Kal-El was an alien who found his way to Earth. Fortunately, he was brought up by kind people who named him Clark and taught him to use his superpowers for good. For a while, it felt like Superman was untouchable. But as soon as his Kryptonian origins came out in the open, supervillains began to understand his weaknesses.
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With Kryptonian weapons at their disposal, even considerably weaker enemies started to pose difficulties for Superman. But imagine a world in the DC universe where the green mineral didn't exist. Superman would become an exhilarating force. However, some ultra-strong beings might still be able to pull off the impossible and defeat the Man of Steel, even without kryptonite.
Updated on October 27, 2022 by Cole Kennedy: Superman is one of DC Comics' most powerful superheroes. He stands tall with other powerful members of the Justice League. However, he is known to be weak to the irradiated shards of his home planet which became known as kryptonite. While some of his greatest villains use this weakness against him, there are other characters in the DC universe who can take out the Man of Steel without using kryptonite.
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20 Aquaman's Atlantean Strength And Magical Trident Are A Threat
Some fans might not realize just how strong Aquaman really is when he's out of the water. Arthur Curry's Atlantean physiology allows him to not only survive the crushing depths of the deep ocean but swim at incredible speeds underwater. This gives him super-strength on par with heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman.
Aquaman also wields a mystical trident that could exploit Superman's alternate weakness to magic. Aquaman's strength could give his mystical trident enough force to potentially stab Superman if the two ever faced off in a fatal battle.
19 Martian Manhunter's Strength And Telepathy Give Him An Edge
Superman isn't the only alien member of the Justice League, as J'onn J'onnz also hails from another planet. As the Martian Manhunter, he has incredible strength on Superman's level, and a similar Martian Vision that allows him to fire energy beams from his eyes. However, Martian Manhunter has two big advantages over Superman.
Martian Manhunter can shape-shift into a number of powerful alien forms that could challenge Superman. However, it's his incredibly powerful telepathy that would give him the ultimate edge in a battle against Superman.
18 Shazam Is Powered By Magic As The World's Mightiest Mortal
While kryptonite is Superman's greatest weakness, he's susceptible to other forms of energy and threats. This makes Billy Batson — aka Shazam, the World's Mightiest Mortal — one of Superman's greatest opponents. Batson can transform himself into an incredibly powerful adult body when he says the magic word "Shazam."
This transformation empowers him with the gifts of the gods which he can use to call down magical lightning. Black Adam also possesses the same abilities, and he's proven to be a powerful DC character, both as a villain and as a member of the Justice Society. Shazam nearly took Superman down in stories like Kingdom Come because his strength and magic made him more than enough of a match.
17 Batman Uses His Intelligence & Personal Knowledge Of Superman
It doesn't take the brute strength of a character like Darkseid to take Clark Kent down. In many cases, it comes down to intelligence. Batman has a great deal of this. Furthermore, he knows Superman better than any other superhero on Earth.
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Bruce understands Clark's weak points beyond kryptonite. This means he can hit the Man of Steel hard without throwing too many punches. Basically, if Batman lures Superman into a room saturated with red solar radiation, Batman wins.
16 Superboy-Prime Beats Superman Through Sheer Rage
There are several examples where Superboy-Prime has taken down Superman. Infinite Crisis is one of these. In Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, this version of Earth Prime's Superboy handily took care of Clark before the rest of the Legion members intervened.
Superboy-Prime is invulnerable to kryptonite, which makes him more invincible than Superman. Plus, his rage and insanity fuel his powers. Without a governor to keep them in check, this alternate version of Clark lets loose with his full arsenal.
15 Rogol Zaar Has The Power Of Revenge Inside
Even though his irrational hatred gets in the way sometimes, Kryptonian hunter Rogol Zaar doesn't need anything but his skills to defeat Superman. It doesn't matter if it's on Earth, in space, or in the Phantom Zone — Rogol's seething revenge is what keeps him going against Clark.
Actually, it's Rogol's deep hatred of all Kryptonians. Even though he was created by Jor-El — Superman's biological father — Rogol believes the planet and its remaining citizens are a virus to the galaxy. No matter how much he's beaten, Rogol continues to get up to finish off Superman.
14 Doctor Fate's Control Of Magic Would Pose A Problem For Superman
Kent Nelson was one of the first heroes to become Doctor Fate after putting on the Helmet of Nabu. With the Cloak of Destiny and the Amulet of Anubis, Doctor Fate has access to incredible magical abilities that would give Superman a run for his money.
There are many scenarios where Superman takes the win by simply being too fast for Doctor Fate. However, provided one of DC's most powerful magic users has the time to prepare the necessary spells, Superman's weakness in magic would make him susceptible to any number of Doctor Fate's attacks.
13 The Flash Has The Speed Force
There's no doubt The Flash can outrun Superman. In all of their races since 1967's Superman #199 by Jim Shooter, Curt Swan, and George Klein, Barry has won twice. However, when the challenge is for charity, he takes it easy on Clark. Needless to say, Flash has the power to defeat Superman.
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The Flash simply needs to implement the method Wally used to stop the Luthor-Brainiac hybrid in Justice League Unlimited. The Flash runs around the globe several times to become the Speed Force, and as he does, he could take shots at Superman that the latter doesn't even see coming.
12 Wonder Woman Is A Better Fighter
While both Wonder Woman and Superman are about equal in strength and stamina, the former has better fighting skills. She spent decades training on Themyscira to become a honed warrior. Therefore, Diana is much better in a battle against Clark.
Plus, Wonder Woman has magic on her side. She wields a mystical sword that cuts electrons off of an atom, and she knows how to use it. Then there is her record of harming Superman in battle. Wonder Woman can take the Man of Steel down if she's serious.
11 Zatanna's Backward Magic Could Exploit Superman's Other Weakness
Another DC hero whose mystical abilities could prove to be a problem for Superman is Zatanna, Mistress of Magic. She was trained by her father Zatara to use a unique and powerful form of backward magic.
Zatanna is capable of using a wide array of powerful spells that she casts by saying them in reverse. The upper limits of Zatanna's power have never really been tested, so someone with Superman's aversion to magic could be at risk when facing her.
10 Elaine Belloc Is The Daughter Of The Main Archangel
Elaine Belloc is an angel whose biological father is one of the strongest beings in the DC universe: Michael Demiurgos. Being a daughter of the Archangel means her superpowers know no bounds. Moreover, she's learning her trade from the best in both Lucifer and Michael.
Elaine can easily overpower Superman, even if she isn't at her best. In fact, she hasn't yet mastered her superpowers. It's scary to think that she can still overcome the Man of Steel without them.
9 Lucifer Morningstar Is The Biblical Devil On Earth
Lucifer Morningstar, aka Samael, doesn't know the true extent of the powers vested in him. He can create, destroy, rebuild, and alter anything in the DC multiverse with a minimum amount or fuss. His strength is second only to the Presence.
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If that isn't enough, Lucifer is the Biblical Devil. Thus, he's immortal. In the end, he wouldn't take any pride in defeating Superman without kryptonite. To him, Clark is just another mortal in a reality that he can manipulate with ease.
8 The Spectre Has Limitless Power To Exact Judgment
The Spectre was birthed by the single most powerful force in the DC universe: God himself. Since he is a divine creation, there aren't many things he can't do. He can alter reality, bring back the dead, and destroy entire universes with a blink of an eye.
His superpowers are so scary that God keeps The Spectre on a short leash. Facing Superman wouldn't intimidate The Spectre in the slightest. In fact, he would enjoy beating the Man of Steel.
7 Captain Atom Is Powered By Science
Captain Atom gained the means to manipulate astounding amounts of energy once he found his way to the Quantum World. This isn't any kind of energy. It has been used by the hero for various purposes, including trying to make his imagination come true.
Captain Atom's strength and durability are literally out of this world, so much so that Superman has to try incredibly hard to hurt him. Moreover, Captain Atom's other abilities mean he can take down Superman without kryptonite. Still, the battle would be harsh.
6 Doctor Manhattan Is Practically Omnipotent
Jonathan Osterman is one of Earth's few superheroes who have become a fearsome force of nature. Thanks to a nuclear experiment gone wrong, he lost his physical presence. What remained was his overpowering energy. Thus, Doctor Manhattan came into existence.
The abilities Doctor Manhattan possesses were petrifying. Needless to say, it didn't take much for Manhattan to beat Superman without kryptonite. However, Superman still surprised Doctor Manhattan with his innate heroism, which resulted in him winning their Doomsday Clock confrontation without throwing a punch.
5 Parallax Is Fear Personified
Parallax is a unique supervillain who feeds on fear. It possesses anyone who is in a bad situation. For instance, he single-handedly turned Hal Jordan, Earth's Green Lantern, into a supervillain who seemed unstoppable. Parallax can seemingly augment the powers of its host and corrupt them. It even tried to corrupt and control The Spectre when the Spirit of Vengeance was bonded to Jordan.
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Jordan had to fight Parallax from the inside to get free. Superman hopes he never crosses paths with Parallax. It can take over Superman's body with ease, and as seen in the Injustice series, Earth isn't ready to face an evil Superman.
4 Anti-Monitor Utilizes Antimatter To Defeat Superman
Anti-Monitor and the Monitor are two ultra-strong beings tasked with looking after their own universes. Anti-Monitor is from the Antimatter Universe, and he's the reason why the Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred.
Anti-Monitor faced some of the most prominent figures in the DC universe and still looked untouchable. Superman appeared to be too strong for his rogues' gallery. However, for someone like Anti-Monitor, Clark was simply another hurdle to pass. Anti-Monitor used his giant antimatter cannon to destroy nearly infinite worlds, some housing Supermen of the multiverse. One Superman would pose little threat to the cosmic being.
3 Darkseid Has Previously Beaten Superman
One of DC's most iconic supervillains of all time, Darkseid isn't just an old face in the game. His powers transcend what other superheroes have seen. If one can deal with his telepathic and telekinetic abilities, they must deal with the Omega Beams and his deadly Life Draining power. Superman can't take on Darkseid alone.
The entire Justice League still struggled to face this celestial being. Every time Superman has faced off with Darkseid it visually ends in a stalemate, although the ruler of Apokolips is still one of Superman's greatest adversaries.
2 Mister Mxyzptlk Is Annoying Yet Can Defeat Superman
Mister Mxyzptlk is the biggest example of a supervillain who never takes things seriously. That's a good thing for Superman. The imp from the 5th Dimension can do anything he imagines, quite literally.
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This ranges from altering reality to vaporizing a being from existence. Mister Mxyzptlk's IQ level is extraordinarily high, and he plays sadistic games with heroes he becomes obsessed with. If he decided to, it would be easy for him to destroy Superman.
1 The Presence Has The Power Of God
Marvel Comics has their own version of an all-power god responsible for all creation called the One Above All. In the DC universe, The Presence is the codename for God. He is supposedly an omnipotent being who created all life. His powers haven't been fully explored, although he sits at the top of DC's most powerful cosmic beings.
However, it's not wrong to assume The Presence is practically untouchable. He created all the angels and The Spectre. If they can defeat Superman, then the Presence can easily do it as well.
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What DC character can beat Superman? ›
General Zod. As Man of Steel showed, General Zod was more powerful than Superman in most ways. While his earlier version in the comics was not as powerful, DC later improved the character, and he became a genuine threat to Superman.Can anything other than Kryptonite kill Superman? ›
Can anything else kill Superman? In theory, if Superman is weakened by Kryptonite, he could die like any human. He could also die of old age if he wasn't exposed to earth's yellow sun—though old for an alien means thousands of years. But though Superman has “died” multiple times in the comics, he always comes back.What else is Superman weak to? ›
Most people know about Superman's aversion to Kryptonite. Surprisingly, that isn't even his greatest weakness! In fact, magic circumnavigates all of his biological abilities. No matter what color of sun he's under, no matter what the situation is, magic is extremely effective against Superman.Can Vision beat Superman? ›
Mostly, Vision is pretty much a direct copy of Superman, as he is able to fly, shoot lasers, and have super-strength. Superman could quite easily beat Vision with just these three abilities. However, Vision has the ability to phase through objects, something Superman doesn't have.Is anyone in DC stronger than Superman? ›
Captain Atom has proven in past battles that he is stronger than Superman and has better fighting skills. He can also weaponize red sun radiation, which can weaken Superman like Kryptonite and magic. His sometimes uncontrolled nature has earned him a reputation as one of the most dangerous DC heroes.Can flash beat Superman? ›
While Superman is one of the most powerful heroes in the DC Universe, enhanced to godlike levels by the Sun's radiation, The Flash's physics-defying powers are capable of killing him not by playing on his famous vulnerability to magic or his weakness to Kryptonite, but simply by hitting him so hard, even his ...Who is the strongest person Superman has defeated? ›
1 A Superman Defeated The Anti-Monitor
His body count is literally incalculable, as no one knows how many entire universes he destroyed on his way to the core DC Earths. It took an assemblage of the heroes of five Earths to hold a candle to him and even then, the Anti-Monitor had the advantage in every battle.
No the answer is quite clear Iron Man cannot defeat Superman. Superman has 2 weakness's, Kryptonite and Magic. Iron Man doesn't have any of them. Even if Iron Man made a suit of the strongest Metal in Marvel which is adamantium or Vibranium, Superman will still be able to destroy it.Can Shazam defeat Superman? ›
And where Superman has heat vision, cold breath and other useful powers, Shazam can call down lightning and even bestow part of his power to other heroes. It's a pretty even match-up, all things considered. In terms of raw strength, most comics stories seem to give the edge to Superman.Who wins Black Adam or Superman? ›
Taking all of these things into account, checking the numbers, ticking the boxes, and pure old gut instinct, it's obvious that the winner in a fight between Superman and Black Adam is... Superman.
Who has gold kryptonite? ›
Rex Luthor, who took after Superman's greatest foe. Brandished a piece of Gold Kryptonite he'd found during his long trek through space to the half-kryptonian hero Superboy. All in an attempt to solidify his reputation as the greatest villain of them all.Which weapon can kill Superman? ›
The God Killer blade was specifically made, for one thing, to kill those who are immortal. The blade has such a powerful nature, it was gifted to Deathstroke to be the weapon that would ultimately kill the strongest hero, Superman.Can lava hurt Superman? ›
Yes, Superman can die if he was thrown in a volcano. At least depending on how long he is in the lava. Superman is practically invincible and has withstand the heat of earth's core.What metal is Superman weak to? ›
It's radiation that makes Superman weak.
The prevailing theory in geekdom is that kryptonite can kill Superman because it disrupts his solar panel-like energy absorption. Without energy from the Sun, he weakens and eventually dies. Though kryptonite is a fictional mineral, the way it interferes makes sense.
Superman is not particularly vulnerable to mundane lightning although it gives him pause if he's not in full on mode. However he is vulnerable to magically summoned lightning, the kind Zatanna or Captain Marvel produce.Can Superman beat the speed of light? ›
The comic explains that Superman flew eleven light years within a few minutes, at "a speed faster than light." Indeed, this speed is thousands of times beyond lightspeed.Can Superman beat Ghost Rider? ›
In the end, Ghost Rider would win against Superman almost every time, for several reasons. Superman is incredibly strong physically. He could damage Ghost Rider's body (the body of the host), but you cannot harm the Spirit of Vengeance in such a way. Even if he kills the host, the Spirit will simply resurrect him.Who Cannot beat Superman? ›
While kryptonite is Superman's greatest weakness, he's susceptible to other forms of energy and threats. This makes Billy Batson — aka Shazam, the World's Mightiest Mortal — one of Superman's greatest opponents.Who is faster than flash? ›
Wally West is the Fastest Flash, being even faster than Barry Allen. He has been confirmed to be the fastest being in the entire DC Multiverse. While most to all speedsters can make a connection and draw upon this force, Wally "mainlines" power from the Speed Force itself and cannot be cut off from the source.Who is the most powerful than Superman? ›
Zod, though, is even stronger than Superman because he has absorbed less of Earth's sun than Kal-El. Zod overpowers Superman from the first time that the two opponents face off.
Who is the most powerful Endless? ›
Destiny, the eldest of the Endless, is one of the most powerful and influential of his siblings. As the ultimate observer, Destiny is the personification of fate and is generally all-knowing.Who is faster Thor or flash? ›
In a direct physical speed matchup, The Flash will definitely trounce Thor.Who is fastest flash or Superman? ›
1 Winner: The Flash Takes It
The Speed Force is a potent power source, allowing them to break the laws of physics in ways that Superman just can't. Superman is faster than a speeding bullet, but the Flash is speed personified. The Man of Steel's advantages are meaningless before the Flash's speed specialization.
According to various sources, he travels at least as fast as the speed of sound – which is somewhere in the region of 770 mph. There are also a few reports of Superman reaching the speed of light in the last decade.Who is faster Superman or Thor? ›
However, Superman does have the advantage in that he's faster than Thor. Not that Thor is any slow moving slug, it's just there's only one person faster than Supes and that man is the Flash (clearly proved in comic book lore when they race).Who is DC's Iron Man? ›
Steel is a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. He is a genius engineer who built a mechanized suit of armor that mirrors Superman's powers, and initially sought to replace him after he was killed by Doomsday. After Superman was resurrected, he accepted Steel as an ally.Can Captain Marvel defeat Superman? ›
Can Captain Marvel win Superman? Sure, her character may have a little too much confidence, which paints Captain Marvel as egotistical, but Captain Marvel's cosmic powers prove that she is unstoppable. Her powers could not only stand a chance against Superman, but most likely beat him as well.Can Superman beat wonder? ›
Superman may technically be stronger, faster and have more endurance. but Wonder Woman has a warrior's edge that allows her to believably win a fight between the pair.Who would win Black Adam or Shazam? ›
Finally, Shazam has a superhero code to hold him down, while Black Adam doesn't let useless things like a moral compass stop him. So, Shazam can only beat Black Adam by using his childhood creativity to trick the antihero, forcing him to say the magic word that takes away his powers.Who wins Superman or Hulk? ›
Since they both possess superhuman strength and speed, their fight might go on for days. However, according to Greg Pak — Marvel's writer, who worked on several comics featuring the Hulk, Superman would win their fight because of his virtues: “Superman, being who he is, will not just make his enemy angry.
Can flash beat Black Adam? ›
What makes this matchup a bit tricky is that the DCEU Flash is inexperienced and incapable of fully accessing the Speed Force. Against this version of the Flash, Black Adam would win quite easily. Not only does Adam also have super speed but he's in full control of his powers, so he has the edge.What happens if Black Adam says Shazam? ›
Adam gains his powers from a council of wizards who empower him with abilities from the Egyptian pantheon of gods. Whenever Adam speaks the word "Shazam!" he is granted godlike powers including superhuman strength and durability, flight, and the ability to generate lightning.What is Black Adam weakness? ›
Weaknesses. Magical Vulnerability: Only significant magic can affect him. Lightning: Lightning attacks that cause damage and can cause Black Adam to revert back to Theo Adam. A former weakness of Teth-Adam is that he couldn't revert to normal because if he did, he would age all the years he didn't, meaning he would die ...Is there purple Kryptonite? ›
Purple Kryptonite was a type of Kryptonite that was purple in color. Its' effects on Superman or other Kryptonians was never revealed, but it's presumably the same as Green Kryptonite.What is silver Kryptonite? ›
Silver Kryptonite is an artificial type of Kryptonite that causes many effects on Kryptonians, but mostly paranoia, hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme hunger. It doesn't take away Superman's powers but clearly slows down his healing speed.Is there black Kryptonite? ›
Black Kryptonite is a Varietal of Kryptonite, made by heating Green Kryptonite to extreme temperatures. It can split Kryptonians into two separate beings, made up of that person's good side and his or her evil side.What element kills Superman? ›
Green kryptonite weakens Superman and other Kryptonians, and can and will kill them with long-term exposure. Kryptonians under green kryptonite's effects experience severe muscular weakness, usually to the point of collapse, and excruciating pain, with both conditions progressively intensifying.What Superman can lift? ›
In fact, the comics have put Superman's strength at a point where he's able to lift around 2 billion tons! To put that into perspective, the Empire State Building is only 365,000 tons!What bullet can kill Superman? ›
A green kryptonite bullet can neutralize both a Kryptonian's invulnerability and their healing factor. This makes bullets a potent weapon against Kryptonians; if a green kryptonite bullet is not removed soon after a Kryptonian is shot, it can potentially kill him or her.Can Thor survive Superman punch? ›
While Superman's abilities might hurt Thor, they wouldn't necessarily put him down. Besides his strength and other Asgardian abilities, Thor has mastery over lightning.
Who is Superman's worst enemy? ›
In the modern Post-Crisis era, Lex Luthor was re-envisioned as a wealthy CEO/scientist of LexCorp who hides his sociopathic tendencies behind a mask of philanthropy. Although beloved by the people of Metropolis for his many public works, Superman knows the truth.What sun makes Superman weak? ›
However, perhaps Superman's most exploitable weakness has been overlooked by writers in recent years - red sun radiation. This weakness isn't new to comics as it debuted in the Silver Age of Comic Books. The Silver Age was certainly a strange time for Superman.Does Superman have a weakness besides kryptonite? ›
All Kryptonian Weaknesses
But for as many strengths as he has, there are almost as many weaknesses. Kryptonite, magic, and red sun radiation are all things that can harm Superman in a myriad of ways. But a very droll manner in which he can be humbled is by blocking his access to sunlight.
MCU viewers have also seen Tony Stark create elements and figure out time travel to fight his biggest problems. Iron Man has come up with suits to fight the Hulk and literal gods. He could definitely follow Machinehead's lead and build something infused with kryptonite to stop Superman if need be.Who never defeated Superman? ›
- 1 Superman Has Never Been Able To Conquer Darkseid Of Apokolips.
- 2 Superman's Power Pales In Comparison To Mobius The Anti-Monitor. ...
- 3 Black Adam Has Yet To Be Beaten By The Man Of Steel. ...
- 4 Shazam And Superman Have Clashed, But Superman Hasn't Definitively Won. ...
Which Superman version has no weakness? In the DC comics, Superman X is the Man of Steel's clone created using the original Superman's DNA. He possesses all the strengths of Superman but not his weaknesses.Can Thor beat Superman without his hammer? ›
While Superman could overpower Thor, Thor's blows would leave Kal-El seriously injured. With his super-speed, Superman could probably get a few hits in on Thor before the Asgardian had a chance to summon a bolt of lightning.Who will win Superman or Shazam? ›
And while Superman ultimately wins, it's only because he's able to cover Batson's mouth. It seems that they were evenly matched. And despite having the Wisdom of Solomon, Superman can certainly think a bit quicker than Shazam!Can Superman take Thor hammer? ›
To make things clear, Superman has lifted Mjolnir in comic books. In 2003, when Marvel and DC co-produced JLA/Avengers #4 to defeat the ultimate villain Kronos, Superman was able to wield Thor's hammer.