Top Ten Comic Book Characters

There are thousands of comic book characters in existence from past to present. Many are well known while the majority are more obscure to the general public. And while top ten lists are generally subjective and based on opinion, there are certain comic book characters that will be discussed in this article that are worthy of that distinction by most standards. These are in random order.

Superman – There absolutely cannot be a top ten list of comic book characters without the Man of Steel. He’s one of the first (arguably THE first) superhero to ever grace the four-color world, and thus his history is one of the richest. He’s also one of the most popular in both comics and worldwide as viewed by the general public. He represents truth, justice, righteousness and morality. And while many find it hard to relate to him, those same people look up to his characteristics and admire his altruistic spirit.

Batman – Not quite so altruistic, but every bit as popular and loved is the Dark Knight. He may not always do the right thing, or do it the right way, but his motives are always pure, and his intent is always clear. He’s a thinking man’s hero, but he’s also a warrior’s hero. He’s well rounded and complete, and a little bit gritty, and that’s why we like him.

Spider-Man – The boy next door; the everyman; the geeky kid a great majority of us can relate to who overcomes the odds and becomes something great. Spider-Man gives us hope that we can achieve that same greatness in our own special ways. He truly is a standard bearer and a true hero to the core, always trying to do the right thing, but many times messing it up horribly, thus proving he’s still human, and thus endearing him more and more to our hearts.

Lex Luthor – The arch-nemesis of the ‘Blue Boyscout’, Superman, Lex Luthor is all kinds of evil wrapped up in money and a well pressed, expensive suit. He’s diabolically clever and vicious, and he never lets Supes sleep on the job. Cementing his legacy as one of the greatest villains of all time, Luthor wins our allegiance for the depth of his character and his driven purpose.

Captain America – Maybe not as popular in modern times as he was in the days of World War II when he first appeared on the comic scene, but still a symbol of America and classic comics from the Golden and Silver ages. Captain America is displaced and so he views the world a bit differently than the rest of us. He sees things the way they should be in his mind, which isn’t always the most popular point of view. He’s often portrayed as a boy scout, but truthfully he’s much deeper than that, and that’s where the appeal lies.

Wolverine – Overused or not, Logan is one of the most popular comic book characters in existence today. When he first burst onto the scene in the revitalized X-Men he quickly gained an everlasting fan base because of the difference he brought to the table. He’s not your typical do-gooder hero, though he always does fight for the right causes. He’s temperamental, at times insecure, rude, crude and unpredictable. He’s a loner with a heart of gold and a penchant for violence. He’s an anti-hero who takes no crap, but at the same time he deeply cares about those he surrounds himself with. And it’s those complexities that make him stand out in our minds.

Wonder Woman – The first widely received female superhero, Wonder Woman is by far the most popular female comic book character to date. She comes from a world where women are dominant, which gained her popularity early on in the women’s liberation movement. She stands head-to-head and toe-to-toe with any male superhero, and she shows them up oftentimes. She’s a strong, beautiful, intelligent and yet still feminine heroine with a costume that has become more than iconic.

The Joker – The thorn in Batman’s side rightly deserves a place on this list for his epic battles with the ‘Caped Crusader’. Of all comic book characters in the superhero realm, there is none quite like the Joker. He’s maniacal, insane, and ruthless, yet charming, smooth and debonair at the same time. He’s a mass murderer and a child killer, and he’s obsessed with Batman. He’s just too crazy not to love!

The Flash – If underoos and t-shirts are any indication, The Flash is one of the most noticeable and popular iconic comic book characters of all time. He’s a fan-favorite of comic readers and non-comic fans alike. He’s known worldwide and his trademark red costume with the white circle and yellow lightning bolt are instantly recognized. But more than appearance, it’s his powers and his wit that land him on this list. He’s one of the original comic relief superheroes in the genre with his sarcastic and humorous banter that rivals that of Spider-Man. And who doesn’t love super speed powers? He’s the best at what he does.

The Incredible Hulk – Mr. Green Genes himself has to make this list merely for his iconic status in the world of comics and beyond. He’s a classic hero that has gained notoriety through comics, television and film. And with the popularity of the second Hulk film that just released, his star will only continue to rise. Couple that with the massive success of Planet Hulk and the Incredible one is a force to be reckoned with. Whether it’s his intense power, or the dynamic between that power and the weak, but intelligent alter-ego Bruce Banner, we love him no matter what.

There are many other comic book characters that could have easily made this list, like Magneto, Iron Man, Robin, Green Lantern, Professor X and so many others. The names represented above, though, are undoubtedly some of the greatest comic book characters ever created.

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