The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time Fictional Characters
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105  reranks 147,246 votes 8,919 voters 126,785 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 105 ReRanks
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  1. 101
    Up 40
    Down 56

    blue lantern

    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  2. 102
    Up 65
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    33
    added by: jonny33333
  3. 103
    Up 30
    Down 33
    Roger Slifer, Keith Giffen More
    33
    added by: blackvulcan
  4. 104
    Up 190
    Down 324
    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  5. 105
    Up 46
    Down 58
    Doug Mahnke, Judd Winick, Gerry Conway More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  6. 106
    Up 26
    Down 34
    John Broome, Gil Kane More
    33
    added by: IvanBarba
  7. 107
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    Gardner Fox, Gil Kane More
    32
    added by: IvanBarba
  8. 108
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    Jim Lee, John Byrne, Whilce Portacio More
    32
    added by: blackvulcan
  9. 109
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    Marv Wolfman, George Pérez More
    32
  10. 110
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    John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, Pat Mills More
    32
  11. 111
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    Paul Gustavson More
    32
  12. 112
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    Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett More
    32
    added by: blackvulcan
  13. 113
    Up 23
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    Joss Whedon More
    32
  14. 114
    Up 36
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    Gardner Fox, Dick Dillin More
    32
    added by: blackvulcan
  15. 115
    Up 31
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    Jerry Siegel More
    32
    added by: AlanDeanNaldrett
  16. 116
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    Art Adams, Ann Nocenti, Marc Silvestri More
    32
    added by: Logan2011
  17. 117
    Up 14
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    Gerry Conway, Al Milgrom More
    31
    added by: IvanBarba
  18. 118
    Up 36
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee More
    31
    added by: dreamcatcher088
  19. 119
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    30
  20. 120
    Up 37
    Down 57
    Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness More
    30
  21. 121
    Up 134
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    Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson More
    29
    added by: BrandonAdams
  22. 122
    Up 38
    Down 98
    Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe More
    29
  23. 124
    Up 36
    Down 101

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Deadman

    Carmine Infantino, Arnold Drake More
    28
    added by: blackvulcan
  24. 125
    Up 25
    Down 58
    Frank Miller More
    28
  25. 126
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    Down 284

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Captain Atom

    Steve Ditko, Pat Broderick, Cary Bates More
    27
    added by: IvanBarba
  26. 127
    Up 26
    Down 41
    27
  27. 128
    Up 18
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    ranked low on reranks
    Penance

    Scott Lobdell, Chris Bachalo More
    26
    added by: PenanceMutant
  28. 129
    Up 79
    Down 106

    ranked low on reranks
    Ultimate Iron Man

    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Brian Michael Bendis More
    26
    added by: IvanBarba
  29. 130
    Up 26
    Down 64
    Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum More
    25
    added by: dreamcatcher088
  30. 131
    Up 32
    Down 45
    Stan Lee, Steve Ditko More
    25
    added by: IvanBarba
  31. 132
    Up 131
    Down 409
    Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik More
    23
  32. 134 +

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