Who Was the First DC Superhero Ever?

dc comics first superhero

DC Comics is one of the world’s two most-known comic book publishers. It’s been present for more than eight decades since its inception, and with the large increase of the superhero popularity in mainstream media, such as movies, tv shows, and video games in the late 20th and early 21st century, it doesn’t take to be a comic book reader anymore to know at least basic information about most-known characters DC Comics ever created. Still, every globally known company today had to start somewhere, and in DC’s case, it leads to the question: Who was the first superhero DC ever created?

First introduced in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938, Superman is considered the first DC superhero ever, although he wasn’t the first DC character in general. DC Comics was founded originally founded in 1934, and their first comic book was ‘New Fun Comics,’ published in 1935. The comic introduced Jack Woods, who is considered the first DC character. During that pre-Superman period, the company introduced several characters, but the first superhero character the company created was indeed Superman, whose creation marked the beginning of the Golden Age of Comic Books.

It didn’t take long for Superman to become a pop culture phenomenon. Despite its official name, the company started branding itself as “Superman-DC” in the early 1940s, which really explains how Superman was their biggest selling point, regardless of the fact that the company officially rebranded as DC Comics in 1977. In the rest of this article, we’ll dig deeper into comic book history to further explain how Superman became the legend he still is today.

The creation of Superman kickstarted the Golden Age of Comic Books!

Before the late 1930s, early comics were published as supplements to newspapers and magazines or as pulp fiction. Some known characters that were created during those early years, such as Zorro, Conan the Barbarian, Flash Gordon, and the Phantom, debuted in newspapers’ comic strips or pulp fiction. In the late 1930s, the increasing popularity of comics caused them to be published in comic books, separately from regular newspapers and magazines.


How Old Is Superman? Movies & Comics Age

The forerunner of DC Comics was founded in 1934 by Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson, who is considered the pioneer of the American comic book. The creators of Superman (Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster) and the creators of Batman (Bob Kane and Bill Finger) are also considered the pioneers of DC Comics. In early 1935, the company published its first comic book, ‘New Fun Comics,’ written by Wheeler-Nicholson and illustrated by Lyman Anderson. The comic book introduced Jack Woods, a Texas lawman who is considered the first DC character ever created.

The ‘New Fun Comics’ series introduced many other characters in that pre-Superman era, such as Sandra McLane, aka Sandra of the Secret Service, and Richard Occult, aka Doctor Occult.

The series ran for only six issues until October 1935. The legendary ‘Detective Comics’ series, in which Batman would later make his debut in the 27th issue in May 1939, started its run in 1937. In April 1938, the ‘Action Comics’ series started its run, and the legendary first issue of the series marked the first-ever debut of Superman.

superman action comics

It’s important to know that ‘Detective Comics’ was published by Detective Comics. Inc., and ‘Action Comics’ was published by Wheeler-Nicholson’s National Allied Publications. These two companies merged in 1946 to officially form National Comics Publications, which was rebranded as DC Comics in 1977. History has a strange way of unfolding. If those two companies had never merged, Batman and Superman would’ve probably never met.

It didn’t take long for Superman to become a pop culture icon. In the early 1940s, the company started branding itself as “Superman-DC,” due to which the company was generally known as DC Comics even before the official rebranding in 1977. Superman was also the best-selling superhero in American comic books all the way up until the 1980s.

Superman is considered a catalyst of the Golden Age of Comic Books, which started in 1938, the year of his introduction. During that era, the first modern comic books as we know them today were published, and their popularity rapidly increased, ultimately leading to the introduction of many more culturally iconic superheroes.

Some of those heroes were Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain Marvel (today known as Shazam), Green Lantern, The Flash, and the Marvel (at that time Timely Comics) characters Namor the Submariner, Captain America, and the original Human Torch.


Oldest Superhero: Who Was the First in History of Comics?

Today, Superman is still one of the most iconic superheroes ever created. DC always highlighted his importance in many ways. When the Justice League team first appeared in 1960, although there was no hierarchy in the team officially, Superman was often considered the team’s leader.

After all, 1978’s ‘Superman: The Movie’ is considered a pioneer of the superhero genre in movies, 2013’s ‘Man of Steel’ kickstarted DC Extended Universe, and 2025’s ‘Superman: Legacy’ is set to kick off a new DC Universe franchise. This shows how important Superman is for the company and that he’s still one of their biggest and most iconic selling points.

Are you a fan of Superman? Is he your favorite superhero? Let us know in the comments.

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