Marvel employees created National Superhero Day on April 28, 1995 to celebrate everyone’s favorite superhero. This is for superheroes only — we all know villains aren’t deserving of their own day.
Still, the idea behind superhero day is to honor those who serve and protect while fighting evil. No matter who your favorite hero is, honoring the real or fictional people that inspire us is a worthwhile cause this April 28.
Holy holiday, Batman! Let’s get started…
History of National Superhero Day
For a day that’s all about celebrating superheros, it’s no surprise that National Superhero Day was founded by Marvel Comics in 1995. Now, every year since its birth on April 28, 1995, people come together annually on this day to celebrate all their favorite heros. No matter if your fav heroes are fictional or real, this is the day to be thankful for them.
If you don’t know about Marvel Comics, think about all those superheros you loved growing up (and probably still love). We’re talking about Spiderman, Thor, Ironman, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, and many other fan favorites. Those heroes are all from Marvel comics. Marvel Comics as in the creators of “The Fantastic Four,” “The Avengers,” and “X-Men.” However, Marvel superheroes aren’t the only ones out there. If you’re a fan of Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman, those superheroes were created by DC Comics, and they are equally celebrated on this day!
Did you know the first superhero ever was created in 1936. The superhero was named Phantom, and he started with his own comic strip in a U.S. newspaper. This was the first known beginnings of a published superhero, and now there are hundreds of well-known heroes that everyone loves.
As for the real-life superheroes, National Superhero Day also recognizes the heroes that people look up to every day. No matter if they wear masks, capes, scrubs, or uniforms, everyone has someone they think of as a superhero. This national day began and grew so that everyone’s role models could get a well-deserved shout out for whatever hard work they do. Who’s your favorite superhero?
National Superhero Day timeline
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles join the action
Everyone’s favorite fighting turtles got their own comic, which became a television show later.
Superheroes take over the Big Screen
The current superhero take over at the cinemas can trace itself back to the success of Superman in 1978.
Spiderman makes his debut
His first appearance was in the 15th edition of Amazing Fantasy.
The first female superhero is introduced
The very first female superhero, Fantomah, was introduced with the release of Jungle Comics #2.
The first superhero, Phantom, is created
The character’s whited out eyes became a feature of many later superheroes, including Batman.
National Superhero Day FAQs
Is DC Comics older than Marvel Comics?
DC Comics started as National Allied Comics in 1934, and they published the first comic books. Marvel comics came soon after, and published their first comics in 1939.
Who was the first Marvel superhero?
The first Marvel Comics superhero was Sub-Mariner, also known as Namor. The character was published in Motion Picture Funnies Weekly in April 1939.
Is there a National Avengers Day?
There currently is no special day to celebrate the Avengers since National Superhero Day is meant to celebrate all superheroes. But there’s no one stopping you from starting it!
National Superhero Day Activities
Throw a cosplay party
Halloween is still months away and mostly for children. But cosplay can happen anytime, and no time is better than National Superhero Day. So whether you choose a theme, like DC comic books heroes, Marvel heroes, or neighborhood heroes, invite people to come as their favorite! Look, a dinner table boasting the likes of Silver Surfer, the Huntress and Iron Man is bound to be fun!
Sponsor a superhero film festival
Even if you’ve never wanted to don a cape and save the day, it’s awesome to watch other people do it. So celebrate National Superhero Day by streaming films like "Iron Man," "Justice League," "Logan'" or even Captain Underpants. Just make sure you have plenty of candy and popcorn on hand — and maybe some masks too for the immersion experience.
Honor your own real-life superheroes
What makes a superhero? Usually it’s the attribute of powers, but don’t let that stop you from taking the day to thank your own heroes. You can thank an entire group, like firefighters or police officers, or honor just one person who has demonstrated fairness, courage and compassion. Make this superhero day your perfect day to honor all heroes.
5 Facts About Superheroes
The well-known, muscular green superhero was originally supposed to be grey. Due to printing issues, he became the green hulk we know now.
Batman is one smart guy
Albert Einstein had an IQ of 160, and Bruce Wayne has an IQ of 162!
Thor can speak every language
One of his powers is called “All-Tongue.” This gives him the ability to speak and have anybody understand him.
Iron man likes his suits
In fact, he has over 50 suits designed for oceans, battles, and one that has Stark’s mind built into it… just in case.
Spiderman was inspired by a fly
Stan Lee saw the fly on the wall and started thinking about superheroes that could stick to surfaces.
Why We Love National Superhero Day
Start a debate amongst comic book fans about who's the best superhero and you'll soon find yourself in the middle of a heated argument. Batman? Some say he’s just a guy with gadgets. Who’s faster, the Flash or Quicksilver? Who’s more powerful, Spiderman or the Green Lantern? National Superhero day solves this conundrum by honoring ALL superheroes. So embrace the wonderful diversity of heroes offered in this, and other, universes.
When we consider the attributes that make a superhero, aside from special powers, they embrace truth and justice, fight evil, and demonstrate courage. There are many people in our society who embrace those same values and that makes them pretty super too!
There's a hero for everyone
Superheroes come in all colors, genders, religions, and incarnations. What’s not to love about a day that embraces an alien with a green pointy head (Martian Manhunter), a woman with wings (Hawkgirl), or a man half-metal, half-human (Cyborg)? Even Squirrel Girl has her own loyal following, and although she may not reach the status of having her own day, she is certainly a superhero.