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Classic Colors: DC Comic Characters

Classic Colors: DC Comic Characters

Started in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, DC Comics, then known as National Allied Publications has created some of the most colorful characters in Comics. The abbreviation "DC" came from their first popular illustrated series Detective Comics which introduced the darkly colored character Batman. Since then, DC Comics has become one of the largest publishers of English language comic books. Here are a few of their classic characters who have frequented the shelves of comic book stores throughout the years.

Classic DC Comic Characters

250px-batmanlee.jpg    Batman
Batman (originally referred to as the Bat-Man and still referred to at times as the Batman) is a fictional comic book superhero co-created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger (although only Kane receives official credit) and published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939). Batman's secret identity is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy industrialist, playboy, and philanthropist. Witnessing the murder of his parents as a child leads him to train himself to physical and intellectual perfection and don a bat-themed costume in order to fight crime. Unlike most superheroes, he does not possess any superpowers; he makes use of intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, physical prowess, and intimidation in his war on crime.



250px-wonderwomanv5.jpg    Wonder Woman
One of DCs "big three," Wonder Woman is the Emissary to Man's World, Champion of Themyscira, and possesses the Speed of Hermes, The Wisdom of Athena, Stronger than Heracles and as lovely as Aphrodite. Charles William Moulton Marston had created Wonder Woman during World War II as he saw that the DC Universe was dominated by male characters such as Superman and Batman and then came patriotic heroes such as Captain America who were to defeat the Axis. He wanted a superheroine, to create a strong and leading female character to even the odds. He thought up a new hero who would fight injustice not with brute strength or violence, but with love.



img    Superman
Superman is a fictional character, a comic book superhero widely considered to be one of the most famous and popular of such characters and an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster in 1932, the character first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, television programs, films, newspaper strips, and video games. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book.



img    Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate joined the Justice League International in Legends No. 6 and deceased in Books of Fate No. 1. Doctor Fate was most commonly known as Kent Nelson because he was the longest person to keep the name. Eric Strauss and Linda Strauss fused together to form Dr. Fate in another series. Kent Nelson was an archaeologist he discovered the tomb of an Egyptian wizard. Doctor fate’s look was changed in 1941 they cut his mask in half still covering his eyes and forehead but exposing his mouth. He was later revived in the Justice League of America. Doctor Fate’s magic is his specialty. He shows a lot of his magic in the Justice League when he fights Hawkgirl in the episode “The Terror Beyond”. Later on he joins the Justice League Unlimited.



img    Beast Boy
Beast Boy is the green-skinned shapeshifting, animal-like, long-time member of both the Teen Titans and the Doom Patrol. As a child, Garfield Logan contracted with a rare illness called Sakutia and was cured by a serum from a green monkey. This serum had the unintended effect of turning his skin and hair green and gave him the ability to change into any animal (the colors and appearance of these animals changed depending on which artist was using the character at the time).



img    Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor may be one of the most gifted men alive. He is also a sociopath without regard for the pain or suffering of others. His hatred for the Man of Steel makes him Superman's greatest foe. For his parents, one look at their son's I.Q. test results was enough to convince them that he would make them wealthy. Their determination for him to excel however, helped to destroy his soul and create a sociopath. Lex spent years searching for extraterrestrial life and as part of his hunt went to Smallville, Kansas when he was 18. While there, Lex befriended another alienated young man, Clark Kent (Superman).



img    Ultra Boy
Possesses Superman-like powers, which he can only use one at a time. Member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The Legion of Super-Heroes are a super group based in the 30th and 31st centuries of the DC Universe. Jo Nah (his real name is derived from the biblical figure Jonah) was travelling through space in his one-man space-speedster, he was swallowed by an energy-beast. Fortunately, a Galactic Patrol Cruiser saw his this happening and rescued him by slicing the creature open with a ray. Jo escaped, but his body was charged by the radiation of the monster. He tried using his energy and discovered that he could see through anything, even lead. He used his new-found ability in behalf of the law. Before long, everyone called him Ultra Boy. Later, he tried to use his ultra-energy power in other ways and after experimenting, he found that the energy could be used for many different powers, but with one serious limitation. He could use his ultra-energy for ultra-strength, or ultra-speed, or ultra-invulnerability or vision, but he could only use it for one super-power at a time.



img    Brainiac 5
Brainiac 5, from the planet Colu, is a long-standing member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, using his level 12 intelligence to often save the day. Brainiac 5 in the most recent rendition of the Legion of superheros is a major player. Early on Brainiac 5 comes into conflict with Legion leader Cosmic boy about the way he has been leading the team and some actions he has taken against himself and other Legion teammates. Brainiac 5 also differently from earlier renditions of the character develops a close relationship with Dream Girl. At first it is a an anger towards her powers and their unpredictability, but it develops into a close relationship and Brainiac 5 shows true caring. Brainiac 5 is visited by Lemnos a space criminal who has the power to make you forget him completely. Brainiac 5 doing just to his name sends himself a picture of Lemnos so that he never forget his face.



img    Aquaman
Aquaman is the hero of the seas. The first was recently turned into the Dweller in the Depths, and more recently, was killed. The second is still shrouded in mystery, with very little known about him. Young Orin was born as an Atlantean commoner. He is the son of Queen Atlanna and a demigod(the spirit of Atlantis). He had the uncanny ability to communicate with sea life and he had blond hair. These two qualities caused the Atlanteans to sentence him to death on Mercy Reef, because they believed that those signs were signs of the curse of the monster Kordax. He was found and raised by Porm, a dolphin. He was found by Arthur Curry, a lighthouse keeper. After learning about the surface world, he traveled away north and was caught in a battle between Flash(Barry Allen, the second version) and the Prankster. He helped and Flash convinced him to become a superhero and help found the Justice League of America. After becoming a famous hero, he traveled back to reclaim the throne of Atlantis that was rightfully his.



250px-batmanlee.jpg    Blue Beetle
Blue Beetle is the name of three fictional, American comic book superheroes published by a variety of companies since 1940. The original Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett, first appeared in Fox Comics' Mystery Men Comics #1 (Aug. 1939), with art by Charles Nicholas Wojtkowski (as Charles Nicholas) (though the Grand Comics Database tentatively credits Will Eisner as the scripter.) A rookie police officer, he used special equipment, a bulletproof costume (sometimes) and a superstrength-inducing "vitamin", and the assistance of a neighborhood pharmacist to fight crime. He starred in a comic book series, comic strip and radio serial but, like most Golden Age superheroes, he fell into obscurity in the 1950s.



img    Captain Marvel
Captain Marvel is a fictional comic book superhero, originally published by Fawcett Comics and later by DC Comics. Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill Parker, the character first appeared in Whiz Comics #2 (February 1940). Beck used actor Fred MacMurray as the initial model for Captain Marvel's physical appearance. With a premise that taps adolescent fantasy, Captain Marvel is the alter ego of Billy Batson, a youth who works as a radio news reporter and was chosen to be a champion of good by the wizard Shazam. Whenever Billy speaks the wizard's name, he is instantly struck by a magic lightning bolt that transforms him into an adult superhero empowered with the abilities of six mythical figures. Several friends and family members, most notably Marvel Family cohorts Mary Marvel and Captain Marvel, Jr., can share Billy's power and become "Marvels" themselves.



img    Firestorm
Nicknamed "The Nuclear Man," Firestorm has power over fire and heat, and can alter the atomic structure of objects. The first Firestorm was an amalgam of two people - high school student Ronnie Raymond and university professor Martin Stein. Raymond joined an anti-nuclear activist group as a student, but tried to stop them when their protests turned violent. The group wanted to blow up an experimental nuclear power facility that had been designed by Stein. They wired the place to explode, knocked Stein unconscious, and tied up Raymond, thus leaving them both to die. The explosion that followed fused them into one being, with Ronnie in control of the body and Stein acting as a kind of phantom spirit alongside him (usually portrayed as a disembodied head). They adopted the name Firestorm, and used their ability to rearrange the atomic structure of matter to create a costume. Firestorm was all set to be a hero, and a powerful one at that.



250px-batmanlee.jpg    Hawkman
There have been many versions of Hawkman. Usually related in some way to the planet Thanagar, Hawkman traditionally wields weapons of archaic origin and wears large wings that grant him flight. Hawkman was created by Gardener Fox in 1940, and first appeared in Flash Comics #1. The Golden Age Hawkman was Carter Hall, an archaeologist who discovered a dagger with a crystal blade. He falls into an unconscious state and starts dreaming of himself as the ancient Egyptian prince Khufu. Khufu was opposed by Hath-Set, a priest of the hawk-god Anubis. Hath-Set captured Khufu and his spouse, Shiera, then had them sacrificed using the crystal blade, and Khufu swore he would come back and take revenge.



250px-batmanlee.jpg    Joker
First appeared in Batman #1 (Spring 1940), and was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson. The Joker is a master criminal, initially portrayed as a violent sociopath who murders people and commits crimes for his own amusement. The Joker is the archenemy of Batman, and has been responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) and the murders of Jason Todd (the second Robin) and Commissioner Gordon's second wife Sarah Essen.



img    Flash
The Fastest Man Alive, the mantle of the Flash has been assumed by 4 different heroes over the years. All the heroes have been linked. The first Flash was Jay Garrick, a Golden Age hero who gained his super-speed from exposure to radioactive "heavy water" as a student. He used his powers to fight crime in his hometown of Keystone City, and was one of the founding members of the Justice Society Of America. After World War II, Garrick retired, only to be brought back into action by the second Flash, Barry Allen.



img    Alan Scott
Alan Scott, the bearer of the mystical Starheart, continues to fight for truth and justice into old age as the original Green Lantern. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, a mystical green meteor fell down to Earth, that was actually alive. It fell in ancient China. A mystic named Chang heard it a voice inside the meteor prophesy that it would act three times, once to bring life, once to bring death, and once to bring power. Chang carved it into a lamp, but other men in his village feared him and the meteor and murdered him. After they killed Chang, green flames blasted from the lamp and killed them. After many years, it was found by an insane member of an asylum, who carved it into a lantern. Light burst from the lantern and he was sane. This meant that the meteor had completed life and death. After many more years, the lantern got on a train with young railroad engineer Alan Scott on it. Scott picked up the lantern and held it. Then, as the train was passing over a bridge, it was revealed that Dekker, a business rival, had placed explosives on said bridge. The train derailed, and everyone except Scott died. As he awoke in the wreckage, the lantern told him-carve a ring from the base of the metal and touch it to the light. When he did, the ring was filled with the power of the Starheart. He was told that the ring was powered by his will and belief. Alan Scott left, punished Dekker, and became Green Lantern.



Character information quoted from wikipedia and ComicVine.com.

Header Images from Wiki: DC Comics and Wiki: Detective Comics

All DC Comics characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are Trademarks & Copyright of DC Comics, Inc.

Showing 1 - 11 of 11 Comments


While the characters palettes are decent, it's the cover of many comics that inspire. A good chunk of my own palettes come from random comic covers I stumble across.


while these are amazing (of course they are - they're some of the best comics EVER MADE), many of them don't mention when the characters came into being. sure stan lee just died a few weeks ago, but someone somewhere should have their birth dates! i'd like to know!


You can click on any of the images and it will take you to a page with more information about each character, which should include all the pertinent facts.



First - what's this about Stan Lee being dead? Did you mean Stan Winston?

Second, I have to say I disagree with the muted tones of some of these palettes. Perhaps drawing strictly from the pictures posted to go along with them they work, but I expected to see a 'classic' palette for each, which would have to be brighter and closer to primaries. Aquaman was spot-on; Wonder Woman, too dark.

Still, this is a great post, love the pics!


Remember that if you like colors from comics and superheroes then you should check out the Color Comics group. We're small but we're waiting for you. (End shameless advertising.)


These are cool. Just snippets really, but still cool. And Stan Lee is not dead. My heart jumped into my throat when I read that. Whew, heart attack over.


this post s absolutely brilliant

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