Secret Origins

Secret Origins

"Secret Origins" was an American comic book series published by DC Comics. Although the title had existed in several prototype forms in the 1960s and 1970s (compilation specials in the former decade; a short-run reprint series in the latter) published under the title "Secret Origins of Super Heroes" (or "Super Villains"), its most well-known incarnation was a 50-issue series (plus three annuals and a special) that ran from 1986 to 1990. Typically, an issue would be given over to clarifying the post-Crisis origins of a number of characters, usually two (as most of the issues were 'double-sized', i.e. 48 pages, plus ads). Roy Thomas was the initial writer/editorial consultant on the series; later issues were overseen by Mark Waid.

Characters featured in the 1980s/1990s series

Issue 1: The Golden Age Superman; this was intended as a tribute to the original version of the character, as the latter-day version of Superman was being concurrently introduced by John Byrne in the "Man Of Steel" miniseries; art by Golden Age Superman artist Wayne Boring. (See also Kal-L.)

Issue 2: The Blue Beetle, both the Dan Garrett and Ted Kord versions; art by Gil Kane

Issue 3: Captain Marvel (credited by the "Shazam!" title); a retelling of the story from "WHIZ Comics" #2, albeit updated to modern day. Thomas himself would retcon this some months later in "SHAZAM! The New Beginning", which was itself later retconned by Jerry Ordway in his graphic novel "The Power of Shazam!".

Issue 4: Firestorm (Ronnie Raymond)

Issue 5: the original Crimson Avenger; art by Gene Colan.

Issue 6: Halo of the Outsiders; the Golden Age Batman. This was the first double-sized issue.

Issue 7: Green Lantern Guy Gardner; the Golden Age Sandman (this story was later subtly retconned in "Sandman Mystery Theatre".)

Issue 8: Shadow Lass; Doll Man.

Issue 9: The original Star-Spangled Kid (Skyman) and Stripesy; the Flash (Jay Garrick).

Issue 10: The Phantom Stranger. This was a "Legends" tie-in that related four possible origins for the character; one was by Mike Barr and Jim Aparo (a variation on the Wandering Jew myth), another by Alan Moore and Joe Orlando (which postulated that the Stranger was a fallen angel).

Issue 11: the Golden Age Hawkman; Power Girl. Again, both stories presented have been retconned, with Power Girl's backstory having been recently redefined by Geoff Johns in the pages of "JSA Classified" (which served as part of the buildup to Infinite Crisis) .

Issue 12: The Challengers of the Unknown; Fury.

Issue 13: Nightwing (art by Erik Larsen); Johnny Thunder and his Thunderbolt; the Whip.

Issue 14: Suicide Squad. Another "Legends" tie-in, it served as a prequel to the later series, and was penned by that series' writer, John Ostrander.

Issue 15: The Spectre; Deadman.

Issue 16: Hourman; the Warlord; 'Mazing Man.

Issue 17: Adam Strange; Doctor Occult.

Issue 18: Green Lantern Alan Scott; the Creeper.

Issue 19: Uncle Sam; the Guardian.

Issue 20: Batgirl (Barbara Gordon); Doctor Mid-Nite.

Issue 21: Jonah Hex; the Black Condor.

Issue 22: the Manhunters. This was a tie-in with "Millennium" (as was the subsequent issue), and aligned the various histories of the characters with the Manhunter name together.

Issue 23: the Guardians of the Universe (written by Todd Klein); the Floronic Man (written by Rick Veitch).

Issue 24: Doctor Fate; Blue Devil. Mark Waid began editorial duties with this issue.

Issue 25: the Legion of Super Heroes (now apocryphal); the Golden Age Atom.

Issue 26: Black Lightning; Miss America.

Issue 27: Zatanna her father Zatara, and Doctor Mist.

Issue 28: Midnight (art by Gil Kane); Nightshade (art by Rob Liefeld). Nightshade's origin doubled as an introduction/backdrop to a three-issue Suicide Squad (of which she was a member) arc where she returned to her place of origin to save her brother.

Issue 29: The Atom (Ray Palmer); the Red Tornado (Ma Hunkel; this was Sheldon Mayer's last comics story); Mr. America (aka the Americommando).

Issue 30: Plastic Man; the Elongated Man.

Issue 31: the Justice Society. A full-length story, and Roy Thomas' last contribution to the series (excluding the Grim Ghost story in Issue 42).

Issue 32: the Justice League. In a full-length story by Keith Giffen and Peter David, the league is formed by Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), the Flash (Barry Allen), Aquaman, the Martian Manhunter and Black Canary. Superman and Batman were not founding members, and Wonder Woman's revised continuity precluded her from same. The events depicted were later expanded upon in "JLA: Year One" and "JLA: Incarnations".

Issue 33: Fire, Ice and Mister Miracle. This and the subsequent two issues dealt with members of Justice League International.

Issue 34: Captain Atom, G'nort and Rocket Red.

Issue 35: Booster Gold, Maxwell Lord, and the Martian Manhunter (rendered apocryphal by events & revelations in J'onn J'onnz' later solo series).

Issue 36: Green Lantern Hal Jordan (story by Jim Owsley); Poison Ivy (story by Neil Gaiman).

Issue 37: The Legion of Substitute Heroes; the first (villainous) Doctor Light.

Issue 38: Green Arrow and Speedy (Roy Harper/Arsenal).

Issue 39: Animal Man (story by Grant Morrison); Man-Bat.

Issue 40: the all-gorilla issue, spotlighting the likes of Congorilla, Detective Chimp, and Gorilla Grodd.

Issue 41: the Flash Rogues Gallery - Weather Wizard, Heat Wave, the Trickster, the Pied Piper, Grodd, and Captain Cold.

Issue 42: Phantom Girl; the Gay Ghost/Grim Ghost.

Issue 43: the original Hawk and Dove; Cave Carson; Chris KL-99.

Issue 44: Clayface I, II & III. This issue gave background information for an arc that appeared in "Detective Comics" issues 604 through 607, entitled "The Mud Pack".

Issue 45: Blackhawk; El Diablo

Issue 46: the headquarters of the Silver Age Justice League (story by Grant Morrison), the New Titans' Titans Tower, and the 'rocketship clubhouse' of the Legion of Super Heroes. Arm Fall Off Boy makes his first appearance.

Issue 47: deceased Legionnaires Ferro Lad, Karate Kid and Chemical King

Issue 48: Ambush Bug, Stanley and His Monster, Rex the Wonder Dog, and the Trigger Twins.

Issue 49: Bouncing Boy, the Newsboy Legion, and the Silent Knight.

Issue 50: a 96-page last issue. This consisted of a prose retelling of Dick Grayson's first encounter with Batman (by Dennis O'Neil and George Pérez); the first meeting of the Golden and Silver Age Flashes (story by Grant Morrison); how Johnny Thunder (the western hero) came to be; the definitive history of the Black Canary; and the stories behind Dolphin and the Space Museum.

Annuals and specials

Annual 1: the Doom Patrol (art by John Byrne); Captain Comet.

Annual 2: The second and third Flashes (Barry Allen & Wally West).

Annual 3: the Teen Titans. This was an anniversary tribute with contributions from George Pérez, Tom Grummett, Irv Novick, Dave Cockrum, Kevin Maguire, and Colleen Doran.

Special 1: the Penguin (by Alan Grant and Sam Kieth), the Riddler (by Neil Gaiman, Matt Wagner and Bernie Mireault), and Two-Face.

There was also a newsprint format trade paperback collection (released in 1989) that reprinted several stories from the series. The focus was on DC's major characters: the Flash (Barry Allen, from "Secret Origins Annual" #2); Green Lantern (Hal Jordan, from #36); J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter (from #35); and Superman (from "The Man of Steel" #6). There was also an all-new retelling of Batman's origins, , by Dennis O'Neil and Dick Giordano; this story later served as a cited inspiration for the 2005 film "Batman Begins".Fact|date=August 2007

Additionally, there was a belated "Secret Origins 80 Page Giant" issued in 1998, that focused on the members of Young Justice. In a sense, this was bringing the concept full circle, since "Secret Origins" had begun as an 80-page reprint collection in 1961 (which was itself reissued in 1998).

ecret Origins of Super-Heroes

During "52", weeks 12 through 52 featured two page origins of various heroes. Here is the issue list with the origins featured:

*Week 12: Wonder Woman []
*Week 13: Elongated Man []
*Week 14: Metamorpho []
*Week 15: Steel []
*Week 16: Black Adam []
*Week 17: Lobo []
*Week 18: The Question []
*Week 19: Animal Man []
*Week 20: Adam Strange
*Week 22: Green Lantern []
*Week 23: Wildcat []
*Week 24: Booster Gold []
*Week 25: Nightwing []
*Week 26: Hawkman and Hawkgirl []
*Week 27: Black Canary []
*Week 28: Catman []
*Week 30: Metal Men []
*Week 31: Robin []
*Week 32: Blue Beetle []
*Week 33: Martian Manhunter []
*Week 34: Zatanna []
*Week 36: Power Girl []
*Week 37: Firestorm []
*Week 38: Red Tornado []
*Week 39: Mr. Terrific []
*Week 41: Starfire []
*Week 42: Green Arrow []
*Week 43: Plastic Man []
*Week 46: Batman []
*Week 47: Teen Titans []
*Week 48: Birds of Prey []
*Week 49: Justice Society of America []
*Week 51: Justice League of America []

ecret Origins of Super-Villains

Beginning with #37 each issue of Countdown will feature an origin of a super-villain. The origins are:

* Issue 37: Poison Ivy []
* Issue 36: Deathstroke []
* Issue 35: Parallax []
* Issue 34: Lex Luthor []
* Issue 33: Riddler []
* Issue 32: Eclipso []
* Issue 31: Joker []
* Issue 30: General Zod []
* Issue 29: Penguin []
* Issue 28: Trickster and Pied Piper [] []
* Issue 27: Two-Face []
* Issue 25: Killer Frost []
* Issue 24: Desaad []
* Issue 23: Mr. Mxyzptlk []
* Issue 22: Deadshot []
* Issue 21: Granny Goodness []
* Issue 20: Mr. Mind []
* Issue 19: The Scarecrow []
* Issue 18: Dr. Light []
* Issue 17: Monarch
* Issue 16: Sinestro []
* Issue 15: Doomsday []
* Issue 14: Gorilla Grodd []
* Issue 13: Cyborg Superman []
* Issue 12: Circe []
* Issue 11: Solomon Grundy []
* Issue 10: Harley Quinn []
* Issue 09: Black Manta []
* Issue 08: Bizarro []
* Issue 07: Bane []
* Issue 06: Felix Faust []
* Issue 05: Mr. Freeze []
* Issue 04: Ra's Al Ghul []
* Issue 03: Amazo []
* Issue 02: Darkseid []

ee also

* Secret Files and Origins

External links

* [ The Secret Origin of the Golden Age Superman]
* [ "The Secret Origin of the Legion Clubhouse!" ]
* [ Secret origins from 52 and Countdown]

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