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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 (of course there is often a fine line between hero and villain)

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.
 

We have your top 50 superheroes, your top 100 superheroes of all time… we don’t quite have your top 200 comic book characters of all time simply because this list is just for the best superheroes ever. We didn’t include the super villains on this top comic book characters list. Who are the top comic book heroes? Who is the best superhero? Let’s put these question to rest of who is the best super heroes to rest. 

The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
  • 186 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 10190
    - 5360

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

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  2. 2
    + 7461
    - 5914


    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    + 6710
    - 5529


    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita

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  4. 4
    + 7350
    - 6381

    alert!
    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  5. 5
    + 5667
    - 4599


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  6. 6
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    - 4842


    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  7. 7
    + 5820
    - 5081


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  8. 8
    + 5392
    - 5115


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  9. 9
    + 4913
    - 4743


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    + 4684
    - 3411

    ranked low on reranks
    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  11. 11
    + 5032
    - 4312

    added by JesusPerez
    Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  12. 12
    + 3243
    - 3205


    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  13. 13
    + 3978
    - 4505

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter

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  14. 14
    + 4171
    - 4338


    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  15. 15
    + 3448
    - 3036

    added by Logan2011
    Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  16. 16
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    - 2841


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  17. 17
    + 3447
    - 2884


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  18. 18
    + 2906
    - 2687


    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  19. 19
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    - 2905


    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  20. 20
    + 3395
    - 2749


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  21. 21
    + 2425
    - 2224


    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    + 2754
    - 2390


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    + 2656
    - 2340

    added by RatedMMA
    John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru

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  24. 24
    + 2396
    - 2086


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    + 2226
    - 2025

    added by dayton72
    C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  26. 26
    + 2328
    - 2168


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    + 2347
    - 2046


    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  28. 28
    + 2072
    - 1704


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  29. 29
    + 2153
    - 1985


    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  30. 30
    + 2126
    - 1859

    added by PawanBaadshah
    Joseph Samachson

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  31. 31
    + 2432
    - 2114


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  32. 32
    + 2216
    - 1886

    added by Logan2011
    Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  33. 33
    + 1149
    - 663

    ranked low on reranks
    Stan Lee, Don Heck, Don Rico

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  34. 34
    + 2261
    - 2008


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  35. 35
    + 1985
    - 1854

    added by cptron
    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  36. 36
    + 2110
    - 2008


    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  37. 37
    + 2293
    - 2306

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  38. 38
    + 942
    - 548

    ranked low on reranks
    Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie, Mike Zeck

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  39. 39
    + 1644
    - 1399

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  40. 40
    + 1418
    - 1130

    added by blackvulcan
    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  41. 41
    + 1179
    - 785

    ranked low on reranks
    Paul Dini, Sean Catherine Derek, Bruce Timm

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  42. 42
    + 1748
    - 1670


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  43. 43
    + 614
    - 368

    ranked low on reranks & added by DouglasMckeever
    Timothy Zahn, Steve Englehart, Chris Claremont

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  44. 44
    + 1689
    - 1706

    often listed & added by Logan2011
    Curt Swan

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  45. 45
    + 1854
    - 1786


    Mike Mignola

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  46. 46
    + 1615
    - 1371


    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  47. 47
    + 1755
    - 1760

    added by Logan2011
    Todd McFarlane

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  48. 48
    + 811
    - 650


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  49. 49
    + 996
    - 907


    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  50. 50
    + 1430
    - 1305

    added by Logan2011

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