Total Nerd The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
1.1M votes 79.6k voters 833.9k views 478 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
24,365 13,896
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
20,679 12,775
Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

3
17,902 12,632
Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita

4
17,348 14,434
Superman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

5
15,136 11,121
Flash is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

6
14,696 10,879
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

7
14,671 10,592
Captain America is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

8
13,431 10,439
Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

9
12,595 9,454
Thor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

10
11,285 9,196
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
14,835 8,826
Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
JesusPerez added Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

12
9,308 9,164
Rogue is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

13
8,522 8,390
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Bill Everett

14
9,376 8,926
Green Lantern is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

15
7,293 6,609
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

16
6,876 3,814
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
7,541 4,266
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

18
6,105 5,932
Storm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

19
8,732 6,476
Nightwing is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

20
8,209 5,808
Magneto is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

21
6,710 6,072
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

22
7,137 6,481
Gambit is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

23
7,624 6,594
Green Arrow is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Mort Weisinger, George Papp

24
7,172 5,016
Punisher is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
RatedMMA added John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru

25
5,826 4,831
Jean Grey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

26
6,194 4,992
Silver Surfer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

27
5,387 4,776
Colossus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

28
5,113 4,794
Beast is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

29
5,292 4,404
Martian Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
PawanBaadshah added Joseph Samachson

30
5,268 4,892
Aquaman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

31
5,018 4,876
Captain Marvel is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
dayton72 added Tom Raney, Paul Jenkins

32
5,442 4,719
Robin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

33
4,863 4,785
Human Torch is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

34
4,911 2,516
Venom is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie, Mike Zeck

35
3,875 2,293
Star-Lord is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
DouglasMckeever added Timothy Zahn, Steve Englehart, Chris Claremont

36
4,794 4,402
Hawkeye is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Stan Lee, Don Heck

37
3,801 3,363
Iceman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
blackvulcan added Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

38
4,897 4,794
Rorschach is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

39
4,688 4,429
Catwoman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bill Finger, Bob Kane

40
4,242 2,638
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Don Heck, Don Rico

41
3,222 1,808
Groot is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bellwoodbomb611 added Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Stan Lee

42
3,643 2,728
Scarlet Witch is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

43
4,359 3,831
Spawn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Todd McFarlane

44
4,067 4,054
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Curt Swan

45
4,168 3,837
Hellboy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Mike Mignola

46
4,059 3,432
Mystique is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

47
2,803 2,518
Cable is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Rob Liefeld, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi

48
3,926 3,793
Batgirl is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

49
3,253 2,735
Vision is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Arthur Williams added Roy Thomas, John Buscema

50
3,296 2,419
Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady) is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Robert Kirkman, Phil Hester