A superhero 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 mostly DCused for females also. Superhero fiction is the genre of fiction that is centered on such characters, especially in American comic book and films since the 1930s. These mythical characters have been published and popularized by publishing houses such as marvel comics, dc comics and others. Super heros have played a big part in Recent TV sitcom big band theory, where even without being there they are the focal point of lives of three genius geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali and sheldon cooper. Over time, supporting characters have been promoted to starring roles including: physicist Leslie Winkle, neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler, microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski, and Stuart Bloom, the cash-strapped owner of the comic book store the characters often visit.