The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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109  reranks 156,726 votes 9,441 voters 138,932 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 3640
    Down 2024

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

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  2. 2
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    Down 1922

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
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    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  4. 4
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    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  5. 5
    Up 2398
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
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    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2001
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  9. 9
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter

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  11. 11
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    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  12. 12
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    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  13. 13
    Up 1889
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    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1533
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  16. 16
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    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  17. 17
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  18. 18
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    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  19. 19
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  20. 20
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  21. 21
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    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1038
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    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  23. 23
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1191
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    added by RatedMMA John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru, Gerry Conway

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  28. 28
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    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
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    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 998
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    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 801
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    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
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    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  33. 33
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    Mike Mignola

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  34. 34
    Up 930
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    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
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    ranked low on reranks & added by blackvulcan Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  36. 36
    Up 904
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  37. 37
    Up 780
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  38. 38
    Up 792
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    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  39. 39
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    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 777
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    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  41. 41
    Up 560
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    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 935
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    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 500
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    added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 710
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  45. 45
    Up 662
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    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  46. 46
    Up 599
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    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 703
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    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 350
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    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  49. 49
    Up 187
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    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  50. 50
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  51. 134 +

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