We all know that the gods are the strongest characters in their respective comic book universes. The likes of Superman and Wolverine are certainly some of the strongest superheroes in existence, but they aren’t as unstoppable and all-powerful as the gods themselves. Marvel and DC have multiple pantheons of gods, filled with incredibly powerful entities that originate from alternate dimensions, distant planets, and mysterious planes of existence. Some live among the superheroes of the world and take the form of mere mortals while others can hardly be perceived as anything more than a mere concept come to life. What if we took these gods and pitted them against each other?
There are only so many original ideas in the world, which is likely part of the reason why many of the biggest comic book characters have corresponding heroes and villains. You may have noticed that Green Arrow has a lot in common with Hawkeye, or that Deadpool is a copy of Deathstroke, or that Aquaman and Namor are pretty similar. We often ask ourselves who would win in a fight, but what about the gods? Many comic book entities have their own doppelgangers in the industry, so what if we put Marvel’s collection of gods against DC’s own stable of cosmic beings? Who would win?
15 GALACTUS VS. IMPERIEX
Galactus is the iconic creation of two of the biggest comic book creators in history. Imperiex is the cobbled together villain of DC’s largely forgettable "Our Worlds at War" crossover epic from 2000. Despite the difference in their stature among the all-time greats, these two are largely very similar entities. Some might say that Imperiex was DC’s attempt at creating its own Galactus.
Both are giant, world-destroying cosmic entities older than recorded time. They both have a significant role in the structure of the universe, taking life to create something new, but the results of the fight would be clear. Though Imperiex has a legion of powerful probes at his disposal, it is shown that a massive amount of energy can defeat him, and Galactus wields the Power Cosmic. 'Nuff said.
14 SIF VS. BIG BARDA
If you noticed some similarities between Marvel’s Asgardians and DC’s New Gods, you’re not seeing things. Jack Kirby envisioned the New Gods as a continuation of his original story of the Norse Gods. It makes sense, then, that several character archetypes carry over between the two continuities, including the fierce female warriors Sif of Asgard and Big Barda of New Genesis.
Sif was introduced into Thor comics in order to give him a love interest that could stand side by side with him in battle. Similarly, Barda was created in order to swap familiar gender roles with her husband Mister Miracle. Both are skilled and hardened fighters, but Barda led Darkseid’s elite Female Furies before she escaped. Her raw strength and superior knowledge of war would see her defeat Sif in the end.
13 ARES VS. ARES
Sometimes gods from the real world are introduced in the comic book world, meaning we get two different characters with the same name. Given the widespread familiarity with the Greek Gods, it makes sense that both Marvel and DC have their own versions of the Pantheon. This obviously leads to a fight between DC and Marvel’s version of the Greek God of War Ares.
These two versions of the same entity have their similarities, but they have far more differences between them. While DC’s Ares is a manipulative god and Wonder Woman’s arch-nemesis, Marvel’s version of the character became something of an anti-hero who is much more of a warrior, like Hercules and Thor, than an omnipotent being. DC’s Ares would outmaneuver his counterpart at every turn.
12 THOR VS. SHAZAM
Thor is certainly one of the more recognizable comic book characters in existence, but he’s not exactly a unique idea. DC has shown its own version of the God of Thunder, but he ultimately pales in comparison to the real deal. Since this comic book god doesn’t have an obvious doppelganger, the next best thing is Shazam, who is powered by his own set of gods.
Shazam has the raw magical power to go up against the likes of Superman, but it’s their relationship to lightning that will ultimately end this fight. As the God of Thunder, Thor possesses mastery over lightning, while Shazam calls down powerful lightning strikes with a magic word. Both can do their fair share of damage, but Thor will win this one if he can manipulate Shazam’s lightning to transform him back into Billy Batson.
11 DEATH VS. DEATH
Both publishers have their own incarnation of the concept of death. Marvel’s Death is typically depicted as a skeleton shrouded in a dark robe. She is powerful and manipulative, always trying to get someone (Thanos) to do her bidding. DC’s Death is a little more unconventional, depicted as a perky goth girl who is actually quite nice, when she wants to be.
Both characters are a part of a collective of cosmic beings who rule over all of existence. Marvel’s Death is one of the more powerful abstracts in the Marvel Universe; however, like many of her brothers and sisters, she has been killed before. Death of the Endless, meanwhile, is one of seven fundamental forces of the universe and is the ultimate representation of death. DC’s Death might have the upperhand here.
10 HIGHFATHER VS. ODIN
Different publishers have different chief gods within their universes. Marvel has Odin as the preeminent father figure in his role as the All-Father, while DC has Highfather of the New Gods. Both gods have the same unlimited power, and since Jack Kirby created the New Gods to be the successors of the Asgardians, they represent a lot of the same things.
Still, with the exception of Darkseid, the Old Gods have been seen to be a lot more powerful than their newer counterparts. New Gods are seen to be able to die, and unlike the Asgardians, they don’t always come back. Highfather was killed off in the ‘90s and didn’t reappear for decades after. In the end, Odin would end up being far too powerful to give Highfather a fighting chance.
9 STORM VS. ISIS
Some characters might not be literal gods, but their great power causes them to be worshipped as one. Storm, with her ability to control the weather, is worshipped as a god in her native Kenya, while Isis is considered to be a goddess of nature among her people in Kahndaq. Both have a deep connection to the natural world, and both have power far beyond those of mere mortals.
Considering her powers come from an actual god, Isis is likely more powerful than the mutant Storm, but Ororo is far more experienced and likely a much better fighter than Adrianna Tomaz. If Storm can somehow manage to defeat Wonder Woman, like she did in their battle from DC vs. Marvel in the '90s, she would probably have an easier time beating Isis in this instance.
8 MEPHISTO VS. NERON
Things would get boring if there was only one central demon character in comics, so instead of a single guy being the embodiment of the devil, there a dozens. Marvel and DC each have a chief demon who serves as a stand-in for Satan, and each are very powerful. Mephisto and Neron occupy their days by manipulating mortals, stealing souls, and telling great lies.
Both demons have shown the ability to imbue others with great power at a great cost. However, only Mephisto is seen able to alter reality itself, like he did in Spider-Man: One More Day. Heroes like Ralph Dibny and Midnighter have bested Neron far too often for him to stand against Mephisto, though he wouldn’t go down without some kind of a fight.
7 BEYONDER VS. MISTER MXYZPTLK
Marvel and DC both created their own versions of an annoying omnipotent being who likes to meddle in the affairs of mortals. DC’s Mxyzptlk predated Marvel’s Beyonder by 40 years, but the two take on similar roles. Beyonder was first introduced in Secret Wars from the ‘80s, showing himself to be a near-unbeatable opponent. In subsequent appearances he has since been depowered.
Mxyzptlk, meanwhile, has gone from nuisance to terrifying threat and back again several times over, depending on his mood. As a Fifth Dimensional imp, he has powers of reality, but given Beyonder’s status as a member of the higher-dimensional race known as the Beyonders, he would definitely be the victor in any battle, even if his powers have decreased over the years. The universe would surely be in trouble if these two ever fought.
6 LIVING TRIBUNAL VS. THE SPECTRE
The Marvel and DC universes have powerful entities in place presiding over all events that take place. The Living Tribunal is the cosmic being that oversees all other entities in order to ensure that the universe is in order. The Spectre is the Judeo-Christian God’s Spirit of Vengeance, which has been bonded to a human and given direction to punish those who have committed crimes.
While the Spectre’s earthly jurisdiction seems to pale in comparison to that of the Living Tribunal, he still has proven to be a being of significant power. The Spectre was able to stand against the power of the Anti-Monitor, while the Living Tribunal has been shown to be killable. In the end, though, the Living Tribunal’s sheer power of the cosmos might be too much for even the Spectre.
5 HERCULES VS. HERCULES
Like Ares, DC and Marvel have their own versions of the mythical hero known as Hercules. While Marvel’s Hercules is seen as a heroic figuring bordering on that of a superhero, the DC Hercules has been presented as a villain to Wonder Woman and the Amazons on occasion. Marvel’s Hercules is by far the more popular version of the two, considering DC rarely uses its version anymore.
Seeing as how they are the same guy, the fight would certainly be something to behold. However, it is very likely that Marvel’s Hercules would be ashamed at the deeds his counterpart had committed over in the DC Universe. The Prince of Power would ultimately wipe the floor with the pretender who shares his name. DC recently killed its version of the character off anyway, so that should only reinforce the results of such a battle.
4 HELA VS. NEKRON
Different cultures have unique perspectives on death, which results in multiple entities representing the end of all things. Hela is the Asgardian Goddess of Death and ruler of Niflheim, one of the Nine Realms. Nekron, meanwhile, is another embodiment of death as the guardian of the nothingness that existed before life and the universe came to be.
Both Hela and Nekron command legions of the dead, but Hela is the only one of the two that is actually capable of dying herself. Since Nekron is simply an entity of death that came into existence, he can never truly die and can only be contained. The two would likely have a battle for the ages, but Nekron and his Black Lantern Rings would eventually overpower Hela and her forces.
3 Dormammu vs. Anti-Monitor
Both of these characters are the godlike rulers of the dimensions they come from who have existed for far longer than any of us can imagine. Dormammu is considered to be more powerful and dangerous than even the worst demons in the known universe, while the Anti-Monitor has proven to be one of the worst destroyers of the Multiverse in the history of existence.
Dormammu is a purely magic-based entity from the Dark Dimension and the Anti-Monitor relies more on technology, creating devices to channel antimatter energy. If these two were ever to fight, it might be the complete end of all existence as we know it; however, it’s Dormammu who would eventually come out on top. We know the Anti-Monitor’s power limits, but Dormammu’s may ultimately be beyond comprehension.
2 THE WATCHERS VS. THE GUARDIANS OF THE UNIVERSE
Each comic book universe is watched over by a mysterious group of powerful cosmic entities. In the Marvel Universe it is The Watchers, and in the DC Universe, it is the Guardians of the Universe. While the Watchers take a passive approach to guardianship and simply witness incredibly important events in the universe, the Guardians have taken a more active role by founding the Green Lantern Corps.
Both groups are extremely powerful with their abilities to mix advanced technology and inherent abilities. In a direct battle, the Watchers have the advantage when it comes to numbers, since there is a large group of them compared to the small counsel that makes up the Guardians. Given their control over the Green Lanterns, the Guardians may come out on top in the end.
1 DARKSEID VS. THANOS
The fight that everyone wants to see if a battle between the villains Darkseid and Thanos. The two bad guys are similar in a lot of ways mostly because Jim Starlin based Thanos directly on Jack Kirby’s Darkseid. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses, but a battle between them would really come down to a lot of different factors.
While Thanos isn’t typically a god, he did become an avatar of Death at one point and is basically incapable of dying. This being said, Darkseid is far more powerful in a straight fight. Then you have to bring in other factors, like if Thanos has the Infinity Gauntlet (bye Darkseid) or if Darkseid has the Anti-Life Equation (sorry Thanos). In the end, Darkseid probably overpowers Thanos, but he probably can’t truly kill him.