First Wave

Cover of First Wave 1 (May 2010). Featuring Batman, Doc Savage and The Spirit. Art by J. G. Jones.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Limited series

Crime, superhero

Publication date May 2010 – March 2011
Number of issues 6
Main character(s) Batman
Doc Savage
The Spirit
Black Canary
The Avenger
Rima the Jungle Girl
The Blackhawks[1]
Creative team
Writer(s) Brian Azzarello
Artist(s) Rags Morales
Letterer(s) Clem Robins
Colorist(s) Nei Ruffino
Editor(s) Joey Cavalieri
Chris Conroy

First Wave is the name of a separate DC Comics fictional universe, its line of comic book and a comic book limited series featuring the universe.

The universe was a melding of licensed pulp fiction characters with versions of established non-super powered DC heroes. The comic book line was launched with a Batman/Doc Savage one-shot followed by the limited series and two continuing series. The limited series was six-issue long published in 2010 and written by Brian Azzarello, drawn by Rags Morales featuring the main characters of the universe.

Publication history

With DC's acquisition in 2009 of comic book rights for Doc Savage and The Spirit amongst other pulp characters, DC co-publisher Dan DiDio and writer Brian Azzarello decided on a shared universe for these characters then added established non-super powered DC heroes to the mix.[2]

The First Wave fictional universe is one of the worlds in the DC Multiverse[3] and was introduced in a Batman/Doc Savage one-shot, written by Brian Azzarello with art by Phil Noto.[1] As well as the Eponymous characters it also introduced others such as Black Canary, The Avenger, The Blackhawks, The Spirit, and Doc Savage's The Fabulous Five.[1]

This was then followed by a First Wave limited series with art by Rags Morales.[1][3]

The First Wave line was then expanded to include two ongoing series: Doc Savage, initially written by Paul Malmont with art by Howard Porter,[3] and The Spirit, initially written by Mark Schultz and drawn by Moritat.[4]

Both of these titles also included back-up stories further showcasing the First Wave universe. Justice Inc., starring The Avenger, runs in Doc Savage[3] while The Spirit featured short black-and-white tales of the lead character written and drawn by various creators for the first eight issues.[5]

By February 2011, DC planned to cancel the line,[6] but the Doc Savage and The Spirit titles were solicited as late as August 2011.[7] In February 2012, DC listed a First Wave collection for May 2012 release.[8] Licenses for the involved non-DC characters, Spirit, Doc Savage and the Avenger, ended prior to December 17, 2012.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Renaud, Jeffrey (August 11, 2009). "Azzarello Reimagines Doc Savage". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved October 6, 2009. 
  2. Truitt, Brian (March 3, 2010). "'First Wave' reintroduces pulp heroes to new readers". USA Today. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Rogers, Vaneta (3 March 2010). "Brian Azzarello Gets Ready to Break DC's First Wave". Newsarama. Retrieved September 26, 2010. 
  4. Renaud, Jeffrey (February 16, 2010). "Mark Schultz has "Spirit"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved February 16, 2010. 
  5. Goellner, Caleb (January 19, 2010). "Expect Spirited, Savage Debuts From DC's 'First Wave' In April". Comics Retrieved 1 June 2013. 
  6. Johnston, Rich (February 23, 2011). "First Wave Crashes – DC To Cancel Line". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  7. Bondurant, Tom (May 19, 2011). "Grumpy Old Fan Growing the garden: DC’s May solicits". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  8. Bondurant, Tom (February 16, 2012). "Grumpy Old Fan Growing the garden: DC’s May solicits". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 
  9. McMillan, Graeme (December 17, 2012). "DC Loses Rights To THE SPIRIT, DOC SAVAGE and THE AVENGER". newsarama. Retrieved May 22, 2013. 

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