The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters

The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

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120,270 views 150 items 142,822 votes 8,698 voters 156 followers 104reranks
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.

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

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  1. 1
    Up 3378
    Down 1791

    Created By: Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Bruce Timm, Paul Dini
    Appears In: Batman Beyond, Young Justice, Batman, Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited + 36 more
    Powers/Abilities: Flight, Martial arts, Eidetic memory
    Place Of Birth: Gotham City
    Places Lived: New York City, Tibet, Metropolis, Gotham City
    Batman : see more

  2. 2
    Up 2744
    Down 1699

    Created By: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
    Appears In: Daredevil vs. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man 3, Spider-Man 2 + 4 more
    Powers/Abilities: Precognition, Healing factor, Superhuman speed, Hand-to-hand combat, Superhuman strength + 1 more
    Spider-Man : see more

  3. 3
    Up 2597
    Down 1537

    Created By: Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr., Herb Trimpe
    Appears In: X-Men: First Class, Superhero Movie, Hulk Vs, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past + 5 more
    Powers/Abilities: Healing factor, Regeneration
    Place Of Birth: Alberta
    Wolverine : see more

  4. 4
    Up 2761
    Down 1824

    Created By: Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel
    Appears In: Smallville, Superboy, Adventures of Superman, Justice League Unlimited, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman + 28 more
    Powers/Abilities: Flight, Healing factor, Eidetic memory, Superhuman speed, Superhuman strength + 7 more
    Place Of Birth: Krypton
    Places Lived: Metropolis, Smallville
    Superman : see more

  5. 5
    Up 2229
    Down 1457

    Created By: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee
    Appears In: The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Avengers 2, Hulk Vs, Ultimate Avengers, Planet Hulk + 9 more
    Powers/Abilities: Shapeshifting, Healing factor, Superhuman speed, Superhuman strength, Reality warping
    Place Of Birth: Dayton
    Hulk : see more

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