Total Nerd The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
1M votes 72.1k voters 785.7k views 475 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
21,231 12,121
Batman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
blackvulcan added Batman Bill Finger, Bob Kane, Bruce Timm

2
17,226 11,663
Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Spider-Man Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

3
15,591 11,200
Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Wolverine Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita

4
15,057 12,898
Superman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Superman Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

5
13,102 9,897
Flash is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

6
12,563 9,868
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Iron Man Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Don Heck

7
12,573 9,672
Captain America is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Captain America Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

8
11,658 9,501
Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Hulk Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

9
10,597 8,855
Thor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Thor Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

10
9,568 8,435
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Wonder Woman William Moulton Marston, H. G. Peter

11
12,764 8,123
Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
JesusPerez added Deadpool Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

12
8,629 7,825
Rogue is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Rogue Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

13
6,387 5,754
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Professor X Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

14
7,350 7,454
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Daredevil Stan Lee, Bill Everett

The Coolest Comic Characters That Aren't Superheroes

15
8,253 8,080
Green Lantern is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Green Lantern Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

16
5,328 5,081
Storm is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Storm Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

17
7,191 5,156
Magneto is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Magneto Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

18
6,109 3,635
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Black Panther Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

19
6,354 5,747
Gambit is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Gambit Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

20
5,966 5,393
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Nightcrawler Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

21
7,619 5,759
Nightwing is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

The Most Ridiculous Superheroes Ever

22
5,450 3,388
Doctor Strange is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Arthur Williams added Doctor Strange Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

23
6,214 4,473
Punisher is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
RatedMMA added Punisher John Romita, Sr., Ross Andru

24
5,157 4,260
Jean Grey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jean Grey Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

25
6,828 5,939
Green Arrow is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Green Arrow Mort Weisinger, George Papp

26
4,763 4,224
Colossus is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Colossus Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

27
5,478 4,508
Silver Surfer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Silver Surfer Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

28
4,557 4,262
Beast is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Beast Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

The Top 6 Real-Life Versions of Batman Villains

29
4,647 3,865
Martian Manhunter is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
PawanBaadshah added Martian Manhunter Joseph Samachson

30
4,562 4,336
Aquaman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Aquaman Mort Weisinger, Kurt Busiek, Jackson Guice

31
4,359 4,248
Human Torch is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Human Torch Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

32
4,733 4,197
Robin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

33
4,295 4,382
Captain Marvel is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
dayton72 added Captain Marvel Tom Raney, Paul Jenkins

34
3,161 1,842
Star-Lord is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
DouglasMckeever added Star-Lord Timothy Zahn, Steve Englehart, Chris Claremont

35
3,890 2,155
Venom is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Venom Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie, Mike Zeck

50+ Amazing Behind the Scenes Photos from Iconic TV Shows

36
3,307 2,911
Iceman is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
blackvulcan added Iceman Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

37
4,237 3,930
Hawkeye is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Hawkeye Stan Lee, Don Heck

38
4,363 4,263
Rorschach is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Rorschach Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore

39
4,139 3,969
Catwoman is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Catwoman Bill Finger, Bob Kane

40
3,581 2,296
Black Widow is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Black Widow Stan Lee, Don Heck, Don Rico

41
3,828 3,401
Spawn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Spawn Todd McFarlane

42
2,523 1,521
Groot is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bellwoodbomb611 added Groot Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Stan Lee

The Best Characters from Batman Comics

43
3,035 2,408
Scarlet Witch is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Scarlet Witch Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

44
3,572 3,608
Supergirl is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Logan2011 added Supergirl Curt Swan

45
3,680 3,435
Hellboy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Hellboy Mike Mignola

46
3,608 3,053
Mystique is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Mystique Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

47
2,791 2,380
Vision is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Arthur Williams added Vision Roy Thomas, John Buscema

48
3,492 3,401
Batgirl is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

49
3,600 2,779
Phoenix Force is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Phoenix Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum

50
2,310 2,188
Cable is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Cable Rob Liefeld, Chris Claremont, Rick Leonardi