Top Ten Comic Book Characters

Wizard Magazine just had this list on their 200th issue, and it got me to thinking about who my choices would be. So these are my Top Ten Comic Book Characters of all time. As usual, my only criteria is “How much I thought they kicked ass.”


 The Batman


1.  Batman (Bruce Wayne) – There is nobody cooler than the Dark Knight.


 Jesse Custer


2.  Preacher (Jesse Custer) – I don’t know how anyone could read this comic and not be constantly blown away by the bad-assness of this character.


 The Tick


3.  The Tick – The cartoon and the short-lived live-action series were both very funny, but nothing can compare to the early issues of the comic written and drawn by Ben Edlund.


 Mr. Monster


4.  Mr. Monster (Dr. Strongfort Stearn) – Michael T. Gilbert’s ‘80s-early-‘90s take on this golden age throw-away character was unbelievably cool.




5.  Marv (from Sin City) – This is a guy you just don’t mess with. Am I right?




6.  Magneto (Magnus/Eric Lensherr) – Like the Joker, I didn’t really want him on my top ten, but he’s not always a villain. Plus, he deserves to be on the list if only for the last page of Uncanny X-Men #111.




7.  Wolverine (Logan/James Howlett) – Wizard put him at number one, but I think he’s lost some luster over the years. He still belongs on my top ten list just because of my memories of the Claremont/Byrne version from when I was young.




8.  Rocketeer (Cliff Secord) – I can’t believe Dave Stevens just died. It’s so sad. This guy was the ultimate retro-hero. I only wish there had been more.




9.  The Sandman (Dream) – Neil Gaiman’s consummate character. What more needs to be said?




10. Hellboy – I love the comic, but for some reason the movie version almost ruined it for me. And I actually like the movie, so I’m not sure why that is.





Moon Knight


11. Moon Knight (Marc Spector) – More than just a low-rent Batman, this character is complex and cool. Plus, he’s a lot like Batman (so sue me).


12. Deena Pilgrim (from Powers) – This is actually my favorite comic right now, and she’s the only female character besides Jessica from Bendis’ Alias comic and Death herself who I’d consider. Not that I have anything against women, I just don’t think they tend to kick ass in comic books.


13. Christian Walker (from Powers) – It’s pretty close to a tie for the two main characters from my current favorite comic book, but I used to think Walker was kind of boring at first.


14. Death (from Sandman) – I was never quite as enamored with her as many comic readers, but she certainly deserves to be considered


15. The Beast (Hank McCoy from X-Men and Avengers) – Another character I think they’ve ruined over the years, but I have fond memories of the character from the ‘70s and ‘80s.


16. John Constantine, Hellblazer – Not that piece of crap Keanu Reeves version from the film—the total badass from the comics.


17. The Joker – I really didn’t want to include villains on the list, but I just have to mention how cool the Joker is.


18. Cerebus the Aardvark – I hate to admit it, but sometimes this comic just went way over my head. But altogether, what an incredible run of 300 issues Dave Sim had with this guy.


19. The Killer (Wesley Gibson) from Wanted – I guess this guy’s a villain, too, but it’s one of my favorite comics of all time. Unfortunately, it looks like they took out most of the cool stuff to make the movie.


20. Howard the Duck – Yet another character ruined by a movie, but in his heyday, Howard was the man–er, duck. Also another character whose creator, in this case Steve Gerber, unfortunately passed away recently.


UPDATE: Since I was asked to expand my list to my Top 50, I decided to go ahead and post the rest also. So here are the next 30:

21. Grimjack

22. The Saint of Killers

23. Dwight McCarthy from Sin City

24. Leonidas from 300

25. Deathlok

26. Luther Arkwright

27. The Spirit

28. Miracleman

29. Madman

30. Rorschach

31. Cassidy from Preacher

32. Judge Dredd

33. Green Arrow

34. Lex Luthor

35. Bone

36. Daredevil

37. Captain America

38. Nite-Owl

39. Herr Starr

40. Bullseye

41. Mage (Kevin Matchstick)

42. Ra’s al Ghul

43. Grifter

44. Hitman

45. Hercules

46. Swamp Thing

47. Grendel

48. The Hulk (Peter David version)

49. Spider Jerusalem

50. Superman

17 Responses to “Top Ten Comic Book Characters”

  1. Howard will always be the man. Er, duck.

    PS Rocketeer rocks.

  2. I’m conducting a poll and like your choices here, would you be willing to extend this list to your top fifty and send it to me?

  3. Where’s GAMBIT

  4. You picked Jesse, Cass, and the Saint… but not Tulip?? Tulip deserves to be picked before Cass.

  5. Wow.. women don’t kick ass in comic books? I’m a guy and I would have to disagree with that.. Jean Grey, Wonder Woman, Miss Marvel for example- all have had some dark story lines and are pretty darn powerful as well. No offense though, I know it’s your opinion.

    • It’s not that I don’t think women kick ass in comic books, but the vast majority of comic characters have been male, and so have the vast majority of writers and artists. As a result of the latter, I don’t think many female characters have been written very well in comics over the years (drawn is a different story), and even those who have don’t often appeal to me much. I did include Deena Pilgrim at #12, and one commenter was probably right that Tulip from Preacher probably should have been there in place of Cassidy. As for the three you mentioned, I’ve never been a fan of any of them, even when some of my favorite creators worked on their stories.

  6. Neil Gaiman is underwriting Scientology. The Scientologists list Neil Gaiman in the Cornerstone Newsletter along with Mary Gaiman, as contributing $35,000.00 in 2009. Being listed in the Cornerstone Newsletter means you are in good-standing with the cult.

    In 2010, Mary Gaiman was awarded the “Gold Humanitarian Award” for her contribution of $500,000.00 to Scientology. This is significant because Mary Gaiman continues to be Neil Gaiman’s business partner in The Blank Corporation, which is now Neil Gaiman’s Scientology front and how he pays the cult.

    Gaiman is also the “Vitamin Heir” of Scientology. The Gaiman family owns G&G Vitamins which reaps 6 million a year from selling The Purification Rundown Vitamins.

    Gaiman’s two sisters, Claire Edwards and Lizzie Calciole are not just high-ranking Scientologists, they are the head of RECRUITING and the head of Wealden House, the Scientology stronghold in East Grinstead. These two cannot associate with Neil unless he is in good standing.

    Amanda Palmer would not be allowed anywhere near this royal family of Scientology unless she was also a Scientologist.

    • First off, I’m no fan of Scientology, but if Gaiman is a Scientologist that doesn’t make me enjoy his writing or characters any less. I still love Pulp Fiction even though Travolta is a rabid Scientologist, and Vanilla Sky even though Tom Cruise is. Plus, I don’t hold anyone else’s religion against them, either–if someone is Catholic, it doesn’t mean they are in favor of all the child molestation that’s been exposed, as well as all the other problems in its history.

      Second, I did some research on this, and it seems that Gaiman mostly refused to talk about the subject for years, many people say because he wanted to stay on good terms with his family members (who are obviously still quite active in Scientology). But the only actual quote from Gaiman I can find on the matter is in an interview from earlier this year, in which he specifically states that he is no longer a Scientologist. From what I know about the organization, that’s not something that members openly do.

      Third, freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of our country, and as much as you or I may dislike Scientology and abhor some of their methods, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exist. I always find it interesting how people who belong to more established religions refer to smaller or newer religions as “cults.” What makes one person’s belief system any more valid than another’s?

  7. Yeah, well you clearly don’t know very much about the organization of Scientology. Gaiman would not be allowed to associate with his family members if he was out. Gaiman is a Scientologist in good standing and funnels money into the cult. Scientology is a horrific cult that terrorizes people, drives them to suicide, imprisons members, destroys lives such as Lisa McPherson who they murdered, and forces family members to disconnect from one another. Gaiman FUNDS these bastards to the tune of millions and yes, it does matter.

    • I admit I don’t know much about it, and if they’re as bad as you say, I’m glad there are people like you out there exposing what they do. I even welcome you using the comment sections of my blog to do so. But again: If I start deciding whether or not I like books, comics, movies, or TV shows based on the bad things that the religions of the people involved have done and caused in this world, the list of things I’d be “allowed” to like would probably be, well, non-existent.

  8. Ghost Rider and Rorschach should both be in top ten.

  9. no spider-man?

  10. no spider-man

  11. Good list very accurate in ratings.


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