Is there any superhero out there that has more powers than Superman? It literally just seems like they took every power imaginable and jammed everything into one superhero. I remember when I was a kid, I was a much bigger Batman fan because at least I could believe that he may be beaten by one of his enemies. Yet, now that I am older, I am able to relook at Superman's gallery of foes and be impressed at the sheer amount of variety and power that emerges.
I suppose it makes sense that when your superhero is good at most things, he needs villains that are going to be every bit as powerful to be believable as threats. It does not help that his most iconic villain, Lex Luthor, is seemingly just a bald, smart man. Some of these villains you may recognize from the big screen, while others are going to be featured in movies in the near future. Either way, this list will make you start to rethink that kryptonite is the only thing that Superman needs to fear. Here are the 10 most powerful villains that have ever gone up against Superman.
10 General Zod
If you have seen the recent film Man of Steel, then you may have an idea as to who General Zod is. For those who have not, General Zod was once a general in the Kryptonian Army. Despite this being an honorable position, he was not an honorable man and had hopes to take over the planet. His plan ended up being foiled and he was banished to the Phantom Zone, but it ended up working out for him because it allowed him to survive the destruction of Krypton. Zod may not have superpowers on par with Superman, but he does have two allies, known as the Disciples of Zod, who serve him without question and that’s a valuable asset. Given that he also had plans to overthrow an entire planet, and later tried to overthrow Earth, you better believe that he’s ambitious as well, and that, too, is a powerful quality to possess.
Of all the super villains to appear on this list, nobody is quite as unusual as Bizarro. Created when Superman was subject to a duplicate ray, Bizarro is literally the opposite of Superman. Bizarro’s logic comes from the fact that he is often relocated to the Bizarro World, where the opposite logic would apply, so committing crimes is encouraged. Powers that he has displayed include freeze vision and fire breath. While he used to display a broken speech pattern (such as, “Me going to kill you.”) it has since been changed as of Action Comics #845, where it is shown that he has learned to speak after watching television for 13 months. I suppose there is value in TV!
Want to know if Brainiac is powerful? What about the fact that he shrunk and stole Kandor, the capital city of Krypton. The man literally stole a city. Though, when you are a robotic supervillain, I suppose nothing is truly out of your grasp. Brainiac grew up on the planet Colu and has access to all kinds of alien technology that helps make him a formidable opponent. This includes an alien space ship, which also has metallic tentacles. Given that he is also incredibly intelligent, he has the knowledge to try and create a hell of a strategy against the Man of Steel.
7 The Parasite
When it comes to powers that I personally think would be really cool, The Parasite has to be up there. While there are different versions of Parasite, they all have the ability to absorb knowledge, super powers and the energy of any other creature simply through touch. One of the best advantages in attempting to beat Superman is to constantly be learning, and Parasite may be able to do that better than any of his adversaries.
While Metallo might not have the best name (in fact, that’s one of the worst), there is no doubting that he is cool. The character is powered by a kryptonite power source, and has a wide variety of powers and maneuvers that he whips out to try and defeat Superman. One of the most outrageous twists is the fact that he sold his soul in order to gain the ability to turn any metal object he touches into an extension of himself, like an exo-skeleton. I mean, I guess that could be cool, but you’re going to just be extra disappointed when Superman kicks your soulless ass!
5 Cyborg Superman
When you look at Cyborg Superman, your first reaction may be to groan and think that this just seemed like a lazy character design, yet the biography behind him is fascinating. Hank Henshaw was an astronaut until a solar flare hit his space shuttle, damaging the ship in such a way that the crew noticed their bodies started to mutate. Once back on earth, the crew, which included Hank’s wife, all killed themselves. When Hank found out the solar flare was Superman's fault, he was less than pleased. Hank saved his consciousness and, using some advanced technology, used Superman’s birthing matrix to create a clone that was identical to Superman but made of cybernetic parts. This also included him being able to take on several powers that were similar to the those of the Man of Steel. To be fair, considering how overpowered Superman is, you can’t get much stronger than copying his powers.
As you have now learned, not all of Superman’s villains are outrageous characters in terms of powers. That is not the case with Darkseid, who is one of the most powerful comic book characters out there. While he is extremely strong, that is far from the end of his powers. He is able to create an avatar through the power of thought. He can manipulate most forms of energy. He can teleport and shoot beams from his eyes, like Cyclops. He’s got endurance and can use telekinesis. It is also claimed that he is literally immortal. If you’re going to complain about Superman being overpowered, at least now you know he has someone out there that can match him.
3 Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is not the most physically intimidating person on this list, and he is far from the most high-powered in a traditional sense, but when you think about villains for Superman, he is the one that comes to mind for good reason. Anyone who can rely on intellect over strength and hang with the Man of Steel for decades is deserving of respect. And Lex is smart, we’re talking mastering every single science known to mankind. Space travel, biochemistry, robotics, mutation, energy generation? Yeah, he knows about all of that. That being said, he does possess a warsuit, which is a high-tech battle suit giving him enhanced strength and the ability to fly.
If you don’t think that Doomsday is a powerful character, I need you to take a second to reevaluate that his name is literally Doomsday. The character was created by Dan Jurgens because he felt that Superman needed to have a villain who would be a physical challenge in a fight. Given that he is the character who killed Superman, you better believe Jurgens got his wish. Doomsday emerged from a buried vault, and with one hand, dispatched the entire Justice League team. Doomsday battled Superman over a course of a few comics. Finally, in Superman (vol. 2) #75, Doomsday and Superman physically beat each other to death.
Along with being incredibly strong, he also had the power to cover his body in armor and was resistant to heat, cold and any form of standard damage. On top of this, he had an accelerated healing factor. The fact that Superman could beat him to death says as much about Superman’s power as it does Doomsday's.
When it comes to people that you don’t want to piss off, Batman may be pretty high on your list. As people know with the upcoming film, Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, pissing off Batman may be exactly what Superman does. The two have had some conflict throughout the comics, but are also famous allies who have spent significant time in the Justice League together. There is no telling who is going to come out on top in the new film, but it will certainly be something amazing to see. If you have to wonder if Batman is powerful, clearly you haven’t seen his films. Batman is a genius, and has no shortage of tricks up his sleeve to always come out on top against what is one of the best casts of villains around. He may not have laser vision, but you better believe he’s going to be able to mess up your plans.
Learn some things about Superman and want to learn a little more? Check out 20 unbelievable things that you may not know about the Man of Steel.