Goku, the star of the Dragon Ball franchise, was born one of the alien warrior race known as the Saiyans. Sent to Earth as a baby, with his people hoping he’d take over the planet, little Goku stumbled down a waterfall and hit his head, which turned him good. From that point on, Goku served the planet, and even the universe, dutifully as a protector. Kal-El was born on the dying planet Krypton. Thanks to his parents’ quick thinking, he was blasted off in a rocket and landed on Earth. Upon arriving, Jonathan and Martha Kent found his rocket and immediately took him home with them, raising young Kal-El as though he were their own. They would name him Clark Kent and raise him love; Superman the greatest superhero of all time.
They quickly became the mightiest champions of their respective universes. Yet in fans’ minds, there could only be one. Two fictional universes weren’t big enough for both powers, and fans desperately rushed to prove who was stronger. Statistics and insults have been thrown around for years, but the two fandoms can’t agree on who wins when Superman battles Goku. Today at CBR we’re looking at 15 hilarious Goku vs. Superman memes!
15 BEST FRIENDS
Goku is without a doubt one of the friendliest people out there. Thanks to falling on his head as a child and then getting raised by his adoptive grandfather, Goku became something of a country bumpkin. On account of his general naïveté, Goku has the tendency to see the best in people. Superman, thanks to his upbringing over on the Kent Farm, was raised with respectable and kindly virtues as well. He was taught the importance of responsibility and to use his powers for the benefit of mankind.
Even so, fans of either yearn to know who would win in a fight. Would Goku and Superman really want to fight each other? Yes, Goku likes fighting strong people, but that doesn’t mean he’ll try and straight up murder someone just to prove a point. If anything, the two would become fast friends and join forces in saving the planet.
14 TAKING TOO LONG TO POWER UP
If there’s one thing in particular critics of Dragon Ball love pointing out, it’s that it takes forever to power up. Heroes and villains in the Dragon Ball franchise love taking time to monologue, explaining their powers, how strong they are, and discussing their various transformations. Why give someone time to charge their power? That’s a question no one has answered quite successfully. Perhaps in the universe of Dragon Ball, it’s a matter of pride and honor, warning your opponent about your capabilities and giving them time to run away.
Standoffs are an integral part to the show, but in DC comics, not so much. Superheroes like Superman don’t stand around for minutes on end, talking about what they’re going to do; they just do it. If Goku made his way to the DC Universe, he’d be unpleasantly surprised to discover nobody would wait around for him to transform.
Goku and Superman are among the strongest beings in fiction. If they did fight, there’d be virtually nothing left of the planet they were on. That’s if they fought against each other, but what if they teamed up? It’s generally thought that if Vegeta and Goku teamed up, they could beat anyone. If Goku and Superman decided to fight together then who could possibly challenge them?
Enter Saitama, otherwise known as One Punch Man. Saitama fans believe the awkward superhero is stronger than either Superman or Goku. Known for killing his opponents with one punch and never getting hurt by an opponent, Saitama has proven capable of feats that would make the other two heroes jealous. Regardless about what the reality is, imagine a situation where the Man of Steel and Goku teamed-up in order to take down Saitama. That would be quite the fracas.
12 BREATHING IN SPACE
Almost mighty beyond compare, Superman is practically without limits, or at least he can seem that way. Due to his Kryptonian physiology, Superman gains immense power thanks to being exposed to the a yellow star i.e. the Sun. Fueled with ridiculous might, one of Superman’s greatest assets is his ability to fight in space.
You see, Superman doesn’t need to breath. In spite of his fantastic power, Goku, a Saiyan, totally needs to breathe. He can be drowned in water and rest assured, he needs air to breathe if he’s in space. Goku has fought in Earth’s upper atmosphere and can presumably hold his breath for great periods, but eventually he’ll need to breathe and Superman would totally take the opportunity to finish the fight.
11 THE TERROR OF GOKU BLACK
Appearing in Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black was Zamasu from the unaltered main timeline. He stole the body of the original present Goku, before teaming up with his future self, Future Zamasu, to try and destroy to kill every human.
A fearsome being, Goku Black could transform into Super Saiyan Rose, allowing him to easily best Goku or Vegeta in Super Saiyan Blue, their strongest form. At the end of the Goku Black arc, Goku and Vegeta aren’t even the ones to defeat the villain. Goku has to summon Zen-oh, the most powerful being in the entire universe, to wipe out Goku Black and Zamasu. Superman, even with all his amazing abilities, wouldn’t be able to destroy the malevolent Saiyan. If anything, he’d find himself in the same situation as Goku, having to go and seek help elsewhere, presumably from Batman, from a threat that can literally cross timelines.
10 THE LEGENDARY SUPER SAIYAN
Often referred to as the Legendary Super Saiyan, Broly’s power was leagues above the mightiest adult Saiyan warriors even when he was a baby. Though Goku never heard of him until their first confrontation, Vegeta had, but always assumed the myth of the Legendary Super Saiyan was nothing more than a fairy tale. Without question, Broly is one of Dragon Ball’s most dangerous bad guys. His power seems practically without limit and he only appears to get stronger the longer a fight goes on. When the Legendary form appeared in Dragon Ball Super, it was a power so great it could easily challenge Goku’s Super Saiyan Blue strength.
It’s understandable to see why some think Broly could take down Superman. To those who believe Goku can defeat the Man of Steel; if Broly can beat Goku, it only makes sense he can beat Superman too.
9 THE MEN OF STEEL
This one goes out to all you history buffs out there, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. People wanted to know who would win in a battle between Superman and Goku; the YouTube channel ScrewAttack did their best to answer in one of their Death Battles. Superman won, Dragon Ball fans weren’t happy, so ScrewAttack did a second video and this time Superman won… again.
So who was left to challenge DC’s Man of Steel, none other than Joseph Stalin the original Man of Steel. Stalin, who you might recognize from history books for governing the Soviet Union with an iron fist, wasn’t always the stuff of legend. As he slowly rose in power, he realized he needed a name to inspire respect, and so he gave himself the name Stalin, which was Russian for “Man of Steel”. And you probably thought you weren’t going to learn anything!
8 THE GOD OF DESTRUCTION
Goku’s battled a lot of would-be gods in his day, but it was his first time battling an actual deity when he fought Beerus, the God of Destruction. Even though Goku goes Super Saiyan God, Beerus ultimately reveals he wasn’t even trying during their fight. Beerus’s power is downright frightening. As a God of Destruction, his power is astronomical. Once when Beerus sneezed he blew up two suns. He killed the dinosaurs, has cracked a planet in half with the flick of his fingers, and casually destroys planets on a whim.
Superman, for all his might, would pale in comparison to the God of Destruction. Pre-Crisis Superman, a being of relatively infinite might, would likely defeat him, but Post-Crisis Superman would get destroyed in short order. Superman gets his power from the Sun and Beerus has no problem destroying one, or two, suns without a second thought.
7 DRAGON BALL DRAMA
Fans of Superman and Goku are an ornery lot. When it comes to celebrating their various fandoms, the supporters of either hero will never back down. Facts and various tidbits will get thrown around unrelentingly until everyone is left either too exhausted or angry to continue. Yet somehow Dragon Ball fans in particular will find any excuse to compare Goku, or even his villains, to Superman and his power level.
Though a particular match-up might have nothing to do with either the Saiyan warrior of the Kryptonian, almost inexplicably, a Dragon Ball fan will pop up and start talking about how Goku is the strongest. From there, things spiral out of control as then conversations inevitably becomes one about Goku versus Superman. It’s almost as if Dragon Ball enthusiasts enjoy the drama their constant boasting of Goku brings.
6 BEATEN BY THE BUTLER
When people aren’t debating who wins in a fight between Goku and Superman, it’s then usually about who wins when Batman fights Superman. Batman fans will automatically give the win to the Dark Knight, saying that if he’s prepared, he’ll surely be victorious. The Injustice: Gods Among Us comics did away with that thinking, going on to demonstrate that even with years of prep time, Batman still couldn’t beat Superman. You know who did people Superman, Batman’s butler Alfred.
The aged nursemaid, after downing a specialized pill designed to give regular mortals superhuman strength, makes quick work of Superman. The beating he delivers is as unexpected as it is awesome. It’s possible to argue he caught Superman off guard, but even so, it’s hard to imagine Alfred is stronger than Goku, pill or no pill. If Alfred can beat Superman, why not Goku?
5 SUPERMAN'S INNER TURMOIL
At the end of the day, Superman does not enjoy punching people in the face. Rather, he’s the sort of fellow who’d rather try and talk it rather than resort to brutal violence. Of course that depends on the specific era of Superman you’re referring to, as the Golden Age and Silver Age seemed totally okay with slugging crooks in the face. As the character evolved, though he’d often be forced to resort to using his fists, partially because this is comics, Superman wasn’t above negotiation. When taking on foes of equal strength, Superman wasn’t hungry for battle, but would end the confrontation as quickly as possible.
In fighting Goku, who knows what would happen. What’s relevant here is that to Dragon Ball fans who believe Goku would trounce Superman, Superman would probably ask himself why the heck he’d ever fight someone who can destroy planets.
4 SUPERMAN'S DREAM
Many people have delusions of grandeur and superheroes are no exception. When you’re a top tier hero like Superman, rarely are you forced to acknowledge someone stronger than you. Superman is the big man on campus on Earth, and on multiple planets at that. Few beings can come close to reaching his power level, much less completely defeating him. With a wide assortment of powers and abilities, you’d have to either crazy or ridiculously strong to challenge the Man of Steel.
Superman knows he’s the strongest and that’s why he pays so much attention to making sure he doesn’t kill anybody. And then Superman apparently woke up. After a glorious dream full of killing an inferior Goku, Superman awoke to the realization that it was all a dream and an impossible one at that.
3 WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE
Forget about who’d win in a fight between Superman and Goku, the real question is who’s your favorite, Goku or Vegeta? Goku is the protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise and likely will continue to be so forever. Likable, inspirational, and a (usually) well-balanced character, it’s easy to understand why Goku would be someone’s favorite. Vegeta on the other hand is an infinitely more complex individual.
Unlike Goku, Vegeta comes from royalty. The Prince of all Saiyans, Vegeta’s arrogance and pride informs much of his identity. Some people prefer the multi-faceted Elite Saiyan to the goofy “commoner” that is Goku. For our purposes, it’s kind of ironic that Superman is Team Goku, especially since their fans are constantly trying to get them to fight one another, while Batman goes for the straight-laced Vegeta. Only this time, when two Dragon Ball fans don’t agree, it results in a massive citywide battle.
2 SECOND BEST
To many fans of Dragon Ball, and even American superheroes, there isn’t a more boring character on the face of the planet than Superman. Even if Superman is stronger than Goku, it almost doesn’t matter to some. Of course fans are going to start by arguing about feats of power, but once the dust has settled, they’re going to look for more practical reasons about why Goku is the superior character.
It’s easy to dismiss Superman as an ultra powerful alien with no depth. There’s the argument that he’s too powerful, which makes his stories intrinsically boring since nothing can possibly harm him. Where’s the fun in a character like that, some people will ask. What they don’t realize is that Superman is a multi-faceted and layered individual; there’s a reason why he’s remained prominent for so many years.
1 TO THE VICTOR GOES LUNCH
Again, Dragon Ball fans are an unforgiving bunch. The more you bring up who would win in a fight between the Super Saiyan Goku and the Last Son of Krypton, the saltier the wounds and insults become. The answer about who wins is one that will be debated for years. However, in the chance that Goku somehow is the winner in a fight with Superman, then there’s the question of how he would celebrate his victory.
Goku knows two things in life: food and fighting. Nothing else registers with the Saiyan warrior. In battling Superman and winning, he’d already have gotten everything he can from the fight. The only thing left for Goku is food. So of course, why not have Goku force Superman to make him a sandwich, an act that would only add insult to injury.