2 Early Precursor to Superheroes The Scarlet Pimpernela play and adventure novel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, written in 1903Story: a British nobleman adventurer known only as The Scarlet Pimpernel, 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.Notable actors: Anthony Andrews, Richard E. Grant
3 A Precursor To Superheroes ZorroCreated by New York-based pulp writer Johnston McCulley in 1919.Appeared in novels, short stories and films before appearing in comicsSecret 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 Zorro (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 Zorro)
4 Another Precursor To Superheroes The Phantomcreated by Lee Falk, (also creator of comics character Mandrake the Magician)Was a daily newspaper comic starting in 1936Story: Kit Walker is the 21st in a line of legendary “Phantoms,” 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.Actor who played him in 1996 movie: Billy Zane
5 Mystery Men: Big Influences On Superheroes Will Eisner’s The SpiritAppeared in newspapers right when Superman and Batman were taking off, starting in 1940Denny 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 fatales P'Gell, Sand Saref, Silk Satin, Silken Floss and Lorlei Rox.Actors: Gabriel Macht (with Samuel Jackson as The Octopus) in 2008
6 Another Mystery Man The Shadow Created by Walter B. Gibson as a radio drama, then series of short stories for magazines, then a comicFirst aired on Detective Story Hour on radio in 1931Story: 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 JokerCatchphrases: "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow 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 villainsGirlfriend: Margo LaneActors: Frank Readick, Jr., Orson Wells, Alec Baldwin
7 Yet Another Mystery Man The Green Hornetcreated by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker for radio in 1936, and then adapted for comics and short stories, film serials and televisionStory: 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, The Green Hornet TV show aired in 1966, starring an Asian actor named Bruce Lee(!) as Kato. Fans were more into Bruce Lee than the Green Hornet.Notable actors: Van Williams, Seth Rogan
9 First comic book superhero? D.C. Comic’s SupermanAppeared in Action Comics in 1938Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932Secret identity: Clark Kent (named after actors Clark Gable and Kent Taylor). Reporter at The Daily Planet newspaper in Metropolis. Lair: the Fortress of SolitudeBorn Kal-El on doomed planet Krypton to parents Jor-El and Lara. Weakness: kryptonite (shards of his exploded birth planet)At first, only able “to leap tall buildings in a single bound,” his powers kept getting increased until he could fly in space.Superman characters: Lana Lang, Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Perry White (boss)Superman actors: George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling, Brandon Routh
10 A dark opposite to Superman? D.C. Comic’s BatmanFirst appeared in Detective Comics in May 1939created by artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger, based on a The Shadow story.Secret identity: millionaire Bruce Wayne. Lair: the Batcave under Wayne Manor in Gotham City.Parents Thomas and Martha Wayne were shot in front of him as a small boy.Other characters Alfred Pennyworth the butler, Dick Grayson (Robin), Police Commissioner GordonHuge assortment of gadgets, huge “rogue’s gallery” of whacky, themed supervillains including The Joker, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Bane, Killer CrocBatman actors: Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale
11 Female Superhero? D.C. Comics’ Wonder Woman Created by William Moulton Marston (the psychologist who invented the lie detector before inventing the character with the lasso which made criminals tell the truth) and H. G. PeterFirst appeared in All Star Comics in 1941Secret identity: Diana Prince (sometime army intelligence officer)From Themyscira, an all-female island of Amazons, created from clay by mother Hippolyta (queen of the Amazons, making Diana a princess)Originally fought nazis with boyfriend Steve Trevor. Before they decided she could fly, they gave her an invisible jet. Weakness: helpless if tied up by a man.Wonder Woman actresses: Lynda Carter (70s), Adrianne Palicki (2011)
12 Magical Superman Ripoff? Captain “The Big Red Cheese” Marvel (never owned by Marvel Comics) Owned by Fawcett Comics’ (then bought by D.C. Comics)Created in 1939 by artist C. C. Beck and writer Bill ParkerFirst appears in Whiz Comics in 194012 year old homeless newsboy Billy Batson calls out the name of the wizard Shazam and magically transforms into an adult superhero called Captain MarvelLacks Superman’s vision powers, but has “Wisdom of Solomon”Other characters: Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Junior, Uncle MarvelVillains: Black Adam, Dr. Sivana
13 American WWII Supersoldier? Marvel Comics’ Captain Americacreated by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby.first appeared in Captain America Comics #1 (March 1941) by Timely Comics, who would kinda become Marvel Comics laterSecret identity: weakling Steve Rogers is given an experimental Supersoldier Formula and an indestructible shield (adamantium and vibranium). Likes to ride a motorcycle.Frozen in ice at end of WWII so they could bring him back in comics laterMember (leader) of Marvel’s The AvengersSidekick: Bucky BarnesVillains: Nazis, Hitler, The Red Skull, Baron Zemo(notable) Captain America actors: Chris EvansThis actor’s dad wroteThe Catcher In The Rye (!)
14 “Runs fast” guy? D.C. Comics’ The Flash Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampertfirst appeared in Flash Comics #1 (January 1940)Secret identity: Jay Garrick, who fell asleep in a science lab and inhaled heavy water vapour.Wore red football shirt and his father’s WWI helmet, with wings on it, like Greek god MercuryPart of one of the earliest superhero teams, The Justice Society (later “League”) of America
15 Ring Dude ...and I shall shed my light over dark evil. D.C. Comics’ Green Lanternwas created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell (who was ripping off Aladdin)First appeared in All-American Comics #16 (July 1940)Secret identity: railroad engineer Alan ScottStory: inherited a green lantern made from the metal in a meteor which fell to earth, and told him how to make a magic ring which could do almost anything.(make him invisible, walk through walls, paralyse or blind people temporarily, cut stuff like a welding torch)Weakness: the ring doesn’t work on anything made of wood. Scott learned this when hit with a wooden club.Part of the Justice Society of America...and I shall shed my light over dark evil.For the dark things cannot stand the light,The light of the Green Lantern!
17 A New(s) FlashSecret identity: Barry Allen, police scientist (from talkshow hosts Steve Allen and Barry Graycreated by writers Robert Kanigher and John Broome and penciler Carmine InfantinoFirst appeared in Showcase #4 (Oct. 1956)Story: a lightning bolt hits chemicals in his lab, drenching him in them.Other characters: girlfriend Iris West, Wally West (Kid Flash)Villains: Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Weather Wizard, Pied Piper, The Trickster, Captain BoomerangActor Michael Rosenbaun is remarkable for playing Lex Luthor on Smallville while voicing the animated Flash on Justice League.
18 New Green Lantern In brightest day, in blackest night, Secret identity: fearless test pilot Hal JordanRevamped by writer John Broome and Batman artist Gil Kane,First appearence in Showcase #22 in 1959Story: on the planet Oa, little blue creatures called the Guardians of the Universe dole out power rings to space police called the Green Lantern Corps. Abin Sur is ours, and when he dies, the ring finds Jordan. It can form solid objects out of imagination/willWeakness: doesn’t work on anything yellowOther characters: girlfriend Carol Ferris, Inuit best friend Tom “Pieface” KalmakuVillains: 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 GurionIn brightest day, in blackest night,No evil shall escape my sightLet those who worship evil's might,Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!
19 Marvel’s teen hero (The Amazing) Spider-Man created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko (who just drew himself for Peter Parker)first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962)Secret identity: Peter ParkerHigh school science nerd is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains its powers. Works at Daily Bugle, not Daily Planet. Photographer, not reporter. Hyphen in name.Other characters: Aunt May, J.Jonah Jameson (boss), Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, Flash Thompson, Harry OsbourneVillains: The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, The Lizard, Electro, The Kingpin, Mysterio, The Rhino, Kraven the Hunter.(notable) actors: Tobey McGuire, Andrew Garfield
20 Marvel’s Monster (The Incredible) Hulk Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby (who made Captain America)First appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 (May 1962)Secret identity: scientist Bruce Banner (sometimes David)Based on Robert Louis Stephenson’s Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.Story: a gamma radiation accident makes Banner uncontrollably transform whenever he loses his temper.Originally grey, but a printing error made him green, which they liked.Other characters: Rick Jones, girlfriend Betsy Ross, General “Thunderbolt” Ross, cousin Jennifer “She Hulk” Walters, Dr. Leonard “Doc” SampsonVillains: Abomination, The LeaderNotable actors Lou Ferrigno/Bill Bixby, Eric Bana, Ed Norton, Mark Rufalo
21 Marvel’s Blind Character Daredevil: The Man Without Fearcreated by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett (help from Jack Kirby)first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964)Secret identity: Matt MurdockStory: blind(ed by radiation) New York street kid becomes a lawyer, while fighting crime like Batman/Spider-man using his other, greatly enhanced sensesOther characters: Jack Murdock, Foggy Nelson, Karen PageVillains: The Kingpin, The Fixer, Bullseye, ElectraNotable actors: Ben Affleck
22 Marvel’s Tech Hero (The Invincible) Iron Man created by writer-editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirbyfirst appeared in Tales of Suspense #39 (March 1963)(not) secret identity: millionaire Tony Stark (flying Batman with armour and energy weapons)Story: Howard Hughes-style millionaire inventor turns a pacemaker needed to keep his damaged heart going into a flying suit of armour. A cold war, anti-communist, anti-asian one.Other characters: Jarvis (Batman-style butler), assistant Penny Potts, chauffeur Happy Hogan, Rhodey RhodesVillains: alcohol, the Mandarin, Justin Hammer, Crimson Dynamo, BacklashNotable actors: Robert Downey Jr.
23 Marvel’s First Superhero Team The Fantastic FourFirst appeared in The Fantastic Four #1 (Nov. 1961)created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and co-plotter Jack KirbyStory: 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/WomanVillains: Galactus (eater of worlds), Dr. Doom, the Skrull EmpireActors: Ioan Gruffudd, Chris “Captain America” Evans, Michael Chiklis, Jessica Alba
24 Marvel’s Mutant Team The (Uncanny) X-Men first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963)created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack KirbyStory: 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 GirlVillains: Magneto, Sentinels, Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, The Hellfire Club, Apocalypse, Mister SinisterNotable actors: Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, Famke Janssen, Halle Berry, James Marsden and Canadian actors Shawn Ashmore and Anna Paquin
25 Marvel’s “Superheroes We Already Made” Team-Up Team The AvengersFirst appeared in The Avengers #1 (Sept. 1963)created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist/co-plotter Jack Kirby, after the success of D.C.’s The Justice League of America superhero teamA teaming of Iron Man, the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man and the Wasp, soon joined by Captain AmericaBattle cry: “Avengers Assemble!”Could fight the villains of any of the team members, so first faced Thor’s evil brother Loki of Asgard
27 Refining Comic StyleIn the 70s and 80s, comparatively few successful new characters were created. Mostly the old ones were made more “real-world.”Art styles got more realisticEvery superhero had a “girl version.”Themes got grittyRacial themes and social problems were no longer censored outHorror and supernatural ideas were no longer censored either.
28 “Hero” who kills with a gun? The PunisherCreated by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita, Sr., and Ross Andrufirst appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (February 1974)Secret identity: Frank CastleStory: his family were killed by criminals (like Bruce Wayne) so unlike Batman, he drives around in a van and shoots criminalsOther characters: Microchip (his gear guy)Villains: the Mafia, drug cartels, organized crime of every nationality or originActors: Dolph Lungren, Thomas Jane, Ray Stevenson
29 British Future Hero Who Kills With A Gun? 2000 AD’s Judge DreddCreated by John Wagner (writer), Carlos Ezquerra (artist), Pat Mills (editor)First appeared in 2000 AD #2 in 1977Story: in the post-apocalyptic future, “Judges” with cybernetic upgrades and smartguns go around being judge, jury and executioners. Judge Joseph Dredd is one of these.Actors: Sylvester Stallone
30 A Canadian Superhero (who kills nearly everyone nearby) Wolverinecreated by writer Len Wein and Marvel art director John Romita, Sr.first appeared in the final "teaser" panel of The Incredible Hulk #180 (October 1974)No secret identity. Unknown identity until 2001, when they ended the mystery (one of the most interesting things about the character) by saying he’d been born James Howlett in Alberta in the 1880s.Catchphrase: “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very nice.”Other characters: Alpha Flight’s Heather Hudson, Yuriko, The X-Men (particularly Jean Grey), Sabretooth, MagnetoActors: Hugh Jackman
31 Unsuccessful Canadian Superhero Team Alpha FlightCreated by Chris Claremont and (Canadian) John Byrne as “Canada’s answer to The Avengers”first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #120 (April 1979)originally just part of Wolverine’s backstory.Sasquatch (in back), then l-r: Northstar, Snowbird, Shaman, Guardian, Aurora, (front) Puck and MarinaThey have always tried to make this team work, and revamped it and changed things, but it never sells outside of Canada.Pierre Trudeau appeared in an X-Men comic, demanding Canadian government funded Wolverine’s return to Alpha Flight
32 Hero From Hell? Marvel Comics’ Ghost Rider created by Gary Friedrich, writer-editor Roy Thomas, and artist Mike Ploog.First appeared in Marvel Spotlight #5 (Aug. 1972)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.Actor: Nicholas Cage
33 “Grit” Green Arrow’s sidekick Speedy got addicted to heroin Iron Man struggled with alcoholismBatman’s sidekick (Jason Todd, the second) Robin got killedAquaman’s infant son was killedSpider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy and her father were killed
34 First Black Superhero? Marvel Comics’ Black Panther Created by writer-editor Stan Lee and penciller-co-plotter Jack Kirbyfirst appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), later in Jungle Action.Secret identity: T'Challa, King of African nation of WakandaIn The Avengers
35 First Black Superhero with his own comic? Marvel Comics’ Luke CageCreated by writer Archie Goodwin and artist John Romita, Sr.first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1 (June 1972)Story: A street youth in jail, underwent a procedure which gave him impervious skin and enhanced strength. Works for the chedda
36 Black Vampire (Hunter)? Marvel Comics’ BladeCreated by writer Marv Wolfman and penciller Gene ColanFirst appeared in The Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973)Story: Eric Brooks is born in a whorehouse to a prostitute who was killed by a vampire while giving birth, which gave the child quasi-vampiric powersActors: Wesley Snipes and Kirk Jones
37 Black X-Man? Marvel Comics’ Storm created by writer Len Wein and artist Dave Cockrumfirst appeared in Giant-Size X-Men #1 (May 1975)Secret identity: Ororo Monroe (Ororo T’Challa once she married The Black Panther)Story: a child street thief in Africa, Storm was found by Professor X and trained to be an X-man.Actors: Halle Berry
38 Tongue-In Cheek Attempt to Include All Things Teens Like In A Single Title: TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesCreated by Kevin Eastman and Peter LairdFirst appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 in It was the toy line which sold the story.Story: four teenaged, anthropomorphic turtles, raised by a rat sensei to be trained ninja warriors, fight aliens, robots, other mutants, street criminals and the evil samauri ShredderNamed after renaissance artists: Leonardo, Raphael, Michaelangelo and Donatello.Other characters: April O’Neil, Casey Jones, (Master) Splinter, Krang, Beebop, Rocksteady, Shredder
39 The Modern Age: 1985-present “In this period, comic book characters generally became darker and more psychologically complex” Wikipedia
40 British Writer Attempts To Take Gritty Superhero Realism As Far As It Can Go… WatchmenCreated by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave GibbonsWatchmen came out monthly in 1986Intended to take “gritty” and problematic to the limit, and be a “tombstone for superhero comics” so this “gritty” thing could be put to bed once and for all.Features “new” characters based on established kinds of superheroes“spawned” a huge following of ripoff comics with more nasty characters who killed, with demons, violence, sex and drugs.
41 Canadian-Created, Black, Gritty, Demonic 90s Hero? Image Comics’ SpawnCreated by “writer”/ Spider-man artist Todd McFarlane of Calgary, AlbertaFirst appeared in Spawn #1 (May 1992)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, Spawn punishes evil whenever in the presence of an evil-doer. (So, Ghost Rider with some Batman tossed in.)Other characters: Malebolgia, Clown, AngelaTodd McFarlane created the “incredibly flexible, twisted up looking” Spider-Man poses, and sells toys of characters from horror movies. Neil Gaiman successfully sued McFarlane for not giving him a cent for toys based on characters Gaiman created while writing an issue of Spawn.Actor: Michael Jai White
42 Silver Age MakeoversCharacters got “reboots” to try to fix the fact that people had been writing stories about them for many decades.Rebooting meant you could add anything you liked, remove anything that seemed kinda silly, and change whatever you felt like.The most famous was Canadian John Byrne starting the Superman mythos over.
43 Crisis on Infinite Earths 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 embarassing superdogs and supercats and batdogs and superhorses all got erased.Things got (a bit) less childish and more modern.
44 Superman RebootCanadian writer John Byrne was given Superman to reboot in 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.Superman was once again the only survivor from Krypton. All the characters who’d shown up over the years, somehow having survived the destruction of Krypton (including Supergirl, and Krypto the Superdog) were erased.Superman’s adoptive earth parents were alive again.Clark Kent got a personality and was the “real” guy, where before he was just a disguise for Superman.
45 Batman: Year OneIn 1987, Frank Miller (famed for Batman:The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear and the Wolverine four-issue book, rebooted the fifty year old characterNow Batman could start out in the 70s rather than the 30s, and Robin wasn’t taking thirty years to finish high school.Grittier. Street Crime. No yellow oval around the bat symbol on his chest, and no one smiling. Catwoman as a prostitute/dominatrix with a whip.
46 Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals In 1987, George Perez, Greg Potter and Len Wein rewrote the whole Wonder Woman story to give her a solid, detailed, mythological backstory.No invisible jet. No Wonder Girl, Wonder Dog or stuff like that.
47 Meanwhile at Marvel… Spider-Man got a black suit for a while. Marvel had been writing these characters for only twenty, not fifty years, and there weren’t so many silly/complicated things to fix. (there never was a Spider-Horse or Hulk-Cat.
48 And Someone Got SmartAnd decided they could take the suit (a temporary Spider-man sales gimmick) and make a modern anti-hero called Venom.He debuted in 1987.
49 And Someone Got GreedyHere’s a picture of five alien symbiotes at once.They have had fourteen different symbiotes in total in Spider-Man related comics.Audiences can smell “greedy” and can start resenting parting with their money.
50 Comic Sales Boom and then Decline The glut of titles (Spider-Man and Superman would have four titles a month each) started to hurt the market.Marvel (with the popular 90s X-Men cartoon and toys) got greedy with a ridiculous number of X-Men/mutant-related books, pumped out thoughtlessly like sausages.Every X-title referred to events in every other X-title that month, so you were supposed to buy them all.Comic book sales were in crisis by the mid 90s, and by the late 90s, Marvel had declared bankruptcy.Marvel survived bankruptcy, but had to scale back comic books heavily, and focus on toys, TV and movies.
51 D.C. Kills Death In Comics To grab massive sales, D.C. advertised in 1992 that they would kill Superman.Sales rocketed to see this happen and to buy the last few issues with Superman alive in them.Superman’s death was mentioned on the news.
52 The Reign of the Supermen Instead of the Superman story ending, it continued (in about four different interlocked-story titles each month) with an army of “Is one of these the real Superman, returned from the dead?” characters.Sales continued to benefit from reader interest in what the heck D.C. was up to.
53 Superman Wasn’t Dead!Superman shows up, not dead, and with a 90s mullet.Readers felt cheated. Sales plummeted despite pretty much every single comic book character ever created then getting killed off and brought back in a vain attempt to recreate the sales of the “Death of Superman” storyline/trickNo one believed comic book death anymore. If a character was in danger, you knew they could actually die and they’d be fine anyway.
54 Animation and FilmPeople don’t read many Western comics anymore. They collect the old ones. They buy graphic novels. Kids read Japanese stuff.If you like these old characters, there are quality cartoons made of them every year, and movies as well.
55 The Spinner Racks Have Left The Convenience Stores… And the last man standing?Archie Andrews, created in 1941 by Vic Bloom and Bob MontanaA deal with the devil?
56 90s NonSuperhero BooksThese books were marketed at adults, with extremely graphic, horror-based imagery, but were not so much about macho fighting as psychological, political, mythological or theological stuff.They didn’t just have boobs and drugs and people getting shot, but were terribly intelligent also. And cleverly vulgar.