Getting Literal

A list of characters who first made their debuts in literary mediums other than comic books.

List items

  • Michael Moorcock's fantasy antihero first appeared in a short story in 1961. He has had many comic book appearances subsequently.

  • Another Moorcock creation; first appeared in the novel The Jewel in the Skull in 1967.

  • The Eternal Champion, originally from short stories by Michael Moorcock in the 1960s.

  • The antagonist from Herman Melville's 1851 novel has made many appearances in comic books.

  • Victor Frankenstein's abominable creation has been a mainstay in horror comics for ages. From Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein.

  • Though inspired by the real life Vlad Dracul of Wallachia, Bram Stoker's 1897 novel provided one of horror's most iconic characters ever.

  • The Destroyer's been in movies and comics, but he first got his start in a series of novels that have been coming out since 1971.

  • The master of Sinanju has been a mainstay of The Destroyer novels since 1971.

  • Alice first fell down the rabbit hole in Lewis Carroll's novel of 1865.

  • Hard to believe, but Dorothy first came over the rainbow in L. Frank Baum's 1900 novel, The Wizard of Oz.

  • I deduce that this character first appeared in the 1887 short story "A Study In Scarlet" by Arthur Conan Doyle.

  • This iconic pulp hero first got his start in a magazine named after him, in 1933.

  • Though he's been adapted to comics, movies, television, cartoons, and roleplaying games, this hero of the future got his start in pulp magazine serials in 1928.

  • By Crom! Robert E. Howard's most famous creation has been kicking around since the 1930s, when he got started out as a pulp swords and sorcery hero!

  • It's no mystery that Sax Rohmer's criminal mastermind first appeared in the 1913 novel, The Mystery of Fu Manchu.

  • John Carter has been battling Martians since his creation in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

  • The original Ka-Zar first appeared in a pulp serial in 1939 before becoming a comic character.

  • The other famous barbaric creation of Robert E. Howard first appeared in 1929's "The Shadow Kingdom."

  • Who knows that this character first appeared in the story "The Living Shadow" in 1931? The Shadow knows.

  • This billionaire playboy/crimefighter first spun his web in 1933 in his own self-titled pulp serial.

  • This evil-vanquishing Puritan was another creation of Robert E. Howard. He first appeared in the story "Red Shadows" in 1928.

  • The original Lord of the Jungle was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the 1912 novel, Tarzan of the Apes.

  • The 1919 story, The Curse of Capistrano, marked the first appearance of this masked champion of justice.

  • Partner to Sherlock Holmes; it's elementary to surmise that he, too, made his first appearance in A Study In Scarlet (1887).

  • Dr. Jekyll's darker half; first appeared in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).

  • Cthulhu Ftaghn! The Great Elder One has been lurking in the depths since his appearance in 1928's short story, "The Call of Cthulhu."