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Comic Books: DC/Impact
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Impact Comics, initially meant to be just an imprint of
DC Comics, was like its own company. The continuity of Impact
Comics' characters was completely separate from that of DC
Comics. In other words, none of the Impact characters belonged in
the "DC Universe".
The superhero characters of Impact (more specifically, their names and
likenesses) were licensed from Archie Comics. On and off for many
years, Archie published superhero comics. Before that company
became known as Archie, it was called MLJ. It was in 1939, the
year that MLJ was founded, that they started producing now-classic
superhero characters. Some of the superheroes MLJ/Archie produced
over the years included: Black Hood, Comet, Fly, Fly-Girl, Hangman,
Jaguar, Shield, Steel Sterling, and The Web.
Impact began in 1991 and ended in 1993. Why the short run?
It certainly had nothing to do with the quality of the titles.
The Impact comics were, to say the least, outstanding in both art,
stories, and general concepts. The problem was really all in
publishing politics. DC wanted to sell Impact Comics at
newsstands, but due to internal conflicts this never happened. So
Direct Market is how they were distributed. That has NEVER been
good for the life of a comic series, then or now. End
result? Sales were low because nobody could find the dang comics
to buy them! The cover prices all followed the general standard
price of the time ($1.00), so profits were not exactly lucrative in the
specialty shops. No one wanted to carry them.
Impact faded out of the picture without much notice, which is a true
shame. It all ended on pretty bitter terms between the creative
folks and executives. Archie still owns the character rights, and
they've used them a little bit since then in cameo shots of comics from
the Archie publisher, but they have yet to use them in any significant
way. 1993 proved the final death blow of the MLJ
characters. With the comic book medium being only a small
fraction as popular as it was in the early 1990s, it is doubtful our
beloved heroes will make a triumphant return. Certainly, the
Impact versions of the characters will not be seen again, and they
were, perhaps, the best interpretations of those heroes to date.
Thanks to back issues, Impact Comics will live on in the hearts and
minds of those who love great superhero fiction.
Search by series. Next page will feature
series and issue information.
Black Hood Annual
Impact Winter Special
of the Shield