The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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106  reranks 152,141 votes 9,271 voters 135,092 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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 106 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 3570
    Down 1970

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

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  2. 2
    Up 2930
    Down 1872

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 2761
    Down 1714

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  4. 4
    Up 2930
    Down 2009

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  5. 5
    Up 2354
    Down 1624

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2446
    Down 1615

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2315
    Down 1513

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2041
    Down 1481

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  9. 9
    Up 1950
    Down 1486

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  10. 10
    Up 1507
    Down 1645

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

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  11. 11
    Up 1447
    Down 990

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1634
    Down 1592

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1845
    Down 1575

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1204
    Down 1288

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1138
    Down 1092

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  16. 16
    Up 1453
    Down 1258

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  17. 17
    Up 1494
    Down 1400

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  18. 18
    Up 1218
    Down 1364

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  19. 19
    Up 1434
    Down 1347

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  20. 20
    Up 1309
    Down 1353

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  21. 21
    Up 1010
    Down 916

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  22. 22
    Up 1039
    Down 874

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 1089
    Down 1060

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 972
    Down 841

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1063
    Down 940

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1163
    Down 1119

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

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  27. 27
    Up 942
    Down 937

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  28. 28
    Up 1086
    Down 913

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1148
    Down 1095

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 972
    Down 877

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 871
    Down 773

    Mike Mignola

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  32. 32
    Up 773
    Down 812

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  33. 33
    Up 758
    Down 731

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  34. 34
    Up 880
    Down 960

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  35. 35
    Up 903
    Down 859

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  36. 36
    Up 676
    Down 734

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  37. 37
    Up 300
    Down 201

    ranked low on reranks & added by blackvulcan Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  38. 38
    Up 854
    Down 956

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  39. 39
    Up 538
    Down 423

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  40. 40
    Up 771
    Down 850

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 759
    Down 821

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  42. 42
    Up 919
    Down 893

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 477
    Down 417

    added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 689
    Down 782

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  45. 45
    Up 583
    Down 603

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  46. 46
    Up 643
    Down 534

    ranked low on reranks Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  47. 47
    Up 681
    Down 773

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 327
    Down 319

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  49. 49
    Up 323
    Down 313

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  50. 50
    Up 165
    Down 167

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  51. 134 +

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