The Emergence of Heroes

It is generally known in the world of Stirling City that the first super-powered figure to appear was Strong-Man, in 1975. Later that same year The Torch made his first appearance and then, in early 1976, the first Silver Samurai made his stunning debut. Within months, the first Highblade had joined the ranks of the heroes and by mid-1977 Smokey had begun aiding The Torch in fighting crime.

Every year seemed to bring with it new heroes. The Gymnast (1977), Electron (1978), The Shadow (1979) and Silver Streak (1979). But it was also in 1979 that the world learned that these caped marvels were not invulnerable (at least not all of them). On a fateful March evening, The Gymnast was shot and killed.

Of course, with the appearance of heroes there had also begun the appearance of villains. They were: Speed-Demon and the Red Hat Gang (1975), Stretch (1975), Mist (1977), Ghost-Man (1978) and even Judo-Man (1979).

But then, in 1980, the world would change again as, for the first time, these costumed heroes would agree to work together for the common good. Gallant, Highblade (I), Silver Streak, Strong-Man and The Torch came togethe to form the League of Heroes. In time others would join them and there would be villains, and teams of villains, for them to fight. It seemed that by the example of these heroes, the world could not help but become a better place.

Until May, 1987.

In May 1987, The Major led his group of villains, The Anti-League (of all things) in a surprise raid against the League of Heroes. These villains weren’t there for jewels or money; they didn’t care about heiresses, or bank vaults, or mystical emblems or any of the myriad other things that villains usually obsessed over. They came to kill heroes and, to a certain extent, they succeeded. On that day The Human-Fly, Magni-Man and Silver Streak were killed and Electron lost forever the use of his legs. In horror, The Torch and Strong-Man retired from public life. The League of Heroes was officially disbanded.

And thus the golden age of heroes had ended…

Notes

It should be noted that there are "odd’ reports of other fantastical figures appearing prior to 1975. In 1872, in the American West, a bunch of “odd” fellows formed a group known as the Weird Riders (their leader was a man called “Engine” Pete, who had a steam powered mechanical arm). From 1915 through to 1921 in London, a rugged hero known as Lord Britain (with his sidekick off-sider Knuckles) were the bane of many a supernatural terror. Lastly, in a secret Pentagon report from 1974, it was stated that a “vengeful spirit” (identified as The Forgotten Soldier from later appearances) was behind the deaths of several military officials. None of these are deemed superhero appearances, but it does make one wonder.

As does the appearance of Captain Blitzkrieg, who fought Strong-Man for the first time in 1980. This super-human was clearly over a decade older than Strong-Man and was in full control of his powers. Super-humans have been noted as developing their powers in childhood through to late adolescence. Captain Blitzkrieg has always been an anomaly in this regard.

The Emergence of Heroes

Stirling City Stories AndrewHislop