Superman has always been a polarizing character for fans. Some love him while others hate him. Those who hate him will usually write him off as boring, unrelatable, or ridiculously overpowered. Yes, it's easy to see how a person who is virtually indestructible, possesses few weaknesses, and rarely gets knocked down could be considered boring. On the other hand, however, Superman embodies all that humanity can achieve, making him a hopeful inspiration for a brighter future.
Regardless of fans' opinions and attitudes towards the Man of Steel, it is impossible to argue against the fact that he possesses an absurd amount of power. However, there are versions of him that possess even more powers and abilities than the one most people are familiar with. Let's take a look at some of the strongest versions of Superman from across DC’s multiverse.
10 Kingdom Come
DC’s Kingdom Come story saw a much older version of the Justice League reunite in order to take down a new threat. Superman, in particular, was brought back from retirement with more than just an awesome new suit.
While you would think that an older version of Superman would be weaker, his decelerated aging and extra time in the sun actually made him maintain his abilities. While not necessarily more powerful than regular Superman, this older version of Clark can hold his own just as easily, proving that age is but a number.
9 Superman Beyond
Much like the Kingdom Come version, Superman Beyond is an older version of the character with all the same powers. Set in the Batman Beyond Universe, this version of Clark offers a lot of the same attributes as the original and continues to lead the future’s Justice League. Recently, the comic book version has been changed to show Superman’s son, Jon Kent, in the role of the Man of Tomorrow.
While Clark may not be more powerful than his past self, it has always been implied that Jon could eventually surpass him. Furthermore, since this is a futuristic version of Jon, it is easy to deduce that this version of Superman Beyond would be more powerful than the previous.
8 Val Zod
Val Zod took over as Superman on Earth 2 following the death of the original. Val was actually raised as a pacifist and continues to fight only when necessary. He is also agoraphobic, meaning that he has a fear of open spaces. Eventually, though, he is able to overcome his fears and take up the mantle of Superman.
While Val Zod possesses all of the standard powers of a Kryptonian under a yellow sun, he also has a genius-level intellect, making him all the more valuable. While Clark at times is shown to also be incredibly smart, Val Zod’s level of intellect is always understood to be superior, giving him an advantage in any given situation.
7 Red Son
For those who are unfamiliar, Superman: Red Son is a popular Superman story that explores what would happen if the character landed in Soviet Russia rather than Smallville, Kansas. This version of Superman grows up with a very high ranking in the Soviet Union, though he continues to use his abilities for (what he believes to be) good.
This story makes for a very interesting interpretation and showcases a fantastic battle of ideals between Superman and Lex. While this version of Superman holds all the same powers as the normal one once again, he eventually rises to become the head of the Soviet Union. While this Superman may not be more powerful physically, he wields a great amount of political power, especially considering the story’s time frame.
6 Super Soldier
Super Soldier exists as part of the Amalgam Universe, which is a collaborative plane for Marvel and DC to work together. In this case, Super Soldier is effectively a combination of both Superman and Captain America.
Super Soldier also possesses all powers and abilities from both characters and wields Superman’s “S” shield insignia as his actual shield (not to mention his ridiculous costume). Furthermore, the Super Soldier serum combined with the normal powers of Superman means that all shared abilities between the two are enhanced. This means that Super Soldier is much stronger and faster than the normal version of Superman.
Ultraman is an interesting case because he has the potential to be both much stronger and much weaker than the normal Superman. Ultraman resides on Earth 3 (originally Earth 2) where everything is opposite. This means that while good always triumphs on our world, evil always triumphs on his. Therefore, Ultraman is the perfect embodiment of evil.
However, he must constantly ingest Kryptonite if he wants to retain his powers. Likewise, the more he eats, the stronger he becomes. Without a constant supply of Kryptonite, though, Ultraman will wither down to a weak, human-like form.
4 All-Star Superman
Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman series remains one of the most highly acclaimed Superman stories to date. Interestingly enough, while most writers try to find a way to depower or weaken Superman in order to make him vulnerable, Morrison actually made him much stronger.
After saving astronauts from a mission gone awry near the sun, Superman’s cells grow at a rapid rate, making him stronger but effectively giving him cancer. Throughout the story, Superman explores his final days, growing all the more powerful, yet ever closer to death. All-Star Superman cleverly reinterprets the character and makes for an emotional Superman story with an equally interesting ending.
3 Superboy Prime
Superboy Prime has caused a lot of trouble for DC characters throughout the years. His unstable emotions and unpredictable nature combined with all the powers of Superman and none of the weaknesses make him a very large threat. Superboy Prime actually hails from the real world, where characters like Superman and Batman are nothing more than comic book characters.
After being transported here during the Crisis on Infinite Earths story, he has been a major nuisance since. Superboy Prime not only possesses more abilities than normal Superman but also fewer weaknesses. Superboy Prime’s abilities match those of the familiar Superman, plus magic immunity, mimicry immunity, and even Kryptonite immunity. With so few weaknesses, the only major way to stop him is to deprive and drain him of solar radiation, easily making him one of the more powerful versions of Superman.
2 Cosmic Armor Superman
Unfortunately, Cosmic Armor Superman has had very few appearances, only appearing during the Final Crisis storyline by Grant Morrison. With that in mind, he has still proven to be one of the most powerful variants of the character in the multiverse. Created using the combined forces of the main Superman and Ultraman, this version actually exists outside the multiverse with the sole purpose of protecting it.
Cosmic Armor Superman is so powerful that he can defend the entire multiverse (and beyond) all by himself. Though he is mostly a machine with the likeness of Superman and not actually a version of Superman himself, he still possesses such immense power that he literally holds the entire universe in his hands.
1 Superman Prime One Million
DC’s One Million storyline takes place in the 853rd century. As you can likely imagine, there are many significant differences from now to then. One constant, however, is Superman. Kal El is still the Superman of this world, just much more powerful.
After spending thousands of years in the sun, Superman re-emerges with all new powers. Not only are all of his base powers enhanced, but he also gains telepathy, the ability to share his powers, and even enough willpower to operate a lantern ring. If you thought Superman was overpowered before, be sure to check out this version of the Man of Steel.