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. 51
    Up 364
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  2. 52
    Up 323
    Down 366

    added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  3. 53
    Up 360
    Down 395

    John Buscema, Stan Lee

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  4. 54
    Up 623
    Down 584

    added by IvanBarba Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie marvel universe

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  5. 55
    Up 233
    Down 260

    added by IvanBarba Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Marv Wolfman

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  6. 56
    Up 370
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    ranked low on reranks David Michelinie, Bob Layton

    open
  7. 57
    Up 277
    Down 331

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  8. 58
    Up 211
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    added by IvanBarba Carmine Infantino, Gardner Fox

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  9. 59
    Up 272
    Down 342

    added by cptron Roy Thomas, John Buscema

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  10. 60
    Up 302
    Down 361

    Rob Liefeld, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi

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  11. 61
    Up 412
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  12. 62
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    added by SnowLeopard44 Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson

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  13. 63
    Up 139
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    added by EricShosted Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Jamie Delano

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  14. 64
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    Marv Wolfman, Pat Broderick

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  15. 65
    Up 97
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

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  16. 66
    Up 96
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  17. 67
    Up 114
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    added by dreamcatcher088 Roy Thomas, Gil Kane

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  18. 68
    Up 257
    Down 355

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester

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  19. 69
    Up 273
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    often listed & added by SnowLeopard44 Wally Wood, Otto Binder, Al Plastino

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  20. 70
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    often listed & added by cptron Bill Everett

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  21. 71
    Up 84
    Down 55

    ranked low on reranks Carmine Infantino, John Broome

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  22. 72
    Up 83
    Down 65

    ranked low on reranks Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

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  23. 73
    Up 105
    Down 77

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

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  24. 74
    Up 253
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    added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 75
    Up 278
    Down 383

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  26. 76
    Up 127
    Down 118

    ranked low on reranks Paul Dini, Sean Catherine Derek, Bruce Timm

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  27. 77
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    Don Perlin, Doug Moench

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  28. 78
    Up 72
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    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  29. 79
    Up 99
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    added by Corey Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe

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  30. 80
    Up 81
    Down 88

    Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog

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  31. 81
    Up 84
    Down 106

    added by blackvulcan

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  32. 82
    Up 228
    Down 351

    added by Logan2011 Frank Miller

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  33. 83
    Up 246
    Down 331

    Neal Adams, Roy Thomas, Arnold Drake

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  34. 84
    Up 50
    Down 46

    added by charlesminorversion1 Power Man ( Luke Cage )

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  35. 85
    Up 19
    Down 44

    new! & added by sdude13 Mark Millar, John Romita, Jr.

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  36. 86
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  37. 87
    Up 58
    Down 46

    added by charlesminorversion1 Gene Colan, Stan Lee

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  38. 88
    Up 248
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    Neal Adams, Dennis O'Neil

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  39. 89
    Up 102
    Down 133

    added by AaronDoublestein Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost

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  40. 90
    Up 182
    Down 343

    often listed & added by IvanBarba Bob Kane, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison

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  41. 91
    Up 88
    Down 67

    ranked low on reranks Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

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  42. 92
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

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  43. 93
    Up 176
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    often listed & added by IvanBarba

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  44. 94
    Up 120
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    added by blackvulcan Marv Wolfman, John Buscema

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  45. 95
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  46. 96
    Up 121
    Down 160

    added by blackvulcan Gardner Fox, James Robinson, David S. Goyer

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  47. 97
    Up 209
    Down 386

    often listed & added by IvanBarba Johnston McCulley

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  48. 98
    Up 203
    Down 341

    added by IvanBarba Steve Gerber, Gardner Fox, James Robinson

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  49. 99
    Up 68
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    John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills

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  50. 100
    Up 48
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    added by IvanBarba John Broome, Gil Kane

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