I am asking about the first super-powered human to have been born with powers in the DC Universe (as in the first one created by DC writers). So that excludes Superman (not a human), and anyone who obtained their powers as a result of some experiment or accident (such as the Flash).

So for instance, if there was an Armadillo Man (who always had the astounding powers of an armadillo from birth) from a comic in the 1940s was the first instance, that would be the correct answer. The hero does not have to still be popular or alive.

  • Your question is a bit vague, does this include Mystery Men, the masked costumed heroes of the Golden Age? Some of them had no powers initially but were rebooted with powers later. Or does this start in the Silver Age of DC comics. You need to be a bit more specific. Jun 17, 2012 at 5:09
  • @Thaddeus perhaps my update has clarified the issue. Jun 17, 2012 at 5:14
  • My understanding is that people like the Flash have been retconned into being metahumans. However, he's one that had his metagene activated by an accident. Some have it active at birth. The JLA WWIII touches on this as part of the climax of the story.
    – user1027
    Jun 17, 2012 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


Iron Munro, would be one of the DC Universe's earliest known metahumans appearing in Shadow Comics #1 in June 1940.

Iron Munro is the son of Hugo Danner who was also born with superhuman ability via a serum created by his father Abednego Danner in 1894. Hugo was born with superhuman strength, speed and invulnerability. But technically he was changed in the womb by his father's serum so he would not meet the grade, but his son Iron Munro would.

Munro was the child of Hugo Danner and a Colorado woman named Anna Blake. Munro was born with superhuman powers and possessed incredible strength and invulnerability by the age of ten.

This particular version of the character gained greater notoriety after the Crisis on Infinite Earth's when DC restructured their universe and erased the Earth-2 Superman replacing him with Iron Munro.

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Iron Munro is a fictional superhero, who first appeared in Shadow Comics #1 (June 1940), published by Street & Smith. He is loosely based on Aarn Munro, the hero of a series of short stories written by John W. Campbell in the 1930s. The modern and better known version of the character, who started life as Arn Munro, first appeared in Young All-Stars #1 (June 1987) and was created by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, Michael Bair and Brian Murray. Munro is the illegitimate son of Hugo Danner, the superpowered protagonist from the 1930 novel Gladiator by Philip Wylie. However, Iron was not a character or even a possibility in the original novel. Hugo's inability to pass on his powers to his children is explained by his ailing scientist father, "the effect of the process is not inherited by the future generations." --Wikipedia entry: Iron Munro

As a side note: I reviewed all of DC's earliest properties particularly among the Mystery Men and almost all of them failed to meet the criteria due to their use of various technologies to give them their abilities. Those who were not technology users had their powers bestowed by accidents, divine forces, or medical/drug technologies.

  • The Mighty Atom: No powers in his first incarnation
  • The Flash: Received powers in a radiation accident
  • The Sandman: Gas gun, gas mask, armored coat
  • Hour-Man: Miraclo pill - super-strength, speed, stamina for one hour
  • The Spectre: Revenant; granted superhuman magical abilities
  • Green Lantern: Bearer of the Green magical energy and ring
  • Wonder Woman: formed from clay and given life and power from the gods
  • Doctor Fate: powers derived from wearing the helmet of Nabu
  • Hawkman: magical wings and medieval weapons
  • Doctor Mid-nite: Visually-impaired, used technology to augment vision
  • Johnny Thunder: magical connection to Thunderbolt
  • Starman: Cosmic rod used to control light energy
  • Given the above, wouldn't Wonder Woman still count? The fact that she was given life by divine forces doesn't change that she is a human who was "born" with powers.
    – Omegacron
    Sep 25, 2014 at 17:18
  • Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. Sep 25, 2014 at 17:20
  • If we did include her in the criteria, would that make her #2 after Iron Munro?
    – Omegacron
    Sep 25, 2014 at 17:23
  • No. Pre-Crisis origin: Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #105 revealed that Diana was formed from CLAY by the Queen of the Amazons and was imbued with the attributes of the Greek and Roman gods by Athena – "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules." So she would fail under the "magical origin" limitation. Sep 25, 2014 at 17:29
  • This answer is incorrect. Shadow Comics was not a DC publication. Additionally, the Wikipedia entry now states that DC's Iron Munro was created in 1987 but was partially based on the two works cited above. Before 1987 the character did not exist in the DC universe.
    – Legion600
    Jan 19, 2019 at 9:56

The latest season of Young Justice seems to suggest that Vandal Savage was the first metahuman and most of all the metahumans are descendants of Savage's.

  • 1
    Except Vandal Savage got his powers from a meteorite, not born that way. Jan 19, 2019 at 5:27

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