Comic books have been around for decades with iconic characters appearing in movies, tv shows, video games and toys. The amazing staying power shown by these books is thanks in part to the loyalty of the readers who continue to enjoy reading about their favorite heroes. These characters I have listed below are some of the most recognizable comic book characters many have enjoyed in their childhoods. They continue to inspire new comic book readers today and will continue to do so in the future.

5. Wolverine

Credit: marvel comics

One of the most mysterious and intriguing comic characters of all time, Wolverine first debuted in 1974 against the Incredible Hulk. Born a mutant he has a healing factor which slows his ageing and a keen sense of smell. Wolverine's most recognizable feature are the 3 retractable claws on each hand. His origin being a mystery for decades the only thing known about Wolverine was that he had been a part of a secret government experiment to create a super solider. Wolverine came out of that experiment with adamantium, one of the strongest metals in the universe, coating his skeleton and claws with his healing factor being the only thing keeping the metal from poisoning him. He has been a member of the X-Men and the Avengers as well as many other groups.

4. The Incredible Hulk


Bruce Banner was a brilliant scientist testing a new weapon called a gamma bomb. During testing he saw a kid jump the fence and run onto the test site. With not much time he ran to the test site in order to warn him but was too late. As the bomb went off he had only enough time to push the kid into a ditch which saved his life but Bruce Banner ended up getting blasted by gamma rays turning him into the Incredible Hulk. The Hulk is a unique character since Bruce doesn't actually want to be the Hulk, it's just a transformation that happens whenever he gets angry. Bruce being a timid scientist while the Hulk is an uncontrollable monster.  Debuting in 1962 the Hulk has gone onto have many movies and a long-running tv series.

3. Spider-Man

Credit: Marvel Comics

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider granting him amazing agility, strength, speed and the ability to stick to walls and other surfaces. Along with this came his spidey sense which alerts him when danger is near. Spider-man also created web shooters which fire a sticky web like substance that hardens upon impact. With these abilities Spider-man has defeated some of the strongest foes in the Marvel universe and has given him a loyal following of fans. Spider-man debuted in 1962 and quickly went on to become Marvels best-selling and most popular figure spawning multiple comics, tv series, movies, games, toys and anything else they can put his face on.

2. Batman

Credit: DC Comics

Batman first appeared in Detective Comics in 1939. Since that time he has become one of the most iconic figures in DC history and in comics in general. The story is of a young Bruce Wayne who witnesses his parents murder and vows to protect the innocent so no one else will have to go through something so horrible. The famous Batman costume is designed to strike fear in the hearts of criminals as Batman strikes from the shadows. Armed with only his martial arts training and belt full of gadgets, Batman takes on some of the most dangerous villains in all of Gotham City with no super human powers. This has helped him to stand out in a world filled with super powerful heroes.

1. Superman

Credit: DC Comics

The number one most recognizable comic book character has to be Superman. With his trademark giant S on his chest and flowing red cape, the man of steel has been around since 1938. Clark Kent by day and Superman when the city of Metropolis needs him, Superman has super strength, x-ray vision, heat vision, freezing breath, the ability to fly, and is basically indestructible. There have been multiple tv shows centered around Superman with the latest being Smallville which ran for an incredible 10 seasons. With such a legacy and so much rich character history Superman will always be part of comic book history and part of our entertainment culture.