Full record for superpower n.

Definition an ability beyond what is human
OED requirements antedating 1945
Earliest cite in Supersnipe Comics Vol. 2, #8
Comment Jeff Wolfe submitted a 1987 cite from Victor Milan, from the anthology "Wild Cards" edited by George Martin. Rex Smith submitted a 1984 cite from the players' manual for the game "Golden Heroes", and a 1979 cite from the rules for "Villains & Vigilantes".

Enoch Forrester submitted a cite from a 1975 reprint of Larry Niven's "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" from his collection "All the Myriad Ways". Alexx Kay submitted a cite from Ron Goulart's article "The Second Banana Superheroes" from a 1997 reprint of Lupoff and Thompson's "All In Color For A Dime"; Malcolm Farmer verified the cite in the 1970 first edition. Cory Panshin submitted a 1966 cite from an article by Alexei Panshin in Riverside Quarterly. Jay Rudin submitted cites from the April 1958 and December 1959 issues of Adventure comics. Jay Rudin submitted a 1952 cite from Superman Vol 1, #76. Fred Galvin submitted a 1945 cite from Supersnipe Comics Vol 2, #8.

(There are no citations in the OED for the sf sense.)

Last modified 6 July, 2008

Citations for superpower n.

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1945 Supersnipe Comics Apr. 36 I heard what you were talkin' about, and I , the mighty Supersnipe - will use all my super-powers to stop you!
1952 E. Hamilton in Superman May–June 1 (in figure) Superman, mighty man of steel whose super-powers have conquered catastrophes and wrecked wrong-doers!
1958 O. Binder in Adventure Apr. 1 (in figure) But don't cheer too soon for the boy of steel , until you see what happens when he competes with three youngsters who have gained super-powers of their own!
1959 Adventure Dec. 1 (in figure) Wow! Look at those three super-youths from the future, with only one super-power each, overpowering that rampaging monster!
1963 R. Goulart Second Banana Superheroes in D. Lupoff & D. Thompson All In Color For Dime (1970) 240 Miss Victory was in reality a Washington D.C., secretary. She, too, fought subversion at home and, not having any super powers, had to depend on a second-hand convertible for transportation.
1966 A. Panshin in Riverside Q. Jan. 45 The story's premises are not true: there are no Martians of the sort Heinlein writes of, and no super powers are available to those who think proper Martian thoughts.
1971 L. Niven Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex in All Myriad Ways (1975) 77 All known forms of kryptonian life have super-powers.
1979 J. Dee & J. Herman Villains &igilante Vigilantes 1 Players familiar with role-playing games will find most systems employed in these rules to be familiar. Due to the large number of super-powers and weapons they will find parts of the combat system unfamiliar.
1979 J. Dee & J. Herman Villains &igilante Vigilantes 18 If a character has a super-power which raises any of his characteristics to a score of twenty or over, no amount of additional training will raise the rating in that category any further.
1983 R. Short Gospel from Outer Space iii. 42 Jesus was very cautious in using the ‘super-powers’ of his Father, although he obviously could have at any time.
1984 S. Burley & P. Haines Golden Heroes 50/1 Freeform Shapechange , characters with this type of Shapechange can transform into any living creature that is approximately the size and shape of a human being. They do not gain any special characteristics or advantages from the change but keep their own normal Attributes (ie those of the original non-superpowered Basic Character), senses, Movement, attacks, etc., and retain no Superpower other than Shapechange, no matter what or who they change into.
1992 Locus Aug. 51/2 Comic sf novel about an editor who develops superpowers after exposure to radioactive water.