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.
  • 111 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 3741
    Down 2106

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

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  2. 2
    Up 3084
    Down 2010

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3067
    Down 2165

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2900
    Down 1840

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2454
    Down 1764

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2556
    Down 1733

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2417
    Down 1639

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2066
    Down 1602

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  9. 9
    Up 2151
    Down 1593

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1604
    Down 1770

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

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  11. 11
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    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1733
    Down 1708

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1945
    Down 1696

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1538
    Down 1301

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1280
    Down 1328

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
    Up 1513
    Down 1398

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  17. 17
    Up 1574
    Down 1496

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  18. 18
    Up 1074
    Down 959

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  19. 19
    Up 1216
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    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  20. 20
    Up 1279
    Down 1410

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  21. 21
    Up 1377
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    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1147
    Down 1100

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 989
    Down 980

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1087
    Down 919

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1025
    Down 875

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1120
    Down 978

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1218
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    added by RatedMMA John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru, Gerry Conway

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  28. 28
    Up 1140
    Down 951

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1194
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    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 1027
    Down 908

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 832
    Down 843

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 911
    Down 813

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 730
    Down 772

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 960
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    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 936
    Down 997

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  36. 36
    Up 345
    Down 237

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

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  37. 37
    Up 803
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    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  38. 38
    Up 802
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  39. 39
    Up 903
    Down 993

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 811
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    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 578
    Down 466

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 967
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    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 525
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 736
    Down 815

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  45. 45
    Up 692
    Down 566

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  46. 46
    Up 618
    Down 646

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 726
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    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 54
    Down 36

    Hasbro, Tomy

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  49. 49
    Up 370
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    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  50. 50
    Up 204
    Down 202

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  51. 133 +

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