Hugo Hercules

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Hugo lifting a car.

Hugo Hercules is an American comic strip, drawn and written by Wilhelm Heinrich Detlev Körner. It ran less than five months, from September 1902 to January 1903, for the Chicago Tribune. Despite its short run it's widely seen as the earliest superhero fiction comic.[1]

Characters and story[edit]

A good-natured man endowed with superhuman strength, the character of Hugo wandered about town, helping people with their problems and shocking them with his surprising displays of power. He was so strong he could pick up an elephant,[2] kick a house like a football,[3] wield an artillery cannon like a handgun,[4] and lift a locomotive engine off the tracks and pull its cargo behind him at train speeds.[5]

Sometimes referred to as the first superhero, the strip was not a great success and Koerner eventually left comics to become a painter.[6]

In other media[edit]

Hugo Hercules appears in the 2015 graphic novel Nemo: River of Ghosts, written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Kevin O'Neill.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.lambiek.net/artists/k/koerner_whd.htm
  2. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules performs another prodigy". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  3. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules misses the football, but—". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  4. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules does a little holding up himself". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  5. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules comes to the rescue of the Cannonball Limited". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  6. ^ Bill Blackbeard & Dale Crain, The Comic Strip Century. Northampton, MA: Kitchen Sink Press, 1995. 2 volumes. 480 pp. ISBN 0-87816-355-7
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