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  • Jared Barber

    LOOK UP IN THE SKY!…IT’S A BIRD…IT’S A PLANE….NO! IT’S….It’S…it’s…no wait, yup, it’s just a bird.
    Ok ok….Let’s iron this out folks.
    Come One, Come All to the battle of the superhero who was first to the party! The one who started this crazy ball a rollin.
    Which super duper qualifies as “The first true super-hero”?
    Superman? The Phantom? The Shadow? Flash Gordon? Namor? Buck Rogers? Doc Savage? …… All of them have been touted as being super-numero-uno to me lately, both online and in person and NOW? being a new comic book collector, I’m totally curious about who wins the title. OR…is it someone I haven’t been told about?
    First of all, let’s take the definition. “Superhero” – In my opinion, special powers + costumes are NOT necessarily required, so “Skilled Do-Gooder” would be more apt. haha
    With that said, I’m tempted to simply go with who was published first in illustrated newspaper, magazine or “Comic” book form.
    So, I’m going to take a shot in the dark and go with…………………….. “The Shadow”.
    As although Buck Rogers appears to have come first, he was more of a ‘Swash-Buckler’. Similar to Han Solo. Whereas “The Shadow” started laying the foundations for the ‘Superhero’ archetype. From the bad-guy scaring costume, to a secret identity, side-kick, super villains/rogues gallery, cool crime-fighting toys, etc.
    To all those out there in nerdvana? I invite you to step into the ring with me and assist in battling it out to help me knock the truth out of history. Ready?! ……FIGHT!

    Buck Rogers – American Science Fiction Magazine – 1929
    The Shadow – Street & Smith – 1931
    Doc Savage – Street & Smith – 1933
    Flash Gordon – King Features Syndicate – 1934
    The Phantom – Frew Publications – 1936
    Superman – DC Comics – 1938
    Namor – Marvel Comics – 1939 (April)
    Batman – DC Comics – 1939 (May)
    Spiderman – Marvel Comics – 1962 ( about a late bloomer huh?)

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