The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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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
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  1. 1
    Up 3731
    Down 2103

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

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  2. 2
    Up 3072
    Down 2006

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3059
    Down 2158

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2892
    Down 1838

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
    Up 2450
    Down 1760

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2549
    Down 1732

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2410
    Down 1637

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2059
    Down 1600

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  9. 9
    Up 2145
    Down 1592

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1601
    Down 1766

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

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  11. 11
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    Down 1063

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  12. 12
    Up 1727
    Down 1706

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1938
    Down 1695

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1534
    Down 1301

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
    Up 1276
    Down 1327

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
    Up 1510
    Down 1397

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  17. 17
    Up 1570
    Down 1495

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  18. 18
    Up 1071
    Down 958

    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  19. 19
    Up 1213
    Down 1183

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  20. 20
    Up 1372
    Down 1394

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  21. 21
    Up 1274
    Down 1409

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  22. 22
    Up 1143
    Down 1100

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  23. 23
    Up 985
    Down 979

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1083
    Down 919

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
    Up 1022
    Down 875

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1117
    Down 977

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1216
    Down 1158

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

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  28. 28
    Up 1137
    Down 951

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1192
    Down 1137

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  30. 30
    Up 1025
    Down 907

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 830
    Down 842

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 909
    Down 812

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 728
    Down 771

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 957
    Down 892

    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 934
    Down 996

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  36. 36
    Up 342
    Down 237

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

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  37. 37
    Up 801
    Down 857

    added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  38. 38
    Up 798
    Down 771

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  39. 39
    Up 898
    Down 992

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 808
    Down 888

    added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 576
    Down 464

    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 965
    Down 932

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  43. 43
    Up 523
    Down 446

    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

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  44. 44
    Up 732
    Down 815

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  45. 45
    Up 689
    Down 565

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  46. 46
    Up 616
    Down 644

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 724
    Down 804

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 52
    Down 35

    Hasbro, Tomy

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  49. 49
    Up 368
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    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  50. 50
    Up 201
    Down 202

    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  51. 133 +

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