- Superman is the greatest hero in the universe, raised by the Kents to embody the highest values and morals.
- Superman possesses flight, super speed, and incredible strength that surpass ordinary Earthlings.
- He uses his unique gifts to uphold justice, protect the innocent, and instill hope.
Sent to Earth from his dying world of Krypton and raised to be one of us, Superman is the greatest hero the universe has ever known. There are many different versions of Superman out there thanks to the existence of a multitude of timelines, so the question is, which is the strongest?
Smallville residents Jonathan and Martha Kent raised Clark to embody the highest values and morals our species is capable of. As the last son of Krypton, Kal-El possesses the abilities of flight, super speed and incredible strength that far surpass ordinary Earthlings. As a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet, Clark assumes the personality of an ordinary citizen. Still, in secret, he uses his unique gifts bestowed on him by his alien heritage to uphold justice, protect the innocent and instill hope in the downtrodden while fighting against criminals and supervillains such as Lex Luthor and Brainiac.
The vast collection of stories featuring the Man of Steel is filled with moments that move and excite us. Superman’s power levels are astonishing and are continually changing and evolving. Each age offers a different Superman, some weaker, others more robust, with varying abilities and capabilities. All of them, however, exhibit the bravery and selflessness of a hero who cares more for the greater good than his interests.
Superman’s powers symbolise hope, truth and justice; these realities can overcome every evil and sustain us during adversity and trial. With these qualities, Superman possesses the limitless potential and has proved his worth time and time again in astonishing feats of might, accomplishing the inconceivable. There have been some versions of the character where his power and strength have been astronomical, and in honour of his feats, we will look at some of the strongest versions of Superman ever to grace the comics.
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15. Golden Age Superman
Every story has a beginning, and in the Golden Age, Superman jumped into public consciousness as a hero of the oppressed. He showed incredible abilities and powers that excited and uplifted young and old. Superman was not as powerful when he first appeared in the early comics as later writers made him.
He possessed invulnerability and super strength and could jump and leap great heights. His flying ability, heat vision and other powers were gradually introduced. The groundwork for the essential qualities of the character were all present, but Superman was less powerful than he would become later. He was as strong as many men combined but still not as powerful as to move planets or move at super supersonic and light speeds.
14. Silver Age Superman
During the Golden Age of comics, Superman mesmerised an untold number of comic book readers fascinated by the superhero’s legendary exploits on the pages of Action Comics. As the decades passed, this popularity faded as people became increasingly interested in science fiction, new worlds, and incredible discoveries that technology was promising.
Comics and characters such as Superman seemed archaic and outdated; people were more interested in comics that featured aliens and invaders from outer space. During the 1950s, DC rebooted their characters and gave them new origins and powers to update them for the space age, where science and technology meant that humans could reach the stars. This expansion and race for the stars found its way into the comics, and Superman was reconfigured to fit the mould of these times.
Silver Age Superman reflected this technological leap by acquiring powers like speed, hearing, flight and heat vision. Superman’s more extraordinary powers in the Silver Age resulted from the yellow sun, which powered his cells and made him far more powerful than he was during the Golden Age. During this Silver Age, the foundations were laid for the extreme power levels Superman accrued over the ages.
13. Cyborg Superman
Hank Henshaw is a cyborg clone of Superman, who was originally a NASA astronaut caught in a solar flare that damaged his ship and mutated his body. In desperation, Henshaw transfers his consciousness into Superman’s Kryptonian birthing matrix to be reincarnated as a clone of Superman with additional mechanical and robotic components. In addition to having the powers of Superman, Henshaw can also control and manipulate machinery, which he uses to hack into various technologies.
After Superman was thought dead, Cyborg Superman took up his mantle but soon was corrupted and joined with other supervillains like Sinestro and Mongul. Besides having Superman’s base powers of strength, speed, and flight, this cyborg abomination can also transfer his consciousness into any technological machine, making him very difficult to eradicate.
12. Electric Blue Superman
There have been many radical versions of the Man of Steel. One extreme change saw him change his signature suit for a new blue and white outfit and new powers. Superman possessed electromagnetism abilities that allowed him to absorb and manipulate pure energy. His new powers let him instantly phase his body and teleport to any location. He had increased speed, which made him arguably faster than the Flash.
11. Ultra Man
The Earth 3 version of Superman is a cruel, twisted alternative version of the original Superman. The mirror opposite the benevolent hero must know. Using the same powers as Superman, Ultraman is cruel and tyrannical, an example of what an evil version of Superman would look like. Instead of being his weakness, green Kryptonite gives him his special powers while the yellow sun weakens him.
In his selfish pursuits, Ultra Man leads his nefarious evil version of the Justice League, the Crime Syndicate of America. Ultraman knows nothing of Superman’s selflessness and altruism; he only cares for conquest and destruction. Some of his unique powers feature the ability to use his supervision to break through time and space, and witness other dimensions and universes. As one of the strongest versions of Superman, Ultra Man can time travel and move between dimensions to terrorise and subjugate all in his path.
Born on Earth-Prime, where there are no superheroes or super-beings (they only exist in fiction), Superboy becomes Earth-Prime’s only superhero when he begins to manifest his powers as a teenager. After the Anit Monitor destroyed Superboy’s home world, Superboy was instrumental in the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline. Frustrated by remembering his old world and the life he used to lead, Superboy-Prime becomes angry and wishes to recover what he has lost.
In his quest to reshape reality, Superboy becomes villainous, using his incredible power to fight against the Justice Society and the Teen Titans. Superboy can absorb yellow sun energy far more efficiently than other Kryptonians, making him often stronger than other great Supermen. Superboy can also absorb the power of will to increase and augment his powers.
9. Kingdom Come Superman
This storyline shows a future where hope is lost, and Superman is no more. He evades the call to be the protector of Earth and shuns his duty as a symbol and enforcer of justice. In our quest to uncover the strongest versions of Superman, Earth 22 Superman in the pages of Kingdom Come must be one of the best contenders for the title.
In an Elseworlds scenario, Kingdom Come takes place in the future where Superman retires after Lois is killed by Joker and a new vengeful figure known as Magog rises and sees no qualms with killing to exact justice. An elderly Superman is forced to come out of retirement after Kansas is destroyed, and the new age of superheroes causes too much destruction and mayhem. Kingdom Come Kal-El may be older, but he is one of the strongest versions of Superman due to his prolonged exposure to the sun, dramatically increasing his power set.
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8. Superman Red Son
Instead of representing being a symbol of Western values, Superman Red Son reimagines the Man of Steel as a communist. Instead of Kansas, Kal-El calls Ukraine home and grows up seeing the West as the enemy. Kal-El becomes entangled in the Soviet Empire and a confidant of Stalin. Lex Luthor wants to eliminate Red Son Superman’s threat by creating Bizarro. The Soviet Superman has the same powers as the original Superman. Still, he shows he might be one of the strongest versions of Superman when he quickly takes down the Green Lantern Corp, Amazonians and Metallo.
Red Son Superman wasn’t a bad guy; he thought he was doing the world a favour and being a good Soviet citizen. He takes things too far, though, and thinks that he has to police the entire world and even uses Brainiac to manipulate the weather. Superman Red Son gives everyone material comforts, but he realises that without freedom and the option to choose how to live their own lives, people are unhappy and oppressed despite having their needs met with food and security.
7. Quantum Superman
Captain Allen Adam is the Quantum Superman of Earth 4. With his quantum power, Allen can see the past and the future as seamless events. His mental faculties are beyond measure, and he can interface with complex computers and understand and process incredible volumes of data and information in the blink of an eye. Able to replicate himself, Adam can control these versions of himself and their size to perform untold actions and feats others can only dream of. Besides this, he can also teleport while possessing all of Superman’s other powers.
Grant Morrison created Quantum Superman in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1 (2008), as one of the most powerful beings in the Multiverse, recruited to combat Mandrakk, the Dark Monitor. To curb and control his power, Allen uses drugs to quelch his abilities, fearful of what they may do to him and everyone around him. Quantum Superman is so powerful that he can even alter reality in eight dimensions. Morrison has been taking plenty of inspiration for Quantum Superman from Dr Manhatten and the Watchmen, as these two characters seem very similar.
6. All-Star Superman
Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman possesses incredible strength, speed, and stamina, easily able to withstand the pressure of 200 quintillion tons with one hand. Capable of extending his bio-electrical sphere as a protective shield and energy beam, this Superman pushes all of Superman’s natural powers to the next level.
In a surprising twist, Superman also becomes immune to Kryptonite due to his over-exposure to radiation, with the same exposure tripling his baseline powers. Superman’s powers reach god-like levels after spending a year in the sun. Morrison uses the mythology and power of the Superman story to tell a fun, weird and emotional tale that plays and toys with Superman’s powers and strengths and takes them to absurd levels, but in the medium of comics, this kind of storytelling finds its true home.
5. Superman Herald of Galactus
In this Marvel and DC crossover, Jor-El informs Superman that the real cause of Krypton’s destruction was at the hands of Galactus. Soon, the evil Galactus concocts a plan to make Superman his Herald. The Man of Steel becomes imbued with cosmic power and, combined with his base powers, becomes the most formidable Herald the universe has ever seen.
As a Herald of Galactus wielding cosmic power, the character becomes one of the strongest versions of Superman. Cyborg Superman turns out to be the manipulator in this saga, and Superman and the Fantastic Four battle against Galactus and Cyborg Superman once Superman breaks free from Galactus’s hold over him.
4. Superman With the Sword of Superman
A mystical sword as old as the universe once made Superman more powerful than he could ever have imagined. The sword was made with all the energies and potency of the Big Bang, making it incredibly durable and giving Superman near omniscience and omnipotence. You would not need to look further than Superman with his cosmic sword to understand that this item makes him one of the strongest versions of Superman, as the sword is as powerful and potent as Superman himself.
This sword can cleave and hue any being and entity in his mighty hands. Above all, it makes Superman almost all-knowing, but to remain on Earth, Superman humbly rejects this incredible power. The Sword of Superman ties the character to his ancient heritage beyond the Earth and proposes the question, what if Superman was not just the defender of Earth but protector and defender of all the galaxy?
3. Strange Visitor Superman
This alternate version of Superman can manipulate time, warp reality, and use energy as a weapon. Capable of ripping spacetime and entering into the 5th dimension, Strange Visitor Superman has all these abilities in conjunction with his usual strength and speed. Raised in Smallville, Strange Visitor, Superman, however, has been alive for billions of years and has become immortal, even outliving the god Anu.
His god-like power also comes with a heightened, all-encompassing telepathic ability that serves as a precursor to his vast, limitless knowledge of the universe and reality. With his extraordinary powers as one of the strongest versions of Superman, he has saved the universe from extinction many times.
The sad existence of Superman as he lives through billions of years makes him a tragic figure who is cursed to watch the universe die and be reborn while he stays solitary and alone without the joys of living everyday life. His powers may be incalculable, but Superman still needs elements like Metropolis, Smallville, and Lois’s love to ground him and give him purpose.
2. Superman Prime One Million
Superman Prime One Million from the 21st century, spent 15000 years dormant in the sun and emerged supercharged. Spending that long in the sun radiated his cells and gave him infinite power. Superman Prime One Million can even grant superpowers to others and make them incredibly strong.
As the living extension of the sun, Superman Prime One Million has traversed the entire universe and reached beyond spacetime, visiting both heaven and hell on his journeys. His lonely journey through space and time makes Superman resolve to resurrect the love of his life, Lois Lane, and make her invulnerable like himself. Going further, Superman Prime One Million even recreates Krypton to experience his home world with all its former inhabitants revived.
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1. Cosmic Armoured Superman
Cosmic Armoured Superman is a likely candidate if there is a more powerful version of Superman than Superman Prime One Million. Although he has only appeared a few times in the comics, Cosmic Armoured Superman has bonkers-level powers and abilities. Some fans argue that Cosmic Armour Superman is a robot, while others believe he is a sort of avatar with Superman’s consciousness.
Whichever he is, Cosmic Armoured Superman has unparalleled power levels and is a strong candidate for the strongest version of Superman. The Monitors created him to protect the Multiverse and the Omniverse, and as such, he lacks the agency and personality of a true Superman. Overpowered as he is, Cosmic Armoured Superman is impressive for overcoming Mandrakk in battle, no small feat for any super-powered being to achieve.
Cosmic Armour Superman can wield any power you can think of, like reality warping, time travel and the rest. Using his omniscience and cosmic armour, Superman can see everything in the Multiverse, and he exists not just in the three dimensions we can see but well beyond them.
What do you think about this list? Who is your pick for the strongest form of Superman?