Superhero Facts and Information

America has had a fascination with the concept of superheroes since the early part of the 20th century.  The term superhero was first used way back in 1917 although there were no superheroes back then.

The idea of someone that has more powers than the normal person has always intrigued the average person and through the years countless superheroes were developed to appease the desire of the public.

 The first real superhero was Superman who first appeared in 1932 in Detective Comics, Inc. and was the creation of artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel.  Superman was the epitome of what the public wanted in a superhero.

Superman had the superhuman strength, a colorful costume that made him stand out from everyone else, and an all-American personality.

The popularity of Superman grew and he became a fixture in radio serials, merchandise, clothes, television series and movies.  The movie Superman, released in 1978 brought a surge of popularity back to the character and continued with the sequels.

The character of Superman was supposed to be from the planet of Krypton and he was sent by his father, Jor-El, to Earth when Krypton was going to be destroyed.  He arrived on Earth as a baby in Kansas and was raised by a farmer and his wife and got the name Clark Kent.

Superman has the unique costume that has special characteristics like the flowing red cape, the blue tights and top with the large letter S on the chest.  Even the shoes are unique for the outfit.

Probably the second most popular superhero is Batman and he also started out as a comic book hero when he appeared in Detective Comics issue #27 in May of 1939.  He then appeared DC Comics where his popularity grew.

There are many lists of the top superheroes of all time and the following video is a fair list of them except you might not agree with their ranking.

The character of Batman had several similarities with Superman including a secret identity, a fancy costume with a cape and similar character traits of honor, loyalty, and fighting for justice.

Batman also had some differences that included wearing a mask and not having the superhuman powers of Superman.  Batman relied more on training and fancy equipment to help him fight crime.

Batman’s secret identity was that of millionaire Bruce Wayne, who was one of the top businessmen in the mythical city of Gotham City.

The character of Robin was added as a sidekick to Batman.  Batman also had the help of  his butler Alfred Pennyworth, police commissioner Jim Gordon, and sometimes the help of heroine Batgirl.

In 1940, due to the popularity of the character, Batman got his own comic book title.  The popularity of Batman increased in the 1960′s due to the campy television series starring Adam West.

Another resurgence occurred with the 1989 hit movie, Batman directed by Tim Burton. This movie was a big hit and part of the interest were some of the stars in the movie, including Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker.  The movie grossed over $400 million.

There was another surge of popularity with the release of the Batman Begins in 2005, and The Dark Knight in 2008.  The movies were written, directed and produced by Christopher Nolan and starred Christian Bale as Batman.  The Dark Knight was nominated for eight Academy Awards and grossed over $1 billion worldwide.  The third and final installment of the Batman trilogy will be released in the summer of 2012 and is called The Dark Knight Rises.  Here is an official movie trailer for the movie that has had a lot of buzz before its official release.

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Female Superheroes

While there haven’t been many female superheroes, there are several who have had a popular following  and most of them were started as comic book heroes. 

Many of the first female heroes made their appearance in comics in the 1940′s, especially 1940.

 One of the first female superheroes appeared in 1940 in Jungle Comics #2, a comic produced by Fiction House.  The character was an ancient Egyptian lady named Fantomah who never aged.  Fantomah would transform herself into a creature who would fight evil.

Another female hero who debuted in 1940 was Invisible Scarlet O’Neil, who could make herself invisible and fight evildoers, especially villains from WWII.

A third character who debuted in 1940 was the Black Widow who was one of the first antiheroes.   She was an emissary from the devil and her job was to send villains to hell.

Also appearing in 1940 were the characters of the Woman in Red, Lady Luck, and the Red Tornado.

Probably the most well-known female superhero was Wonder Woman, who made her debut in 1942 from All-American Publications in the comic All Star Comics #8.  All-American Publications merged with another company to form DC Comics.

Wonder Woman was a warrior princess of the mythical tribe of women called Amazons.  She had special super powers and had special devices including the Lasso of Truth, which would make anyone caught in the rope tell the truth. 

She also had a pair of bracelets that were indestructible, a tiara that was used as a weapon, and an invisible plane.

The popularity of Wonder Woman helped with the creation of more female superheroes including Batgirl, Batwoman and Supergirl.  Her popularity resulted in an animated series and hit TV series that played from 1975-1979 starring Lynda Carter.

Empire magazine named Wonder Woman the 20th greatest comic book character.

Here is a scene from the animated show of Wonder Woman.

 

 

The newest superhero movie is actually a who’s who in superheroes.  The new movie is called The Avengers and it is being released in May of 2012.  This promises to be one of the more exciting superhero movies with the cast of heroes including Iron Man, Captain America, the Hulk and Thor.  The main theme of the movie is the superheroes forming a team to battle Thor’s brother, Loki, who is determined to destroy the Earth.

Here is a trailer for the film.

If you can wait, there will be an Avengers 2 that will be released in 2015.

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