There must be foreign comic book superheroes, protagonist characters with superhuman or magical abilities. Which superhero is the highest selling, therefore the most popular, superhero published outside of the United States? I'd like to know the name of that superhero and brand of comic he or she is featured in.

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    This is a bit vague if you don't say what you mean by “superhero”; as a genre, it's mostly defined by US productions. For example, does Asterix count? – user56 Jun 2 '12 at 22:27
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    "There must be foreign superheroes?" is that a joke? Seriously though, "Monkey D Luffy" is a super ...hero-ish person. His "comic" One Piece has sold over 250 million volumes. The latest issue has sold 3.2ish million copies. – Gorchestopher H Jun 3 '12 at 0:31
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    I Assume that "most popular" means "units sold", and that we're talking about today. If not, Asterix probably takes the cake. – Gorchestopher H Jun 3 '12 at 1:05
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    Is Robin Hood a hero? I'd say so. By that same token I'd say Luffy and his crew are also. He is also super-powered, so I'd say he fits the bill. – Gorchestopher H Jun 4 '12 at 17:45
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    In addition. Japan has had "Superman" style heroes (albeit, they are usually robots), but much like here, that has fallen from popularity (See: AstroBoy). – Gorchestopher H Jun 4 '12 at 17:49

The "Hero": Monkey D Luffy
Ability: Rubber Man
Comic: One Piece
Country: Japan
Publisher: Shueisha
Magazine: Shonen Jump

Last Issue: Sold 3.16 million copies.
To Date: Sold 250 million volumes.

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    Just to explain "rubber man". Luffy basically has the same "power" as Mr Fantastic. Also, the only reason why I'm not answering Asterix or the various "Duck" comics wildly popular in Europe, is that they sell a lot less than One Piece "today". If this were 10 years ago... different story. – Gorchestopher H Jun 4 '12 at 13:23
  • actually luffy power it is a little diferent to Mr Fantastic, Mr Fantastic can change they body form at will for enlarged periods of time. luffy cannot, luffy it is more like a Rubber band(for example he it is immune to electricity and support a huge amount of physical damage and is a idiot ), in additional that the history have 10 years at air and the author say they just go at middle of them en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_band – osdamv Jun 4 '12 at 17:23
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    I said "basically" for that reason. The core of his ability is that he's rubber-like but can obviously stretch far beyond what rubber can. I added that comment because "Mr Fantastic" is considered a "super hero", and Luffy has a very similar super-human aspect, and is partial to heroic things. Just trying to validate his super-hero qualification. Believe me, I know everything about Luffy. Also, the comic began in 97, so it's been going on 15 years. – Gorchestopher H Jun 4 '12 at 17:40
  • For you US citizens, Mangas and Comics are the same thing? Because we (french) consider it two very different things. – Kalissar Aug 8 '13 at 7:38
  • @Kalissar What is the difference? – Gorchestopher H Aug 8 '13 at 11:17

Son Goku, the hero of Dragon Ball and its many follow-ups. There's no doubt to his super-heroic credentials:

Goku is introduced as an eccentric, monkey-tailed boy who practices martial arts and possesses superhuman strength. At first, Goku is believed to be an Earthling, but he is later revealed to be a member of an extraterrestrial warrior race called the Saiyans... As Goku matures, he becomes one of Earth's strongest warriors and protects it from villains who wish to harm it.

The original manga has sold over 300 million books worldwide (only One Piece has sold more comics); on top of this there are numerous spin-offs and shorter sequels, four anime series, twenty films, and enough video games that is is also one of the biggest video game franchises as well.

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    dragon ball it is older and have influenced a too many manga stories, but to day the most sold manga is one piece – osdamv Jun 4 '12 at 17:26
  • @osdamv: One Piece has sold more manga, but I would be surprised if it comes anywhere near Dragon Ball as a franchise; similarly for Son Goku vs. Luffy as a character. – user1030 Jun 4 '12 at 19:28
  • one piece never be popular than dragon ball in occident one piece touch too many topics that in america are tabu, naruto could be.. – osdamv Jun 4 '12 at 19:36
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    @osdamv Statistically speaking, One Piece is more popular than Dragon Ball at the moment. It's very hard to rank popularity outside of sales figures. It has also produced 30-odd video games and 11 movies so far. So, it should be somewhere near. – Gorchestopher H Jun 4 '12 at 21:31
  • hmm, I was not clear , with the censorship in cartoons, the one piece anime has been raped for themes like beer, smoke and guns don't talk about ivankov, I am sure you saw the crap adaptation to english... that it is why I told that one piece would not be so popular like dragon ball in america :( – osdamv Jun 4 '12 at 21:57

I concur that asterix is probably the right answer, but maybe not exactly the US-style superhero.

Wikipedia doesn't seem to offer interesting options.

If batman counts as a superhero, than possibly Super Duck/Paperinik/Duck Avenger (donald duck's hero alter ego) could be the most known outside of north america, having been in print stories worldwide since the '70s, but originally created in italy.

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    Yay for the french hero ! But One Piece is the right answer :p – Kalissar Aug 8 '13 at 7:36

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