So much time is spent among fanboys and comic book geeks over which superhero is the greatest ever. Even on a macro scale, you will find them split on whether Marvel or DC is better. So to finally put this matter to rest, I have conducted an unbiased, scientific, comprehensive look at over 200 superheroes from both publishers (as well as from some indies) and examined them over multiple criteria to arrive at some solid answers.
And now, I give you: The Top Ten Superheroes in the History of Ever!
This may seem like rather low placement for arguably the most iconic superhero on such a list, but hear me out. Other heroes use fancy weapons: Wolverine’s adamantium claws; Superman’s heat vision; The Punisher’s myriad firearms. Batman, however, eschews the use of guns. Remember that rifle he had in Dark Knight Rises? EMP generator. Basically just a gun-shaped light switch. He hates guns. Mostly. Instead, Batman chooses to use hand-to-hand combat along with his ingenuity. Hits and wits, if you prefer your explanations to rhyme. Or punches and hunches, perhaps? Anyway, maybe if he had guns and knives he’d be higher up the list.
9. BATMAN (Superman: Red Son)
How bad ass is this? What if baby Superman landed in the Soviet Union instead of in Kansas? What if he grew up to be a Communist super-soldier and the ultimate leader of the USSR? What if this causes the USSR to become the world’s sole superpower? What if Lex Luthor became the President of the United States and approached the Soviet Batman to help topple Superman? What if, instead of being captured, lobotomized and turned into a drone by Superman, Batman blows himself up with a bomb that he had previously swallowed? And the most bad ass part of this all? What if Batman had a furry Russian ushanka-cowl?
8. BATMAN (1966 TV Series)
Probably the greatest superhero television show of all time. It was so awesome, it aired two episodes a week on ABC. Lasting only three seasons, it cranked out 120 episodes in its run. That’s an average of 40 episodes per season! Compare that to Daredevil‘s measly count of 13 in its first season and you’ll see why Batman is so awesome. Plus, those great visual fight sound effects: “POW!” And hello… Batgirl?
7. BATMAN (1940’s movie serial)
Batman’s first big-screen appearance was in this movie serial from the 1940’s. In it, the Dark Knight battles zombies, evil Japanese (hey, it was just after Pearl Harbor) and it looks like his mask was also battling gravity. No worries, it was still awesome for the world to see, according to the posters, “the thrilling he-American hero in his hair-raising exploits and pulse-pounding adventures!” Also, in these films, Batman and Robin were FBI agents. Which may be where then-Director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, got the idea to wear women’s clothing.
6. BATMAN (LEGO™ Batman)
I shouldn’t even have to explain this to you. It’s LEGO. It’s Batman. It’s LEGO Batman. He’s voiced in the LEGO movie by Will Arnett. It’s just a formula for — holy crap I can hear you whining, “OMG enough already. Do you have anyone on this list who isn’t Bruce Wayne?”
5. BATMAN (Batman Beyond)
Your prayers are answered. The Batman in the animated series Batman Beyond is not Bruce Wayne, but actually teenager Terry McGinnis. It’s a long and convoluted story, but (SPOILER ALERT) somehow the government senses the old Batman’s slowing reflexes and, “realizing a world without Batman is unacceptable,” uses Batman’s DNA to make a new Batman out of the old Batman. Which makes this particular Batman even Batmannier than the other Batmans. That’s such a great notion: a world without Batman is unacceptable.
4. BATMAN (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)
For the first time ever on the big screen, a good guy is going to sack up and fight that assbag Superman. And that somebody is Batman. That’s the kind of special awesome that Batman is. He doesn’t care if you are an alien who has somehow been gifted more and more omnipotence by lazy writers to the point of being a god, he will fight you if you screw with his planet. In fact, the god of planet Apokolips, Darkseid, was once so impressed by Batman that he opted to forego his own powers to get into a fist fight with the Dark Knight. That’s how awesome Batman is. Darkseid was so powerful, he could have used energy blasts from his eyes to disintegrate Batman’s arm. Speaking of which…
Yes. You read that correctly. Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. OMGWTF!? But really, he would be higher on the list if they more accurately named him Arm-Fall-Off-Boy-With-The-Penis-Hat-And-The-Butthole-Arm-Stump. Please, Zack Snyder, please put him in a Batman v Arm-Fall-Off-Boy sequel. <in gravelly Batfleck voice> “Tell me… do you bleed when your other arm is ripped off? You will…”
2. BATMAN (Batman, 1989 ; Batman Returns, 1992)
Come on, you thought it was a bad idea, that it wasn’t going to work: the director of Beetlejuice, the star of Gung Ho and McMurphy from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest? But they proved everyone wrong. Well, almost everyone. But not me, because I already knew then that Batman was #2 on the Top Ten Greatest Superheroes in the History of Ever. Plus, music by Prince. Best of all: Michael Keaton, who is listed as 5′ 9″ (so you know he’s shorter) and isn’t the most muscular guy ever, gave the rest of us (me) hope that one day maybe we (I) could be Batman, too.
1. BATMAN (Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns)
I know the suspense was killing you, but it turns out that Batman is the greatest superhero of all time. Here, he is old, angry and retired. But unlike the old, angry Batman in Batman Beyond, he nevertheless dons cape and cowl again to put steel-toe to chocolate starfish in the name of good. And then fights Superman. So much YES! It inspired both Christopher Nolan to steal the title for
his movie two of his movies and Zack Snyder to steal the costume look and fight scene for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. This should be required reading in schools.
And that is the scientifically compiled list of the Top Ten Superheroes in the History of Ever. No more debate, you guys. This should settle all arguments for the rest of time.