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Superman is definitely the most popular, iconic comic book hero that was ever made. However, Thor isn’t far behind. The Nordic god is the son of Odin, and he wields the mighty Mjolnir, a large hammer that allows him to vanquish just about anyone.
The two of them are on the opposite sides of the lore. While Superman represents DC Comics and the Justice League, Thor is the popular champion associated with Avengers and Marvel. Each one of them is considered the most powerful character in their respective universe. However, given that Superman is portrayed as indestructible, most fans would give this character an advantage in a direct clash.
Personally, I was always a bigger fan of Thor than Superman. In many ways, Superman is your generic superhero with incredible strength, speed, and durability, but he often feels plain because of how he’s portrayed as well as his superhero universe. On the other hand, when reading Thor comic books, you are thrown into a completely different world of magic and intrigue known as Asgard. Furthermore, even the side characters in Thor are much more intriguing and complex compared to those in Superman.
Keep in mind that this question was somewhat answered in 2003. DC and Marvel made a crossover called JLA/Avengers number two where the two characters clashed against each other. During this particular conflict, Superman came on top. But, what are the other things we should consider? Was Superman’s victory just a fluke, and is there a way Thor could win against this indestructible hero?
In this article, we will analyze both of these superheroes, their powers, and how Thor vs Superman fared against each other.
Main differences between Thor and Superman
To sum it up, here are the main differences between Thor and Superman:
- Superman is a much more powerful entity. According to the comic book lore, Silver Age Superman was able to move whole planets and even galaxies.
- Thor can use magic. As a son of Odin, he can utilize lightning to debilitate his enemies. Furthermore, he can control Mjolnir through magic, not power.
- Superman gets stronger by absorbing the power of the sun. That being said, he would be much more powerful in an intergalactic engagement, when close to several stars.
- Thor can utilize various Asgardian artifacts. It is worth noting that even with these items, he would still be weaker than superman.
- While both of these characters are fast, it is shown that Superman can reverse time by flying around Earth.
Key Info Up Front
Thor and Superman are among the most popular superheroes ever. Both of them are virtually indestructible, with superhuman strength and other characteristics that set them apart from mere mortals.
To me, Thor is a much cooler character, with lots of intriguing powers, and a great comic book universe. However, we also have to consider the fact that he first appeared almost 25 years after Superman, in a much different comic book era.
Analyzing Individual Powers
Both of these characters have incredible powers that make them unique within their respective universes. Superman is recognized as an extraterrestrial entity that is much stronger and more durable than any other being on Earth. On the other hand, Thor is the son of a god and himself a god. He is also incredibly powerful, can fly, and draws his power from the hammer of gods known as Mjolnir. Both of them are cool in their own regard, although my personal favorite is Thor.
When talking about Superman, the majority of fans focus on his superhuman strength. Throughout the ages and different DC eras, he was always considered the most powerful entity in the world and beyond. So much so that the combined strength of all other Justice League members cannot bring him down to his knees.
However, there is much more to this character than raw power. He is also extremely durable, being able to withstand bullets, various projectiles, tank shells, and so on. In other words, he is endowed with perfect offense and defense, something that is very rare in comic books. The thing I dislike about the character is that he often feels too overpowered and, as a result, it rarely feels that he’s threatened by anybody. This makes for a very lousy reading experience.
Superman can easily traverse the world by relying on his super-speed and power of flight. In one of the media, he was able to quickly fly around the planet, thus turning back the time on Earth. The incredible speed allows Superman to tackle global threats with ease.
On top of these somewhat generic traits, he can also shoot lasers from his eyes and has a freezing breath. All of these powers allow the superhero to adapt to just about any combat situation and opponent.
Although Superman has so many great things going for him, as he is arguably the most powerful, indestructible being on the face of the Earth, he still has a weakness. The character cannot stand kryptonite, a rare substance from his home planet. See our complete guide on Superman Kryptonite here!
Thor has some similarities to Superman. He is also very strong and durable, and there are only a handful of enemies that represent a threat to the superhero. The character inherited all his traits from venerable Odin. However, it is worth noting that Odin is even more powerful than his son, Thor.
Despite being a divine entity, Thor isn’t actually immortal. There are certain things that can be dangerous to the champion, and in the comics, he was on the brink of death several times over. The superhero is also blessed with incredible longevity, and while he will eventually die, it takes a lot of time to get to that spot. I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen him on the brink of destruction just for him to get back to his feet. Then again, that’s superhero comics for you.
Although this is not fully exploited in movies, Thor has access to various Asgard powers, including the Stormbreaker, Odin Force, and Mjolnir. He can also utilize outside sources of energy such as Power Cosmic. Throughout the comic books, the superhero uses various other artifacts and abilities, such as Mask of Madness.
Regardless of all these cool things, the superhero remains recognized for his ability to wield Mjolnir. This powerful weapon can only be held by Thor and a few other people in the universe. It is an incredible artifact that would allow the superhero to even the odds even when things look dire.
See also: Best Superman Shirt Ideas: 36 Super Picks
How Do Thor and Superman Compare to Each Other?
Both of these characters were shown wielding various items and having numerous powers. However, if we were to give an advantage to one of them, it would definitely be Superman. His abilities are more versatile, allowing the character to adapt to just about anything. Aside from the fact he is the most powerful being in the universe, he also utilizes hot and cold attacks (freezing breath and laser vision). Truth be told, without these two, he would be the most boring comic book character ever.
But that doesn’t mean that Thor cannot adapt to changes on the battlefield. Throughout his life, Thor has faced various monsters. He was struck by Celestials energy blasts, Frost Giants frost strikes, and he regularly has to deal with Loki’s mischiefs. While Superman can definitely damage Thor, we can’t say for sure if the Krypton’s own can take down the Norse god.
One thing where Thor has a major advantage over Superman is his ability to control the weather. In the end, Thor is the god of thunder in Norse mythology and can change weather conditions at any time. While some of these things might not necessarily harm Superman, they will make the battle much more unpredictable. I have to remind the readers that Superman is weak to magic, so this could give Thor a decisive edge in one-on-one combat.
See also: Children of the Atom: X-Men Universe Guide
Is It Possible for Thor to Best Superman?
By all accounts, Superman is a much stronger character than Thor, which is also corroborated in comics. However, that doesn’t mean that Thor couldn’t beat Superman if the conditions were right.
Although most people know that the hero is weak to kryptonite, there is another thing that can harm Superman, and that is magic. Luckily for Thor, this god can utilize certain magical spells, which could provide an upper hand in a one-on-one fight.
Magic is really dangerous for Superman, and there were a few opponents who were able to defeat him with it. For example, he was once taken down by Shazam, a character that mainly uses magic for his offense. I really liked this fight and I remember it fondly.
Thor can utilize various magical abilities against his opponents. The majority of people don’t know this, but Thor is able to wield his hammer, not because of his strength or divine providence, but because he can control magic. This allows him to carry the weapon around, something that most other superheroes cannot do. The same magical power allows Thor to spin Mjolnir at a light speed.
But, there are many other things that the hero can do with magic. For example, he can retain the same level of strength despite fatigue and other factors. All that being said, Superman’s strength might become negligible against Thor just because this hero isn’t particularly worried about physical protection but, instead, magical protection.
Based on that, these superheroes can hurt each other during a direct conflict. Once again, it is hard to say which one would come on top if the battle was to the death.
Most likely, Superman would be able to land a few blows before Thor can react. For example, it takes much more time for Thor to cast lightning than for Superman to punch his opponent. In other words, as long as Superman doesn’t end the fight at the very start, Thor has a good chance of winning against the DC’s hero (at least, in theory).
However, as you would see in the following section, DC and Marvel writers decided to give an edge to Superman thus protecting the most powerful superhero in the comic book history.
Superman vs. Thor in Comic Books
Like many other top superheroes, Thor and Superman are comparable in terms of powers and the level of these powers. Both of them are very strong, can fly, and have high endurance. They are almost the same in terms of pure brute power, and we can also find some similarities between their abilities. Although they are not the same, they are equally as impactful.
The thing that separates the two is the fact that Superman is much harder to take down. In comic books, Thor was more often in a prone position than Superman. That could represent a decisive advantage if the two were to clash.
The Result of the Actual Fight
Comic book fans like to throw around ideas pertaining to superhero clashes. They love to know if their favorite could take down another character in a straight-up fight. This led to numerous fan theories and what-ifs that focus on superheroes’ powers and how an actual fight would look based on superheroes’ characters and common behavior during the fight.
Unlike most other fictional superhero clashes, we actually know what would happen if Superman went against Thor. In JLA/Avengers number 2 from 2003, which was made by Kurt Busiek, Superman came out on top in this fight.
As you can presume, this was a crossover that put DC and Marvel characters at odds. To be exact, Justice League went against Avengers during a cosmic clash that involved both factions.
Keep in mind that the fight caused some turmoil within Avengers and Justice League ranks. Batman and Captain America refused to fight the other faction’s members and would go on to investigate the source of the commotion. However, the other members had a bit different mindsets and would clash with each other.
Thor Attacking Superman
In the engagement, Thor drew the first blood. He struck the opponent with Mjolnir reminding us that the Last Son of Krypton is vulnerable to magic. The attack occurred at the end of the first issue, leaving fans to wonder who would win in the second part.
Just as JLA/Avengers number 2 started, Superman attacked Thor with his laser sight causing a major wound to the opponent. Thor quickly reacted to this swinging Mjolnir at Superman, trying to finish him once and for all. Something very rare occurred at this moment. Superman managed to catch the hammer as it was flying at him. Not only that, but he used Mjolnir to hit and knock out the Norse god.
All of this was so sudden, catching Avengers by surprise. Seeing Superman as an enormous threat and simultaneously wanting to avenge the fallen comrade, the faction united forces to attack the Last Son of Krypton. Although they outnumbered and outpowered Superman, they didn’t manage to take him down.
When everything was said and done, all of the superheroes survived the fight on both sides. Superman acknowledged his opponent, saying that Thor was the strongest enemy he had ever faced. Although this was an incredible moment for both DC and Marvel, proving that Superman is most likely the strongest entity in both universes, it didn’t provide us with the ending we wanted. The fight was simply too short, leaving much more questions than answers.
As comic book fans usually do, they have overblown the whole situation. Crossovers between the two major companies are a rarity, and we rarely see situations where one of the big superheroes is manhandled by the other company’s superhero. Basically, this would be a bad business move for a loser.
Because of that, fans have called Busiek a sellout, claiming that he’s trying to suck up to DC executives in an attempt to get a job in the other company. Although this is most likely not true, it does leave some space for doubt.
The decision for Thor to take a dive was incepted by the team overseeing the comic book creation. This creative team consisted of both DC and Marvel writers. So, both sides agreed that this was the most plausible solution to the situation, and there was no bad blood between the companies as a result.
Question: Can Thor win against Superman?
Answer: In one DC/Marvel crossover, Superman was victorious over Thor. During a short fight, he managed to catch Thor’s Mjolnir mid-air and knock out his opponent with it. However, if the situation was slightly different, there is a chance that Thor could have won the fight against Superman if things went his way. The Norse God has the power of lightning, which can be disastrous for Superman, who is weak to magic and kryptonite.
Question: Who’s faster, Superman or Thor?
Answer: Superman is regarded as one of the fastest, if not the fastest, characters within the DC universe. He can even beat Flash, who is famous for his quick movement. Although Thor can move really fast, he is nowhere near Superman’s level. The extra speed could provide Superman, with a major advantage in a direct flight.
Question: How did Superman beat Thor?
Answer: Superman and Thor clashed in JLA/Avengers number 2 from 2003. They had a very short fight during which Thor attacked DC’s superhero with Mjolnir. As the hammer was flying in the air, Superman managed to catch it and use it against his original wielder. He quickly knocked out Thor making him the winner of this engagement.
Thor and Superman are very similar in terms of their battle traits. Both of them are incredibly powerful, fast, and endurable. Thor is renowned for his ability to wield Mjolnir, the hammer of the gods, as well as to utilize lightning and magic. On the other hand, Superman has cold breath and laser sight.
In a direct battle, Superman managed to win against Thor by knocking him out with his own weapon. However, some fans claim that Thor could’ve won the clash if the situation had been slightly different.