The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters

The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

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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 'normal person' 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" character.

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.

List Criteria: Only superhero protagonist characters from comics No villains or superhero teams.

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  Name
Score
  1. 101
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    often listed &ranked low on reranks
    Ra's al Ghul

    DC Universe More
    38
    added by: IvanBarba
  2. 102
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    ranked high on reranks
    Nova (Richard Rider)

    Marvel Universe More
    38
    added by: blackvulcan
  3. 103
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    38
  4. 104
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ted Kord

    DC Universe More
    38
  5. 105
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Zorro

    Zorro More
    38
    added by: IvanBarba
  6. 106
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)

    Marvel Universe More
    38
  7. 107
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    often listed &ranked low on reranks
    Bishop

    Marvel Universe More
    37
    added by: blackvulcan
  8. 108
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Spectre

    DC Universe More
    37
    added by: AlanDeanNaldrett
  9. 109
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    ranked low on reranks
    Juggernaut

    Marvel Universe More
    37
  10. 110
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    ranked low on reranks
    Psylocke

    Marvel Universe More
    37
    added by: Corey
  11. 111
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    ranked low on reranks
    Riddler

    DC Universe More
    36
    added by: IvanBarba
  12. 112
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Jubilee

    Marvel Universe More
    36
    added by: Logan2011
  13. 113
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    Marvel Universe More
    36
    added by: IvanBarba
  14. 114
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    ranked high on reranks
    Firestorm

    36
    added by: IvanBarba
  15. 115
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    ranked low on reranks
    Sabretooth

    Marvel Universe More
    35
  16. 116
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Red Tornado

    DC Universe More
    35
    added by: blackvulcan
  17. 117
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    Ultimate Iron Man

    Marvel Universe More
    35
    added by: IvanBarba
  18. 118
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    DC Universe More
    34
    added by: IvanBarba
  19. 119
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    often listed &niche appeal
    Black Bolt

    34
    added by: dreamcatcher088
  20. 120
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    often listed &controversial
    Mary Jane Watson

    Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Marvel Universe More
    34
    added by: IvanBarba
  21. 121
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    blue lantern

    34
    added by: IvanBarba
  22. 122
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    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Deadman

    DC Universe More
    34
    added by: blackvulcan
  23. 123
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    DC Universe More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  24. 124
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    often listed
    Marv

    33
  25. 125
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    Marvel Universe More
    33
  26. 126
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    33
  27. 127
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    33
  28. 128
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    often listed &about to drop off
    Shadow Lass

    DC Universe More
    33
  29. 129
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    often listed
    Red Hulk

    Marvel Universe More
    33
  30. 130
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    often listed
    Dr. Otto Octavius

    Marvel Universe More
    33
  31. 131
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    DC Universe More
    33
    added by: blackvulcan
  32. 132
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    Marvel Universe More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  33. 133
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    often listed
    Judge Dredd

    33
  34. 134
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    DC Universe More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  35. 135
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    The Warriors Universe More
    33
  36. 136
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    Down 3
    No image

    Alan Scott (Green Lantern)

    33
  37. 137
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    star saphire

    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  38. 138
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    33
  39. 139
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    No image

    Johna Hex

    33
    added by: hwy60
  40. 140
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    Ninja World More
    33
    added by: graser20
  41. 141
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    33
    added by: graser20
  42. 142
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    Ninja World More
    33
    added by: graser20
  43. 143
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    33
    added by: graser20
  44. 144
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    Transformers, Marvel Universe More
    33
  45. 145
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    No image
    Flash Gordon More
    33
  46. 146
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    often listed
    Angel

    Marvel Universe More
    33
  47. 147
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    often listed &controversial
    Captain Britain

    Marvel Universe More
    32
  48. 148
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    32
    added by: blackvulcan
  49. 149
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    larfleeze

    32
    added by: IvanBarba
  50. 150
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    32
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