Marvel Characters That Could Defeat Superman

The Silver Surfer

Silver Surfer. Source: Marvel Comics

The Silver Surfer is often seen as being around the same level as Superman - or even as being someone who Superman can beat - but the fact is he is considerably more powerful than the Kryptonian.

The Surfer might not have the same physical strength as the Man of Steel, but that's where his disadvantages stop and, given the other ways in which he trumps the DC hero, it shouldn't even be considered a disadvantage.

For starters, the Surfer is considerably faster than Superman. People sometimes argue that Surfer's quickness is merely related to his board's travel speed, but he has proven to be able to think, move and react within nano-seconds and indeed move at several times the speed of light (Superman is generally known to max out at light speed), meaning Superman wouldn't even be able to react to the Surfer's attacks before they hit him.

Silver Surfer thinks and reacts within a nano-second

What puts the Surfer beyond Superman's ability to defeat is his durability and his esoteric powers. His durability is such that he can take punches from characters as strong as the Hulk and She-Hulk without flinching (when She-Hulk punched him in the face, he described it as a "young woman sort of bumping into him") and survive the rigours of being in deep space, hyperspace, black holes and stars with ease.

He can also manipulate, create and absorb energy and radiation of all kinds, which would be key to beating Superman. He could absorb the solar radiation from Superman's body, rendering him useless, or he could create Kryptonite radiation to weaken the Man of Steel. In the comic books, he has absorbed Uni-Lord's power and subsequently destroyed a solar system with it.


His use of the Power Cosmic also gives him transmutation abilities (turning Superman's head into a lump of Kryptonite, anyone?) and a number of other abilities like time travel, phasing through solid objects, illusion casting and portal generation. He's just too much for Superman to handle.