Self Titled

Eat your heart out wannabies

Thank you for checking out this list. I worked very hard on it and have updated if four about four years, and I honestly spent way too much time working on it. I made this list because I wanted to find the greatest heroes of all time. All Time is the key phrase. Not just who is cool and known today. In other-words I wanted something better than an opinion or a popularity contest. I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of comic readers either only read recent comic books or are reading a very small portion of older books. This does not necessarily make them bad fans, after all it is sometimes hard to find a whole run of books of books for a decent price. That said, with more and more Golden Age books becoming available on-line for free it is becoming easier to see these older heores in their hay-day.

The sad part is heroes that were huge for decades become unknowns because the company that produced them went out of business or was bought out by another company. What many don't seem to know is that the company going out of business usually was not reflected in their popularity. Captain Marvel is the biggest example of this. More popular than Superman DC Comic sued the Fawcett Publications and led to the DC bankrupting Fawcett. Later, DC bought the rights to the character and did virtually nothing with him. Then DC lost the rights to even use the Name Captain Marvel to Marvel comics further pushing Captain America into obscurity.

Let's Go Blackhawks!

It is not only business that changes the character popularity but fads change for example war comics and westerns were huge a few decades ago but are all but non existent now. Take a look at a character like Blackhawk. He was huge for decades but you rarely see him anymore. He had films and theme songs and all sort of things. He was one of the biggest comic heroes there ever were but most readers today never even heard of him. Check out his page on the vine. Ice has a better page and she never had one self titled issue ever.

So, while I was conceptualizing this list I had to find a way to objectively rank the charters who are the greatest in comics of all time. The best way I came up with is to count their self titled issues. A self titled issue is a comic the uses the name and only the name of the main character to sell the book. Quite often new heroes will have a book title that is trying to make the character more appealing like Superman in Action, Spectacular Spider-man, Incredible Hulk, Sensational Comics, and Tales of Suspense. Eventually, the hero becomes well enough known that they get their own book. Sometimes, this takes too long but only the biggest and best get a self titled series for an extended period of time.

Thanks to Liberty my page is awesome.

Not only is it true that only the greatest heroes given their own self titled book for an extended period but they also almost always only print one self titled book at a time. The other books are made with adjectives to differentiate the many titles. I didn't want this to turn into a who has the most appearances list. It is more about sustainability and marketability over a period of time. I will grant you that it is not flawless. For example Spider-man is lower than then some think he should be but, he still made the list because he is one of the greatest heroes of all times.

The other side of this is the "B-List" heroes. I see so many reviews and posts that will list a legendary hero arbitrarily as a B-List hero. One of the most famous of these is Booster Gold. So much so that he B-List status has actually become part of his character and yet he has had 74 issues in his two self titled books. There is not that many characters that can support their book that long and Booster is still going strong as a hero. Comics are made to make money and Booster would not have the runs he has had without fan support.

Respect

This list sets out to prove something. Most comic readers think that they know a lot about comics without knowing the past. Most readers start reading at a certain time and don't really bother or don't have the chance to look at older comics. The point is they don't understand the popularity of characters like Dick Tracy, Green Hornet or even the Blue Beetle. For example most people don't even know who the first Blue Beetle was or that his first comic came out within a few months of heroes like Superman and Batman.

Blue Beetle Dan Garret/Garrett was huge in his day with Fox Comics. Blue Beetle was the figure head for the franchise. he even starred in a book called the Big 3. This was Blue Beetle, The Flame and Samson. It would be like DC's Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman today. Had Blue Beetle been in DC Comics he would be one of the staples of the franchise. There are numerous characters like the this. Spirit, Lone Ranger, Jonah Hex and the Phantom that have movies and shows and comic series that have lasted decades but most fans miss the flavor of what comics are and dismiss them as B-List heroes. I invite you to look back and see the greatest comic characters of all times.

Any good list requires guidelines to follow. Here they are.

The First Blue Beetle!?!
  1. All the characters can not be too cartooney. There are a few characters however that bordered on the too cartooney rule and I added them. They are the characters like the Riverdale characters, Joe Palooka, and Scooby Doo. These characters for reasons explained below are the exception. To be completely fair. I added an extra entry for each one of these exceptions so you can make up your mind if they belong or not and still have a top 100 list. (Update: I had to add the extra entries to the bottom of this page Honorable Mention because of the new 100 limit for ordered lists. So they are still here just not listed as and entry. I also added any English language hero with sixty or more self titled issues)
  2. Only self titled books are counted. This means that it has to have the character's name and only the character's name in order for it to count. For example Superman, Clark Kent and Superman: Clark Kent would all count. Things that would not count would be Superman in Action, The Adventures of Clark Kent, Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen or Lois and Clark. After all this is a list of characters with self titles books and that is what a self titled book is.
  3. Team issues are not in this list. I am looking for individuals. No books like Fantastic Four, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles and so on.
  4. I am looking at who the star is for each book. Take Green Lantern for example. There have been several Green Lantern books, but several different characters were the star from Alan Scott to Kyle Rayner. I am going to count the hero who is the star and not count them as all the same for one Green Lantern tally.
  5. No rebooting. When a character like Superman (in Superboy comics) is rebooted to be Superboy-Prime) I count who he was at the time. When the original Superboy books were written they were suppose to be Superman. It was only later rebooted to be Superboy-Prime)
  6. When tallying the number of issues in a series I have added the annuals and specials in. This is the case as long as they qualify for the self titled criteria. So a book that has 37 issues 3 Annuals and 5 specials would say that it has 45 issues for the series instead of listing every annual and special separately.
  7. I will not count reprints of the series. Sometimes comics and even whole runs of comics have been reprinted I am only counting the first run.
  8. I will not have any non English comics. The reason for this is only a lack of information. I have not found a reliable source that lists all the comics from a particular country. Comicvine is great but still incomplete. I can also only read English, and a little Spanish and German. So if anyone has a reliable and complete source they can refer me to I will look closer into it. Also note that I may miss some English language books due them being printed in another country like England and Australia. I may miss some heroes but I will add them as I become aware of them. If you see someone who is missing, let me know.
  9. Lastly, I will update this list from time to time but considering all the work I will not do it every week just because one new issue came out. If I missed someone or made a glaring mistake let me know.
  10. Keep in mind that this list changes from year to year, month to month and week to week. Whenever a current self titled issue comes out the numbers change. If I fall behind on a issue let me know and I will change it.

I hope you enjoy the work I put into this list and recommend it to others. Thank you.

Honorable Mention:

The first Daredevil and Black Terror

70 - a star in nearly all forms of media Lassie also showed her stuff in the comic world with the self titled comic series that ran during the popularity of the television show in the 1950's.

Lassie 70 Issues (Updated 10-26-2013)

  • Lassie (1950) 70 Issues

69 – The Original Daredevil got a little bit of exposure with Dynamite Entertainment after wallowing in obscurity. Thank God. Although his first and so far only self titled series lasted 134 issues he only appeared in the first 69 issues.

Daredevil 69 Issues (Updated 9-20-2013)

  • Daredevil (1941) 69 Issues

68 - Jesse Custer A.K.A. Preacher is not exactly your traditional superhero type but back in the mid 90's he was a hugely popular character with a long running series lasting a little over five years.

Preacher 66 Issues (Updated 11-4-2013)

  • Preacher (1995) 66 Issues
One of the best characters of the 1990s

68 - Katy Keen is a supermodel on Archie Universe, and as such I've added mainly due to crossovers like Punisher meets Archie. Katy however really has transformed into an even less cartooony character than Archie in style.

Katy Keen 68 Issues (Updated 10-26-2013)

  • Katy Keen (1949) 62 Issues, 6 Annuals = 68

67 – Dark Horse set up a new universe called Comic's Greatest World. Although it may not have been the greatest it did prove that there is room in the comic world for a great universe. The Comic's Greatest World was an awesome superhero universe and Ghost was the Greatest of these characters. X being a close second. This however is about Ghost whom I have read is getting here own ongoing series again. I can only hope she does.

Ghost 66 Issues (Updated 12-22-2013)

  • Ghost (1995) 36 Issues, 3 Specials = 39
  • Ghost (1998) 22 Issues
  • Ghost (2012) 5 Issues
  • Ghost (2013) 1 Issue (still on going)
Green Hornet: Legacy

67 - There have been numerous Captain Marvels in the Marvel Universe alone. Not even to mention the others. This Captain Marvel (Genis-Vell) is the third in line as Captain Marvel for the Marvel universe and has definitely put his stamp on the comic world and this list.

Captain Marvel 67 Issues (Updated 9-18-2013)

  • Captain Marvel (2000) 36 Issues
  • Captain Marvel (2002) 25 Issues

66 – The original Green Hornet not to be confused by his son has had a legacy of self titled comics going back to 1967. Created as a radio character in Detroit along with the Lone Ranger it is no wonder that the two share a family tie.

Green Hornet 66 Issues (Updated 11-25-2013)

  • Green Hornet (1967) 3 Issues
  • Green Hornet (1989) 14 Issues
  • Green Hornet (1991) 40 Issues, 2 Annuals = 42
  • Green Hornet (2013) 7 Issues (Still on going)

65 - Dreadstar had his own self titled series with Marvel Comics (Epic Comics) for 65 issues.

64 - Doc Savage has been around since before comic books even existed. Starting out in a series of novels Doc Savage has been converted to comics in both old and new stories.

Doc Savage 64 Issues (Updated 9-21-2013)

  • Doc Savage (1966) 1 Issue
  • Doc Savage (1972) 8 Issues
  • Doc Savage (1975) 8 Issues
  • Doc Savage (1987) 4 Issues
  • Doc Savage (1988) 24 Issues, 1 Annual = 25
  • Doc Savage (2010) 18 Issues
Bring Her Back

64 - Candy O'Connor is one those character that goes back to the time when comics were actually comical. She starred in a very humorous comic called Candy in the 1940' and 1950's. I would love to this character brought back as a supporting character in another comic. Like a friend to Booster Gold or something like that.

Candy 64 Issues (Updated 9-18-2013)

  • Candy (1947) 64 Issues

63 - Quasar (1989) 60 Issues, 3 Specials = 63

63 – I can honestly see no reason not to have Barbie make this list, but if you don't think she does notice my honorable mention section above and add one to the list. Barbie it one of two entries on this list (Rom being the other) that started out as a toy. To me a barbie comic sounds like it would fail flat out but no. The Barbie fans a huge and the 63 strait issues proves that.

Barbie 63 Issues (Updated 9-8-2013)

  • Barbie (1991) 63 Issues

62 - Deathlok is one of my favorite Marvel characters. He seems so underrated in the Marvel Universe, but even so he has had four series putting him on this list above so many Marvel characters that might be coincided more popular.

Deathlok 62 Issues (Updated 9-20-2013)

  • Deathlok (1990) 4 Issues
  • Deathlok (1991) 72 issues 4 Specials, 2 annuals = 78
  • Deathlok (1999) 67 Issues
  • Deathlok (2010) 13 Issues
The Original was the Greatest Novel Ever!

62 - There have been numerous Captain Marvels and it really is very confusing. What I found is there was only one series for the original Captain Marvel that lasted 62 Issues. He how ever has been suppressed on this list by two of his predecessors. That said. It all starts with the original.

Captain Marvel 62 Issues (Updated 9-18-2013)

  • Captain Marvel (1970) 62 Issues

62 - Hitman

Hitman 62 Issues (Updated 10-20-2013)

  • Hitman (1996) 61 Issues, 1 Special = 62

61 - Here is another character with no name. He is officially called Frankenstein's Monster or the monster of Frankenstein. Sometimes he is called Frankenstein after the man who made him. I counted all these as his name. He was also called Doc Frankenstein in one series but in all case he is the same character but different wrters took different avenues after the famous Mary Shelley Novel.

Frankenstein's Monster 283 Issues (Updated 9-21-2013)

  • Frankenstein (1945) 29 Issues
  • Frankenstein (1964) 4 Issues
  • Frankenstein Monster (1973) 18 Issues
  • Frankenstein (1983) 1 Issues
  • Frankenstein (1989) 3 Issues
  • Doc Frankenstein (2004) 6 Issues

61 - Mister Miracle has had three self titled series with DC Comics the first was 26 issues, the second was 28 issues and the third was 7 issues.

61 - Azrael (Jean-Paul Valley)had one fifty issue self titled series before it was changed to Azrael: Agent of the Bat. Jean-Paul Valley was also Batman in his own title as Batman for 11 issues.

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62 Comments
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Posted by Silkcuts
John Constantine is currently @272 of his main series Hellblazer, 2 OGN ( all his engines and Pandemonium), John Constantine: Hellblazer - City of Demons (2 so far with a totral of 5), John Constantine movie adaptation (1), The Horrorist (2 prestige mini), Hellblazer Bad Blood (4 issue mini),  john Constantine: Secret Files (1)...
if the OGN count as 1 each instead of 5 comics worth of material, he should be at: 284 and will be more by X-mas with the ongoing still going and City of Demons finishing up.
Sorry to jump to John, I have to pimp him when I can.
Posted by Liberty
@Silkcuts:   I wanted to ask you about this.  Is John's alias Hellblazer or is it something else.  Right now I am only on letter C as I go through the candidates alphabetically using various current price guides.
Posted by Silkcuts
@Liberty:  When John Constantine was given his own book, they wanted to call it "Hellraiser" but since the movie from Clive Baker came out they changed it last minute to Hellblazer.  As long as I can remember the full title is John Constantine:Hellblazer, but most people just refer to it as Hellblazer.
 Issue #1 cover
 Cover of Bad Blood #1
The name John Constantine is visible before the name Hellblazer and he has been in the interior of all the issues except 1, where he is on the cover and the story is about his effect on his girlfriend at the time "Kit".  Hellblazer is his book.
Some of the minis are still John focused, but since "Hellblazer" has become the brand/nickname of his books, his name is not always applied, but it is his books.
 

Over time Vertigo has been experimenting with John's branding.  The Horrorist for example was a prestige set that is a John Constantine mini, like how Batman had his Prestige like the Killing Joke,  the Horrorist is a john Constantine prestige mini set outside the main series.  The Horrorist was collected in the Devil you know trade, so it is in continuity.  
 
Like how Tim Hunter books are not called "Tim Hunter" but Books of Magic.  John Constantine books were normally just listed as "Hellblazer".  I did not could the Hellblazer/books of magic, because it could be seen as a team book in your categories rule.  With the release of the movie in 2005, Vertigo started to make effort to use John Constantine's name in the branding again.  So the Original Graphic Novels released are listed as John Constantine: Hellblazer (insert name) on orderlist.  Even the new min City of Demons it is John Constantine: Hellblazer - City of Demons.
 
It has always been "John Constantine: Hellblazer" or just Hellblazer for short.  Vertigo I guess is just trying the make sense of it all for those who don't read the book.
 
Hope that helps.
Posted by Jotham

Combat Kelly? Never heard of him. How about Sgt. Rock? Or Nick Fury? He's been in several different self titled series (...Agent of Shield, ...and His Howling Commandos, etc.)

Posted by Liberty
@Jotham:   I am heavily researching this list with severeal Price guides the vine and other comic websites.  On each I am going alphabetically and I just got to letter D so there are many that are not here yet.  I have added anyone with 30 of more issues to their name but that number might get higher because this will be a top 100 list.  Keep checking and you will see improvement.
Posted by Jotham
@Liberty: Okay, got it. I didn't notice it was only to D. Good start. Plus, now that you're in D, I'm sure Deadpool's got plenty.
Posted by Jotham

Ray Palmer's only had 40 issues? That's surprising.

Posted by Liberty
@Jotham:   Well he had other series but they were called different things like The power of the Atom or the Sword of the Atom and so on.   
Posted by aztek_the_lost

since he is my favorite character I had to bring it up, Lucifer of Trident Comics is a completely different character so Lucifer should only have 75 unless you also count Lucifer Nirvana and Sandman Presents: Lucifer which were all collected with the main series, that would bump him up to 79

Moderator
Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

this list was win but Scooby made it trancend the Barrier between epic win and Mega Monster Epic Win
Posted by IrishX

I see rule #2 but it's still odd that an entire history of comics like The Amazing Spider-Man or The Incredible Hulk are not being counted just because they have a word before their name. 
 
Posted by Liberty
@IrishX:    I know how you feel but there is a reason for it.  First of all this list is a list of "self titled" books and that is what a self titled book is.  Second is it is more about sustainability.  For example characters like Superman, Spiderman and Batman have had long periods of time where there are producing several different books at the same time.  That doesn't show the historical sustainability as well.  There also has to be a place to draw a line.  Once you start adding all these books you turn the list into more of an appearance list and comicvine already has that.   The third reason in marketability.  The reason words like spectacular, action, pep, adventures and incredible are used to make the book look more spectacular but the great eventually don't need that and then they can sell book on name only.  These are the titans.  Spider-man and Hulk were not the only ones hurt by this.  Going over the 100's of 1000's of comics shows this.  
 
I am going to add all my reasons that I listed here in the description of the list but didn't want to do it until the list was done because I didn't want it to get judged prematurely.  It is a real bummer when your list gets a no recommendation before you are even done.  btw, how did you like the list and do you have any other questions or comments?  I am really open to opinions.
Posted by IrishX
@Liberty:
It's a bummer anytime a list get's a no recommendation.. lol. I know I value the one list I've made pretty highly. 
 
I understand that you want to make something different than just an appearance list. I guess I just looked at it more in the way of single character series.  Basically no team, one-shot, or any guest appearances in other characters books. Of course it's your list and you can do it anyway you wish.
 
Gotta disagree on the point about eventually not needing something before the name. Amazing has been with Spidey so long and is such a part of him that I just don't see it going anywhere. He may be the exception to this though.
Posted by Liberty
@IrishX:   I understand and agree with you in part.  Amazing Spider-man is how he got his start.  It is like Action Comics with Superman.  Also, look at Sgt Rock.  his series was called Our Army at War and yet it was a Sgt. Rock comic. The thing is 99% of the time the adjective gets droped and that didn't happen very fast for Spider-man and Hulk.  
 
Don't forget the other reasons though because they are just as important and that is.  I wanted to show a list of durability and marketability in a historical context.  Take characters like like Blackhawk.  Historically he was every bit as popular as a character like Hulk and maybe even Spider-man.  He had his own movie series and theme song.  As well as radio shows and so on.  He was huge for decades but he is largely forgotten now.  He also had comics that I didn't count.  
 
What happens with self titled books is they are almost always published one at a time.  For example  you are not likely to have a book like Superman and another book with the same name or a book called Clark Kent.  So in other-words instead of counts four series that are being produed for the 1990's I am only counting one series for the 1990's.  You can also look at the series and divide by 12 and see what their impact was.  Anyone with 120 books or more has been huge for AT LEAST a decade.  This give you a good idea of their impact.  It is not perfect but I am a big historian and counting the self titled books shows books in their historical perspective a little better.  
 
btw You never said if you liked the list or not.
Posted by IrishX
@Liberty:
It's a good list. I certainly can appreciate trying to help people learn about characters they may not know about.
Posted by Loki9876

god list you had a lot of work with that list

Posted by Liberty
@Loki9876:   8 days at about 4 hours a day.  How sad is that?  Thanks for voting.  
Posted by Silkcuts

BEST LIST ON THE VINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
Love this list!
John Constantine sits at #15 :D 
On more year he is tied with Blackhawk and I think he deserves the tie breaker because of the OGN's are 10 issues worth of stories, just the two of them.
Posted by aztek_the_lost

why don't comics like Conan the Barbarian, Conan the King and Conan the Cimmerian count? I mean they are still his name aren't they, he has been known as those things

Moderator
Posted by aztek_the_lost

also, maybe I just missed him on your list but Shade the Changing Man had 78 through 8 issues from DC and 70 from Vertigo

Moderator
Posted by Jotham

Good job, man. Great list.

Posted by Liberty
@Jotham:   Thank you very much.
 
@aztek the lost: Only you would notice my mistake after I worked so hard =].  I added him and corrected the list.  thank you.  
 
As for the name thing.  I explained it in the description of the list and in an earlier post.  You may not have noticed because I re-wrote the whole thing after your first comment.  
 
The thing is  titles like Conan the Barbarian,  are the same as Superman:  The Man of Steel, Firestorm the Nuclear man and  Batman the Dark Knight. The title has to be the character's name and only their name. The word "The" is alright as are titles like Captain, Mr, Dr. and King are fine as well.  This brings me to another mistake I made I will add the King Conan and Conan the King.  55 more issues.  I worked my butt off on this and you are making me feel like I didn't do enough.  I'm just joking by the way I am really glad for your input I just hope you don't find any more mistakes at the same time =].   

Lastly, as for Conan the Cimmerian.  I don't count it for the same reason I didn't count Barbarian.  Cimmerian is what he is not his name.  The title has to be just his name.  I can't think of a real comparison but to give you an idea I wouldn't count Superman the Kryptonian, Red Skull the German or Aquaman the Atlantian.    Does this help?  Let me know your thoughts.
Posted by Primmaster64

YAY! SUPES!!! XD

Posted by Amegashita

  Where is Billy?  I'm going to have to come back after I compile all my information, I will not accept Freddy being on a list and not being lower than Billy. 
 
  Great list though... but having Billy Batson on there would make it Awesome.

Posted by JCJQLB

This an interesting list!

Posted by B'Town

I'm sure my eyes glazed over when I saw Stuperman in the #1 postion.  But once I got past that I have to say it is a pretty good list.

Posted by Mr.Q
so... when do you sleep? between these thoughts. I appreciate all of the mind numbing work that went into this. I do. you are both an entertainer and an educator. can't say I recognize all of these entries, but I suppose that would be the point. thanks for the out standing work and info. now please. take a nap. it was well earned.
Posted by haydenclaireheroes

You can see you put a lot of work on the list with a description on every character and even a huge description on the top. I hope you do more of these. 

Posted by Liberty
@Mr.Q:   You don't know how true that is I literally stayed up after my kids went to bed.
 
@haydenclaireheroes: Thank you.
Posted by Mr.Q
@Liberty said:
" @Mr.Q:   You don't know how true that is I literally stayed up after my kids went to bed.
 
can't be good for your health. or your mind. I know a thing or two about sleep deprivation. don't sleep much than I can't think. can't process what is going on around me. its what I imagine going insane must be like. wouldn't wish it on anyone. now sleep soldier. sleep.
Posted by NightFang
@Jotham said:
" Good job, man. Great list. "
Posted by The Angry Comic Book Critic

This looks like it was as hard to make as pulling teeth really good effort man but there's just one small problem in this list.....Jug head beats spider-man I know it's your list and all but still just something about a guy who eats hamburgers all day and has a paper crown topping Ol' Webhead just doesn't sit right with me

Posted by caesarsghost

this is a terrific list.  
 
I especially appreciated the transhistorical approach, taking into account not only current titles but looking at the whole of comics history. That is what makes this Best List on the Vine, as my man Silkcuts pointed out earlier.
Posted by Liberty
@The Angry Comic Book Critic:   I couldn't agree with you more actually.  It was not by choice that he was ranked so high.  What I'd like to know is who buys the Jughead Comic.  I didn't even know it existed until I researched it.
 
@caesarsghost: Thank you very much that was a real nice complement.
Posted by caesarsghost
@Liberty:
good work deserves recognition.  
 
And yeah, I had no idea that Jugghead was so popular or that his line lasted so long. Huh. Learn something new all the time I guess.  
 
But yeah, apart from some justifiable anomalies (Jugghead beating out Spidey) the list makes logical sense and looks about how you would expect it to.  
 
and my personal favorite nabs the #1 spot. Man that feels good.
Posted by Jetshade

Liberty, you are a great contributor to CV and I commend you for creating another interesting, well-researched, well-written, and comprehensive list. You deserve serious kudos for your efforts. 
 
However, like IrishX, I have a MAJOR problem with your uncompromising reasoning about restricting the title to only the character's name in order to qualify -- relegating one of comicdom's biggest and most enduring superstars, Spider-Man, to only #35 on the list (behind such luminaries as Betty Cooper, nothing against her) when he clearly should be in the top 3. I have read your explanation several times now, and I still don't agree with it and think it is unreasonable. 
 
It should not matter if SPIDER-MAN is preceded by (in much smaller letters) "Amazing," "Web of," or "Peter Parker, the Spectacular." You disqualify it because you claim the character shouldn't need the adjective in order to sell the book. I say hogwash. The book sells because it is about Spider-Man and the name SPIDER-MAN sells the book, period. Not the adjective. This is a fatal flaw in your argument that makes your list more about semantics than it is about true popularity and content. Sorry to sound like I'm coming down on you so hard since I really respect your contributions, but I really feel the need to make this point.       

Posted by Liberty
@Jetshade:   Thank you fro your comment.  Just for the record in case their was confusion.  I did not make this list with any preconceived ideas of leaving anyone out or inflating anyone's numbers.  Spider-man is a much a surprise to me as were many of these characters like, The Spirit, John Constantine, Lone Ranger and all the Riverdale characters.  I wanted to make a list that was completely unbiased and this was the best I could come up with.  
 
Two other things I think you missed are.  I counted Peter Parker: Spider-Man.  It has his complete name in the title.  The other thing is this is a historical list.  Spider-man has only been around since 1962.  Batman, Superman the Spirit and the majority of the top ten have been around since the late 1930's and early 1940's.  There were Superhero comics for about 25 years before Spider-man was created.  Not only that but Superhero Comics existed for only about 70 years.  That is about 40% of the history of comics with no Spidy.  If I counted all of Spider-man's "Web of", "Spectacular" and "Amazing"  I would have done two other things.  I would have counted several runs that were going at the same time.  That would make the list less historically accrate as Spidey has only existed for less than 40m years.  I also would have to do the same thing for characters like Superman and Batman as well as characters like Captain Marvel (Billy) and Conan etc.  
 
This list is meant to rate the heroes who are the most popular over a historical period of time without using personal opinion.  I think it comes real close.  If I did it the way you suggest I think the list would be tilted to modern characters who have been subject to mass production and over saturation.  I really am glad you posted your thoughts.  I will also agree with you that some characters got screwed like Spidey.  The worst is Captain Marvel (Billy Batson)  He was screwed over litigation based on his name.  I hope this explained it better.  What do you think?
 
Thanks,  Liberty.
Posted by Jetshade
@Liberty: I understand what you're trying to say and do here, and if you rationalized your list as "let's see how comic book characters rank in terms of number of self-titled books published if we throw out all of their titles with adjectives in them," I have no problem with it. It becomes an interesting bit of trivia where, as you say, certain popular characters get screwed. 
 
But my problem is when you say this ranking method is meant to objectively determine who are "the greatest heroes of all time." I'm sorry, but when the flagship character of the top-selling comic book publisher comes in at #35 (Spider-Man) and another of their most popular characters comes in at #111 (Hulk), I think it says a lot more about your criteria being flawed than it does about the popularity of those characters. It becomes, like I said, more of a list about semantics (in this case, discriminating against adjectives in titles) rather than about who the greatest heroes of all time really are. 
 
It also seems to me that you are not even consistent in applying your criteria, since Thor's longest-running title went as "The Mighty" Thor for quite some time, while Iron Man's longest-running title was called "The Invincible" Iron Man for most of its run. It is true that here on Comic Vine the titles only come up as Thor and Iron Man, but Comic Vine is not 100% correct about everything. The real evidence is on the actual covers of the issues -- nearly all of them say "Mighty Thor" and "Invincible Iron Man." So why do those get counted while "Amazing," "Spectacular," "Web of" Spider-Man and "Incredible" Hulk get thrown out? Where do you draw the line? Once again, this becomes more of a debate about semantics than it does about true popularity and which character really has the most self-titled issues. 
 
So I still maintain that your rule about throwing out self-titles with adjectives in them, at least in terms of determining the "greatest heroes of all time" in a fair and objective manner, is fatally flawed. No hard feelings I hope. :) 
 

Posted by Liberty
@Jetshade:  No hard feelings at all.  I like to see other opinions.  I do however disagree with you.  I would challenge you to tell me a different way to have an unbiased list that determines who the greatest characters of all time. 
 
As to your other point of this list being unfair.  I couldn't agree disagree more. You should realize that comicvine was not my only source.  As I stated above.  I had bought three different price guides and used them as well.  Iron man's and Thor's books were collectively listed as self titled books.  Sometimes a book is produced as one thing but anything can appear on the cover.  It would be impossible to see every issue and judge them that way.  
 
A prime example of this would be Project Superpowers.  It is called Project Superpowers but, the cover of that book simply has a Z on it.  Another example would be Action Comics.  It is produced as Action Comics but the cover will say things like Superman in Action Comics and so on.  If you look on the inside cover of a comic it lists what the book is actually called.  In over words what you see on the cover is not always how the book was published.  If there is a biased conspiracy than it is bigger than me.  =]    
 
In summation I would point out again that it would be impossible to see and open every cover to see what it is called.  I have to rely on research tools in order to make this list and I think over all it is really accurate as a historical list.  I think we are just going to have to disagree with each other on it.  Everything you have stated about Spider-man not being higher on the list is more based on opinion.  I would challenge you again.  How would you to tell me a different way to have an unbiased list that determines who the greatest characters of all times.   Not just since 1962.
Edited by Jetshade
@Liberty:
I can see that you are really married to your concept and criteria here and we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
 
I'll simply ask you this: Do you truly, honestly believe that a character like Warlord, who has only been around since 1975 and has seldom appeared since 1989, is a "greater hero of all time" than Spider-Man, a character who has arguably been the most popular and best-selling superhero since 1962 and whose titles are still going strong? Or that Warlord should be ranked 77 spots higher than the Hulk, another of Marvel's most popular characters since 1962 and whose titles are still going strong? Do you honestly believe that? Would anyone (other than a few die-hard Warlord fans or unreasonable Spider-Man/Hulk haters) honestly believe that? No? Then something about your criteria is flawed. This is not a conclusion based on my opinion, but simple common sense based on obvious real world evidence. 
 
As for you asking me how to create a more unbiased list, easy: Include just the longest-running self-titles with adjectives in them. Amazing Spider-Man, Incredible Hulk, Conan the Barbarian. Throw out the other self-titles that were running concurrently (Spectacular Spider-Man, etc). Give it a shot and I think you would make a far more accurate list. It certainly wouldn't have absurdities like Warlord being ranked higher than Spider-Man and Hulk.   
Posted by Liberty
@Jetshade: When you use that one comparison I would agree.  After all I never said that this was a perfect solution but I do think it is more accurate than you are giveing it credit for.  It is the most researched list on the vine I have seen that is for sure.  I like your idea but I am not convinced it would make the list more accurate than the one I did.  That said I will look into it.  Who knows.  I am glad we can agree to disagree.  After all I hate when someone votes no and you are left wondering why.  Fear not however Hulk will be moving up quickly as I am sure Spider-man will as well.  I just don't think he would be in the top three using your method either.  That said he would be higher than he is now.
Posted by batmanary

Phantom is actually quite popular internationally, in Australia, Scandinavia, and India, for example

Posted by cbishop

Yeah, I read the rules, but I kind of think it's skewing the numbers to not include Amazing, Web of, and Spectacular, when "Spider-Man" is a much newer series than all of those.  I could see not including Marvel Tales, which was reprints anyway (although I think an argument could be made about how long said reprint sold, because it was Spidey), or not including something like "Spider-Man: Mutant Agenda," or "Spider-Man: India" (or whatever the comic was that showed Spidey as a guy from India). 
 
I mean, if the criteria is "self titled only," then does "The Batman" one-shot from Tangent count as a Batman self-title?  It was being related to the Bruce Wayne Batman that sold that comic, because fans wanted to see how this alternate version would compare.  Does that count? 
 
Still a cool list though. :)

Posted by Wise Son
@Liberty: I commented on a crap load of your list I figured why not do the one yo asked me to do. Let me get this out of the way first, the effort put in this is just short of Spartan. And we all know about those Spartans. Props man as this took a good deal of research. Liberty, you're a man among boys when it comes to being a contributer. Now onto the list. Fist pumpage was going on upon finding Spawn, Nick Fury, Sgt. Rock (whom I own the majority of his longest run) and Black Panther in the top 50.  
 
There are a few ranking issues I have here just from personal preference though it can be validated by facts if need be. I know you based it off of self titled comics and what not but I'd change a few things if we were talking about who the greatest out of these were. To start of to comic book hell with Steel, I hate his character, he's like what happens when affirmative action goes bad. And don't get me started on Archie. Supes shouldn't be anywhere near the top. He's a symbol and all that good stuff but he's become so cliche'd and he's just bleh. Hulk, Spectre, and Moon Knight would be higher up going off of everyone listed.  Kudos for including Shadowman but honestly what the heck is Aquaman's appeal? I mean seriously? He seems to be one of the most misplaced, at least people can argue for Supes as the face of comics. 
Posted by Liberty
@Wise Son: I agree with a lot of what you said.  Superman is a little cliche today but it wasn't always that way. The Spirit was a bigger surprise to me being second.  I never thought he would be so high on the list.
Posted by Illyana Rasputin

Great List!

Posted by Violet-Eyed Dragon

i love the list ive never seen one in which more effort went in.  
i want to make a few corrections but dont be insulted i just wanted to let you know.  :)
Deadpool has had 4 ongoing solo series:  "Deadpool," "Deadpool V2," "Deadpool V3," "Merc with a Mouth."   Hes also had a bunch of minis and one-shots plus three team-up series.  
Spider-men has had 8 ongoing solo series:  "Amazing Spider-Man," "Sensational Spider-Man," "Spectacular Spider-Man," "Sensational Spider-Man V2," Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man," "Untold Tales of Spider-Man," "Ultimate Spider-Man," "Marvel Adventures Spider-Man," and a newspaper comic.  and im not counting the webs.  
 
but great job :)
 

Posted by Shadowsnake89

This is a great list. I never some of the older characters would have had that many issues in one run.

Posted by Duo_forbidden

*Whistles*  Man this is one hell of a list. I can tell you work extremely hard on this. Great job!

Posted by jrh7925

Awesome list! Very comprehensive, and an interesting objective way to gauge characters.
 
If you don't mind me being a bit nitpicky, I'd like to point out more issues for Turok: When Valiant bought the Gold Key properties, they relaunched Turok. He had a 48-issue run with them.

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