The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
Ultimate List
133  items 160,876 votes 9,653 voters 143,322 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.
  • 111 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 3723
    Down 2101

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

    open
  2. 2
    Up 3066
    Down 2001

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  3. 3
    Up 3050
    Down 2157

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

    open
  4. 4
    Up 2881
    Down 1837

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

    open
  5. 5
    Up 2443
    Down 1758

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  6. 6
    Up 2541
    Down 1731

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  7. 7
    Up 2406
    Down 1634

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

    open
  8. 8
    Up 2052
    Down 1598

    open
  9. 9
    Up 2138
    Down 1591

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

    open
  10. 10
    Up 1572
    Down 1058

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

    open
  11. 11
    Up 1596
    Down 1763

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

    open
  12. 12
    Up 1722
    Down 1702

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

    open
  13. 13
    Up 1930
    Down 1694

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

    open
  14. 14
    Up 1528
    Down 1300

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  15. 15
    Up 1272
    Down 1325

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  16. 16
    Up 1504
    Down 1396

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

    open
  17. 17
    Up 1564
    Down 1492

    open
  18. 18
    Up 1066
    Down 955

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  19. 19
    Up 1208
    Down 1179

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

    open
  20. 20
    Up 1367
    Down 1392

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  21. 21
    Up 1269
    Down 1407

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

    open
  22. 22
    Up 1139
    Down 1098

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  23. 23
    Up 982
    Down 977

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  24. 24
    Up 1079
    Down 918

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  25. 25
    Up 1019
    Down 873

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  26. 26
    Up 1114
    Down 974

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  27. 27
    Up 1213
    Down 1156

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

    open
  28. 28
    Up 1133
    Down 949

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

    open
  29. 29
    Up 1190
    Down 1134

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

    open
  30. 30
    Up 1023
    Down 905

    John Broome, Gil Kane

    open
  31. 31
    Up 830
    Down 837

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

    open
  32. 32
    Up 908
    Down 808

    Mike Mignola

    open
  33. 33
    Up 726
    Down 767

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

    open
  34. 34
    Up 953
    Down 889

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

    open
  35. 35
    Up 931
    Down 993

    open
  36. 36
    Up 340
    Down 234

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

    open
  37. 37
    Up 800
    Down 853

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

    open
  38. 38
    Up 798
    Down 766

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  39. 39
    Up 894
    Down 991

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

    open
  40. 40
    Up 806
    Down 886

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

    open
  41. 41
    Up 572
    Down 463

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  42. 42
    Up 960
    Down 931

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

    open
  43. 43
    Up 521
    Down 443

    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

    open
  44. 44
    Up 730
    Down 812

    open
  45. 45
    Up 686
    Down 563

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

    open
  46. 46
    Up 615
    Down 640

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
  47. 47
    Up 721
    Down 802

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

    open
  48. 48
    Up 367
    Down 345

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

    open
  49. 49
    Up 200
    Down 198

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

    open
  50. 50
    Up 362
    Down 355

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

    open
  51. 134 +

    Something missing? Add it!

Is this list missing something?
RANKERS WHO ADDED ITEMS + 49 MORE

items 1 - 50 of 133

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