Secret Origins ran a total of four years and is most notable for explaining the post-Crisis origin of many DC Comics characters. While the series addressed many mainstream character origins, it also succeeded in bringing to light the back stories of more obscure DC characters such as Nightshade, Midnight and Doctor Occult. Secret Origins often put villains on center stage as well as heroes. Originally the series was 32 pages and was intended to explore the origins of one golden/silver age hero in one issue followed by a bronze/modern age hero in the next issue. Starting with #6 the series expanded to 48 pages covering both an older character and a new character. Several issues were dedicated to teams or theme-based characters. Starting with #45 the series became bi-monthly.
As writers continued to build on DC characters in the post-Crisis universe, many origins in this series were retconned over the following years. Captain Marvel, Power Girl and Hawkman are such examples.