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.
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  1. 1
    Up 3717
    Down 2097

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

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  2. 2
    Up 3062
    Down 1997

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3046
    Down 2153

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2878
    Down 1834

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2443
    Down 1753

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2540
    Down 1728

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2404
    Down 1631

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2048
    Down 1597

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  9. 9
    Up 2136
    Down 1588

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1570
    Down 1056

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  11. 11
    Up 1593
    Down 1759

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

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  12. 12
    Up 1720
    Down 1700

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1929
    Down 1691

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1527
    Down 1298

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1270
    Down 1323

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
    Up 1065
    Down 953

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  17. 17
    Up 1503
    Down 1395

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  18. 18
    Up 1561
    Down 1492

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  19. 19
    Up 1204
    Down 1179

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  20. 20
    Up 1139
    Down 1096

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  21. 21
    Up 1366
    Down 1391

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1267
    Down 1405

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  23. 23
    Up 982
    Down 975

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1078
    Down 917

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1018
    Down 872

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1113
    Down 972

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1213
    Down 1154

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

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  28. 28
    Up 1132
    Down 947

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1188
    Down 1134

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 1021
    Down 905

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 826
    Down 837

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 907
    Down 807

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 724
    Down 766

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 951
    Down 887

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 928
    Down 993

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  36. 36
    Up 339
    Down 233

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

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  37. 37
    Up 798
    Down 853

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  38. 38
    Up 798
    Down 764

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  39. 39
    Up 806
    Down 884

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  40. 40
    Up 892
    Down 989

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

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  41. 41
    Up 572
    Down 461

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 958
    Down 930

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 519
    Down 442

    added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 685
    Down 562

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  45. 45
    Up 727
    Down 812

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  46. 46
    Up 614
    Down 638

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 720
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    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 365
    Down 343

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  49. 49
    Up 197
    Down 197

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  50. 50
    Up 361
    Down 353

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  51. 134 +

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