Comic Book Heroes Who are Older Than Me

I don’t know if you know this, but I am in reality older than Spiderman. I am also older than the Fantastic Four. All of the Avengers except for Captain America are younger than me. Well, you could argue that Thor and Hercules were around longer than me. And the Sub Mariner, And the original Human Torch, the one that Ultron would eventually turn into the Vision. But I am turning 65 this year, and only the Golden Age comic-book characters are actually older than me.

Superman, from the date of his actual creation, not first publication, is turning 88 this year. Schuster and Seigal drew the first Superman strips in 1933.

At the beginnning of June, 2021 the Spirit will be 81 years old. Created by Will Eisner in 1940 the Spirit got an entire full-color page in more than 20 newspapers with a total circulation of more than 5 million copies nationwide. Denny Colt got his super crime-fighting powers by basically being a ghost, back from the dead to punish his killers and other criminals every Sunday until 1952.

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Sheena, Queen of the Jungle is turning 83 this year, being created in 1938 by Jerry Iger working with Will Eisner, among others. She looks pretty good for her age. But, consider this, she is based on the character Rima the Jungle Girl from William Henry Hudson’s 1904 novel Green Mansions. Rima, if she had become a comic book character too would be 117 this year.

The Shadow, too, is pretty damn old. He celebrates his 91st birthday this year if you consider his pulp fiction origin in 1930. He was also the narrator of a radio show before actually becoming a comic book hero. The old man of this essay was a billionaire who could become invisible thanks to his mind-control powers. And he also had peerless martial arts prowess. He is an obvious inspiration to Bob Kane’s Batman.

Batman and Robin, as understudies to the Shadow are virtually the same age. Batman was created in 1939 in Detective Comics, and Robin would appear for the first time before the year was out. That makes them both 82 years old this year.

The first time they appeared in their own title was in 1940, so that makes the Joker, Alfred Pennyworth, and Catwoman 81 years old.

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Alex Raymond’s imitation Buck Rodgers comic, Flash Gordon, first appeared in newspapers in 1934. That makes Flash, Dale Arden, and Dr. Zarkov all celebrate their 87th birthday this year.

The Green Hornet is 85 years old.

Wonder Woman is 80 years old.

So, even though I am old and creaky, reading comics with the older superheroes in them makes me feel like a kid again. An old, creaky kid.

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Filed under comic book heroes, comic strips, commentary, humor

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