Public Domain Super Heroes

Richard the Lionheart

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King Richard, The Lionheart

Real Name

King Richard I


September 8, 1157


April 6, 1199

Historical Background

King Richard, son of King Henry II, became known as the Lionheart, even before he became king, due to his reputation as a skilled warrior and military commander. As King, he spent very little time in England, as he was usually abroad on military campaigns. While he was gone, he left his brother and former rival, Prince John, in charge.

Richard had many adventures while he was abroad. He had a number of victories against his Saracen counterpart, Saladin, during his participation in the third Crusade. He sometimes disguised himself as a man of lower station and at one point, he was captured. He eventually died from wounds sustained in battle.


A common theme in stories.

Legend & Folklore

According to popular legend, Prince John was a cruel tyrant demanding unreasonable taxes from Richard's subjects, while the people longed for the return of their pious and honorable king, who was initially unaware of John's treacherous tendencies, and his desire to usurp the throne. Many heroes, including Robin Hood, rose up to fight Prince John while Richard was away.

In the story of Ivanhoe, Richard returned to England, hiding his identity from Prince John as the mysterious Black Knight. Later, he aided Robin Hood in saving Ivanhoe and his companions from the castle.

In Golden Age comic books, he was aided by such heroes as the Green Falcon and the time travelers, Ace Buckley and Stuart Taylor.

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Fantastic Comics #1
  • Slam-Bang Comics #2
  • Reg'lar Fellers Heroic Comics #10
  • Jumbo Comics #47
  • Startling Comics #6
  • Blue Ribbon Comics #14
  • Hit Comics #45
  • Fight Comics #82
  • Conquest #1
  • Robin Hood (Sussex) #1
  • Robin Hood (ME) #52
  • Robin Hood Tales #1-3
  • Robin Hood and His Merry Men #29
  • Treasure Comics vol. 4 #1

Public Domain Literary Appearances

  • Ivanhoe (1820)
  • Cœur de Lion (1822)
  • The Talisman (1825)

Public Domain Stage Appearances

  • Richard Coeur-de-lion (1784)
  • Riccardo Primo (1719)

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Robin Hood (1912)
  • Ivanhoe (1913)
  • Robin Hood (1913)
  • Robin Hood (1922)

See Also


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