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Superhero Battles - Superman Takes on the Hulk - Who Wins?

Updated on March 4, 2016
superman vs hulk
superman vs hulk

Across online forums, shops, and conventions, readers fans savor the discussion of hypothetical battles between the most powerful characters in comics.

Two of the most popular heroes for these battles are Superman and the Incredible Hulk, but how would the actual battle of the Man of Steel vs. the gamma-irradiated green monster turn out?

Since they are widely-considered to be the very strongest characters their respective comic book universes have to offer (for the most part), it's a fight every fan talks about constantly.

Superman - also known as Kal-El and Clark Kent - is a superior alien from the dead planet Krypton, sent to Earth on a spaceship by his parents to escape the planet's fate. Our yellow sun greatly strengthens his skin, strength and endows him with a wide range of super-powers.

All of these powers are on levels far greater than your "average" super hero, and Kal is in fact capable of single-handedly battling entire teams of super-villains - sometimes without breaking a sweat.

The Incredible Hulk is the alter-ego of nuclear physicist Dr. Bruce Banner. He was involved at ground-zero of a new gamma bomb, which exploded and imbued him with strength untold, tremendous resilience, regenerative healing and limitless stamina. He gets even stronger when enraged, and can require cosmic forces to put down (or at to try to put down) - but mostly, he is a hero.

Hulk the Human Gamma Bomb
Hulk the Human Gamma Bomb

Do you think Hulk could stand up to Superman's Heat Vision?

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The Planet-Mover from Krypton
The Planet-Mover from Krypton
The Man of Tomorrow by Jim Lee
The Man of Tomorrow by Jim Lee

Superman and Hulk - Background on Powers and Abilities

First off, Superman has strength levels that rival few other characters in any comics universe.

In battle, the Man of Tomorrow always holds back because of the sheer power that he commands, though his strength reaches its peak when he is closest to the sun, the source of his powers.

For an earth-bound battle, though, Superman's lofty strength would be capped, and he would likely have to defeat the Hulk before the green machine got angry enough to be a challenge.

When Dr. Bruce Banner turns into the Incredible Hulk, there isn't a stronger creature in the Marvel Comics universe. Not only is his base strength insurmountable, but the Hulk also gets significantly stronger as he gets angrier.

Therefore, in a Superman vs Hulk battle, the stakes would become greater as the battle wears on, although the stronger he gets, the more that Banner's alter-ego becomes an unadulterated force of destruction incapable of strategizing.

Wham Bam watch out for the super-speed Hulk.
Wham Bam watch out for the super-speed Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk Doesn't Tire Easily...

So, Superman would have to knock his opponent out quickly enough to avoid damage to Earth.

His super-speed would give Superman an immediate upper hand, one that would make it easy to divert the Hulk’s attacks away from civilians.

Not only would his speediness allow the Man of Tomorrow to take the fight to a safer battlefield, but it would also add to his already superhuman strength by allowing him to punch faster.

With few to no innocents around, he would be able to unleash his full strength.

Even with his full powers, Superman would have to deal with the Hulk’s healing factor and stamina.

The latter in particular would cause difficulties in the battle of Hulk vs. the Man of Steel, as the green machine can regenerate any injured body parts.

Hulk also never tires or wanes in his endurance. In contrast, as the sun sets, Superman would begin to tire and become weaker. Of course, because his storage of energy is so incredibly massive, this has never really been a factor in any fight other than the one he had with Doomsday.

Nonetheless, if Superman can push Hulk to overexert himself, his healing factor might be overwhelmed enough to give Kal-El an opening. The Incredible Hulk doesn’t ever really face characters on Superman’s level, and he might not be able to withstand an assault with all of Kal-El’s ultra-powers.

How Would a Superman vs Hulk fight End Up?

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Superman in Space
Superman in Space

The Superhero Battle Continues...

At the same time, Superman verges on being invulnerable.

Even when he receives a direct and damaging attack, the Man of Steel is able to heal quickly with the aid of the sun.

The Hulk’s best plan of attack would be to attack at night, in order to play on his opponent’s weakness when not in the presence of sunlight.

Even then, Superman would be almost impervious to harm, if incapable of healing himself, and might be able to fly over the horizon and into the sun’s healing rays.

Superman also possesses all manner of distance attacks, from his lethal heat vision to his freeze-breath and the ability to generate gale-force winds.

His heat vision, in particular, represents an impressive and powerful long-range attack that would be difficult for the green machine to counter.

In the Incredible Hulk vs. Superman, however, the former is capable of a creating a devastating concussive blast by clapping his hands together and of causing earthquakes by slamming the ground in front of him.

Even if he cannot outrun Superman’s distance-based attacks, the green machine may be able to out-maneuver his opponent. That is, unless Superman executes his own thunderclap or earthquakes. More importantly, Superman can fly, able to circle the earth in minutes without taxing himself.

As a result, the battle does not even have to happen unless he wants it to, given that the Hulk can only jump to astounding heights while Kal-El is capable of interstellar flight. To get the upper hand, then, the Incredible Hulk would have to cause massive damage quickly enough to prevent Superman from flying off.

Of course, this isn’t a superhero battle to determine who can run from who the fastest (snicker), but of who would win in a fight. Superman’s very healthy speed advantage does mean, however, he can sun-dip if necessary – which would spell serious trouble for Hulk, who cannot effectively leave Earth during the fight.

Who do you think is more difficult to hurt in the first place?

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Hulk Art by Dale Keown
Hulk Art by Dale Keown

Superhero Battle Advantages

Alternately, if Hulk can procure the radioactive green kryptonite of Kal-El's home world that negates Superman's powers, then he would have a crucial advantage.

The green machine could just beat his opponent to death, as long as the Man of Tomorrow is unable to evade the attack.

Similarly, should Superman obtain unbreakable adamantium-tipped darts, he could regain the upper hand by delivering a drug capable of knocking the green monster out.

Most fans, though, focus on how the individual characters' innate abilities would stack up against one another.

In the battle of Superman vs. The Incredible Hulk, the former's biggest problem is the Hulk’s regenerative abilities and infinite stamina, but Superman maintains an advantage because of his super speed and heat vision.

In the end, Marvel Comics' Hulk could hit DC Comics' Superman harder than anyone ever has, but he could easily take the punch.

In a cross-universe battle, who do you think wins a one-on-one fight between Superman and the Incredible Hulk?

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Superman vs Hulk battle
Superman vs Hulk battle

Superman versus Hulk Who wins a fight

They're both mightier than many gods, with unparalleled strength and power. Superman starts out immensely strong and can pretty much out-muscle anyone or anything.

He can increase his overall power by adding some of his prodigious super-speed to his punches, too. Anger can also play a big role in his strength increasing - but Clark rarely gets angry.

Hulk, on the other hand, is a pure rage monster. He starts out with tremendous strength, though not on Superman's level.

However, the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets - and this can cause his strength to reach breathtaking heights.


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    • profile image

      Toby p 

      3 years ago

      Super man gets his power from the sun the hulk gets his power from Gama energy, Gama energy is the energy released and condensed after a star collapses, the Gama energy is considered the most powerful form of energy in the universe, dwarfing the output of a star. the energy from the hulks Gama rage would be enough to nullify all of super man's abilities.

    • etaCarinae profile imageAUTHOR

      Sara Johnson 

      5 years ago from United States

      Thanks colbeyfreddie! I agree Superman rules hands down. Every power of his is godlike, whereas Hulk really only has godlike strength. Thanks for stopping by...

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      I think the thing you have to remember is that Superman has the full monty.

      Super Strength. Flight. Laser eyes. Ice Breath.

      I personally don't think Hulk stands a chance.

      But I love your writing style.


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