Superman Vs. Goku

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Okay, so I’m coming into this whole debate a bit later than everyone else. But I’ve been a bit dissatisfied with other analyses that I’ve encountered. So we’ll look into it here. If there was a fight between Superman and Goku, who would win?

So far, the debate has been quite heated. Each point of view tends to favor whichever contestant in the battle that the one arguing is a fan of. And both sides tend to make some compelling arguments. That doesn’t help much in determining a winner.

So I’ll use my own method of determination.

THE COMBATANTS

First, some background on the characters for those who aren’t in the know (though you should be!):

Superman was rocketed away from the dying planet Krypton as a baby and landed in Kansas. He was raised with the name Clark Kent. Exposure to the sun’s yellow radiation made him super powerful. He became a reporter in the major city of Metropolis and fights evil under the name of Superman.

Goku was rocketed away from his home world, Vegeta, as a baby. He grew up training in the martial arts and was naturally skilled at it. His training led him to gain some amazing powers. Every time he fights, win or lose, he gets stronger, better skilled, and more powerful. He has achieved multiple levels of Super-Saiyan which exponentially increase his powers.

The battle for the ages!   [photo from Flickr]
The battle for the ages! [photo from Flickr]

STRENGTH AND TOUGHNESS

Both Superman and Goku are capable of obliterating planets with a full-force punch. There has so far been no solid indicator that one is actually stronger than the other. As for toughness, Goku tends to take more of a beating. But then again, he likes to seek out stronger opponents. And Superman is far from invulnerable. When he takes on stronger opponents, he has been known to bet a little bruised and bloody as well. Superman has been known to survive a supernova, but that sort of feat is rare. Someone as strong as Doomsday killed him– … er, make that “put him in a healing coma”. [facepalm]

Winner: None

FIGHTING SKILL

Superman has learned the advanced martial arts of Krypton known as Torquasm-Rao, Klurkor, and Horu-Karu. He also spent much of his time learning farming, science, and journalism.

When Goku wasn’t training in martial arts, he kept himself busy by training in other martial arts. And that was when he wasn’t caught up in training in martial arts. He picks up new techniques quickly.

Winner: Goku

POWERS

Both are known for having amazing abilities. But does one truly outweigh the other?

Superman has a legendary variety of super powers. He has the ability to fly, super speed, heat vision, super breath, x-ray vision, super hearing, and telescopic vision. Superman has shown other abilities, but those make up the primary power set.

Goku’s power set is largely built on his use of Ki life force energy. He has the ability to fly, super speed, Ki blast, Destructo Disk, Kamehameha, Spirit Bomb, Solar Flare, Instant Transmission, and Kaio-Ken. Goku also has other abilities, but most are just variations of those that I’ve listed.

So let’s compare them.

Superman and Goku both have the ability to fly as well as super speed. In Goku’s stronger Super Saiyan forms, the two are just about equal in those abilities. Some claim that Superman can’t fight using super speed. But just because they haven’t shown it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Besides, if he can do pretty much anything else with super speed, then there’s no reason he can’t fight fast as well.

The x-ray vision, super hearing, and telescopic vision can certainly come in handy in battle, depending on the situation. But the most relevant powers are Superman’s heat vision and super breath. The heat vision is rarely as powerful of an impact force as Superman’s punch, and Goku has faced heat-based attacks before. While the super breath is also not typically as strong as Superman’s punch, it has proven to be capable of a freezing effect that Goku is not accustomed to.

Goku’s Instant Transmission might be useful in combat depending on the circumstances. But it’s the other abilities that are of interest here. The Ki blast is a fairly simple ranged attack. The Destructo Disk provides a ranged cutting attack. Neither one seems to be stronger than Goku’s full-strength punch. But the others, on the other hand, tend to surpass his fist force. And although the Kaio-Ken wears Goku out quickly, it multiplies the force of his powers, so far up to twenty times! Now that really packs a wallop!

Winner: Goku

WEAKNESSES

Sure, powers are all fine and dandy. But an Achilles heel is sometimes all one has to have in order to lose a fight.

Superman has three primary weaknesses. The first is Kryptonite. Another is magic. Then there’s red sun radiation. One advantage here is that Goku would have to know about these weaknesses in order to exploit them. And if the two were to get into a fight, it’s a good bet that Goku would not have researched Superman enough in advance to know about them. Kryptonite is hard to come by. And even if Goku had some and knew to use it against Superman, he wouldn’t. He would want Superman at his best. Plus, Goku’s Ki attacks aren’t magic (according to Dragonball canon). Goku has only one magical item (which we’ll talk about in the next section). The only weakness Goku could exploit is the vulnerability to red sun radiation using Instant Transmission. But he would have to know about the weakness first.

Goku, on the other hand, doesn’t so much have a weakness as there is something Superman can do that Goku can’t. Superman can survive outside of Earth’s atmosphere. Goku has to breathe. This isn’t all that hard to figure out. All Superman has to do to defeat Goku is get him out of Earth’s atmosphere.

Superman might have more weaknesses. But his are hard to exploit and Goku’s is a doozy!

Winner: Superman

The international symbol of "You're royally screwed now".
The international symbol of “You’re royally screwed now”. [photo from Flickr]

TOOLS

Sometimes the assistance of an outside object can give someone an edge in a fight. Batman lives by this principle.

Goku has three main tools. He has Nimbus, the flying cloud. He also has the magical Power Pole. Finally, he has Sensu beans. Nimbus really doesn’t give any combat advantage. But the Power Pole does. It instantly extends to great distances to allow Goku to strike at range. And it’s magic, exploiting one of Superman’s weaknesses. Then there are the Sensu beans which heal whoever eats one almost instantly.

Superman has a cape.

Winner: Goku

ALLIES

Depending on the situation, one’s allies can come into play in a fight.

Goku has a variety of combat-ready friends and allies called the Z-Fighters. This includes such warriors as Gohan, Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha, Krillin, Trunks, Chiaotzu, Tien, Android 18, and so on.

Superman is the most respected hero in the DC Universe. He has the Justice League for starters. That includes Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Cyborg, Green Lantern, The Flash, and so on. Then there are all of the other heroes and teams ready to jump into battle to help him.

For Goku, a lot of his allies are extremely powerful. But their skills, strengths, and abilities are not too dissimilar from Goku, just to a lesser level.

Superman’s allies are much more diverse and greater in number.

Winner: Superman

Just don't get on their bad side!
Just don’t get on their bad side! [photo from Flickr]

SCENARIOS

So it looks like Goku wins 3-2. But not so fast. Who would win a fight largely depends on the nature of the fight. So let’s look at the most likely scenarios for Superman and Goku to face off.

GOKU PICKS A FIGHT

Um, not gonna happen. Goku loves to fight since it helps him grow as a martial artist. But he won’t attack someone who chooses not to fight. And Superman don’t play that game.

Winner: None (no fight)

FORCED BATTLE

At times, certain heroes are forced to fight each other beyond their will in one-on-one combat. If this were to occur with Superman and Goku, Goku’s power set gives him a slight edge. Although Superman could potentially get him out into space, that isn’t too likely.

Winner: Goku

MISUNDERSTANDING

If Goku was to show up on the Earth of DC Comics hunting down a villain, then it’s possible that Superman could be led to believe he was up to no good. And since Goku would probably and most likely bring along some of the Z-Fighters, Supes just might call on some friends of his own. The Justice League plus the Super Family would likely be more than enough to overpower them … and Krillin dies. Again.

Winner: Superman

CONCLUSION

Who would win largely depends on the scenario in which the fight occurs. Although Goku has a slight edge over Superman in one-on-one battle, the most likely scenario favors the Man of Steel.

Winner: Superman (barely)

Agree? Disagree? Observations of your own? Then COMMENT below!

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Daniel C. Handley

Dan Handley was raised a Trekkie, fell in love with "Star Wars" at an early age, and became obsessed with comic book superheroes. He spent his youth dreaming of how to get real superpowers, starships, and so on.

2 thoughts on “Superman Vs. Goku

  • Pingback: Lord Beerus | Comic Multiverse

  • May 12, 2017 at 10:30 am
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    uh sir I hate to break it too you but you can’t be asuperman fan if you don’t know that chi does effect him it almost killed superman in the comic The Chi (Life Force) is an opposing force to Superman’s powers.

    Superman has been destroyed by a single and weak Ki-attack in “Action Comics #787 and #788”. This unbalanced his Ki and would have lead him to a certain death if he wasn’t saved by an acupuncture session.

    Ki-attacks ignores Superman’s invulnerability and incapacitate him instantly.
    We can notice that Sakki and Superman are very slow in combat, they trade blows like in the Rocky Movies…

    There is nothing that Superman can do to worry Goku.

    Son Goku can one-shot Superman just by using a fraction of his energy even if we don’t take Superman’s weakness / vulnerability in account.

    This makes this fight a piece of cake for Goku, even more when taking all of Goku’s abilities in account.) Combat Speed & Skills : the ability to strike fast and well, to avoid the attacks of your opponent and position yourself.

    People arguing for Superman avoid posting combat feats because they are too embarrassing for the character.Superman can’t touch Shadowdragon and later admit that he is faster than him.Shadowdragon has been destroyed in combat by Lady Shiva. That gives a good idea of Superman’s combat speed, inferior to the other DC Martial Artists. Lady Shiva is as fast in combat than Batman.Goku fighting Tienshinhan at the 23rnd Budokaï Tournament. He is faster in combat beyond any DC characters and his speed augmented many times since that (everytime he got a new power-up). and also goku can beathe in space because he’s able to talk in space. freazia meant that he could survive the cold vacme of space and that he’ll get tirred and die. so you got so reasearch to do

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