Created By: KingZeal on August 5, 2011 Last Edited By: KingZeal on October 5, 2012

The First Supers

The story is told In A World where abnormal beings have never existed...until now.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Superman: Easy, miss. I've got you.
Lois Lane: You've got me?! *looks down* Who's got you?!

The Earliest of the Superhero Prevalence Stages.

So we've got a story set in a world which is Like Reality Unless Noted. It could take place in the past, the present, or Twenty Minutes into the Future and in any location on Earth. This world is much like our own up until something very extraordinary happens:

Someone wins the Super Power Lottery.

This is a common trope in most Superhero Origins for superheroes that don't exist in a Verse. When you're the first superhuman on Earth, expect to turn a lot of heads when you fly and to astound a crowd when you throw a car. Expect for some people to see you as a miracle and a marvel, mundane enemies to fear you like a monster, and for others to see you as a threat or a menace. Expect your mere existence to rapidly shift the world around you and change things like never before.

Congratulations, you are The First Super.

Examples:

Anime/Manga
  • George Glenn is the first Coordinator in the Gundam SEED Universe.
  • Gundam00: Setsuna is the first to ascend into a true natural Innovator.

Comics
  • Most Golden Age superheroes were this at some point, expecially before the Massive Multiplayer Crossover became common.
  • In the 2011 DC Universe Continuity Reboot, Superman heralds the dawn of superheroes, while the Batman, the Badass Normal, is secretly already active for some time.
  • Superboy-Prime was the first[[hottip:*:Well, technically second, although Prime was first via the spirit of the trope.]] and only superhero in his universe of Earth-Prime.
    • The same concept was later re-adapted into the Kurt Busiek's {{Superman: Secret Identity}}, where Superman is a fictional character and a boy named Clark Kent one day suddenly discovers that he has superhuman powers...
  • The Great Machine was the first and only superhero in Ex Machina.
  • Rising Stars
  • Watchmen, of course, details the history of its universe's superheroes from their origins onward.
  • Marvels
  • Next Men

Film
  • The first installment of a superhero movie is likely to deal with this trope.
    • Superman.
    • Spider-Man
    • Batman
    • Hancock
    • Meteor Man
    • The Mask
    • X-Men: First Class fits this more than the other films. The original trilogy treats mutants as something which are fairly new, but familiar. In First Class, however, even the mutants themselves thought that they were the only ones of their kind.
    • Zig-zagged in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each individual superhero makes quite an impression when they first show up. (In particular, The Incredible Hulk stuns and frightens people every time he appears.) However, the SHIELD agents which appear in each film make it clear that none of the modern superheroes were the first. Also, when you consider that Norse Mythology is true in this universe, humans have had some contact with extranormal beings for some time, even if it's no longer common knowledge.
  • The Star Brand from Marvel's New Universe, though in his case its arrival on Earth created supers all around the world in a flash.

Literature
  • The first book of the Wild Cards novels.
  • In The Time Traveller's Wife, Henry is the only time traveller in the novel and has difficulty convincing doctors that his condition is real (and convincing his friends why he acts so oddly). Later on he jumps into the future where he is referred to as Chrono-Impaired by his ten year old daughter, who has the same condition basically revealing that by that point, time travel has become accepted as a thing.

Live-Action TV
  • Heroes
  • The 4400
  • Alphas takes place when superhuman abilities are just beginning to be studied and understood.
  • For the most part, the early seasons of Smallville played this straight.
  • River Tam from Firefly/Serenity is most likely the first really powerful psychic in the Verse, since she's a unique prototype Super Soldier who escaped from a top secret lab. Too bad that the technology for training Psychic Powers is still very crude and involves brain surgery and other cruel and invasive experimentation resulting in madness.

Web Comics
  • An issue of PS238 is devoted to the story of the first ever superhero in their universe.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • August 5, 2011
    feotakahari
    Do they have to be the first of many, or can they be unique in their world (e.g. Concrete?)
  • August 5, 2011
    KingZeal
    Either is fine.
  • August 5, 2011
    NESBoy
    In the 2011 DC Universe Continuity Reboot, Superman heralds the dawn of superheroes, while the Batman, the Badass Normal, is secretly already active for some time.
  • August 5, 2011
    DorianMode
    Watchmen, of course, details the history of its universe's superheroes from their origins onward.

  • August 5, 2011
    Sijo
    Correction: Superboy Prime was the second superhero from Earth Prime. The first was Ultraa (or as I call him, Hippie Superman) from a Justice League story in the 70s. He left his world for Earth-0ne after realizing his presence created the world's first supervillain as well and feared more would happen if he stayed (it was a kinda metafictional thing.)

    Another example: The Star Brand from Marvel's New Universe, though in his case its arrival on Earth created supers all around the world in a flash.

  • August 6, 2011
    Koveras
    This is pretty much the Early one of Superhero Prevalence Stages.
  • August 6, 2011
    Bisected8
    • An issue of PS238 is devoted to the story of the first ever superhero in their universe.
  • August 6, 2011
    AndrewJ
    Alphas takes place when superhuman abilities are just beginning to be studied and understood.
  • August 9, 2011
    regresal
  • August 9, 2011
    foxley
  • August 12, 2011
    MorganWick
    Near as I can tell, post-reboot Action Comics takes place substantially before the rest of the reboot comics. Batman has been "active for some time" because his stories are set later.
  • August 12, 2011
    acrobox
    • George Glenn is the first Coordinator in the Gundam Seed Universe
    • Gundam00 Setsuna is the first to ascend into a true natural Innovator
    • Dragon Ball Goku is the first Super Saiyan in thousands of years
  • August 25, 2011
    KingZeal
    Goku doesn't count.
  • August 25, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Setsuna needs a spoiler tag, others might too
  • August 26, 2011
    KingZeal
    If everything's in order here, launching tomorrow.
  • May 13, 2012
    Ekuran
    I bump in the name of great JUSTICE!
  • May 14, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    In The Time Travellers Wife Henry is the only time traveller in the novel and has difficulty convincing doctors that his condition is real (and convincing his friends why he acts so oddly). Later on he jumps into the future where he is referred to as Chrono-Impaired by his ten year old daughter, who has the same condition basically revealing that by that point, time travel has become accepted as a thing.
  • October 4, 2012
    SharleeD
    Wouldn't Hancock be a subversion? He thinks he's the first superhero, but learns that there used to be lots of them in ancient times. It's more a case of supers being rediscovered. Likewise, Heroes only seems like it's about the first supers until we learn that there's a previous generation of them around, and at least one who dates back to feudal Japan.
  • October 4, 2012
    Generality
    Of course, early superhero comics fit this by default.
  • October 4, 2012
    aurora369
    River Tam from Firefly/Serenity is most likely the first really powerful psychic in the Verse, since she's a unique prototype Super Soldier who escaped from a top secret lab. Too bad that the technology for training Psychic Powers is still very crude and involves brain surgery and other cruel and invasive experimentation resulting in madness.
  • October 5, 2012
    Frank75
    If almost nobody knows/believes that there have ever been real superheroes, that's almost as good as if someone really was the first superhero.
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