The Top 10 Comic Book Heroes of the 80s

There are a lot of beloved comic book heroes in the present who got their starts in the 1980s. While that particular decade might not have been as fruitful as, say, the 1960s, it was nonetheless a pretty good one for the comic books industry as a whole. Here are 10 of the best comic book heroes who received their debuts in the 1980s:


Nowadays, Cyborg is a member of the Justice League. However, it should be noted that he started out as a member of the Teen Titans. With that said, whichever lineup he happens to be on, Cyborg is recognizable in a single glance, which is a very useful characteristic for a comic book hero.

Emma Frost

There are a lot of iconic members of the X-Men who saw their debuts in the 1980s. One excellent example is Emma Frost, who started out as an enemy to the X-Men but eventually went over to their side because of her guilt over the death of her students. As such, she has been an important character in X-Men storylines ever since.

Jason Todd

Jason Todd was the second Robin who was murdered by the Joker, thus prompting a number of stories about Batman’s guilt over his failure to save his charge. At one point in time, the joke was that there were three characters who remained dead in comic books, with one being Bucky, Uncle Ben, and Jason Todd. However, Jason has since made a return from the grave as the Red Hood, who has a much greater willingness to use lethal force than his one-time mentor.

Kitty Pryde

Kitty Pryde is another iconic member of the X-men who was introduced in the 1980s. With that said, it is interesting to note that her character has seen a lot of change over time, seeing as how she was once used as a “kid sister” for older, more established characters but has since become a full-fledged leader in her own right.


Raven was one of the characters who got their start with the 1980s version of the Teen Titans. There are a lot of people out there who will be most familiar with her because of her depiction on the animated shows Teen Titans and Teen Titans Go!, where she is voiced by Tara Strong. Amusingly, this led to a joke about her being a fan of the My Little Pony parody Pretty Pretty Pegasus, which is relevant because Tara Strong voices Twilight Sparkle on said show.


Rogue has been one of the most popular members of the X-Men since the 1980s. As such, she has shown up in a wide range of X-Men media including the X-Men movies in which she was played by Anna Paquin.


The name Starfire showed up in DC Comics in the 1960s but the current character who bears it was a chil of the 1980s. One of her co-creators George Perez based her initial appearance on the concept of “Red Sonja in outer space,” though it was a suggestion from Joe Orlando that provided her with her iconic hair contrail.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have seen multiple interpretations over the course of their existence. However, the first one showed up in the 1980s, which proceeded to establish a lot of the basic facts that have since served as the foundations of later interpretations. Whatever the case, the fact that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are still very recognizable as characters says much about the popularity that they have managed to find.

The Crow

James O’Barr created the Crow as a way of working out his feelings about how his girlfriend had been killed by a drunk driver. Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed in this regard because his work was motivated by pure anger, but the resulting comic book did manage to catch on with a wide range of readers. As such, this is how we winded up with a Crow movie and could very well wind up with a Crow reboot in the future.


Watchmen is regarded as a genre-changing work when it comes to superhero comics, so much so that it played a part in inspiring the darkness of the 1990s. While subsequent works based on the setting laid out in Watchmen have often been iffy for one reason or another, the original is a classic comic book and promises to remain so for the future to come.

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