Note: This thread is copied from "Prehistoric Age of Super Heroes"( http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=txbxju92jjczao9g04n60bpt
,which crashed due to the editor choking on some bad code I linked to. I think the original was denied a proper chance, so I'm reincarnating it here.
added: 2012-02-11 13:49:09 sponsor: Gamingboy1
Everybody knows that the superhero
genre as we know it didn't start until Action Comics
#1. But Ur Example
superheroes existed long before Superman
arrived in Metropolis, in fact Superhero-like beings go back to ancient times, a fact acknowledged by how the The Avengers
have had at least three mythological figures on their roster at one point or another. As a result, the "Prehistoric Age of Superheroes" is by far the longest, but also the least defined time for superheroes.
There are a few reasons for this: A) How many pre-Superman superheroes there were, or even if there were any at all, depends greatly on your definition of the term. B) Unlike every other "age" of superhero fiction, characters in the Prehistoric Age were usually not created for Comic Books, Movies or the extremely-nascent medium of Television, but rather were in novels, pulp magazines or folklore. C) Many of the characters became forgotten or overshadowed once The Golden Age of Comic Books
started up, and those that didn't usually weren't referred to as Superheroes. D) Many of them didn't have actual superpowers and would today be referred to as being Badass Normal
Examples of "Prehistoric Age of Superheroes" Characters:
- The Shadow (introduced in the early 30s) from radio dramas and pulp novels. One of the main inspirations for Batman. Other pulp heroes like The Spider and to a certain extent Doc Savage also apply.
- Zorro, started in 1919 and also one of the inspirations for Batman.
- The Phantom, created in 1936, was one of the first costumed superheroes in comics (comic strips, in his case)
- Mandrake The Magician, much like The Phantom, was created in comic strips (1934). Prototype for many of the magician-style heroes, most notably the Zatara family.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1905.
- The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger, both made by the same guy and basically having the same shtick only in different time-period, both debuted on the Radio before Superman debuted.