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.
  • 117 ReRanks
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The List
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  1. 51
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  2. 52
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    added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  3. 53
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    John Buscema, Stan Lee

  4. 54
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    added by IvanBarba Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie marvel universe

  5. 55
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    added by IvanBarba Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Marv Wolfman

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

  7. 57
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  8. 58
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    Rob Liefeld, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi

  9. 59
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    added by IvanBarba Carmine Infantino, Gardner Fox

  10. 60
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

  11. 61
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    added by cptron Roy Thomas, John Buscema

  12. 62
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    added by EricShosted Alan Moore, Stephen R. Bissette, Jamie Delano

  13. 63
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    added by SnowLeopard44 Gardner Fox, Murphy Anderson

  14. 64
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    Marv Wolfman, Pat Broderick

  15. 65
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

  16. 66
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  17. 67
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    added by dreamcatcher088 Roy Thomas, Gil Kane

  18. 68
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    ranked low on reranks & added by IsabelBaker Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  19. 69
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester

  20. 70
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    Roy Thomas, Gene Colan

  21. 71
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    Paul Dini, Sean Catherine Derek, Bruce Timm

  22. 72
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    often listed & added by cptron Bill Everett

  23. 73
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    added by SnowLeopard44 Wally Wood, Otto Binder, Al Plastino

  24. 74
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    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

  25. 75
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    ranked low on reranks & added by Corey Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe

  26. 76
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    often listed & added by Logan2011 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  27. 77
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  28. 78
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    Carmine Infantino, John Broome

  29. 79
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    ranked low on reranks

  30. 80
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    Don Perlin, Doug Moench

  31. 81
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    added by Logan2011 Frank Miller

  32. 82
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    ranked low on reranks Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan

  33. 83
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    Neal Adams, Roy Thomas, Arnold Drake

  34. 84
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    added by sdude13 Mark Millar, John Romita, Jr.

  35. 85
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  36. 86
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

  37. 87
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    Roy Thomas, Gary Friedrich, Mike Ploog

  38. 88
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    added by AaronDoublestein Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost

  39. 89
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    added by blackvulcan

  40. 90
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    added by blackvulcan Marv Wolfman, John Buscema

  41. 91
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    added by charlesminorversion1 Power Man ( Luke Cage )

  42. 92
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez

  43. 93
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    Neal Adams, Dennis O'Neil

  44. 94
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    often listed & added by IvanBarba

  45. 95
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    added by charlesminorversion1 Gene Colan, Stan Lee

  46. 96
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    added by IvanBarba Bob Kane, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison

  47. 97
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    added by IvanBarba Johnston McCulley

  48. 98
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    ranked low on reranks John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills

  49. 99
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    added by IvanBarba Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  50. 100
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    Archie Goodwin, Marie Severin, Sal Buscema

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