ByRebecca Raymer, writer at Creators.co
I am a writer and director. #WomenInFilm #WomenDirect
Rebecca Raymer

We all know that Wonder Woman is turning 75 this year, but she's not the only super hero with a significant birthday milestone in 2016.

She's definitely the BEST one.

At Dragon Con 2016, Michael Bailey headed up a panel dedicated to other classic superheroes celebrating diamond anniversaries. I attended the American Sci-Fi Classics event to get the skinny just for you!

1. Aquaman

Image courtesy of wall.alphacoders.com.
Image courtesy of wall.alphacoders.com.
  • First Appearance: More Fun Comics, Issue 73
  • Date: November 1941

Aquaman is one of the few classic characters published continuously through the period following World War II when the superhero genre fell by the wayside. In addition to battling sea villains, Aquaman at one point got a bit too e-gill-tistical and disbanded the Justice League. The marine marvel (yes, I know he's DC, that's why it's funny) also has a murky past, sporting two different origin stories.

2. Green Arrow

Image courtesy of reddit.com.
Image courtesy of reddit.com.
  • First Appearance: More Fun Comics, Issue 73
  • Date: November 1941

Hailing from the same debut issue as Aquaman, Green Arrow was another figure continuously published following World War II. He is one of the few superheroes who holds defined political views, leaning decidedly to the left. Back in the day, he was criticized as somewhat of a communist sympathizer, but these days Green Arrow would likely vote blue over pink. #GreenArrowIsWithHer2016

3. Plastic Man

Image courtesy of collider.com.
Image courtesy of collider.com.
  • First Appearance: Police Comics, Issue 1
  • Date: August 1941

Unlike Aquaman and Green Arrow, Plastic Man was not originally in the DC staple. Police Comics was published by Quality Comics, and Plastic Man was created by artist Jack Cole. Plastic Man started out as a criminal, and his bad-boy irreverence lends a comic quality to his character. He is undoubtedly the coolest 75-year-old you will ever encounter.

4. Captain Marvel Jr.

Image courtesy of bmj2k.com.
Image courtesy of bmj2k.com.
  • First Appearance: Whiz Comics, Issue 25
  • Date: December, 1941

Captain Marvel Jr. has one of the most convoluted identities in comics. He is also known as Shazam Jr., Freddy Freeman (not to be confused with Freddie Freeman), and King Shazam Jr. Making matters even more confusing, Captain Marvel Jr. is published by DC, not Marvel. He was a heavy hitter, though, outselling Superman for years. His style was so fly, Elvis Presley commandeered it, which explains that cape.

5. Blackhawk

Image courtesy of internationalhero.co.uk.
Image courtesy of internationalhero.co.uk.
  • First Appearance: Military Comics, Issue 1
  • Date: August 1941

Blackhawk came along just in time to take on the Nazis in the 1940s. He was the leader of a crack team called — wait for it! — the Blackhawks. Members of the group were of varying nationalities, and in the style of the day were portrayed in horrendously racist ways. Blackhawk was resurrected for a bit in the 1980s amid rumors of Steven Spielberg's interest in making a movie based on the character, but the film is yet to materialize.

A very special thanks to moviepilot.com for the Dragon Con experience, and to Michael Bailey for his wealth of knowledge and his information disseminating skills!