I divide my childhood into blocs of time based on what superhero I was most enamored with at the time. For example, my earliest memories of even being aware of superheroes was the old black and white George Reeves Superman shows I would watch every afternoon after school - Kindergarten I suppose - most likely around '76 or so.
I would try to tuck towels inside my t-shirts and jump around the furniture pretending I could fly. He could bend steel bars, see through walls. He did it all. My mom or dad would come home with the occasional Superman comic and I would read them over and over. Reliving each panel, trying to draw him in various poses and otherwise try to be him - I probably got more of a sense of my adult values from him than real person I ever knew.
Of course the movie came out around that time, after I was exposed to him for sure, but not too much longer. I'd suspect that the TV show was airing at that time in a mischievous plot by studio execs to get me excited about the movie before I knew it was coming out.
Not so long afterwards though I moved on to bigger and better things. I don't know when the Incredible Hulk television show hit the airwaves. But that was all it took for me to have a new favorite hero. I must have been six or seven and found that when my parents would bring home a comic book version of the show that I loved that the comics were even more awesome. From that point on I think I actually preferred the comic book version of all my heroes.
So went the second era of my life, reading the Hulk led me to other marvel characters, Spider-Man, the X-Men, and eventually... Thor!
Thor was my favorite comic book character for years, I felt so anti-establishment. I mean, he had long hair, had a big hammer that he beat people with. He spoke in Jacobian english and he drank alcohol. He was a bad man. I suppose he was Superman with an attitude.
One could probably learn a lot about my personal issues considering I chose the most powerful heroes ever imagined to idolize growing up. But still, Thor was my third era of childhood, and lasted probably from the age of 10 or 11 up until I quit comics all together when I was around 15.
So now that I'm an adult and special effects in movies have gotten several orders of magnitude better superheroes have really gotten their due in the past decade. The child in me rejoices. Imagine my unmitigated joy upon seeing the trailer of the upcoming epic based on Marvel's Thor.