Total Nerd The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
1.2M votes 84.6k voters 859.6k 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
26,580 15,043
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
23,129 13,408
Spider-Man is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

3
19,337 13,520
Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Roy Thomas, John Romita

4
18,864 15,425
Superman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel

5
15,933 11,556
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
16,351 11,787
Flash is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

7
15,843 11,236
Captain America is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

8
14,518 10,969
Hulk is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

9
13,749 9,926
Thor is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, Larry Lieber

10
12,398 9,693
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
16,057 9,406
Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
JesusPerez added Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza

12
9,269 9,059
Daredevil is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Stan Lee, Bill Everett

13
10,164 9,459
Green Lantern is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Bill Finger, Martin Nodell

14
9,676 10,078
Rogue is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Michael Golden

15
7,846 7,124
Professor X is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

16
7,680 4,264
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
9,455 7,002
Nightwing is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

18
6,625 6,439
Storm is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Christy Marx, Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

19
8,334 4,755
Black Panther is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

20
8,913 6,197
Magneto is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee

21
7,577 6,984
Gambit is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Chris Claremont, Jim Lee, Mike Collins

22
7,116 6,584
Nightcrawler is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Len Wein, Dave Cockrum

23
7,863 5,341
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
8,158 7,054
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
6,282 5,193
Jean Grey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time
Jack Kirby, Stan Lee