Who is Stronger Between Superman and Darkseid?

Superman vs. Darkseid explained
Credit: DC Comics

Superman vs. Darkseid explained
Credit: DC Comics

Who would win in a fight: Superman or Darkseid? It’s a question comic book fans and movie fans everywhere have been asking since the release of the Snyder Cut of Justice League.

At the end of the Snyder Cut, we see Steppenwolf swing his ax at Superman only to find Superman completely unfazed. Superman annihilates and outclasses Steppenwolf throughout the entire fight.

Steppenwolf is only the soldier of Darkseid, who is more powerful compared to the two. So is Superman stronger? Who would win in a fight between them?

Let's take a look at Superman and Darkseid in the comics to compare the powers and abilities of both in instances where they have fought each other in the panels. Read on to find out who is stronger!

READ MORE: Who Would Win: Blue Beetle vs. Batman?

Has Superman Ever Fought and Defeated Darkseid?

Superman: The Dark Side #3
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Credit: Marvel Studios

Superman has rarely fought Darkseid. Darkseid is a cosmic-level threat that mainly comes into play when the entire universe or multiple planets are at stake of being destroyed or annihilated.

Superman has also fought Darkseid when the lives of his friends are at stake. Here are a few iconic battles between the two characters:

Superman vs. Darkseid: The Dark Side #3 (1998)

Superman: The Dark Side #3 panel
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Credit: DC Comics

In Superman: The Dark Side #3, released in 1998, Superman takes on Darkseid and handily loses. After being knocked out, Lightray, a hero with the power of light, revives Superman by injecting him with his light powers.

This charges Kal-El like a sunbath. His costume then glows for the rest of the issue and he goes on to defeat Darkseid in combat.

The Dark Side comic is a limited series and takes place in an Elseworld, meaning, it exists outside of normal canon in the DC Universe.

Therefore, this isn’t the typical version of Darkseid or Superman that we normally see. In fact, Superman is hardly recognizable in the issue.

Superman: The Dark Side #3 panel
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Credit: DC Comics

That being said, the battle teaches us little about which character is stronger. It appears that Superman isn’t strong enough to beat Darkseid, at least not on his own.

Superman v Darkseid: Apokolips Now! (2003)

This is a one-shot comic, which means it is generally considered canon unless DC states otherwise. In this issue, Superman challenges Darkseid to a high-stakes duel (which Darkseid accepts). The fight takes place on an asteroid near Apokolips.

It takes all of Superman's might be neck and neck with the Darkseid
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Credit: DC Comics

The battle is relatively fair without special buffs or hindrances applied to either character as they meet in battle. Superman takes a nice Sun dip before the one-shot begins, so he is in prime condition.

The fight is neck and neck, each trading blows as much as the other. Superman manages to beat Darkskeid’s face to a pulp, rendering his Omega Beams unusable. In the end, Superman manages to come out on top, proving to be the stronger of the two when it comes to brute force and strength.

This issue confirms that Superman has the power to defeat Darkseid in battle, given he soaks up some sun beforehand and takes out Darkseid’s Omega Beams.  

Superman/Batman #13 (2003)

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In this dramatic non-canon comic, Supergirl is killed and it is up to Superman to avenge her death. Superman rages against Darkseid. Darkseid attempts to use his Omega Beams, but Wonder Woman deflects them.

Kal-el tells Wonder Woman to leave the fight to him after this, as it is a personal grudge after losing Kara (Supergirl). Thus a 1 v 1 battle ensues.

Superman defeats the Darkseid in the battle
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Credit: DC Comics

As the fight progresses, they begin circling the sun, which gives Superman a nice recharge. Superman shows off his speed and brute force as he soundly clobbers Darkseid, breaking his arm. He then imprisons him within the Source Wall. Thus, Superman beats Darkseid again.  

Is Superman Stronger Than Darkseid Explained

Darkness looms as the Darkseid comes to view
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Credit: DC Comics

Who is stronger: Superman or Darkseid? It’s pretty close to a tie. The answer depends on two major factors. They are:

Did Superman get a sunbath? Virtually every time he defeated Darkseid, he had to take a sun dip before or during the battle to win.

Does Superman thwart Darkseid’s Omega Beams?

Given that the Sun’s energy is the source of Superman’s power, the Sunbath shouldn't be considered as an unnatural buff.

Certainly, if he is sitting in the sun for a couple of hundred years, that is an unreasonable buff to call a fair fight. But a short sunbath seems completely fair, as shown in the comics.

As for Darkseid’s Omega Beams, countering your opponent’s strength should be a part of battle and battle tactics. Superman was completely fair when he beat Darkseid’s face to a pulp rendering his beams useless.

Thus, it’s safe to say that given a sunbath, Superman is stronger than Darkseid and can defeat him. Otherwise, it is somewhat in Darkseid’s favor and his Omega Beams.

RELATED: 11 Marvel Characters Who Can Beat Superman

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