Total Nerd The Smartest Characters in Comic Books  

Ranker Comics
22.9k votes 3k voters 645k views 23 items

List Rules Vote up who you think is the smartest character in comics.

When it comes to comic book super powers, brains are every bit as handy as brawn — but props to those who have both. From cosmic powers of superhuman intelligence, to good old fashioned book smarts, there are plenty of comic book characters that prove the powers of the mind can be just as effective as any other super power. 
 

There are always the old fallbacks like our good pals Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark, but Ironman and the “World’s Greatest Detective” himself are far from the best of the best when it comes to super smarts. From near god-like obscurities like the High Evolutionary to the more forgettable guys like Calculator, genius intellects for both heroes and villains alike create some of the most clever story lines in all of comic history. There are even some characters you might never have known to possess super smarts all along; you can’t really blame someone on the fringes of comic book culture if they didn’t realize that the hulking ape beast, Gorilla Grodd, is actually a genius advanced weapons manufacturer. 
 

So just who are the smartest of the comic book characters? The classics or the obscurities, the mighty or the meek? Well, good people, that is up to you. Be sure to cast your votes for your picks on this list of the smartest comic book characters of all time to see if you can’t tip the scales in favor of your favorite geniuses, and as always, feel free to leave a comment below if you think a deserving intellectual is missing. 

1 1,534 VOTES

Brainiac


Brainiac is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Smartest Characters in Comic Books
Photo: via Wikimedia
As one of Superman's greatest enemies, Brainiac boasts a "12th-level intellect," allowing unparalleled calculation abilities, enhanced memory, and advanced understanding of mechanical engineering, bio-engineering, physics, and other theoretical and applied sciences. For comparison, the population of 20th century Earth as a whole constitutes a 6th-Level intelligence and the population of 31st century Earth as a whole is a 9th-Level intelligence.

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#2 on The Best Superman Villains Ever

#62 on The Greatest Robots of All Time

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2 1,411 VOTES

Lex Luthor


Lex Luthor is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Smartest Characters in Comic Books
Photo: DC Comics
Lex Luthor is Superman's greatest adversary and considered the most intelligent human in the DC Universe. With his genius level of intelligence, he has mastered nearly every known form of science, including space and extra dimensional travel, biochemistry, computer science, robotics, munitions, transportation, holography, energy generation, spectral analysis, and more.

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#4 on The Greatest Villains in DC Comics, Ranked

#87 on The Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

#1 on The Best Superman Villains Ever

#4 on The Best Comic Book Villains

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3 1,506 VOTES

Mister Fantastic


Mister Fantastic is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Smartest Characters in Comic Books
Photo: Freebase/Fair use
Reed Richards, despite his physical powers, considers his mind his most invaluable asset. In fact, he's been known to use his stretching powers to increase the size of his brain in times of need. In the comics Richards is an accomplished theoretician, and is noted for his breakthroughs in the fields of space, time, and extra-dimensional travel, biochemistry, robotics, computer science, munitions, and more. In fact, the Fantastic Four is largely financed by his own valuable patents.

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#88 on The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

#49 on The Greatest Marvel Avengers Characters of All Time

#61 on The Top Marvel Comics Superheroes

#45 on The Best Comic Book Characters Created by Stan Lee

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4 1,566 VOTES

Iron Man


Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Smartest Characters in Comic Books
Photo: Iron Man/Paramount Pictures
Tony Stark is by a mile one of the most intelligent forces in the Marvel Universe. He's an inventive genius, and has specialized expertise in electrical and mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer science - just look at his Iron Man suits and try to explain how it wouldn't take a genius to build those. Similar to Bruce Wayne in the DC Universe, Stark is a billionaire who utilizes his company, Stark Industries, to his advantage for vigilantism. 

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#6 on The Best Comic Book Superheroes of All Time

#31 on The Best Captain America Villains Ever

#41 on The Best Movie Characters of All Time

#99 on The Greatest Cartoon Characters in TV History

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