From primary school playgrounds to corporate office breakrooms, comic book fans have argued for eons as to whether Marvel or DC Comics has the strongest heroes. Thanks to the prominence of superhero films over the last two decades, these debates have only grown more intense! Now, you can't turn on the TV or hop on the internet without seeing Marvel vs DC threads all over the place.

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We figured we might as well throw our hats into the ring since these Marvel vs DC debates aren't ending any time soon. Today, we're going to compare ten of Marvel and DC's strongest characters by category, compare their feats, and then choose a definitive winner. Since most of these characters have decades of continuity behind them, we'll compare the modern versions of our combatants - with the express intent of excluding as much excess continuity as possible. With all that out of the way, let's get ready to rumble!

Updated April 21st, 2020 by George Chrysostomou Marvel and DC are continuing to showcase their heroes in the comics and on the big and small screen. It's only fair that we revisit this once again and pit some more of their fantastic characters against one another!

16 Green Guardians: Gamora vs Martian Manhunter

Both Gamora and Martian Manhunter have a lot of things in common. Not only do they come from an all but extinct race, they both have a place in their heart for humanity, while still drawing their attention to protecting the galaxy.

While Martian Manhunter may work for the police force and Gamora has been known to evade it, both have significant abilities that assist them in battle. Martian Manhunter's physic gifts and ability to shape shift certainly give him the edge though, despite Gamora's talent with a blade and elite training.

15 Aggressive Animals: Black Widow vs Black Canary

Black Canary and Black Widow have extremely different backgrounds. While one follows on from the family legacy, the other was brought up in the red room and taught to be a dangerous assassin from an early age. Both of them are at their best when working in teams.

They are often the most significant game changer within a team, whether it Widow's work with the Avengers or Hawekeye, or Canary's time with the Birds of Prey and Green Arrow. Black Widow's stingers can't compete against the canary cry though, even if Natasha is a more gifted fighter.

14 Amazing Mutations: Spider-Man vs Dr Manhattan

Both Spider-Man and Dr. Manhattan are scientists first and foremost and they have also experienced significant mutations in their DNA. While one got bitten by a radioactive spider, the other was transformed into some kind of god.

While it's easy to see which is the more powerful in this situation, it's also important to note how resilient Peter Parker actually is. Despite the insurmountable odds, the underdog somehow always manages to triumph; Manhattan does have the power advantage though!

13 Tiniest Titan: Ant-Man vs Atom

It's easy to see how this match up came about. Both Ant-Man and the Atom utilize shrinking technology in order to go about their superhero business. Both have also been known to grow before and have even journeyed into subatomic realms.

The version of Ant-Man and Atom that we're pitching against one another is key though. It makes sense to but Ray Palmer against Henry Pym as the two originals. Both were intelligent enough to create their own formulas but extra points go to Ant-Man for helping to create his own partner's suit and for finding a way to communicate with ants!

12 Superior Soldier: Captain America vs Green Lantern

Certain characters find themselves amongst the army. Hal Jordan and Steve Rogers share a similar origin, fighting for their country in various forms of combat. Neither could imagine the symbol of hope they would become in the future.

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Both were chosen to take on an immense pressure and gift; a super soldier serum and a Green Lantern ring. While one perhaps has superior morals and leadership abilities, the other can create anything with his mind. Even Cap's shield can't quite defend against the Green Lantern's willpower.

11 Angriest Assailant: The Hulk vs Atrocitus

 

We have two rage-filled warriors facing off against each other in this Marvel vs DC battle. We imagine Atrocitus would try to burn the Hulk and restrain him with Red constructs. Things might be even for a time until the Jolly Green enters his Worldbreaker state. Atrocitus wouldn't have the means to put the Hulk down for good, whereas the Hulk would only need to remove Atrocitus' ring - which has replaced his heart and keeps him alive! Though it's a tough decision to make, we give this win to the Hulk.

10 Strongest Psychic: Jean Grey vs Raven

 

Regardless of Trigon's aid, Raven still loses to Phoenix Jean every time. When empowered by Trigon, Raven becomes a threat to Earth. But when Jean's hosting the Phoenix Force, she becomes a threat to the cosmos! It's also worth noting that Rachel Summers once used the Phoenix Force to mass-exorcise an army of demons - something that we imagine Jean could do to Trigon.

9 Mightiest Myth: Thor vs Wonder Woman

Despite their roots in the Pulp Science Fiction genre, comics books have become increasingly mystical over the years. Hence the inclusion of mythological characters like Odin, Zeus, and Ra in both the Marvel and DC Universes. We'll be comparing the child of two Sky-Father deities for this Marvel vs DC battle - Thor Odinson and Diana of Themyscira! Similar to their depictions on the big screen, both Thor and Diana are impossibly strong - with both heroes taking on the Hulk and Superman respectively!

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Any time that stories glimpse into the future, we see that Thor and Diana's powers eclipse their parents - allowing them to protect their Universes' with ease. But even in their modern forms, Thor's still trounced Galactus and Wonder Woman's still toppled Darkseid. The Marvel vs DC battle is almost too close to call, but there's one last factor to consider - weaponry. Mjolnir outclasses any weapon that Wonder Woman owns - including her Bracelets of Submission or her Lasso of Truth. It'd be a hard-fought victory, but Thor would claim it in the end.

8 Swiftest Speedster: Quicksilver vs The Flash

There are two types of Speedsters in comic books - the quick, and the dead. This Marvel vs DC battle pits Wally West against Pietro Maximoff - the fastest men alive from both their respective realms. Officially ranked as DC's fastest character, Wally West can exceed scientific limitations by channeling the Speed Force. Once when in dire straights, Wally outran the Black Racer (one of DC's personifications of Death) by running to the end of time and back!

In comparison, Quicksilver has disarmed bombs in nanoseconds and is too fast for most telepaths to control! Pietro also can perform many of the same feats that the average Speedster can - including vibrating molecules and reacting to things faster than the eye can comprehend. Unfortunately for Quicksilver, all of that pales in comparison to Wally's picosecond feats. For context, a picosecond is one-trillionth of an average second. In that time, Wally's dismantled guns scanned large areas, and created weapons out of the Speed Force! Wally takes this Marvel vs DC fight with ease, though we're confident that Barry Allen could also match out Quicksilver as well.

7 Most Accurate Archer: Hawkeye vs Green Arrow

Since Hawkeye and Green Arrow are so similar, we feel that this Marvel vs DC battle comes down to the tools of the trade. Green Arrow's trick weapons include net arrows, scatter arrows and his signature 'boxing glove arrow.' We love all of those weapons, but we have to give the edge to Hawkeye - who carries around Adamantium and Vibranium arrows these days. It's also worth noting that modern versions of Hawkeye genuinely never miss - only firing strange shots to set up situations to his advantage.

6 Smartest Scientist: Hank Pym vs Rami The Guardian

We were thinking about calling this one 'scariest scientist,' since both Hank Pym and Rami are loose canons. On the one hand, Hank Pym is alleged to be Earth's Scientist Supreme. His creations include Pym Particles, the Ant-Man suit, and Ultron. We don't think we need to emphasize how monumental each of those achievements is, as well as how bone-chilling that Ultron's existence is.

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In contrast, Rami is the Malthusian that engineered the Green Lantern Rings and the Phantom Ring. This guy somehow harnessed space magic and then put in a handheld device! Sure, Ultron's a scary robot, but so is Amazo - an android that can replicate the powers of the entire Justice League! Using one of Rami's rings, Hal Jordan to blast a hole through Amazo with one hit! Simply put, Green Lantern rings have far more scientific applications that anything Hank Pym's created thus far. To that end, Rami takes this Marvel vs DC battle - especially if he were to use the Phantom Ring on Hank.

5 Keenest King: Black Panther vs Aquaman

 

Unfortunately for T'challa, Arthur Curry is more than just a man - he's the King of Atlantis and the wielder of Poseidon's Trident! If this Marvel vs DC battle escalated into a full-blown war, we're sad to report that the armies of Atlantis would wash out Wakanda's defenses. In a one-on-one fight, Black Panther can't match Aquaman's - he' broken yellow lantern constructs and lifted city streets with his raw strength! Aquaman's also insanely fast, once catching Barry Allen off guard.

4 Most Ingenius Inventor: Iron Man vs Batman

We have to give this Marvel vs DC battle to Tony Stark. His Iron Man suits outclass just about all of Batman's inventions by a mile. Think about this; Tony's taken out rage-monsters, maniacal robots, and gods with his Iron Man suits - we're sure he could handle anything that Batman could throw at him. Now, this is the part where someone says that Bats could beat anyone with enough prep time. That person probably isn't wrong, but we'd argue that the same goes for Tony - made evident in the Fear Itself storyline.

3 Staunchest Sorcerer: Doctor Strange vs Zatanna

So in this Marvel vs DC battle, we've got a sorcerer that uses hand gestures to cast spells and another that needs to speak backward. As tough and as close as this matchup is, we have to give the victory to Doctor Strange. He's the freakin' Sorcerer Supreme - the man fights demonic entities and evil gods daily! And if the War of Spheres is still canon, Strange once participated in a five-thousand-year long war, then returned relatively unscathed!

2 Fiercest 'Flying Brick': Captain Marvel vs Superman

Perhaps out of all of the other Marvel vs DC matchups in this article, this would be the most intense. Superman and Captain Marvel's power levels are very similar - and both of them don't know the meaning of the word "surrender." Ultimately, we'd have to say that Superman would prevail in the long run. Clark's fought the likes of Captain Atom, Imperiex, and the World Forger. With time, however, Carol's feats may one day match Superman's. Should a rematch occur, we don't think the multiverse could handle it!

1 Conclusion

More of Marvel's characters have won in more categories, but DC's victors far outshine their competition. No one from the Marvel Universe or the DC Universe compares to Superman, whereas Iron Man and Hawkeye just barely edge out their rivals. Still, we'd say that Marvel has stronger characters for now. That's the caveat, however - times change. DC could reinvent Batman one day and make him a closer rival to Iron Man. Captain Marvel's power could continue to grow until she outclasses Superman. The world of comics is always in flux; today's victors could be tomorrow's losers - and vice versa.

Marvel's victory over DC also reflect a real-world shift in paradigms; DC's characters were overpowered during the Golden and Silver Ages, while Marvel's were more down to Earth. The Hulk didn't break worlds in the 1960s, he was a riff on Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. But over the last few decades, Marvel's increased the power of their heroes and villains while DC's sought to humanize their characters. As a result, the Modern version of Superman isn't as strong as his past counterparts (though he's still powerful,) but he's more relatable. However, nothing's static in the comic book world. When (not if) the tables turn, you can count on us to rank Marvel and DC's greatest champions once again.

NEXT: Marvel And DC: 16 Times Their Heroes Teamed Up

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