S24E8 – The History of Superheroes

What is a superhero? Do they have to have superpowers of some kind? Did their origins have to be tragic? Are characters superheroes only because they started in comic books? No matter the answers, superheroes have become a massive piece of the storytelling world in recent years. We can largely thank the Marvel Cinematic Universe for that. Even before then, superhero stories have been an important element of the writing world.

Stories about characters with fantastic abilities and strengths have been around far longer than the superhero genre as we know it. Superhero comic books started in the late 1930s with characters such as Superman, Batman, and Captain Marvel (no, not that Captain Marvel; the one that eventually became Shazam). One of the most notable parts of these stories is that the hero is usually a human who becomes something greater.

Even when that’s not the case, there are other story tropes that help mark a story as a superhero story. Ley and Leigh discuss those tropes and how you can use the history of superheroes to help your writing, no matter the genre. Listen now below, or on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts.

First aired September 27, 2021.

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