In 1899, the radical French journalist Georges Clemenceau summoned the Gods of the Twentieth Century by mistake.
His newspaper had exposed the Dreyfus Affair, in which the military had
framed a Jewish army captain for a crime of treason committed by a
decidedly non-Jewish major. (The real traitor's name was Esterhazy, and
yes, that's where John le Carré got it from.) This might sound like a
typical example of nineteenth-century race-baiting injustice, if it
weren't for the repercussions, most particularly its role in inspiring
Jewish writer Theodor Herzl to make the defining argument for modern
Zionism. But during Clemenceau's war against antisemitic,
pro-establishment French nationalism, he praised both the
whistle-blowing of intelligence officer George Picquart and the
campaigning of Dreyfus' brother, declaring: "All the world knows that
Colonel Picquart is a hero. But if Colonel Picquart is a hero, Mathieu
Dreyfus is a super-hero!"
The words have been spoken. They can't be un-spoken.
All of which makes the ongoing efforts for the broken american legal system and DC and Marvel to somehow trademark the term super-hero or superhero, which they neither invented nor used for the balance of its existence to date- that would be the French originators, dickheads- disgusting.