The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
Ultimate List
141  items 185,814 votes 10,475 voters 155,143 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.
  • 119 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 4131
    Down 2315

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

    open
  2. 2
    Up 3377
    Down 2341

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  3. 3
    Up 3378
    Down 2411

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

    open
  4. 4
    Up 3179
    Down 2115

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

    open
  5. 5
    Up 2666
    Down 2063

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  6. 6
    Up 2780
    Down 2028

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  7. 7
    Up 2653
    Down 1925

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

    open
  8. 8
    Up 2356
    Down 1808

    open
  9. 9
    Up 2355
    Down 1878

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

    open
  10. 10
    Up 1870
    Down 2009

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

    open
  11. 11
    Up 1828
    Down 1333

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

    open
  12. 12
    Up 1989
    Down 1930

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

    open
  13. 13
    Up 2185
    Down 2004

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

    open
  14. 14
    Up 1479
    Down 1323

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

    open
  15. 15
    Up 1813
    Down 1626

    open
  16. 16
    Up 1391
    Down 1517

    often listed Stan Lee, Bill Everett

    open
  17. 17
    Up 1712
    Down 1614

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

    open
  18. 18
    Up 1450
    Down 1545

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  19. 19
    Up 1725
    Down 1518

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  20. 20
    Up 1242
    Down 1124

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  21. 21
    Up 1301
    Down 1298

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  22. 22
    Up 1544
    Down 1592

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  23. 23
    Up 1322
    Down 1232

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

    open
  24. 24
    Up 1176
    Down 1083

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  25. 25
    Up 1223
    Down 1167

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  26. 26
    Up 1128
    Down 1193

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  27. 27
    Up 1274
    Down 1168

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  28. 28
    Up 1377
    Down 1350

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

    open
  29. 29
    Up 1296
    Down 1140

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  30. 30
    Up 1018
    Down 985

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

    open
  31. 31
    Up 927
    Down 911

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

    open
  32. 32
    Up 1121
    Down 979

    John Broome, Gil Kane

    open
  33. 33
    Up 1049
    Down 930

    Mike Mignola

    open
  34. 34
    Up 981
    Down 998

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

    open
  35. 35
    Up 951
    Down 894

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  36. 36
    Up 1054
    Down 1071

    open
  37. 37
    Up 1095
    Down 1121

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

    open
  38. 38
    Up 1094
    Down 1066

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  39. 39
    Up 978
    Down 1016

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  40. 40
    Up 374
    Down 316

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

    open
  41. 41
    Up 675
    Down 601

    Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  42. 42
    Up 1040
    Down 1005

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

    open
  43. 43
    Up 467
    Down 397

    added by blackvulcan Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  44. 44
    Up 856
    Down 883

    open
  45. 45
    Up 839
    Down 879

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

    open
  46. 46
    Up 602
    Down 560

    added by Logan2011

    open
  47. 47
    Up 772
    Down 657

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  48. 48
    Up 442
    Down 414

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
  49. 49
    Up 692
    Down 706

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
  50. 50
    Up 129
    Down 102

    Hasbro, Tomy

    open
142 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists