With their first comic book published under the DC label in 1937, one of the biggest and most established American comic book publishers is DC Comics. Most of its works are set in the made-up DC Universe and include a number of heroic figures who have become cultural icons, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Aquaman, Green Lantern, and Cyborg. They also include some of the most well-known fictional teams, such as the Justice League, Justice Society of America, Suicide Squad, and the Teen Titans.
DC released the first Superman tale in Action Comics no. 1 in 1938. The costumed superhero genre, a hallmark of the comic book business ever since, was founded as a result of the character's enormous financial success. During the so-called Golden Age of comics, DC launched a number of superheroes, most notably Batman (1939) and Wonder Woman (1941).
Superhero comics lost some of their appeal throughout the first half of the 1950s, though Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman comics continued to sell well. DC discontinued its other superhero series in favor of writing more science fiction, western, and crime drama comics. Under the direction of editor Julius Schwartz, DC resumed publishing superhero comics in 1956. Robert Kanigher and Carmine Infantino debuted an updated version of the 1940s superhero the Flash in Showcase no. 4 (October 1956). They did this to usher in the Silver Age of comics, at which time new iterations of iconic figures like Green Lantern and Hawkman also appeared. Readers interest in superheroes began to grow again, and the commercial success of DC's superhero novels soon encouraged competitors to follow suit. The two businesses were long-time leaders in the comic book industry, with Marvel Comics emerging as DC's primary adversary.