Logo launched with the New 52 series resets in 2012
| DC Comics, Inc. (founded in 1934 as National Allied Publications) is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner. DC Comics produces material featuring a large number of well-known characters, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Aquaman, Nightwing, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and the Flash, along with such superhero teams as the Justice Society, the Justice League and the Teen Titans, as well as antagonists such as Lex Luthor, the Joker, the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Sinestro, the Penguin, Two-Face, General Zod, Brainiac, Harley Quinn and Darkseid. The initials "DC" came from the company's popular series Detective Comics, which featured Batman's debut and subsequently became part of the company's name. The title can be considered a redundant initialism.
Entrepreneur Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson's National Allied Publications debuted with the tabloid-sized New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine #1 in February 1935. The company's second title, New Comics #1 (cover date December 1935), appeared in a size close to what would become comic books' standard during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books, with slightly larger dimensions than today's. That title evolved into Adventure Comics, which continued through issue #503 in 1983, becoming one of the longest-running comic book series.
Wheeler-Nicholson's third and final title, Detective Comics, advertised with a cover illustration dated December 1936, eventually premiered three months late with a March 1937 cover date. The themed anthology series would become a sensation with the introduction of Batman in issue #27 (May 1939). By then, however, Wheeler-Nicholson had gone. In 1937, in debt to printing-plant owner and magazine distributor Harry Donenfeld — who also published pulp magazines and operated as a principal in the magazine distributorship Independent News — Wheeler-Nicholson was compelled to take Donenfeld on as a partner in order to publish Detective Comics #1. Detective Comics, Inc. was formed, with Wheeler-Nicholson and Jack S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld's accountant, listed as owners. Major Wheeler-Nicholson remained for a year, but cash-flow problems continued, and he was forced out. Shortly afterward, Detective Comics Inc. purchased the remains of National Allied, also known as Nicholson Publishing, at a bankruptcy auction.
Detective Comics Inc. soon launched a fourth title, Action Comics, and the premiere of which introduced Superman (a character with which Wheeler-Nicholson had no direct involvement; editor Vin Sullivan chose to run the feature after Sheldon Mayer rescued it from the slush pile). Action Comics #1 (June 1938), the first comic book to feature the new character archetype — soon known as "superheroes" — proved a major sales hit. The company quickly introduced such other popular characters as the Sandman and Batman.
Source: Wikipedia, "DC Comics", available under the CC-BY-SA License.