There are so many comic book characters that have been created over the years that it's hard not to think that some of them are based on real people. The thought has crossed my mind during my years of reading comics, but I've never actually done the research to figure it out.
Thanks to Youtubers Matthew Santoro and VSauce3, who did do the research, we have a great video breakdown that lists off 10 comic book characters whose creation was inspired by real people. Check out the video. I've listed them off in text form below.
#1 – The Joker – Conrad Viedt (1928)
#2 – John Constantine – Sting
#3 – Tintin – Danish Boy Scout Palle Huld
#4 – The Hellfire Club – Various actors who Jack Kirby and Stan Lee were familiar with
#5 – Magneto and Professor X – Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
#6 – Iron Man – Howard Hughes
#7 – Lucifer Morningstar – David Bowie
#8 – Harley Quinn – Arleen Sorkin (Days of Our Lives)
#9 – J. Jonah Jameson – Stan Lee
#10 – Darkseid – Adolf Hitler