The first movie superhero

Classic serials, jungle and adventure films.

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The first movie superhero

will
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Joined: November 17th, 2009, 2:23 am

July 4th, 2018, 3:59 pm #1

Standard information claims it is Judex.

But it isn't.

It is the Laughing Mask.

http://pdsh.wikia.com/wiki/Laughing_Mask

He appears in the Pearl White serial, The Iron Claw, which was released February 1916. That beats Judex by almost a year. Now Judex was filmed earlier. But was delayed because of WWI, they say, but in my book it is what gets into the theaters first that counts. Only one chapter of this serial survives. I watched it and the Laughing Mask is the dominant character in it, not Pearl White. The Laughing Mask has a much cooler look than Judex, sort of a cross between Zorro and the Shadow, and he is going up against a supervillain called the Iron Claw. Judex's foes are more humdrum. Let's get behind the Laughing Mask, an AMERICAN superhero, not some French one.
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Blaster
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Joined: June 14th, 2018, 11:58 pm

July 4th, 2018, 5:18 pm #2

Nice little fun fact:  The Laughing Mask was played by Harry L. Fraser who later wrote and directed many serials and B Westerns -- including contributing to the screenplays for the Batman and Captain America serials.  
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Joined: April 22nd, 2007, 10:37 pm

July 7th, 2018, 6:01 pm #3

Let's get behind the Laughing Mask, an AMERICAN superhero, not some French one.
Yeah, LMAGA 
Russ😉
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gene phillips
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Joined: January 5th, 2007, 3:11 am

July 7th, 2018, 7:41 pm #4

I've never thought Judex filled my personal criteria for a "superhero," so I'd be happy to see another contender for the first cinematic super, and will try to check it out.

Here's a surviving sectionon Youtube:
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