Total Nerd The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
1.2M votes 84.7k voters 859.9k views 472 items

List Rules Only superhero protagonist characters from comics. No villains or superhero teams (of course there is often a fine line between hero and villain).

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.") If you love these superheroes, you'll also be interested to know that a few of them have really lame origin stories.

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.

We have your top 50 superheroes, your top 100 superheroes of all time… we don’t quite have your top 200 comic book characters of all time simply because this list is just for the best superheroes ever. We didn’t include the super villains on this top comic book characters list. Who are the top comic book heroes? Who is the best superhero? Let’s put these question to rest of who is the best super heroes to rest.

list ordered by

1
26,616 15,067
Batman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
blackvulcan added Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Bruce Timm

2
23,173 13,420
Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

3
19,370 13,539
Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita

4
18,887 15,452
Superman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

5
15,954 11,574
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

6
16,370 11,804
Flash is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

7
15,872 11,247
Captain America is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

8
14,539 10,985
Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

9
13,774 9,937
Thor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

10
12,422 9,706
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter

11
16,091 9,414
Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
JesusPerez added Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

12
9,284 9,076
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Bill Everett

13
10,176 9,479
Green Lantern is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

14
9,690 10,092
Rogue is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

15
7,859 7,136
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

16
7,695 4,279
Doctor Strange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Arthur Williams added Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

17
9,470 7,015
Nightwing is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

18
6,634 6,451
Storm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

19
8,347 4,769
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

20
8,926 6,208
Magneto is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

21
7,587 6,995
Gambit is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

22
7,127 6,597
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

23
7,884 5,349
Punisher is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
RatedMMA added John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru

24
8,163 7,070
Green Arrow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Mort Weisinger, George Papp

25
6,292 5,201
Jean Grey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee