Updated on 16 October, 2021
Charlton Comics is an American comic book publisher that existed in Warfield, Connecticut from 1945 to 1986. It was originally based in Derby, Connecticut. The comic-book series was later a division of Charlton Publishers, which released comic books, adventure books and, briefly, comics. Today, the comic-book division is run by Brian Wood and Bill Moore.
Charlton's comics were renowned for their distinctive voice, distinctive characters and top quality production values. They achieved this by using a variety of formats, including comic books, hardcovers and trade paperbacks. Their style and presentation has become a classic, which appeals to a wide variety of readers. Some of their most well-known titles are: Ghost Man's Fist, Fearless, Vampires, Voodoo, Batman: The Dark Knight, Hellraiser, Superman: The Adventures of Superman, Batman, Brats, Judge Dredd, Vampirella and many more.
Charlton's comic books can be collected throughout the years, but what really brings them back to youth is their "TV" format. They were known for making television shows, including one based on the "Foo Fighters" that ran for two seasons, and the "Mystery Team" series. The "Foo Fighters" series focused on a team of misfit dogs who worked together to save puppies from bad people. The "Mystery Team" series followed the exploits of a team of young detectives who solved crimes. Both series ended with satisfying conclusions, and the "Vampires" series was cancelled after one season.
Wood and Moore have created some of the most beloved characters and themes from their time at Charlton. Many other publishers have attempted to cash in on the success of these titles, but no other has had nearly the same amount of success as Charlton. In fact, a recent company formed by DC co-publishers Greg Berlanti and Jimmyzman, called Dark Horse, has been attempting to get Charlton's name and characters into the comic book market on a low budget.
However, it wasn't until the late seventies when Charlton comics group began to truly push into the competitive market. First, they created "Bullseye", which was a Secret Six mini-series. This mini-series featured an ensemble of anti-heroic vigilantes, who wore all black and wore masks that changed color in appearance according to circumstance. This group was based around a young girl who started a vigilante organization that included other teenagers. The "Voodoo" series was another success, featuring a young teenage girl that was orphaned while saving her town from vampires. She then put together a rag-tag band of teenage superheros that ranged from wispy brunettes to hotheaded bikers.
The "Voodoo" series is now a world wide popular franchise, and has run for over fifteen years, even having an animated series. Other Charlton comics to make their presence felt in the horror genre include "The Shape" which featured two high school students who developed strange powers; "Chupacabra" which starred in four separate one-shots; and "The Walking Dead" series, which is still running today. All of these series have proven that the business of publishing superhero fiction is huge, and that there is life out there for these kinds of comic books. Charlton is also involved with the Worldbook Miniatures collection, which has produced several high-quality collectible miniatures based on well known characters, including Batman, Robin, Superman, and several other icons.
It should be noted that most of the above mentioned Charlton comics are all originally American titles. The company has also published many English language comic books based on some of the more popular American heroes and villains. Among them are "X-Men" and "Avengers." Both of these superhero titles have enjoyed great success. Among the latter's various incarnations are the "New Avengers" series starring Brian Bendis and "Uncanny X-Men" featuring Chris Evans as Professor X and Magneto, both of whom also star in their own ongoing series.
For those readers interested in a more classic superhero title, "Kingdom Come" by Steve Englehart and illustrated by George C. Scott is the fourth bestselling issue of this "dystopian" superhero series. This original story told of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round table, and followed a path set by the earlier "Achilles" series starring William Knight and later Batman. Following this series' release, a television show featuring the same characters was created by Universal Studios. The series ended after a season, and the TV show became an instant hit, moving over 2 million copies in its first week. There is no word on whether a fifth season will renew the series for another outing, but it is looking very good for the Roseship comic book series to remain a staple in both the graphic novel genre and television industry for many years to come.