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In a fight between Goku (left) and Superman (right), who would win? (Image via Sportskeeda)

Can Dragon Ball's Goku beat Superman? (& the reasons behind it)

Power scaling is certainly a familiar concept to Dragon Ball and Goku fans everywhere. Indeed, most Dragon Ball fans enjoy pitting Goku against other fictional characters to see who’d win.

One of Goku’s most popular what-if opponents is none other than Superman, the Man of Steel, of whom Goku is essentially the Japanese counterpart. Both are among of few survivors of a now-destroyed planet, were sent to Earth as children, and now protect the world after growing to love it.


Yet can Dragon Ball’s Goku beat Superman? Follow along as this article explores the discussion and the reasoning behind it.

Dragon Ball’s Goku versus Superman, but recent power-ups for Goku make it more complicated



The Man of Steel has had many incarnations over the years, yet his core powers remain the same:

  1. flight
  2. super speed
  3. superhuman strength
  4. superhuman durability
  5. enhanced hearing
  6. heat vision
  7. x-ray vision.
Goku DBS (mangá)

A clássica luta.
3:01 AM · Jan 17, 2022

While these powers may seem underwhelming, this is far from the case. These abilities alone give Superman the power to fly through the cores of stars and even survive nuclear explosions.

His typical weaknesses are:

  • The stereotypical Kryptonite exposure.
  • Radiation from a red sun.
  • A slight disadvantage to electricity.

Another interesting weakness is magic, which Superman couldn’t overcome, as seen in Superman #171 from 1964.

Furthermore, recent incarnations of Kal-El (Superman) have made his powers dependent on exposure to yellow sunlight. In these versions, Superman also receives a more average intelligence (though by no means unintelligent) and less circumvention of needs such as oxygen.

Dragon Ball’s Goku

@WhoWouldWin13 Way I see it.. if its a fight on any planet with a yellow sun, Superman probably wins.
ANYWHERE else, Goku wins.
Its like.. AC current vs DC current. Where is the power to fight going to come from and how long can it last?
7:31 AM · Jan 18, 2022

Dragon Ball’s Goku shares many powers with the Man of Steel. Both have flight abilities, superhuman strength and durability, and super speed. Goku can even use Instant Transmission, a power Superman has no equivalent for.

As far as other powers Goku uniquely has, his Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan God line of transformations are also unique. Ultra Instinct (UI) is also an ability for which Superman has no equivalent, though his natural strength should permit him to somewhat keep up with the form.

In terms of disadvantages, Goku is never said to have any specific weaknesses. Saiyans, in general, have a weakness of their tail being grabbed, but the tailless Goku has nothing to worry about there.

If anything, Goku’s two significant weaknesses which apply to him are his lack of formal education and not going all-out from the start in fights.

Who wins?

Before discussing who’d win, a few points must be emphasized, with the first being that Goku and Superman are both heroes. As a result, it’s unlikely either will be fighting to the death or trying to kill their opponent here.


Another point is that Goku and Superman are two of the strongest, non-parody characters in fiction. Regardless of the outcome presented in this article, an argument could be made for either winning this fight, and 100 matches would likely end in a 50/50 draw.

@DBHotTakes I think goku vs superman is a much closer fight than db fans tend to think
6:37 AM · Jan 19, 2022

With that being said, it’s more likely than not that Goku would win based on everything known about the two characters. Goku’s recent mastery of Mastered Ultra Instinct (MUI) as far as the Moro arc has elevated the Saiyan to new powerful heights.

Furthermore, one of Superman’s canonical weaknesses is magic. Moro reveals during his Dragon Ball Super arc that his powers are magic-based and that Goku must find a way to overcome this power.

As expected, Goku does in grand fashion, both beating Moro and establishing himself as stronger than one of Superman’s weaknesses in the process. Even excluding this, however, the odds are still stacked against Superman. MUI is a mighty transformation that has allowed Goku to achieve the impossible time and time again.

Goku’s ability to surpass his limits mid-fight will no doubt come into play against Superman, like it has time and time again throughout Dragon Ball.


In summation

While Goku is likely to win a fight against DC’s Man of Steel, the two are pretty evenly matched. As mentioned above, 100 matches between the two would likely and unsurprisingly end in an even 50/50 draw.

Superman’s victories against Goku would likely come when overwhelming Goku early. This would take advantage of Goku’s tendencies to wait to go all out, as seen throughout nearly all of Dragon Ball.

Be sure to keep up with all Dragon Ball anime, manga, and film news as 2022 progresses.

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Edited by
Rupak Kumar Jha
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