Superman is arguably the greatest superhero of all time. The things that come to mind to most people when describing a superhero is usually a muscular person that wears a cape and has the abilities of flight, super-strength, super-speed, and invulnerability. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1933, and sold to DC Comics in 1938, Superman is not only the blueprint of a superhero, but also the significant character that helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book. Superman’s blue costume, red cape, and stylized red-and-yellow “S” shield on his chest is one of the most iconic looks in American culture. Superman was born Kal-El on the planet Krypton, but raised as Clark Kent and imbued with a strong moral compass. In his adulthood, he is a journalist for the Daily Planet, a Metropolis newspaper. Superman resides and operates in the fictional American city of Metropolis
Batman is the iconic protector of the fictional Gotham City. Nicknamed “the Caped Crusader”, “the Dark Knight”, and “the World’s Greatest Detective”, Batman is one of the most fascinating superheroes ever. What sets him apart from other superheroes is his lack of super powers. He relies on his ninja-like fighting abilities and movement, intellect, detective skills, science and technology, wealth, an indomitable will, fear, and intimidation in his continuous war on crime. Created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger in 1939 for DC Comics, Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire, industrialist, and philanthropist. Having witnessed the murder of his parents as a child, he swore revenge on criminals, an oath tempered with a sense of justice. Batman is an American icon and one of the most profitable characters ever created.
Spider-Man is not only the most popular character in the Marvel Universe, but also the face of the company. Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko in 1963, Spider-Man was one of the first superheroes that connected and resonated with young readers. Peter Parker, the high school student behind Spider-Man’s secret identity, dealt with rejections, self-doubt, loneliness, paying bills and other stresses of everyday life. He is the quintessential New York superhero that comic book readers enjoyed seeing swinging to building to building with his web-shooters. A radioactive spider bite gave Peter Parker the super strength and agility, the ability to cling to most surfaces, and react to danger quickly with his “spider-sense”. Spider-Man is one of the most popular and commercially successful superheroes of all-time.
Wolverine is my all-time favorite superhero in comic books. He is the ferocious crime fighter with the villain swag. Created by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr. in 1974, Wolverine is a mutant who possesses animal-keen senses, enhanced physical capabilities, and a healing factor. His skeleton and retractable claws are laced with unbreakable adamantium, which makes him a dangerous character. Wolverine is the fiercely loyal member of the X-Men that would sacrifice himself without hesitation in order to save a teammate in battle. Wolverine is perhaps the only member of the X-Men that I connected with because of his brooding nature and his willingness to use deadly force to win. Wolverine’s catchphrase, “I’m the best there is at what I do, but what I do best isn’t very nice,” is one of the greatest ever in comic book history.
The Hulk is one of the most popular and memorable characters in the comic book genre. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962 for Marvel Comics, The Hulk is the green-skinned superhero that possesses near limitless superhuman strength, great invulnerability and cover several miles with a single leap. His attributes grows more potent the angrier he becomes. The Hulk is the alter ego of Bruce Banner, a socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist who physically transforms into the Hulk when angry. I think what makes The Hulk relatable to most readers is we all feel like we are a different person when under emotional stress and other specific circumstances. The Hulk has been depicted in various other media including television series and major film adaptations.
By Shamarie Knight, 25th Feb 2015