Comic Book Superhero Who Am I. A Precursor To Superheroes. Created by New York-based pulp writer Johnston McCulley in 1919. Appeared in novels, short stories and films before appearing in comics
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Created by New York-based pulp writer Johnston McCulleyin 1919.
Appeared in novels, short stories and films before appearing in comics
Secret identity: Don Diego de la Vega, a Spanish nobleman troubled by Spain’s colonial rule of California, adopts the identity of masked trickster anarchist vigilante whose name is Spanish for “fox”. Boring rich man by day, masked terrorist at night. His horse was called Toronado. His sidekick was deaf-mute servant Bernardo (a precursor to Bruce Wayne’s Alfred). He rode out of a secret cave under his mansion as well.
The novel was helped by stuntman-actor Douglas Fairbanks and Canadian-born wife Mary Pickford making a movie adaptation a year later for their new studio United Artists, which they started with Charlie Chaplin.
Actors: Douglas Fairbanks, Guy Williams (for Disney) and Antonio Banderas (first Hispanic actor ever to play the character)
created by Lee Falk, (also creator of comics character Mandrake the Magician)
Was a daily newspaper comic starting in 1936
Story: Kit Walker is the 21st in a line of legendary heroes, each called “The Ghost Who Walks,” having no supernatural abilities, but being so ninja-like as to appear to have ghost powers. On his left hand is a ring with crossed sabres, which he gives to people he will protect. On his right, a ring with a skull, made from the nails in Jesus’ cross, which leaves a skull-shaped mark on enemies faces when he punches them. Rides a horse named Hero. Leads a huge army of Africans called the Jungle Patrol.
Created by “writer”/ Spider-man artist Todd McFarlane of Calgary, Alberta
Story: black U.S. Marine Al Simmons becomes a CIA assassin, and is then assassinated by the CIA and sent to Hell for assassinating. Simmons sells his soul to an evil force named Malebolgia to see his wife one last time. As a hellspawn, he punishes evil whenever in the presence of an evil-doer. (So, Ghost Rider with some Batman tossed in.)
Appeared in newspapers right when Superman and Batman were taking off, starting in 1940
Denny Colt is a masked vigilante who solves mystery and stops criminals in a huge city, with the blessing of the police commissioner. Had a lair under his own tombstone, being thought dead.
Other characters: black sidekick Ebony White, villains The Octopus, Dr. Cobra and Mister Carrion; a witch named (witch) Hazel P. Macbeth, femme fatalesP'Gell, Sand Saref, Silk Satin, Silken Floss and LorleiRox.
Actors: Gabriel Macht (with Samuel Jackson as The Octopus) in 2008
This Canadian writer was given Superman to reboot in 1985. Gone were Superman being able to move planets, survive without oxygen in space, travel through time and the like. Stopping a 747 jet in flight became challenging for him again.
So successful was this reboot that this writer was given a number of other titles to reboot.
created by George W. Trendle and Fran Strikerfor radio in 1936, and then adapted for comics and short stories, film serials and television
Story: Britt Reid is a wealthy newspaper publisher who goes out with his Asian sidekick Kato to fight crime in his car Black Beauty with various gadgets, including a sleep gun.
Concurrent with the Adam West Batman and aired on the same channel, this character’s TV show aired in 1966, starring an Asian actor named Bruce Lee(!) as Kato. Fans were more into Bruce Lee than the hero character.
Story: a mutant professor starts a school to train mutant children to be superheroes. The ideological difference between Martin Luther King (understanding) and Malcolm X (equality through violence if necessary) inspired the Professor X/Magneto divide. About tolerance.
Original members: Professor X, Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman and Marvel Girl
Villains: Magneto, Sentinels, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, The Hellfire Club, Apocalypse, Mister Sinister
Notable actors: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden and Canadian actors Shawn Ashmore and Anna Paquin
D.C. had decided that there were infinite earths with different Batmen, Supermen and the like. This meant they could have stories that contradicted each other (or planets with ape versions of heroes, or with an Earth where the villains were the heroes) and not worry.
In 1985 they decided to undo that, blow up all the extra Earths and characters and start over.
They killed the Barry Allen Flash. Kid Flash (Wally West) took over. Also Supergirl. All the embarassingsuperdogs and supercats and batdogs and superhorses all got erased.
Revamped by writer John Broome and Batman artist Gil Kane,
Secret identity: fearless test pilot Hal Jordan
Story: on the planet Oa, little blue creatures called the Guardians of the Universe dole out power rings to space police. Abin Sur is ours, and when he dies, the ring finds Jordan. It can form solid objects out of imagination/will
Weakness: doesn’t work on anything yellow
Other characters: girlfriend Carol Ferris, Inuit best friend Tom “Pieface” Kalmaku
Villains: Sinestro, Parallax (evil Hal Jordan)
Played in the 2010 movie by Canadian actor Ryan Renolds (who was in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Deadpool)
Guardians on Oa were based on Israel’s Prime Minister David Ben Gurion
Created by Walter B. Gibsonas a radio drama, then series of short stories for magazines, then a comic
First aired on Detective Story Hour on radio in 1931
Story: rich guy Lamont Cranston learns the ancient Eastern art of “clouding men’s minds” when he is near, making them unable to see him. By night he drives around fighting crime with his two pistols and maniacal laugh. A precursor to Batman and the Joker
Catchphrases: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? _______knows!" (maniacal laugh) and “Crime does not pay!”
Had the attributes and stylized look of a criminal or robber, but was a (dark) hero. Had a Jewish chauffeur and a black sidekick.
Crime often took place in Chinatown with Asian villains
Girlfriend: Margo Lane
Actors: Frank Readick, Jr.,Orson Wells, Alec Baldwin
created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack Kirby
First Marvel superhero team
Story: scientist Reed Richards, with girlfriend Sue Storm, her brother Johnny and pilot Ben Grimm, fly an experimental spacecraft and get exposed to space radiation, giving them powers. No secret identities.
They become: Mr. Fantastic, The Human Torch (II), The Thing and Invisible Girl/Woman
Villains: Galactus (eater of worlds), Dr. Doom, the Skrull Empire
Actors: IoanGruffudd, Chris “Captain America” Evans, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba
a play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, written in 1903
Story: a British nobleman adventurer known after the small flower with which he signs his secret notes, leads a secret society which rescues French noblemen from the guillotine during the French Revolution. Turns out he’s the clownish Sir Percy Blakeney, who pretends to be a drunken fop to hide his adventurous identity. His wife is, Lois Lane-style, anamoured of the adventurer, not knowing he is actually her husband, for whom she has little respect.
created by Gary Friedrich, writer-editor Roy Thomas, and artist Mike Ploog.
Story: stunt rider Johnny Blaze sells his soul to an evil force named Mephisto to cure his mentor’s cancer. As a ghost rider, Blaze transforms into a blazing skeleton and punishes evil whenever in the presence of an evil-doer.