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No hero created before or since Superman has ever quite matched up to him. | Warner Bros.
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Heroes and Legends Before Superman

Before Superman came a long line of mythical heroes who used their superhuman strength for a larger cause.

June 17, 2013
7:30 AM EDT
Gilgamesh acted decidedly unheroically when first making using of his super strength, using his talents only to win athletic competitions. | Getty Images
Heracles is a hero whose name has become synonymous with great strength. | Corbis Images
This painting of Achilles shows him dragging Hector's body after killing the Trojan prince in revenge for slaying his cousin, Patroclus. | Getty Images
Just as Superman draws power from the sun, Samson's super strength comes from his hair. | Getty Images
Beowulf killed the monster Grendel using a magic sword found in her lair. | Getty Images
According to legend, Cúchulainn once engaged in a dual to the death that lasted four days. | Wikimedia Commons
The legend of Paul Bunyan came out of tall tales told around logging camps. | Corbis Images