TOP 20 Most Powerful DC Characters
During the 80 years of its existence, the DC Universe saw hundreds of heroes and villains wage wars across space and time, with the reason often being some source of ultimate power. In a universe that contains both ancient aliens and all-powerful gods, it’s not that unusual for someone to achieve a level of might far beyond human and sometimes even meta-human reach. So today let’s celebrate those, whose powers are far too much, with this list of 20 most overpowered DC characters.
Many think that Superman is the strongest DC has to offer.
He has a super-power for every imaginable situation; he cannot be overpowered by villains.
Simply put – he’s a perfect human.
And, indeed, for most characters of the DC Universe Superman signifies an unreachable height. Even although the majority of his powers, acquired throughout the Golden and Silver Age, were later given to Supermen of parallel Universes, Earth Prime Superman is still incredibly strong. Owner of ubermensch strength and stamina, he can live forever and shoot lasers from his eyes. That’s much more than Batman (or hundreds of other characters) could ever achieve.
However, on the global DC scale The Man of Steel is small fry. He has glaring weaknesses, but more powerful beings can defeat him even through pure strength. So, with Superman standing firmly at the start of this list, let’s count those folks who dwarf him in power scale and could easily destroy our hero.
On the primal Krypton, Doomsday fought vicious beasts uncountable times: and he died and died and died yet again. Later, his remains were cloned to create a perfect copy. At some point, Doomsday broke the cycle. He murdered his creators and every living creature on Krypton. No more dying, he decided: it’s time to kill.
On Earth Doomsday sensed Superman’s presence and instinctively desired to destroy him. This confrontation resulted in the comics storyline “The Death of Superman.” Later, Superman came back to life, and Doomsday’s corpse was cast into a black hole. He still returned on numerous occasions, growing every time.
The fact that Doomsday’s body becomes even more invulnerable and indestructible with every death makes him incredibly dangerous and absurdly overpowered. He’s a rabid animal, ruled by instincts, and he refuses to be put to sleep. Is there a possibility that Doomsday will grow stronger than any other DC character? Possibly. Probably. Countless deaths later, but he will get there eventually.
18. Martian Manhunter
J’onn J’onzz is a weird mix of Batman and Superman. An alien, the last survivor of his kin. He’s a genius detective and tactician. He’s alone, even when surrounded by friends. He’s also overpowered to the point of earning the nickname “Swiss Army Knife Superhero.”
He has every power Superman has, and some extra too. Even such a simple ability as heat vision becomes incredibly complicated when Manhunter uses it. It shoots balls of energy, makes inflammable objects explode, allows Manhunter to see in different spectrums and even notice invisible beings. Think this is a strong ability? Look at his telekinesis, mind-reading, and shape-shifting.
The truth is, J’onzz can run JLA, or any other DC crime-fighting alliance, all by himself. Famously, he’s the only Justice League member that Superman really fears. And all his skills are only standard for a Martian. If his race were still alive, they’d be some of the scariest creatures in this Universe. Even worse, they’d live in extreme proximity to Earth.
Parallax is an Emotional Entity, one of the eternal beings that give energy to Power Rings. Among them, Parallax is the most active and, maybe, the most evil as well. Parallax governs over fear and controls Yellow Rings, inducing paranoia in his enemies and followers alike.
What differentiates him from his “family” is the fact that he’s constantly in search of a new host. Parallax looks like a parasite and behaves like one. He attaches to a character, destroys his mind through fear and possesses him, like a puppet. So he can be as mighty as his host was before possession.
Combined with his absolute immortality and time/space manipulation abilities, this makes Parallax a formidable enemy and one of the most powerful entities in the paradigm. He’s among those few DC villains who will never be truly gone and destroyed.
16. Hal Jordan
The second human to ever hold the title of Green Lantern. As years went by, he fought increasingly stronger foes and took level upon level of coolness.
Since the Green Ring drains its might from user’s willpower, Jordan grows organically without learning radically new abilities. Every enemy only makes him stronger. From Sinestro and Parallax to recent threats like Nekron, foes overwhelm Jordan, only to be defeated by the surges of his undefeatable will. Hal even awakened the White Lantern that encompasses all of the EES. Even after this power fades, Jordan stays strong enough to create his new Ring from pure willpower.
Hal is clearly one of the most powerful characters in the DCU. But he is also an overwhelmingly positive character. His power stems only from his personal psychological strength, and that’s much more inspiring than it is frustrating.
15. Zattana Zatara
To honor her father, Zatanna often dresses like a stage magician and mixes her spells with parlor tricks. In truth, Zatanna is a Homo Magi and can use magic ever since her birth. Furthermore, her lineage includes few of the mightiest magicians in the history of DC Universe, like Cagliostro and Nostradamus.
During her continued membership in JLA Zatanna had complete control over the four essential elements — fire, water, earth and air. Later she reflected on how unfocused she was at that point in her life and how sloppy her magic was.
Time to level up! And after some training, Zatanna became capable of much more — light, shadow, time and space bend to her will. So now to beat Sups, all she has to do is to say the magic formula.
Neron is your typical Devil. He resides in Hell and grants wishes to mortals in exchange for their souls. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the fact that Neron is always surrounded by his underlings. He has the physical shape of a hyper-muscular barbarian overlord for a reason.
Neron became the ruler of Hell by being the strongest, the smartest and the most ruthless. As if that were not enough, he tried to rise even higher by feeding on The Spectre. He failed. Thrown down Hell’s dreadful hierarchy, Neron gained some valuable experience.
He escaped Inferno and spent years gaining knowledge and turning talented magicians into willing slaves. Nowadays, Hell has a new ruler, but Neron’s name is still spoken with fear and admiration.
Imperiex was a living supercomputer energy being. It was fine-tuned to detect mistakes in the essence of the cosmos, and then eradicate them in the ultimate manner: by destroying the Universe and remaking it from scratch.
Of course, to complete this goal, Imperiex was made as overpowered as possible. Not that he had special features, no. He was simply more sturdy and destructive than any other imaginable being. He was such a danger to the Universe that Lex Luthor and Darkseid had to establish an alliance with JLA to defend the world together. Superman dove straight into the Sun to gain more power, and still could not beat this monster.
The colossal Imperiex would not be defeated by any reasonable means, so the only thing that the protectors of Earth could do was open a portal straight to the Big Bang, shove Imperiex into it and hope for the best.
12. Captain Marvel AKA Shazam!
Each of the letters in Shazam’s name corresponds to a name of a different Greek mythological entity (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, Mercury). Just by calling his name Shazam invokes a whole pantheon and gathers its powers in his body. This makes him super-strong, super-fast, super-resistant, super-lucky, super-everything. Hell, Shazam even reformed after being completely ripped apart by the vacuum of outer space. Marvelous.
Shazam also practices magic, and magic in DC comics has significant advantages over any other power. The combination of divine guidance and wizardry made Shazam so overpowered that his only rival was the other Shazam, who invoked Egyptian gods.
Shazam was repeatedly killed and devoid of his powers just to hold him from solving every major crisis by himself. The sole battle that really challenged him was his bout with The Spectre, and he lost that one only because The Spectre is even more overpowered.
11. Superboy Prime
Superboy Prime hauls from Earth Prime, our world in the DC Universe. He left his dimension after meeting the Superman from Earth One. Soon after that, the Crisis on Infinite Earths struck, erasing Earth Prime forever.
Superboy couldn’t get over that. His grief progressed. Finally, he entered a state of childish anger and frustration and then took it all out on fellow superheroes.
An incredibly overpowered and bloodthirsty version of Superman, Prime wasn’t the deepest character, but he was certainly entertaining. Immune to reality-changing forces, kryptonite and magic, he tested DC superheroes to their limit. In the end, Superboy came to his senses, felt overwhelmed with regret and directly asked writers to never use his character again. Also, here’s a cherry on top: in a separate timeline this guy could use every superhuman ability in the Universe.
10. Great Darkness
9. The Flash
Flash is fast. Absurdly fast. That statement is entirely true. But most folks just don’t get the full extent of it. Flash can do anything at a speed much greater than the speed of light. In fact, to him, light-speed things actually stand still.
Flash is capable of feats that make Superman look like a kindergartener. He calculates and devises his strategies in a septillionth measure of a second. He can occupy every possible space on Earth at once. He can outrun cosmic entropy through the next Big Bang and into a fresh new world. In fact, he once did exactly that to cheat his own death.
Does this make any sense, even in a comics universe? Not really. But it makes Flash the most powerful member of JLA and a being on a same level with gods. Who could guess that Flash goes THAT fast?
Volthoom arrived at the Universe when it was still young and showed Malthusian scientists his natural connection to Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum (EES). They tried to copy him and created the Power Rings. Volthoom himself became the First Lantern.
Of course, Volthoom followed the classic steps of any powerful, admired, and feared entity. He became prideful and corrupted, then rebelled against Malthusians and was imprisoned. For millennia his former partners continued to siphon his power.
Then came a moment when they took just a bit too much of it, and Volthoom broke free. He started a battle against the whole Universe and had a good chance of winning since every Power Ring user was his source of power. It took combined efforts of Hal Jordan and Death itself to finally sever First Lantern from his power supply and put him to rest.
7. Captain Atom AKA Monarch
Captain Atom, your friendly nuclear superhero, is a nice guy with an interesting set of powers. Atom has control over a power named Quantum Field, which gives him infinite energy for any purpose imaginable. Wow.
Then, in the “Countdown” comic series, Atom goes crazy and turns into a super-villain named Monarch. He stages an incredibly complicated scheme that involves parallel universes, betrayal and gladiatorial fights between other DC characters so that 51 other Captain Atoms come to his domain to kill him. Then he absorbs them all. Infinite evil power times fifty-two. Yikes.
But thanks to our favorite psychopath, Superboy Prime, Monarch bites the dust soon after and takes his Universe with him. However, since Atom is immortal, he returns to life later, albeit not evil and only with his base power level. Power downgrade as it is.
The greatest mind among Malthusians, Krona always strived for more knowledge. His thirst led him astray, as an experiment to witness the birth of the Universe shattered it into an infinite number of parallel Universes. His fellow Malthusians were not amused and turned Krona into energy, destined to forever drift in space.
Since then Krona was through thick and thin, searching to obtain a new physical form. He came back a few times, but reached his peak in the comics “War of Green Lanterns”, after catching all the Emotional Entities and being reborn as a creepy space baby.
The power of Emotional Entities made Krona the most powerful EES user in the Universe. Volthoom was a prodigy, but Krona dwarfed even his raw connection to EES with intelligence and cunning. The victory was only on heroes’ side due to Krona’s incomplete form and Hal Jordan’s sudden power-up.
Darkseid, the god-tyrant of the planet Apokolips, appeared on Earth for the purpose of learning the essence of the Anti-Life Equation. This Equation, a despair-inducing mathematic construct, could bend entire planets to the will of its user. To learn its secret, Darkseid tried numerous times to conquer Earth.
Incredible physical strength and immortality, typical perks of a New God, are not Darkseid’s greatest assets. He is a master manipulator, a powerful magician and the leader of a devoted army. If you want to fight Darkseid, he will wage war on you. If Darkseid wages war on you, you lose. Zero options.
Even his mortal enemies, Superman and the Justice League, understand how incredibly overpowered Darkseid is. Every time a new deadly Universe-destroying threat looms on the horizon, they form an uneasy alliance with him. And the tyrant agrees, since if the Universe is destroyed, there will be nothing left to conquer.
An embodiment of pure energy, Anti-Monitor was born in one of the many parallel Universes of DC. Anti-Monitor wanted nothing more in his life than to destroy all existence. The fact that he absorbed the power of annihilated Universes helped to achieve that goal. Very soon heroes and villains of all Earth had a nearly infinite crisis on their hands. Overpowered? You bet.
Anti-Monitor had psychic strength to create walls of pure power that destroyed entire Universes. His minions, created from his energy, were countless. His physical prowess was enough to nearly kill two Supermen at once. His malicious resolve helped him to do impossible feats, like reaching the very dawn of Creation. In the end, Anti-Monitor triggered the creation of New Earth and thinned the giant DC Multiverse to only two parallel Universes. That’s true dedication to evil for you.
Nekron is the worst aspect of DC: Death. He’s an indestructible enemy of everything living, has power over every soul and every death makes him a bit stronger. The fact that he looks like a giant corpse covered in rotting flesh seals the deal.
Nekron is imprisoned in a pocket dimension that souls pass on the way to the afterlife. At some point in time Krona crashed at his place through a dimensional rift and Nekron witnessed the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum. He didn’t like it much and decided to extinguish it and paint the Universe black.
Nekron invaded Earth in the “Blackest Night” line of comics. His deadly touch and immortality were complimented by his Black Power Ring that turned dead heroes and villains, Anti-Monitor included, into zombie puppets. It took a dozen of prominent DC characters becoming powerful White Lanterns and combining their powers just to imprison Nekron again.
2. The Spectre
The Spectre is said to be second only to One. In-universe he serves as The Angel of Vengeance to Presence, the closest thing DC has to an omnipotent Christian God. And Presence is very fond of relegating its power to The Spectre so that it can effectively condemn and punish villains.
No matter if The Spectre possesses some other character, like Hal Jordan, or assumes its primal Spectre Force form, it is pretty overpowered. Whether something is possible or not, The Spectre will find a way to do it. The angel is so mighty, that in “Day of Vengeance” comic he managed to destroy every single magic user in the Universe without breaking a sweat. It had to apologize later because the reason for genocide turned out to be a giant misunderstanding. But lapses in judgment, however harsh they are, can’t detract from absolute power.
1. Doctor Manhattan
Doctor Manhattan started out as a deconstruction of Superman. He was given an impressive physique, a healthy blue tan and a slew of incredible abilities, like total invincibility and the ability to instantly destroy any opponent on an atomic level. He was an end-all be-all overpowered superhero.
Of course, all of Doc’s universe-breaking powers amounted to nothing for as long as he was tightly locked in his own Universe. But in 2016 he found a way to Earth Prime. Manhattan fiddled with time and effortlessly erased ten years of everyone’s life. As of now, Doc seems like the new biggest threat to DC Universe, and if his reality-bending continues to be this strong, even The Spectre will have a hard time fighting him. Even worse, if these two ever fuse, they’ll quickly create the most overpowered being in the history of comics.
There truly is no such concept as “overpowered” in the DC Universe. From time to time both heroes and villains achieve power far beyond that of gods. But despite all the power these characters managed to stay interesting and participate in dramatic, fun, tear-jerking, awe-inspiring stories.
In fact, for many of those stories, the “overpowered” was a key aspect. My adrenaline meter was through the roof when White Lanterns started the final assault on Nekron. I was devastated by Spectre’s genocide of magic users. Now I eagerly anticipate the moment DC superheroes confront Doctor Manhattan. Can they find a way to physically defeat an artificial god? Or will they have to best him in a psychological battle? Either way, it’s going to be an amazing story. And to some degree, I hope that DC continues to overpower its characters at least from time to time.
Author: Danila Pushnoy