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The Top 10 Best Super-heroes Of All Time!

How to sort the wheat from the chaff and pick out the very best of the lot?

by
Pierre Comtois

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July 13, 2014 - 7:00 am
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Can there ever be a more incendiary topic than asking who are the best super-heroes of all time? Bar fights have been started and wars have been fought over lesser topics! Nevertheless, this writer will attempt to answer the question and then immediately duck to avoid the inevitable brickbats.

First, how to pick from among the hundreds, nay perhaps thousands, of super-heroes that have paraded across the four color page since that fateful day when Superman first sent bad guys running on the cover of Action Comics #1? I say “since” because before the debut of Superman, comics had hosted many other heroes including such stalwarts as Speed Saunders and Slam Bradley. The difference was twofold (one which we shall use subsequently to help define what is meant by the term “super-hero”): Superman had super powers and a colorful costume that couldn’t be mistaken for street clothes.

Indeed, in retrospect, it seems that it was those two points, powers and costuming, that made all the difference; not only placing Superman at the top of the super-hero heap and initiating an avalanche of colorful imitators, but granting to the lowly comic book its raison d’etre. For better or worse, the super-hero would become synonymous with comics and by the 21st century, have eliminated all other genres for dominance of the industry.

That said, what to do with all those Superman imitators? How to sort the wheat from the chaff and pick out the very best of the lot? Aside from the basics of powers and costuming, something more is needed to differentiate the best from the rest. Metes and bounds need to be established to lend some legitimacy to those choice few that’ll make the cut (and cut down on the brickbats). For that, I suggest staying power, a hero who, decade after decade, comes on and off his own title, shows up steadily in other characters’ books and adventures, and continues to capture the imagination of readers over the years; originality, qualities in the creation of the super-hero that differentiate him from all others; and iconic status, a position captured over the years above and beyond the often insular world of comics readers.

With those parameters in mind, let the brawling begin!

thor

10) Thor

Sure, there were other Thors in comics before Stan Lee and Jack Kirby came up with their own version in Journey Into Mystery #83, but none of those others had the sheer durability of Marvel’s own god of thunder. What set the character apart from those others? Like them, he had super strength, a magic hammer, and connections to Asgard. He was better looking too: gone were the traditional scraggly red hair and beard. But Marvel’s Thor had one thing more: personality. Making this otherworldly being with godlike powers the alter ego of a lame physician who couldn’t make it with his pretty office nurse granted him a sympathy to readers absent in other versions. Together, it all added up to staying power and blockbuster movie status!

All Comments   (8)
All Comments   (8)
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Solar who??

I'd definitely replace that Solar fellow with somebody else, probably Darkwing Duck.

In all seriousness though, Iron Man rates above Solar. As does Wolverine.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Because of that, Spider-Man became one of the first of Marvel’s characters to break into television both animated and live action, then into movies where Peter Parker’s life was not shortchanged in favor of super-hero action."

One could mostly say the same thing about the Hulk. Come to think of it, the MCU Hulk ref'ed the old TV series heavily.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
My favorite...even made my own BlackHawk costume for a ComicCon here years ago and met Kirk Alyn,the original BlackHawk....some say the BlackHawks were the best hero team ever assembled....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKQ2SY_d6L0

11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
What a fun coincidence. I made a Blackhawk inspired costume a few months ago for dieselpunk event.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Not a bad list - given how many comic superheroes there have been, and for how long they've been around, it's not easy narrowing it down to just 10. I'd have added an X-Man or two (my personal favorites are Rachel Summers, Wolverine ::ducks:: and Kitty Pryde) maybe in place of Dr. Strange, Solar and Thor (although I've loved the Thor books over the last 4-5 years).
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Batman, whatever else you might think, should have been at number one. He is the only one on the list without some convient "Super Power," he has to do it all himself. And generally pulls it off, too.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sorry, "convenient."
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
#1 - 10: The Spirit by Will Eisner. Everything else is just comics.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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