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Greatest 12 Characters of the 1940's

Who is on this list, what this list is about and how they got on the list!

 Shazam Indeed.
 Shazam Indeed.
This is one of a set of lists I made showing a progression of the greatest characters in a heroic style throughout time. Focusing for the most part on one decade at a time. The heroes that we know and love today were inspired by heroes before them. Some are even real people who moved into folklore. Before comics there were pulp magazines. Before that there was dime novels and before that was the penny dreadfuls. There were many others as well like Gothic novels, story papers and yes even a real novel.   

The List  
This is a list of the top dozen heroes who came out between 1940-1949.  These would be characters who will go on to be the biggest influences in comics either directly or indirectly.  In other words these will become great inspirations to future comic characters and stories. Right now they are in order of year.  

New Stuff 
The 1940's were the biggest boom in comics.  This was the Golden Age of comics and the characters are viewed with almost reverence by fans still today. This especially true of the years between 1940 and 1941.  As a matter of fact all the characters on this list are in those two years.
Here is the past list
Greatest 12 Characters of the 1930's  
Here is the next list

Greatest 12 Characters of the 1950's

List items

  • Making his debut in his own comic in 1940 the Spirit is tough to be reckoned with. His comic was inserted into newspapers once a week. The reason for this was the boom was becoming so huge by the 1940's that newspapers were concerned about comics cutting into their profit margins. It was decided to add a full comic, not a comic strip to the paper every week. The Spirit was the star of this comic and he was so popular that he inspired many characters that came after.

  • In 1940 Billy made his debut and became bigger than Superman. I'm sure part of that had to do with him wearing pants instead of red panties. Another part of it had to do with him being a kid with an adult persona. After unjustified lawsuits by DC Comics followed by a name conflict with Marvel Comics made the bottom fall out of the Captain's world and he has never gotten his glory back. That said his impact has not been equaled. He and the Marvel family were very unique and it is only because of the limited spots on this list that I only chose one representative from his universe. He got his first appearance in Whiz Comics #2 in 1940.

  • Fantomah is is the first female superhero in comics. She is a fascinating character lost to time. She has recently made a comeback. Every female superhero has to give a nod to Fantomah. If you don't think she is a great character then you haven't read her original stories.

  • Making her debut in Batman #1 in 1940 know one could know the impact this lady villain would have on comics. She is perhaps has the longest running comic for a villain ever.

  • In 1940, the most well known sidekick of superheroes of all times got his start in issue #38 in Detective Comics. Dick started as Robin then became Nightwing soon became one of the greatest heroes of all times and took over the Batman mantle. How long will he have it is anyone's guess.

  • Making her first appearance in 1941 in All Star Comics #8, Wonder Woman has been one of the greatest female characters in comics still today. She was to be an equal to Superman. She was not the first female comic character but she is considered archetype for the characters who came later.

  • Starting off in 1941 punching Hitler himself in the face in Captain America Comics #1 the Captain has easily been one of the best heroes even created. He is also considered an archetype for the patriotic American comic character.

  • In his first appearance in Military Comics #1 in 1941, Blackhawk didn't look that different than a German SS officer. That said a tweak to his look and history have proven him to be one of the greatest heroes to come out of the 1940's

  • The Golden Age saw many new heroes come out in the 1940's and Aquaman is no small exception making his debut in More Fun Comics 73 in 1941.

  • In 1941 The Green Arrow first appeared in the same issue as the first appearance of Aquaman. The two have been huge heroes ever since. Wish I had that issue. =]

  • Plastic Man was the biggest superhero satires ever and first appeared in Police Comics #1 in 1941. He is considered to be one of the biggest comic heroes of all time in a historical context and is listed along with characters like Batman and Superman.

  • Black Terror was the influence for many characters including Punisher. He was the good guy in black even wearing the symbol looking like it came off a pirate flag. It was actually suppose to represent poison in other words poison to evil. He got his start in Exciting Comics #9 in 1941.