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Featured characters - titles who deserve more recognition, and who I feel readers of this site would do well to check out!

El Gato Negro

Read his new adventures online at Web Comics Nation.

Supernatural.Law

Published by Exhibit A Press

Read free examples Supernatural Law online here.

Dark Nebula

Read his adventures, and that of the Southern Squadron, online.


Welcome to the International Catalogue of Superheroes. The purpose of this site is to build up a database of information about various superhero characters from around the world. For decades American comics, and especially those from two prolific publishing houses, have dominated if not the market, then certainly the public's perception of it. There are few people in the world who would not recognise Superman, Batman, Spider-Man or the X-Men, and there are hundreds of websites devoted to those characters. That is not the focus of this site. One day, perhaps, I will start to index those famous characters, but that day, if it comes about, is some way off.

Instead this site is intended to cover less well known, but no less worthy, creations. In particular it aims to showcase some of the international diversity that exists in the superhero world. There are large sections devoted to heroes from Britain, France, Canada, Australia, Japan and many other countries, which continue to expand as I learn more about the heroes of each of those countries. From the U.S.A. I've tried to give coverage to characters who appeared in many Independent comics (e.g. non-Marvel or D.C.), as well as film and television.

It's an ongoing process and will never be finished, as there will always be new characters being created, old ones being unearthed, and further information on existing ones coming to light. The first thing I always do with any encyclopedia or "Handbook" is look for certain favourite, but obscure, characters, to see what has been missed out. If you do the same, and find that I am missing someone you think needs including, or have erroneous information (bear in mind that a lot of times, especially with older characters, I am going on second hand information) then please e-mail me. Contributions are always welcome.

While I've tried to go to the original source material as much as possible, nonetheless some of my information has, by necessity, been taken from on-line. Where this is the case I try to contact whatever site I've cribbed from for permission, and to give credit to the original source - if you see something here that you think has come from your site, and I haven't contacted or credited you or you wish me to remove it, please e-mail me so I can fix whatever I've done wrong.  I'll state it below in a proper disclaimer, but for the record I intend this to be a work of reference so any copyrighted images I'm using are for those purposes only; copyright still belongs to the original holder; and if that copyright owner or their representatives want me to take something off the site I will do so upon request.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the many contributors who have helped by sending in pictures or information; many of the national pages in particular would be much less developed without their assistance. When the site was younger and smaller, I tried to list them here, but that has long since become impossible, so now the individual thanks tends to be on specific pages; that does not make me any less grateful for the help provided.


Browse the site by country

Asia

Europe

China/Zhongguo

India/Bharat

Israel

Japan/Nippon

België/Belgique

Deutschland

España

Finland/Suomi

France

Italia

Nederland

Sverige

U.K.

North & Central America

Pacific

South America

Canada México U.S.A. Australia New Zealand/Aotearoa Pilipinas Argentina Brasil Chile

Indonesia

Other countries


So, what country does this character belong to anyway?

I started doing this site because of an American comic fan's comment on a message board that foreign superheroes (at least those done by Marvel and DC, the "Big Two") tend to be either rip-offs of American characters or horrendous stereotypes. When you consider characters like DC's Beefeater, Tasmanian Devil, etc, or Marvel's Captain Britain (in the days when Larry Lieber was writing him), then you can see he has a point. But I felt that this was an unfair slur - Britain certainly has a long history of home grown heroes that don't fall into either of these traps, and I knew from collecting titles like Northguard and Southern Squadron that the same was true for Canada and Australia. So I started putting together this site.

It's been an illuminating experience so far - I've discovered some of the diversity of the French superhero scene, learned more about some Japanese characters I previously only had a passing acquaintance with, found out about some of the history and the current state of the Antipodean comics industry, and so on. But a problem has become clear as I've been putting things together.

Nationality isn't so easy to define.

Some cases are very clear - Northguard and Captain Canuck are both Canadian characters created by Canadian writers and first published by Canadian companies in Canada. That's easy to handle.

But what about Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog? British writer, British character, British publisher, but the main defining artist who handled him is Spanish. Given a writer vs. artist nationality decision, I'm inclined to decide in favour of the writer, who puts the dialogue in the character's mouth. I can include him in the British section.

Fine - how about Judge Dredd? British writer, British publisher... American character. But I don't think anyone can argue that there is something indefinably British about him (albeit he is a skewed look at how Brits sometimes see Americans and especially their attitudes towards the rest of the world). But if I'm going to allow a Brit's version of an American character, then why is that more valid and less a stereotype than an American's version of a British character? Perhaps because of our exposure to a lot more of American popular culture we can create American characters that are less (unintentionally) laughable caricatures? Maybe. Or maybe it's just that we should recognise that a good writer can write a good character regardless of either one's nationality. Chris Claremont (American) has written good, non-cringeworthy characters from all over the globe; so has Alan Moore (British), Grant Morrison (British, but also Scottish), John Byrne (Canadian), etc. A good writer moves beyond the land they come from to be a true everyman (or woman).

What I'm trying to say is that in some respects the entries I've included in each section can sometimes seem somewhat arbitrary. Going strictly by my mandate I should either drop characters like Dredd, or I should include every character ever written by a British or French or Canadian or ... writer. What it comes down to in the end is that I've included who I feel should be included, and left the others out. If you feel I've missed someone important, please let me know.

And speaking as a Scot living in England, I'm not even going to start on whether Scottish characters created by English writers are valid. Lastly, if I've included someone in the UK section and the writer is actually from Eire (the Republic of Ireland for those who don't know), sorry - please correct me.


All images and characters depicted on this site are copyright their respective holders, and are used for informational purposes only. No infringement is intended and copyrights remain at source.

Webcounter has gone down again. Anyone able to recommend a good free one?

Site started: January 29th 2002