Just read Brian Cronin's latest article from "Our Lives Together" where he talks about the connection between the 1970s series Claw the Unconquered, Starfire, and Star Hunters.


The article begins with calling these new titles and others part of the "DC Explosion" from the "mid-1970s."

This is completely incorrect.

I know there are lots of comic websites and maybe even Wikipedia which talks about DC's launch of new titles during the mid-1970s as part of the DC Explosion, but the fact is that those titles were not part of the Explosion.

The DC Explosion was an initiative by publisher Jenette Kahn, who took over DC in late 1976. She was looking for ways to make comics more profitable for DC's distributors and venodrs so that the comics would get more prominent shelf & rack space. She introduced the Dollar Comics format in 1977, and in Summer 1978 she decided to upgrade the entire line of regular sized comics from 32 pages for 35 cents to 40 pages for 50 cents by adding 8 pages of new stories -- most of which would be short backup stories rather than an expansion of the main story from its then-current 17 pages. In any event, each standard comic would have 25 pages of story and 15 pages of ads plus covers. Before that, comics at the time were almost evenly split between story and non-story at 17 pages and 15 pages, respectively.

This change of format from 32 interior pages to 40 and the addition of new titles like Vixen and Dynamic Classics, etc, is what the DC Explosion was. It had nothing to do with the earlier expansion of the line that included the sword and sorcery title like Claw, Warlord, Stalker, Kong, etc. These titles and others from the mid-1970s happened during the time when Carmine Infantino was publisher.

The DC Explosion marketing name was NEVER used during Infantino's tenure and it is incorrect to conflate the 1975 line expansion of Infantino with the 1978 line expansion of Jenette Kahn.

The DC Explosion, like the Dollar Comics format, the Milton Glaser DC Bullet logo, and other initiatives are ENTIRELY those of Jenette Kahn and had absolutely nothing to do with the Infantino-era of DC.

Here's the first DC Explosion ad. It's from 1978. You will NEVER find the term "DC Explosion" being used before this.

Hope this clears things up for those fans who weren't there at the time. It's important to give full and proper credit to Jenette Kahn for the DC Explosion.

Unfortunately, it only lasted 3 months because when the final sales reports came in from early-1978 where there was a devastating winter that caused comics sales to plummet, Warner Communications (the name of DC's corporate overlord at the time) forced DC to make drastic cutbacks to the line.