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The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

584k votes 51k voters 615k views 248 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only superhero protagonist characters from comics. No villains or superhero teams (of course there is often a fine line between hero and villain)

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.") If you love these superheroes, you'll also be interested to know that a few of them have really lame origin stories.

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.

We have your top 50 superheroes, your top 100 superheroes of all time… we don’t quite have your top 200 comic book characters of all time simply because this list is just for the best superheroes ever. We didn’t include the super villains on this top comic book characters list. Who are the top comic book heroes? Who is the best superhero? Let’s put these question to rest of who is the best super heroes to rest.

List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 212 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 13,389
    - 7,161

    the people's #1 & added by blackvulcan
    Batman Beyond, Young Justice, Batman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 9,945
    - 7,630


    Daredevil vs. Spider-Man, Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man

    ;
  3. 3
    + 9,046
    - 7,125


    X-Men: First Class, Superhero Movie, Hulk Vs

    ;
  4. 4
    + 9,340
    - 8,293


    Smallville, Superboy, Adventures of Superman

    ;
  5. 5
    + 7,565
    - 6,176


    Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Daddy Day Care, DC Universe

    ;
  6. 6
    + 7,449
    - 6,264


    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Avengers, Captain America ...

    ;
  7. 7
    + 7,483
    - 6,480


    Iron Man: Armored Adventures, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The ...

    ;
  8. 8
    + 6,876
    - 6,471


    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Ultimate Avengers 2, Hulk Vs

    ;
  9. 9
    + 6,217
    - 6,098


    Thor: The Dark World, The Incredible Hulk Returns, Thor

    ;
  10. 10
    + 7,063
    - 5,556

    added by JesusPerez
    Deadpool, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Hulk Vs

    ;
  11. 11
    + 5,216
    - 5,859

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Justice League Unlimited, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman

    ;
  12. 12
    + 6,073
    - 4,417

    ranked low on reranks
    X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand

    ;
  13. 13
    + 4,390
    - 4,531

    often listed
    Daredevil vs. Spider-Man, Daredevil, Marvel Universe

    ;
  14. 14
    + 4,341
    - 3,326

    ranked low on reranks
    X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Magneto

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  15. 15
    + 5,209
    - 5,695

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    American Splendor, Green Lantern, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths

    ;
  16. 16
    + 4,355
    - 3,769

    added by Logan2011
    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Part 2, DC Universe

    ;
  17. 17
    + 4,412
    - 3,500


    Batman: Under the Red Hood

    ;
  18. 18
    + 3,821
    - 3,515


    X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class ...

    ;
  19. 19
    + 3,991
    - 3,539


    X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Marvel Universe

    ;
  20. 20
    + 3,706
    - 3,260


    X2, Marvel Universe

    ;
  21. 21
    + 3,174
    - 2,807


    X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men, X2

    ;
  22. 22
    + 3,470
    - 2,960


    Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Marvel Universe

    ;
  23. 23
    + 3,526
    - 2,855

    added by RatedMMA
    Punisher: War Zone, The Punisher, Iron Man: Rise of Technovore

    ;
  24. 24
    + 2,961
    - 2,133

    ranked low on reranks
    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Black Panther, Ultimate Avengers 2 ...

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  25. 25
    + 2,808
    - 2,668

    added by dayton72

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  26. 26
    + 2,902
    - 2,674


    Fantastic Four, The Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver ...

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  27. 27
    + 2,923
    - 2,665


    X-Men, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past

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  28. 28
    + 2,973
    - 2,505


    X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

    ;
  29. 29
    + 3,080
    - 2,585


    X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men, X2

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2,772
    - 2,332

    added by PawanBaadshah
    Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice, Justice League: Crisis on Two ...

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2,732
    - 2,565


    Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, ...

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  32. 32
    + 2,770
    - 2,391

    added by Logan2011
    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Thor, The Avengers

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,564
    - 2,272

    added by cptron
    Dr. Strange, Doctor Strange: The Sorcerer Supreme, Marvel Universe

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,676
    - 978


    Marvel Universe

    ;
  35. 35
    + 1,798
    - 1,061

    ranked low on reranks
    Ultimate Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers

    ;
  36. 36
    + 2,853
    - 2,568


    The New Adventures of Batman, Batman, The Batman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 2,612
    - 2,507


    Maggie, Catwoman, Batman: New Times

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  38. 38
    + 2,794
    - 2,789


    Watchmen, Watchmen

    ;
  39. 39
    + 2,161
    - 1,805


    Epic Movie, X-Men: First Class, X-Men: The Last Stand

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,883
    - 1,544

    added by blackvulcan
    The Super Hero Squad Show, X-Men: The Last Stand, X2

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,503
    - 1,244


    The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel Universe

    ;
  42. 42
    + 2,122
    - 2,175

    often listed & added by Logan2011
    Supergirl, Movie 43, DC Universe

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1,156
    - 735

    ranked low on reranks & added by DouglasMckeever
    Guardians of the Galaxy

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,451
    - 1,226

    added by cptron
    The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Next ...

    ;
  45. 45
    + 2,119
    - 1,731


    Marvel Universe

    ;
  46. 46
    + 2,241
    - 2,127

    added by Logan2011
    Spawn 3: The Ultimate Battle, Spawn, Spawn 2

    ;
  47. 47
    + 2,183
    - 2,102


    Batman, The Batman, Fight Batman Fight!

    ;
  48. 48
    + 2,273
    - 2,206

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Hellboy, Hellboy: Blood and Iron, Hellboy: Sword of Storms

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,473
    - 1,457

    often listed & added by blackvulcan
    Justice League, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, DC Universe

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,338
    - 1,033


    Young Justice, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited

    ;
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