October 24, 2019

Who Would Win? Part Three: Superman vs Thor

In our very first Who Would Win, we pitted the Man of Steel against the radioactive god-like Watchman, Doctor Manhattan. What happened… wasn’t pretty. This time, we’re giving Superman another chance to prove his might and mettle. Let’s see how the New 52 version of DC’s most famous Justice Leaguer fares against Marvel’s blond and brawny god of thunder, Thor! On to a Superman vs Thor battle!

Often nabbing the honor of placing in the top three in favorite Avengers characters polls, Thor Odinson is one of the most popular Marvel superheroes. The charismatic and headstrong Asgardian prince counts among his many accolades being a founding member of the Avengers, and his #itscomplicated relationship with his frenemy brother and god of mischief, Loki.

So who’ll land the most punches in this battle between Superman vs Thor, two of Earth’s greatest defenders? The Norse god or the last of the Kryptonians?! Get your game face on, limber up, and let’s FIGHT!

Strengths & Weaknesses

thor logo Thorsuperman logo Superman
Strengths
Flight When he grasps his iconic war hammer, Mjölnir, Thor can launch himself skywards. His ability to fly is impressive and powerful enough to send him to the realm of Asgard without a hitch.Superhuman Strength Forget the Greek Titan Atlas, crouched down, and struggling to keep the weight of our spheric world above his head. Superman’s unparalleled strength enables him to easily lift the equivalent of the weight of the Earth for five days straight.
Super Strength Just like his famous mythological counterpart, Thor is a god, and with that, comes a hell of a lot of badass superhuman powers. His strength is one of his most defining traits.Super Speed-reading Even when Supes hits the books, he’s on his superhero game. When Lois Lane was critically injured and close to death in an operating room, Superman gathered ten years’ worth of expert medical education by reading every medical text ever published in just five minutes. Then, he suited up and performed the lifesaving operation all by himself. Hermione Granger was really onto something when she said: “when in doubt, go to the library.”
Mjölnir Thor’s war hammer itself is one of the most valuable weapons at his disposal. His worthiness makes it so only he (and a few select others) are capable of holding and using it. One of Mjölnir’s best features is that it can be hurled like a boomerang, clobbering Thor’s enemies in one fell swoop, before zooming back into Thor’s hands.Interdimensional Force Manipulation Superman can stop inter-dimensional forces from destroying entire planets.
Teleportation Using ancient runic magic, Thor can teleport himself not just around the world but also across the cosmos and other dimensions entirely!Invulnerable to Fire Superman can stand in raging flames without being burned or injured.
Generate Lightning and Thunder Thor is the god of thunder. His ability to create high voltages of electricity to attack his opponents is unparalleled.Freeze Breath Not only can Supes freeze any object and nearly stop Speedsters like The Flash with his freeze breath, but he can also exhale hurricane-force winds and hold his breath underwater and in space for extended periods.
Superhuman Senses Thor’s enhanced sight, hearing, and other senses exceed Superman’s! Thor can see to the edge of the solar system and hear sounds from across the world without any difficulty.Superhuman Healing Superman has been reduced to a skeleton twice. He survived and flew himself to safety. In about a day, his body was back to normal. He’s also survived severe brain trauma when a Kryptonian gadget implanted in his brain exploded into shards.
Resistant to Mind Control and Attacks Thor has a near-impenetrable mind that safeguards his Psionic attacks. This gives Thor the ability to defeat telepathic mutants. He was even capable of defending himself from the mind attacks of the legendary telepathic X-Men Jean Grey and Professor X.Heat and X-Ray Vision Superman can blast solar energy out of his body from his eyes. With heat exceeding 50,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit, Superman can burn through even the toughest armor, steel, and metal. He’s also able to see through any object...except for lead.
Superhuman Healing If and when Thor is physically battered, bruised, or erm, separated from his limbs, his body has an accelerated healing and regenerative factor. However, he doesn’t recover from his injuries instantaneously and often needs anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to get back to 100%.Immune to Human Toxins Earth-based poisons and toxic gases have minimal effect on Superman.
Telepathy Yup. Unlike many Asgardians, Thor himself can influence the minds of the people around him. He’s especially gifted at altering and even erasing memories.Solar Flare Superman can gather and expel the energy stored in all of his cells and blast it out of his body with an explosion powerful enough to incinerate everything around him within a quarter of a mile. However, this dramatically depletes his superpowers, and he needs time to recharge between blasts.
Invulnerability Thor can withstand sub-zero temperatures, extreme heat, and godly attacks. Thor could take a punch from the Celestials, Odin himself, and Elder gods without being knocked unconscious. He also survived being caught in the blast of the Doomsday bomb without being injured. It takes a lot to harm Thor gravely.SuperSpeed The speed of light? Superman is faster than it.
Superhuman Speed One of the fastest superheroes in the Marvel universes, Thor’s supersonic speed enables him to race around the sun and planet in seconds, and even transcend the confines of time to briefly time travel.Superhuman Durability Supes can take punches from even the notorious Ulysses.
Influence Natural Phenomena Thor can summon earthquakes and control the weather on Earth. These abilities don’t necessarily carry over to other realms, though.Can Survive a Black Hole Superman can also take a hit from black hole lasers.
Superhuman Stamina and Durability Thor can go without food and even air for extended periods. He’s also able to battle for extraordinarily long periods without succumbing to exhaustion-- take his nine-month battle with the Frost Giants for one.Superhuman Hearing Superman could hear The Flash warning him about an impending wormhole even if the speedster was on the other side of the planet.
All-Speak Thor has the power to speak all the languages on Earth and the Nine Realms. On top of that, even if he opts not to speak a different language deliberately, whoever he communicates with will hear him talking to them in their native tongue.Indestructible Cape Fashion and function come together to create Superman’s iconic cherry red cape. The fabric is powerful enough to shield the Man of Steel from even a nuclear blast ...although it does melt his body away, reducing him to a skeleton that needs time to regenerate back to his usual umm flesh self.
thor logo Thorsuperman logo Superman
Strengths
Magic Spells and enchantments are so powerful that in one early comic, Thor was sexually assaulted and essentially raped by the sorceress Lorelei. Oof.Kryptonite These rocks of radioactive fragments from when Supes’ home planet went KABOOM! are evil incarnate, inducing frailness and illness in the Man of Steel.
Enchanted Weapons Magical weapons and artifacts like charmed arrows and battle-axes can seriously injure Thor, resulting in the loss of limbs, and on the rare occasion, actual death.Red Sun Radiation Not only does this weaken Superman, but it deprives him of his powers. Exposure to red sun radiant significantly weakens him in battle and makes him as vulnerable as any human.
Berserker Rage Thor can be driven into a murderous rage in cases of extreme anguish or stress or when his limits are pushed exceedingly high. This hardly ever happens in Thor’s comics or cinematic appearances, but it’s still a risk, and one of the greatest dangers to himself and others.Magic Supes is especially vulnerable to magical forces. It can impact him far more unpredictably than his non-Kryptonian superpowered comrades. Gods and god-like beings have previously had an advantage over him.
Impulsivity Thor doesn’t always think before he swings. His aggressive strategy and lack of foresight can give opponents who are more skilled tacticians the advantage in battle.High Pitched Frequencies With great hearing comes significantly harming consequences! With his superpowered eardrums, Superman is especially sensitive to high pitched noises. He can be thrown into a state of disorientation as a result.
Jormungandr The legendary sea serpent from Norse Mythology has a venomous bite that renders Thor incapable of fighting at his full strength. Even being pierced by a single toxic fang from the snake significantly reduces the god of thunder’s powers.Alien Viruses The most lethal are Lex Luthor’s Amazo virus, which depletes superheroes’ powers and brainwashes them, and Virus X, which is fundamentally alien Leprosy. In the Silver Age of comics, Superman contracted Virus X, but fortunately, white Kryptonite was able to cure him.
The Twilight Sword Forged to be a crucial weapon used during Ragnarok, the fire demon Surtur currently possesses The Twilight Sword. The weapon has such extraordinary power that when Hela once wielded it, it nearly decapitated Thor.Lead Superman’s superpowered eyes aren’t entirely perfect. He can’t see through lead.
Loss of Mjölnir Without his signature warhammer, Thor’s strength drastically drops. Even worse, without Mjölnir in hand, he loses his ability to fly and summon lightning.Susceptible to Mind Control Superman has no protection against telekinetic attacks. Any sort of Psionic or supernatural attack is capable of leaving the Man of Steel down for the count.
The Lack of Solar Rays Superman has the sun to thank for much of his overpowered abilities. His body instantly converts it into fuel to give him maximum energy, which means without those solar rays, Superman’s superpowers are drastically reduced.
His Own Superhuman Senses With great superhuman senses comes great superhuman sensory overload! Supes extraordinary hearing, vision, and sense of smell could be overwhelmed in excessive amounts. Sensory overload is a genuine threat to Superman’s powers and strength in battle.
Electricity At best, electric shocks temporarily startle Superman. At worst, they weaken him significantly enough for him to be defeated by his opponent.
Lois Lane Superman’s love for his bae Lois Lane is no joke. If Lois’ life is in peril, Superman will drop everything to save her. His devotion to Lois trumps all, even subduing catastrophes of an epic scale, like the end of the world level epic! Lois Lane’s place in Superman’s heart can arguably leave him as weak as exposure to Kryptonite!

The Scenario

In a bustling city somewhere between Metropolis and New York, the streets flood with melting ice cream.

Big shiny balloons bob high in the sky, trapping screaming and crying civilians in their plastic and helium prisons. Acid green floating candles, miles long with their flames dancing, spark and ignite onto nearby buildings. Loki surveys his handiwork. Nothing like throwing a surprise party to banish a case of agonizing boredom!

With a crackle of thunder and a swish of his crimson cloak, Thor charges onto the scene. He glances over what Loki has done and groans.

THOR

“LOKI!”

LOKI

“THOR!”

THOR

“Brother, you’re 1,000 years too old to be…” *gestures with hands* “…Ice cream? Really?”

LOKI

*Shrugs* “Rum raisin. I’m doing the city a favor.” *Grins*

Thor rolls his eyes, readying himself for the usual banter that sparks up between them when Loki is being, well, Loki. But before he can, SUPERMAN shoots across the sky, jaw set, muscles bulging, and eyes glinting with what might be … a red glow (Or is a trick of the light?). Loki’s little prank just pissed off the wrong superhero.

Self-preservation kicking in, Loki mischievously grins at Thor, giving him a little wave goodbye before fleeing the scene, his laughter over the chaos he caused trailing behind him.

Sensing the anger radiating off of Superman, Thor instinctually summons Mjölnir. With all the recent attacks on New York from supervillains and city-destroying enemy aliens from other galaxies fresh in his mind, he clenches Mjölnir. He can’t afford to wait for this man to act first.

Rain falls extinguishing the flames, the balloons deflate freeing their prisoners, and lightning rips across the sky like jagged scars. Without waiting for the other man to even speak, Thor tightens his grip and swings the warhammer. The battle has begun.

The Verdict

While both Thor and Superman are total powerhouses and unarguably two of the mightiest superheroes in their respective comic universes, Thor has the ultimate advantage over Superman in any Superman vs Thor battle because he is a god.

Let’s break it down. As ridonkulously overpowered as the caped Krytoponian crime-fighter may be, his vulnerabilities can be his undoing.

Especially when his handful of Achilles Heels– 1) weakness to electricity, 2) susceptibilities to mental influence, and 3) vulnerabilities to magical forces — are some of the powers that Thor not only possesses but enthusiastically throws down on the daily.

Starting with electricity, Thor’s innate and godly ability to generate high voltages is unparalleled. Thor’s lightning bolts would not only be enough to startle Superman but could quickly leave him incapacitated just long enough for Thor to deliver some finishing blows.

Yes, even if the jolts of electricity only briefly stopped Supes, we’re talking as little as a couple of minutes, Thor could and would use that window of Superman being off his game to his advantage. Thor is so significantly faster than Superman (the dude can freaking time travel) that he’d only need that minute to lay some powerful punches on Superman.

Next, it’s Thor’s telepathy that furthers his edge over the Kryptonian in a potential Superman vs Thor face-off. Unable to effectively shield his mind from outside influence, Thor could ‘hack’ Superman’s brain without a hitch and can even alter and erase Supes’ memories. The battle could literally be won and done.

Lastly, it’s the combination of Thor’s signature weapon Mjölnir, his godhood, and his unconditional love for his brother, that puts the nail in the coffin of Superman’s defeat.

Consider this. In all his hammer swinging and thunder godly glory, Thor’s the only hero ever to knock out Jean Grey’s Phoenix Force— a world-annihilating and nigh-unstoppable god-like entity made up of all the psychic energy in the past, present, and future.

On top of that, Thor defeated two of the Marvel universes’ uttermost powerful beings– the Mad Titan Thanos, and the infamous Devourer of Worlds Galactus– and he himself is so powerful that the devil in the Marvel universe, Mephisto, is unable to touch, let alone control, his soul.

How can fighting The Man of Steel one-on-one seem even remotely like a challenge when he’s up against that?

Simply put, Thor claims victory over Superman in this Superman vs Thor battle. Sorry DC fans, but the Justice Leaguer can’t outlast a battle with Marvel’s Asgardian hero.

Now, who’s up for some ice cream?

Victoria Tomis

Contributor

Hiya, my name is Vicky and I’m your friendly neighborhood Marvel-loving, Studio Ghibli-obsessed, Queer Potterhead.

I may be in my mid-twenties but I’ve been an enthusiastic Potterhead for over a decade. I can’t go a day without firing off at least half a dozen Harry Potter references and have a small museum of Potter and Wizarding World merch… one with FAR too many Funkos.

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