The First Comic Superhero To Appear On The Silver Screen Was?
Answer: Captain Marvel
Super heroes from the planet Krypton and billionaire playboys with crime fighting obsessions can step aside; the first silver screen appearance of a comic book superhero is an award bestowed on none other than Captain Marvel.
The Adventures of Captain Marvel, released in 1941, was the very first adaptation of a comic book story to movie format. The movie was filmed in just over a month in the winter of 1940 and released in serialized format (12 “chapters” that averaged 18 minutes each and had a total run time of 216 minutes) to theaters across the United States.
The serialized format and the movie itself proved to be quite popular. Not only did it enjoy widespread acclaim and box office sales when it was released, it was re-released to theaters in 1953 as a filler between popular films, and yet again during the comic book nostalgia craze surrounding the Batman TV show in the 1960s (during the 1960s release all the chapters were compiled into one film and shown as a standard movie).
Image courtesy of Republic Pictures.