Friday, July 5, 2013

Super Heroes Turn 50

Fifty years ago American crusaders had a banner year. "The Amazing Spider-Man" comic book first hit the newsstands in the spring, and the X Men and the Avengers debuted that autumn. It's hard to imagine these classic heroes with memberships in AARP.

Marvel's Amazing Spider-Man earned his own comic book in 1963, a year after his creation. Peter Parker, a teen bookworm, aka Spider-Man, got his signature abilities when he was bitten by a radioactive arachnid. First featured in "Amazing Fantasy" No. 15, Spidey as he is affectionately called, was a huge hit and graced the Marvel A-list ever since.

The original band of diverse heroes, "The Avengers" No. 1 appeared in 1963. The team convened at the cry "Avengers assemble" to stamp threats not even the mightiest warrior can conquer alone. This stellar group included Hulk, Ant-Man, Wasp, Thor and Iron Man.

Marvel's band of mutant crime fighters  appeared in" The X-Men" No. 1 in 1963. The original six members of the group were Marvel Girl, Angel, Professor Xavier, Beast, Cyclops, and Iceman. The X-Men have grown to legions since the original six and have taken on current issues through the years. last year openly gay X-Man Northstar married his longtime beau becoming the first same-sex marriage in comics and also the first mutant-human union.

Veteran heroes are well beyond their 50th year: Superman (1938), Batman (1939), Wonder Woman (1941), and Captain America (1941).

These heroes, each with their own personalities and unique skills, continue to fire up audiences at the box office, raking in billions with each offering. Future scheduled movie releases include The Avengers (Untitled) on May 1, 2015, The Amazing Spider-Man #2 on May 2, 2014, and The S-Men: Days of Future Past on May 23, 2015. These Superheroes have listened to Mr. Spock of Star Trek fame when he says "Live long and prosper".

Happy 50th, Superheroes!

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