A superhero is a character who is noted for feats of courage and nobility and who usually has a colorful name and costume which serves to conceal their true identity, and abilities beyond those of normal human beings. A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine, although this term has fallen out of favor in the modern era.
The word superhero originated with Superman, who debuted in 1938, and the stories of superheroes - ranging from episodic adventures to decades-long sagas - have become an entire genre of fiction that has dominated American comic books and crossed over into several other media.
A subsection of superhero is the anti-hero, which came to prominence in the mid 1970s and represents a character who is equally dedicated towards fighting injustice as any other hero, but may not necessarily share the same moral code as a traditional superhero. Anti-heroes are often flawed characters, burdened with the responsibility of their cause, who often demonstrate sociopathic tendencies. In comic books, one of the most well-known examples of an anti-hero is the mutant adventurer, Wolverine. Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher, is often labeled as an anti-hero despite the fact that most of his actions actually categorize him more as a villain. Another questionable character is the mysterious V from V for Vendetta, whose actions brand him as a terrorist, but he is also selfishly motivated to pursue revenge against the totalitarian hierarchy that destroyed his life.