The United States Postal Service has announced that one of its 2006 2006 Commemorative Stamps sets will be superheroes. What follows is the release and an image of the stamps can be found here.
This is the first stamp pane (20 stamps) honoring comic book super heroes to be issued by the Postal Service.
Half of the stamps on the DC Comics Super Heroes pane show portraits of characters; the others show covers of individual comic books devoted to their exploits. Beginning with the classic covers, a separate paragraph below briefly comments on each stamp.
Ever since Superman was introduced to readers in 1938, super heroes have been nearly synonymous with the comic book medium. Their fantastic adventures provide an escape from the everyday while simultaneously encouraging readers to feel that individuals can make a difference.
Comic books aren’t simply “kid stuff” – adults have always been among their readers, and the form has attracted its share of serious artists and writers. And super heroes have responded to social and political issues from the start, fighting corporate greed and political corruption during the Depression, for example, and then becoming patriotic defenders of national interests during World War II.
Plastic Man #4
Art by Jack Cole
Cartoonist Jack Cole flexed his creative muscles with the always pliable, ever-reliable Plastic Man, who debuted in August 1941. Cole enjoyed a 15-year stretch experimenting with fun, unique story twists and graphics for his expandable protagonist and stout sidekick, Woozy Winks.
Art by Bob Kane
Batman made his debut in Detective Comics #27 in May 1939 before swinging into action – with Robin, the Boy Wonder, by his side – with his own title series in the spring of 1940. The Dark Knight’s distinguishing characteristics were intellect, skill and grim determination.
The Brave And The Bold #36
Art by Joe Kubert
Hawkman returned in 1960, a reincarnated hero from the earlier “Golden Age” of comics. The new Winged Wonder and his spouse Hawkgirl were intergalactic police officers from a distant planet, meting out justice to the villains terrorizing Midway City. (Editor’s note: The Golden Age of Comics took place from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.)
Green Lantern #4
Art by Gil Kane & Joe Giella
As readers entered the Space Age, so did comics. Ace test pilot Hal Jordan took flight as Green Lantern, a galactic peace officer with an emerald power ring that could create virtually anything. Willpower and fearlessness marked Jordan as a hero for the times.
The Flash #111
Art by Carmine Infantino & Joe Giella
The Flash is capable of moving at speeds so great he can make himself invisible or travel through time and between dimensions. His fast-paced adventures highlight pseudo-science while pitting the hero against an extensive “Rogues’ Gallery” of villains.
Wonder Woman #22 (2nd series)
Art by George PÃ©rez
As a worldwide ambassador of peace, Wonder Woman soared to new heights in the late 1980s. The character returned to her roots as an Amazon warrior from Paradise Island, land of heroic women. Her special powers were gifts from the Olympians.
Aquaman #5 (of 5)
Art by Curt Swan & Al Vey
Aquaman defends both land and sea with great strength, speed, and the ability to communicate telepathically with all marine life. His ultimate goal is to help both realms put aside their natural prejudices and unite in peaceful coexistence.
The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1
Art by Rich Buckler & Dick Giordano
Moments before the destruction of Argo City, Kara Zor-El was rocketed to Earth and reunited with her cousin Kal-El, the hero known throughout the galaxy as Superman. Developing incredible powers and abilities, Kara chose to follow her cousin’s example and fight for good.
Art by Fred Ray
Destiny brought the infant Kal-El from Planet Krypton to Smallville, USA, where he was raised by kindly farmers. Though gifted with extraordinary powers, Kal-El – now Clark Kent – expresses true strength in the compassion and moral responsibility he displays in the guise of Superman.
Green Arrow #15
Art by Matt Wagner
Trapped on a deserted island, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen learned to hunt with a bow and arrow. He escaped and became Green Arrow, a modern-day Robin Hood who uses his unparalleled skill as an archer on behalf of the underprivileged.
Art by Jim Lee & Scott Williams
After the brutal murder of his parents, young Bruce Wayne mastered nearly every known form of combat and employed his vast wealth to equip himself with the tools essential to his crime-fighting crusade as Gotham City’s Dark Knight, Batman.
Art by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito
Wonder Woman has been an iconic inspiration for countless women since her debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. The most recognizable female character in comics, created by William Moulton Marston, remains a figure of strength, beauty and courage.
Art by Dick Giordano
Eel O’Brian was a small-time gangster before an accident at a chemical plant gave him the uncanny ability to stretch and alter his shape at will. Renouncing his criminal past, O’Brian became Plastic Man, the longest arm of the law.
Art by Curt Swan & Sheldon Moldoff
Ever since his debut in the pages of Action Comics #1 (June 1938), the Superman character created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster has been an icon. The big red “S” on his shirt is among the most recognized symbols in American pop culture.
Art by Neal Adams
In 1970, writer Dennis O’Neil and artist Neal Adams launched a new era of relevance in comics, crafting stories in which the Green Lantern-accompanied by his friend, Green Arrow-addressed important issues then considered taboo for the typical “comic book.”
Art by Carmine Infantino & Murphy Anderson
An explosive mixture of lightning and laboratory chemicals endowed police scientist Barry Allen with superhuman speed, transforming him into the “Silver Age” Flash, the Fastest Man Alive. The Scarlet Speedster was first set into motion in Showcase #4 (September/October 1956). (Editor’s note: the Silver Age of Comics, from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, reflected a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream comic books.)
Art by Jim Aparo
The memories of Aquaman’s personal tragedies run deep after he loses his son, his wife, and his monarchy. Nevertheless, the former King of the Seven Seas remains determined to protect both the Atlanteans and surface dwellers from those who endanger them.
Art by Murphy Anderson
Powered by the mysterious “Nth metal” in his artificial wings, Hawkman soars through the sky above Midway City. When grounding the city’s worst predators, the Winged Wonder relies on his mastery of Earth’s ancient weapons, among them his mace and shield.
Art by Curt Swan & Stan Kaye
An impressionable teenager when she first arrived on Earth, Supergirl operated as her cousin Superman’s “secret weapon” while adjusting to life on her new planet. Eventually, her existence was revealed to the world, which welcomed the Girl of Steel with open arms.
Art by Jack Kirby & Mike Royer
Green Arrow made his debut in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941). Since then, the Emerald Archer’s most notable escapades were in stories drawn by legendary comics creator Jack Kirby in Adventure Comics #250-256 and World’s Finest Comics #96-99 (spanning 1958-1959).
Source: The United States Postal Service