Here’s five pieces of information you may not know about superheroes and their origins decades ago.
5) Some characters are older than you think:
Usually, if people try to think of who the original superheroes were, characters like Green Lantern, The Flash, and Wonder Woman come to mind, but one character superseded all three of those, and he’s a character most people haven’t heard of: Blue Beetle. That’s right; he’s been around since 1939. He came out only shortly after Superman and Batman. One significant thing to point out was, unlike Superman and Batman, Blue Beetle’s powers weren’t the results of a tragic fate long in the past, but instead involved him finding a magic scarab that granted him abilities. Finding magical objects would later be a trend in comics, giving us characters like Green Lantern and, this might sound like a stretch, Spiderman, who just happens to bump into a radioactive spider. Also, who were the first Marvel characters? You might think Capt. America or The Fantastic Four, but the first two were Prince Namor (aka Sub-Mariner) and The Human Torch (a weird faceless android that would later be re-worked into Johnny Storm). That was back when Marvel was called Timely Comics.
While I’m on the topic of the Golden Age of comics, I should point out that Superman issue one and Batman issue one were not the first appearances of the famous characters. Instead, Superman debuted in Action Comics, and Batman burst on the scene of Detective Comics. At that point in time DC was known as National Allied Publications, which wasn’t much of a company name considering it doesn’t specify “comics” and it’s hardly exciting, as the initials are NAP. After the popularity of Batman, National Allied Publications was renamed DC, for Detective Comics. I always assumed the headquarters were in Washington DC (which they aren’t) or something like that. It’s interesting too because so few comics now are about detectives.
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