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.
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  1. 101
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    Archie Goodwin, Marie Severin, Sal Buscema

  2. 102
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    ranked low on reranks & added by charlesminorversion1 Power Man ( Luke Cage )

  3. 103
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    added by blackvulcan Roger Slifer, Keith Giffen

  4. 104
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    often listed & added by Logan2011 Art Adams, Ann Nocenti, Marc Silvestri

  5. 105
    Up 34
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    new! Stan Lee, Don Heck, Don Rico

  6. 106
    Up 35
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    new! Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie, Mike Zeck

  7. 107
    Up 116
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    added by IvanBarba Otto Binder, C. C. Beck

  8. 108
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    added by blackvulcan Jim Lee, John Byrne, Whilce Portacio

  9. 109
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Steve Ditko

  10. 110
    Up 36
    Down 34

    Marv Wolfman, Keith Pollard

  11. 111
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    Hasbro, Tomy, John Romita, Sr.

  12. 112
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    Paul Gustavson

  13. 113
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    added by IvanBarba John Broome, Gil Kane

  14. 114
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    Down 171

    Chris Claremont, Herb Trimpe

  15. 115
    Up 80
    Down 129

    added by dreamcatcher088 Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  16. 116
    Up 63
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    added by IvanBarba Gardner Fox, Gil Kane

  17. 117
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    added by jonny33333

  18. 118
    Up 68
    Down 144

    added by AlanDeanNaldrett Jerry Siegel

  19. 119
    Up 18
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    added by Sakura928 Dan Jurgens DC Universe

  20. 120
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    added by blackvulcan Karl Kesel, Tom Grummett

  21. 121
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    new! Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

  22. 122
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    added by IvanBarba Doug Mahnke, Judd Winick, Gerry Conway

  23. 123
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    Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness

  24. 124
    Up 19
    Down 22

    new! Nintendo

  25. 125
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    added by BrandonAdams Len Wein, Bernie Wrightson

  26. 126
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    added by blackvulcan Gardner Fox, Dick Dillin

  27. 127
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    Joss Whedon

  28. 128
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  29. 129
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    added by IvanBarba Gerry Conway, Al Milgrom

  30. 130
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks Steve Gerber, Val Mayerik

  31. 131
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    added by IvanBarba blue lantern

  32. 133
    Up 116
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    added by IvanBarba Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Brian Michael Bendis

  33. 134
    Up 19
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    Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

  34. 135
    Up 66
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    added by blackvulcan Carmine Infantino, Arnold Drake

  35. 136
    Up 145
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    added by IvanBarba Steve Ditko, Pat Broderick, Cary Bates

  36. 137
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    Down 135

    Frank Miller

  37. 138
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    new! & added by sdtjsaint Lady Death

  38. 139
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    added by dreamcatcher088 Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

  39. 140
    Up 59
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    added by IvanBarba Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

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