The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters

The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

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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 'normal person' 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" character.

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.

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

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Score
  1. 1
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    the people's #1 &most listed
    Batman

    DC Universe More
    100
  2. 2
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    ranked low on reranks
    Wolverine

    Marvel Universe More
    94
  3. 3
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Spider-Man

    Marvel Universe More
    94
  4. 4
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Superman

    93
  5. 5
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    Marvel Universe More
    91
  6. 6
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    ranked low on reranks
    Captain America

    Marvel Universe More
    91
  7. 7
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    ranked low on reranks
    Iron Man

    Marvel Universe More
    91
  8. 8
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    Marvel Universe More
    86
  9. 9
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    DC Universe More
    84
  10. 10
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Wonder Woman

    DC Universe More
    73
  11. 11
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    Marvel Universe More
    72
    added by: JesusPerez
  12. 12
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    71
  13. 13
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Daredevil

    Marvel Universe More
    68
  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks
    Rogue

    Marvel Universe More
    67
  15. 15
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    often listed
    Gambit

    Marvel Universe More
    67
  16. 16
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    often listed &controversial
    Nightcrawler

    Marvel Universe More
    67
  17. 17
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    controversial
    Nightwing

    67
  18. 18
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Professor X

    Marvel Universe More
    66
  19. 19
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    ranked low on reranks
    Joker

    DC Universe More
    66
    added by: IvanBarba
  20. 20
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    Marvel Universe More
    66
  21. 21
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Punisher

    Marvel Universe More
    65
    added by: RatedMMA
  22. 22
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    often listed
    Green Arrow

    DC Universe More
    64
    added by: Logan2011
  23. 23
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    Marvel Universe More
    64
  24. 24
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    ranked low on reranks
    Colossus

    Marvel Universe More
    64
  25. 25
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    64
  26. 26
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    Watchmen More
    63
  27. 27
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    Earth-11052, Marvel Universe More
    63
  28. 28
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    often listed
    Thing

    Marvel Universe More
    63
  29. 29
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Silver Surfer

    Marvel Universe More
    63
  30. 30
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Storm

    Earth-11052, Marvel Universe More
    63
  31. 31
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    ranked low on reranks
    Human Torch

    Marvel Universe More
    63
  32. 32
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    ranked high on reranks
    Hal Jordan

    DC Universe More
    60
  33. 33
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    Hellboy

    59
  34. 34
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    58
    added by: Logan2011
  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks
    Spawn

    58
    added by: Logan2011
  36. 36
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    Marvel Universe More
    58
  37. 37
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    DC Universe More
    58
    added by: dayton72
  38. 38
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    controversial
    Robin

    Sesame Street, DC Universe More
    58
  39. 39
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Catwoman

    DC Universe More
    57
  40. 40
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    ranked high on reranks
    Doctor Strange

    Marvel Universe More
    57
    added by: cptron
  41. 41
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    often listed
    Aquaman

    DC Universe More
    57
  42. 42
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    Transformers Universe More
    56
  43. 43
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Martian Manhunter

    56
    added by: PawanBaadshah
  44. 44
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    ranked low on reranks
    Iceman

    55
    added by: blackvulcan
  45. 45
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    Marvel Universe More
    55
    added by: Logan2011
  46. 46
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    ranked low on reranks
    Eddie Brock

    Marvel Universe More
    55
    added by: IvanBarba
    marvel universe
  47. 47
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    ranked low on reranks
    Mystique

    Earth-11052, Marvel Universe More
    54
  48. 48
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Batgirl

    DC Universe More
    54
  49. 49
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    Marvel Universe More
    54
  50. 50
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    ranked low on reranks
    Phoenix

    Marvel Universe More
    54
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