Probably one of the weirdest things about DC Comics' continuity is their original Earth isn't the main one they use to tell stories. The Earth with the history that began with DC's Action Comics #1 in 1939 is actually Earth-Two thanks to a mix of real-life and comic book-y reasons. Earth-Two would become home to the Justice Society and the All-Star Squadron, heroes whose stories occurred largely during World War II. Later on, they would continue those heroes' legacies with the introduction of Infinity Inc, children of those heroes from long ago. For this list, we'll be honoring DC's original world by discussing and ranking the most powerful characters from their universe.
10 SOLOMON GRUNDY
Probably one of the little known factoids of the DC Universe is that Solomon Grundy, more recently known for his encounters with Batman or the Justice League, began as a Green Lantern villain. Not only that, but he began as a villain of Alan Scott, the Green Lantern of Earth-2.
He’s already unkillable, but since he’s partially comprised of wood after being brought back to (un)life by the swamp, his abilities naturally counteract Green Lantern’s abilities. Still, he’s not exactly a smart opponent, and mostly uses his strength to commit base level crimes. He can’t compete with people higher up on this list.
9 VANDAL SAVAGE
The immortal caveman that’s proved to be a thorn in the side of both the Justice League and the Justice Society, Vandal Savage began his career as a villain in the pages of the original Green Lantern comic. Having lived since the beginning of humanity, Vandal Savage has the benefit of literally thousands of years of experience on his side, which has led him to rule over large portions of society time and again. The same meteor that granted his immortality also gave him enhanced speed and strength, making him literally the perfect physical human specimen. However, he lacks the power necessary to place him any higher on this list of heavy hitters.
Strangely enough, Aquaman has a pretty weird origin on Earth-Two. Originally, rather than being King of Atlantis, Arthur Curry was actually the son of a famous undersea explorer. His father spent years unlocking the secrets of Atlantis, and in doing so was able to teach his son to live underwater, drawing oxygen from it and using the water’s power to make him exceptionally fast and strong.
He even lacks the telepathic ability to control fish like his Earth-One counterpart, instead of having the ability to merely speak to them. He runs much closer to his version from the Superfriends than the character we’ve seen in the comics and films over the past two decades.
7 PER DEGATON
Degaton is a bit like DC’s Kang the Conqueror, except nowhere near as famous and in a far stupider costume. He began his villainous career by sabotaging a fellow scientist and stealing his time machine, but his repeated attempts to conquer the world and take down the Society have granted him a different set of abilities. His body operates out of sync with the rest of time itself, and he has weaponry from different times after traveling across the stream for so long. Perhaps most impressive though is his “time vision,” a sort of pre-cognitive sense that allows him to know what’s happening in his immediate future.
6 JAY GARRICK (FLASH)
The original hero to don the red and yellow and take on the moniker of the Flash, Jay Garrick is considered one of the elder statesmen of the Justice Society. However, as swaggy as his hat might be, that doesn’t make him one of the more powerful characters.
Flash’s speed without tapping in the Speed Force leaves him running just above the speed of sound. Even with it, he can only hit about twenty times that, which is far less than what Flashes are generally known for. And given his advanced age, he can keep it up for much less time than his descendants.
The original Superman. It’s splitting hairs, but this is the version of Supes everyone thinks of when they see the iconic cover of him lifting a car over his head. He became the leader of the Justice Society and a frequent aid in the work of the All-Star Squadron once they introduced the wider DC Universe.
That said, he places so low on this list because the primary way they separated him from Earth-One Superman was to make sure he retained his Golden Age powers. He’s not as fast or as strong as the “main” Superman, and certainly not as durable — an exploding shell could knock him for a loop.
4 ALAN SCOTT
The very first Green Lantern, Alan Scott was a railroad engineer who became Green Lantern after a bridge collapsed in front of the train he was operating. With this new ring, Alan became capable of a wide variety of abilities including turning invisible, walking through walls, flight, read minds, or even travel through time, in addition to crafting objects out of its power like Hal Jordan. Alan Scott is absurdly powerful, with even these abilities later being retconned into coming from the collected chaos magic across the universe. There’s a reason why Green Lantern is seen as one of the heavy hitters of the Society.
Val Zod isn’t from the original Earth-Two, but he was a part of the New 52’s initiative to bring the concept back. On this version of Earth-Two, the Trinity (Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman) were all killed in a battle against Apokolips.
Later, Val-Zod would appear on Earth and stand in Superman’s place to help defend it. Unlike Kal-L, Val-Zod doesn’t seem to be held back by Golden Age expectations. He also possesses a genius intellect, as he spent years learning from his parents about all the knowledge of Krypton. If he has any weakness aside from the usual Kryptonian problems, it’s an aversion to violence in general.
2 DOCTOR FATE
Kent Nelson began as the son of an archaeologist that happened to stumble upon the tomb of Nabu the Wise along with his father. Though his father was accidentally killed in awakening Nabu, Nabu took pity on Kent. Rather than leaving him to the world, Kent was taken in by the wizard and he spent 20 years in training with him to become a consummate sorcerer. He’s able to do everything from fly to manipulate the elements. There were never any clear limits placed on Doctor Fate’s abilities, which is a large part of what places him so far up on the lis
Jim Corrigan was a cop that found himself unjustly murdered by some criminals. But despite years of work serving justice, he wasn’t deemed good enough to enter the afterlife. Instead, he was sent back to Earth by a being known as “The Voice,” where he would dispense a new, darker justice.
As the Spectre, Corrigan’s abilities are nearly limitless. He can transmute matter and has even proven capable of altering reality itself, all in the service of taking down his chosen target. The only limit seems to be his attachment to a human host, but most of his enemies never live long enough to find that out.