Superhero A superhero is most often the protagonist of superhero fiction, although some titles, such as Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Rossuse superheroes as secondary characters. A superhero sometimes rendered super-hero or super hero is a type of stock character possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers" and dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman instories of superheroes—ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas—have dominated American comic books and crossed over into other media.
Superhero A superhero is most often the protagonist of superhero fiction, although some titles, such as Marvels by Kurt Busiek and Alex Rossuse superheroes as secondary characters. A superhero sometimes rendered super-hero or super hero is a type of stock character possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers" and dedicated to protecting the public.
Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman instories of superheroes—ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas—have dominated American comic books and crossed over into other media. The word itself dates to at least A Fiction story superhero superhero is sometimes called a superheroine also rendered super-heroine or super heroine.
By most definitions, characters do not strictly require actual superhuman powers to be deemed superheroes, although terms such as costumed crime fighters or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to those such as Batman and Green Arrow without such powers who share other common superhero traits.
Such characters were generally referred to as "mystery men" in the so-called Golden Age of Comic Books to distinguish them from characters with super-powers. Normally, superheroes use their powers to counter day-to-day crime while also combating threats against humanity by their criminal counterparts, supervillains.
One of these supervillains might be the superhero's archenemy. Supervillain A supervillain or supervillainess is a variant of the villain character type, commonly found in comic books, action movies and science fiction in various media.
They are sometimes used as foils to superheroes and other heroes. Whereas superheroes often wield fantastic powers, the supervillain possesses commensurate powers and abilities so that he can present a daunting challenge to the hero.
Even without actual physical, mystical, superhuman or superalien powers, the supervillain often possesses a genius intellect that allows him to draft complex schemes or create fantastic devices. Another common trait is possession of considerable resources to help further his aims.
Many supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, mobsters, and terrorists and often have aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.
Superheroes and supervillains often mirror each other in their powers, abilities, or origins. In some cases, the only difference between the two is that the hero uses his extraordinary powers to help others, while the villain uses his powers for selfish, destructive or ruthless purposes.
Secret identity and Alter ego Both superheroes and supervillains often use alter egos while in action. While sometimes the character's real name is publicly known, alter egos are most often used to hide the character's secret identity from their enemies and the public.
With superheroes, the duality of their identities is kept a secret and closely guarded to protect those close to them from being harmed and to prevent them from being called upon constantly, even for problems not serious enough to require their attention. With supervillains, by contrast, the duality of their identities is kept a secret and closely guarded to conceal their crimes from the general public, so that they may inflict greater harm on the general public, and to enable them to act freely, and hence illegally, without risk of arrest by law-enforcement authorities.
Comic book death Death in superhero fiction is rarely permanent, as characters who die are often brought back to life through supernatural means or via retcons retroactive changes to the continuitythe alteration of previously established facts in the continuity of a fictional work.
Fans have termed the practice of bringing back dead characters " comic book death ". Another common trait of superhero fiction is the killing off of a superhero's significant other by a supervillain to advance the plot.
Comic book writer Gail Simone has coined the term " Women in Refrigerators " named after an incident in Green Lantern 54 where Kyle Rayner 's girlfriend Alex DeWitt is murdered by the supervillain Major Force and stuffed into Rayner's refrigerator to refer to this practice.
Continuity fiction and Canon fiction Many works of superhero fiction occur in a shared fictional universesometimes as in the cases of the DC and Marvel Universes establishing a fictional continuity of thousands of works spread over many decades.
Changes to continuity are also common, ranging from small changes to established continuity, commonly called retconsto full rebootserasing all previous continuity. It is also common for stories works of superhero fiction to contain established characters and setting while occurring outside of the main canon for those characters.
Fictional crossover Crossovers often occur between characters of different works of superhero fiction. In comic books, highly publicized "events" are published featuring crossovers between many characters. Intercompany crossoversbetween characters of different continuity, are also common.
Prototypes[ edit ] The first Phantom Sunday strip May 28, Art by Ray Moore.
The mythologies of many ancient civilizations feature pantheons of gods and goddesses with superhuman powers, as well as heroes such as HanumanGilgameshPerseusOdysseus and David and demigods like Heracles. Antecedents of the superhero archetype include such folkloric heroes as Robin Hoodwho adventured in distinctive clothing,  Penny dreadfulsshilling shockersdime novelsradio programsand other popular fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries featured mysterious, swashbuckling heroes with distinct costumes, unusual abilities and altruistic missions.
The character of Spring Heeled Jack who first emerged as an urban legend of the early 19th century, was re-conceived as a masked and costumed adventurer during the s. The play The Scarlet Pimpernel and its spinoffs further popularized the idea of a masked avenger and the superhero trope of a secret identity;  such characters as the Green Hornet and the Scarecrow of Romney Marshwould follow.
Likewise, the science-fiction heroes John Carter of Mars and Flash Gordonwith their futuristic weapons and gadgets; Tarzanwith his high degree of athleticism and strength, and his ability to communicate with animals; Robert E. Howard 's Conan the Barbarian and the biologically modified Hugo Danner of the novel Gladiatorwere heroes with unusual abilities who fought sometimes larger-than-life foes.Ian Hills used to rule the world—or felt like it.
He had the ability to stop time itself, he was a superhero. Not only that, but he was deeply respected by adults and was the role model of all the children.
But, on one fateful day, he failed.
A story taking place in an alternate version of the DC Universe where real-life problems get mixed with superheroes. This story focuses on an alien superhero named Titan who was taken from his family by scientists and experimented and tortured on until he becomes one of .
Read some literary treatments of the superhero genre. Score A book’s total score is based on multiple factors, including the number of people who have voted for it .
Books shelved as superhero-fiction: After the Golden Age by Carrie Vaughn, Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman, Wearing the Cape: A Superhero St.
Daily Science Fiction is an on-line magazine specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and everything in between. A new story is published every weekday and sent to subscribers via e-mail, and stories appear a week later on nationwidesecretarial.com Superhero fiction is a genre of speculative fiction examining the adventures, personalities and ethics of costumed crime fighters known as superheroes, who often possess superhuman powers and battle similarly powered criminals known as supervillains.