The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
Ultimate List
140  items 179,241 votes 10,338 voters 154,003 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.
  • 117 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 4038
    Down 2271

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

    open
  2. 2
    Up 3303
    Down 2239

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  3. 3
    Up 3288
    Down 2357

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

    open
  4. 4
    Up 3102
    Down 2016

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

    open
  5. 5
    Up 2596
    Down 1961

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  6. 6
    Up 2706
    Down 1927

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  7. 7
    Up 2576
    Down 1828

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

    open
  8. 8
    Up 2265
    Down 1754

    open
  9. 9
    Up 2283
    Down 1783

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

    open
  10. 10
    Up 1785
    Down 1925

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

    open
  11. 11
    Up 1739
    Down 1241

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

    open
  12. 12
    Up 1902
    Down 1864

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

    open
  13. 13
    Up 2093
    Down 1906

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

    open
  14. 14
    Up 1390
    Down 1261

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

    open
  15. 15
    Up 1730
    Down 1565

    open
  16. 16
    Up 1656
    Down 1431

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  17. 17
    Up 1386
    Down 1460

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  18. 18
    Up 1366
    Down 1509

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

    open
  19. 19
    Up 1642
    Down 1531

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

    open
  20. 20
    Up 1477
    Down 1506

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  21. 21
    Up 1176
    Down 1039

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  22. 22
    Up 1233
    Down 1211

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  23. 23
    Up 1157
    Down 1083

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  24. 24
    Up 1107
    Down 998

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  25. 25
    Up 1065
    Down 1106

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  26. 26
    Up 1205
    Down 1085

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  27. 27
    Up 1273
    Down 1228

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

    open
  28. 28
    Up 1310
    Down 1265

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

    open
  29. 29
    Up 1229
    Down 1055

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  30. 30
    Up 1111
    Down 975

    John Broome, Gil Kane

    open
  31. 31
    Up 953
    Down 924

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

    open
  32. 32
    Up 861
    Down 848

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

    open
  33. 33
    Up 915
    Down 935

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

    open
  34. 34
    Up 991
    Down 892

    Mike Mignola

    open
  35. 35
    Up 1032
    Down 1055

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

    open
  36. 36
    Up 902
    Down 837

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  37. 37
    Up 1036
    Down 996

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  38. 38
    Up 918
    Down 954

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  39. 39
    Up 1006
    Down 1067

    open
  40. 40
    Up 669
    Down 524

    Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  41. 41
    Up 421
    Down 320

    added by blackvulcan Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  42. 42
    Up 309
    Down 259

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

    open
  43. 43
    Up 596
    Down 512

    added by Logan2011

    open
  44. 44
    Up 767
    Down 620

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  45. 45
    Up 1029
    Down 1002

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

    open
  46. 46
    Up 801
    Down 880

    open
  47. 47
    Up 123
    Down 100

    Hasbro, Tomy

    open
  48. 48
    Up 789
    Down 876

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

    open
  49. 49
    Up 685
    Down 705

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
  50. 50
    Up 437
    Down 411

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
141 +

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