Some Of The World’s Best-Loved Superheroes

Some Of The World’s Best-Loved Superheroes

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Everywhere you go, people have most likely heard of Superman, Batman and Robin, the X-Men, and the Avengers. But they are all from the U.S., and are usually tasked with defending their own country (often in supremely patriotic uniforms – i.e. Captain America). Unless an alien force is threatening the whole world, other countries needed to create their own heroes as well. Although they might not be as well known in the U.S., these heroes have some remarkably creative back stories, very cool powers, and often speak to more than just a child’s fantasy.

Cutey Honey after a Honey Flash! Gallery.MiniTokyo.net
Cutey Honey after a Honey Flash!

Cutey Honey (Japan)

Although Cutey Honey was groundbreaking in that she was the first Japanese manga heroine, debuting in 1973, her storyline left a lot to be desired for those in search of a female role model. Yes, she has super speed, can jump hundreds of feet in the air, isn’t fazed by arctic chills and volcanic heat, and has some seriously cool weapons at her disposal, but she’s far from a strong lead. After realizing that she is a super-powered android version of her dead human self (really?), she assumes her crime-fighting persona by shouting “Honey Flash!” at which point her clothes self destruct. Come on, guys. Manga is a Japanese genre of cartoons, comic books, and animated films, typically having a science-fiction or fantasy theme and sometimes including violent or sexually explicit material.

Canada's savior, Captain Canuck GeekCircus.Blogspot.com
Canada’s savior, Captain Canuck

Captain Canuck (Canada)

Canadian secret agent Tom Evans is selected to be a part of the special super agent team to defend Canada, in a storyline set in the then-futuristic 1980s when Canada was the most powerful country in the world. He is exposed to extraterrestrial Zeta rays and develops super speed, strength, and agility, and is given unlimited nifty gadgets to aid him in his missions. This symbol of Canadian nationalism (I mean, he has a maple leaf in the middle of his face…) is a crucial member of the Canadian International Security Organization, besides the fact that he can occasionally be beaten by strong animals, like polar bears. You may see more of him soon. There is a Captain Canuck feature film in development!

Kalimán nonchalantly saving yet another victim Taringa.net
Kalimán nonchalantly saving yet another victim

Kalimán (Mexico)

The mysterious Mexican comic book hero Kalimán has unknown origins but is very famous across Latin America. This much is known: he was adopted as an orphan by the prince Abul Pasha from Kalimantan and therefore a member of the goddess Kali’s dynasty, whatever that means. But, as all good superheroes, he swore an oath to Kali to fight injustice across the world and goes to India once every seven years to renew this oath. His powers are a bit more low-key than others: levitation, telepathy, hypnosis, self-healing, telekinesis, martial arts, and he’s a real science whiz. He also rejects the idea of being a superhero, and maintains that anybody would be able to achieve the same skills just through hard work. Which might be true on some levels, but the levitation and telekinesis might still be hard to master.

The inimitable Superdupont MarcheDuLivre.qc.ca
The inimitable Superdupont

Superdupont (France)

Ok, so he’s kind of a parody superhero and represents every French stereotype known to man, but he’s really funny. The son of a soldier buried underneath l’Arc de Triomphe, he is tasked with protecting the country from “Anti-France,” a secret terrorist organization that wants to destroy France and is a reference to Charles Maurras, a counter-revolutionary intellectual from the early 1900s. Superdupont has all the caricature-esque aspects of a Frenchman: note the beret and French national colors. He is often seen holding a baguette and smoking Gauloises cigarettes. He can fly, but isn’t that strong, though he does have some boxing skills. Most importantly, he can fire healing rays from his hands that can cure STDs.

Zagor InternationalHero.co.uk

Zagor (Italy)

Surprisingly, Zagor, or Patrick Wilding, defends the vulnerable and oppressed in Pennsylvania, despite being in an Italian comic book hero. After witnessing his parents’ death, he is motivated by revenge to transform himself into Za-Gor-Te-Nay, meaning “The Spirit With The Hatchet.” He’s more-or-less half human, half divine; occasionally exhibits superhuman strength and endurance, and can fight anybody and anything – and win. He swings Tarzan-like from branches as his main means of travel, and with incredible speed covers a lot of territory in a single bound. Zagor also has one of superherodom’s best war cries, which can strike fear into even the hardiest of enemies. 

Sabraman InternationalHero.co.uk

Sabraman (Israel)

This is a character with some serious history. The Israeli government implanted an atomic rod in Dan Bar On’s chest in 1975 to protect the country from its enemies (of which it has always had many). Dan was a Holocaust survivor who had fought for Israel in all of the wars since its inception. The rod gave him some pretty sweet powers – supersonic speed and flight, teleportation, incredible strength, and the ability to shoot radioactive rays from his eyes, even while surrounding himself with a protective magnetic force field. Fighting Nazis, evil scientists, and anti-Israel activists, Sabraman is a walking, talking political statement.

Generation Tesla IO9.com
Generation Tesla

Generation Tesla (Serbia)

Serbian inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla has popped up time and again in popular culture (especially as his work is often cited in conspiracy theories), so it was only a matter of time before somebody created a comic in which he assembles a superhero team to fight evil. After escaping death and entering a new plane of existence, Tesla brings a bunch of dead humans back to life and transforms them into superheroes, à la Frankenstein. They form a type of Serbian Avengers-meets-X-Men squad, and protect the world from evil.

Zsazsa Zaturnnah ComicVine.com
Zsazsa Zaturnnah

Zsazsa Zaturnnah (Philippines)

If you take nothing else away from this, remember Zsazsa Zaturnnah, sperhero of the Philippines. One of the only transgender superheroes ever created, Zsazsa is actually Ada, a gay beautician. His house is hit by a large pink meteorite, which he promptly eats – because, who wouldn’t? This meteorite is of course magic, and turns Ada into a powerful Amazonian woman. Although her only real powers are super strength and the ability to leap long distances, Zsazsa can still battle zombies and aliens with apparent ease.

The little-known Bandeirante Rafael Ehmke
The little-known Bandeirante
Rafael Ehmke

Bandeirante (Brazil)

Bandeirante definitely isn’t the most well-known hero out there, but he should be. Essentially a beefed-up Robin Hood, Bandeirante has superhuman strength, the ability to fly, and is able to generate flames, which he apparently chooses to keep on top of his head. But the back story is the best part: the Brazilian government forces a top scientist to build a super-powered android to eliminate anyone below the poverty line. This segment is believed to be perpetrating all the violence in the country. The clever scientist instead buries a virus in his creation’s mind, which programs him to defend the poor, weak and vulnerable from the tyrannical government.

Mighty Man InternationalHero.co.uk
Mighty Man

Mighty Man (South Africa)

Police officer Danny Ndhlomo discovers an underground species that helps save him after he is shot on the job, and either accidentally or intentionally transfers superhuman powers to him. With his incredible strength, Mighty Man protects his old township (modeled after Soweto) from gangsters and drug lords. Since the comic book superhero was created in the 1970s during apartheid, Mighty Man only confronts criminals within the township, and doesn’t venture outside to try to challenge the unjust laws of the country. But just in case he had plans to, the comic was discontinued as unrest grew in the country in the 1980s.