In the past, we’ve placed the strongest heroine in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in a fight against the DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) mightiest champion of magic. Next to Carol Danvers though, the Norse God of Thunder Thor is considered to be the strongest member of the Avengers in the MCU. He’s done everything from defeating world-ending fire giants to besting the Norse Goddess of Death to standing toe-to-toe against the power of the Infinity Gauntlet. Needless to say, Thor has proven himself to be a fearless and fearsome hero, without rival within the MCU. That being said, how does he stack against the DCEU’s greatest defender of truth and justice. The Last Son of Krypton and the Man of Steel, Superman. The Kryptonian too is no stranger to battling gods and alien invasions. Whether they’re rogue Kryptonian fascists or New Gods from beyond the stars, he’ll make them regret ever picking a fight with his adopted homeworld.
This battle has been a long time coming and we’re here to settle the debate. In a battle who would win? Earth’s greatest defender or the strongest Avenger? Let the heat rays and lightning bolts fly!
History and Origins
We all know how convoluted and messy comic books are with multiple ret-cons and changes being added over the years. So for the sake of this fight, we’ll be using the latest cinematic versions of the characters. We won’t be talking about Superman One Million or All-father Thor or any other renditions of the characters, just Henry Cavill’s Superman and Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Cool? Cool.
Let’s begin first with Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder! Unto the All-father Odin and his Asgardian wife Frigga, a child was borne and his name is Thor Odinson. For most of the young god’s life, Thor has had a deep lust for combat and glory. His goal in life was to ascend the throne of his father and become a greater ruler than Odin. In summary, Thor was, and I quote his father’s words from 2011’s Thor, a vain, greedy, cruel boy. That all changed however when his father stripped him of his hammer Mjolnir and his powers before casting him out of Asgard unto Earth. There he found love, learned humility and vowed to use his power to defend those who couldn’t defend themselves. A lesson that made him worthy to wield the power of Mjolnir and to become Thor once more.
He would later return to Asgard to defeat his brother Loki who had attempted to seize the kingdom for himself. This marked the first of many conflicts he would have with his trickster brother over the years culminating in a grand battle with Loki’s invasion of New York in which Thor and the Avengers had claimed victory. He briefly reconciled with his brother in Thor: The Dark World before being deceived by his brother near the of the film. He once again formed an uneasy alliance with Loki against a greater threat in Thor: Ragnarok. Talk about sibling rivalry, am I right? After his father passed away in Ragnarok, Thor assumed the role of King of Asgard. Shortly after, half of his people were brutally massacred by Thanos and his Black Order…not a great start. In the events of Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, we see Thor join up with the Avengers to put a stop to the Mad Titan before finally giving up the mantle of King of Asgard to Valkyrie. Now he’s chilling with the Guardians of the Galaxy and off on space adventures. A much-needed break for the universe’s busiest god.
At this point in time, we all probably know Superman’s origins by heart. That being said, there are some interesting details about Kal-El that DCEU elaborates on. Before the destruction of the planet of Krypton, something miraculous happened. The scientist Jor-El and his wife, Lara Lor-Van had a son, Kal-El. The first Kryptonian to be born of a natural birth in centuries. In him, both of them saw the hopes and dreams of all of Krypton’s people and so as their world died, they sent Kal-El to Earth. Before this happened though, Jor-El had bonded Kal-El to the Growth Codex, a genetic registry of Kryptonian DNA. Essentially, if given the proper conditions and facilities such as the Genesis Chamber, Kal-El could create a whole new generation of Kryptonians from his body! Yes, Snyder’s Man of Steel was very, very weird.
Kal-El was sent to Earth as his planet was destroyed, got adopted by the Kents and the spent a good chunk of his childhood as Clark Kent, knowing nothing of his true origins. That is until his father, Johnathan Kent revealed to him the truth of his nature. After the death of his father, Clark spent years wandering the Earth, trying to find himself. Instead, he found a buried Kryptonian ship that he unlocked using a key given to him as an infant by Jor-El. Long story short, he finds himself, and the ship’s A.I. of his dead father makes him a snazzy suit. He runs into a group of evil Kryptonian fascists who try to terraform Earth into a second Krypton. Superman defeats them all and becomes the symbol of truth and justice we’ve all come to know and love. And the rest is history.
In terms of physicality, these two are quite evenly matched in a lot of ways. Both of them have been shown to be the strongest of their species. This is seen when Thor managed to defeat his Asgardian sister Hela in Ragnarok and when Superman killed General Zod in Man of Steel. Thor and Superman have faced against apocalyptic monsters and aliens who have threatened to destroy their world. Though admittedly, Thanos with his Infinity Gauntlet ranks a little higher than the New God Steppenwolf, who is still no joke mind you. Steppenwolf is as powerful as any of the Old Gods like Zeus, Hades or Ares. Superman easily whacked up Steppenwolf without much challenge in Justice League, implying that Superman is either of equal strength or greater than that of an Old God or New God.
In terms of durability, Superman proves to be a hair greater than that of Thor. While both of them have a substantial healing factor, Thor is more vulnerable to a number of attacks compared to that of Kal-El. Thor’s been is able to lose parts of his body as seen in Ragnarok when he battled against Hela and lost an eye. He is also vulnerable to both pressure and blunt force trauma. He was close to getting head crushed by Thanos in the opening of Infinity War if not for Loki’s sacrifice.
And while it is true that Superman came close to death at the hands of Batman and was murdered by Doomsday, it was mostly due to the fact that the weapons used against him were of Kryptonian origin. Any other material would have simply shattered right then and there. In the comics, it’s been revealed that Superman has a vulnerability to magic. However, in Justice League, he was able to resist Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Hestia and even used it against Diana. As of now, it seems that this weakness doesn’t apply to the DCEU’s Superman. So if Thor isn’t packing any Kryptonite on him he’s going to have a hard time outlasting Superman in a fight.
If we’re talking about speed, then once again Superman takes the cake. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor was ambushed and blind-sighted by Quicksilver and only managed to pin him down using Mjolnir’s weight. Superman, on the other hand, was shown to be able to trace Flash’s movements at superspeed and was even able to counter the speedster. Heck, they even challenged each other to a race to see who’s faster! It’s a known fact that the Flash is far faster than Pietro due to Barry’s ability to channel the Speed Force. Pietro’s quick but he’s not exactly travel-through-time quick. If we’re talking a simple street brawl between Thor and Superman, it’s clear that Superman would be the victor.
Powers and Abilities
Brute force and speed aren’t everything though, sometimes the tide of a battle can be turned by other factors such as long-range offensive capabilities or weapons. Contrary to what some might believe, Thor doesn’t actually get his lightning abilities and weather powers from Mjolnir or Stormbreaker. Rather, these weapons help serve as a fulcrum in which he can focus his magical capabilities. He unlocked his true godly potential in Ragnarok when he managed to summon mighty stormclouds and launched lightning bolts from his hands. Thor is capable of weather manipulation and electrokinesis. His new axe Stormbreaker also allows the God of Thunder to teleport at will using the power of the Bifrost Bridge. This could be a problem for Superman.
Superman has a whole host of powers from flight to X-ray vision to heat vision to frost breath at his disposal. There’s just one little snag: all of his powers and strength is reliant on Earth’s sun. If you deprive him of Earth’s yellow sun for too long or place him in the presence of a red one, he will inevitably become as mortal as a man. The Red Sun orbiting Krypton is also known as a Red Giant which actually does exist in real life! This means that Red Suns do generally exist in the cosmos seeing that they’re basically just dying suns. Thor could use Stormbreaker to teleport Superman into an area of the universe near a Red Giant and let the vacuum of space do the rest of the work for him. If not, he could also just go for Superman’s head.
This was an insanely tough battle to judge but after much thought and deliberation, I have come to a decision. The winner of this fight is…Superman! Though the Man of Steel has a deathly allergy to red stars, it’s highly unlikely that Thor would know anything about the Kryptonian’s past or his weaknesses. The most likely scenario is the one in which both of them fight on Earth, which means Superman would be under a healthy Yellow Sun. Furthermore, even if Thor had transported Superman to a place without any stars or had blocked out Earth’s sun, Superman’s cells would still be able to store enough juice to keep him powered throughout the fight. If Superman is in full kill mode as seen in Justice League shortly after his resurrection, then Thor would most definitely lose. Simply put, there are too many factors needed for Thor to clinch a win, otherwise, Superman would have the Norse God outmatched in terms of speed and durability. He already defeated one god. What’s one more, am I right?
I know it’s been a while since we’ve had a good ole cinematic clash on our hands and now that we’re back, we want to hear your suggestions for any other future fights! Be sure to leave a comment down below and be sure to tune in to Moviedash for all the latest film and TV news and reviews!