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2015 Top 100 DC and Marvel Comic Book Characters Master List

You all voted (over 1,200 ballots cast! Wow!) and here are the complete results of your votes for the Top 100 DC and Marvel Comic Book Characters. Click on any character for a write-up on that character!

DC COMICS

50. Superboy (Kon-El) – 288 points (3 first place votes)

49. Green Lantern (John Stewart) – 289 points (4 first place votes)

48. Animal Man – 290 points (1 first place votes)

47. Alfred Pennyworth – 300 points

46. Spoiler/Batgirl (Stephanie Brown) – 306 points (6 first place votes)

45. Lois Lane – 307 points (4 first place votes)

44. Spectre (Jim Corrigan) – 310 points (7 first place votes)

43. Batwoman (Katherine Kane) – 311 points (2 first place votes)

42. Starman (Jack Knight) – 312 points (9 first place votes)

41. Dr. Fate (Kent Nelson) – 319 points (5 first place votes)

40. Green Lantern (Guy Gardner) – 323 points (1 first place vote)

39. Question (Vic Sage) – 336 points (4 first place votes)

38. Poison Ivy – 340 points (6 first place votes)

37. Starfire – 344 points (3 first place votes)

36. Sinestro – 347 points (8 first place votes)

35. Midnighter – 356 points (8 first place votes)

34. Hawkman – 403 points (8 first place votes)

33. Power Girl – 438 points (6 first place votes)

32. Death – 467 points (6 first place votes)

31. Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) – 474 points (11 first place votes)

30. Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) 502 points (8 first place votes)

29. Red Hood (Jason Todd) – 523 points (5 first place votes)

28. Deathstroke (Slade Wilson) – 525 points (3 first place votes)

27. Robin (Damian Wayne) – 551 points (2 first place votes)

26. Rorschach – 559 points (5 first place votes)

25. Captain Marvel/Shazam (Billy Batson) – 633 points (18 first place votes)

24. Booster Gold – 634 points (11 first place votes)

23. Zatanna – 669 points (7 first place votes)

22. Swamp Thing (Alec Holland-ish) – 700 points (15 first place votes)

21. Sandman (Dream) – 719 points (18 first place votes)

20. Kyle Rayner – 725 points (17 first place votes)

19. Black Canary (Dinah) – 731 points (6 first place votes)

18. Darkseid – 742 points (3 first place votes)

17. Red Robin (Tim Drake) – 794 points (14 first place votes)

16. Lex Luthor – 815 points (7 first place votes)

15. Martian Manhunter – 879 points (15 first place votes)

14. Catwoman (Selina Kyle) – 900 points (7 first place votes)

13. John Constantine – 981 points (14 first place votes)

12. Harley Quinn – 1016 points (10 first place votes)

11. Aquaman – 1033 points (14 first place votes)

10. Green Arrow (Oliver Queen) – 1423 points (17 first place votes)

9. Batgirl/Oracle (Barbara Gordon) – 1535 points (19 first place votes)

8. Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) – 1852 points (29 first place votes)

7. Flash (Barry Allen) – 1853 points (27 first place votes)

6. Flash (Wally West) – 2019 points (32 first place votes)

5. Joker – 2675 points (36 first place votes)

4. Wonder Woman – 2922 points (53 first place votes)

3. Dick Grayson – 3337 points (84 first place votes)

2. Superman – 3962 points (129 first place votes)

1. Batman – 6217 points (334 first place votes)

MARVEL COMICS

50. Galactus – 311 points (2 first place votes)

49. Wasp (Janet Van Dyne) – 315 points (5 first place votes)

48. Spider-Man (Miles Morales) – 319 points (6 first place votes)

47. Squirrel Girl – 325 points (8 first place votes)

46. Colossus – 336 points (2 first place votes)

45. Vision – 349 points (5 first place votes)

44. Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) – 370 points (4 first place votes)

43. Sub-Mariner (Namor McKenzie) – 372 points (5 first place votes)

42. Magik (Illyana Rasputin) – 374 points (6 first place votes)

41. Hank Pym – 391 points (8 first place votes)

40. Venom (Eddie Brock) – 396 points (4 first place votes)

39. Invisible Woman – 401 points (4 first place votes)

38. Psylocke – 424 points (5 first place votes)

37. Nova (Richard Rider) – 428 points (10 first place votes)

36. Winter Soldier (Bucky Barnes – 436 points (7 first place votes)

35. Mr. Fantastic – 456 points (6 first place votes)

34. Scarlet Witch – 499 points (8 first place votes)

33. Beast – 502 points (7 first place votes)

32. Loki – 504 points (4 first place votes)

31. Iron Fist – 517 points (3 first place votes)

30. Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) – 548 points (9 first place votes)

29. Rogue – 582 points (14 first place votes)

28. Emma Frost – 583 points (5 first place votes)

27. Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) – 595 points (12 first place votes)

26. Thanos – 600 points (13 first place votes)

25. Gambit – 618 points (22 first place votes)

24. Moon Knight – 655 points (17 first place votes)

23. Punisher – 726 points (15 first place votes)

22. Black Panther (T’Challa) – 785 points (14 first place votes)

21. Silver Surfer – 815 points (10 first place votes)

20. Jean Grey – 871 points (20 first place votes)

19. Dr. Strange – 882 points (17 first place votes)

18. She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) – 917 points (13 first place votes)

17. Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) – 1055 points (13 first place votes)

16. Nightcrawler – 1061 points (18 first place votes)

15. Kitty Pryde – 1145 points (21 first place votes)

14. Hawkeye (Clint Barton) – 1169 points (22 first place votes)

13. Storm – 1191 points (25 first place votes)

12. Deadpool – 1209 points (20 first place votes)

11. Thing (Ben Grimm) – 1308 points (26 first place votes)

10. Cyclops – 1530 points (46 first place votes)

9. Iron Man (Tony Stark) – 1547 points (15 first place votes)

8. Hulk (Bruce Banner) – 1643 points (28 first place votes)

7. Thor (Odinson) – 1716 points (27 first place votes)

6. Magneto – 1739 points (18 first place votes)

5. Dr. Doom – 1839 points (19 first place votes)

4. Daredevil – 2691 points (58 first place votes)

3. Wolverine – 2902 points (66 first place votes)

2. Captain America (Steve Rogers) – 3532 points (81 first place votes)

1. Spider-Man (Peter Parker) – 5099 points (257 first place votes)

That’s the list! Thanks for voting, everyone!

42 Comments

Not to sound like a broken record, but is there any chance the final vote totals spreadsheet will be released so people can play around with the stats/results to find other interesting tidbits?

The only surprise here is Dick Grayson ranking so high. Not disagreeing, just surprised that he’s the 3rd most beloved DC character according to the people.

So…… is Steve Rogers gonna get the shield back.???????

Very impressed with how well Moon Knight did in the Marvel table. Daredevil can thank Netflix for being int he top 5!

So are Marvel and DC comics sexist much? Or just CBR readers?

Marvel’s Top 10 is literally all white men–and straight ones, too, at least as far as we know. DC managed to sneak a couple white girls in, and Dick Grayson counts as queer, because of his butt, and his friends, and the way he’s objectified, and his first name.

@Carl: people like who they like, this was just a fun popularity contest.

Carl you’re an idiot. Sorry the most popular characters are white men. Next time we’ll all be required to vote for one minority to make jerks like you happy. Grow up and just read the damn comics and don’t worry about PC crap.

Liking a white person is totally a hate crime!

I like how Carl can call everyone out on being sexist but feels confident enough to use outdated stereotypes and immature humour to identify Dick Grayson as a gay icon.

Carl’s like an onion – he has layers. Some might say layers of stupidity, but still… layers.

Good for you.

Wow, one guy’s snarky comment really elicited some much, much worse reactions.

Tone aside, it is interesting to note that there’s only one nonwhite character on the DC list, other than space aliens. And sure, you can be defensive and rail against the mere suggestion that including any characters of color in votes or even in the comics themselves is just PC pandering and that the natural order of things is all white men all the time, or you could look at this and think huh, superhero comics might still have some work to do.

Man, when buttler’s not being the funniest guy around here, he’s being the voice of reason. I tip my hat, sir!

About the list, I don’t see anything egregious in the selection here. Nothing where I’m going “how the heck did they get there?” So kudos to the voters, which didn’t include me because I forgot!

I’m pretty sure Carl was joking around guys. But even if he wasn’t, lighten up. Nothing is sadder than defensive persecuted white guy rants.

I’m surprised that Wally West beat out Barry Allen and that Cap beat Wolverine. Spider-man’s winning margin is also pretty insane

Also… Great to see Squirrel Girl make the cut

@Buttler
Space aliens are people too. I’m just sayin’ , man, show some compassion.

Yeah, sad fact that Marvel and DC are way behind the times. It becomes evident when you consider that movies and TV adaptations- not usually known for their diversity – are way more diverse than the comics. Marvel and DC are so white male that they’re even too white male for the mainstream.

DC and Marvel are still mostly trading in characters created 50+ years ago, so it shouldn’t really be a big surprise to anyone that the line-ups here don’t look particularly modern. I think they’re working on it (not that they couldn’t be doing more, but Miles and Kamala on Marvel’s list is a good sign), but it’s gonna be a while before more newer characters have the pull to start hitting at the tops of these kinds of lists.

So any chance we get to see places 51-100?

Eric L. Sofer, the Silver Age Fogey

November 9, 2015 at 9:22 am

I am amazed that neither Human Torch nor Quicksilver made the Marvel list, nor the Atom on the DC list. Of course, people like what they like… but these seemed pretty frontline characters to me. Go figger.

Among the 100 (Marvel and DC), we got:

29 women
7 people of color (and that including iffy cases, like Damian Wayne being of Arab descent and Psylocke being a Caucasian transformed/swapped into Asian)
6 LGBT (and that considering several “bisexuals” that almost never had same-sex relationships that were explicitely romantic)

Fans’ attachment to characters is based mostly on the stories they’ve enjoyed reading about them over the years. I don’t think it makes the voters racist/sexist that the majority of the list is white men, when Marvel and DC have historically featured white men more than other groups.

That said, I am glad that there seems to be a push in the industry to have more diversity, and I try to make it a point to support the books that do so. As a guy with three daughters, I particularly try to support books that feature strong women — of course the writing has to be good for me to stick with it, but lately it’s worked out pretty well for me.

Are you also going to hold a poll/survey for favorite writers, too?

I feel a comic book character is only as good as his writer… blah blah blah…/steps off of pretentious soap box …

But seriously, I’d love to see who people would vote as their favorite comic book writers. The writers vastly influence my reading choices.

What, no Thunderskull?

@Rene: I counted 30 women.

Yeah, I’m not getting the “”comics are way behind other media” thing. It was a popularity poll, and when comics were actually popular, these were the characters that were popular. They could create a new minority character today and somehow jury rig that into the most popular character out there, and it would still sell less than a 10th most of these characters used to sell, and have that many fewer fans. Superman has fans over a handful of generations, not one or two.

But look at the top grossing movies, that would have the most popular characters in them, and tell me how they’re doing worse than comcs-

http://www.boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2015

Especially when you take out the animated stuff, which is the “aliens” equivalent in the comic poll. TV isn’t a heck of a lot better.

http://deadline.com/2015/05/2014-15-full-tv-season-ratings-shows-rankings-1201431167/

Are you also going to hold a poll/survey for favorite writers, too?

I feel a comic book character is only as good as his writer… blah blah blah…/steps off of pretentious soap box …

But seriously, I’d love to see who people would vote as their favorite comic book writers. The writers vastly influence my reading choices.

These Top 100 lists are on a rotating schedule. Last year was Top 100 Writers/Artists. Just look on the list of categories in the sidebar and you should see Top 100 Writers and Artists. Next year’s Top 100 list is Comic Creator Runs on titles.

Tim –

It would be too facile to accuse comic book readers of racism or sexism or whatever. It’s a complicated situation with no easy “targets”, IMO.

M-Wolverine –

I do think comics are a bit behind the times. TV often will change things around to include a little more diversity, like the Justice League cartoon featuring John Stewart and Hawkgirl among the Big 7, or the Flash TV show making Iris black, including her Dad as another important black character, making Cisco Ramon and Caitlin a big part of the show, making the police boss gay, etc.

TV isn’t a very progressive medium, like comics they also have almost always white, straight protagonists. But the comics, most Justice League or Flash stories (for instance), are even less diverse than their TV counterparts. That is why I say TV is white, but superhero comics are too white even for TV.

It’d be cool to do some of these lists excluding Marvel/DC, not saying they aren’t awesome but a top 100 non marvel/dc stories/characters would be a cool way to spread the love on some indie books

@Rene- Comics changes things around too. Just look at the All New, All Different Avengers or whatever it’s called. Just because those characters don’t make the list, I’m guessing a Timm-verse cartoon poll isn’t going to have Hawkgirl anywhere near the top either.

And your TV show you named all supporting characters. The protagonist is still a straight white guy. As are Arrow, and Atom, and Firestorm, and Supergirl is the whitest of them all. You could say a lot of the diversifying additions they got from the comic anyway, like Wally West, Kendra Saunders, new half black Firestorm, and so forth. The only thing the TV shows have really done that the comics and rest of media haven’t is up the Asian count, and still most of them are comic book martial artist types. (Though they did have to combine two different Asian characters in Flash lately, so one step forward, one step back.)

M-Wolverine –

Better explaining myself, I don’t think comics are behind the times on “purpose”, or due to some evil cabal of conservative editors. I think TV has some obvious advantages that comic lacks.

When you start a TV show based on a comic book property, you have the opportunity to start more or less fresh. This has the advantage of allowing you to make the cast a bit more modern right out of the bat. With comics, you only really has that opportunity with the dreaded reboots.

Also, on a TV show, a stronger supporting cast is more or less a necessity, for practical reasons. That opens up opportunities for diverse characters. In comics, you theoreticaly can get by with an interesting hero that is on almost every scene, and supporting players that appear much less (or not at all). Yes, it still isn’t as diverse as having a protagonist that isn’t a white man…

M-Wolverine –

“Comics changes things around too. Just look at the All New, All Different Avengers or whatever it’s called. ”

It’s a good try, but not quite the same. They will always be eclipsed by the classic Avengers. Comics don’t have a good turnout of new readers or new characters.

But with TV, it’s a given that John Stewart is the founding Green Lantern on Justice League for a lot of viewers.

Pretty sure the votes for Iron Man and Captain America were switched

@Rene- I think that’s kinda the point….this isn’t a poll of best supporting characters, it’s basically a poll of all leads, either protagonist or (the rare) antagonist. And if you did a poll of the leads in all those TV shows, they’d mostly be white, and mostly be male. Watson may be an Asian woman now, but if you’re doing a poll of “favorite tv characters” I’m not thinking she’s going to get more votes than Sherlock. Cisco may be a fan favorite, but he’s not going to make a poll ahead of the Flash. And so on. So while the vast turnout of new TV shows each year, with the minor turnout of new comics books* DOES make them more likely to be progressive in a totality, the knock was on the results of this poll….and if you compare apples to apples the results of this poll aren’t really all that different than they would be in other media.

*It’s certainly an ongoing issue with comics that you and I have surely agreed on that A. Comics need to not JUST be recycling characters from the 30’s and the 60’s (though nothing wrong with still having them around) B. that they really need to try to be creative and create brand new character with some real strength that can stand on their own AND C. these characters should encompass the much greater diversity of their times and D. the character is better served by being truly original, and not just grafting them onto some existing hero’s ID (particularly if there is no reason for that hero to stop using that ID.) But comics can’t even bother to create very many new, original, successful, straight, white, male characters, no more anybody else. But we’ll put out 35 Batman titles, and then turn Sam Wilson into Captain America for a year rather than produce a kick ass Falcon book with top talent.

I’m sure it’s what sells, but I long for the day when only the big three of Spidey, Superman, and Batman would get more than one book (and then 3, max) there was one Avengers title, and the rest of their more meager line-up had to be filled in with things like Powerman and Iron Fist or whatever, but those days are never coming back.

Surprised to not see Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen. I assumed she was a shoe in, certainly ahead of Squirrel Girl.

@M-Wolverine – in which comic is Alfred Pennyworth the lead?
(and how long ago was it that Lois Lane had her own series?)
..and of course some characters are mainly known as being a team-member rather than a lead
and I’m certain other supporting characters got votes (but not enough to make the top 50)

In both lists 3 out of 10 of my choices made it

if anyone is interested (and if no-one is interested ..) my other votes were for
Cassandra Cain, Jonah Hex, Katana, Lady Shiva, Raven, Shadow Lass and Terra (Atlee) for DC (stating it was pre-Flashpoint versions)

Death’s Head, Elsa Bloodstone, Gamora, Lyra, Sif, Silk and Spiral for Marvel

and now for my non-awards for the achievers in the chart

The “Social Climber” non-award goes to Kate Bishop who was in equal 336th place with 6 points in 2007, didn’t make the 2011 top 100 and has now reached 44th place

The “New Kid on the Block” non-award goes to Kamala Khan/Ms Marvel making her chart debut is 27 and is the highest entry for a character not featured at all in either previous chart

This is a coincidence as in 2011, 27 was the place occupied by Luke Cage who now wins the “Sweet Christmas” non-award as the highest placed character to disappear from the top 50 (only just beating Nick Fury).
If we’re lucky Brian may expand the list in December and we may find out where he disappeared to.
No guaranties, though. In December 2010 he listed the top 50 writers and top 50 artists, expanding the lists to 100 in April 2011. But we didn’t get the equivalent expansion of last year’s lists.

And finally, the “Steady-as-she-goes” non-award goes to Jean Grey who has been in 20th place in all 3 charts – she is the only character not in the top 2 to have held on to the same position for all charts (at least within the top 50)

when the post above (regarding my non-awards) makes it through moderation – the bit on Kamala Khan should say she is at 27 (the 00 in the middle is a typo)

@John King- you have to go down #45 and #47 poll spots to prove how massively popular these characters are as non-leads, when they’ve been around 70-80 years? What was the point, exactly?

Big surprises for me –

No-shows:
Jim Gordon
J Jonah Jameson
Elektra
Kingpin

How did they get that high:
Tony Stark – Seriously – are people actually voting for Robert Downey Jr here instead?
Dick Grayson
Aquaman
John Constantine (he was my #3 vote – but I didn’t expect him to get that high)

@M-Wolverine – My point is nit-picking (obviously)
This isn’t a poll of lead characters, this is a poll of ALL characters
While the protagonists and (to a lesser extent) the antagonist get the most attention in the comics and thus greater recognition, and so more votes, the supporting characters still qualify.
Maybe, we’ll see more if Brian extends the lists to 100 each (if he isn’t too busy on the Captain America and Deadpool stories)

Back in 2007, even Bernard the poet got one first-place vote
and Jane Foster got 1 point (I imagine she may have done a bit better this time)

Looking at the popularity, I do not understand why Marvel isn’t making a She-Hulk (Jennifer Walters) movie or series yet. There are more popular characters who haven’t gotten movies but they’re all tied up in in the X-Men or Fantastic Four movie contracts, so they can’t make those movies. They have no excuse for not making She-Hulk.

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