• Jake Wright

Superman's 5 Most Formidable Foes

There aren’t many heroes in the DC universe that are as powerful as Superman, but a powerful hero needs powerful villains right? So, it is no surprise at all to know that Superman’s villains are as powerful as they come! The Man of Steel has a fantastic rogues gallery with Gods, Aliens and mere humans all opposing the big blue boy scout. But here today, I want to establish who I believe are the top 5 most formidable Superman villains.

5. Cyborg Superman

(via: DC Comics)

Looking at Cyborg Superman, you will probably be thinking ‘oh wow, it’s a lazy alternate Superman design’ but you would be wrong. Astronaut Hank Henshaw’s space shuttle was struck by a solar flare which damaged his ship, causing Hank and his crew to mutate (but not in the awesome Fantastic Four kind of way).

Once back on earth, the crew, which included Hank’s wife, realized there was nothing that could be done to reverse their mutations and sadly enough two out of the four ended up killing themselves. This left Hank and his wife Terri alive but mutated beyond return. To add insult to injury, Terri ended up killing herself later and Hank’s body simply crumbled away. However, Hank managed to save his consciousness and using some advanced technology along with Superman’s birthing matrix, he managed to create a clone body, identical to the Man of Steel’s, but with cybernetic parts.

Extremely alone and distraught, he later finds out that Superman was responsible for the solar flare (after throwing The Eradicator into the sun). Which subsequently drives Hank over the brink of insanity and thus, their rivalry began.

Cyborg Supes is on this list simply because he is an undeniably dangerous enemy. He possesses the same Kryptonian physiology as Superman (thanks to using his birth matrix) meaning he has the exact same powers as him as well. With powers like heat vision, flight, super speed, super strength and nigh invulnerability, Cyborg Superman can take on (and beat) a lot of super powered beings in the DC universe.

Along with these astonishing set of powers, he also possesses technopathy, basically meaning he can control and animate any form of technology and energy force just by using his mind. He’s Superman’s opposite but more, and to top things off, he simply cannot die. As demonstrated in his early appearances, he can transfer his consciousness at any time meaning he can never truly be defeated. Which makes him a villain to be reckoned with.

4. Brainiac

(via: DC Comics)

Born on the planet Colu, Vril Dox aka Brainiac is most infamous for shrinking the entire city of Kandor, the capital city of the planet Krypton. So, you already know by this that he is the real deal, but the cybernetically enhanced supervillain’s goal is to access all the knowledge in the universe to enhance his already 12th level intellect.

This already puts his mind above the likes of Lex Luthor, Mr Terrific and Batman by a long way. But to add to his superior mind, his strength easily matches Superman’s enabling him to trade blows with the Man of Steel. Not only is Brainiac the most intelligent Superman villain but also one of the strongest.

I imagine you think that Brainiac being the most intelligent and one of the strongest villains in Superman’s rogues is enough right? You would be very wrong, the sadistic supervillain also has access to all sorts of advanced alien technology, his most famous piece of technology being his tentacle wielding spaceship. Given that he has everything to take down the Man of Steel, I was never in doubt that he was going to be on this list.

3. Darkseid

(via: DC Comics)

Dark Lord of Apokolips, New God, Anti-Life Equation seeker. Darkseid is… Mostly know as a Justice League enemy, make no mistake about it, he has had his fair share of individual battles with Superman, and although Superman usually comes out on top, Darkseid can never truly be defeated. The ruler of a planet that can only be described as hell, he inflicts pain and suffering on any being he comes across. Evil in a walking and talking form, there is not many that come more powerful and more destructive than Darkseid.

He is one of the very few characters in the whole of DC’s multiverse where Kal-El can unleash his full power without holding back, yet Darkseid can take almost anything Superman throws at him. But the rivalry often stems from the fact that Darkseid HATES Superman. The loathing comes from the fact that Superman opposes Darkseid’s every belief, he gives lie to the idea that the strong dominate the weak and Darkseid cannot accept this view. Darkseid looks down on the Big Blue Boy scout with disgust for proving his ideals wrong and would do whatever he can to rid the universe of him.

To give you an idea of the actual threat that the Lord of Apokolips poses to the DC multiverse, he holds the power of the ‘Omega effect’, and along with his New God physiology he possesses powers such as invulnerability, super strength, immortality, telepathy, flight and dimensional travel just to name a few. His most notable feature are his Omega beams that operate like Superman’s heat vision however there is one difference. He has pinpoint control over his beams meaning he can twist, turn and curve them towards any target. They destroy planets, harm Kryptonian’s and match the speed of the Flash, anyone caught in his beams are essentially obliterated.

You cannot really tie Darkseid down to one character or group, he will always be known as a multiversal threat, but his goal will always be to obtain the Anti-Life Equation and obtaining this would mean he can dominate every living being’s free will throughout the multiverse. However, good old Superman will always be standing in the way of this task. Making the battle between the two a never-ending war.

2. Doomsday

(via: DC Comics)

Doomsday was created by Dan Jurgens to be Superman’s match; his sole purpose was met when he ‘killed’ the Man of Steel or more so fought to a mutual death. This point can always be argued since Supes was not technically dead, he was in a ‘comatose state’ for a long time, however everyone believed him to be dead. What you can take from this is that Doomsday is the only one to put Superman out of action for a long time. But what do we expect? His sole purpose is destruction.

But why else is he dangerous? The question should not really need to be asked, but I am about to answer it anyway. He possesses limitless strength, enabling him to accomplish feats like easily drawing blood from Superman and breaking Wonder Woman’s arm. His invulnerability demonstrates that full powered punches from Superman do little to no harm to him (Wow) and possessing unlimited stamina means that the Kryptonian monster will never slow down.

Although, I would like to mention his most impressive ability; his regeneration/immortality. The main selling point for Doomsday is the fact that he can regenerate from absolutely anything, and I mean anything. If Doomsday is ever ‘killed’ or damaged, his body instantly adapts to the threat basically meaning that he can never be harmed by the same thing twice. And you thought Deadpool’s healing factor was good!

The fact that Doomsday was a monstrous creation on the planet Krypton makes it that much more personal and although the dynamic between Doomsday and Superman is extremely different to any of Supes’ other rogues, it doesn’t mean it is any worse. The rivalry is unquestionably one of the best in DC.

1. Lex Luthor

(via: DC Comics)

Who else would it be? Alexander Joseph Luthor, the arch nemesis to the Man of Steel. Has always and will always be Superman’s most formidable opponent. He is nowhere near the strongest and he’s not even the most intelligent villain on this list, but the effect he has had on the Man of Steel is no doubt the most powerful. Considered as one of the most dangerous men alive, Lex constantly seeks to destroy the Big Blue Boy scout.

In Superman & Lex have shared a long history together, with Lex always being hell bent on destroying Kal- El and has tried many times over the 70 + years of their battle. But for Superman’s strength, Lex has his mind. He has the greatest mind on earth and makes use of this ability during his duels with the Man of Steel. Although he is still only human, he has his famous warsuit to back up his mind. A high-tech battle suit for Lex to wear during combat, enabling him to go toe to toe with Supes and match his super strength, flight and durability whilst also projecting energy blasts, machine guns, force fields and many more abilities.

But of course, there are also numerous kryptonite weapons hidden away in this technological masterpiece of a suit, which often gives Lex the upper hand against his sworn enemy. Lex tries to use Superman’s weaknesses to his advantage rather than just beating him to a pulp.

What makes him more formidable than the rest is that he is the most personal rivalry out of anyone of Superman’s villains. Like I stated before, Lex is the ultimate arch nemesis to Superman, and they come to blows more than anyone else. He hits him where it hurts with sadistic acts such as kidnapping his loved ones, creating a robot Lois Lane, and even playing a part in creating some of his deadliest villains like Metallo and Bizarro.

There is no doubt that, on paper, Lex should not even stand a chance against Superman, but that is the brilliant thing about it. He hurts Superman both mentally and physically and has a certain effect that no other villain has. And yet he is a mere human being, a man vs a god and he still causes the most problems for the protector of Metropolis. Their battle will be forever lasting and I am just glad we get to see it.

Who is your favourite Superman villain? Let us know in the comments down below.


Related Posts

See All