Total Nerd The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time  

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List Rules Only superhero protagonist characters from comics. No villains or superhero teams (of course there is often a fine line between hero and villain).

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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.") If you love these superheroes, you'll also be interested to know that a few of them have really lame origin stories.

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.

We have your top 50 superheroes, your top 100 superheroes of all time… we don’t quite have your top 200 comic book characters of all time simply because this list is just for the best superheroes ever. We didn’t include the super villains on this top comic book characters list. Who are the top comic book heroes? Who is the best superhero? Let’s put these question to rest of who is the best super heroes to rest.

Batman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Photo: Warner Bros. Television Distribution
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Batman


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Appears In: Batman Beyond, Young Justice, Batman, Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, + more

Powers/Abilities: Flight, Martial arts, Eidetic memory

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#52 on The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

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#46 on The Most Likeable TV Anti-Heroes

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Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
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Spider-Man


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Appears In: Daredevil vs. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man 2, + more

Powers/Abilities: Precognition, Healing factor, Superhuman speed, Hand-to-hand combat, Superhuman strength, + more

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#36 on Characters Who Are Most Worthy Of Lifting Mjolnir

#1 on The Top Marvel Comics Superheroes

#5 on The Greatest Marvel Avengers Characters of All Time

#82 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

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Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
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Wolverine


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Appears In: X-Men: First Class, Superhero Movie, Hulk Vs, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, + more

Powers/Abilities: Healing factor, Regeneration

Also Ranked

#23 on Characters Who Are Most Worthy Of Lifting Mjolnir

#2 on The Top Marvel Comics Superheroes

#7 on The Greatest Marvel Avengers Characters of All Time

#7 on The Most Likeable TV Anti-Heroes

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Superman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
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Superman


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Appears In: Smallville, Superboy, Adventures of Superman, Justice League Unlimited, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, + more

Powers/Abilities: Flight, Healing factor, Eidetic memory, Superhuman speed, Superhuman strength, + more

Also Ranked

#8 on Characters Who Are Most Worthy Of Lifting Mjolnir

#63 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

#3 on The 100+ Best DC Comics Heroes of All Time According to Fans

#16 on Superheroes You Can Take Home to Mom and Dad

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