Batman tops YouTube's list of most popular superheroes

Despite competition from cinematic upstarts like Iron Man, Wolverine and Captain America, Batman reigns as the most popular superhero on YouTube, with more than 3 billion views of a staggering 71,000 hours of video. But the character at No. 2 may surprise fans, and undoubtedly please Marvel Studios. Verily.

That's according to research released today by the video-sharing website as part of its "Geek Week" celebration. The breakdown is based on keyword searches since 2008 for everything from film trailers to fan originals to video-game play.

In second place, although not exactly nipping at the Dark Knight's heels, is Thor -- really! -- with 2.1 billion views of 66,000 hours of video (today's release of the new trailer for Thor: The Dark World will help boost that count). The god of thunder is trailed by Superman (1.7 billion views/14,000 hours), Iron Man (1.4 billion views/20,000 hours) and the Avengers (1 billion views/31,000 hours). You can see the full list here. The Top 10 superheroes account for more than 10 billion views and 234,000 hours of video.

And, in case you were wondering, Deadpool rounded out the Top 10 with 2 million views of 8,900 hours of video. I'm pretty sure at least 8,000 of those hours involve the Merc With a Mouth dancing.

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