Americans chose their favorite superhero (hint: it isn’t Captain America)

A survey conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Visit Anaheim in advance of Avengers Campus opening at Disney California Adventure ® Park this summer looks at superheroes, villains and how
much fans love their comic book characters. (Photo by Lena Rose on Unsplash)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane — it’s Superman, earning the title of “America’s favorite superhero,” according to new research.

A survey of 2,000 Americans pinpointed respondents’ favorite heroes, and Superman led the pack with 47% of the vote.

The top three was rounded out by Spider-Man (46%) and Batman (45%), with Captain America (42%) and Iron Man (41%) not far behind.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Visit Anaheim in advance of Avengers Campus opening at Disney California Adventure ® Park this summer, the survey looked at superheroes, villains and how much fans love their comic book characters.

The survey found fans prefer Marvel to DC (33% to 17%) and the Avengers were revealed to be the favorite crime-fighting team (30%).

And when asked who would win in a fight, respondents believe Superman would triumph over Batman (63%), putting to rest one of the many fandom debates.

Respondents preferred the good guys to the bad, choosing heroes over villains (42% vs. 16%) — but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a favorite rulebreaker.

Joker topped the list of villains (31%), with Catwoman (26%) and Venom (23%) rounding out the top three.

Sixty-four percent of respondents consider themselves to be fans of superheroes, and their favorite way to partake in the fandom is to watch their favorite comic books grace the big screen (48%).

Results found three-quarters (74%) are excited to see more Marvel movies — but 73% would like the movies to more closely mirror the comic books they’re based on.

Watching movies isn’t the only way they participate in fandom though, and results found a third (32%) of respondents have been to a fan convention.

“Anaheim attracts fan conventions because the city is a great destination for people looking to spend more time in their favorite fictional universes — from sports to Disneyland, our city has something for all types of fans,” said Charles Harris, chief marketing officer and executive vice president public affairs, Visit Anaheim.

Respondents will go to great lengths in order to attend. Of those who would like to go to a convention, the average respondent would be willing to travel over a thousand miles — or across about a third of the U.S.

That’s not all — a fifth would be willing to either plan a domestic trip around a convention or drive more than 10 hours to attend (22% and 19%, respectively).

And 14% of those surveyed would be willing to name their child after a VILLAIN in order to attend a convention.

“If you’re invested in a fandom of any kind, whether it’s science fiction TV and film, comic books or pop culture, there’s a convention for that,” said Harris. “Events provide a unique opportunity for fans to bond over a shared passion and to express their enthusiasm through cosplay, meeting other fans, attending panels and more.”


  1. Superman
  2. Spider-Man
  3. Batman
  4. Captain America
  5. Iron Man
  6. Wonder Woman
  7. Aquaman
  8. Captain Marvel
  9. Black Panther
  10. Wolverine


  1. Joker
  2. Catwoman
  3. Venom
  4. Thanos
  5. Lex Luthor
  6. Magneto
  7. Penguin
  8. Harley Quinn
  9. Mystique
  10. Loki


  1. Seeing new, unreleased content 52%
  2. The merchandise and things being sold 47%
  3. Talking to other fans 45%
  4. The panels and speakers 36%
  5. Seeing fans cosplay 36%


  1. Plan a domestic trip around attending a convention
  2. Plan an international trip around attending a convention
  3. Drive 10+ hours to attend
  4. Name their child after a superhero
  5. Name their child after a villain

>> Download the video & infographic for this research story <<

NOTE: All news copy and multimedia on this SWNS account is free to use as you see fit. Where research has been conducted, we ask that you credit the company which commissioned it.

SWNS is a UK and US-based news and media content agency with a proud 40-year history.