Superheroes are more popular than they have ever been, and the next generation of kids is going to grow up with the heroes that we enjoyed when we were young. Many of the most popular heroes in the world have been around for far longer than people even realize, so going back and reading all of their comics would seem like a complete impossibility. Only the bold will attempt to go back and dig into the history of these heroes, and they will be rewarded with a wealth of great stories.
Today, we want to shine a light on 20 heroes that are nearly a century old! Some of these heroes were here before our grandparents, meaning that they get to enjoy an early bird special at local restaurants.
20 Conan The Barbarian (1932)
Though there have been some attempts at making this character popular in recent times, he is a hero that has had his best days in the past. His classic film is still enjoyed by many people, and Jason Momoa's take on the character had a few fans. Nevertheless, being around since 1932 is no easy feat.
19 The Green Hornet (1933)
The Green Hornet and his partner, Kato, were a du0 holding it down back in the 30s, and they were able to become widely famous in no time. Sure, they may not have been dynamic on the big screen several years ago, but people that grew up with the character were glad to see him make it back to the big leagues.
18 Flash Gordon (1934)
Thanks to the movie Ted coming along and reigniting interest in this character, he was able to have a bump in popularity. Many people got familiar with this film that the characters loved, but few people knew that Flash Gordon made his comics debut all the way back in 1934.
17 Superman (1938)
The Man of Steel made his debut all the way back in 1938, and if people can get their hands on his first book, then they are holding onto literal gold. Superman has been the standard since coming onto the scene, even though real fans know that Batman is the superior hero.
16 Namor The Sub-Mariner (1939)
Aquaman fans, eat your heart out. Namor was the original man in the sea all the way back in the 30s, and even though he has yet to appear in the MCU, Marvel fans still have a lot of love for the character. He is immensely powerful, and he is going to take the world by storm when he makes his debut.
15 Batman (1939)
The Dark Knight is next on this list, having made his debut in 1939. This year, DC is celebrating 80 years of Batman, and they have pulled out all the stops during their celebration. Batman is arguably the greatest hero of all time and he has the best villains of any character ever dreamed of.
14 Sandman (1939)
Sandman is a character that has a massive following, though they are not as vocal as Batman fans are. He has taken part in remarkable stories that truly push the imagination to its limits, and his recent reemergence in DC Comics has left many people wondering what is to come for the iconic character.
13 Human Torch (1939)
The Human Torch is an integral member of the Fantastic Four, and Marvel fans have gotten to see several men take on the character on the big screen. Michael B. Jordan and Chris Evans would go on to have better success as other characters, and the next Human Torch has huge shoes to fill.
12 The Flash (1940)
Speedster hardly even begins to describe what this man is, and people have loved him for years now. Even though many men have taken up the mantle, fans make sure to come back for more whenever he is around. He is great in the comics and has a beloved show on the small screen.
11 Hawkman (1940)
Hawkman is a classic hero that has found ways to remain relevant after all this time. He is known as being one of the most powerful heroes over at DC, and his place in popular stories cannot be questioned. Even the biggest and best heroes need his help every now and again.
10 Shazam (1940)
Shazam (formerly known as Captain Marvel) is an unstoppable force at this point, and the DCEU sure is happy to have him on board. His recent feature film has grossed more than $360 million, and because of this, the DCEU is going to make sure that he has plenty of work to do in the future.
9 Robin (1940)
The Boy Wonder has been a sidekick to Batman for decades now, and there have been several individuals to take up the mantle. These men have gone on to do incredible things as other characters, and Batman's son, Damian Wayne, is currently the man behind the mask. He has a temper, but he gets the job done.
8 Catwoman (1940)
Even though she has toed the line between hero and villain, Catwoman has done enough good to warrant inclusion on this list. She is a popular character and a love interest of Batman. Catwoman can do all the little things well, and she has a knack for appearing in great stories.
7 Green Lantern (1940)
Green Lantern is a powerful character that has taken on the baddest foes over at DC. His ring allows him to conjure up fantastical things, and his will is what keeps him at the top of the pile. His solo film may have been a flop, but when he comes back to the big screen, he is going to be huge.
6 Captain America (1941)
Captain America just ended his run in the MCU, and after three solo films and appearances in some of the biggest films of all time, it is safe to say that he has become one of the most celebrated heroes ever penned. Cap has a lot to love about him, and we are going to miss him in the MCU.
5 The Winter Soldier (1941)
Now that he is a fixture in the MCU, Bucky Barnes, otherwise known as the Winter Soldier, is a popular hero that has turned his life around for the better. He has seen and done a little bit of everything since making his debut, and fans are ready for his upcoming television series.
4 The Shadow (1930)
The Shadow is the oldest hero on our list today, and he has been doing his thing since 1930. What is incredible about this character is that he maintains a solid following, and he continuously has books hitting the shelves while working with other heroes like Batman and saving the day.
3 Dick Tracy (1931)
At some point, this superhero is going to make a comeback and take the world by storm again. He has already had success on the big screen, and this was long before the superhero craze that we find ourselves in took over the world. His suit is as iconic as just about any other in history.
2 The Lone Ranger (1933)
All superheroes can look back at this man for a good amount of inspiration. He was a hero's hero, taking on foes of all sizes and working with a partner that came through in the clutch. His recent appearance in his own superhero film did not go as the studio behind it had planned, unfortunately.
1 The Phantom (1936)
Even though this character may have a basic costume, he has proven himself to be a worthy champion on more than one occasion. He truly set the bar for other heroes that followed, and back in the '90s, there was an attempt to make him relevant to a new generation. They even gave away his ring at movie theaters.