When we are kids, most of us are asked what we want to be when we grow up, and although it is true that some of us give realistic answers like police officer, doctor and scientist, there are still some kids who say they want to be superheroes. A superhero is an individual who genuinely signifies kindness and justice, and can oftentimes serve as a role model for a kid growing up, plus a superhero usually possesses some kind of power or ability, which helps to make them appear even cooler in a kid’s eyes. People did not really start to care about superheroes until the 1930s though, which is when the first comic books started getting published, and since then the comic book industry has expanded to include hundreds of characters; but amongst all these different heroes, Superman is still considered to be one of the most popular and iconic.
Superman has been around since 1938, and he is known for being an alien who was sent to Earth by his parents before their planet Krypton was destroyed, and he can always be seen wearing a blue outfit with a red cape and a large S-shaped insignia on his chest. Thanks to our yellow sun, Superman possesses an array of powers which include flight, X-ray vision, freezing breath, heat vision, as well as superhuman durability, speed and strength, with his main weakness being the radioactive fragments from his homeworld known as Kryptonite. Superman though, is a part of DC Comics, and has basically defeated every single villain within that universe, but DC is not the only comic publisher out there, as Marvel exists too. For decades, comic book fans have argued whether Marvel’s characters are better than DC’s and vice-versa, with one of the major arguments being that no one from Marvel can defeat Superman; but in fact, there are several Marvel supervillains who can beat the Man of Steel, and this list will showcase 15 of these evil individuals
The X-Men franchise has produced several animated television shows as well as almost a dozen live-action movies, and in almost every single one of these projects, we get to see the mutant known as Mystique. It may be true that the recent X-Men trilogy made Mystique into a hero, but do not let that fool you, because comic book fans can attest to the fact that she has mainly been a villain since first appearing in 1978. Now, Mystique’s powers include agelessness, accelerated healing, superhuman reflexes and agility, and of course shapeshifting, which are powers that you would not think could defeat Superman, but in fact they can. It is true that Mystique would not be able to beat Superman in a test of strength, but she can easily defeat him by utterly destroying his reputation, and causing others to turn on him. Superman is like a boy scout, so his reputation would be destroyed if Mystique went around pretending to be him, because she could go around and set off bombs causing destruction and death, or she could simply start murdering civilians at random in public, which would cause many to turn on the Man of Steel.
14. The Purple Man
Marvel has certainly been killing it with their live-action movies for years now, but they have also shown that they can produce quality television shows as well; and it was in Netflix’s Jessica Jones series that many people were introduced to The Purple Man. If this guy were to try and take Superman head on, then Superman would easily win as he could just snap him like a twig, but fortunately for The Purple Man, his abilities would allow him to beat and even kill Superman without even lifting a finger. This guy is a master manipulator who possesses a high-level intellect as well as a regenerative healing ability, but he also has the ability to control the minds of everyone around him by producing special pheromones. All he would have to do is walk up to Superman and say something to him and it would be all over, as he could either tell him to stop being Superman, or tell him to leave the planet, or he could just make Superman end his own life.
13. The Absorbing Man
The Absorbing Man has been around since 1965, and has for the most part been associated with Thor due to the fact that it was originally Loki who gave him the power to mimic any form of energy or matter that he comes into contact with. Ever since his debut, the Absorbing Man, otherwise known as Carl Creel, has absorbed some of the strongest substances in the universe into his body, including the same adamantium that can be found inside Wolverine’s body. Based on his abilities, it is quite easy to understand why he would be capable of defeating Superman, seeing as all he has to do is touch just a single piece of Kryptonite. It would not even matter how big the piece of Kryptonite is, because even with a pebble sized piece, his entire body will essentially turn into a walking slab of Superman’s main counter, except this slab will be able to physically manhandle Superman after weakening him.
12. The Magus
Adam Warlock was first introduced in 1967, as a character associated with the Fantastic Four, and he was created by scientists who were attempting to create the perfect human being, and ended up giving him superhuman strength, endurance and agility, as well as the ability to fly and manipulate energy. In the future though, Adam comes into possession of the Soul Gem, which is one of the Infinity Stones, and after using the gem’s power, he goes insane and becomes the supervillain known as The Magus. The Soul Gem would allow Magus to capture and control Superman’s soul, meaning that he can even steal Superman’s powers for himself, and when you combine that with Magus’ other powers which include the ability to teleport, to become intangible, and to alter reality itself, than what you have is an individual who can surely beat the Kryptonian hero.
11. Molecule Man
When you think about it, there are actually quite a few characters in comic books who come into their powers as a result of some sort of experiment, and that is exactly what happened with Owen Reece. While working as a lab technician, Reece inadvertently opened up a wormhole to another dimension, and this wormhole caused cosmic radiation to leak into our universe, which is how he gained the ability to manipulate molecules using only his mind. This power is basically why he got the unoriginal name Molecule Man, but this power essentially gives him the ability to do whatever he wants as everything in the universe, both living and nonliving, is made up of molecules. Aside from being able to manipulate the molecules within Superman’s body, this guy also possesses what is known as ‘cosmic awareness’, which essentially means that he can sense and predict the actions of powerful beings like Superman, so he could simply counter any attack that Superman throws at him.
10. Dr. Doom
There is no denying the fact that all three Fantastic Four movies are utter garbage, especially when you take into account that the movies basically butchered the Dr. Doom character who is actually supposed to be one of Marvel’s best supervillains. Doom possesses one of the greatest intellects in the Marvel Universe, but he also possesses superhuman strength and durability to go along with high-tech weaponry and the ability to use magic. In order to defeat Superman, Doom would first collect every single bit of information regarding the Man of Steel, and would then come up with a plan that would include some sort of magical surprise attack; and if Superman managed to defeat him, then it would not end things, as Doom would likely send one of his Doombots to fight instead. If this were to happen, it would mean that Doom was home watching the battle unfold the entire time, and it would be there that he would come up with a new plan to take down Superman, one which would likely involve stealing all of his powers.
With this entry, we have another supervillain who is mostly associated with the X-Men, except Apocalypse is not an ordinary mutant, as he is believed by many to be both the first mutant ever, as well as the most powerful mutant in history. Apocalypse was born in Ancient Egypt, where he found and fused with advanced technology that belonged to an ancient race of aliens who were basically considered Gods because of their ability to create universes. If any mutant could beat Superman, Apocalypse would be it, as he possesses genius-level intellect, as well as a plethora of abilities which include teleportation, telekinesis, regenerative healing, super strength and speed, the ability to manipulate matter and energy, and the ability to warp reality itself. Increasing Apocalypse’s odds is the fact that he is indeed immortal, so he can engage in a pretty prolonged fist fight with Superman without worrying about fatal injuries; and if Superman uses his heat vision, Apocalypse can absorb it, thereby eliminating a big part of Superman’s arsenal.
8. Kraven the Hunter
Spider-Man is quite possibly the most popular hero within Marvel’s library, which makes sense seeing as he is the most relatable hero, given that he is usually portrayed as a teenager in high school; and as the most popular hero, he has faced-off with a variety of different villains. Of all of his known enemies, it is Kraven the Hunter who probably has the best chance at defeating Superman, not just because he possesses abilities such as superhuman strength, speed, durability, stamina and agility, but because he is a master tactician and hunter. As a master hunter, Superman would not even be aware of the fact that Kraven was hunting him, and if he were to get his hands on some Kryptonite, he could easily fashion it into a bullet to use against Superman when he least expects it. Kraven though, may want to have an even more exciting hunt, so he could in fact lure Superman somewhere where he has hidden yellow Kryptonite, which would nullify the effects of the sun and basically turn Superman into an ordinary human; and once this was done, Kraven could go in to take down the Man of Steel with his bare hands as he is also a master at hand-to-hand combat.
Most people associate the Loki character with the anti-hero persona they have seen in the movies, and although Loki has spent some time as an anti-hero in the comics, he is most definitely a full fledged villain who can defeat Superman in a fight. Loki is a God who possesses superhuman strength, durability and longevity, which means that he can hold out against Superman in a fist fight for a bit, but Loki will not just fight someone like Superman with just his fists, as he happens to also be a master tactician and strategist. As the Trickster God, Loki will undoubtedly use his head to fight dirty by mentally manipulating and subverting Superman before actually fighting him physically, and when that fight comes, Loki can just use his magic to get the upper-hand. Superman has a track record of not dealing with magic very well, and seeing as Loki can use magic to teleport, to create illusions, and to create energy blasts, a mentally drained Superman would stand little chance.
6. The Beyonder
Earlier on this list, we were introduced to Molecule Man who was given his powers after cosmic radiation from another universe leaked into our universe via a wormhole, but as it turns out, not all of that cosmic radiation was absorbed into his body. Apparently, the leftover radiation came together and actually became a sentient being, and after becoming intrigued by human nature, this being created a planet called Battleworld where it sent several heroes and supervillains after kidnapping them; and while on this planet, they would have to fight each other to the death. This entity is known as The Beyonder, and it is a near omnipotent being, which basically makes it similar to God as it possesses almost unlimited power, it knows everything, and it has eyes everywhere. Superman may be considered a God by some, but even he cannot hope to defeat a being who is much closer to God than he is, especially one that knows all of his weaknesses, and his exact location at all times.
If you understand where the Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading, then you know that the end villain for this group of Avengers is Thanos, which makes sense as this eternal-superhuman is probably the biggest threat that Marvel heroes have ever had to face. Thanos may have started out as a pacifist, but as he got older he became infatuated with death, to the point that he even fell in love with Mistress Death, who is the embodiment of death in the universe; which is why he augmented his body through magical and artificial means to further increase his superhuman strength and powers. In the movies, Thanos is trying to collect all the Infinity Stones in order to complete the Infinity Gauntlet, and if he had this gauntlet equipped, then Superman would not stand a chance against him, simply because the gauntlet would give Thanos complete control over space, time, souls, power, minds and reality. With this Gauntlet equipped, Thanos can literally wipe out half of ALL life in the universe in an instant, which means that Superman would be nothing more than a fly to him.
The last movie Marvel released was Doctor Strange, and aside from being very well received by fans, it is the movie that introduced magic into the cinematic universe, but the movie also introduced Dormammu, who is essentially Marvel’s evil magical God. Now, Dormammu is literally immortal, so even if he wanted to, Superman could not kill him, but Dormammu is also a master of dark magic who can manipulate mystical energy and teleport to other dimensions. We all know that Superman tends to have a weakness when it comes to magic, and seeing as Dormammu can literally do anything he wants using magic, than Superman would definitely be faced with an uphill battle; especially when you take into account that Dormammu can summon an army of demons to fight him as well. Plus, he may not even have to actually fight Superman, because Dormammu can even possess him if he wanted to.
3. The Void
Thanks to all the movies and TV shows, we have already been introduced to a fair amount of the heroes within Marvel’s library, but one hero who we still have not seen on screen is Robert Reynolds, who is actually believed to be one of the most powerful individuals in the Marvel Universe. Aside from having superhuman strength, speed, healing and stamina, Reynolds, otherwise known as Sentry, can also fly, manipulate molecules, turn invisible, and is more or less invulnerable; but what really makes him strong is the fact that he literally possesses the power of 1 million exploding suns. The Sentry may be a superhero, but Reynolds also has a repressed dark side that counters all of the good done by Sentry, and that dark side is known as The Void, who possesses all of the same powers. We all know that Superman gains his strength and powers from our one yellow sun, but seeing as Void has the power of over 1 million suns, it is fairly clear who would win based on pure math.
The Fantastic Four #48 comic was published in 1966, and with it came the first appearance of one of the biggest and most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, and this enormous cosmic entity goes by the name Galactus. The story goes that Galactus was once a mortal man who existed in a previous universe that was on the verge of ending, and before it ended, he came across an entity known as the “Sentience of The Universe” and fused with it to become Galactus, a being so large with so much cosmic power, that he has to consume entire planets in order to sustain himself. Galactus basically has the power to do anything he wants, as he has the ability to manipulate both energy and matter, to teleport, to create interdimensional portals, to bring the dead back to life, and to create life itself; plus he also controls technology that can be used to destroy universes. Superman would not stand a chance against Galactus, seeing as Galactus can literally just turn him into dust, or teleport him to another solar system that possesses a red sun.
You may think that Marvel has only created characters based off of Norse Gods, but in truth they have made characters based on Gods from other mythologies as well, including ancient Japanese mythology, which is where Amatsu-Mikaboshi comes in. As the story goes, Mikaboshi has existed for billions of years, and is in fact a part of a primordial God-race, who lived before life on Earth even existed. When his brethren decided to create life on Earth, Mikaboshi became annoyed, and tried to eradicate said life, but ended up being banished to “Hell” as a result. As a God, Mikaboshi is immortal, and possesses powers which are literally limitless, as he can summon hordes of the undead, teleport instantly between dimensions, and is more or less completely invulnerable to both physical and energy based attacks. Mikaboshi even has the ability to either absorb or enslave any being he wishes, so it is quite obvious that Superman would not be able to beat this guy in a fight.