who was the FIRST superhero?

As comic fans, i ASSUME, we all have a common language, THAT OF SUPERHEROES, and COSTUMES. So WHO was the initial inspiration? WHAT was he like and how has the concept changed over time? There was the JSA and Starman and all them, but to me, they are NEW characters. The first ever superhero toons i got into,... idk, i got into Flash (the series) early on, and maybe watched the Filmation Superboy cartoon too, the one with the 15 min episodes, and Tarzan from the 70's...Speaking of Filmation, I remember this dude Zorro. He had STYLE, which was the best thing about him, his costume was,... flashy, yet practical. So were his weapons. So he has a costume, fight's crime, or rather INJUSTICE,  has a hideout in his home, rides a horse, and the crazy thing is he's IN ON THE PLAN cos he's FRIENDS with the enemy, (Sergeant what's his name LAOTHES "The Fox", the vigilante but LOVES Diego). that's another thing i liked about him, it's not just a MASK he puts on, but he's 2 completely DIFFERENT ROLES, (NOT MEN, but roles, both of which he USES for the same purpose. He's smart) One persona is a hero, which is actually Diego, while Zorro is the underdog, a VIGILANTE with a prize on his head, but the PEOPLE's hero. So he's also kind of a ninja, being a night time guy who uses more shadows, black costume, black horse, of course what are the odds of that horse being ACTUALLY black? i mean i've seen black horses, but really? wouldn't that make you an obvious suspect? he's got the aristocrat card going for him, but i'd either disguise the horse on normal hours, or rather paint it all black during the job. And i wasn't familiar with the Batman back then, but the black factor, the hideout, being rich,... oh hey guess what it says so on Wiki that Batman was inspired by Zorro. So my question is,.. is Zorro considered the oldest or were there even OLDER costumed heroes? 
What about Robin Hood? He stole from the unfairly rich, gave it to the hardworking poor, not that either side was really nice people, but he was, and tried to create justice, also had a no-kill rule after his accident which led to his "banishment" or outlawing or whatever. Before GL and Flash, Brave and the Bold had been about Robin Hood. He had good intentions, Green Arrow's looks,... so then we go back to the GREEKS,... were THEY the oldest in heroic literature? probably, did their heroes have powers? Yes, some did. But were they really,... HEROES? i mean what's a hero? They call it a courageous man who would go against the tide blah blah,.. but,... idk if they really qualify as heroes. If someone helps a whole town BUT for personal benefit, is he really a wolver- i mean is he a hero? Beowulf,.. and wolverine, i see similarities. They're both,.. how do i say this? Hunters? mercenaries? and they have that strictly business attitude? I don't know too much about Beowulf, but, especially in his flashbacks, Wolverine was pretty much that. But,.. the greeks,.. i feel that, ALTHOUGH they were  heroes, and ALTHOUGH most of them had Strength or even awesome POWER that we could call SUPERNATURAL, they... I FEEL they lack character. So are the GREEKS the oldest of superheroes? Were there something in between? or, as someone who used costumes and secret identities was Zorro or the likes of Robin Hood, or Knights in medieval times the first superheroes?

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Posted by ld12278

Superman. Back in 1932, comics were just a collection of cartoons or funnies. Then they tried having detective stories or space adventures but the creation of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster with Superman in Action Comics #1 was the birth of the superhero in comics. I realize what you are saying about where the superhero concept came from, but the first comic book superhero is the Man of Steel himself. Plus, Beowulf is such a beast!

Edited by sweatboy

Yes, when i did my project for 2007 Wiki credited Superman as having started the Superhero genre, but i dare to question this. Also, did you know Superman was originally supposed to be evil? this was in 1933, 1938 saw him as the big blue and red hero. The JSA debuted in the '40s, Namor appeared Oct '39,.. so yes, PUBLICATION WISE, Superman made his debut the earliest., but he wasn't exactly the Superman we know today, BUT, sometimes i prefer older incarnations better. Apparently, there was a "mandrake the magician" who debuted in 1934, but i don't know him, so i don't count him.  http://www.comicvine.com/mandrake-the-magician/29-9244/ Again, evil superman was out there in 1933 
Appreciate the comment :)

Posted by sweatboy