It is time, once again, for another fun day of celebration. April 28 is National Superhero Day, and the internet is buzzing.
National Superhero Day was started in 1995 by employees of Marvel Comics when interns to the company were sent out into the streets of Pennsylvania to ask the public about their favorite superheroes and super powers. The writers at Heavy believe that April is the perfect month to celebrate National Superhero Day, as Action Comics #1 was first published on April 18, 1938.
TheComicsBooks is a website that gives details on the history of superheroes and comic books. According to that site, the first superheroes did not have super powers. The first heroes were knows as “pulp heroes” and they were generally above average people who went to exotic locations for their adventures. The Phantom, created by Lee Falk in 1936, was one of the first heroes to show up in a comic book. Though still human, he was the first hero to wear a costume. The Clock, who also made his appearance in 1936, was the first hero to wear a mask to hide his identity.
Batman and Superman are probably the two most well-known superheroes. Superman made his first appearance in the above-mentioned Action Comics #1. Superman is the first superhero with actual super-human abilities. All of a sudden, from a world of costumed detectives and human action heroes, rose a man who was bullet-proof, had super-human strength and speed, and could “leap over tall buildings in a single bound.” Interestingly enough, when the idea of Superman was first pitched, it was repeatedly rejected.
Batman first appeared a year later in Detective Comics #27. At the time, superheroes were on the decline, so a masked and costumed detective, one dark and gritty as opposed to Superman’s bright and clean appearance, was a welcomed change. Though Batman was a human being, his arsenal of gadgets combined with his intense physical and mental abilities, allowed him to straddle the boundary between superhero and action hero.
Although National Superhero Day was started by Marvel Comics, it has expanded to include superheroes from DC and other places as well. Real-life superheroes, such as firefighters, police officers, and soldiers are also often included in National Superhero Day, as are the everyday heroes. In fact, anyone that someone looks up to can be honored on National Superhero Day, cape or no cape.
Although superheroes have always been popular, thanks to all the superhero movies that have come out in recent years, superheroes are getting attention from all sorts of different people. Not everyone has the ability or desire to read a comic book, but film is a medium that appeals to almost everyone. There are people today who love Batman, Superman, The Avengers, or other superheroes, even though they have only experienced them from their respective movies. Some of those people have even decided to go back and read the comic books or animated television shows about their favorite superheroes after being introduced to them through film.
The superheroes themselves are also getting into the spirit of National Superhero Day. Henry Cavill, the most recent actor to take up the mantle of the Man of Steel, posted a picture on Instagram of himself wearing a Superman shirt underneath a gray hooded jacket, as reported by CBR.com.
“Fly your colors today brothers and sisters,” read the caption underneath his photo. “Its National Superhero Day! I personally just want to thank all of you guys and gals for keeping us so entertained and setting such a fantastic example for superhero fans, young and old, around the world.”
Cavill then proceeded to tag almost every actor and actress who has starred in recent superhero movies. Not just from DC, but from Marvel films as well.
No matter what kind of superhero fan you are, casual or hardcore, Marvel or DC, new or old, and everything in between, everyone can enjoy National Superhero Day. It is a day for heroes of all kinds to band together against the forces of evil that threaten all areas of life. Happy National Superhero Day!
[Featured Image by yogysic/iStock]