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 3738
    Down 2103

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

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  2. 2
    Up 3081
    Down 2007

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3063
    Down 2161

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2898
    Down 1838

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2453
    Down 1761

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2554
    Down 1732

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2414
    Down 1637

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2063
    Down 1601

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  9. 9
    Up 2149
    Down 1592

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1602
    Down 1768

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

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  11. 11
    Up 1578
    Down 1065

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1730
    Down 1707

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1943
    Down 1695

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1537
    Down 1301

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1280
    Down 1327

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
    Up 1513
    Down 1397

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  17. 17
    Up 1573
    Down 1496

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  18. 18
    Up 1073
    Down 959

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  19. 19
    Up 1214
    Down 1185

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  20. 20
    Up 1376
    Down 1395

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  21. 21
    Up 1276
    Down 1410

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  22. 22
    Up 1145
    Down 1100

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 987
    Down 980

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1086
    Down 919

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1024
    Down 875

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1120
    Down 977

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1218
    Down 1158

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

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  28. 28
    Up 1139
    Down 951

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1194
    Down 1138

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 1026
    Down 908

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 831
    Down 843

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 911
    Down 812

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 729
    Down 772

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 959
    Down 893

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 936
    Down 996

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  36. 36
    Up 344
    Down 237

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

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  37. 37
    Up 802
    Down 858

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  38. 38
    Up 801
    Down 771

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  39. 39
    Up 902
    Down 992

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 810
    Down 888

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 578
    Down 465

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 967
    Down 932

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 525
    Down 447

    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 735
    Down 815

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  45. 45
    Up 692
    Down 565

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  46. 46
    Up 618
    Down 645

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 726
    Down 805

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 54
    Down 35

    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 203
    Down 202

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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