Since Superman first burst his way onto the comic book scene in the late 1930s, he's become a benchmark for many superheroes that followed. With his unlimited strength, invulnerability, flight, and heat vision (just to name just a few of his countless powers), Superman is the ultimate hero who borderlines on a God-like being.
However, as we all know, with great power comes great responsibility, and no one knows that better than Superman. Often mocked for his "nice guy" attitude, Superman is constantly battling with himself over his own power and how to use it. The all American boy scout chooses a strict line to walk and never lets himself leave it. Sometimes his power, and his conscience, can be a curse. But what if he wasn't the boy scout we all know him to be? What would happen if Superman truly cut loose? Could anyone stop him?
Everyone is well aware of Superman's weakness to Kryptonite, but what about his other weaknesses and is there anyone out there who could exploit them? With this list we look at the superheroes that could match The Man of Steel and ultimately defeat him.
We start our list with the superhero match up that has been the story arch of many comic books and the most recent Superman movie, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In most of these story arcs, Batman comes out on top. With his superior intellect and love of gadgets, The Dark Knight knows how to not just stop Superman, but hurt him. Using The Man of Steel's weaknesses against him, Batman is definitely a worthy foe.
However, in most of the scenarios in which Batman and Superman fight, Superman is more controlled and level headed and often gives Batman a handicap. If Superman were to ever really lose it with Batman, it might be a different story. But we're sure Batman would have a plan for that.
9 The Flash
Out of the men to wear The Flash mantel, we're choosing Wally West as the hero for this battle. The Flash, contrary to many people's views, isn't just a one trick pony. His power does come from his speed, but Wally West is so much more than that. Firstly, The Flash does have Superman beat on speed; after all, West can travel through time and even cross dimensions with his speed, making it almost impossible for Superman to touch him.
On top of that, West gets his power from the Speed Force which gives him other powers that could be used against Superman. The Flash can vibrate his molecules and pass through any object, and using his "Infinite Mass Punch" which would knock Superman out! The Flash could win this fight before Superman knew what hit him.
8 Doctor Strange
As with Batman, Doctor Strange is nowhere near on par with Superman physically. However, there is one factor that Strange has that the Dark Knight does not, and that is magic. Superman has often come up against magical beings and he struggles. Magic is one power that Superman really can't handle.
Being one of the greatest sorcerers in the Marvel universe, Doctor Strange is a master of force-fields and could easily deflect anything Superman could throw at him. He is also a master of the astral-plane and could hurt Superman safely from within his force-field. Doctor Strange can also conjure The Crimson Band which has been known to restrain The Hulk, so it could easily hold Superman.
Another superhero that gets his power from magic, Shazam essentially has all the same powers and abilities that Superman does, only he gets his from magic, and as we just established, Superman just can't handle magic.
As a twelve-year-old boy, Shazam was blessed by a wizard and every time he shouts the wizards name SHAZAM, he transforms into the super powered hero. On just power alone, Shazam and Superman are pretty equal. However, if you add in the magical factor from Shazam and the powerful lightning bolt he can summon, which has been known to cause Superman some real damage, then we have to give Shazam the edge in this battle.
Superman may have the powers and status of a God, but when it comes to true Gods of the comic book world, then we have to look to the Asgardians of the Marvel universe. Many may argue that Odin, the king of the Asgardians, would be better suited to beat Superman. However, as Odin often needs his Odin Sleep in order to replenish his powers, it's left up to his son Thor to stop Superman.
The God of Thunder and the Man of Steel share very similar powers (although Superman does have Thor beat on speed). But with the use of Mjolnir and his ability to harness lightning bolts, Thor could repeatedly attack Superman from distance and fry the Kryptonian before he got going. After all, Thor did stop a legion of Kree invaders with a swing of his mighty hammer.
5 Martian Manhunter
On the surface, Superman and the Martian Manhunter are very much equals. They're both the last of their kind and they both share similar powers such as flight, strength and invulnerability. However, The Martian Manhunter has a superior mind and harnesses his mind with powers beyond Superman's comprehension.
With his powers of telekinesis, and the fact he can phase through objects, Superman's physical attacks would be useless and The Martian Manhunter could attack with his mind. The only edge that Superman would have is The Martian Manhunter's fear of fire, but we're sure that he could handle this. Having only one weakness is one thing, but The Martian Manhunter knows all of Supe's weaknesses.
4 Silver Surfer
This alien from the stars shares many qualities with Superman; most importantly the Silver Surfer despises violence just like Superman does. So this could be a fight that never gets started. However, if they both did unleash their true power on each other, The Silver Surfer could easily defeat the Man of Steel. Although he doesn't possess the same level of physical strength Superman does, Silver Surfer's other powers are off the charts.
With his command over cosmic energy and transmutation, The Silver Surfer could easily recreate the radiation from Kryptonite or in fact transform Superman himself into anything. The Silver Surfer can also move faster than light, so he could do all of this before Superman would even be aware of it.
A face off between The Incredible Hulk and Superman has been many fans' fantasy for many years now. A lot of those fans give the edge to Superman because of his different powers and how he can use them, where as The Hulk is just pure strength. However, the fact is that Hulk's strength is not just great, it's limitless. Every time the Hulk gets angrier, he gets stronger and stronger. So with every attack Superman did, not only would it not penetrate Hulk's indestructible skin, it would also cause his strength to increase.
The simple fact is that The Hulk has come up against The Avengers, The Destroyer, The Silver Surfer, several mutants, Doctor Strange and The Fantastic Four, to name a few, and each time he has been victorious. With all that in mind, it would be hard to bet against the Green Beast in any fight.
2 Jean Grey/ Dark Phoenix
As the mutant Jean Grey, her telepathic powers would no doubt cause Superman some serious problems. With mental abilities that are on par with the leader of the X-Men, Charles Xavier, Grey could get inside Superman's head and do anything to him that she pleases. That's if she could penetrate his strong mind, of course.
However, when Grey channels the most powerful force in the entire Marvel universe, The Phoenix Force, she becomes Dark Phoenix. With this power at her finger tips, Grey can reach Omega levels of power, which is beyond that of the Gods of the Comic books! Grey could disintegrate The Man of Steel in the blink of an eye.
For those fans out there that get their superhero fix from outside the Marvel and DC universe, we look to the Dragonball Xenoverse. Number one on our list goes to the main hero in Dragonball, the Super Saiyan Goku. In recent years, the battle between Superman and Goku has been highly debated and much sought after. Depending on which fan site you read, you'll come up with a different winner, as each one has a unique outcome.
However, the facts are that Superman and Goku are pretty much the same; with even the creator of Dragonball being quoted as saying that Goku is a nod to Superman. The only difference that there seems to be is that Goku has the ability to improve with every fight, or even every death! Goku comes back stronger and raises up another Super Saiyan level, where as Superman just has his powers, which do have limits.
We're sure that this debate will go on for many years to come. Whatever the outcome, this is one epic battle that would last for a long while!