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 363
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  2. 52
    Up 320
    Down 364

    added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  3. 53
    Up 356
    Down 394

    John Buscema, Stan Lee

    open
  4. 54
    Up 621
    Down 582

    added by IvanBarba Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie marvel universe

    open
  5. 55
    Up 231
    Down 258

    added by IvanBarba Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Marv Wolfman

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  6. 56
    Up 368
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    ranked low on reranks David Michelinie, Bob Layton

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  7. 57
    Up 276
    Down 329

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  8. 58
    Up 270
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    added by cptron Roy Thomas, John Buscema

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  9. 59
    Up 209
    Down 227

    added by IvanBarba Carmine Infantino, Gardner Fox

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  10. 60
    Up 300
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    Rob Liefeld, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi

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  11. 61
    Up 410
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

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  12. 62
    Up 302
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    added by SnowLeopard44 Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson

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  13. 63
    Up 137
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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 96
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

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  16. 66
    Up 96
    Down 91

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  17. 67
    Up 111
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    added by dreamcatcher088 Roy Thomas, Gil Kane

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  18. 68
    Up 254
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester

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  19. 69
    Up 270
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    added by SnowLeopard44 Wally Wood, Otto Binder, Al Plastino

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  20. 70
    Up 226
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    often listed & added by cptron Bill Everett

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  21. 71
    Up 81
    Down 54

    ranked low on reranks Carmine Infantino, John Broome

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  22. 72
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    Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

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  23. 73
    Up 102
    Down 76

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

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  24. 74
    Up 249
    Down 375

    added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  25. 75
    Up 276
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  26. 76
    Up 125
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    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 69
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    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

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  29. 79
    Up 97
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Corey Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe

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  30. 80
    Up 82
    Down 104

    added by blackvulcan

    open
  31. 81
    Up 245
    Down 328

    Neal Adams, Roy Thomas, Arnold Drake

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  32. 82
    Up 77
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    Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog

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  33. 83
    Up 225
    Down 349

    added by Logan2011 Frank Miller

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  34. 84
    Up 48
    Down 44

    added by charlesminorversion1 Power Man ( Luke Cage )

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  35. 85
    Up 56
    Down 44

    added by charlesminorversion1 Gene Colan, Stan Lee

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  36. 86
    Up 17
    Down 42

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

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  37. 87
    Up 74
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

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  38. 88
    Up 247
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    Neal Adams, Dennis O'Neil

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  39. 89
    Up 100
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    added by AaronDoublestein Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost

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  40. 90
    Up 180
    Down 342

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

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  41. 91
    Up 86
    Down 66

    ranked low on reranks Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

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  42. 92
    Up 176
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    often listed & added by IvanBarba

    open
  43. 93
    Up 70
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

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  44. 94
    Up 118
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    added by blackvulcan Marv Wolfman, John Buscema

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  45. 95
    Up 72
    Down 87

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

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  46. 96
    Up 120
    Down 157

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

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  47. 97
    Up 208
    Down 383

    often listed & added by IvanBarba Johnston McCulley

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  48. 98
    Up 202
    Down 338

    added by IvanBarba Steve Gerber, Gardner Fox, James Robinson

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  49. 99
    Up 67
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    John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills

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  50. 100
    Up 47
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    added by IvanBarba John Broome, Gil Kane

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