Major crimes and battles involving superhumans always rate coverage in the papers; the amount of coverage, and its placement, depends on the scale of the event. Apprehension of a bank-robbing supervillain by the local hero would rate a Page One headline in a small-town newspaper, but will likely be relegated to an inside page of the local news section of a major city's Metro Daily. Otherwise, newspapers don't devote too much space to the everyday trials and tribulations of the local hero team. The largest metropolitan papers, like the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Daily News, all have reporters and photographers devoted full-time to the Supers beat, but most newspapers treat them as just another news story.
Most of the supermarket tabloids have regular departments that produce nothing but stories about supers. Granted, most of the stories are of the lurid "Black Cat Fights Vampires in the Sewers Under Boston" and "New Jersey Woman Claims Quark Left Her At The Altar" variety.
Being less tradition-bound and more targeted to specific readerships than newspapers are, magazines have adapted to the superhuman phenomenon more readily. Few magazines have not dealt with the impact of superhumans on their area of interest at one time or another. Some examples:
- Fortune: "Protecting Your Firm From Super-Disasters"
- Vogue: "Simply Smashing Super Swimsuits"
- InStyle: "A Guided Tour of Professor Power's Montana Hideaway"
- Car & Driver: "Manhunter's Custom Pontiac: A Muscle Car With Real Muscle"
- Model Railroader: "Add An Animated Super-Battle To Your Favorite Track Layout"
Many periodicals, notably People, Playboy, GQ, Psychology Today, Discover, Rolling Stone, and Details have added regular departments covering the super world. Playboy's writer on the super beat, Kitty Wells, is generally considered the authority when it comes to who's who and what's in or out. An interview with Kitty means that a hero (or villain for that matter) has arrived.
There are even magazines devoted completely to the super scene:
- Supers and Metas Magazine is cross between People and the Weekly World News, exploring in detail the intimate lives, battles, rivalries and romances of those folks in the flashy tights.
- Immortal is a more serious monthly publication. Ostensibly geared toward the super-powered reader, it nonetheless carries plenty of content of interest to the genetically unenhanced.
- Devoid of the fawning style of the groupie rags, Meta Magazine is the only publication to ever publish an interview with master villain Lord Doom, (conducted via the internet, in August of 1997).
There are many more underground publications ("zines", in the vernacular) published by individuals using home computers. Most are one or two sheets, published irregularly, and show no particular regard for quality of writing, editing or spelling. Representative titles include "The Knightly Knews" (for fans of the Atlanta-based hero Knightblade; it has been discontinued since the hero's death), "The Shieldwall" (for devotees of the first known American superhuman, the Blue Shield), "Silver Bulletins" (for followers of The Rangers, the premiere hero group of Texas), and the "I Hate Thunder Newsletter" (devoted to trashing the Chicago hero of the same name).
Comic books, or graphic novels as many now call themselves, have seen their popularity increase dramatically with the appearance of real superheroes. Innovation has slowed somewhat, however, as most comic book companies, Marvel and DC especially, have had to work harder to come up with unique characters that do not appear to be copies of real life heroes or villains. In return, publicly active supers have returned the favor, and respected the copyrights of the comic book companies by not copying the distinct looks of their original characters, even though a few real life superhumans have used the same names as the published characters. When one "Dr. Doom" showed up at the Marvel offices to protest his "portrayal as a villain", he was met with a small army of concerned heroes.
The general public seems to support the distinction between real and fictional supers, as the sales of the DC Comics title Real Heroes, a series featuring the exploits of actual superheroes with only mild fictionalization, have been lackluster compared to sales of titles featuring characters that are 100% fictional.