Comic Books

Comic books emerged in the 1930s. At first the books reprinted humorous newspaper strips, but later they began to feature unique content. Superheroes entered the world of comic books in 1938 with the release of Action Comics No. 1 and the debut of Superman. While the medium’s success first attracted controversy for violence and mature themes, many of the characters introduced have stood the test of time to become vital parts of our national culture.

Original comic art for Captain Midnight

Originating as a heroic aviator on radio, Captain Midnight transformed into a superhero within his self-titled comic book. Using a variety of inventions, including a “glidersuit” that enabled him to fly and a “doom beam torch” flashlight, Captain Midnight fought enemies from Axis soldiers to the King of Saturn.

Original comic art, Captain Midnight, 1940s

Original newspaper comic art for Batman

Original newspaper comic art, Batman, 1945

Bequest of Joseph Gura Jr. (through Carl Sandberg IV)

Original comic art for Wonder Woman

The comic art shown here features Wonder Woman, a daughter of Greek gods also known as Princess Diana. Wonder Woman uses her powers (such as super strength) and invaluable objects (such as a magic lasso) to be a champion for those in need.

Original comic art, Wonder Woman, 1943

Original newspaper comic art for Superman

Original newspaper comic art, Superman 1943

Bequest of Joseph Gura Jr. (through Carl Sandberg IV)

Astro City, No. 1A, 1996

Here Comes Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, No. 10, 1965

Icon, No. 1, 1993

Birds of Prey, No. 1, 2011

Captain America, No. 252, 1980

America, No. 1A, 2017

The Avengers, No. 212, 1981

Gift of Harold W. Ellis

La Borinqueña, 2016

Gift of Eric Jentsch

New Mutants, No. 18, 1983

New Mutants, No. 18, 1983

Power Man and Iron Fist, No. 4, 1972

The Spectacular Spider-Man, No. 51, 1981

Gift of Harold W. Ellis

Ms. Marvel, 2014

Gift of Shannon Perich

Leading Comics, No. 3, 1942

Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M.S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer

Wonder Woman, No. 288, 1982

Black Panther, No. 4, 1977

All-Star Comics, No. 19, 1943

Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M. S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer

America’s Greatest Comics, No. 1, 1941

Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M. S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer

Batman, No. 20, 1944

Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M.S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer

Sabre, No. 5, 1982

Comics’ Greatest World: King Tiger, No. 1, 1993

Adventures of Superman, No. 565, 1999

All-Star Squadron, No. 23, 1983

X-Men, No. 1, 2013

More Fun Comics, No. 83, 1942

Gift of Olivia V. Crisson and Phillip M.S. Crisson in honor of Peter Bozzer

Miles Morales Spider Man, 2015

Gift of Shannon Perich

New York World’s Fair Comics, 1940

Fantastic Four, No. 233, 1981

Gift of Harold W. Ellis

New X-Men: Hellions, No. 2, 2005

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, 2016

Gift of Shannon Perich

Captain Marvel: Earth’s Mightiest Hero, 2012

Doctor Strange, No. 34, 1979

Gift of Mr. George R. Zug

Black Lightning: Year One, 2009