Claude Lalumière reveals that long before comics, “superheroes were developed in prose fiction”

For My Shelf Confessions, Claude Lalumière, editor of Super Stories of Heroes & Villains, shares his insights into the long history of super heroes in prose.

For decades, when people heard the word superhero, they thought of it as a genre for comics and Saturday morning cartoons. Now, superheroes are all over the media landscape, including blockbuster movies, hit TV shows, bestselling novels, and more. In the world of prose fiction, the superhero genre is often thought of as a new thing, as having “finally” jumped from the illustrated page to the written word. But in fact superheroes were developed in prose fiction, beginning in 1903 with the eponymous hero of the novel The Scarlet Pimpernel – the first incarnation of the archetype that would lead, to name a few notable descendants, to Zorro, the Shadow, the Green Hornet, and Batman.

Read the rest of Lalumière’s fascinating article at My Shelf Confessions.

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Cover by Elizabeth Story.