Comic Book Heroes: Cheat Sheet, Facts And Figures

comic book heroesComic books have been around since the early nineteen hundreds and their popularity continues to grow and increase. There is a constant stream of new movies, videos and television series based on our comic superheroes and although the medium may have changed a little over the years, the popularity of superheroes continues to fuel our imaginations.

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Superman

comic book heroesConsidered the father of the superhero genre, Superman was the brainchild of writer Jerry Siegel along with artist Joe Shuster. Superman was created in 1933 and the character was sold to DC Comics in 1938.

Superman Facts and Storylines

Superman was born as Kal-El. He was born on the dying planet Krypton. He was sent to earth by his scientist parents before Krypton’s destruction. Baby Superman was found by a farmer and his wife who raised the boy as their own. Clark Kent started to exhibit his superhuman qualities early in his life. He was raised with a strong moral compass and by the time he was an adult, he had decided to use his power to serve humanity under the cloak of anonymity. Superman lives in the city of Metropolis where he works as a journalist for the Daily Planet newspaper. His love interest, Lois Lane, also works at the paper. Superman’s prime archenemy is Lex Luthor.

The character has been portrayed by various A-list and superstar actors over the years including Kirk Alyn, George Reeves, Christopher Reeve, Dean Cain, Tom Welling and Brandon Routh.

Recognized Superman trademarks include a Red cloak, the S chest symbol, a variable range of superpowers including x-ray vision, heat vision, flight, super speed and invulnerability.

Catch phrases attributed to Superman include “up, up and away,” “faster than a speeding bullet,” “able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

Batman

Batman was created by writer Bill Finger in conjunction with artist Bob Kane. Batman made his first appearance in DC comics in 1939. Batman also goes by the names of “the Caped Crusader,” “the World’s Greatest Detective” and “the Dark knight.”

Batman Facts and Storylines

Batman was born Bruce Wayne, the son of wealthy parents. When he witnessed their murder as a child, he swore revenge on criminals everywhere. Batman upholds the ideals of justice for all. Bruce Wayne grew up to be an industrialist, philanthropist and billionaire. He trained himself both physically and mentally to pursue the greater ideals of justice.

Batman lives in Gotham city where he is aided in his mission by Robin, his crime fighting partner. He lives with his butler, Alfred Pennyworth, who helps him maintain his secret identity. He is also aided by police commissioner, Jim Gordon, in some of the episodes.

Batman’s archenemies include “the Joker,” “the Penguin,” “the Riddler,” “Two-Face,” “Scarecrow,” “Ra’s al Ghul,” “Catwoman” and “Poison Ivy.”

Batman’s super powers include his superior intellect, his ability to use science and technology to fight crime, his super wealth and physical prowess, his astounding martial arts skills, his unbending will and willpower and his phenomenal detective skills.

Real life A-list actors who have portrayed this superhero include Val Kilmer, Kevin Conroy, George Clooney and Christian Bale. Other stars cast in Batman movies include Michelle Pfeiffer as “Catwoman” and Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson as “the Joker.”

Legally recognized Batman trademarks include the long flowing cape and the black and grey costume with the Bat insignia.

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Wolverine

Created by Artist John Romita, sr. and writer Len Wein, the character of Wolverine first appeared in the 181st edition of the Hulk in 1974. After his creation, Wolverine joined the superhero team of the X-Men where Chris Claremont and John Byrne would play instrumental roles in the development of the Wolverine character.

Wolverine Facts and Storylines

Wolverine has a rather long and complicated storyline with regards to his background. Wolverine was born James Howlett in 1880 in Alberta, Canada. He is the illegitimate son of the Howletts’ groundskeeper, Thomas Logan. When Thomas Logan returns to the Howlett manor after being banished and kills John Howlett, Wolverine’s adopted father, Wolverine kills Thomas with bone claws that emerge from the backs of his hands. James is banished from the Howlett estate by his adoptive mother who then kills herself. Wolverine flees into Yukon Territory with his companion Rose and grows into manhood in a mining colony using the name “Logan.” He leaves the colony to live among the wolves and is then captured and spends time in a circus. During the World War II period, Captain America and Logan team up as soldiers of fortune before ultimately being recruited by Team X as a black ops unit. Wolverine is kidnapped by the Weapon X program where he is the subject of many experiments including the addition of unbreakable adamantium being fused into his bones.

Wolverine’s superpowers include unrivalled abilities to heal. This ability is often referred to as his mutant healing factor. This healing ability makes him resistant to disease, drugs or toxins. His healing ability drastically reduces any aging so Wolverine ages very slowly compared with humans. The healing factor does not however make him immune to pain as a result of injury.

Wolverine’s registered trademarks include the ability to heal almost any wound, adamantium enforced skeleton and retractable claws.

Spider-Man

First appearing in 1962 in a Marvel Comic, Spider-Man is the brainchild of artist, Steve Ditko, and writer Stan Lee.

Spider-Man Facts and Storylines

Spider-Man is an orphan raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben. He was the first character to be a teenaged superhero and broke new ground in allowing teenagers to relate to common themes facing teenagers at the time.

Spider-Man lives in New York City in Forest Hills, Queens. His real name is Peter Parker and he is a science-whiz student at high school. Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider when he attends a science exhibit. The bite causes him to acquire his special range of superpowers. He develops the strength and agility of an arachnid, which makes him able to adhere to walls and ceilings, as well as imbuing him with superhuman strength. Due to his scientific expertise, Peter Parker develops a gadget that allows him to shoot adhesive webbing from his wrists.

During his first excursion as Spider-Man, he ignores a criminal and that criminal goes on to kill his Uncle Ben. This experience results in the catch phrase “With great power there must also come—great responsibility!”

Spider-Man’s arch enemies include “the Green Goblin” and “Doctor Octopus.”

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