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50 Greatest Movie Superheroes

We rank the best caped crusaders, MCU all-stars and friendly-neighborhood crimefighters to ever grace the big screen

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a film genre that’s taken over mainstream Hollywood and multiplex culture faster than a single bullet! Superhero movies have gone through a massive evolution over the last few decades, from special-event blockbusters (“You’ll believe a man can fly”) to expanded-universe franchises that mimic serialized comic-story arcs with impressive fidelity. Not every cinematic superhero is created equal, however, even if many of their origins stories seems the same – so we’ve ranked the 50 greatest caped crusaders and friendly-neighborhood crimefighters, Justice Leaguers and Avengers, off-brand men-in-tights and MCU-and-beyond all-stars to grace the big-screen.

A note about the picks: We’ve relegated superheroes who’ve had numerous actors behind a singular character’s mask to one performer and asked writers to choose which of the performances they preferred regarding the list; we’ve done this avoid, say, six different Batman entries. We’ve identified the particular version we’re singling out and tried to mention as many of the other portrayals as we could. Also, supervillains were not eligible (see title), but a supervillain who eventually transformed into a superhero was eligible – what we call the Mystique Syndrome. Read on.

THE TOXIC AVENGER, 1985. ©Troma Films/Courtesy Everett Collection.

©Troma Films/Everett Collection

50

The Toxic Avenger

Meet Melvin Ferd, a 98-pound weakling janitor who, thanks to a drum of radioactive sludge, finds himself turned into the Toxic Avenger – a hideously deformed do-gooder who’d dispatch drug dealers, et al. with his trusty mop and all the glee of a juvenile delinquent blowing up frogs with M-80s. His 1984 splatter-flick debut helped put the good folks at Troma on the map as purveyors of cult-friendly Z-grade schlock, yet this parody of a comic-book crimefighter took the genre into some outrageous, stomach-churningly gross and morally questionable territory. In other words, Toxie was just the superhero that the Reagan era needed and deserved. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Warner Bros./Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5885514ai)Emile HirschSpeed Racer - 2008Director: Andy & Larry WachowskiWarner Bros.USAScene Still

Warner Bros./Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

49

Speed Racer

Tatsuo Yoshida’s beloved anime introduced the world to Go Mifune, a young man with a pure heart and a need for you-know-what; you might know him, however, by the name the dubbed, Americanized version of the series gave him. (Hint: See the title.) The Wachowski siblings’ hypercolorized, CGI-apalooza live-action adaptation gave us a driven – pun 1000-percent intended – idealist played by Emile Hirsch who uses his gadget-filled racecar to strike terror into the hearts of corporate evildoers and their minions the world over. Everything around him may be careening off the tracks, but Speed keeps his cool till he crosses the finish line, every time. He’s proof that a big part of being a hero is keeping your eye on the prize. Go, Speed, go! STC

X-MEN 2, Alan Cumming, 2003, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Everett Collection

48

Nightcrawler

Go back to the opening moments of 2003’s X2, in which we watch the future X-Man use his ability to teleport across short spaces, infiltrate the Oval Office and attempt to assassinate the President. But that’s not who Nightcrawler is (really, he was just being mind controlled) – thanks to Alan Cumming, we soon realize this furry, blue-skinned mutant is moral, kindhearted man, one whose devilish exterior belies his devout faith. He goes from antagonist to loyal teammate, one who whisks others away from danger by hugging them. It’s a shame that the Scottish actor never returned to the role. KP

47

Raphael

Leonardo leads. Donatello handles the machinery. Michelangelo is a party dude (party!!!). But if you’re looking for the true star of the original live-action 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie – accept no substitutes – only one cool but rude half-shell hero will do. Raphael brought a streetwise edge to the first incarnation of creators Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird’s insanely popular group of ass-kicking amphibians, adding some killer wisecracks for his too-cool tween audience (to an assailant wielding a José Canseco signature baseball bat: “Tell me you didn’t pay money for this”) while remaining true to the character’s roots as one of four loving send-ups of the grim-and-gritty superhero age. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marvel Studios/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886233bs)Zoe SaldanaGuardians Of The Galaxy - 2014Director: James GunnMarvel StudiosUSAScene StillLes Gardiens de la Galaxie

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46

Gamora

Is there a better sight gag in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies than Gamora just barely putting up with Peter Quill’s nonsense? This green-skinned alien comes with a tragic backstory and a drive for justice; she’s also handy with a blade. But Zoe Saldana plays this galactic heroine as a woman who’s also surprised to discover she still has potential for joy, which is all too evident in scenes in which she – reluctantly at first – entertains Starlord’s flirtatious advances. Still, you do not want to tangle with this Zen-Whoberi badass. KP

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5885752h)Timothy Dalton, Sam J. JonesFlash Gordon - 1980Director: Mike HodgesUniversalBRITAINScene Still

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45

Flash Gordon

Alex Raymond’s influential newspaper-strip character – who’d previously starred into a popular string of motion-picture serials in the late 1930s – got a Pop-Art update in 1980, courtesy of spectacle-loving producer Dino De Laurentiis and kitsch-friendly Batman TV writer Lorenzo Semple, Jr. This Flash Gordon (played by ex-Marine and Playgirl centerfold Sam J. Jones) comes across as more than just a former New York Jets player transported to the planet Mongo; his heroic blond hunk is a sexy, planet-hopping demigod, ready to take on Ming the Merciless and his minions at a moment’s notice. He’s also a great reminder that every white knight should be so lucky to fight evil to sound of a crushing, anthemic score by Queen. Flash, ahhhhh! Savior of the universe! NM

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE, Evan Peters, 2016. / TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. /Courtesy Everett Collection

20th Century Fox Licensing/Merchandising / Everett Collection

44

Quicksilver (Evan Peters)

There is the MCU’s version of the speed-demon/Scarlet Witch sibling, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson – but it was the “mutant” version crafted by Evan Peters who channeled the character’s blasé wit. Starting with 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, this rascal made a compelling argument for extraordinary fastness being both a tremendous power and one of the coolest. In the film’s most fantastic scene – cheekily scored to Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle” – Quicksilver doesn’t just save the day and protect his fellow Homo superiors from harm. The kid also has enough time to enjoy some food and prank his foes. What’s the point of being a superhero if you can’t be a bad-ass while flaunting your powers? TG

BIG HERO 6, Baymax (voice: Scott Adsit), 2014. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

43

Baymax

Disney’s Big Hero 6 began life as a fairly obscure Marvel Comics series, about a team of clever tinkerers and super-powered nerds. On-screen, rendered in cartoonish CGI, the characters ranged from from cutesy to cool – or both, in the case of the friendly inflatable robot Baymax, who’s equally skilled in medicine, psychology and karate. The movie takes full advantage of its animated format, allowing its puffy, mechanical breakout star to flop about adorably in ways a live-action hero never could. NM

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marvel Entertainment/Perception/Spi/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886261ce)Sebastian StanCaptain America - The Winter Soldier - 2014Director: Anthony/Russo RussoMarvel Entertainment/Perception/SpiUSAScene StillCaptain America, le soldat de l'hiver

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42

The Winter Soldier

Other Marvel superheroes have tragic backstories, but one of the MCU’s greatest ongoing dramas is the luckless legacy of Bucky Barnes. Steve Rogers’ dear friend was presumed dead after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger; we later discovered he’d been rehabilitated and reprogrammed to become his old partner’s nemesis decades later in The Winter Soldier. As played by Sebastian Stan, Barnes is a man robbed of his humanity as he’s transformed into an elite killing machine, and his journey to reclaim his former self powers Civil War’s narrative engine. He’s a singularly haunted figure – a good guy who was brainwashed into becoming a bad guy, and has to fight his way back to becoming a hero again. Not even Hydra could squash his inherent decency. TG

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Warner Bros/DC Comics/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886174ar)Billy CrudupWatchmen - 2009Director: Zack SnyderWarner Bros/DC ComicsUSAFilm PortraitWatchmen - Les Gardiens

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41

Dr. Manhattan

In Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ groundbreaking graphic novel Watchmen, the blue-skinned, omnipotent Doctor Manhattan stands in for every aloof comic-book super-scientist, from Reed Richards to Brainiac. Director Zack Snyder’s movie adaptation smartly hews close to the source material, retaining much of the imagery and dialogue that covers the Doc’s origins and outlook on life. Give credit too to actor Billy Crudup, for taking a character that’s practically a deity and giving him a human personality and body – and a frequently naked one, no less. NM

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marv Films/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886196ax)Chloe MoretzKick-Ass - 2010Director: Matthew VaughnMarv FilmsUSAScene StillAction/Adventure

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40

Hit-Girl

Chloë Grace Moretz was only 11 years old when she appeared in Matthew Vaughn’s gleefully violent superhero comedy Kick-Ass (2010) as everyone’s favorite underage murder-happy vigilante. And despite her youth (or perhaps because of it), she’s really damn scary. Under the guidance of her equally screwed-up dad – played Nicolas Cage – the gun-toting Mindy Macready is foul-mouthed and ultra-deadly, raining down bullets and C-bombs with equal ardor. She’s 10 times more, well, kick-ass then Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s mopey teen hero, and proof positive that the most effective costumed crimefighters are the ones you never see coming. Never underestimate a little girl with an ax to grind. JS

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Deana Newcomb/Orion/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5881304f)Peter WellerRobocop 2 - 1990Director: Irvin KershnerOrionUSAScene StillScifiRobocop III

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39

RoboCop (Peter Weller)

Unlike many of the superheroes on this list, Detroit’s robotic protector didn’t originate in a comic book. Instead, it sprung from the mind of a young screenwriter, Ed Neumeier, who hung around the set of Blade Runner, inspired by the idea of characters who didn’t know if they were man or machine. From that came the devoted policeman Alex Murphy (Peter Weller), who gets gunned down by some goons – only to be resurrected by an evil corporation into a crime-fighting cyborg. Thanks to Weller (essentially acting with just his lips), there’s a touching vulnerability to this mechanized super-soldier; you never forget about the beating heart under all that alloy. TG

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1659863a)X-men: The Last Stand (X3) Halle Berry, Storm (Character)Film and Television

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38

Storm (Halle Berry)

You don’t want to mess with the X-Men in general, but you specifically don’t want to mess with Storm, a.k.a. Ororo Munroe. She can control the freakin’ weather, after all – calling down a dense fog, a blizzard or your run-of-the-mill showers depending on her mood. That, and she generally steers clear of the soap-operatic hijinks the other members of her team tend to get caught up in (we’re lookin’ at you, Scott and Jean). Halle Berry’s ride-the-lightning mutant was a highlight of those early X-Men movies; the younger mohawked version played by Alexandra Shipp also gets a thunderous shout-out. JS

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Paramount/DC Comics/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5881649a)Billy ZaneThe Phantom - 1996Director: Simon WincerParamount/DC ComicsUSAScene StillAction/AdventureFantôme du Bengale

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37

The Phantom

The grungy Nineties weren’t ready for a superhero as happily stuck in the past as the Phantom. The 1996 movie adaptation of Lee Falk’s classic comic strip is charmingly square, filled with exotic jungle adventure and swanky New York nightlife, all presided over by a masked man in a garish purple unitard. Inside the costume? Billy Zane, an impossibly handsome leading man who looked like he traveled through time from Tinseltown’s studio heyday. Yes, he’s old-fashioned – but the character’s just so effortlessly awesome, skintight jumpsuit and all. NM

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (7439541a)Benedict CumberbatchDoctor Strange - 2016

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36

Doctor Strange

He’s the Sorcerer Supreme, a former surgeon who became a Master of the Mystic Arts – and thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch, the MCU’s resident magic man has slowly revealed himself as one of the stealth MVPs of the franchise’s ongoing end-of-the-world saga. Yes, the gravity with which the good doctor intones “protecting your reality” regarding his purpose on Earth definitely squares with the self-serious sage envisioned by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko all those decades ago. The fact that Strange follows it up by calling Tony Stark a “douchebag” adds a whole extra dimension to this dimension-hopping superhero. You get someone with charm and smarts, an Avenger-friendly cohort who can take on planet-sized demons and put someone like Loki in his place. And not even the Caped Crusader himself has such a helpful cape at his disposal. DF

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (4514931b)'Ant-Man'-2015. Paul Rudd'Ant-Man' Film -2015

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35

Ant-Man

There’s an appealing modesty to a superhero who shrinks in size to fight evil, and while there are complicated narrative reasons for Ant-Man’s absence from Avengers: Infinity War, the character is both a part of and apart from the MCU, inconsequential in the best possible sense. His two movies are the lowest-stake entries in the Marvel line, enforced by Paul Rudd’s reading of the character as a cool-dad wiseacre who doesn’t suffer the origin-story torments of superheroic peers. Ant-Man’s size-shifting abilities can minimize him to subatomic levels or maximize him to a 100-foot-tall giant who uses flatbed trucks as a skateboard. The fact that the latter makes him feel a little sleepy is part of the charm. ST

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marvel Studios/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886233ag)Dave BautistaGuardians Of The Galaxy - 2014Director: James GunnMarvel StudiosUSAScene StillLes Gardiens de la Galaxie

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34

Drax the Destroyer

Drax has floated around the Marvel universe since 1973, originally conceived as a energy-blasting beast formidable enough to take on cosmic foes like Thanos; eventually, the Destroyer found a permanent home among Star-Lord’s misfit rogues in Guardians of the Galaxy. His longstanding beef against the purple-hued villain remains, having lost his wife and daughter to one of his henchmen, but Dave Bautista’s performance suggests a more approachable Hulk – an imposing beast with a big heart and natural deadpan. He takes care of business in fight sequences and quietly steals scenes from the sidelines. Only weakness? Sensitive nipples. ST

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886206r)Rebecca Romijn, Anthony HealdX-Men - The Last Stand - 2006Director: Brett Ratner20th Century FoxUSAScene StillScifiX-Men 3X-Men l'affrontement final

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33

Mystique

She started out as a villain, part of Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants – but once the X-Men franchise started going back to the past and revamping its Homo superior superheroes, this shapeshifter began morphing into a good guy. As played by Jennifer Lawrence, Mystique slowly turned into the series’ unlikely heart, becoming both a leader and a kind of mutant folk hero in the process – as well as a valuable asset to Professor X & Co. in battles both apocalyptic and more down-to-earth. She’s proof that you can change … sometimes, several times in a single movie. KP

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by 20th Century Fox/Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (9690085i)Zazie BeetzDeadpool 2 - 2018

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32

Domino

She doesn’t show up until somewhere around the halfway mark of Deadpool 2 and is only in a handful of scenes – yet this lucky-in-cards, lucky-in-love, lucky-in-everything-really mutant immediately makes enough of an impression to land a spot on this list. Blessed with an ability to make things go her way no matter which way they’re going, Domino brims with a confidence bordering on arrogance … though to be fair, if you inherently knew that getting thrown from a moving vehicle would end in you landing safely on a giant panda balloon, you’d probably move with a little extra swagger as well. (And man, can this lady fight!) As played by Atlanta‘s Zazie Beetz, this X-Force member virtually steals the movie away from Ryan Reynolds’ scarred smartass super-antihero. Two words: solo movie. DF

WATCHMEN, Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, 2009. ©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection

©Warner Bros/Everett Collection

31

Rorsharch

If the Watchmen movie has a dark spiritual center, it’s Walter Kovacs, a troubled, violent vigilante who compulsively trudges through the sickest segments of humanity to fight crime. (As he explains to a clueless psychologist hoping to “cure” him, “Once a man has seen society’s black underbelly, he can never turn his back on it.”) Jackie Earle Haley plays  the man in the ever-changing mask with the brooding cynicism of a great noir detective, along with a potent cocktail of anger, sorrow and mental instability. Rorsharch seethes because he cares so deeply – as if doing enough good in the world could somehow silence the anguish in his head. TG

HANCOCK, Will Smith, 2008. ©Sony Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

©Sony Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

30

Hancock

What if Superman were an obnoxious, unpopular alcoholic? The dark, twisted 2008 action-comedy Hancock beat the likes of Kick-Ass and Deadpool to the punch with its depiction of a problematic hero, who tends to make everything worse when he tries to save the day. As played by Will Smith, this accidental menace to society may be funny, but he’s also a walking (and flying) example of how a fickle public can be unnecessarily cruel to famous folks. He could also stand to work on his crowd control skills a bit more as well (“What you want, a cookie? Get outta my face”). NM

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2, Rocket (voice: Bradley Cooper), 2017. ©Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

29

Rocket Racoon

The Guardians of the Galaxy crew are a bunch of misfits and dorks – but when it comes to snideness, nobody beats the Rocket. Thanks to Bradley Cooper, this galaxy-trotting smart-ass and a thief gives the franchise a solid dose of unfettered piss and vinegar; as for the voice, the Osbar-nominated actor hit upon a combination of what he called “Gilbert Gottfried meets Joe Pesci” to give the little varmint extra ‘tude. But the more that Rocket positions himself as a bad-ass gunner and pilot, the more obvious it is that underneath his fur and sass is a big heart. Just watch him around Baby Groot: That adorable little twig brings out his softer side. TG

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1538237a)Barbarella, Jane Fonda, Barbarella (Character)Film and Television

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28

Barbarella

Roger Vadim’s camp-classic adaptation of Jean-Claude Forest’s racy space opera is a fascinating glimpse into a what-if world where sex rather than violence is the fuel for superheroic adventures. In her star-making role, Jane Fonda is the title character, a space-faring, world-saving heroine whose swinging-Sixties blend of innocence and insatiability is her true superpower. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Marvel Enterprises/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886273bt)Mark RuffaloThe Avengers - 2012Director: Joss WhedonMarvel EnterprisesUSAScene StillAvengers Assemble

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27

Hulk (Mark Ruffalo)

With all due respect to Eric Bana’s and Edward Norton’s considered portrayals of Marvel’s giant green guy, Mark Ruffalo has made the role his own – and without even getting the benefit of a standalone Hulk movie. As he morphs into the monster, his Hulk (aided by CG wizardry) is a fearsome, rampaging wonder. But it’s when he’s Banner that the character really comes alive. A mixture of giddy nerd, insecure outsider and expert straight man – his deadpan reactions in Thor: Ragnarok are golden – the scientist is the closest thing to a “regular guy” among the Avengers’ superstars. The scene in The Avengers when Banner reveals that he doesn’t have to “get” angry to activate the Hulk – because he’s actually always angry – shows the superhero in a whole new light. He’s not just an incredible brute. He’s a tormented soul consumed by a rage he can barely contain. TG

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Marvel/Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9360960a)Danai Gurira"Black Panther" Film - 2018

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26

Okoye

Quick: Name another hero who can use both a spear and a wig as a deadly weapon. You don’t get to be the leader of Dora Milaje without being a fierce fighter, and the Okoye we see in Black Panther and (briefly) Infinity War is as ferocious as they come. Even if you’ve watched Danai Gurira slay zombies for six seasons on The Walking Dead, you’re still apt to be surprised by the way she turns this Wakandan warrioress into a first-rate, grace-under-pressure badass. But it’s the ride-or-die loyalty to T’Challa, as well as her ability to call him out on his posturing (“Just don’t freeze when you see her”), that makes her so valuable to king and country. She’s the person we want watching our back in an all-or-nothing fight. DF

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25

The Crow

Actor Brandon Lee, a.k.a. Bruce’s son, seemed born to play writer-artist James O’Barr’s undead vigilante, who returns from the grave to murder his way through the gang responsible for his girlfriend’s death. But despite the on-set tragedy that claimed the actor’s life, Lee helped create a no-holds-barred hero with an unforgettable look and vibe. The Crow doesn’t need the bulky armor and high-tech gadgets of his peers: His body is his weapon, and his spectral presence alone is enough to strike terror into criminals’ heart. Batman beware. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsageMandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1805795c)Dredd 3D - Karl Urban as Judge DreddDredd 3D - 2012

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24

Judge Dredd (Karl Urban)

Sorry, Mr. Stallone, but there’s only room for one “I am the law”-man on this list – and that’s the version from the punishing 2012 film Dredd. Played with unsmiling fury by Karl Urban, that judge is an instrument of capital punishment so pure and implacable that you never see his full face – an unknowable and untouchable avenger behind his helmet. This deliberate dehumanization does the original ultraviolent comics by John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra proud, and when this Dredd shows up at the ground floor of a skyscraper apartment complex, one look at him is all it takes to know he’ll kill his way through every floor to get to the gang boss at the top. Which he does, with honors. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1623973a)The Matrix, Keanu ReevesFilm and Television

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23

Neo

“He is the One.” Played by Keanu Reeves with his usual zen chillness, The Matrix‘s black-clad hacker-turned-messiah is the lynchpin of the Wachowski siblings’ visionary hodgepodge of wuxia combat, cyberpunk philosophy and CGI-enhanced action. His balletic grace during those bullet-time slo-mo shootouts and his bone-crunching fights with Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith remain high-water marks for late Nineties sci-fi/action – dig his final revolution-sparking flight into the skies! – but make no mistake: This is a superhero story. And Neo is nothing if not a Superman for the AOL age. STC

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Bruce Talamon/New Line/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5877460f)Wesley SnipesBlade 2 - 2002Director: Guillermo Del ToroNew LineUSAScene StillBlade II

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22

Blade

Originally modeled after African-American icons of the early Seventies, Blade is the son of a woman bitten by a vampire. Technically, he’s a “Dhampir”: a hybrid creature who’s human but has all the awesome qualities of a vampire … and then some. Dressed in a floor-length black leather ensemble with a blood-red lining, Wesley Snipes plays the monster-hunter at maximum glower, shredding through vampires in a vengeful mission to protect folks from his fanged brethren. He’s a peerless martial artist and swordsman, with all the super-strength and speed expected of a Marvel hero, but y’know, more antisocial. He’s the cool jerk in humanity’s corner. ST

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jay Maidment/Marvel/Walt Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5886283be)Chris Evans, Chris HemsworthAvengers - Age Of Ultron - 2015Director: Joss WhedonMarvel/Walt Disney PicturesUSAScene StillAction/AdventureAvengers: L'ère d'Ultron

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21

Thor

The Avengers’ resident alpha jock has come a long way since Kenneth Branagh’s Thor (2011), in which Chris Hemsworth tossed his beautiful blond man-mane and brooded about his place in the Norse pantheon. Thankfully, the M