This Thursday, April 28, is national Superhero Day, so take a second to honor the real life heroes who risk their lives everyday and the fictional characters whose stories give us hope for a better tomorrow.
The national holiday, Superhero Day, began in 1995 when interns from Marvel Comics donned capes and ventured out into the world to ask people what their favorite super power was.
The modern idea of today's superhero first originated in the comic books of the 1930s, which featured a morally strong hero fighting evil, crime, and threats against humanity. They were often opposed by a super villain who possessed superpowers, towering intellect, or special skills.
Sir Percy Blakeney, an aristocrat who led a double life of conflicting loyalties, was the first fictional character to display the traits that would come to define the modern day superhero in the fictional 1903 novel, The Scarlet Pimpernel.
Tarzan made his first appearance in 1912, followed by Zorro in 1919, and by 1933, The Lone Ranger had captured the imagination of radio listeners across the nation. Superman first appeared in 1938, followed by Batman in 1939, as the list of superheroes in pulp fiction, comic books, and radio continued to grow.
Hollywood SuperheroesThis year, the epic battle between good and evil continues as Hollywood releases a series of superhero movies designed to draw huge crowds to the theaters.
We've already seen Ryan Reynolds push the envelope with his performance in Deadpool as mercenary Wade Wilson teamed with X-men mutants to hunt down the evil scientist who created him.Then, Bruce Wayne battled the Man of Steel in Batman v Superman as DC Comics laid the groundwork for a new superhero universe to rival that made by Marvel's Avengers. Starting May 6, the world will be held captive as the Avengers superheroes duke it out amongst themselves in Captain America: Civil War.
Then May 27, X-men fans can watch their favorite mutant save the world from an arch-enemy bent on destroying mankind in Apocalypse. Fast forward to August 5, and movie fans can watch a group of arch villains take on a suicide mission to save the world in Suicide Squad.
Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl in Disneyland that a Guardians of the Galaxy tower will replace California Adventures' Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. There are also plans for a Captain America launch tower to be a featured attraction in a planned Marvel Studios land, according to WDW News.
Real Life SuperheroesScientists recently sifted through 600,000 genetic profiles to discover 13 people who have special DNA that kept them healthy when they should have died from the horrible diseases around them, Dr. Eric Schadt told the BBC.
"Millions of years of evolution have produced far more protective mechanisms than we currently understand."Like the genetically-enhanced superhero characters from Marvel and DC Comics, these real life superheroes were born with genetic mutations that helped them survive and flourish in a harsh world. Of course, the real heroes of the world can be seen everyday as they keep the world free of crime, protect the innocent, and defend the weak. Firefighters run into burning buildings that everyone else runs away from, while doctors spend years mastering their skills to save lives, and police officers risk their lives everyday to keep the peace.
Whoever your favorite caped crusader, masked mutant, or crime fighting hero is this Thursday, take a moment and remember their contribution to the world on National Superhero Day.
[Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images]