8 strongest versions of Superman, ranked

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Exploring the evolution of the Man of Steel: 8 strongest versions of Superman, Ranked

Superman is one of the most iconic superheroes in popular culture, first appearing in Action Comics #1 in 1938. Created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster, the character has undergone numerous iterations, each with strengths and weaknesses.

While the basic concept of the Man of Steel remains the same - an alien with incredible powers who fights for truth, justice, and the American way - the details of the character have changed dramatically over time.

From the Golden Age version, who could only leap tall buildings in a single bound, to the Bronze Age version, who could fly and shoot heat vision from his eyes to the modern versions, which are more morally complex and politically aware, the Man of Tomorrow has evolved to reflect the changing times and tastes of his audience.

We will rank the eight strongest versions of Superman, starting with the weakest and working our way up to the most powerful iteration. Each version of the Man of Steel on this list will be ranked based on their unique abilities, powers, and feats, making for an exciting and informative read for fans everywhere.


Kingdom Come, Red Son, and 6 other strongest versions of Superman, ranked

8) Golden Age: Superman

The original Man of Steel (Image via DC Comics)
The original Man of Steel (Image via DC Comics)

The Golden Age Superman is the original character's iconic version, brought to life by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in 1938. This early iteration of the character had all the primary powers of super strength, speed, and durability that we associate with the character.

Although not as powerful as some of the later versions, his powers were still impressive for the time and laid the groundwork for all future iterations of the Man of Steel. Despite his relatively lesser power levels, this version of Clark Kent remains a beloved and vital figure in the history of comic books and popular culture.


7) Bronze Age: Superman

Faster than a speeding bullet (Image via DC Comics)
Faster than a speeding bullet (Image via DC Comics)

The Bronze Age iteration is a notable version of the character that emerged in the 1970s and 1980s. Compared to his Golden Age counterpart, this Man of Steel was more potent and had more defined powers. He could soar through space faster than light, possessed incredible strength that allowed him to move celestial bodies, and was almost indestructible.

Though he remained susceptible to kryptonite, this Man of Steel's power level still needed to be fully fleshed out as some of the latter iterations of the character. Despite this, Clark Kent from the Bronze Age remains a classic and important version of the Man of Tomorrow that helped shape the character into what he is today.


6) New 52: Superman

A hero for a new generation (Image via DC Comics)
A hero for a new generation (Image via DC Comics)

The New 52 Superman, which debuted in 2011 as a part of DC Comics' reboot of its entire superhero line, introduced a fresh take on the iconic character. This version had a slightly different origin story and a unique set of powers while retaining his unparalleled strength, speed, and durability.

However, he was more susceptible to kryptonite and magic, making him more vulnerable to attacks than some of the other versions of the Man of Tomorrow. Despite these differences, this version is still a formidable force for justice and remains a popular iteration among fans of the Man of Steel.


5) Kingdom Come: Superman

The aging hero who still packs a punch (Image via DC Comics)
The aging hero who still packs a punch (Image via DC Comics)

Kingdom Come Superman is a formidable version of the iconic character who first appeared in the 1996 comic book miniseries of the same name. He was portrayed as a seasoned superhero with a greater mastery of his powers, including the ability to fly faster than light, absorb and redirect energy attacks, and have near-absolute invulnerability.

Despite his immense power, he was still vulnerable to kryptonite, and his abilities needed to be more well-defined than some of the more recent iterations of the character. Nonetheless, this take on the character remains a beloved and influential version of the Man of Steel in the DC Comics universe.


4) Red Son: Superman

The Man of Steel with a Soviet twist (Image via DC Animation)
The Man of Steel with a Soviet twist (Image via DC Animation)

This iteration presents an intriguing alternate take on the iconic superhero. The idea of Superman being raised in a different country and culture completely changes his values and worldview, making for a unique and thought-provoking story.

This version of the Man of Steel is compelling and morally complex, which adds an extra layer of depth to the character. Red Son Superman's strength and abilities are matched only by his unwavering commitment to his beliefs, making him a formidable foe for anyone who opposes him.


3) All-Star Superman

The ultimate embodiment of hope (Image via DC Comics)
The ultimate embodiment of hope (Image via DC Comics)

In All-Star Superman, we see a version of the character that embodies the essence of what the Man of Steel represents: hope, optimism, and the willingness to use his powers for the greater good. This version of Kal-El is not only potent but also compassionate and empathetic, showing that strength doesn't just come from physical abilities but from a strong moral compass as well.

The series explores the character in a fresh and familiar way, giving readers a new perspective on the iconic hero while staying true to his core values. This iteration is a shining example of how powerful and inspiring the Man of Steel can be when written well.


2) DC One Million: Superman Prime

The most powerful being in the universe (Image via DC Comics)
The most powerful being in the universe (Image via DC Comics)

This take is a fascinating version of the character that showcases the potential power he could achieve if he continuously absorbs the sun's energy over an extended period. This version of the Man of Steel has transcended his previous limitations, and his powers have expanded to an extraordinary degree.

He can even manipulate reality and possesses immense strength and speed, enabling him to move and create things beyond the human imagination. Despite his vast powers, he is still vulnerable to specific weaknesses, such as magic, which adds an interesting dynamic to this version of the Man of Tomorrow.


1) Cosmic Armor Superman

The godlike defender of the multiverse (Image via DC Comics)
The godlike defender of the multiverse (Image via DC Comics)

The Cosmic Armor Superman is not only the most potent version of the Man of Steel but also one of the most intriguing characters in the DC Comics universe. He represents the concept of storytelling itself, embodying the idea that stories have the power to shape reality.

This version of the Man of Tomorrow was created by writer Grant Morrison, who wanted to explore the concept of a Kal-El who was so powerful that he could break the rules of the universe itself. This version of the character appeared in the 2006 comic book series Final Crisis, and he was a godlike being who had the power to manipulate reality.

He can create and destroy universes, manipulate time and space, and even transcend the boundaries of the multiverse. He was virtually unbeatable and could adapt to any situation, making him the most powerful version of the Man of Steel ever created.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande