Top 10 Most Overrated Superheroes of All Time (Marvel & DC) 

Let’s face it. Not all superheroes are created equally. Some get a ton of exposure while others wilt away never getting the attention that they deserve. Although this doesn’t seem fair, historically comics have always tried to give all characters an equal opportunity to succeed. If there was a problem with equality, it lies in the fact that some characters are given more than their fair share of time to shine. These characters are pushed into the mainstream and over time begin to appear everywhere. Lunchboxes, backpacks, movies, books, comics, socks, T-Shirts, toys, statues, pencils…

As a result of the push, some characters evolve and change so much that they inadvertently become overrated. But who are they? Glad you asked. Let’s take a look at our highly divisive list of the top 10 superheroes who are overrated.

10. Superman

There isn’t a superhero alive who epitomizes what it means to be a superhero quite like Superman. Superman is everything that the American Dream stands for. Freedom. Honour. Justice. Opportunity. 

He fights for those who can’t fight. He cares for those who have no one else. And he is willing to die for the betterment of the world. Unfortunately, because of his ever-evolving power set, he’s also one of my overrated superheroes. Superman has more powers and abilities than I have hairs on my head. Worse yet, he seems to get new ones with each story he’s a part of. I don’t exactly know why this is but I have a theory…lazy writing.

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The easiest way to solve any problem is to give Superman a new power that allows him to solve it. If they write a story that requires him to be able to freeze objects instantly, Superman gains freeze breath. If they write a story that requires him to be able to fly into the galaxy, Superman gains the ability to breathe in space. And if they write a story that requires him to be able to melt objects, he’s given the ability to shoot lasers from his eyes. If Superman were to ever find his way off of this list, it’d be because he wasn’t as powerful as he is today.

9. Deadpool


Deadpool

Before Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool wasn’t much more than an afterthought in the world of Marvel. Sure, he had begun to appear in a ton of titles, and sure, he was one of a few characters who understood they were a comic book character. However, Deadpool wasn’t the type of character that every 5-year-old in the world had heard of.

I remember the day vividly. My son had just turned 5. He had come home from school nearly jumping out of his skin with excitement. When I asked him what was up, he quickly responded that his best friend’s favorite character was Deadpool. I almost fell to the floor. Deadpool…the most foul-mouthed and violent character under the Marvel umbrella. How could a character like Deadpool cement himself as the favorite of a 5-year-old?

Simple. Overexposure. Like many others on this list of overrated superheroes, Deadpool suffers from overexposure. Yes, his powers are cool, and yes, his nuances make him unique. However, at the end of the day, his backstory and catalog aren’t that special. Deadpool is overrated because there are many characters more interesting than him. 

8. Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers

When Kevin Feige said of Captain Marvel, “She’s one of the most popular characters in our comics and she’s one of the most powerful characters in the comics and will be the most powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”, she instantly rose to fame. 

How could she not? The person behind the MCU said that she was going to be the most powerful character in his movies. 

Not Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, Thanos, Hulk, War Machine, Loki, Ant-Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Man, Wasp, Vision, or Black Panther. 

I’ll admit that when he said it, my heart sank just a little bit. It wasn’t because I didn’t believe that she had the potential to be. After all, her backstory and power set was as rich as any. It was more because I knew that people all over the world would flock to her and create a sort of hysteria around her. As history has shown, once this happens the hero can suddenly do things they’d never done before. Right?

7. Green Lantern

Green Lantern - Hal Jordan

I feel it important to preface this by saying that I love Green Lantern. His stories are great, his history is rich, and he’s an integral part of one of the greatest superhero teams ever created…which is why it pains me to say that he’s overrated. First appearing in 1959, Hal Jordan has cemented himself as the most recognizable and important Green Lantern in existence. Above that, he has also, on more than one occasion, led the Green Lantern Corps.

As a Green Lantern, Hal wields a Power Ring. The Power Ring allows the wearer to create constructs out of energy only limited to their own imagination. Sadly, without the Ring, the user (Hal) is nothing more than a hot-headed pilot barely capable of keeping his life together, let alone the galaxy. 

6. Mr. Fantastic

Mr Fantastic

Mr. Fantastic is Reed Richards and Reed Richards is one of the most brilliant minds in Marvel Comics. In fact, Dr. Doom (another brilliant mind) considers Reed Richards to be his only equal. 

Outside of his undeniable intelligence, Reed Richards is also the leader of the Fantastic Four. The Fantastic Four is one of Marvel’s premiere superhero teams. Not only were they Marvel’s first superhero team, but they were also the title that saved Marvel Comics and helped usher in the Silver Age of Comics. 

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Mr. Fantastic is super-stretchy and, well, nope, sorry. He’s only super stretchy. This is precisely why he’s overrated. The Marvel Universe is chalked full of intelligent characters. If the only thing separating Reed from being just another smart character is his elastic-like superpower, he’s definitely one of my superheroes who are overrated.  

5. Groot

Origin of Groot

Three words…” I am Groot”.

Those three words transformed the once never heard of and obscure character that is Groot into one of the most beloved characters in the last 10 years. I mean, Groot is everywhere. Even babies recognize him. I ask, without those three words, what is he? The answer is surprisingly simple. He’s a giant tree that can walk and has super strength. 

Think about it. There’s a reason that very few people in the world had heard of Groot before the MCU. That reason is that very few people care about a giant tree that can walk and has super strength. 

If you disagree, ask yourself this…Have you ever planted a seed and spent every waking moment watching it grow? Of course not because that would be boring. That’s Groot.

4. Harley Quinn


Harley Quinn Origin

If you find it strange that Harley Quinn is on my list of superheroes who are overrated, remember this. Throughout her history, she has aligned with both heroes and villains. Due to this, Harley is more of an anti-hero than a supervillain.

One of the most remarkable things about Harley Quinn is that, unlike most popular heroes and villains who’ve been around forever, she has only been around for 27 years. Even more remarkable is that she didn’t make her first appearance inside the pages of a comic. Harley actually made her first appearance in an episode of Batman The Animated Series back in 1992. 

Although she quickly gained the adoration of comic book fans, it was the brilliant performance of Margot Robbie that thrust Harley into the mainstream…and pushed her into the realm of being overrated.

3. Iron Man

Iron Man

What is Iron Man? I mean, really what is Iron Man? If your answer is one of the greatest superheroes of all time, I’d argue with you. If your answer is one of the most important superheroes of the last 50 years, I’d argue with you. If, however, you said that he’s one of a handful of superheroes who are overrated, I’d come pat you on the back and agree with you.

Up until Marvel launched their Cinematic Universe, Iron Man was nothing more than a ‘B’ level character incapable of carrying a story by himself. Sure, he has one or two memorable runs but for a character as old as he, one or two memorable runs aren’t all that impressive. Since his push into superstardom, however, Iron Man has found a way to appear everywhere. As I’ve walked around over the last 10 years, I’ve seen more Iron Man hoodies and t-shirts than I saw in the 25 years prior. 

The problem with Iron Man, as I hinted at above, is that his history lacks the richness and depth that a character of over 50 years should have. It’s no wonder that the MCU and RDJ decided not to continue with the character…they were running out of stories to tell. 

2. Wolverine

Wolverine Rumors

Is there an inclusion more obvious than Wolverine? I mean, since his creation he’s literally appeared everywhere. X-Men, Avengers, X-Force, Alpha Flight, New X-Men, New Fantastic Four, Savage Avengers, New Avengers. When it comes to Wolverine and Marvel Comics, it’s never considered whether or not his character is a good fit for a story. It’s more that they create the story and find a way to include him.

The same can be said about Fox Pictures when they owned his cinematic rights. Instead of focusing on the vast history of the X-Men, the higher-ups decided to force-feed us story after story including Wolverine. They even went as far as to change stories so he would be the main focus of the movie…I look at you Days Of Future Past. Wolverine isn’t just one of my superheroes who are overrated. No. He might be the most overrated of all time…

1. Batman

New 52 Batman

Unless, of course, Batman is being considered. There isn’t a superhero alive who has received more attention, screen time, comic titles, and inclusion than Batman. Batman is the lifeblood of DC Comics and as such, the one that nobody can escape from. He was created in the 40s, gained mainstream attention in the 60s, was reimagined as a darker hero in the 70s and 80s, and force-fed to the world shortly thereafter. 

Now, I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy a good Batman book, video game, or story. Rather, I’m saying that I’d like to see DC utilize other characters in the way that they use Batman. After all, as a company that’s over 75 years old, there’s an extensive catalog to pull from.

  • I am a family man first and foremost. Everything that I do is for my family. They keep me focused and moving forward. I grew up loving comics, this hasn't changed and on occasion, I wonder if my wife thinks I'll never grow up. I hope you enjoy your stay at comicbasics.com.