Superman is easily one of the most powerful beings in the entire DC Universe. Since his debut in 1938, he has accomplished all sorts of impossible feats, inspiring millions of other heroes both in fiction and the real-world. Thanks to his Kryptonian physiology, Clark Kent has access to a plethora of abilities that have only evolved and grown stronger over the years. However, despite being the Last Son of Krypton, Clark isn’t the only Kryptonian in existence.
As more time has passed, several other Kryptonians have been introduced to either challenge or assist Superman on his quest for truth, Justice, and the American way. To look at some of those other Kryptonians, here is our list of the 5 most powerful, and 5 weakest, Kryptonians in the DC Universe.
10 Superboy (Weakest)
Looking specifically at the Conner Kent version of Superboy, this version of the character is easily one of the weaker Kryptonians around. Though Superboy himself is far from defenseless, half of his DNA does come from a human donor. Likewise, though one half of his DNA comes directly from Superman, the other half comes from none other than Lex Luthor. Throughout his time as a character, Superboy has actually done a lot to step out from Superman’s shadow. However, his half-human DNA does have a tendency to water-down his powers, making Superboy one of the weakest Kryptonians around.
9 Cyborg Superman (Most Powerful)
As of the New 52 relaunch in 2011, Cyborg Superman was changed from Hank Henshaw to Zor-El, Supergirl’s father. It would later be revealed that Zor-El would survive Krypton’s destruction and receive cybernetic enhancements from Brainiac. As a result, Zor-El’s mind was warped and he began to take on some more evil tendencies. Because of his enhancements, however, this version of Cyborg Superman is far more powerful than the original. Zor-el has all the powers of a normal Kryptonian, plus the added advantage of technology on his side. Yet, those enhancements also act like a handicap at times, as the technology cannot perfectly replicate Kryptonian physiology, making him the weakest of the strongest.
8 Jor-El (Weakest)
As of the DC Rebirth era, it was eventually revealed that Superman’s father, Jor-El, had been saved from the destruction of Krypton. However, the loss that he experienced altered his mind, changing his attitude towards life. Upon his return, Jor-El was reintroduced as a sort of anti-hero. He has come to cause a lot of problems for Clark, but does continue to try to help his son.
Though Jor-El may not have been everything Clark had hoped for, his powers have yet to pose any real threat. Jor-El is still shown to have the standard set of Kryptonian abilities, but the thing that makes him so threatening is his mind. As one of the smartest Kryptonians on the former planet, it makes sense that Jor-El would fight his battles in this manner. However, it does still make him a bit weaker than other Kryptonians.
7 General Zod (Most Powerful)
General Zod is typically depicted as being former friends with Jor-El. However, the two characters both had very different approaches when it came to protecting their people. Before Krypton’s destruction, General Zod was easily one of the most glorified and decorated combatants on the planet. However, his ruthless methods would quickly make him an enemy of the people, and saw him banished to the Phantom Zone. Therefore, when he returned to reality, it would make sense that Zod would pose such a great threat to Superman. Over the years, Zod has continually challenged the Last Son of Krypton, though he usually ends up defeated in the end. Despite his losses to Jor-El’s son, Zod’s past and determination still make him one of the more accomplished and powerful Kryptonians around.
6 Ursa (Weakest)
Ursa was actually introduced in the original Superman: The Movie (1978) film. Though she was based on Faora, Ursa would eventually come to make her comic book debut in Action Comics #845. In the comics, her character is changed a bit so that she and Zod are in love and have a son together. Like Zod and any other Kryptonian, Ursa has all of the same basic powers.
However, the thing that makes her a bit weaker is that her emotions often get the better of her. Though Ursa’s anger has arguably made her stronger at times, she also becomes far more reckless, making her an easier opponent to fight against. Granted, it doesn’t help that she is typically depicted as a background character, but she is still one of the easier Kryptonians to take down
5 Supergirl (Most Powerful)
As the cousin of Superman himself, Kara Zor-El is also one of the most powerful Kryptonians around. Though she is not the strongest, she is still not one to be messed with. Kara has proven time and again that she is very close to her cousin’s potential, usually only held back by the newer nature of her powers. However, unlike Clark, Supergirl has an understanding of Kryptonian science. While Earth is far more alien to her than it is to her cousin, Kara grew up in one of the most scientifically advanced societies in existence at the time, giving her particular advantages in her own right. Though she may not be the most physically strong Kryptonian, she is still one of the most powerful.
4 Lor-Zod (Weakest)
As the son of Zod and Ursa, Lor-Zod has had a complicated existence. For a time, he was even the adopted son of Lois Lane and Clark Kent, going by Chris Kent until the New 52 relaunch. Eventually, Chris goes on to become Nightwing. While Dick Grayson already held the mantle of Nightwing, both heroes got the inspiration for their codename from the same Kryptonian story character. As Nightwing, Lor-Zod would actually come to accomplish a lot of good. However, he was simply just never one of the most powerful Kryptonians. Perhaps, with a bit more time, he could have really strengthened his abilities. For now though, he remains one of the weaker ones.
3 Doomsday (Most Powerful)
Doomsday is different from other Kryptonians in that he wasn’t brought about the same way the others were. Doomsday himself was an ancient Kryptonian who, through the use of advanced science, was constantly killed and resurrected. Every time Doomsday would die, his body would be brought back stronger, and the thing that killed him before could no longer do so again.
Because of this, Doomsday is not only very hard to kill, but one of the most powerful beings in the DC Universe. Though he doesn’t look or act like any other Kryptonian on this list, he still hails from the planet, Krypton, and has earned his place as one of the more powerful Kryptonians.
2 Non (Weakest)
Like Ursa, Non originally debuted in Superman: The Movie and eventually made his way to the comics. In the comic continuity though, it was revealed that Non and Jor-El were once friends. Eventually though, Non was lobotomized, making him much more of a mindless henchmen for Zod than anything else. Unlike the other Kryptonians on this list, Non is actually physically stronger than most of them. However, his mindless nature, though it makes him more dangerous, also makes him easier to take down. Had he not been lobotomized, Non would arguably be one of the strongest Kryptonians. Unfortunately though, he lands as one of the weaker.
1 Superman (Most Powerful)
Of course, the Man of Steel himself is easily the most powerful Kryptonian in existence. Over the years, Superman has overcome every obstacle thrown at him. Though he has been defeated before, he has always found a way to come back stronger than ever. Furthermore, since he was the first Kryptonian to arrive on Earth, he has also been exposed to the yellow sun radiation far longer than others have. As a result, Superman’s cells are more accustomed to sunlight, making him more powerful by nature as well. No matter how you look at it, it is really hard to see any way in which Superman isn’t the most powerful Kryptonian.