When people think of superheroes, they often think of flashy outfits, superpowers, and alien weapons. Most of the superheroes from TV and film are like this. In fact, if you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) or the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) films, then you’re likely familiar with most of the characters on this list of superheroes.
However, people often forget that these two major franchises are not the only place you can find superheroes. A lot of other superhero movies offer amazing characters too. If you’re interested in learning more, then read on for this list of superheroes, their identities, superpowers, and other trivia!
First on this list of superheroes is Ant-Man or Scott Lang. Most people will often overlook Ant-Man when talking about Marvel heroes, but Ant-Man is undoubtedly an important part of the MCU.
Scott Lang is an American ex-convict who dons the suit of Ant-Man. Ant-Man’s suit is technologically advanced, so it allows him to shrink to the size of a tiny insect. Aside from this, he becomes physically faster and stronger.
He appears in different Marvel comics, including those of Spider-Man and Black Widow.
Batman is one of the most famous names on this list of superheroes. Batman, or Bruce Wayne, is a character from the DC comics. Wayne is a rich industrialist and playboy. He dons a super-suit and uses advanced technology to defeat the villains who try to ruin the peace of Gotham City.
Despite not having any superpowers, Batman is still one of the most popular and successful superheroes ever. Aside from appearing in different DC Comics, he also has his own comic book series.
Real Name: Baymax
Year Created: 1998
Film Appearances: Big Hero 6 (2014)
Baymax stands out in this list of superheroes, and it isn’t just because of his height and size! Baymax is actually an intelligent robot that Tadashi Hamada made. He is a part of the superhero team, Big Hero 6, with his new owner, Hiro Hamada.
Baymax can lift up to 1,000 lbs. As a robot, he can also store and access a lot of data. This cuddly superhero has cameos in other Disney films as well. This includes Zootopia (2016), Moana (2016), and Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018).
Black Panther isn’t just a superhero. He’s royalty. Black Panther is actually King T’Challa, the ruler of Wakanda. The Kingdom of Wakanda is a small country in Africa that is shut out and hidden from the rest of the world. Many see it as “The Golden City” or “El Dorado.”
As the Black Panther, T’Challa is extremely skilled in different kinds of combat. He is also very agile with fast reflexes. Furthermore, he can even withstand bullets and explosions. His superpowers come from a magical heart-shaped herb. Only the heir of the throne and the Black Panther can drink this native plant. This sets Black Panther apart from the others on this list of superheroes.
Real Name: Natalia Alianova “Natasha” Romanoff
Year Created: 1964
Film Appearances: Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Black Widow (2021), and other MCU films
You’ll often find Black Widow topping lists of female superheroes. Even among men, however, Black Widow is a force to be reckoned with. Natasha Romanoff is a trained assassin with a dark past. She has close ties with Hawkeye, who recruited her into the organization S.H.I.E.L.D. Later on, they both joined the Avengers.
She doesn’t have any superpowers. However, she can still put up a fight against the others in this list of superheroes. She knows how to use different weapons, and she is also skilled in different martial arts. Furthermore, she is smart and can adapt to any situation.
Real Name: Steven “Steve” Rogers
Year Created: 1941
Film Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), and other MCU films
Of course, no list of superheroes would be complete without the First Avenger. Captain America is one of the earliest Marvel characters ever. Steve Rogers was a sickly boy who wanted to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. However, he was unfit to be a soldier because of his many health problems.
This changed when he received the Super Soldier Serum. Not only did the Super Soldier Serum cure his illnesses, but it also made him super strong, fast, and agile. Soon, he became Captain America. His iconic suit and vibranium shield are in the American flag colors. He is the personification of the American Dream and freedom.
If you’re trying to find the most powerful Marvel character in this list of superheroes, then the answer might be here already. Many argue that Captain Marvel is the strongest Avenger. Carol Danvers was a test pilot for the USAF and worked for NASA.
Danvers is a Human-Kree hybrid with superhuman abilities. Aside from being unnaturally strong, she can fly six times faster than the speed of sound. She can also fire blasts from her fingertips.
Another character from DC Comics in this list of superheroes is Catwoman. Some might not consider Catwoman as a superhero because she is a thief. She often causes trouble in Gotham City and starts off as Batman’s enemy. However, she eventually becomes an antiheroine. Her methods are often questionable, but she has good intentions.
Catwoman is a master at martial arts and subterfuge. She is also a skilled gymnast with cat-like reflexes. Catwoman dons a tight black suit with a mask. She uses whips, retractable claws, and pitons to help her achieve her goals.
One interesting fact about Catwoman is that she ranks 51st on Wizard’s “100 Greatest Villains of All Time” and 20th on IGN’s “Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.”
Next on this list of superheroes is David Dunn. Dunn might not be as popular as MCU characters, but he is still an amazing superhero. Dunn is the protagonist of the Unbreakable film series. He is a college football prodigy turned security guard. After coming out of a car crash and train accident alive and unharmed, Dunn realizes he is unbreakable.
His biggest superpower is having unbreakable bones and impenetrable skin. Thus, it is impossible for him to get injured. Dunn also has super strength and speed. Lastly, he can also see the evil deeds people have done through physical contact.
Compared to the others on this list of superheroes, Deadpool might be the funniest. Many know him as the “Merc with a Mouth.” He earned this nickname because he is often making crass jokes. He also breaks the fourth wall often to address audiences.
Like Catwoman from the DC comics, Deadpool was originally a supervillain. However, he later turned into an antihero. Deadpool doesn’t have superhuman strength like other heroes. However, he can heal at a fast pace from even the most deadly of wounds. He has died several times in the comics, but he has healed each time.
Real Name: Stephen Vincent Strange
Year Created: 1963
Film Appearances: Doctor Strange (2016), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019), and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Some people might think it’s just his superhero name, but Doctor Strange is an actual doctor. Stephen Strange is a neurosurgeon who got into a severe car accident that left his hands crippled. Desperate to regain full control of his hands again, Strange travels to Nepal to find Kamar-Taj.
Kamar-Taj is the home of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. There, he meets the Ancient One. She teaches him about alternate dimensions and how to wield magic. Strange uses the Time Stone to manipulate space and time. He also has a magic cape.
Strange has helped other characters on this list of superheroes. An example is Thor, who needed Strange’s help to find his father, Odin.
Real Name: Bartholomew Henry “Barry” Allen
Year Created: 1956
Film Appearances: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016), Justice League (2017), and Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
Another DC hero on this list of superheroes is the Flash. He is a member of the Justice League, and he also has his own TV series called The Flash. The TV series exists in the same series as the Green Arrow, so it is different from the DCU films.
Just like his name suggests, Flash is incredibly fast. He is actually the fastest man alive. He wears a red suit with a lightning bolt sigil on his chest. While this suit is certainly stylish, it is also special. It can resist strong friction and has wind resistance. That way, it does not melt or set on fire from Flash’s super speed.
Real Name: Oliver “Ollie” Queen
Year Created: 1958
Film Appearances: N/A
Even if Green Arrow doesn’t have his own film like the others on this list of superheroes, he is still a very popular character. Green Arrow features in his own live-action TV series, Arrow, which started in 2012. Oliver Queen is the rich owner of Queen Industries. He lives in Star City, but his protection also extends to Seattle.
He wears a green suit with a matching green hood and mask. Like Robin Hood, he is a vigilante. He is a highly skilled archer, and he often uses special arrows. For example, some of his arrows explode or release tear gas.
Green Arrow’s story is set in a different universe from the DCEU. Fans call this Arrowverse, which exists in the same plane as other TV series like Flash.
Real Name: Hal Jordan
Year Created: 1959
Film Appearances: Justice League: The New Frontier (2008), Green Lantern: First Flight (2009), Green Lantern (2011), Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011), and The Lego Movie (2014)
Green Lantern is actually a name that can refer to different superheroes from the Green Lantern Corps. However, the Green Lantern that earned his spot on this list of superheroes is none other than Hal Jordan. Jordan is the most famous Green Lantern. Many consider him to be the greatest Green Lantern. He is also a founding member of the Justice League.
As the Green Lantern, Jordan wears the iconic green and black suit. He has a power ring that gives him special abilities. This includes being able to fly and create shields and weapons. It can also shoot lasers to harm enemies.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Real Names: Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer
Year Created: 2008
Film Appearances: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Plenty of those in this list of superheroes like to work in teams. In the beginning, the Guardians of the Galaxy did not. However, after defeating the Dark Aster, they form a deep bond with one another.
The team’s leader is Peter Quill, who calls himself Star-Lord. He is a half-human, half-alien thief. Gamora is Thanos’ stepdaughter. She is a very skilled assassin. Drax the Destroyer is a burly individual who has tattoos all over his body. He is good at different kinds of combat.
The last two members of the team are Rocket and Groot. These two were partners even before they joined the team. Rocket is a raccoon mercenary. He knows a lot about weapons and battle tactics. Last, Groot is a sentient tree that is deadly yet innocent. He can change his form and size.
Together, they travel through space in their ship Milano. They also aided the Avengers in defeating Thanos.
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Real Name: John Hancock
Year Created: 2008
Film Appearances: Hancock (2008)
Real Name: Clinton Francis Barton
Year Created: 1964
Film Appearances: The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and Avengers: Endgame (2019)
People often overlook this next character. However, Hawkeye undoubtedly deserves a spot on this list of superheroes. Hawkeye works for S.H.I.E.L.D. He is also a part of the Avengers.
As a special agent, he is one of the best archers in the Marvel comics. He can aim and shoot his arrows quickly and with precision. He is also great at hand-to-hand combat. His fast reflexes make him a force to be reckoned with.
The next character on this list of superheroes is from Dark Horse Comics. Hellboy is a boy who is literally from Hell. He was summoned by Nazi occultists when he was a baby, transporting him from hell to Earth.
Hellboy is bigger than the average human, with red skin, a tail, and flat stumps on his forehead. His right hand is bigger than the left and is made of stone. Thus, he calls it the “Right Hand of Doom.” Despite being half-demon, he is kind and protects humans from witches and Nazis.
Real Name: Dr. Robert Bruce Banner
Year Created: 1962
Film Appearances: The Incredible Hulk (2008), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), and other MCU films
Many know him as the Big Guy. Initially, he was just a normal physicist. After a lab accident, Dr. Banner is exposed to gamma rays. This turns him into the Hulk. Hulk is a green reckless humanoid with great strength. Every time he is angry or distressed, the Hulk takes over.
Dr. Banner himself might not think he belongs on this list of superheroes. He sees Hulk as a destructive force. However, he meets the Avengers later on, who help him control his anger.
Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel, took inspiration from Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
A list of superheroes cannot leave out the fiery Human Torch. He is the youngest member of the Fantastic Four. Fantastic Four is another team of superheroes like the Avengers. They gained superpowers after exposure to cosmic radiation.
As his name suggests, he can turn into a literal human torch. He can activate a full-body flame effect. While he is on fire, he does not get hurt. In this state, he can also fly and control fire.
Additionally, Human Torch is also close friends with another famous Marvel Studios character: Spider-Man.
Real Name: Dr. Susan “Sue” Storm Richards
Year Created: 1961
Film Appearances: The Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and Fantastic Four (2005)
You might know her as Invisible Girl instead of Invisible Woman. This is because Sue Storm was only a college student when she gained her powers from exposure to cosmic radiation. However, as she matured, she changed her name to Invisible Woman.
Aside from turning invisible, Storm can create force fields and project them. This makes her a powerful ally in the field. Her force fields can protect you from powerful blasts. She can also turn her force fields into weapons like darts.
Lastly, she is a part of the Fantastic Four. She is also related to another character in this list of superheroes. She is the older sister of the Human Torch.
Real Name: Anthony Edward “Tony” Stark
Year Created: 1963
Film Appearances: Iron Man (2008), Iron Man 2 (2010), The Avengers (2012), Iron Man 3 (2013), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), and other MCU films
On this list of superheroes, Iron Man is likely the Marvel fan-favorite. Tony Stark is a rich playboy and scientist. He invented a mechanized suit in order to escape captivity. He later developed an advanced version of this suit in his technologically advanced apartment in New York.
The mechanized suit acts as both armor and weapon. It protects Stark from explosions and gives him superhuman strength. He can also fly and shoot beams out of the suit’s palms and soles.
Unlike other heroes, Stark doesn’t hide his identity. Instead, he reveals to the press that he is Iron Man.
Real Name: Dr. Reed Richards
Year Created: 1961
Film Appearances: The Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Sufer (2007), and Fantastic Four (2015)
There’s no shortage of geniuses on this list of superheroes. However, if you’re looking for the smartest man on Earth, then you’ve found him. Mr. Fantastic is Dr. Reed Richards. He is a polymath or a master of different sciences. Along with Invisible Woman and Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic gained superpowers from a cosmic blast.
Mr. Fantastic can manipulate his body at will. This means he can stretch and mold it into any shape or size he desires. His malleable body means he can also absorb explosions without grave harm to him.
Real Name: Raven Darkholme
Year Created: 1978
Film Appearances: X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Dark Phoenix (2019)
Next on this list of superheroes is Mystique. Mystique is from the popular X-Men franchise. Some may say Mystique is a villain. However, she is an antiheroine. She and her wife Destiny only want justice for mutants. The mistreatment of mutants in their society caused her to resort to the wrong methods.
She is a mutant with blue skin. Unlike some who gain their powers from accidents, Mystique has had superhuman abilities since birth. She is a shapeshifter. She can mimic a person’s appearance and voice in the exact same manner.
Neo (The Matrix)
He might not be as popular with younger audiences as the others on this list of superheroes. However, many argue that Neo is still one of the most iconic superheroes of all time. Tom Anderson started off as a “bluepill” who did not know about the truth of his society.
After taking the red pill, Neo discovered that his life was only a simulation. His name is actually an anagram of “The One.” It is very fitting as he is the one who puts an end to the long war between humans and machines.
Real Name: Charles Francis Xavier
Year Created: 1963
Film Appearances: X-Men trilogy (2000 – 2006), X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Dark Phoenix (2019)
Professor X is the founder of the X-Mansion. This is a private school that houses and trains other mutants. In fact, some of those on this list of superheroes attended this school. Xavier is a powerful telepath who invented the Cerebro. It is a device that can detect other mutants.
He and Magneto used to be close friends. However, their conflicting belief systems caused them to separate ways. Xavier is a pacifist, and people often compare him to Martin Luther King Jr. Despite being a powerful telepath, he refuses to use this against humans.
Professor X is one of Marvel Studios’ first superheroes on the big screen. During the first X-Men trilogy, Patrick Stewart starred as Xavier. In the later adaptations, the popular James McAvoy took on the role.
Real Name: Scott Pilgrim
Year Created: 2004
Film Appearances: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim is one of the youngest on this list of superheroes. In 2004, Canadian author and artist Bryan Lee O’Malley published the first volume of the Scott Pilgrim series. It stars Scott Pilgrim, a part-time musician from Toronto. Unlike most superheroes, Pilgrim doesn’t really save the world.
Instead, he goes through a series of trials in order to defeat his girlfriend’s seven evil exes. To younger audiences, he is relatable. He is an average guy who fell in love with a girl. Because of his popularity, there are several game adaptations as well.
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Real Name: Norrin Radd
Year Created: 1966
Film Appearances: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Next on this list of superheroes is Silver Surfer. Silver Surfer is an alien with silver metal skin. He owns a spacecraft that looks like a surfboard. It helps him travel through space very fast. His powers come from the Power Cosmic. He has heightened senses and superhuman strength.
He meets the Fantastic Four later on. They help him find a new purpose in life.
One of Marvel Studios’ most popular characters is Spider-Man. In fact, he is one of the most beloved on this list of superheroes. Peter Parker is New York City’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.
After getting bitten by a radioactive spider, Parker gained superhuman abilities. Most of his powers are spider-like. He can shoot webs out of his hands. Often, he will use them to swing to and from somewhere. He can also stick to and climb walls.
Real Name: Ororo Munroe
Year Created: 1975
Film Appearances: X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), and X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), and Dark Phoenix (2019)
Storm is the daughter of a tribal princess from Kenya. However, she grew up in New York City. There, she also meets Professor X, who convinces her to join the X-Men, and often leads them. She has also teamed up with other characters on this list of superheroes. This includes the Avengers and Fantastic Four.
Storm is Marvel’s first female African superhero. Many consider her to be the most important female superhero of the franchise. She is also incredibly powerful. She can control the weather and cause powerful thunderstorms and blizzards.
This superhero can also use magic. Her ancestors worshiped an Egyptian goddess. This earned her divine favor.
Real Name: Kara Zor-El or Kara Danvers
Year Created: 1959
Film Appearances: Supergirl (1984)
Not many people know Superman’s cousin, but Supergirl is one of the strongest on this list of superheroes. Supergirl has her own TV series called Supergirl, which has 6 seasons. This exists in the same universe as Arrow.
Supergirl has similar powers to Superman. She has super speed while both flying and running. She also has unlimited stamina and strength. Aside from these, she is immune to most diseases and can survive without food, water, or sleep.
In this list of superheroes, Superman is likely the most popular. Even those who aren’t fans know of him. Superman is the classic superhero. He wears the iconic blue and red suit with a cape. The trademark “S” adorns his chest.
Superman is from the planet Krypton. He came to earth as a baby. He grew up to be Clark Kent, a journalist for the Daily Planet. However, when he takes off his glasses and puts on his suit, he is Superman. He saves the world against villains like Lex Luthor with his inhuman strength and speed.
While he is invulnerable to the strongest attacks, he is weak to kryptonite. It makes him sick and can even kill him.
The Incredibles is a superhero team comprising the Parr family. They are Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and their kids, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. They each have their own unique superpower. Mr. Incredible has superhuman strength. Elastigirl can stretch and manipulate her body into different shapes.
Meanwhile, Violet can turn invisible and create force fields. Dash has superhuman speed. He is fast enough to walk on water. Lastly, Jack-Jack has lots of superpowers. He can duplicate himself, turn into a demon, shoot laser from his eyes, and many more.
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Real Name: Benjamin Jacob Grimm
Year Created: 1961
Film Appearances: The Fantastic Four (2005), Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007), and Fantastic Four (2015)
Next on this list of superheroes is the Thing. Exposed to the same cosmic radiation as the rest of the Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm turned into a large rocky creature. He cannot return to his human form.
Aside from his appearance, he has superhuman strength. He is skilled in different types of combat. This includes judo, boxing, and wrestling. His skin is also invulnerable to many things. However, powerful weapons such as Wolverine’s claws can still hurt him.
Real Name: Janet van Dyne
Year Created: 1963
Film Appearances: Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019)
This list of superheroes comprises many agents from S.H.I.E.L.D. Another is Wasp. Her real name is Janet van Dyne. For a long time, she was stuck in the Quantum Realm. Thankfully, Ant-Man rescued her and brought her back to Earth.
Her time there made her develop superhuman powers. She can heal other people through quantum healing. In her Wasp suit, she can also shrink herself to the size of an insect. In that state, she has superhuman strength and resistance. She can also fly because of her suit’s wings.
The Winter Soldier
Real Name: James Buchanan “Bucky” Barnes
Year Created: 1941
Film Appearances: Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), Ant-Man (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), and other MCU films
Not everybody on this list of superheroes can call themselves Captain America’s best friend. The exception is Bucky Barnes, of course. Before he was the Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes was an officer in the military. He was also Steve Rogers’ childhood best friend.
He served in the army during World War II. Unfortunately, HYDRA captures Barnes, and they experiment on him. They give him a cybernetic limb and brainwash him to be their weapon.
Many argue that Thor is leagues above those in this list of superheroes. In some ways, he is. Thor isn’t just a superhero. He is the God of Thunder. He is also the ruler of Asgard. His story comes from Norse Mythology.
Thor wields a hammer called Mjolnir, which supposedly only he can lift. With it, he can fly and summon lightning and rain. As a god, he also possesses incredible strength and speed. He is an irreplaceable member of the Avengers.
Raphael (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Real Name: Raphael
Year Created: 1984
Film Appearances: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993), and other modern reboots
No list of superheroes would be complete without Raphael. Raphael is the second oldest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They are a group of brothers who are all turtles yet skilled in different weapons and martial arts.
Raphael wears a red mask. His weapon of choice is twin sai. They are sharp and pointy, which lets him make lethal strikes. As a ninja, he is a master of stealth. Despite being a turtle, he is also very fast and agile.
Real Name: James Howlett
Year Created: 1974
Film Appearances: X-Men trilogy (2000 – 2006), X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), The Wolverine (2013), Logan (2017), X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014), and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Among the other X-men in this list of superheroes, Wolverine is the one with the most appearances in films and games. This is no surprise. After all, Wolverine is a character loved by many. He is a member of the X-Men. He has also fought alongside the Avengers.
Wolverine is a mutant antihero with animal-like senses. He is super fast and has three retractable claws in each hand. People know him best for his great regenerative ability. He can heal at a fast speed from even the most lethal of wounds.
Did you know Wonder Woman Day exists? People celebrate this on October 21, which was the release of the comic of Wonder Woman’s first appearance. Wonder Woman is an inspiring superhero for many young girls.
She is beautiful, just, and strong. She wears an iconic red, blue, and gold suit. Wonder Woman is an Amazon, who are warrior women based on Greek Mythology. Because of this, she is skilled in combat. She also owns magical weapons. An example is her Lasso of Truth. She uses this to whip enemies and deter attacks.