The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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108  reranks 156,277 votes 9,412 voters 138,221 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
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  1. 1
    Up 3631
    Down 2015

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

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  2. 2
    Up 2993
    Down 1912

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 2980
    Down 2058

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2810
    Down 1761

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2392
    Down 1674

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2485
    Down 1660

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2358
    Down 1554

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 1996
    Down 1524

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  9. 9
    Up 2083
    Down 1522

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1548
    Down 1685

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

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  11. 11
    Up 1496
    Down 1020

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1673
    Down 1634

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1882
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    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1175
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    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  15. 15
    Up 1530
    Down 1435

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  16. 16
    Up 1487
    Down 1277

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  17. 17
    Up 1467
    Down 1371

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  18. 18
    Up 1231
    Down 1306

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  19. 19
    Up 1245
    Down 1384

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  20. 20
    Up 1341
    Down 1369

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  21. 21
    Up 1035
    Down 934

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1060
    Down 896

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 1116
    Down 1078

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 998
    Down 854

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1090
    Down 957

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1187
    Down 1136

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

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  27. 27
    Up 961
    Down 956

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  28. 28
    Up 1108
    Down 932

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1166
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    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 995
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    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 700
    Down 750

    often listed Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  32. 32
    Up 888
    Down 793

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 797
    Down 826

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  34. 34
    Up 928
    Down 873

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 323
    Down 218

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

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  36. 36
    Up 903
    Down 978

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  37. 37
    Up 778
    Down 750

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  38. 38
    Up 873
    Down 974

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  39. 39
    Up 790
    Down 867

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  40. 40
    Up 558
    Down 441

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  41. 41
    Up 775
    Down 841

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  42. 42
    Up 932
    Down 914

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 498
    Down 428

    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 707
    Down 799

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  45. 45
    Up 598
    Down 624

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  46. 46
    Up 700
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    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  47. 47
    Up 659
    Down 555

    ranked low on reranks Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  48. 48
    Up 186
    Down 181

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  49. 49
    Up 347
    Down 330

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  50. 50
    Up 345
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  51. 134 +

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