While heroes come in all shapes and sizes and from all over the world, there’s something about a local person using their gifts to keep their own communities safe that is inspiring. On this July 4th, we are celebrating real American superheroes, meaning those heroes who take great pride in saving America as an American. Peter Parker said it best: You can’t be a friendly neighborhood Spider-Man if there’s no neighborhood. So, here’s a look at some of the protectors of the local streets of America and beyond!
Beneath the costume, Steve Rogers is just a guy from Queens, New York. Before he became a super-powered Avenger, Steve Rogers enlisted in the US Army to defend his country in whatever capacity he could alongside his best friend Bucky Barnes. Of course, his service to America has greatly increased since becoming Cap. He’s gone from protector of the country to protector of the planet to protector of the universe itself. But it’s his living up to the “America” in his name during his illustrious career as an Avenger that has secured Steve Rogers in our hearts forever. The 4th of July also happens to be his birthday, so Happy Birthday Steve Rogers! America (and the universe) thanks you.
What can we say about Peter Parker at this point? The kid can’t stop putting himself in harm’s way to save New York (and sometimes other places, too) from criminals, monsters, aliens, and just about anything else that comicbook creators can think of. Born and raised in New York, Spider-Man is the epitome of an American hero who just wants to protect his neighborhood and all the innocent New Yorkers in it.
Before Carol Danvers became a Kree warrior and then an intergalactic superheroine, she was just a girl from Boston. It makes sense that she went on to be a protector of the galaxy since she first got her start protecting her own planet as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. While she travels far beyond America and planet Earth these days, her roots in Boston and the U.S. Air Force remain a major part of her.
Remy LeBeau, the playing-card-wielding and crime-fighting mutant, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Although his mutant powers first led him to become a part of the Thieves Guild, he eventually made his way to the X-Men and became a full-time superhero. He may have changed his public name to Gambit, but his southern upbringing was never forgotten throughout all the different teams he became a part of.
The four members of this crime-fighting team—Reed Richards, Ben Grimm, Susan and Johnny Storm—all have different backgrounds as scientists, a test pilot and a hot-rod enthusiast. However, after they gain their super abilities and become the Fantastic Four, they come together as a team in New York City. Unlike some masked superheroes, thanks to their public identities, the citizens of New York (and the rest of the world) know exactly who is saving them and where they came from, proudly proclaiming this super-group as one of their own.
Although Matt Murdock is very much in touch with his Irish heritage, the blind lawyer and vigilante is a New Yorker through and through. The neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen is the setting for most of the Daredevil stories in comicbooks, film and television. Murdock does his best to defend his neighborhood and city from corrupt politicians, supervillains, and any other threat that he detects with his heightened senses. Daredevil has even been known to team up with other local New Yorker heroes like Luke Cage and Spider-Man, among others.