Superheros thru the years (1878-1919)

  • Well in my search for the first superheros I was interested but also kind of disappointed in the way it was hard to tell if the early ones were really superheroes or villains. So here’s what I found. Brief descriptions of some of the ones I found so far.

First Spring-heel Jack 1878. The only power I could find for him was that he could jump real high. Thus I suppose the name Spring-Heel Jack he first appeared in Penny Dreadfuls written by George Augustus Sala.

Hugo Hercules came next In 1902 he was first in American comics written by Wilhelm Heinrich Detmev Korner. Which only ran from September 1902 to January 1903 but is widely seen as one of the earliest superheroes. He had superhuman strength.

There wasn’t any other sightings of superheroes until 1911. That I found until John Carter of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter an American man of 6 ft 2, black hair and steel blue eyes was said to be immortal and was very strong.

Burroughs also wrote in 1912 Tarzan the ape man also tall with long dark hair he had gray eyes was handsome athletic and tanned wearing little clothing but a loin cloth. Other than that and being courageous and loyal I found no real superpowers. Oh yeah, he could also swing on vines and a lot of other cool things the Apes taught him.

  • Okay then along comes the first woman superhero Nightwind in 1913 by Frederick Van Rensselaer.She inherited powers for controlling the wind she wore a cape made to look like bat wings, bodysuit, and knee high boots all in the color of magenta.

After that we go to 1914 to the Gray Seal by Frank L Packard. He was a wealthy Playboy by day and he would dress in dark clothes, a mask, black slouch hat and wide leather belt which was full of small pockets. His only skill that I could find was picking locks and having lots of money.

The Scarecrow was next in 1915 by Russell Thorndike he actually wore a scarecrow suit then he got off of a scarecrow and wrote a black stallion named Gehenma I couldn’t find any real superpowers for this guy other than being courageous and helpful to people.

Okay so finally for this installment we go to 1919 to Zorro he was created by Johnston Maculley. He wore a black clad mask and dark clothes. And was considered to be very dashing. In some versions he rides a black horse named Toronado and in others it was a white horse named Phantom. The only skills I could find mentioned for him were agile athletics and acrobats he also was skilled with the bullwhip and a sword but he was most famous for the Z Mark that he left behind after his rides to help people.

That’s all for this installment the next will be from 1920s and part of the way if not all through the 1930s Okay so until I post that in a few days I hope this has been informative and interesting for you the ones who took time to read it. Thank you for the ones who did take time to read this. Well as they say until next time…

One thought on “Superheros thru the years (1878-1919)

  1. Betty thank you for your research I learned quite a bit reading this. I learned that there were super heros in the 1800s thats cool. I also learned there was a guy who was legitimately named Scarecrow thats funny and cool. What is your favorite super hero?

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