The super-hero genre is becoming extremely popular very quickly. With the boost of super-hero films, people have become more interested in watching people with powers kick ass. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has also been a powerhouse that has inspired others to follow in its footsteps. Before that, they were just comic books. Instead of being popular from the number of films they were in, it was about how interesting they were on paper. I'd like to discuss why some of these characters have had a bigger impact on comic book fans than others.
Starting off with the obvious, this guy started the genre. He was the very first superhero and set the standard for all other comic book characters to come. He was new, he was something people wanted. People were inspired by him because he was perfect, he was someone everyone wanted to become. He took us away from a dull reality that was nothing like the world that Superman was a part of. With the poorly received Superman Returns and the mixed Man Of Steel, Superman's popularity has dwindled but he will always be in the heart of true comic book readers.
While other super-heroes were very other worldly, we could never realistically see ourselves become those heroes. Then along came a spider. Peter Parker was a teenager at a high school, he was bullied, he lived a very simple life and faced the exact same problems that we do. When he got his powers, we felt like we could become just like him. He made mistakes, he learnt how to be better, he lost people, he was welcomed to a new life. He is a very human super-hero and shows exactly what we would be like if we had super powers. Spider-Man 3 was poorly received, the immediate reboot had a lot of people on the fence and now we face a third reboot only 10 years after the first reboot ended. His cinematic version isn't doing well but we still adore the Peter Parker we know and love from the comics.
Batman was one of the first super-heroes without actual super powers and yet, his feats were on par with some comic book characters that are considered god. You could never be from a different planet or be bitten by a radioactive spider or become a part of an intergalactic corporation that uses their own will power for magic but you could be a guy with awesome tech, skills and knowledge who kicks serious ass. Apart from that, he is really bad-ass and is really entertaining to read and watch about. Batman remains popular on the big screen with the critically acclaimed Dark Knight Trilogy.
Captain America came in at the right place and at the right time. He was a loyal and courageous patriot who kicked nazi ass. During World War II, this was exactly what the US wanted, the character was essentially propaganda in comic books. In modern times he has come to be more of a man with perfect morals who everyone puts their trust in. He has also been well received on the big screen with the recent film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier which I consider to be one of the best films in the MCU so far.
The first female super-hero. For a certain period of time, the stereotype of super-heroes was white males. The demand for more diversity was acknowledged and Wonder Woman was born. Sure her clothes were first very revealing and her weakness was being tied up by a man but it was a start. Wonder Woman has evolved over time and become a role model for females. All other female superheroes were set to the standard of Wonder Woman. We are yet to see her on the big screen but the photo of Gal Gadot next year in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice looks promising.
The Hulk is very unique. All of the other people on this list embrace the powers they have while Dr. Robert Bruce Banner fears his. He is a very empathetic character who stands out from other super-heroes because of his circumstances, he also looks bad-ass destroying everything in his path with his pure rage. His appearances on the big screen have been quite mixed but it appears that Marvel has done well with casting Mark Ruffalo considering the fans' reaction.
Well there's the general reason these super-heroes are so popular. I know I've missed a few like X-Men's relation to racism/immigration and homosexuality, as well as the interesting family dynamic in the Fantastic Four and the "fascinating" powers of Aquaman. Maybe these aren't the reasons you like these heroes. If not then tell me why you love them.