Superman is one of the most iconic fictional characters in popular culture and he tends to come out on top in most of his battles. He’s had some memorable fights against villains and fellow heroes alike, and boasts victories against equally iconic good guys like Thor, Hulk and He-Man.
His most memorable defeats have come against villains. The likes of Doomsday, Darkseid and even The Joker can lay claim to having beaten the Man of Steel – but several heroes have actually gotten the better of him too.
In this video, we’ll take a look at just some of the heroic characters who have done so. Here are ten powerful superheroes who have beaten Superman.
In spite of the fact that Batman is a fellow superhero and indeed a good friend to Superman, he has actually gone up against the Man of Steel almost as many times as any villain – this year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie is testament to that – and, in spite of the fact that he is infinitely less powerful than the Man of Steel, the Dark Knight has gotten the better of him many times.
Batman’s victories usually come courtesy of Kryptonite – Superman’s weakness. In fact, Bats was actually given some of the green stuff by Supes as a contingency in case the Kryptonian hero ever went rogue – and whenever Batman has felt the need to take him down, he has used it with great success against him.
Obviously, the title of “Green Lantern” isn’t specific to a single character, but if comic book history has proved anything, it’s that any given Green Lantern could defeat Superman if the opportunity arose – because their rings have been known to create a synthetic form of Kryptonite, Superman’s weakness.
This first became apparent in DC Comics Presents #26, when a villain posing as Hal Jordan discovered it was the case – but Jordan later found another way to defeat the Man of Steel. Jordan bonded with the cosmic fear entity known as Parallax in Zero Hour #1 and took Superman out with ease.
As one of DC’s “Big Three”, Wonder Woman is a very popular character – but she doesn’t get the same respect as Superman and Batman. And, as a general rule, when she goes up against the Man of Steel in combat, he tends to get the better of her – but there was a particular occasion where that wasn’t the case.
It was during the Infinite Crisis arc, but there was a catch; the Superman that Wondy got the better of was being mind-controlled by Maxwell Lord – but that doesn’t change the fact that she did indeed briefly take him down. She did so by slitting his throat using her tiara. And it’s not as if Superman wasn’t trying – he had been influenced into believing that Wonder Woman was Doomsday!
Wait? What? Why is Lex Luthor appearing on a list of superheroes who have beaten Superman? Well, that would be because he IS a superhero in the New 52 reboot – having joined the Justice League in that timeline – and he HAS defeated Superman on numerous occasions over the years.
Lex’s power comes from his mind – he truly is a genius – and he has used this to great effect against his long-time arch-foe. Knowing Superman’s weakness is Kryptonite, Luthor has utilised it against the Man of Steel many times – even building a power armour with various Kryptonite-based weapons installed to take the hero down.
Superman and his fellow DC characters have crossed over with characters from other brands and franchises on countless occasions over the years – and Superman tends to get the better of most of them – but when DC and Marvel crossed over on this particular occasion, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes got the better of the Kryptonian hero.
It happened in Avengers/JLA #2, when Superman had actually just narrowly defeated Thor in one-on-one combat. A tired Man of Steel was set upon by the likes of Iron Man, Vision, Hercules, Wonder Man and She-Hulk – and the five-on-one beatdown was enough to see Supes knocked unconscious.