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.
  • 113 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 3794
    Down 2131

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

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  2. 2
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    Down 2043

    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  3. 3
    Up 3107
    Down 2192

    Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

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  4. 4
    Up 2936
    Down 1863

    Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita, Sr.

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  5. 5
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    Down 1785

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  6. 6
    Up 2593
    Down 1755

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  7. 7
    Up 2461
    Down 1660

    Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

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  8. 8
    Up 2095
    Down 1626

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  9. 9
    Up 2185
    Down 1616

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  10. 10
    Up 1604
    Down 1098

    Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

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  11. 11
    Up 1632
    Down 1798

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

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  12. 12
    Up 1760
    Down 1734

    Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

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  13. 13
    Up 1969
    Down 1726

    added by JesusPerez Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

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  14. 14
    Up 1562
    Down 1319

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  15. 15
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    Down 1344

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  16. 16
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    Down 1429

    Stan Lee, Bill Everett

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  17. 17
    Up 1243
    Down 1199

    added by Logan2011 Mort Weisinger, George Papp

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  18. 18
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    Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  19. 19
    Up 1540
    Down 1415

    Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

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  20. 20
    Up 1594
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  21. 21
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  22. 22
    Up 1397
    Down 1413

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  23. 23
    Up 1164
    Down 1114

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  24. 24
    Up 1046
    Down 889

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 25
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    Down 1000

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  26. 26
    Up 1138
    Down 994

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  27. 27
    Up 1213
    Down 1157

    Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  28. 28
    Up 1156
    Down 965

    Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

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  29. 29
    Up 1236
    Down 1174

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

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  30. 30
    Up 1044
    Down 920

    John Broome, Gil Kane

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  31. 31
    Up 843
    Down 862

    added by dayton72 C. C. Beck, Bill Parker

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  32. 32
    Up 923
    Down 831

    Mike Mignola

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  33. 33
    Up 744
    Down 787

    Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

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  34. 34
    Up 974
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    added by Logan2011 Stan Lee, Don Heck

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  35. 35
    Up 950
    Down 1015

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  36. 36
    Up 821
    Down 782

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  37. 37
    Up 358
    Down 251

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

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  38. 38
    Up 815
    Down 875

    often listed & added by PawanBaadshah Joseph Samachson

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  39. 39
    Up 916
    Down 1009

    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  40. 40
    Up 822
    Down 906

    often listed & added by cptron Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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  41. 41
    Up 594
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    ranked low on reranks Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  42. 42
    Up 540
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Logan2011

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  43. 43
    Up 978
    Down 951

    added by Logan2011 Todd McFarlane

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  44. 44
    Up 708
    Down 579

    Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

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  45. 45
    Up 744
    Down 833

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  46. 46
    Up 630
    Down 662

    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  47. 47
    Up 738
    Down 823

    added by Logan2011 Curt Swan

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  48. 48
    Up 68
    Down 48

    Hasbro, Tomy

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  49. 49
    Up 215
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    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Robert Kanigher

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  50. 50
    Up 379
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    Chris Claremont, John Byrne

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  51. 133 +

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