In 1983, DC Comics acquired a line of characters from Charlton Comics. During that period, writer Alan Moore contemplated writing a story that featured an unused line of superheroes that he could revamp, as he had done in his Miracleman series in the early 1980s. Moore reasoned that MLJ Comics' Mighty Crusaders might be available for such a project, so he devised a murder mystery plot which would begin with the discovery of the body of the Shield in a harbour. The writer felt it did not matter which set of characters he ultimately used, as long as readers recognized them "so it would have the shock and surprise value when you saw what the reality of these characters was". Moore used this premise and crafted a proposal featuring the Charlton characters titled Who Killed the Peacemaker, and submitted the unsolicited proposal to DC managing editor Dick Giordano. Giordano was receptive to the proposal, but opposed the idea of using the Charlton characters for the story. Moore said, "DC realized their expensive characters would end up either dead or dysfunctional. " Instead, Giordano persuaded Moore to continue with new characters. Moore had initially believed that original characters would not provide emotional resonance for the readers, but later changed his mind. He said, "Eventually, I realized that if I wrote the substitute characters well enough, so that they seemed familiar in certain ways, certain aspects of them brought back a kind of generic super-hero resonance or familiarity to the reader, then it might work. "