Trivia

Hard

The Sci-Fi Term “Metahuman” Was Coined By?

Frank Herbert
Stan Lee
Philip K. Dick
George R. R. Martin
The front cover artwork for the super hero RPG Superworld.
Chaosium

Answer: George R.R. Martin

Given the prevalence with which the term “metahuman” is used in the DC Comics Universe, it would be easy to assume that the term was coined by a writer of the iconic comic publishing house.

The term, however, was coined by none other than author George R.R. Martin (best known for his Game of Thrones fantasy novels). The word first appeared in 1986 in the Superworld RPG series and then later in Martin’s Wild Cards book series.

The term metahuman, as originally used by Martin and later by DC comics, can be translated to superhuman or, to equate to another comic publisher’s terminology, like the “mutants” in the Marvel Universe: humans with abilities that transcend what the normal range of human development and physiology should allow for.

Note: In the DC Comics Universe, the term is now used to loosely refer to any human-like being with extranormal powers or abilities (technological, scientific, specialized skills, cosmic/alien, mutant, or magical/mystical in nature).

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