__________________ We are the Protectors of both sides.
WE GET WHITE LIGHTSABERS
Leia- Luke what are you trying to say
Luke- Well I was cleaning these driods and long story short you're my twin sister. Now if you will excuse me I have to turn our father to the light side.
You want to say superhero, like fantastically-powered or just a vigilante hero?
A vigilante hero with some powers would be The Shadow; he started in the 1920's I think. And there's Doc Savage in the 1930's pulp magazines. He had an influence on Supes origin, I understand.
The Shadow certainly inspired Batman, along with Zorro.
"I'm not smart so much as I am not dumb." - Harlan Ellison
the first comic book superhero is technicly the Phantom since thtas were he originated. Zorro and the Shadow came before but weren't in comics till after. Phantom debutted in 1916 the Shadow didn't get a comic till 1938 and Zorro wasn't in a comic till the 1940's. Also you could count Dr.Occult could be called a superhero but was kind of a magic detective and was created in 1935 buy Shuster and Siegel. But the way I see it it's the Phantom
Purple tights rule!!!
Aztek's Feats. Stealing Kyle Rayner's Ring right off his hand. and stopping a mugging by giving the muggers his lunch money! Beat that!
Namor's first appearance was in Marvel Comics #1, November 1939. Superman's was in Action Comics #1, in June of 1938 (nearly a year an a half earlier). Batman showed up in between.
As for that business about the Phantom: Sure, The Phantom wore a mask and fought wrongdoers no different than Zorro or the Lone Ranger, but none of these characters were considered superheroes because this term originated with Superman (Thus he is, by definition, the first superhero).
Superman basically set up the path for the other heroes.
__________________ "It wasn't even about the eggs. Quite frankly I like the eggs, I don't have no...problem with...It's just there's always been a lot of tension between me & Lois. It's not so much as I want to kill her...I just want her...to not be...alive anymore. I sometimes wonder if all women are this difficult. Then I think to myself, wouldn't it be MARVELOUS if I turned out to be a homosexual?"
Gender: Male Location: Los Angeles, CA
The term "Superman" predates the term "super-hero". Super-hero is a reaction Superman. It was to describe any character resembling Superman. So no matter how you cut it with The Phantom, The Shadow, Zorro, Doc Savage it doesnt matter. They were what they were and in retrospect they may now be considered super-heroes. But since the phrase is a direct response to Superman then he remains the original example.
And even if you do count the earlier characters, theres still a strong case for Superman being the original. Its hard toimagine that it didnt occur to anyone for quite sometime to create a character who by now seems so simple. He wasn't such a no-brainer. Comics were more...comical. Funny. If not that, then gritty, street detectives, shady characters and the like. Batman in ways is a little less bold a creation than Superman since he mixes Superman with the style that predated him. Superman was old time mythology redone.