Timeline Tuesday: October

Taking a look back at ten, twenty-five, fifty, even seventy-five years of October comicbook anniversaries!

The Walking Dead #1 hit the stands, by some accounts, exactly ten years ago today: October 8th, 2003. Ten years and still a major benchmark not only for ‘independent’ and Image comics, but also for comics history as well. (We really need another term for those comics not published by the big two, but not small enough to truly be called independent. Any thoughts?)

– It’s only because I love the mini-series so much that I’m allowing JLA/Avengers to show up again. This would be for issue #2 featuring the two teams engaging each other while zooming around on a scavenger hunt for some of DC’s and Marvel’s most infamous devices. This is also the issue that made Thor fans weep for years to come. Suckas.

Amazing Spider-Man returns to its original volume one numbering in time for issue #500.



– Jason Todd’s fate is in the hands of 10,000+ comic readers. Did you allow him to live or die? Batman #428, the third part of the “A Death in the Family” storyline, led the way for a new Robin, brought speculation to the identity of “Hush”, and gave us the surprisingly good “Under the Hood” story and the eventual return of Jason Todd. Maybe those voters did us a favor?

– This was a good month for Marvel milestones: Captain America #350, Thor #400 and Avengers #300.

– The DC Universe is about to experience an Invasion! This three issue event crossover gave DC the concept of the metagene – a latent gene within most (if not all) humans that, when triggered, empowered them with a variety of different abilities. I suppose it was DC’s answer to the mutant gene – but nowhere near as organic a concept or permanent, thankfully. It was even being used to explain why a character like Green Arrow could be so good with his weapons of choice. A bit overkill on that and I’m glad it was quickly done away with as a concept.


Fantastic Four #22. First appearance of Mole Man’s Moloids. Sue Storm starts to use her powers to make invisible force fields. And the Thing utters his catchphrase for the first time: ‘It’s clobberin’ time!’. I probably would’ve kept the phrase that came right before his battlecry. ‘Yay bo!’ needs to make a comeback!


– Described only as “an inquisitive office-boy”, this appearance of an unnamed blonde-haired youth in Action Comics #6 is steadily getting the credit as Jimmy Olsen’s first comicbook appearance. The character and name of ‘Jimmy Olsen’ was introduced on the Adventures of Superman Radio Show in 1940 and appeared for the first time in comics as a named character (‘Jimmy’) in Superman #13 (1941). That Superman appearance had Jimmy as a blonde as well – so connecting it back to this earlier appearance certainly seems appropriate.


1 thought on “Timeline Tuesday: October

  1. Love these timeline posts, Pete.

    1988: I was four years into collecting comics, and I was all in (as all in as I could be utilizing Westfield comics for those that would not be showing up at my local bookstores). And I got all of the books you noted above.

    “A Death in the Family” was really a phenomenal experience – with me being relatively new to the medium, this felt real. I didn’t believe they would let Robin die, and they did. Wow. Led to some compelling Batman stories, which I collected for a number of years after this.

    Marvel Anniversaries: Yeah, I picked each one of these off the rack at Mr. Paperback, which was a local bookstore chain up here in Maine. I loved that Captain America book – I’d been collecting since just before Steve Rogers was “Captain America No More!” and this storyline really had me engaged, plus I loved Kieron Dwyer’s art on the book. good memories.

    Invasion!: Todd McFarlane working for DC? (I was unaware of his earlier work on Infinity Inc.) Hell, yeah, I was on board. And even when Bart Sears took over, there was no issue with the artwork for me, at the time. The story – I don’t really remember it, but I had each of those big comics and, for the longest time, I think they were boxed with my Evolutionary War annuals – until the first big purge.

    Thanks again for these. They always stir up cool memories.


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