This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages)(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
A superhero (sometimes rendered super-hero or super hero or Super) is a type of heroic stock character, usually possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and usually battling supervillains. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine (also rendered super-heroine or super heroine), although the word superhero is also commonly used for females. Superhero fiction is the genre of fiction that is centered on such characters, especially in American comic book and films since the 1930s.
By most definitions, characters do not require actual superhuman powers or phenomena to be deemed superheroes. While the Dictionary.com definition of "superhero" is "a figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime", the longstanding Merriam-Webster dictionary gives the definition as "a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also: an exceptionally skillful or successful person". Terms such as masked crime fighters, costumed adventurers or masked vigilantes are sometimes used to refer to characters such as the Spirit, who may not be explicitly referred to as superheroes but nevertheless share similar traits.
Some superheroes use their powers to counter daily crime while also combating threats against humanity from supervillains, who are their criminal counterparts. Often at least one of these supervillains will be the superhero's archenemy. Some long-running superheroes and superheroines such as Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Hulk, Green Lantern, the Flash, Captain America, Thor, Wolverine, Iron Man and the X-Men have a rogues gallery of many villains. There are movies and TV shows featuring various super heroes.
The word 'superhero' dates to at least 1917. Antecedents of the archetype include such folkloric heroes as Robin Hood, who adventured in distinctive clothing. The 1903 play The Scarlet Pimpernel and its spinoffs popularized the idea of a masked avenger and the superhero trope of a secret identity. Shortly afterward, masked and costumed pulp fiction characters such as Jimmie Dale/the Gray Seal (1914), Zorro (1919), The Shadow (1930) and comic strip heroes, such as the Phantom (1936) began appearing, as did non-costumed characters with super strength, including Patoruzú (1928), the comic-strip character Popeye (1929) and novelist Philip Wylie's character Hugo Danner (1930).
In the 1930s, both trends came together in some of the earliest superpowered costumed heroes such as Japan's Ōgon Bat (visualized in painted panels used by kamishibai oral storytellers in Japan since 1931), Mandrake the Magician (1934), Superman in 1938 and Captain Marvel (1939) at the beginning of the Golden Age of Comic Books. The precise era of the Golden Age of Comic Books is disputed, though most agree that it was started with the launch of Superman in 1938. Superman remains one of the most recognizable Superheroes to this day. The success of Superman spawned a whole new genre of characters with secret identities and superhuman powers – the Superhero genre.
During the 1940s there were many superheroes: The Flash, Green Lantern and Blue Beetle debuted in this era. This era saw the debut of first known female superhero, writer-artist Fletcher Hanks's character Fantomah, an ageless ancient Egyptian woman in the modern day who could transform into a skull-faced creature with superpowers to fight evil; she debuted in Fiction House's Jungle Comic #2 (Feb. 1940), credited to the pseudonymous "Barclay Flagg". The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, a non-costumed character who fought crime and wartime saboteurs using the superpower of invisibility created by Russell Stamm, would debut in the eponymous syndicated newspaper comic strip a few months later on June 3, 1940.
One superpowered character was portrayed as an antiheroine, a rarity for its time: the Black Widow, a costumed emissary of Satan who killed evildoers in order to send them to Hell—debuted in Mystic Comics #4 (Aug. 1940), from Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics. Most of the other female costumed crime-fighters during this era lacked superpowers. Notable characters include The Woman in Red, introduced in Standard Comics' Thrilling Comics #2 (March 1940); Lady Luck, debuting in the Sunday-newspaper comic-book insert The Spirit Section June 2, 1940; the comedic character Red Tornado, debuting in All-American Comics #20 (Nov 1940); Miss Fury, debuting in the eponymous comic strip by female cartoonist Tarpé Mills on April 6, 1941; the Phantom Lady, introduced in Quality Comics Police Comics #1 (Aug. 1941); the Black Cat, introduced in Harvey Comics' Pocket Comics #1 (also Aug. 1941); and the Black Canary, introduced in Flash Comics #86 (Aug. 1947) as a supporting character. The most iconic comic book superheroine, who debuted during the Golden Age, is Wonder Woman. Modeled from the myth of the Amazons of Greek mythology, she was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston, with help and inspiration from his wife Elizabeth and their mutual lover Olive Byrne. Wonder Woman's first appearance was in All Star Comics #8 (Dec. 1941), published by All-American Publications, one of two companies that would merge to form DC Comics in 1944.
In 1952, Osamu Tezuka's manga Tetsuwan Atom, more popularly known in the West as Astro Boy, was published. The series focused upon a robot boy built by a scientist to replace his deceased son. Being built from an incomplete robot originally intended for military purposes Astro Boy possessed amazing powers such as flight through thrusters in his feet and the incredible mechanical strength of his limbs.
In 1957 Japan, Shintoho produced the first film serial featuring the superhero character Super Giant, signaling a shift in Japanese popular culture towards tokusatsu masked superheroes over kaiju giant monsters. Along with Astro Boy, the Super Giant serials had a profound effect on Japanese television. 1958 saw the debut of superhero Moonlight Mask on Japanese television. It was the first of numerous televised superhero dramas that would make up the tokusatsu superhero genre. Created by Kōhan Kawauchi, he followed-up its success with the tokusatsu superhero shows Seven Color Mask (1959) and Messenger of Allah (1960), both starring a young Sonny Chiba.
The Marvel Comics teams of the early 1960s typically included at least one (and often the only) female member, much like DC's flagship superhero team the Justice League of America (whose initial roster included Wonder Woman as the token female); examples include the Fantastic Four's Invisible Girl, the X-Men's Jean Grey (originally known as Marvel Girl), the Avengers' Wasp, and the Brotherhood of Mutants' Scarlet Witch (who later joined the Avengers).
In 1963, Astro Boy was adapted into a highly influential anime television series. Phantom Agents in 1964 focused on ninjas working for the Japanese government and would be the foundation for Sentai-type series. 1966 saw the debut of sci-fi/horror series Ultra Q created by Eiji Tsuburaya this would eventually lead on to the sequel Ultraman, spawning a successful franchise focused upon the Giant Hero subgenre where the Superheroes would be as big as giant monsters (Kaiju) that they fought.
In 1971, Kamen Rider launched the "Henshin Boom" on Japanese television in the early 1970s, greatly impacting the tokusatsu superhero genre in Japan. In 1972, the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman anime debuted, which built upon the superhero team idea of the live-action Phantom Agents as well as introducing different colors for team members and special vehicles to support them, said vehicles could also combine into a larger one. Another important event was the debut of Mazinger Z by Go Nagai, creating the Super Robot genre. Go Nagai also wrote the manga Cutey Honey in 1973; although the Magical Girl genre already existed, Nagai's manga introduced Transformation sequences that would become a staple of Magical Girl media.
The 1970s would see more anti-heroes introduced into Superhero fiction such examples included the debut of Shotaro Ishinomori's Skull Man in 1970, Go Nagai's Devilman in 1972 and Gerry Conway and John Romita's Punisher in 1974.
The dark Skull Man manga would later get a television adaptation and underwent drastic changes. The character was redesigned to resemble a grasshopper, becoming the renowned first masked hero of the Kamen Rider series. Kamen Rider is a motorcycle riding hero in an insect-like costume, who shouts Henshin (Transform) to don his costume and gain superhuman powers.
The ideas of second-wave feminism, which spread through the 1960s into the 1970s, greatly influenced the way comic book companies would depict as well as market their female characters: Wonder Woman was for a time revamped as a mod-dressing martial artist directly inspired by the Emma Peel character from the British television series The Avengers (no relation to the superhero team of the same name), but later reverted to Marston's original concept after the editors of Ms. magazine publicly disapproved of the character being depowered and without her traditional costume; Supergirl was moved from being a secondary feature on Action Comics to headline Adventure Comics in 1969; the Lady Liberators appeared in an issue of The Avengers as a group of mind-controlled superheroines led by Valkyrie (actually a disguised supervillainess) and were meant to be a caricatured parody of feminist activists; and Jean Grey became the embodiment of a cosmic being known as the Phoenix Force with seemingly unlimited power in the late 1970s, a stark contrast from her depiction as the weakest member of her team a decade ago.
Both major publishers began introducing new superheroines with a more distinct feminist theme as part of their origin stories or character development. Examples include Big Barda, Power Girl, and the Huntress by DC comics; and from Marvel, the second Black Widow, Shanna the She-Devil, and The Cat. Female supporting characters who were successful professionals or hold positions of authority in their own right also debuted in the pages of several popular superhero titles from the late 1950s onward: Hal Jordan's love interest Carol Ferris was introduced as the Vice-President of Ferris Aircraft and later took over the company from her father; Medusa, who was first introduced in the Fantastic Four series, is a member of the Inhuman Royal Family and a prominent statesperson within her people's quasi-feudal society; and Carol Danvers, a decorated officer in the United States Air Force who would become a costumed superhero herself years later.
In 1975 Shotaro Ishinomori's Himitsu Sentai Gorenger debuted on what is now TV Asahi, it brought the concepts of multi-colored teams and supporting vehicles that debuted in Gatchaman into live-action, and began the Super Sentai franchise (later adapted into the American Power Rangers series in the 1990s). In 1978, Toei adapted Spider-Man into a live-action Japanese television series. In this continuity, Spider-Man had a vehicle called Marveller that could transform into a giant and powerful robot called Leopardon, this idea would be carried over to Toei's Battle Fever J and now multi-colored teams not only had support vehicles but giant robots to fight giant monsters with.
In subsequent decades, popular characters like Dazzler, She-Hulk, Elektra, Catwoman, Witchblade, Spider-Girl, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey became stars of long-running eponymous titles. Female characters began assuming leadership roles in many ensemble superhero teams; the Uncanny X-Men series and its related spin-off titles in particular have included many female characters in pivotal roles since the 1970s. Volume 4 of the X-Men comic book series featured an all-female team as part of the Marvel NOW! branding initiative in 2013. Superpowered female characters like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Darna have a tremendous influence on popular culture in their respective countries of origin.
With more and more anime, manga and tokusatsu being translated or adapted, Western audiences were beginning to experience the Japanese styles of superhero fiction more than they were able to before. Saban's Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, an adaptation of Zyuranger, created a multimedia franchise that used footage from Super Sentai. Internationally, the Japanese comic book character, Sailor Moon, is recognized as one of the most important and popular female superheroes ever created.
Nevertheless, variations on the term "Super Hero" are jointly claimed by DC Comics and Marvel Comics as trademarks in the United States. Registrations of "Super Hero" marks have been maintained by DC and Marvel since the 1960s, including U.S. Trademark Serial Nos. 72243225 and 73222079. In 2009, the term "Super Heroes" was registered as a typography-independent "descriptive" US trademark co-owned by DC and Marvel. Both DC Comics and Marvel Comics have been assiduous in protecting their rights in the "Super Hero" trademarks in jurisdictions where the registrations are in force, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, and including in respect of various goods and services falling outside comic book publications.
Critics in the legal community dispute whether the "Super Hero" marks meet the legal standard for trademark protection in the United States: distinctive designation of a single source of a product or service. Controversy exists over each element of that standard: whether "Super Hero" is distinctive rather than generic, whether "Super Hero" designates a source of products or services, and whether DC and Marvel jointly represent a single source. Some critics further characterize the marks as a misuse of trademark law to chill competition. To date, aside from a failed trademark removal action brought in 2016 against DC Comics' and Marvel Comics' United Kingdom registration, no dispute involving the trademark "Super Hero" has ever been to trial or hearing.
In keeping with their origins as representing the archetypical hero stock character in 1930s American comics, superheroes are predominantly depicted as white Anglo-Saxon American middle- or upper-class heterosexual young adult males who are typically tall, athletic, educated, physically attractive and in perfect health. Beginning in the 1960s with the civil rights movement in the United States, and increasingly with the rising concern over political correctness in the 1980s, superhero fiction centered on cultural, ethnic, national, racial and language minority groups (from the perspective of US demographics) began to be produced. This began with depiction of black superheroes in the 1960s, followed in the 1970s with a number of other ethnic superheroes. In keeping with the political mood of the time, cultural diversity and inclusivism would be an important part of superhero groups starting from the 1980s. In the 1990s, this was further augmented by the first depictions of superheroes as homosexual. In 2017, Sign Gene emerged, the first group of deaf superheroes with superpowers through the use of sign language.
Ethnic and religious minorities
In 1966, Marvel Comics introduced the Black Panther, an African monarch who became the first non-caricatured black superhero. The first African-American superhero, the Falcon, followed in 1969, and three years later, Luke Cage, a self-styled "hero-for-hire", became the first black superhero to star in his own series. In 1989, the Monica Rambeau incarnation of Captain Marvel was the first female black superhero from a major publisher to get her own title in a special one-shot issue. In 1971, Red Wolf became the first Native American in the superheroic tradition to headline a series. In 1973, Shang-Chi became the first prominent Asian superhero to star in an American comic book (Kato had been a secondary character of the Green Hornet media franchise series since its inception in the 1930s.). Kitty Pryde, a member of the X-Men, was an openly Jewish superhero in mainstream American comic books as early as 1978.
Comic-book companies were in the early stages of cultural expansion and many of these characters played to specific stereotypes; Cage and many of his contemporaries often employed lingo similar to that of blaxploitation films, Native Americans were often associated with shamanism and wild animals, and Asian Americans were often portrayed as kung fu martial artists. Subsequent minority heroes, such as the X-Men's Storm and the Teen Titans' Cyborg avoided such conventions; they were both part of ensemble teams, which became increasingly diverse in subsequent years. The X-Men, in particular, were revived in 1975 with a line-up of characters culled from several nations, including the Kenyan Storm, German Nightcrawler, Russian Colossus, Irish Banshee, and Japanese Sunfire. In 1993, Milestone Comics, an African-American-owned media/publishing company entered into a publishing agreement with DC Comics that allowed them to introduce a line of comics that included characters of many ethnic minorities. Milestone's initial run lasted four years, during which it introduced Static, a character adapted into the WB Network animated series Static Shock.
In addition to the creation of new minority heroes, publishers have filled the identities and roles of once-Caucasian heroes with new characters from minority backgrounds. The African-American John Stewart appeared in the 1970s as an alternate for Earth's Green Lantern Hal Jordan, and would become a regular member of the Green Lantern Corps from the 1980s onward. The creators of the 2000s-era Justice League animated series selected Stewart as the show's Green Lantern. In the Ultimate Marvel universe, Miles Morales, a multiracial American youth who was also bitten by a genetically-altered spider, debuted as the new Spider-Man after the apparent death of the original. Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager who is revealed to have Inhuman lineage after her shapeshifting powers manifested, takes on the identity of Ms. Marvel in 2014. Her self-titled comic book series became a cultural phenomenon, with extensive media coverage by CNN, the New York Times and The Colbert Report, and embraced by anti-Islamophobia campaigners in San Francisco who plastered over anti-Muslim bus adverts with Kamala stickers. Other such successor-heroes of color include James "Rhodey" Rhodes as Iron Man, Ryan Choi as the Atom, and Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle.
Certain established characters have had their ethnicity changed when adapted to another continuity or media. A notable example is Nick Fury, who is reinterpreted as African-American both in the Ultimate Marvel as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continuities.
Sexual orientation and gender identity
In 1992, Marvel revealed that Northstar, a member of the Canadian mutant superhero team Alpha Flight, was homosexual, after years of implication. This ended a long-standing editorial mandate that there would be no homosexual characters in Marvel comics. Although some minor secondary characters in DC Comics' mature-audience 1980s miniseries Watchmen were gay, and the reformed supervillain Pied Piper came out to Wally West in an issue of The Flash in 1991, Northstar is considered to be the first openly gay superhero appearing in mainstream comic books. From the mid-2000s onward, several established Marvel and DC comics characters (or a variant version of the pre-existing character) were outed or reintroduced as LGBT individuals by both publishers. Examples include the Mikaal Tomas incarnation of Starman in 1998; Colossus in the Ultimate X-Men series; Renee Montoya in DC's Gotham Central series in 2003; the Kate Kane incarnation of Batwoman in 2006; Rictor and Shatterstar in an issue of X-Factor in 2009; the Golden Age Green Lantern Alan Scott is reimagined as openly gay following The New 52 reboot in 2011; and in 2015, a younger time displaced version of Iceman in an issue of All-New X-Men.
Many new openly gay, lesbian and bisexual characters have since emerged in superhero fiction, such as Gen¹³'s Rainmaker, Apollo and Midnighter of The Authority, and Wiccan and Hulkling of the Young Avengers. Notable transgender or gender bending characters are fewer in number by comparison: the alter ego of superheroine Zsazsa Zaturnnah, a seminal character in Philippine popular culture, is an effeminate gay man who transforms into a female superhuman after ingesting a magical stone. Desire from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series, Cloud from Defenders, and Xavin from the Runaways are all characters who could (and often) change their gender at will. Alysia Yeoh, a supporting character created by writer Gail Simone for the Batgirl ongoing series published by DC Comics, received substantial media attention in 2011 for being the first major transgender character written in a contemporary context in a mainstream American comic book.
The Sailor Moon series is known for featuring a substantial number of openly LGBT characters since its inception, as Japan have traditionally been more open about portraying homosexuality in its children's media compared to many countries in the West. Certain characters who are presented as homosexual or transgender in one continuity may not be presented as such in others, particularly with dubbed versions made for international release.
An animated short The Ambiguously Gay Duo parodies comic book superheros and features Ace and Gary (Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell). It originated on The Dana Carvey Show and then moved to Saturday Night Live.
In 2017, Pluin introduced Sign Gene, a film featuring a group of deaf superheroes with supernatural powers through the use of sign language. The film was produced by and with deaf people and nurtures the culture's self image by reflecting correctly the core of the Deaf culture, history and language.
- List of deaf superheroes
- List of child superheroes
- List of anthropomorphic animal superheroes
- List of alien races in DC Comics
- List of alien races in Marvel Comics
- List of metahumans in DC Comics
- Law enforcement
- Marvel Comics
- Real-life superhero
- List of superhero debuts
- List of superhero teams and groups
- Niccum, John (March 17, 2006). "'V for Vendetta' is S for Subversive". Lawrence Journal-World. Lawrence, Kansas. Archived from the original on November 14, 2013.
- Gesh, Lois H.; Weinberg, Robert (2002). "The Dark Knight: Batman: A NonSuper Superhero". The Science of Superheroes (PDF). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-471-02460-6. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 19, 2014.
- Lovece, Frank (July 16, 2008). "The Dark Knight". (movie review) Film Journal International. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014.
Batman himself is an anomaly as one of the few superheroes without superpowers…
- "Superhero | Define Superhero at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Superhero | Definition of Superhero by Merriam-Webster". Merriam-webster.com. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Superhero - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Packer, Sharon (2009). Superheroes and Superegos: Analyzing the Minds Behind the Masks. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 52. ISBN 978-0313355363.
- Lovece, Frank (November 11, 2013). "Superheroes Go the American Way on PBS". Newsday. New York / Long Island. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2013.
- Davisson, Zack (December 19, 2010). "The First Superhero – The Golden Bat?". ComicsBulletin.com. Archived from the original on November 9, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- Bradner, Liesl (November 29, 2009). "The superheroes of Japan who predated Superman and Batman". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on January 5, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2014.
- "Who was the first superhero?". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Adventures of Patsy". Toonopedia.com. March 11, 1935. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "First superhero ever in the world. Mandrake the Magician Lee Falk Popeye the Sailor Man Superman". Thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com. February 17, 1936. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "The Golden Age Of Comics". www.pbs.org. Retrieved January 11, 2018.
- Markstein, Don. "The Black Widow". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on April 15, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
Fantomah was the first female character in comics to use extraordinary powers in combatting evil. The Woman in Red was the first to wear a flashy costume and maintain a dual identity while doing so. On the other hand, The Black Widow was the first to do both.
- Fantomah, Mystery Woman of the Jungle at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015.
- Heintjes, Tom (May 11, 2012). "Not Seen but not Forgotten: The Invisible Scarlet O'Neil". Hogan's Alley (17). Archived from the original on June 12, 2013.
- "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Woman in Red". Toonopedia.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "GCD :: Issue :: Thrilling Comics #v1#2 (2)". Comics.org. January 11, 1940. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Miss Fury". Toonopedia.com. April 6, 1941. Archived from the original on April 9, 2012. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Don Markstein's Toonopedia: The Black Cat". Toonopedia.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "GCD :: Issue :: Pocket Comics #1". Comics.org. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Jim Amash & Eric Nolen-Weathington, (2010), Carmine Infantino: Penciler, Publisher, Provocateur p.30-32
- Curtis M. Wong (August 19, 2015). "Wonder Woman Officiates Her First Gay Wedding". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
- Lamb, Marguerite (Fall 2001). "Who Was Wonder Woman?". Bostonia. Archived from the original on January 19, 2007.
- Malcolm, Andrew H. (February 18, 1992). "OUR TOWNS - She's Behind the Match For That Man of Steel - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture, p. 262 ISBN 0-7656-0560-0
- Takeshobo, ed. (1995-11-30). "BonusColumn「変身ブーム到来!!」" [Bonus Column 'The Henshin Boom Arrives!']. 超人画報 国産架空ヒーロー四十年の歩み [The Super Heroes Chronicles: The History of Japanese Fantastic Televisions, Movies and Videos, 1957-1995] (in Japanese). Takeshobo. p. 85. ISBN 4-88475-874-9. C0076.
- "We were all in love with Diana Rigg and that show she was on." Mike Sekowsky, quoted in Les Daniels, Wonder Woman: The Complete History (Chronicle, 2004), p. 129.
- Wonder Woman Wears Pants: Wonder Woman, Feminism and the 1972 “Women’s Lib” Issue, by Ann Matsuuchi[permanent dead link], in Colloquy: text theory critique, no.24 (2012); archived at Monash University
- W. Wright, Bradford (2001). Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America. United States: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 250. ISBN 0-8018-6514-X. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
- Alter Ego #70 (July 1970): Roy Thomas interview, pp. 49-50
- Kristiansen, Ulrik; Sørensen, Tue (May 1, 1996). "An Interview with Chris Claremont". Comic Zone. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
- Sunu, Steve (January 14, 2013). "Wood and Coipel Mutate "X-Men" for Marvel NOW!". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
- By Maria Aspan. "What We Learned About Power From Buffy the Vampire Slayer". Inc.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Name *. "From Darna To Zsazsa Zaturnnah: Desire And Fantasy « Anvil Publishing, Inc". Anvilpublishing.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Darna ha ha ha!". Philippine Daily Inquirer. February 17, 2003. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Zyu2". GrnRngr.com. October 24, 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2013.
- "Can Sailor Moon Break Up the Superhero Boys Club?". The Atlantic. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Sailor Moon superhero may replace Power Rangers". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Sailor Moon (superhero). The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic Book Icons. January 1, 2004. ISBN 9781578591541. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Moon Prism Power! Why Sailor Moon is the perfect female superhero". Leslie IRL. Archived from the original on February 23, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Comella, Anthony. "Grrrl power: why female superheroes matter". Pop Mythology. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- "Superhero | Define Superhero at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Ulaby, Neda (March 27, 2006). "Comics Creators Search for 'Super Hero' Alternative". All Things Considered. NPR. Archived from the original on September 22, 2013.
- Marvel Characters, Inc.; DC Comics; United States Patent and Trademark Office (November 16, 2004). "Trademark Status & Document Retrieval". United States Patent and Trademark Office. Retrieved October 30, 2013.
US Serial Number: 78356610 [...] Standard Character Claim: Yes. The mark consists of standard characters without claim to any particular font style, size, or color.
- Stewart, DG (June 1, 2017). ""The "Superhero" Trademark: how the name of a genre came to be owned by DC and Marvel, and how they enforce it"". World Comic Book Review. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
- Coleman, Ron (March 27, 2006). "SUPER HERO® my foot". Likelihood of Confusion. Archived from the original on July 22, 2014.
- Doctorow, Cory (March 18, 2006). "Marvel Comics: stealing our language". Boing Boing. Archived from the original on August 18, 2014.
- Dowling, Jennifer (May 7, 2009). 'Oy Gevalt': A Peek at the Development of Jewish Superheroines. The Contemporary Comic Book Superhero. UK. ISBN 9781135213930. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- "Sign Gene by Emilio Insolera arrives at cinema". ASVOFF. September 10, 2017.
- Brown, Jeffrey A. (2001). Black Superheroes, Milestone Comics and their Fans. University Press of Mississippi. ISBN 1-57806-281-0.
- "Red Wolf (Old West, Johnny Wakely)". Marvunapp.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Kim, Jonathan (January 15, 2011). Why The Green Hornet's Kato Matters. The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 22, 2015.
- Kaplan, Arie (2008). From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books. The Jewish Publication Society. p. 120. ISBN 978-0827608436.
In Uncanny X-Men #129 cover-dated Jan. 1979 and on sale in late 1978, writer Chris Claremont and the artist John Byrne created Katherine "Kitty" Pryde, aka Shadowcat, a young Jewish girl who possess the mutant ability to walk through walls.
- Lynskey, Dorian (March 25, 2015). "Kapow! Attack of the feminist superheroes". The Guardian. UK. Archived from the original on August 19, 2015.
- Kawasaki, Anton. "Northstar – GAY LEAGUE". Gayleague.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Hick, Darren. "The Comics Journal Performs a Public Service". The Comics Journal. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009.
- "Entertainment | Batwoman hero returns as lesbian". BBC News. May 30, 2006. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Neuman, Clayton (June 4, 2006). "Caped Crusaders". TIME. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Hanks, Henry (April 22, 2015). "'X-Men' character Iceman outed as gay". CNN.com. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "The return of Zsazsa Zaturnnah | Inquirer lifestyle". Lifestyle.inquirer.net. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Kane, Matt (April 10, 2013). "'Batgirl' Comic Introduces Transgender Character". GLAAD. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- "Intersections: Male Homosexuality and Popular Culture in Modern Japan". She.murdoch.edu.au. Retrieved March 26, 2016.
- Anime, mon amour: Forget Pokemon - Japanese animation explodes with gay, lesbian, and trans themes - video - Charles Solomon
- "Sailor Neptune and Uranus Come Out of the Fictional Closet". Huffington Post. May 21, 2014.
- Trigari, Michela (September 12, 2017). "Sign Gene è il nuovo film di supereroi sordi" (in Italian). Corriere della Sera.
- "Quando il super eroe è sordo" (in Italian). Avvenire. September 10, 2017.
- William Irwin (ed.), Superheroes: The Best of Philosophy and Pop Culture, Wiley, 2011.