While stationed in Germany in 1951, a German movie magazine with red
and blue anaglyphic photographs and glasses impressed Joe Kubert. In 1952, after
being discharged from the Army, he convinced St. John to hire him to write, draw
and produce their comics. Kubert got his boyhood friend and fellow artist Norman
Maurer to assist him. In the Spring of 1953 the duo developed an affordable way
to produce the same 3-D effect as the German magazine. They devised a process
unique enough to patent. They formed the American Sterographic Corporation and
sold the first license to use their innovation to St. John.
A month and half later a million and a quarter copies of THREE
DIMENSION COMICS #1 starring Mighty Mouse arrived at the newstands. Even though
it cost 250% more than the 2-D comics it sold out. St. John decided to make
their entire line 3-D.
Leon Harvey (of Harvey Comics) noted the success of THREE DIMENSION
COMICS #1, was able to figure out the basics of 3-D and began publishing 3-D
comics two months later using a method that created 4 planes of depth rather
than the 6 planes of depth that the Kubert/Maurer process produced.
Harvey contacted Jack Kirby and asked him to develop a superhero to
capitalize on 3-D's popularity.
Unfortunately by the time CAPTAIN 3-D reached the market the 3-D fad was
For more about the history of the 3-D process (which goes back to 1838) I recommend AMAZING 3-D by Hal Morgan and Dan Symmes