Superman soon had lots of company and lots of competition! What do they have in common? All superheroes have some type of extraordinary power or ability. Their "superpower" can be something they're born with: Superman, Wonder Woman, Thor. It can be the result of an accident or mutation: Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk, Wolverine. Or, it can be simply a skill they have learned, honed and perfected beyond the average: Batman, Hawkeye. They all have a strong moral code and a motivation to rid the world of some menace.  

Today's comic books are descendants of 19th-century "penny dreadful" serials. They were multi-part sensational stories printed on cheap paper and sold for, what else, a penny each. These stories became popular among the lower and working classes. They couldn't afford and weren't interested in, the "important" literary novels of the day. Penny dreadfuls and the "dime novels" that followed them had clear-cut good-vs.-evil themes. And they weren't short on action or melodrama, either! By the early 20th century, we had such enduring characters as Tarzan and Zorro in "pulp" fiction. (So-called because of the inexpensive paper on which it was printed.) The first of the modern superheroes was Superman, who launched the Golden Age of Comics in 1938.  

Even Wolverine's lumberjack-meets-cowboy wardrobe has perfectly embodied the character's personality, and while his flannel and distinctive leather jackets might just look like clothes on anyone else, when the elements come together, they scream that this guy is the best there is at what he does. While the recent Days of Future Past film went mostly back to more of the same tactical leather, a deleted scene from last year's The Wolverine finally gave fans a glimpse of what Wolverine's classic duds might have looked like on film, even if, at this point, it amounts to little more than an easter egg.
Depending on when you read this article, you might be waiting to watch the Wonder Woman film, or you may have just watched it, and therefore you know how amazing this woman is. Adrianne Curry is wearing Wonder Woman's traditional costume here and, because she is a gorgeous woman, her representation is amazing. Curry is a model, famous for winning the first series of America's Next Top Model.

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By the end of the 1940s, superheroes had lost a lot of their appeal to the public. National Comics (now DC Comics) went from having dozens of superhero titles to only having a handful. Most of the members of the Justice Society of America fell out of sight in the world of National. Flash and Green Lantern went from appearing in multiple titles to not appearing in any books at all!

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