The 1960s were a very good time for superheroes. In fact, some of the most iconic characters of the present were created in those times, not least because of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and other legends of the comic book industry. Here are the 10 of the best comic book heroes of the 1960s in alphabetical order:
Ant-Man gets mention for having been a solid member of the Avengers for a very long time. Yes, he struck his wife Janet van Dyne once while he was in the middle of a mental breakdown, which is a very serious issue that should be treated in a respectful manner even by comic books. However, the whole incident has left an indelible stain on Ant-Man, which is a bit unfair when the nature of DC and Marvel storytelling means that other superheroes have had their share of misdeeds as well.
Barbara Gordon isn’t the first Batgirl. Instead, that would be Betty Kane, who was the sidekick of Batwoman. However, Gordon remains the best-known of the various characters who have taken up the mantle, which is why she is the one who is starring in the DC Rebirth continuity.
There were black comic book heroes who existed before Black Panther, but the character can claim the honor of being the first black superhero in a mainstream comic book. While Black Panther hasn’t always been handled well, his combination of smarts, strength, and stylishness has made him an icon that continues to resonate with modern audiences.
The Fantastic Four have been less prominent in recent times because the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has overshadowed non-participants. Something that hasn’t been helped by a disaster of a Fantastic Four movie in 2015. However, the super-powered family remains one of the most important superhero teams in Marvel comics for pure recognition if nothing else.
Iron Man was created to serve as a subversion of what superheroes were supposed to be like in his times. Nowadays, he tends to be best-known for kickstarting the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it is amusing to note that before that point, Iron Man tended to be better-known for being a complete and utter disaster of a human being from time to time.
There isn’t much that needs to be said about Spider-Man because Spider-Man products should be more than common enough for most people to have become aware of the character in one way or another. For example, it hasn’t been that long since a new Spider-Man action game came out, which has won high praise for feeling authentically Spider-Man while running with its own narrative.
The most iconic version of the Teen Titans might be the one that started up in the 1980s, which featured characters such as Robin, Beast Boy, Cyborg, Raven, and Starfire taking on villains such as Terra, Trigon, and Deathstroke the Terminator. After all, this is the version that went on to inspire the animated show that was popular in the 2000s as well as its much more recent follow-up. However, it is important to note that the first version of the superhero team popped up in the 1960s with a line-up of Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Wonder Girl.
The Hulk might not be the most notable hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe line-up, but he has nonetheless benefited from its success. Amusingly, Hulk-related characters have benefited as well, with an excellent example being Thunderbolt Ross, who keeps on getting promoted into positions of increased importance in spite of his incredible mix of malice and incompetence.
Thor came into existence because the people at Marvel Comics were unsure about how to come up with a character stronger than the Hulk, which is why they eventually decided to go with an actual god. Marvel Thor is very much his own character with his own stories, but it is important to note that he retains a fair amount of what made his mythological counterpart so popular with his worshipers, seeing as how he is perfectly prepared to leap into action against a wide range of threats to humanity.
The X-Men came into existence because Stan Lee wanted to make a new team of superheroes but needed to come up with a new excuse for them to have their superpowers. Eventually, he decided to make them mutants who were born with their powers, which is how they are winded up being called the X-Men because they had an “EX-tra power.” Since their creation, the X-Men have picked up a lot of nuance, which is one of the main reasons that they have become so popular.