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 7, 1902 to January 11, 1903, for the Chicago Tribune.[1] Despite its short run it's seen as the earliest superhero fiction comic.[2]

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,[3] kick a house like a football,[4] wield an artillery cannon like a handgun,[5] and lift a locomotive engine off the tracks and pull its cargo behind him at train speeds.[6]

Sometimes referred to as the first superhero, the strip was not a great success and Koerner eventually left comics to become a painter.[7]

Other appearances[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. ^ Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780472117567.
  2. ^ "William H. D. Koerner". Lambiek Comiclopedia. Lambiek. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  3. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules performs another prodigy". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2007-09-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules misses the football, but—". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2007-09-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules does a little holding up himself". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2007-09-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ William H. D. Koerner. "Hugo Hercules comes to the rescue of the Cannonball Limited". The Chicago Sunday Tribune. Archived from the original on 2011-07-07. Retrieved 2007-09-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ 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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