Superhero comics as we know them date back to the 1930s, and stories with heroic, powerful leads date back to Mesopotamia (think The Epic of Gilgamesh) and possibly beyond. Fast-forward to today, and the superhero comics genre is doing better than ever, with well-drawn, well-written, intelligent, and inclusive narratives on the bookshelves.
The same is true in the manga/anime world, and My Hero Academia and One-Punch Man are near the top. While My Hero Academia is a mainstream Shonen superhero title, One-Punch Man has some fun with the formula and aims for both action and laughs. In the world of One-Punch Man's heroes, which are near the top, when you consider metrics like combat power, costume design, personality, and the ability to inspire others? Let's take a look!
10 Mumen Rider
Mumen Rider, ranking in the top 10 heroes? How can that be? While his combat prowess means he ends up in the hospital after every fight, there's something weirdly compelling about the top C-ranked hero. He's incredibly courageous, virtuous, and dedicated to the job, and he'll give anything to fight the forces of evil.
This noble spirit is in a pretty low-tier hero body, but it's inspiring to see. Plus, it's plain old funny to see a guy with a visor and helmet riding on a bicycle to the scene of the crime. Let's not forget that time that his ill-fated stand against the Deep Sea King rallied the onlookers. That counts for something.
Several of the heroes on this list are noted not because they're the most powerful fighters around, but the most well-rounded heroes we've seen so far. Stinger, like Mumen Rider, has the true soul of a hero, and he knows no fear or hesitation whatsoever in the face of the enemy.
He couldn't stop the Deep Sea King, but this sting-based hero took out a number of deep sea minions, and his pointed appearance is rather distinctive. He's a true hero for fighting the bad guy's minions while the major powerhouses took on the boss.
8 Lightning Max
Lightning Max made it onto this list for similar reasons as Sting. In fact, they both fought the Deep Sea Army and both ended up in neighboring hospital beds. He's a lightning user, and he stood his ground valiantly against the deep sea creatures and the King himself.
He didn't put a scratch on the Deep Sea King, but his courage and strength in the battle were remarkable. A lesser hero would have fled, but not this guy.
7 Spring Mustachio
This gentleman hero checks nearly all the boxes for a pro hero in this world. He has a cool name, terrific fighting skills with a rapier, and a distinctive aesthetic, with his mustache and his upper-class clothes.
He stared down the seaweed monster when everyone else had fled, and not even getting beaten halfway to a pulp dampened his heroic spirit. He also did a fine job slashing up the seaweed monster's tentacles until Saitama arrived to finish it off.
Does she look familiar? Blizzard is, in fact, Tornado of Terror's younger sister, though appearance-wise, you'd think it would be the other way around. Blizzard occupies the top slot among B-rank heroes, and is the commander of the Blizzard Group.
This woman suffers from an inferiority complex, and often lashes out at others, but her combat skills are impressive and she's highly protective of her group members. After all, looking out for others is what a hero does!
What's this? The One-Punch Man himself came in at #5? If you consider all factors, and not just sheer power, Saitama is still an impressive hero, but not the best. His combat power reaches unfathomable heights, and no villain is a true challenge for him, but his attitude could use some work, and his costume is a bit plain. He lazes around at home when he's not fighting, and this nearly cost him his hero license!
He fights just for fun, and he cares little about actually saving people (though it does give him a warm and fuzzy feeling). He does very little to inspire and uplift others, and he's unpopular as a result. Someday, though, perhaps he shall find purpose and true happiness and inspire the world!
4 Puri Puri Prisoner
If there's one word that describes Puri Puri Prisoner, it would be "gutsy." This hulking man has a gentle heart, but if he gets angry, watch out! He's an S-class hero and can hit like one, and he even made the Deep Sea King take him seriously.
Alas, not even his angelic form was enough to win the day, and the King beat him into submission. In that fight, Prisoner learned to always punch with the intent to kill, and he put this lesson to use when the aliens invaded.
3 Tornado of Terror
Now for the older of the two sisters, and the second S-class hero. Tornado is in fact 28 years old, but looks half that, and people often treat her that way, too! Tornado has a short temper and a less than savory personality, and she's not one to cooperate with others. In fact, she was pretty angry when Saitama competed with her to find villains to squash.
Still, her combat powers are enormous, and her telekinesis allowed her to fight off the alien invasion with ease. In that climactic battle, she was second only to the One-Punch Man.
2 Bang (Silver Fang)
What's not to love about the third ranked S-class hero? Old man Bang is getting on in years, but he's one of the toughest heroes out there and he can put any villainous youngster in their place. Bang is a martial arts master and a kind man, upholding the ethics of heroism to the letter.
He is upset if the other heroes ignore the effects of collateral damage, and he regrets the fact that his former disciple, Garou, has become a villain. If you need a mentor and a friend, look no further.
Other than a tendency to take his opponents a bit too lightly, Genos is oozing with pro-hero credentials. He's highly driven and will push his body to the absolute limit to fight evil and save innocent lives, having not a single cruel or selfish bone in his body. He'd give Marvel's Captain America a run for his do-gooding money! His tough cyborg body ranks among the toughest out there, and better yet, he can swap in new parts to enhance and modify his combat capabilities.
He also has a simple but cool outfit and appearance, and he's pretty funny, too (though he never realizes it). Let's not forget that he jumped straight to S-class when he passed the hero exam! All the pro heroes sat up and took notice of that.