The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters

The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

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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.") 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 'normal person' 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" character.

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.

List Criteria: Only superhero protagonist characters from comics No villains or superhero teams.

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  1. 1
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    Appears In: DC Universe
    Created By: Bill Finger, Paul Dini, Bob Kane, Bruce Timm
    Character: Joey de Leon, Charles Stanley, Rino Romano, Bruce Greenwood, Michael Keaton + 25 more
    Place Of Birth: Gotham City
    Powers/Abilities: Martial arts, Flight, Eidetic memory
    Video Game Played in: Batman, Batman Begins, The Adventures of Batman & Robin, Batman, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker + 16 more
    Book Appeared In: Batman: The Killing Joke, Inferno, Joker, Batman: Son of the Demon, Batman: Year One + 2 more
    Places Lived: Tibet, New York City, Metropolis, Gotham City
    Ethnicity: White American
    Batman : see more

  2. 2
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    Appears In: Marvel Universe
    Created By: Steve Ditko, Stan Lee
    Character: Dan Poole, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Tevfik Şen, Max Charles, Andrew Garfield + 1 more
    Powers/Abilities: Hand-to-hand combat, Superhuman speed, Healing factor, Superhuman strength, Precognition + 1 more
    Video Game Played in: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Spider-Man: Web of Shadows, Spider-Man 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds + 4 more
    Spider-Man : see more

  3. 3
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    Appears In: Marvel Universe
    Created By: Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.
    Character: Steven Blum, Hugh Jackman, Mark Hamill, Craig Bierko, Troye Sivan + 1 more
    Place Of Birth: Alberta
    Powers/Abilities: Healing factor, Regeneration
    Video Game Played in: Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
    Wolverine : see more

  4. 4
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    Created By: Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel
    Character: Hwang Jung-min, George Newbern, Bud Collyer, Mark Harmon, Kirk Alyn + 14 more
    Place Of Birth: Krypton
    Powers/Abilities: Superhuman Breath, X-ray vision, Flight, Nigh-invulnerability, Heat Ray Vision + 7 more
    Video Game Played in: Superman: The Game
    Book Appeared In: Superman: The High-Flying History of the Man of Steel, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
    Places Lived: Metropolis, Smallville
    Superman : see more

  5. 5
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    Appears In: Marvel Universe
    Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
    Character: Mark Ruffalo, Eric Bana, Rick D. Wasserman, Fred Tatasciore, Edward Norton + 2 more
    Place Of Birth: Dayton
    Powers/Abilities: Shapeshifting, Reality warping, Superhuman speed, Healing factor, Superhuman strength
    Video Game Played in: Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes
    Hulk : see more

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