Aqualad, Bat-Girl, Bumblebee, Dove, Gnaark, Golden Eagle, Harlequin/Joker's Daughter, Hawk, Joshua, Kid Flash, Lilith, Mal/Guardian/Hornblower, Robin, Speedy, Wonder Girl Doom Patrol: Beast Boy, the Chief, Elasti-Girl, Negative Man, Robotman Secret Society of Super-Villains and friends: Angle Man, Bizarro #1, Blockbuster, Captain Boomerang, Captain Cold, Captain Comet, Captain Stingaree, Cheetah, Chronos, Copperhead, Creeper, Eclipso, Felix Faust, Funky Flashman, Floronic Man, Grodd, Hi-Jack, Joker, Killer Frost, Killer Moth, Lex Luthor, Manhunter, Matter Master, Mirror Master, Poison Ivy, Quakemaster, Reverse-Flash, Shadow Thief, Silver Ghost, Sinestro, Signalman, Sizematic, Star Sapphire, Trickster, Weather Wizard, Wizard Seven Soldiers of Victory Blackhawk, Batgirl, Deadman, Metamorpho, Mento, Shining Knight, Adam Strange Blackhawks, Challengers of the Unknown, Metal Men, Outsiders, Secret Six, Wonder Woman Family: Ace, Amazin' Ronnie, Billy Big-Head, Blackhawk/Big Eye, Bird-Boy, Cave Carson, Crimson Dawn, Lilli de Neuve, Carlo di Rienzi, Dane Dorrance, Dr. Hands, Doc Scary, Dr. August Durant, Rick Flagg, Glop, Gold, Golden Centurion, Hairy Larry, Iron, Lead, the Leaper, the Listener, Lizard Johnny, Doc Magnus, Manno, Mercury, Mer-Man, Mer-Boy, Mighty Mary, M'Sieu Machine, Nameless, Platinum, Prof, Red, Dr. June Robbins, Rocky, King Savage, Swamp Thing, Mike Tempest, Tin, Col. Steve Trevor, Weapons Master Other super friends: Action Boy, Animal Man, Jason Bard, Batwoman, BEM, Black Orchid, B'wana Beast, Captain Action, Captain Compass, Catwoman, Codename: Assassin, Demon, Dolphin, Dr. Thirteen, Jonny Double, Richard Dragon, Element Girl, Enchantress, Goody Rickels, King Faraday, Fireman Farrell, Fighting American, Flex Mentallo, Golden Guardian, Human Cannonball, Darwin Jones, Lady Cop, Lois Lane, Liberty Lass, Man-Bat, Man-Fish, Manhunter, Mighty Eagle, Mind-Grabber Kid, Mister America, Mister Miracle, Miss Arrowette, Nightmaster, Odd Man, Jimmy Olsen, Johnny Peril, Plastic Man, Prince Ra-Man, Ragman, Rima, Speedboy, Split Man, Starman, Tarantula, the Thorn, Triumph, Ben Turner, Vulcan, Yankee Doodle
Article by John McDonagh