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Comic Ages Timeline

I grew up accepting the traditional "gospel" that the superhero genre dictated the Ages, but lately I've been leaning towards classifying the ages based on the inception and subsequent changes to the Comic Code Authority.

With SOTI and the creation of the CCA the Golden Age came to a halt. The types of stories that could be told radically changed crippling the horror and crime genres. The creation of the code forced industry wide change and I find it no surprise that Atlas/Marvel, Charlton, DC, and others, all tried to re-introduce superheroes during this period (something had to fill the void). DC had better success by re-inventing its heroes but others were working on kick-starting that genre during this period. In fact the Silver Age of Superheroes really didn't begin to take off in sales for DC until 1958 and for the industry until 1964.

I'm not saying the CCA is the reason things changed (the CCA was a reaction to other factors), but I do think the points of Code creation and subsequent revisions can be used as industry focal points. My main beef is with using one genre from a single publisher to explain the trends of the entire industry. This is why I support using the 1954-Code instead of Showcase #4 to split the Golden Age from the Silver Age. The types of content permitted in comics changed between these two periods. The first appearance of the new Flash was key to the Superhero genre for DC, but it had nothing to do with the difference between Golden Age Horror and Silver Age Horror or Golden Age Crime and Silver Age Crime. The 1954-Code did.

There are many books that can be cited as causing the death of the Golden Age (pre-code) and the start of the Silver Age (1954-Code). And I think there are definitely books and stories that pushed for the change, or "shift", in the content of comics in the late 60s and early 70s. And I look at those stories that were pushing for a change in the 1954-Code the same way I look at books mentioned in SOTI that lead to the creation of the CCA. All of these books are "keys" to understanding the shift that was going on in the early 70s, and no single issue or genre event can be demonstrably shown as the moment things changed for the entire industry. Change is slow and gradual, but a problem with using this "fuzzy" approach to the Ages is that we still need some markers to act as the delimiters for the more mundane aspects of the hobby, which is why the code is appealing... it covers the industry better than any single book or genre and denotes when approved content changed in mainstream comics.

I make no claim that the CCA is the cause, only that the Code changes serve as useful focal points. There were certainly landmark issues that are "key" in explaining the push for change to the 1954-Code, but these issues were still code-approved (the three Spider-Man drug issues being the major exception); they could only take the code to the approval limits. So for me the split between the Silver Age and the Bronze Age is when the Code was revised in 1971. This is when the approved content changed in mainstream comics.

Obviously the "shifting" from Age to Age for each period gets more and more hazy. The Gold/Silver split is a very obvious shift. A quick blow to the industry, the impact of which can be seen almost overnight. The Silver/Bronze shift is less obvious, but we do notice a shift occured with the rebirth of horror, but the point where the industry started alluding to more social issues in content prior to the code changes is less clear and it isn't until after the code is altered that we see companies taking these social issues head-on (racism, drugs, etc.). The shift between Bronze/Copper is even more hazy. The expansion of "adult" material has roots in underground comics and with the direct distribution of independent comics. We also see a steady increase in "mature" content from the mainstream publishers through the 1980s leading to the 1989 code revisions resulting in the mainstream going "grim and gritty".

To me these are the key points that divide the Ages. By looking at only one genre or one publisher we are forced to create in-between Ages like the "Atom Age" to explain a gap that affected only a single genre or a single publisher.

1954 Comics Code
1971 Comics Code
1989 Comics Code

When most people talk about comic books they are actually talking about comic magazines. The magazine format has grown into the general term "comic book" over the last 60 years. Sure there were newspaper sections, tabloids, digests, and books, that contain a sequential series of cartoon panels that tell a story and are all "comic books" if the term is taken in a generic fashion. But the modern comic book (a.k.a. standard format comic book, a.k.a. American comic book) is the comic magazine.

The following paragraph comes from the "Fawcett Companion", TwoMorrows 2001, p16, which cites an article entitled "Comics Is A Funny Business" by Fawcett Comics Executive Editor Will Lieberson published in the "Writer's Digest", Vol. XXVI, #2, 1946:

The first comic magazine, in its present form, to appear on the newsstand was Famous Funnies, in 1933. [sic: 1934]. Its contents were reprints of the Sunday newspaper supplements. Not until 1935 did comic magazines containing original story and art work make an appearance. Fun was the first one of these published. Use of original material nevertheless did not catch on strongly until the advent, shortly before the war, of the costumed alter-ego character such as Captain Marvel, Bulletman, Doc Savage, Superman, Batman, and a host of others. These captured the fancy of an unbelievably large audience, and the field skyrocketed into a bonanza which was curtailed only by the paper shortage.

While comic newspaper sections, digests, tabloids, books, and various other formats had been tried over the years, it wasn't until Harry Wildenberg, of Eastern Color fame, struck upon the idea of quartering newspaper pages down to a convenient book size. For purposes of this timeline a comicbook (one word) is defined as a newspaper sized page folded in halves then in quarters, or a tabloid size page folded in half. This is the major defining criteria for the comic magazine (i.e. comicbook).

1919Capt. Wilford Fawcett begins Fawcett Publishing
1920Fawcett begins publishing Capt. Billy's Whiz Bang pulp magazine
1929Dell publishes first tabloid comic containing all original material (The Funnies)
1931Martin Goodman, Louis Silberkleit, and Maurice Coyne start Columbia Publications
1932Martin Goodman leaves Columbia and begins publishing pulps (Red Circle Magazines)

1933-1954 Golden Age
1933Eastern Color Printing publishes a standard format comic promotional item (Funnies on Parade, cd: Spring 1933)
1934Eastern Color Printing publishes a standard format comicbook for newsstand sale (Famous Funnies: May 1934)
1934Major Wheeler-Nicholson creates National Alllied Publications (Fall 1934)
1934Eastern launches Famous Funnies as a series. 200,000 copies are distributed by American News. (July)
1934National Allied Publications begins publishing tabloid size comics (New Fun #1, cd: Feb 1935)
1935Charlton founders, John Santangelo and Edward Levy begin producing song lyric magazines.
1936Former National employees, John Mahon and William Cook, start the Comics Magazine Company (The Comics Magazine #1, cd: May 1936)
1936Everett M. "Busy" Arnold is contracted to print Comics Magazine Company titles
1936Harry "A" Chesler begins publishing comics (Star Comics #1, cd: Feb 1937))
1937Donenfeld & Wheeler-Nicholson partner for new title (Detecive Comics #1, cd: Mar 1937)
1937Frank Temerson and I. W. Ullman form Ultem Publications and buy out Cheslers line (keeping Chesler on as Editor)
1937Ultem acquires the Comics Magazine Company titles (September)
1938Joe Hardie and Fred Gardner buy out Ultem and began Centaur Comics (March)
1938Wheeler-Nicholson goes bankrupt, Donenfeld buys his shares of Detective Comics
1938DC purchases rights to National's two titles (More Fun Comics and New Adventure Comics)
1938DC triggers superhero explosion with their fourth title (Action Comics #1, cd: Jun 1938)
1938M.C. Gaines goes into partnership with Donenfeld and Liebowitz and starts All-American Comics. [AA]
1939AA launches first title (All-American Comics #1, cd: Apr 1939)
1939Victor Fox starts Fox Publications (Wonder Comics #1, cd: May 1939)
1939DC sues Fox for plagiarism of it's Superman character (Spring)
1939Everett M. "Busy" Arnold starts Quality Comics by buying Feature Comics title from Centaur Comics (June)
1939Fox begins publishing Blue Beetle character (Mystery Men Comics #1, cd: Aug 1939)
1939Timely [Marvel] begins publishing comics (Marvel Comics #1, cd: Oct 1939)
1939Joe Simon becomes Timely [Marvel] editor; continues to freelance
1939Maurice Coyne, Louis Silberkleit and John Goldwater start MLJ Magazines
1939MLJ publishes their first comic (Blue Ribbon Comics #1, cd: Nov 1939)
1939Quality Comics begins publishing superheroes, Dollman (Feature Comics #27, cd: Dec 1939)
1939Former Fox employee Alfred P. Harvey starts Harvey Publications (brothers Leon and Robert join)
1940MLJ launches begins publishing superheroes; The Shield (Pep Comics #1, cd: Jan 1940)
1940Fawcett begins publishing superhero comics (Whiz Comics #1, cd: Feb 1940)
1940Jack Kirby begins working for Fox on the Blue Beetle newspaper strip (1940); meets Joe Simon
1940Jack Kirby and Joe Simon produce Blue Bolt #2 for Novelty Press (cd: Jul 1940)
1940Quality Comics begins publishing Wonder Boy material (National Comics #1, cd: Jul 1940)
1940Jack Kirby and Joe Simon produce Red Raven #1 for Timely [Marvel] (cd: Aug 1940)
1941John R. Mahon re-enters the comics business with Elliot Publications and sells repacked remainders from other companies (Double Comics; 1941)
1941Jack Kirby and Joe Simon produce Wow Comics #1 for Fawcett (cd: Spring 1941)
1941DC sues Fawcett for plagiarism of it's Superman character
1941MLJ debuts Archie Andrews (Pep Comics #22, cd: Dec 1941)
1941Jack Kirby and Joe Simon leave Timely [Marvel] for DC; Adventure Comics #72 (cd: Mar 1942)
1941Stan Lee becomes editor for Timely [Marvel] after Joe Simon (1941)
1942Fox forced into involuntary bankruptcy by creditors (March 6th)
1942Holyoke begins publishing Blue Beetle Comics #12 (June)
1942Quality stops publishing Wonder Boy material (National Comics #26, cd: Nov 1942)
1942Charlton begins publishing Hit Parader magazine. (Nov 1942)
1944Jack Kirby and Joe Simon leave DC to fight in World War II
1944Fox files petition to emerge from involuntary bankruptcy (Feb 15th)
1944Former Fox employee Robert Farrell launches Four-Star Publications (Captain Flight Comics #1, cd: Mar 1944)
1944Elliot Publications (with ties to Robert Farrell?) begins publishing Wonder Boy by Iger Studios (Bomber Comics #1, cd: Mar 1944)
1944Fox resumes publication of Blue Beetle #31 (cd: Jun 1944)
1944Charlton begins publishing comic books (Yellowjacket Comics #1, cd: Sep 1944)
1945MLJ Magazines changes names to Archie Comics
1945DC acquires All-American [AA] and it's characters from M.C. Gaines
1946M.C. Gaines launches Educational Comics [EC]
1946Jack Kirby and Joe Simon return from World War II work for DC briefly before free-lancing
1946Jack Kirby and Joe Simon begin working for Harvey; Stuntman #1 (cd: Apr 1946)
1947Jack Kirby and Joe Simon begin working for Prize; Headline Comics #19 (May 1946)
1947Jack Kirby and Joe Simon begin working for Hillman; Punch and Judy #1 (v3) (1947)
1947EC Comics founder Max C. Gaines dies, company taken over by his son, William M. Gaines
1947EC introduces it's only superhero Moon Girl (Moon Girl #1, cd: Fall 1947)
1948Archie Comics stops publishing superheroes (Pep Comics #65, cd: Jan 1948)
1948Four-Star Publications titles are transfered to Canadian publishing house Superior Comics, Ltd. (Spring)
1949Timely [Marvel] ends Human Torch, Sub-Mariner, and Marvel Mystery Comics Mar/Jun 1949
1949EC ends its superhero title (Moon Girl #8, cd: Summer 1949)
1950EC begins New Trend titles of horror, war and crime comics; many companys follow trend
1950Fox forced to file a voluntary petition for bankruptcy (Jul 15th)
1950Fox stops publishing superheroes (Blue Beetle #60, cd: Aug 1950)
1951Farrell re-enters the comics business (Lone Rider #1, cd: Apr 1951)
1951Fox lists debts of $775,000 versus assets of $30,000 (Jul 31st)
1951A bankruptcy receiver was appointed for Fox (Aug 2nd)
1951Timely [Marvel] stops publishing superheroes - Marvel Boy (Astonishing #6, cd: Oct 1951)
1951Globe logo used on all [Marvel] comics, begins the Atlas [Marvel] era (cd: Nov 1951)
1953Atlas [Marvel] attempts to revive superhero line (Young Men #24, cd: Dec 1953)
1953Fawcett settles 1941 suit with DC; Fawcett agrees to stop publishing Captain Marvel
1953Fawcett's stops publishing Captain Marvel-related comics (Marvel Family #89, cd: Jan 1954)
1954Charlton acquires some Fawcett titles as well as characters from Fox, Toby and Capitol.
1954Farrell comics begin using the Ajax logo (Jun-Jul 1954)
1954Jack Kirby and Joe Simon start Mainline Comics; Bulls-Eye #1 (cd: Jul 1954)
1954Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA) incorporated, John Goldwater president (Sep 7)
1954CMAA establishes the Comics Code Authority (CCA) in reaction to SOTI hearings (Oct 16, 1954)
1954Farrell [Ajax] starts publishing superheroes (Black Cobra #1, cd : Oct-Nov 1954)
1954Farrell [Ajax] acquires rights to Fox's Flame, Phantom Lady and Samson and Iger's(?) Wonder Boy
1954Charlton begins reprinting Fox Blue Beetle stories (Space Adventure #13, cd: Oct-Nov 1954)

Atlas Charlton Ajax Ajax Ajax Prize Sterling

1954-1971 Silver Age
1954The Comics Code Authority establishes the CCA Comics Code (Nov 15, 1954)
1954CCA approved books begin to appear (Archie's Joke Book #16, cd: Winter 1954)
1955EC begins New Direction titles after SOTI hearings (cd: Mar 1955)
1955EC changes Mad Comics over to magazine format (cd: Jun 1955)
1955Charlton begins creating new Blue Beetle stories (Blue Beetle #20, cd: Jun 1955)
1955Farrell [Ajax] stops publishing superhero comics (Samson #14, cd: Aug 1955)
1955Atlas [Marvel] stops publishing superhero comics (Sub-Mariner #42, cd: Oct 1955)
1955EC stops publishing New Direction comicbooks.
1955Jack Kirby and Joe Simon's Mainline Comics folds; titles bought up by Charlton
1956Joe Simon becomes editor at Harvey (1956)
1956Jack Kirby begins free-lancing for Atlas [Marvel]; Battleground #14 (cd: Nov 1956)
1956EC stops publishing all comics, tries other magazine titles, all fail; only Mad Magazine survives.
1956Quality Comics stops publishing
1956DC begins to re-invent their superheroes starting with Flash (Showcase #4, cd: Sep-Oct 1956)
1956DC acquires Quality Comics characters
1956Jack Kirby begins working for DC; Showcase #6 (cd: Jan 1957)
1957Atlas [Marvel] implosion, Atlas cancels many titles due to distribution problems fires most staff
1958Hanna-Barbera begins licensing characters to Dell.
1958Farrell [Ajax] stops publishing (Jun 1958)
1958Jack Kirby resumes working for Atlas [Marvel]; Strange Worlds #1 (cd: Dec 1958)
1959DC launches the Flash in his own title (The Flash #105, cd: Feb-Mar 1959)
1959Archie Comics restarts their superhero line with Kirby/Simon (Double Life of Private Strong #1, cd: Jun 1959)
1960Jack Kirby begins working for Marvel exclusively (late 1960)
1961William Gaines sells EC/Mad Magazine to Premier Industries, Corp.
1961"M over C" logo used on all Marvel comics. Marvel era begins (Jul cd: 1961)
1961Jack Kirby and Stan Lee start the Marvel superhero boom (Fantastic Four #1, cd: Nov 1961)
1962Western Publishing ends their relationship with Dell and starts publishing comics under the Gold Key label
1962Hanna-Barbera licenses characters to Gold Key.
1962Western Publishing (Gold Key) start superhero title, (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #1, cd: Oct 1962)
1963First underground comic, aka. comix, appears (God Nose)
1964National [DC] subsidiary All-American Printing buys Mad Magazine
1964Charlton re-invents Blue Beetle character (Blue Beetle #1, cd: Jun 1964)
1964Harvey flirts briefly with superheroes (Thrill-O-Rama #1, cd: Oct 1965)
1967Harvey stops flirting with superheroes (Double-Dare Adventures #2, cd: Mar 1967)
1967Charlton acquires some King Features titles
1967Charlton re-invents Blue Beetle character (again). (Blue Beetle #1, cd: Jun 1967)
1967Archie Comics stops publishing superheroes (Mighty Comics #50 cd: Oct 1967)
1967Underground comic movement begins to take off (Zap #1 cd: Nov 1967)
1968National [DC] merges with Kinney. (Feb 23)
1968Gary Arlington starts the San Francisco Comic Book Company, sells and publishes underground comics
1968Goodman sells Marvel to Perfect Film and Chemical Corp., managed by Magazine Management Co.
1969Western Publishing (Gold Key) stops superhero line (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #27, cd: Apr 1969)
1969Warner-Seven Arts acquired by Kinney National
1970Jack Kirby leaves Marvel for DC; Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 (cd: Oct 1970)
1970Hanna-Barbera licenses characters to Charlton.
1970US Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare contacts Marvel Comics about doing an anti-drug comic book.
1970Stan Lee writes a drug abuse story for Amazing Spider-Man; this opens the discussion for revising the 1954 Code
1970CMAA members meet to begin updating the code. Board rejects Marvel's suggestion to allow drug abuse material (Jun 9, 1970)
1970CCA revisions are approved. New code slated for a Feb 1, 1971 (Dec 1970)
1971Code revisions are still being discussed (Jan 28, 1971)

1971-1989 Bronze Age
1971CMAA formally approves the new CCA Code (Feb 1, 1971)
1971Marvel decides to publish the three anti-drug issues of Amazing Spider-Man without CCA approval (cd: May-Jul)
1971CMAA amends the 1971 Code to allow for drug addiction stories (Apr 15, 1971)
1971Kinney was renamed Warner Communications. (1971)
1971DC raises prices from 15 to 25 and increases size starting in Jun-Jul, Marvel follows in Nov (1971)
1971Marvel lowers prices from 25 to 20 and decreases size, DC trapped in long-term contract (cd: Dec 1971)
1971Archie Comics goes public.
1972Marvel surpasses DC in sales (due to DC/Marvel price war)
1973Perfect Film and Chemical Corp. becomes Cadence Industries Corporation
1973Marvel begins to heavily reprint previous Timely/Atlas material (to cut costs)
1973DC leases Fawcett superheroes (Shazam #1, cd: Feb 1973)
1973Dell stops publishing comic books
1974Marvel attempts to cash in on the underground movement (Comix Book #1; 1974)
1974Martin Goodman launches Atlas Comics (Seaboard Periodicals)
1975Underground comix begin to focus in on the Punk culture and less on Hippie culture
1975Marvel begins to revive itself from reprint lethargy (Giant Size X-Men #1, cd: Summer 1975)
1975DC Explosion begins. DC launches 57 new titles between 1975 and 1978.
1975Jack Kirby begins freelancing covers for Marvel; Conan the Barbarian Giant Sized #5 (cd: Summer 1975)
1975Marvel begins many successful movie, television, and toy tie-in books
1975Atlas/Seaboard goes under; last issue Phoenix #4 (cd: Oct 1975)
1976Jenette Kahn named publisher for DC Comics (1976)
1976Jack Kirby leaves DC and returns to Marvel; Captain America #193 (cd: Jan 1976)
1977Heavy Metal Magazine launches, reprints material from French publication Metal Hurlant (cd: Apr 1977)
1977Marvel launches its most successful movie tie-in (Star Wars #1, cd: Jul 1977)
1977Hanna-Barbera licenses characters to Marvel.
1977Steve and Bill Shanes launch Pacific Comics with Black & White comic magazines; One #1 (cd: July 1977)
1977Aardvark-Vanaheim launches (Cerebus #1; cd: Dec 1977)
1978Richard and Wendi Pini launch WaRP Graphics (Fantasy Quarterly #1; cd: Mar 1978)
1978Marvel promotes Jim Shooter to editor-in-chief (1978)
1978Jack Kirby retires from full-time comic work; Silver Surfer Graphic Novel (cd: Fall 1978)
1978DC Implosion. DC cancels 31 titles on the same day due to slumping sales (Fall)
1978Eclipse begins publishing Black & White comic magazines; Sabre #1 (Sep 30, 1978)
1979Marvel expands direct sale distribution to include subscribers (Jun 1979)
1980Western Publishing stops Gold Key label (newsstand) but continues Whitman label (direct sale)
1980Marvel launches Epic Illustrated magazine (cd: Spring 1980)
1981Marvel publishes Dazzler #1 (cd: Mar 1981) for direct sale only. Sales reach 400,000 copies.
1981Western Publishing (Whitman) restarts superhero line (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #28, cd: Apr 1981)
1981Jack Kirby creates Captain Victory and gets it published by Pacific Comics
1981Pacific Comics begins producing standard format comics; Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers #1 (cd: Nov 1981)
1981Bruce Hamilton and Russ Cochran start Another Rainbow Publishing to reprint Carl Barks material
1981Marvel converts three titles (Ka-zar, Moon Knight and Micronauts) to direct sale only (cd: Jan/Feb 1982)
1982Western Publishing (Whitman) stops superhero line (Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #31, cd: Mar 1982)
1982Harvey ceases publishing
1982Marvel launches Epic Comics line (Dreadstar #1 cd: Nov 1982 )
1982Bill Black's Paragon Publications launches AC Comics [Americomics]
1982First Comics launches November 1982; Warp #1 (cd: March 1983)
1982Eclipse begins publishing standard format comics; Destroyer Duck #1 (cd: Fall/Winter 1982)
1983DC acquires Charlton superhero characters
1983Richard Goldwater, son of John Goldwater purchases Archie Comics
1983Goldwater becomes President with Michael Silberkleit, son of Louis, as Chairman of Archie
1983Archie Comics restarts their superhero line... again (The Mighty Crusaders #1 cd: March 1983)
1984Western Publishing stops their Whitman label (March)
1984Pacific Comics goes under; last comic Vanity #2 (cd: August 1984)
1984Marvel launches Star Comics label targeted at young readers
1984DC publishes Swamp Thing #29 without Code approval (cd: Oct 1984)
1985Bruce Hamilton's Another Rainbow launches Gladstone Publishing; publishes Disney characters
1985Archie Comics stops publishing superhero comics... again (The Mighty Crusaders #13, cd: Sep 1985)
1986DC resets (Crisis series ends/Dark Knight Returns)
1986Alan Harvey (Alfred's son) restarts Harvey Publications
1986Charlton gets out of the comic business, sells most assets
1986Marvel ends Star Wars title
1986Mike Richardson launches Dark Horse Comics
1986Dave Olbrich and Tom Mason launch Malibu Comics
1986Cadence sells Marvel to New World Entertainment
1987Jim Shooter leaves Marvel; acquires rights to publish Western Publishing's superheroes

1989-today Copper Age
1989CCA revised. Major overhaul to allow current social standards to be depicted in comics
1989Harvey Publications purchased by Jeffery Montgomery, renamed to Harvey Entertainment
1989Alan Harvey retains rights to some characters and starts Lorne-Harvey Publications & Recollections
1989Ronald Perelman acquires Marvel Entertainment Group for $82.5 million
1989Valiant Comics created (Shooter, et. al, backed by Triumph/Voyager Communications)
1990Valiant begins publishing Nintendo and WWF licensed comics
1990Warner Communications merged with Time Inc. to form Time Warner.
1991Charlton still publishing Hit Parader and Country Song Round-Up magazines.
1991Charlton shuts down all publishing (Mar 1991)
1991Another Rainbow launches Hamilton Comics
1991Valiant starts publishing the Western Publishing superheroes (cd: March 1991)
1991Beginning of gimmick foil covers (Silver Surfer #50 earliest?)
1991Hanna-Barbera acquired by Ted Turner.
1991First Comics stops publishing; Classics Illustrated #27 (cd: June 1991)
1992Marvel begins expanding, spending $590 million to acquire Fleer, Skybox and Panini
1992Seven artists leave Marvel to start Image Comics (McFarland, Lee, Liefeld, Larsen, et. al.)
1992Jim Lee founds Wildstorm Productions
1992Hanna-Barbera licenses characters to Harvey.
1992Jim Shooter ousted from Valiant by Triumph/Voyager Communications
1992Image launches Spawn #1 (cd: May 1992); sells 1.7 million copies becoming the most successful indy.
1992William Gaines dies
1993Eclipse Comics stops publishing; True Crime #1 (cd: Feb 1993)
1993Bruce Hamilton Company assumes duties of Another Rainbow and become parent company for Gladstone & Hamilton Comics
1993Dark Horse starts publishing Star Wars material (Dark Horse Comics #7, cd: Feb 1993)
1993DC launches Vertigo imprint with Sandman and Swamp Thing (cd: March 1993)
1993Marvel licenses characters to Toy Biz royalty free; Marvel jumps to a value of $3 billion
1994Eclipse Comics goes out of business (1994)
1994Harvey Entertainment ceases publishing
1994Valiant sold to Acclaim Entertainment for $65 million
1994Marvel purchases Malibu Comics
1994Marvel issues junk bonds
1995Hanna-Barbera licenses characters to Archie Comics.
1995Marvel records first unprofitable year with slumping comic and card sales
1996Marvel resets (relaunches many titles)
1996Hanna-Barbera absorbed into Time Warner when Turner holdings merge with Time Warner.
1996Marvel records second straight unprofitable year
1996Carl Icahn purchases Marvel junk bonds at 20 cents on the dollar
1996Marvel files Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection (Dec 27)
1997Acclaim relaunches Valiant characters under the Acclaim imprint
1997Perelman ousted by bondholders led by Icahn; Icahn becomes Marvel chairman
1997Hanna-Barbera characters published by DC Comics. (July 1997)
1997Montgomery removed from head of Harvey Entertainment
1997Icahn ousted from Marvel and appoints Trustee to adminster Marvel
1998WildStorm acquired by DC Comics, run under the editorial direction of founder Jim Lee
1998Toy Biz (Ike Perlmutter and Avi Arad) takes over Marvel; merge into Marvel Enterprises (Oct)
1999Dark Horse ranked as third largest comic publisher by "Diamond Dialog"
2000Harvey Entertainment renamed to Sunland Entertainment
2001Sunland Entertainment sells the Harvey Classic Character brands to Classic Media, LLC. (March 8, 2001).
2001Marvel announces to withdraw from the CCA in favor of their own rating system (May 16, 2001)
2001Marvel continues to submit some books for CCA approval (May 24, 2001)
2003Acclaim relinquishes rights to characters owned by Western Publishing
2004Acclaim files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York (Sep 1, 2004)
2005Valiant Entertainment acquires rights to Valiant characters after long fight
2007Jim Shooter begins writing new stories for Valiant Entertainment (Jun 6, 2007)

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