The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

List Criteria: Only superhero protagonist characters from comics No villains or superhero teams.

List of the most badass, tough, and iconic comic book superheroes ever created. This list includes central characters from both the DC and Marvel Universe, as well as more non-traditional or underground comic books. The definition of what makes a "superhero" can be quite slippery, and often encompasses characters with questionable morals and behavior (giving rise to the notion of the "anti-hero.")

Traditionally, a "superhero" simply means a larger-than-life character, or one gifted with special abilities, either organically or via their own genius or inventiveness, who uses his or her powers to protect and defend the public from threats. Though the word "superhero" began to be used as early as the 1910s, the concept really took hold in the public's mind following the introduction of Superman in 1938.

Though Superman and other characters of his day were gifted with special talents and abilities, making them particularly suited to crusading for justice, many characters that followed were more "human" than the noble alien from Krypton, using their intelligence (such as Iron Man or Batman) to create a superheroic persona. A common trope has also become scientific accidents or twists of fate that turn a regular citizen into a superhero (as is the case with Spider-Man being bitten by a radioactive spider or Bruce Banner becoming The Hulk after being pelted with gamma rays.) Some superheroes also have disabilities that counteract their skills, weapons or unique talents. Of course, a number of superheroes are also not only not human, but god-like beings, such as Marvel's Thor.

Because of the massive popularity of superheroes – particularly at the start of the 21st Century, when superhero films reigned at the box office – a number of deconstructions and analyses of the genre have also been done, culminating in the creation of "meta-superheroes" who comment on the concept of superheroism itself. The Watchmen, a group modeled on classic superhero comics but representing the ways that vigilantism and consolidated power can go wrong, is a good example of this trend.

So take a look at this list, decide who your favorite comic book superheroes are, and vote them up.
  • 113 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 3803
    Down 2134

    the people's #1 & added by blackvulcan Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Bruce Timm

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  2. 2
    Up 3125
    Down 2051

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3116
    Down 2195

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2939
    Down 1869

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2494
    Down 1791

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2596
    Down 1763

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2462
    Down 1668

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2100
    Down 1629

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  9. 9
    Up 2187
    Down 1623

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1639
    Down 1799

    often listed & ranked high on reranks William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter

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  11. 11
    Up 1607
    Down 1102

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1765
    Down 1737

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1974
    Down 1732

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1564
    Down 1322

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1307
    Down 1348

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
    Up 1299
    Down 1433

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  17. 17
    Up 1246
    Down 1202

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  18. 18
    Up 1597
    Down 1511

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  19. 19
    Up 1541
    Down 1418

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  20. 20
    Up 1091
    Down 984

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  21. 21
    Up 1398
    Down 1416

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1108
    Down 940

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 1165
    Down 1117

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1046
    Down 893

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1004
    Down 1004

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1140
    Down 995

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1216
    Down 1158

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  28. 28
    Up 1156
    Down 968

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1239
    Down 1175

    added by RatedMMA John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru, Gerry Conway

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  30. 30
    Up 1045
    Down 921

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 843
    Down 863

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 923
    Down 833

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 745
    Down 788

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 974
    Down 911

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 951
    Down 1016

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  36. 36
    Up 821
    Down 783

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  37. 37
    Up 817
    Down 876

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  38. 38
    Up 358
    Down 253

    ranked low on reranks & added by blackvulcan Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  39. 39
    Up 917
    Down 1010

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 822
    Down 907

    often listed & added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 595
    Down 480

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 540
    Down 465

    added by Logan2011

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  43. 43
    Up 978
    Down 952

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  44. 44
    Up 708
    Down 580

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  45. 45
    Up 745
    Down 833

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  46. 46
    Up 630
    Down 663

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 739
    Down 823

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 68
    Down 49

    Hasbro, Tomy

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  49. 49
    Up 217
    Down 216

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  50. 50
    Up 379
    Down 368

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  51. 133 +

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