Whether you’re a fan of the movies, the comics or both, we all know that when it comes to the beings in the Marvel universe, Hulk is the strongest there is! That’s what the Green Goliath would have you believe anyway, even though there are bound to be more than a couple of contenders. It’s hard to dispute his power though; all you need to do is look back through his history to find him accomplishing Herculean tasks such as holding together a planet’s tectonic plates to single-handedly wiping out almost all of his fellow Marvel heroes in one anger-fuelled rampage.
That’s all well and good, but what would happen if we were to remove him from his comfort zone and place him in, say, the DC Universe? It’s no secret that Marvel’s Distinguished Competition prides itself on a pantheon of heroes that are far closer to gods than men, and it could easily be argued that the average Justice Leaguer could more than handle themselves against the majority of Marvel’s more street-level Avengers. With that in mind, CBR is taking a look at all the DC Superheroes and selecting the ones that are WAY stronger than Bruce Banner’s feisty alter-ego, the Incredible Hulk!
DC’s golden child, and perhaps their biggest superhero is Kal-El, aka Clark Kent, aka Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap a tall building in a single bound, the Kansas raised Man of Steel is the best of the best. His powers are frequently pushed to the extreme and he’s always been able to win against the fiercest of odds, so he should easily be able to defeat the Hulk. In fact, he actually has a couple of times when DC and Marvel crossed over!
It’s also to Superman’s credit that his strength isn’t just physical, his heart and soul are pure too, which often leads him to hold back from the true limits of his strength. Hulk never has those limits; in fact he only gets stronger the angrier he gets. Despite that, Superman can attain heights of physical and mental strength far beyond Hulk, even on a bad day.
14. WONDER WOMAN
In a similar way to Superman, Diana Prince has an inner strength that far surpasses anything the Hulk could throw at her. Sure, when it comes to physical displays of force, there’s little doubt that Worldbreaker Hulk would scoff at what he would perceive to be a puny Amazonian, but we all know there’s more to Wonder Woman than mere appearance.
When Hulk gets angry, his power increases, but with that anger comes a mindlessness that’s overpowering even for the normally simple Hulk. If Diana were to take on Hulk, that would be her first angle: Wonder Woman would seek to calm down Hulk and win the day without raising a fist. If that fails, however, don’t forget that Diana has Godlike powers, and will easily lay the smack down on old Purple Britches.
13. SHAZAM/CAPTAIN MARVEL
Captain Marvel was created as a Superman analog, and you don’t get to be compared so closely to the Man of Steel without bringing your own certain brand of power to the table. So it is with the alter ego of Billy Batson, who commands the power of seven beings of ancient legend when he proclaims the immortal word SHAZAM!
The courage of Achilles, the stamina of Atlas and the power of Zeus are just three of the higher powers Captain Marvel can call upon — simultaneously that is — to ensure his fight with Hulk is brief. Even in his Worldbreaker form, the sheer anger of Hulk is not enough to overwhelm Billy Batson’s ludicrously powerful alter-ego. The power of Zeus alone allows Captain Marvel advanced healing, magically enhanced strength (on top of the strength of Hercules) and interdimensional travel.
Oftentimes approaching a power level verging on omnipotence, you better believe Spectre can take on the Hulk. Detective Jim Corrigan is murdered and returned to life as The Spectre, and since then his single minded goal is that of vengeance against those who wronged him. Later versions reveal that his now corporeal form is the embodiment of the Wrath of God, and this divine source of his power has made him a near immortal fist of justice.
Throughout the years, Spectre has played a pivotal role in major events that threaten the very fabric of the DC Universe. In both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour, Spectre is the only being powerful enough to single-handedly oppose both the Anti-Monitor and Parallax respectively. If he can do that, Hulk doesn’t stand a chance.
11. PHANTOM STRANGER
You would think that for a character that’s been around for as long as he has, the name Phantom Stranger would be somewhat hollow. However, despite being introduced back in 1952, very little is known about the paranormal being — not his name, his true origin (many are presented over the years), not even his real motivations are that clear. The only thing that can be said for certain is that he is an ageless, limitless immortal with untold powers and abilities.
Often appearing as a Deus ex Machina of sorts, the Phantom Stranger drifts in and out of storylines at pivotal moments, providing guidance and moments of epiphany for all sorts of characters. Throw in the fact that he has an omniscience bordering on fourth-wall breaking and a mastery of both space and time travel and we can’t imagine Hulk would be any more than an inconvenience to him.
10. MARTIAN MANHUNTER
J’onn J’onzz is an extraterrestrial from the planet Mars and one of the founding members of the Justice League. His stoic strength and guiding moral principles have seen him become an invaluable, foundational member of many iterations of the superhero team throughout the years, as well as him fight side by side with the strongest and best heroes of the DC Universe. Can he beat the Hulk though?
Well, he’s been called — by Superman himself, no less — “the most powerful being on the face of the Earth,” so that’s a good start. Much like Superman, he derives his powers from his native homeworld, in this case Mars, and as such his abilities read like a superhero checklist: strength, durability, flight, telepathy, intangibility and so on. Hulk would put up a fight but J’onn probably wouldn’t break a sweat.
9. CAPTAIN ATOM
When you’re talking about a character that was the inspiration for The Watchmen’s near omnipotent Doctor Manhattan, you’re talking about a being many, many leagues more powerful than Hulk. Created in 1960 and part of the Charlton Comics line (that was eventually absorbed into DC), Captain Atom was once Nathaniel Adam, an air force test pilot. Much like Doctor Manhattan, Adam would suffer a scientific catastrophe that saw him appear to be disintegrated, only to reappear as the powerful Captain Atom.
In the modern DC universe, Atom’s powers are derived from the perpetual splitting and reforming of his atomic structure, giving him an overwhelming amount of energy that he uses in various ways, which can include comparatively mundane things such as flight, but he can also transmute physical matter and tap into the nuclear radiation of the Earth, meaning an angry green dude is just no match.
Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Kal-El, aka Clark Kent, and fled a dying Krypton when she was 12. However due to an accident en route she arrived on Earth after her younger cousin, meaning he was already established as Superman and able to teach her the ways of her newly adopted planet.
Like all Kryptonians, Supergirl possesses the same powers and abilities as Superman due to the effects of Earth’s yellow sun. Strength, flight, invulnerability and super speed are just some of the powers she has, but more than that, Kara is known for her compassion, so even though she can — much like her cousin — stand up to the Hulk, she’d find a way to do it without harming the Green Goliath. Whether that kindness would only serve to make Hulk madder is unknown, but Supergirl could handle any outcome Hulky throws at her.
7. BIG BARDA
Trained by Granny Goodness on the fiery hellscape of Apokolips, under the tyrannical iron fist of Darkseid himself, you could say that Big Barda had a warrior’s upbringing. Her life was a baptism of fire in every possible way, and not only did Barda live and survive under such brutal conditions, she escaped, she found love with Scott Free (aka Mr Miracle), and she’s thrived as a hero.
Being a member of the New Gods means that Barda has a power set that puts her in the same league as Superman or Wonder Woman, which makes her formidable even without her brutal yet effective training, and though she carries the powerful Apokoliptian weapon “Mega-Rod,” she is a skilled unarmed combatant. Bruce Banner may have been made into a brutal fighting machine, but Barda was born that way.
6. POWER GIRL
For the uninitiated, Power Girl aka Kara or Karen Starr is the cousin of Kal-El from an alternate universe, and travelled to Earth from a dying Krypton, arriving after Clerk as a teenager. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because she’s essentially Supergirl but from elsewhere in the multiverse. Modern continuity places her as a native of the Earth-Two universe, although that wasn’t always the case.
Being a Kryptonian, even an alternate universe Kryptonian, gives her an advantage over the Hulk. her enhanced physiology thanks to our yellow sun means that in every way she’s approaching godlike level of superhuman abilities. Her origin has fluctuated over the years and that’s sometimes taken her Kryptonian heritage away. If that was still the case then maybe Hulk would stand a chance. As a full-fledged orphan of Krypton though, it’s a no-brainer.
Whichever way you look at Ganthet, he keeps himself in good company. For one thing, he’s a Guardian of the Universe — the immortal founders of the Green Lantern Corps — which makes him among the oldest, most powerful beings in the universe. He’s unlike any other Guardian though, and has been linked with the Quintessence, a pantheon of Gods alongside Shazam and Zeus who observe the universe, at times the multiverse.
Ganthet has more of a human, relatable personality than the rest of the Guardians, and his presence and influence over the progression of Earth’s relationship with the Green Lanterns has been felt for years. While he may not look like much compared to Bruce Banner’s green alter-ego (Ganthet, like the rest of the Guardians is short and blue), however his power is on a cosmic scale, so it’d be a pretty one-sided match.
It would be sort of a stretch to class Gog as a DC Comics superhero, but there’s no denying that his intentions have never been straight up supervillain. Later versions of him have been almost relatable, dividing the new Justice Society right down the middle when it came to agreeing on his methods. There have been a couple of different versions of the character over the years, ranging from the creator of a church of Superman, imbued with the power of the Quintessence (a cabal of Gods), to a priest and exile of the “Second World.”
While later comics would reinvent the character’s backstory into one (convoluted) narrative, earlier versions saw Gog despise Superman so much that he utilized the power to kill the Man of Steel, then travelled back in time to kill him over and over again. Against that sort of power, what hope does Hulk have?
Originating in the Milestone imprint of comics, Icon was initially not part of the main DC continuity. This was changed, however, following the death of Darkseid in Final Crisis, when the whole line was merged into main canon to save both continuities. Icon may look human, but the being who goes by the name Augustus Freeman IV is actually a powerful alien called Arnus, whose ship crashed on Earth in the 1800s.
His first exposure to humanity was an enslaved black woman called Miriam, so assumed her likeness and was raised as her son. This DNA alteration increased his abilities to superhuman levels, and imbuing him with energy manipulation, enhanced healing factor, superhuman senses, strength and reflexes. He’s also centuries old, bringing all the wisdom and experience of his advanced age into every encounter, making him a formidable and extremely powerful superhuman.
Another remnant of a merged continuity, Apollo originated in the Wildstorm universe until that was integrated fully into DC proper following the events of Flashpoint. Essentially a Superman analog, Andrew Pulaski’s powers emulate the Man of Steel in many ways, including his body utilizing the Sun’s energy to give him super strength, invulnerability, flight, heat vision and so on.
Apollo and Midnighter are among DC’s first openly gay characters, and their relationship continues into modern DC continuity. As such, he’s rarely seen without his boyfriend, but even as a standalone character, he’s more than a match for Hulk. He’s been known to blast solar energy from every part of his body, dive through a lava flow, fly around the world in 30 seconds and walk on the surface of the sun. All of which is to say, he’s among the strongest beings on DC’s version of Earth.
1. ION (SODAM YAT)
Sodam Yat originates from the planet Daxam, which was colonised by a group of Kryptonians who wished to explore the universe. As a Daxamite, Yat wields the enhanced powers and abilities of Kryptonians such as Superman or Supergirl, and when Yat enlists in the Green Lantern Corps his power is increased exponentially. His character was prophesied to be an unstoppable, invaluable member of the Corps, by the writer — Alan Moore no less — but this never came to pass.
It would be 20 years before his potential would be fulfilled, in the Geoff Johns penned storyline “The Sinestro Corps War.” In that story, Sodam Yat is chosen to wield the Ion entity — a powerful being born of the green wavelength of the emotional spectrum. As a Superman-level power, with a Green Lantern ring and the strength of Ion, his power is off the charts and more than enough to stomp the Hulk a new face hole.
What do you think? Could these heroes take the Hulk? Are there any other DC characters who could? Let us know in the comments!
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!