1940s

1940

The Justice Society of America, the first superhero team in comic book history first appear in All Star Comics #3. The team is conceived by editor Sheldon Mayer and writer Gardner Fox.
Captain America, created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, first appears in Captain America Comics #1, published by Timely Comics. Appearing a year before the attack on Pearl Harbor, the cover shows Captain America punching Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in the jaw. The comic sold nearly one million copies.
The Spirit, created by writer-artist Will Eisner, first appears in a Sunday-newspaper comic book insert. The seven-page weekly series is considered one of the comic-art medium's most significant works, with Eisner creating or popularizing many of the styles, techniques, and storytelling conventions used by comics professionals decades later.

January

Joe Higgins (Earth-MLJ) (Archie Comics)Pep Comics (Comic Book Series) (Archie Comics)

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1943

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1946

The All-Winners Squad, the first superhero team in the Marvel Universe, first appears in All Winners Comics #19, published by Timely Comics.
Sazae-san, by Machiko Hasegawa debuts in Fukunichi Shimbun.

April

1949

1941

Wonder Woman, created by William Moulton Marston, first appears in All Star Comics #8. She is among the first and most famous comic book superheroines.
Stan Lee becomes editor-in-chief at Timely Comics.
Adventures of Captain Marvel, a twelve-chapter film serial adapted from the popular Captain Marvel comic book character for Republic Pictures, debuts. It was the first film adaptation of a comic book superhero.
Archie Andrews, created by Bob Montana first appears in Pep Comics #22, published by MLJ Magazines.
Plastic Man, created by writer-artist Jack Cole, first appears in Police Comics #1, published by Quality Comics.

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Suez Canal (Location) (DC Comics)

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Archie Andrews (Archie Comics)

1944

Charlton Comics, an American comic book publisher, publishes its first title, Yellowjacket, an anthology of superhero and horror stories, under the imprint Frank Comunale Publications. The company would begin publishing under the Charlton name in 1946.
Superboy, the adventures of Superman as a boy, first appears in More Fun Comics #101. The character is currently the subject of a legal battle between Time Warner, the owner of DC Comics, and the estate of Jerry Siegel. The Siegel estate claims that the original "Superboy" character published by DC Comics is an independent creation that used ideas from Jerry Siegel's original rejected pitch and was created without his consent.

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1947

Li'l Folks, the first comic strip by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, debuts mainly in Schulz's hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, on June 22nd. Li'l Folks can almost be regarded as an embryonic version of Peanuts, containing characters and themes which were to reappear in the later strip: a well-dressed young man with a fondness for Beethoven a la Schroeder, a dog with a striking resemblance to Snoopy, and even a boy named Charlie Brown.

April

1942

Crime Does Not Pay debuts, edited and mostly written by Charles Biro and published by Lev Gleason Publications. It was the first "true crime" comic series and also the first comic in the crime comics genre. One of the most popular comics of its day, at its height the comic would claim a readership of six million on its covers.

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Metalo (Earth-Two) (DC Comics)

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1948

The Association of Comics Magazine Publishers (ACMP) forms on July 1, 1948 to regulate the content of comic books in the face of increasing public criticism. Founding members included publishers Leverett Gleason of Lev Gleason Publications, Bill Gaines of EC Comics, Harold Moore (publisher of Famous Funnies) and Rae Herman of Orbit Publications. Henry Schultz served as executive director.

September

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