For over 75 years, Superman has been claimed as the most powerful character in the whole DC Universe. With heat vision, super strength, speed, flight, and a whole other mess of powers, he is considered more god than man. Nowadays we have people who just boast about how much Superman can beat anyone and any storylines that had him being beaten is complete garbage...despite some of those people not even reading some of those storylines. I would know...I have a few family members that act like that.
However that all changed in 1986, when writer Frank Miller decided to put his polar opposite, Batman, against him...and won. Since then we have seen many fights against the Man of Steel with his fellow Justice Leaguers. While some can subdue him with a good team up, I think it doesn't need to be that difficult. With the new continuity, the six other heroes that make up the original Justice League roster(Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Cyborg, and yes Aquaman too) has gone through changes to their powers and characters that made me realize that they CAN take on Superman, and THAT is what were going over today. I will only be focusing on the main six that I listed above, going from the Most Likely to beat Superman to the least likely, as with characters like Firestorm and Martian Manhunter will make us sit here all day. So I ask you to sit back, relax, and to you blind Superman followers get ready to hear me out. Lets dive on in...
The most obvious challenger to the Man of Steel, Wonder Woman has always been a physical equal to Superman. Her Amazonian heritage has turned her into one of earth's toughest earthlings, so she can also handle Superman's punches. Speaking of Amazon Heritage, lets also throw in the fact the Amazons are one of the planet's greatest fighters, specializing in swords, shields, spears, and in Diana's case, Lassos.
"But Jody," the blind Superman follower is probably saying, "Superman has impenetrable skin! How can a sword hurt him?" One word: Magic. Her entire arsenal is magic to hurt him, most of her armor is magic to block him, her blood is part god to fight him...SHE IS MAGIC! If anything she should kick Superman out of the center of any Justice League picture, and look like a bad-ass as the center of the League! Before the New 52, she was the only thing standing between a brainwashed Superman and protecting the earth. If she is just the supposed eye candy of the Justice League, she shouldn't be able to do this!
Say hello to the character that started as just a guy who runs extremely fast to a man who can kill ANYONE if he truly wanted to. The Speed Force has proven time and time again to be one of the most powerful power sources in the whole DC Universe. It can cause people to break the laws of space and time, heal wounds, gain shields, and the most important two for a fight: phasing and the super sonic punch(as the show calls it).
Phasing through objects can be considered one of the most powerful and yet most dangerous powers. The Flash can phase through anything, going as far as phasing an entire plane through a bridge during his New 52 run! You read that right: HE PHASED AN ENTIRE 12,000+ LB PLANE(FULL OF PASSENGERS) THROUGH A BRIDGE! You don't think he can't run at light speed, and puree Superman's innards?! Speaking of super speed, I dug a little deeper and that punch can be amplified(such speed to impart blows which could hit with the mass of a white dwarf star -Wikipedia on Speed Force) to take down the tougher foes, such as White Martians. Those have been labelled just as tough as a kryptonian...do the math!
"But Jody," The blind Superman follower is probably saying, "we saw Superman break constructs with his strength." Technically you are correct. The first case was with the near god-like Super Boy and the second was during the New 52, when a rookie Hal Jordan tried to take him down without knowing what exactly he was getting into... Now lets look back at what Hal Jordan has accomplished AFTER the first arc of Justice League. He travelled the metaphorical road from life to death by having taken up each ring at one point or another. However I still believe that he doesn't need a Black or White Ring to take down Superman. His Will is the most powerful in his emotional spectrum, and I could go on and on the many times he used it with amazing feats...I only need one: his final blast to kill Krona. Why? Because it shouldn't have happened...The Green Lantern's Rings have a built in failsafe that makes sure the rings cannot touch, let alone KILL, a Guardian...Yet as you see in the picture, Hal does just that. His will was strong enough to not only break through the failsafe, but to maintain his mind as a Black Lantern, AND more recently deny godhood. The ring takes will and makes it a weapon...and Hal has the biggest load of will this side of the universe...good luck Superman.
Alright. Now were getting to the harder to explain ones. Aquaman has always gotten(and still kind of gets) a bad reputation because his power to talk to sea life. However let us think a little deeper now. Atlanteans live at the bottom of the ocean, where the depth pressure has changed their biology from those on the surface. To put it frankly: They're tough, like near Amazon levels of tough, almost Amazon tough. They're skin and muscles developed to survive under the weight of an entire ocean. Logically when an Atlantean comes to the surface, he is already stronger and more dense to handle whatever can be thrown at him, almost like when Kryptonians come to Earth and the weaker gravity allows them to have Super Strength.
However we cannot forget about the most important and most dangerous thing in Aquaman's Arsenal: His Trident. An unbreakable, magical, energy-projecting weapon that Aquaman is highly proficient in. While Aquaman without the trident is tough, having his signature weapon makes him a much more dangerous combatant...especially against the magic vulnerable Superman.
This one relies mostly on the fact that Cyborg's technology is right now more advanced than it has ever been. To the few who don't know, Cyborg is a combination of tech from the Red Room, which include nanotech and high density, shape shifting, armor. The combination of these two things have recently created a new power for Cyborg, allowing his body to change into whatever he needs it to be. So far in his series we watch him going from a walking tank, to completely human, two having dual wielding white noise cannons. He is a living weapon that morphs into what he would need for a fight.
However what is more important than that sweet armor is the fact he has a Father Box, the Apokolyptian version of a Mother Box, as the core of his powers. The New God Boxes are one of the most dangerous things to handle if you don't know what your doing. As shown in the picture, the sudden boom from a box's boom tube kills parademons, and at the end of the first arc of Justice League knock the League on their rears after sending Darkseid packing. The tubes opening and closing would be a last resort as it could bring a bigger creature into the fray, but could put Cyborg in a position to effectively knock the wind out of the Man of Steel, and could possibly send him to a world where he can't survive.
Now we reach the one everybody talks about: The Man vs. The God. Batman can not physically stand toe to toe with Superman...hell he barely stands toe to toe with any of his big bruiser villains like Bane and Killer Croc. However if you think it only takes a physical prowess to win a fight, you are sorely mistaken. Batman's greatest assets are his mind and money, allowing him to supply whatever he needs to take down ANY super-powered individual. During Endgame, we were introduced to the Justice Buster suit, a suit that literally is made to combat the Justice League. While it is the size and strength of Doomsday, the thing that helped push Batman towards the winning side was miniature red suns created by the Atom then developed by Bruce. However when the brainwashed Superman broke through, he had one last trick; one thing that he even begs Clark not to make him use...Kryptonite. "But he can't carry it always!" The blind Superman follower has probably stated. No longer true..he keeps the Kryptonite laced gum in his cowl at all times.
However removing the weakness surrounded tech, I still believe Batman could win, not physically but through his morals. During the Hush storyline, we saw him order Catwoman to throw Lois off a building for Superman to catch, breaking the mind control on him. Superman's morals are one of his key character traits and unfortunately one of his biggest weaknesses. Batman uses THAT to his advantage during his fight at the end of the Dark Knight Returns, and subsequently all fights with him. No matter how much you say "both, wearing nothing, in a field, FIGHT" the truth of the matter is that Batman would not allow that. He would sooner do that and have the Kryptonite Laser Satellite(seen at the end of the Superman Doomed Arc) destroy the field, Superman and him with it...fact is Batman is a cheater...and he doesn't give a damn.
Superman is no longer the only god anymore. He's an equal to a pantheon created when Darkseid first burst onto Earth Prime. So to the blind Superman follower I ask...maybe its time to put away the rose colored glasses? You have an entire pantheon to walk alongside your hero now.
So...do you think I'm full of it? Or do you see what I mean? Leave a comment and I'll see you next time!