We collected input from hundreds of visitors to the site, convention attendees, and industry professionals to compile the list of the 100 Greatest Fictional Characters of All Time. You can see the beginning of the project here, where you’ll also find an index of all the results to date.
After counting down the previous 99 characters, today we bring you the character who topped the voting list and earned the #1 spot!
Appears In: DC Comics
Created By: Bob Kane and Bill Finger
It’s no huge surprise to us that the Caped Crusader is the top character on our list of the Greatest Fictional Characters of All Time, as voted by our readers. From his first appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 through his current movie dynasty, cartoon series, and comic books, Batman has been an enduring hero for the ages. His origin and storylines have influenced future comic heroes toward darker tales, and his rogue’s gallery has redefined the importance of entertaining and engaging villains. Batman’s cultural impact is evident and unquestionable.
Batman is a superhero without superpowers. In the face of tragedy and adversity, he has trained himself to be the most brilliant and capable man he can be, and he uses gadgets and tools to appear otherworldly to his enemies. He also operates with a strict code of conduct and ethics, setting him apart from the villains he pursues. It is Batman’s reliance on his own human abilities, coupled with his unbending morality, that makes him a unique and favorite character for legions of fans.
“Batman is almost self-explanatory as a choice for number one. He is vengeance, he is the night, but he is also the very best and worst of humanity distilled. Who else is a coldblooded badass and a sensitive loner? Who else is as unforgiving and merciful? Everyday life is our Gotham, and Batman is that innate sense of justice that we all feel deep down when someone picks on the little guy.” – Perry Frost
“He’s simply the best any normal human can be.” – ADP
Previous character: #2
Thank you for following our countdown all the way from 100 to 1! On Monday we’ll look back at some of the characters who didn’t quite make the list, and we’ll also examine some rankings and selections that surprised us.
List making requires omissions. Granted. Must point out two…1)Bedford Falls’ Favorite Son — George Bailey; and collectively, the Dealey Plaza additional riflemen (depending upon whether you stand with Lane and Marrs, or the Official Version.) Number of shots FIRED cannot = number of shots HEARD!
The fact that Mickey Mouse isn’t #1, let alone in the Top 5 makes this list as preposterous and completely useless as cholesterol medication is to a corpse. Oh and FYI, I’m not a big Mickey Mouse fan either and prefer most of the characters in the Top 10 over him, but if we’re talking influence, Mickey Mouse takes the cake, even I can admit that.
That’s it.. I got what i came for and nothing else matters in this world now.. i can now die peacefully
WTF how did Popeye not get on this list? I am literally sitting here watching a 1935 episode of Popeye, everybody still knows who he is. How could you have room for secondary Marvel and characters and not have room for a single Fleischer Studios character? He’s the original “all problems can be solved by a combination of nutrition and violence” guy! That’s still funny!
I’m really surprised Xena Warrior Princes didn’t make the cut!
Great list though, really loved the Farscape references. Would have loved to see Kai or Xev from Lexx to though! :D
Well…at least number 1 is correct. Missing alot of anime characters though.
where the fuck is goku
Not even a mention of ‘Lazarus Long,’ born Woodrow Wilson Smith, also aka ‘Captain Charles Sheffield,’ etc, etc ??? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Enough_for_Love
Or “Speaker to Animals’/ Ch’mee ?? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworld
This list was godawful. Where was Hannibal Lecter, hands down the single greatest super villain in film history? Where is HAL 9000, the definitive malevolent AI in fiction? Where is Vito Corleone, the coolest character from what is quite possibly the greatest movie ever made? Where is George Costanza, the predecessor to characters like Barney Stinson, but who — unlike said modern-day counterpart — was actually funny and didn’t kill the viewer’s brain cells with every line? Where is Inigo Montoya? Mickey Mouse might be more famous, but did he ever say anything even half as memorable as “Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die”? Where’s Sterling Archer? I’m not really surprised by that one, he’s sadly kind of obscure, but damn near every line of that show is comedy gold. Where’s Rorschach? You clearly all love Batman, why leave off a character who is basically Batman but with realism (nothing against Batman, he’s a great character too)? Where is Abed Nadir, the character I identify with more than any other in all fiction? Even from the works listed, there were so many better choices; how the Melkor does Aragorn make the list but Gollum, who had actual development and moral complexity, got stiffed? Buffy makes the list, fine, and Wesley, alright I guess, but where the Hell is Spike? In what world is Boba “I did basically nothing of note and yet people inexplicably worship me” Fett or Luke “if I use fantasy clichés in a sci-fi movie, they’re technically not fantasy clichés anymore!” Skywalker a better character than Emperor Palpatine? Bugs Bunny, OK, but how can you forget Daffy Duck, the one truly relatable character? How about including more than a handful of the classics (mythology notwithstanding)? Where is King Lear? Humbert Humbert? John Yossarian? Hector of Troy? Meursault, from The Stranger? Cathy Ames? Rosencrantz and Guildenstern? Any one of these would have been an infinitely better choice than the utterly bland Dorothy Gale, or the insufferable Eric Cartman, or anyone or anything from the abomination unto art that is How I Met Your Mother.
John Galt anyone?….
EXCUSE ME WHAAAAAAAAAAAT????????????? Who is the only fictional character to get an obituary on the front of the New York Times? The greatest selling character of the greatest human Author of All-time? The 5’4″, green-eyed, black moustached, egg-headed, Belgian sleuth. Well, none other than the great Hercule Poirot!!!! He came before Mickey Mouse, Batman, Superman, and any of the others!! Poirot is the undisputed greatest ever!!