40 Comic Book Heroes Worth Cheering For

I have to admit,  don’t know much about comic books.  In fact, if it hadn’t been for my brother (and Hugh Jackman), I would never have known anything about the X-MEN. (My brother is also responsible for my knowledge about Hot Wheels and Lincoln logs, but that’s another topic.)  However, with the Avengers assembling on the big screen this weekend, I thought it might be good to know a little more about comic books and their heroes.

Did you know that comic books and graphic novels have been around since 1837, when “The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” was first published by Switzerland’s Rudolph Töpffer?  “The Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck” then came across the pond in 1842 as the first comic book published in the United States.  

However, comics used to have the picture panels above and all the text below, like most political cartoons still do today.  So some consider Richard Outcault’s “Yellow Kid” from 1895 to be the first real comic since it was the first comic strip to use the speech bubbles, or balloons,  that permeate today’s comic books.  However it wasn’t until the introduction of Jerry Siegeil and Joe Shuster’s Superman in 1938 that comic books turned into a major industry. Apparently, the hero makes a big difference.

Today, there are more than 300 million comic books worldwide and more that 500,000 comic book characters. (That’s a lot.) So, which comic books should you read?  Which heroes should you be cheering for? To answer these questions, I turned to those HPB bibliomaniacs for some help. So, without further ado, here are 40 comic book heroes worth cheering for.

1. Captain America – 2. Wonder Woman –  3. Batman – 4. Wolverine – 5. Spiderman – 6. The Tick – 7. Rick Grimes – 8. Rouge – 9. Nightwing – 10. John Constantine – 11. Gambit – 12. Jean Gray – 13. Thor – 14. Bigby Wolf – 15. Flash – 16. Iron Man – 17. Hellboy – 18. Luke Cage – 19. Daredevil – 20. Conan – 21.  Deadpool – 22.  Hank McCoy (Beast) – 23. Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) – 24. Hal Jordon (Green Lantern) – 25.  Hulk – 26. Judge Dredd – 27. Invincible – 28. Fone Bone – 29. Rorschach – 30. Silver Surfer – 31. Aquaman – 32. Iceman – 33. Colossus – 34. The Thing – 35. Nightcrawler – 36. Doctor Manhattan – 37. Superman – 38. Punisher – 39. Storm – 40. Spawn

Don’t miss our Comic Book Giveaway on Saturday, May 5 at all HPB locations. Get a FREE comic book* with any in-store purchase while supplies last. See your neighborhood store for other special events.

— Julie

*From a pre-selected collection. See store for restrictions and details.

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