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A superhero (sometimes rendered super-hero or super hero) is a fictional character "of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest". National Periodical Publications v. Empire Comics, New York Court of Appeals, April 21, 1954. Since the debut of the prototypal superhero Superman in 1938, stories 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 1917. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine (also rendered super-heroine or super heroine).

By most definitions, characters need not have actual superhuman powers to be deemed superheroes, although terms such as costumed crimefighters are sometimes used to refer to those without such powers who share other common traits with superheroes.

The two-word version of the term is a trademark co-owned by DC Comics and Marvel Comics.

DC Comics

This is a list of characters owned or published primarily by DC Comics. Note that most, but not all of these characters are depicted as existing within the fictional continuity of the "DC Universe;" some listed are part of the Wildstorm Universe, others of Alan Moore's America's Best Comics line, and others are characters from Warner Brothers animations and films, Elseworlds or from companies below with reference. In the eighties, DC published comics under the name of Who's Who in the DC Universe to catalogue the characters they had then. DC had also published a Showcase series, a DC Comics Presents series, a Secret Origins, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, Legends of the DC Universe, The Brave and the Bold Showcase Presents series and a DC Cosmic Cards line to keep track with their characters. America's Best, Homage, Wildstorm, Helix Press, DC/Elseworlds, Impact, Tangent, DC/Milestone Press, Paradox Press, Piranha Press, and DC/Vertigo Press Comics are all trademark publications of the DC comics group.


List of DC Superheroes: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Marvel Comics

This is a list of major characters appearing in the Marvel Universe, which encompasses most fictional characters created for and owned by Marvel Comics. Licensed or creator-owned characters (G.I. Joe, Godzilla, Groo the Wanderer, RoboCop, Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.) are not included. Also included are characters from the Marvel imprints Epic Comics, Marvel UK, Marvel Knights, Marvel 2099, Razorline, and Ultraverse are trademarks of Marvel Publications and are therefore included.

Marvel-Electronic Arts video game characters are also included with references. Characters from the Marvel Comics-DC Comics intercompany crossover series of one-shots, Amalgam Comics, are not included.


List of Marvel Superheroes: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Other Comic Companies