Who is the most powerful DC character?
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Superheroes are everywhere these days, and the DC Universe in particular is having a moment with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice right around the corner. With all the superhero movies and television shows popping up all the time, it’s easy to forget the plethora of superheroes relegated to comic book glory. The DCU is positively bursting with superpowered heroes, and while all superpowers can be great, it’s hard to deny that some are simply better than others. But with a world full of superheroes, how do you know which one is the most powerful?
In order to answer that question, we’ve crafted a list of the 12 Most Powerful DCU Superheroes. Note that we didn’t include any superheroes who appear only (or mainly) in the DC Vertigo Imprint. We also focused on the superheroes who most often engage in super-heroics. While the Source is basically the source of all that exists (and thus super powerful), the Source doesn’t actually get its hands dirty with the fighting and protecting business like our favorite men and women in tights.
Zatanna debuted in 1964 and started out as a successful stage magician. She comes from a long lineage of magicians (including Nicholas Flamel and Nostradamus), which has made her one of the most powerful magicians in the DC Universe. She casts spells by speaking backwards in tribute to her magician father, but other than the need to speak or read, there seems to be little limit to her magical abilities.
The Green Lantern Corps is an intergalactic police force to which the Green Lantern belongs – meaning his superpowered adventures take him to the ends of the universe. The Green Lantern’s power comes from his power ring, which uses his willpower to translates his ideas into physical objects and constructs. A construct can basically be anything, so the limit to Green Lantern’s power seems to be his own imagination. The power ring also allows the Green Lantern Corps to travel quickly across the universe, translate any language, and survive in any environment.
Martian Manhunter hails from the planet Mars, but his origin story depends on the version you read. In the New 52 Universe, Martian Manhunter, originally J’onn J’onzz, traveled to Earth to undergo a Rite of Passage that would show him what it meant to be truly alone. But when he came back, his Martian home was burnt to ashes, and he was unable to telepathically connect to anyone from his race. In an earlier version, he spent years training as a Martian Manhunter (a sort of Martian peace keeper) that granted him combat and detective skills that he used in his superheroic work.
Billy Batson started as a normal boy, but the wizard Shazam granted him the powers of the elders due to Billy’s altruism and optimism. Whenever Billy spoke the word SHAZAM! aloud, he would gain the powers of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. In a flash of lightning, he changed from adolescent boy into an adult superhero. Originally known as Captain Marvel (short for Captain Marvelous), the superhero is presently referred to as Shazam, due to confusion with another, Marvel-owned Captain Marvel.
The Phantom Stranger, despite his immense power, remains a mysterious figure in the DCU, with several different origin stories and little known truth about his powers. It is said that his magical prowess is near limitless, but it hasn’t specifically been defined. He can create energy bolts, travel through dimensions, and dispel magic. He is also omniscient. There is nothing in the DCU that Phantom Stranger doesn’t know.
Known for his super-strength and flight, it’s almost harder to come up with a superpower that Superman doesn’t have. In some iterations, he’s even been known to have super-weaving powers. But more importantly, most other DC characters consider Superman’s strength as almost unparalleled on Earth. While he’s generally considered slower than the Flash, he’s also super quick, especially during flight, where he can move at superluminal speeds while in space.
He is said to be capable of any feat he can imagine. He can warp reality and control time. He is immortal, though he can be injured or slain by powerful magic or advanced enough technology. But Spectre is prone to being tricked, which often results in mistakes and harm to the innocent, making him feel a little more like a villain sometimes.