1903, coined by George Bernard Shaw to translate German Übermensch, "highly evolved human being that transcends good and evil," from "Thus Spake Zarathustra" (1883-91), by Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). First used in German by Hermann Rab (1520s), and also used by Herder and Goethe. Translated as overman (1895) and beyond-man (1896) before Shaw got it right in his play title "Man and Superman" (1903). Application to comic strip hero is from 1938.
So was created ... Superman! champion of the oppressed, the physical marvel who had sworn to devote his existence to helping those in need! ["Action Comics," June 1, 1938]Superwoman first recorded 1976 in the sense of "one who combines career and motherhood."
A seemingly immortal, superhuman comic-strip character created in the late 1930s, who hides his powers beneath the persona of Clark Kent, a mild-mannered newspaper reporter. Only when there is a threat of danger — often to his fellow reporter and secret love, Lois Lane — does Clark transform himself into the caped hero with x-ray vision.
Note: Superman has been adapted for various radio and television series and a number of highly successful films.
An ideal of humanity found in Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche. The Superman, or Overman (the German is &Udie;bermensch), is the single goal of all human striving, for which people must be willing to sacrifice all. It is doubtful that Nietzsche thought of the Overman as an individual person.
in philosophy, the superior man, who justifies the existence of the human race. "Superman" is a term significantly used by Friedrich Nietzsche, particularly in Also sprach Zarathustra (1883-85), although it had been employed by J.W. von Goethe and others. This superior man would not be a product of long evolution; rather, he would emerge when any man with superior potential completely masters himself and strikes off conventional Christian "herd morality" to create his own values, which are completely rooted in life on this earth. Nietzsche was not forecasting the brutal superman of the German Nazis, for his goal was a "Caesar with Christ's soul." George Bernard Shaw popularized the term "superman" in his play Man and Superman (1903).