The DC Chronology Project is an important part of the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe, that works both as an integrated part of that site as well as a working site all of its own. The DC Chronology Project (DCP) is an ongoing attempt at chronicling every actual appearance by every character and team in the DC Universe, and place them in their proper chronological order. In the mid-eighties Independent Comics Group (ICG) published a number of official DC Comics Indexes edited by Murray Ward. These indexes included before and "before and after" appearances of each character in each of the indexed issues. The DCP can be seen as a sort of companion piece to these indexes and an attempt to pick up where they left off. While the main purpose of the DCP is "only" to list the appearances of the characters themselves in chronological order, these lists will be crossreferenced with the Unofficial DC Indexes that are also part of the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe and bear a closer resemblence to the ICG indexes.
The DC Chronology Project hope to answer the question: What is the "before and after" appearance for every significant character in every story of the DC Universe? And if you're one of those who thinks it can't be done, watch us.
Anyway, this web site is intended as an information resource. If you want to read every story with your favorite character, in order by that character's perspective, this is the place to start.
Q. How does the DC Chronology Project work?
All characters in the DCP are listed alphabetically, with characters whose super-hero names are essentially normal names (i.e. Guy Gardner and Adam Strange) listed first name first. Where there are several versions of a character (i.e. Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.), they are listed in the order of the particular ages (typically with separate entries for each). Characters who are primarily known by a single name and a title, such as Madame Xanadu and Queen Hippolyta, are listed under the first letter of their titles (M for Madame, etc.).Names that are comprised of numbers are organized according to the way in which they would be spelled out. For example, a character named 99 would appear in the position of Ninety-nine, but would still be listed as 99. The characters will be color-coded according to the following categories:
Some listings will include a [...] occasionally. This means that this part of the character's chronology has not yet been investigated and a number of appearances might very well be missing.Listings followed by a [Flashback] comment, means that this sequence takes place out of chronological order, within the confines of a particular story. Other listings are followed by a [Behind the Scenes] comment which means that while not actually appearing in the story, the character's actions still have an impact on the story. Story titles are given as they appear on the title page, and not as on the covers or in coming attractions. When a story lacks a title or title page the title of the story will read: [No title]. In some cases a story title will appear in the 's. This means the story was either named on the cover or the story has been given a title by the indexer. If a comic has more than one story in it, each story is listed separately. For instance Action Comics #25/2 means the second story in Action Comics #25. In the case of Golden Age stories where several characters had their own separate features it will not always appear what number the story had in the issue. Titles that have had more than one series will be listed as different volumes. Superman (second series) for instance will be listed as Superman Vol. 2. Some of the listed issues are hyperlinked. This means that the issue in question has been fully indexed for the unofficial DC Index Series (another part of the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe) and by clicking the link you will be taken to the index of that particular issue.
Q. The Flying Banana appears in Ragin' Cajun #31. You don't list him. Why?
As the DCP is still in its very early stages there's a good chance we haven't gotten around to that particular character. However, there might be other reasons as well. So before contacting us about the omission please ask yourself these questions first.
1. Was this a reprint of some other story? If yes, we should have the appearance listed in the book where the story was originally printed. We don't track reprints, since they have no impact on a character's chronology.
2. Was this appearance a flashback to some previous story, with no new information imparted? If yes, we'll have the appearance listed where the flashback was originally told.
3. Was this really an appearance, as opposed to a dream sequence, a remembrance, or an apocryphal story? Many web pages elect to list these kinds of appearances, which is fine. But remember: we're the DC Chronology Project, not the DC Appearances Project.
If you've gone through these three questions, and still think this appearance deserves to be listed, then please let us know at the DCU Guide Message Board and we will take a closer look.
Q. My favorite character is Mr. Potato Head. Why isn't he listed?
Well, it might be because he's not a DC Universe character. It might be because we thought he wasn't very important or it might be we just haven't gotten around to him yet. DC has been publishing comics for over 60 years and as we've just recently started this project there are still quite a number of characters that haven't been investigated. Chances are, if that last one is the reason, we'll change our mind and add him, just because you asked nicely.
Generally, heroes and villains with codenames are listed regardless of their importance. Characters who appear in more than one title are listed, regardless of their importance. Characters who only reveal their first names are genrally not listed, unless they have been making a lot of appearances in a certain book. The listing of characters who reveal both their first and last names is basically a judgment call. The questions we ask ourselves are: How likely is this character to appear in some other story? and: Is this character significant?
Q. Why aren't Milestone, Wildstorm and Impact characters listed?
Although they have crossed over with the DC Universe Milestone and Wildstorm are not considered part of the DC Universe. However you might be able to find some Milestone characters in the listings as the crossover issues were listed in the old version of the DCP.Impact was a licenced imprint and had nothing to with the DC Universe.
Q. Why aren't Elseworld characters listed?
For the time being we are concentrating on DCU proper. This includes the current DC Universe, and the various pre-Crisis Earths. Elseworld appearances will probably be added at a later time on a page of their own but don't expect this to happen right away. While Wildstorm now seems to be considered part of the overall DC Multiverse Wildstorm titles won't be added to the DCP at this point.
Q. Why aren't all Vertigo characters listed?
Some Vertigo series such as Preacher for instance are creator-owned projects that have nothing to do with the DC Universe and are therefore not listed.
Q. Why is your site so slow?
If you experience the site or any of the pages loading very slow this might be a server problem. However, some of these pages have very much information and as a result they take some time to load.
Q. How come not all lists include cover dates and story titles and why list them at all?
The reason we chose to list the cover dates and story titles as well is first of all because I think it looks good. Secondly the cover dates gives some indication of the logivity of the character and the story titles might give you a clue as to what the story is about or just remind you of the story itself in case you should want to try and look it up.
Q. Can I post your Red Warthog chronology on my web page?
Yes, provided some basic conditions are met:
http://www.dcuguide.com/dcguide/DCP for the DC Chronolgy Project
http://www.dcuguide.com/ for the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
Q. How often do you update the DCP?
As often as humanly possible.
Q. I sent you an email a couple of weeks ago, but never got a response. How come?
We try to respond to every email that we receive preferrably within a day or two. However, sometimes we get so much mail that just sorting through it takes a lot of time and for some reason it might get lost in the crowd. Should this be the case we are very sorry, but it doesn't mean we didn't want to answer you. The best way to ensure we read and reply to your message or question would be to post it at the DCU Guide Message Board which we check out and respond to almost daily.Of course there are exceptions. Here are the most common ones.
If you were rude, or in any way abusive, your letter or message will be dumped without a second thought.
Demanding that a specific character is done won't get you anywhere. We are all working on the DCP for the fun of it and as long as we're still missing as much as we are people are free to do whatever character they want to and therefore demands will not be dignified with an answer.
Maybe something got fried on the internet, and we never received your message. Please try again.
Make sure the "Reply To" field on your web browser has your correct address. Many times, we respond to correspondent's email, only to have my reply bounced back to me as undeliverable. *shrug*
Q. How do I add a listing to the DCP?
To add something to an existing entry, sign up on the DCU Guide Message Board and write your entry in a post on the DC Chronology Project sub-board.