NOTICE: This is a Recap page, so all spoilers will be left unmarked, per wiki policy. Read ahead only with caution! You Have Been Warned.
Born to dying races and sent to brave new worlds, these two alien saviors came to earth as babies and have inspired many fans with their feats and abilities. And of course, everyone wants to know who would beat the living crap out of who in a fight: Son Goku, the tenacious Super Saiyan of the Dragon Ball Anime and Manga, and Superman, the Man of Steel and the first superhero. To ensure no questions are left unanswered, Wizard and Boomstick have analyzed and used every official resource at disposal, from TV, to movies, though for Goku the original manga writings which hold precedence, and no foreign dub mistranslations are allowed. Also, since he was retconned in 1986 due to the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths", we'll be looking at the Superman from then to the New 52 reboot (which considering that pre-'86 Supes could make up new superpowers depending on the situation, that's probably a good idea.) It's time to analyze the weapons, armor, and skills of these two legends of fiction to find out who would win a DEATH BATTLE!
Son Goku: Kakarot was born to the low-class Saiyan warrior Bardock on the planet Vegeta. He narrowly escaped its destruction at the hands of Frieza when his father sent him to earth with a single goal in mind: Destroy everything. However, after smacking himself on the head as a baby, he quickly forgot about it. He was named Son Goku by his adoptive grandfather Gohan (who he would name his future son after). At his prime, Goku was 53, with his body at the physical age of a 45 year old. He stands at 5 feet 9 inches, or 175 centimeters, and weighs 137 pounds, or 62 kilograms. His normal occupation is that of a raddish farmer, and he is married to Chi-Chi. His life revolves around nothing but combat...except for food, which he loves.
Goku's had lots of training in his life. His Grandfather taught him the ways of Kung-Fu as well as basic training with Ki. Under Muten Roshi, the turtle hermit, he was trained in Kame-Senin Ryu along with his best friend Krillin, which puts someone under intense physical labor to develop superhuman abilities. This went perfectly with his Saiyan biology and helped his power skyrocket to unbelievable levels (wait for it...). With Korin, the talking cat, he was trained in endurance and opponent anticipation. Kami and Popo both helped Goku train in Senses, Meditation, and precision. And with King Kai, Goku was trained in Kaio-Ken (we'll get to that later), and was given advanced ki training under the effects of 10 times normal gravity.
After these forms of training, Goku had developed numerous fighting techniques: The After-Image, or Zanzouken, creates illusions of the user, causing the enemy to become confused and disoriented. The Dragonthrow is his trademark grapple with which Goku throws enemies with immense power. He also has ability mimicry, which we'll get to later. Rock, Scissors, 'n Paper, or Janken, is a technique where the user either uses a strong punch, a poke to both eyes, or an open-palmed strike. Finally, the Fist Shockwave and Fist of Eight Hands, or Hasshu-Ken, amplify Goku's punches with different abilities.
He was so powerful at the age of 15 that he was strong enough to defeat the Namekian named Piccolo and the only worthy teachers left were gods...and a talking cat, but mostly gods. And as Vegeta himself stated when he met Goku as an adult, his power level was OVER 9000!!!!! Except that it wasn't. This is one of the many mistranslations of early anime imports. In the japanese manga at the time, Goku's power level was actually at 8000. Still, Power Levels aren't useful. According to the Kanzenshuu, a Dragon Ball website, "The entire point of introducing them was to show how unreliable and meaningless they were." By relying on power levels, the villains always underestimated the heroes and got beaten because of this, so using them to judge Goku's strength and abilities is worthless (especially since there's nothing Superman has to compare the power levels to anyway). Besides, the Daizenshu, or official Dragon Ball encyclopedia, states that eventually power levels become immeasurable because by that time the characters, and hopefully the audience, have realized just how futile these numbers are.
So, we cannot judge Goku by his Power Levels. We also can't judge him through Power Scaling, the theory that he can achieve the same feats as lesser Dragon Ball characters. Goku's abilities and stats are tailored around his own training, experiences, and anatomy. However, Goku does have a knack for mimicking Ki techniques. What is Ki? Well according to Kanzenshu, "[Ki is] metaphysical, made up of things such as Vigor, Courage, and being in one's true mind." Essentially it's like a natural life force energy. It's also known as Chi or Qi and is a fundemental part of Daoist medicine or martial arts (like acupuncture). Oh, and before anyone asks, it's not a kind of magic. Dragon Ball makes a very clear difference between Ki and Magic. Ki is dependant on the physical capability of the user and magic users like Babidi are using something completely different.
Goku uses his Ki in many different ways. He uses Ki Blasts, Ki Barriers, and the Destructo Disc, or Kienzan (which he stole from Krillin). He also uses the Kiai Cannon as a clear energy field with white highlights that damage anything that gets within that area around him. The Solar Flare, or Taiyo-Ken, blindens enemies with a light as bright as the sun, and the Spirit Bomb, or Genki Dama, charges ki energy from other sources into a large ball that takes a long time to create. Any energy taken from sentient beings like humans must be voluntary. It is filled with positive energy and only works on those filled with negative energy, or evil. In the Super Android 13 film, Goku learned to harness the power of the Spirit Bomb by absorbing its Ki and becoming one with it, allowing him to transform and manipulate it himself. However, his two strongest abilities are the Dragon Fist, which allows him to charge up his fist into a super fist using a golden ki dragon, and the one and only Kamehameha. Translating roughly to "Turtle Destruction Wave", it concentrates ki into a single point after charging it for some time. Every kid in the world wanted to try this when they were younger. Don't deny it, you know you tried it before. It also has several variants as well, such as Jet to help propel Goku, Bending, which can be moved in midair, and Twin Dragon Shot, which uses the blasts as spheres of energy.
Goku can manipulate his Ki for telekinesis and flight. He can also sense other Ki or energy sources and then teleport to them using Instant Transmission, or Shunkanido. And before anyone says it is, no it is not light speed. This was once again a mistranslation. According to the original manga, and Kanzenshuu, "Instant Translation is...well...instant." The only flaw to it is that it requires absolute concentration and focus to pull off. Goku can also read minds...yes, Goku can do that.
While it seems like Ki is limitless, it's not. Goku draws from a finite pool of Ki energy. To help with this, Goku perfected Kaio-Ken under King Kai's training. It multiplies the users ki and physical power by different intervals that the user controls. Goku's highest multiple is Kaio-Ken times 20. However, even this is not perfect. Kaio-Ken can heavily burden the user, and if they aren't careful, Kaio-Ken can be a Death Sentence.
Goku doesn't need to use just his Ki attacks though. He also has the Power Pole, or Nyoi-Bo, which according to Daizenshuu 7 via Kanzenshuu, is "A magical staff which expands and contracts." It is indestructible and has infinite reach. When he's injured, Goku can eat a Senzu Bean, which can heal injuries, restore broken bones, and can restore his Ki just like spinach for Popeye. It's also stored on a convenient belt pouch for him. And if Goku wants to get a jump on the opponent, he can use the Flying Nimbus, or Kinto-Un. This magical yellow cloud can only be used by those with a pure heart, and flies at a speed of Mach 1.5.
Still, the Kaio-ken was Goku's trump card until a fateful battle on the planet Namek against the tyrannical Lord Frieza. Frieza pushed Goku past his limit both physically and mentally, allowing Goku to achieve the legendary form of Super Saiyan. There are 4 different levels of Super Saiyan, each of which increases his power. Like Kaio-Ken, the Super Saiyan forms can burden Goku's body, but he has trained to minimize this. At Full Power Super Saiyan 1, Goku's base power is multiplied by 50. At Super Saiyan 2, he is twice as strong as Super Saiyan 1. Super Saiyan 3 multiplies the strength of Super Saiyan 2 by 4, extends his golden hair even longer, and can destroy his body if he uses it for too long. However, Goku's ultimate form is Super Saiyan 4 which multiplies Super Saiyan 3 by 10 and alters Goku's body to withstand the overall 4,000 times increase in power. He also used to have the Great Ape, or Ozaru, form, which only multiplied his power by 10 and made him into a giant ape, but it required a full moon to use as well as for Goku to have a tail. Getting back to the Super Saiyan forms, each transformation higher than Super Saiyan 1 causes Goku to lose more and more of his self-control and makes him more violent and instinct prone.
Goku's greatest strength is his Tenacity, Never Give Up attitude, and his reason for fighting. According to the Dao of Dragon Ball "Goku does not fight to defeat others. He fights to defeat himself." However, this may also be his greatest weakness as well. Goku prefers his opponents fighting at their best, finding it more fun than when an opponent is holding back or at a weaker level than they can be at. He also is too forgiving at times. He has a limited amount of Ki, and his super forms drain energy. He also must have oxygen even though he can survive in a vacuum. Goku also isn't the sharpest sword in the armory. He has had no formal education in his life and only had basic schooling from Roshi.
However, Goku understands his own strengths and weaknesses. To him, formal education is a waste of time when he's already a genius fighter. He has amazing ingenuity on the battlefield and he improves with every fight. That is the whole point of Goku: To become stronger in large bursts. He has overcome every obstacle he's faced thus far because of this. Goku may just be the greatest Martial Artist in fiction.
- Frieza: What...what are you!?Goku: I am the hope of the universe! I am the answer to all living things that cry out for piece! ALLY TO GOOD, NIGHTMARE TO YOU!
Superman: Kal-El was born to the high-class scientist Jor-El on the planet Krypton. He narrowly escaped it's destruction when his parents sent him to Earth in hopes that he would be a preserver of human life and the bridge between the two worlds. He landed on Earth in front of Jonathan and Martha Kent, who discovered his abilities and kept them a secret until he was older. They adopted him and named him Clark Joseph Kent. At his prime, Clark was 39 years old, stood 6 feet 3 inches, or 190.5 centimeters tall, and weighed 225 pounds, or 102 kilograms. He is married to Lois Lane and is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter. When Clark's parents told him of his Kryptonian side, he refused it, subconsciously developing his own barriers to his true heritage, which blocked him from obtaining his true full power. His goal in life was to tear down these barriers and cause himself to be as strong as he could. After graduating college in two years and traveling as a secret superhero, Clark ended up in Metropolis and got a job at the Daily Planet. But when he needed to, he donned the red and blue costume he's known for and became Superman, defender of Truth, Justice, and the American Way...until he renounced his American citizenship. To keep his identity a secret, Clark used nerdy glasses, wimpy demeanor, and a severe personal limit to his powers, proving that people only see what they want to believe.
Superman's power seems to flux in and out, but there is a reason for this. Superman gains his power through sunlight. He constantly absorbs energy from the sun, which both gives him his powers and heals him. However, this has a limit. Any sun source under 2,700 kelvins, or a red sun, will nullify his powers, which is why Kryptonians didn't have these same powers on Krypton. Anything between 2,700 and 5,500 Kelvins is a yellow sun, like Earths, and this is the solar energy Superman absorbs. If the sun is brighter than 5,500 Kelvins, it is a blue sun and can actually give Superman even more powers. For this scenario though, we're using Superman under the power of a Yellow Sun. So in this case, according to the Superman Super Site if "You take away a yellow sun, you slowly take away Superman's powers." Also, since Solar Energy gets weaker the farther it is from the source, the closer Superman is to the sun, the more sunlight he'll absorb. In Justice League: Our Worlds at War, Superman spent 15 minutes inside the sun. When he came out, he was able to move planets with little effort. And after spending 15,000 years inside the sun in one story, Superman became a God.
But, for his normal powers, Superman can hear sounds millions of miles away and through the vacuum of space, see through anything other than lead with his X-Ray vision, use his Electromagnetic Spectrum vision to see things moving faster than light, including The Flash, use his Microscopic vision to see things up to a sub-atomic level, use his Telescopic vision to see things in space really far away, and can see a person's aura with his Theta Vision. Yes, Superman can see your soul. He can fly at high speeds, and can even help other people fly as long as he's touching them, like he did with Lois Lane one time. He has incredible strength and speed, and has a healing factor with his sunlight. His Super Breath can create Hurricane-force winds, his Arctic Breath can freeze enemies solid, and of course, he has Heat Vision. It can extend its reach to anything in Superman's sight, and can even reach temperatures hotter than the sun itself. It's maximum temperature is unknown, but, according to the Superman Homepage, "Heat Vision drains his power faster than any other ability." Superman can amp up his Heat Vision to even incinerate entire planets. Also, with precision, heat vision can reach microscopic levels invisible to the human eye enough to give someone a lobotomy if given the chance.
Superman can vibrate his body fast enough to phase through attacks or even turn invisible. By vibrating at just under light speed, Superman can use the Infinite Mass Punch, which is an attack he learned from The Flash. This uses a lot of energy, and the Speed Force regulates durability if necessary, meaning that Survival is ensured. It can destroy planets because of the fact that it hits at a force of 10 octillion megatons (10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). To compare, the Tsar, the most powerful bomb mankind has ever tested, exploded at a force of 50 megatons. So, the Infinite Mass Punch explodes at the strength of 200 Septillion (200,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) Tsar Nukes.
Superman has incredible intellect. He has a brain as smart as a supercomputer. He has a Perfect Photographic Memory, is a technological genius, is a master tactitian, the ability to read and memorize DNA, and was taught all remaining Kryptonian Knowledge from Jor-El's consciousness. He can process info faster than a normal human and can plan even while traveling 8 times the speed of light.
He is also a martial artist as well. He's trained in pressure point combat with Batman, and is an expert in disabling his opponents thanks to hand-to-hand combat with Wonder Woman and Boxing with Wildcat. He even fought demons in Valhalla with Wonder Woman and Thor for 1,000 years. Martian Manhunter taught him how to protect his mind using psychic barriers, and has precise muscle control. He also studied two Kryptonian Martial Arts: Torquasm-Rao, which causes Superman to enter the Theta state, which is a real life phenomenon in which a person becomes extremely receptive to information and instinct, and Torquasm-Vo, with which Superman can fight off mind domination and illusions. With this training as well as help from Mongul the Second, Superman was able to tear down the walls he made against himself, which told him stuff like how he needed to eat and breath air still.
Even so, some of Superman's feats are incredible. He was able to obliterate an F5 Tornado with a single clap, was stuffed between two planets that were colliding and survived, held a miniature black hole in his hand, and was able to drag the earth around after a small hook-up from Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern. He's survived several supernovas and an attack from Cold Cast that had the strength of 15 Supernovas at once. He's protected by a bio-electric aura anytime he takes a hit. According to the Superman Homepage, "His bio-electric aura is just above his skin, so his skin-tight costume is protected."
However, Superman still has his share of weaknesses. Superman requires constant solar energy, so if he remains out of sunlight for too long or if he takes too much damage, his energy can be depleted over the course of a battle. This is how the infamous monster Doomsday was able to kill him (or as they put it in the comics: "Put him into a healing coma"). He also has several specific weaknesses such as the well-known Kryptonite, radioactive fragments of Krypton that drain his solar energy and severely weakens his muscles. According to the Superman Super Site, "Any prolonged exposure will eventually kill him". He also has absolute 0 resistance to magic, and this includes magical weapons, like, say, a magic stick. Lastly, Superman fights not to improve himself, but to protect and defend others. Even the buildings in Metropolis are more important to him than his own life...most of the time. But, he's still a huge threat to anyone who dares to challenge him.
- Superman: I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard! Always taking special care not to break something! To break someone! What we have here is a rare opportunity for me to cut loose and show you just how powerful I really am.
Alright, the combatants are set. Let's finally, after so long, end this heated debate and most requested Death Battle ever once and for all. No need for a commercial because IT'S TIME FOR A DEATH BATTLE!
The scene starts off in Metropolis. Just a normal day for the city until...
"Look, it's a bird..."
"It's a plane..."
"IT'S GONNA KILL US!"
A plane that lost part of its wing is nose diving towards the citizens and they start running away. But soon, Superman (voiced by ItsJustSomeRandomGuy) comes in to save the day once again, humming the 1978 Superman theme. He happily claims "Don't worry folks, this looks like a job for Super-whoa!" Superman narrowly avoids part of the plane hitting a building. We cut to later where we see a news report on TV about Superman saving the plane from crashing into the city.
Turns out it's being watched by the cast of the Dragon Ball series. Krillin (voiced by Lanipator) claims "Superman, huh? Wow, he looks really stong." Vegeta (Also voiced by Lanipator) scoffs "What, that pretty boy ass clown? Please, I could kill him with my eyes closed! Much faster than that stupid transforming hedgehog" referencing his fight with Shadow. They continue watching and Chi-Chi (Voiced by Hnilmik) throws in a comment. "Just look at him, wearing his underwear on the outside. I bet it chafes!" but soon, Goku (voiced by MasakoX) tells her "Don't be so sure." Goku is looking out to the see. "I sense him. He's strong. Stronger than anyone I've ever fought." Chi-Chi asks if he's serious and Goku happily claims "Finally, someone who's as strong as me!" he twirls Chi-Chi around happily, but the mood is ruined when Roshi (voiced by Lanipator as well) states he heard Superman is an alien. Goku, given his previous experiences, says that "It's only a matter of time before he destroys the planet!" Goku suits up and calls for Nimbus, flying out to fight the Man of Steel.
We cut to the actual scene of the fight, in 3D. Superman stands atop the Daily Planet building and hears Goku coming for him. He turns and sees Goku standing on Nimbus. Goku says hi, and Superman says hi back, confused as to what's going on. Goku says they should fight. Superman says that's not his thing, but Goku doesn't give him much choice, launching a small yellow ki sphere at him. Superman knocks it away and punches Goku off the cloud. The two land on the street. Goku happily says "Oh boy, this is gonna be fun!" Superman exclaims "You're insane!"
The two fighters circle around before Goku throws a punch at Superman. He gets knocked back a bit before Goku goes up to him and they start hitting each other rapidly. Superman goes forward a bit, allowing Goku to kick him in the back. Goku attempts to attack Superman again after kicking off of a building, but Superman is ready for him, punching him in the gut and sending him to the other side of Metropolis. Superman follows Goku and rapidly punches him saying "You're outmatched, give up!" Goku uses a Kaio-Ken to make himself stronger and Superman, wondering what Goku just did, gets sent flying from a knee to the face. Goku gives chase and kicks him, then follows again and throws an energy blast at Superman, sending him to the ground. Goku fires a volley of energy shots, but Superman, with the help of Torquasm-Rao, sees which way the energy will fly and uses it to get past Goku before rapidly hitting him and circling him simultaneously, before Goku is sent flying into a building. Goku realizes he can't move. Superman asks "So, you're an alien too, huh?" Goku wants to know what happened and Superman states he hit Goku through pressure points. While Superman is explaining, Goku pulls out and eats a Senzu Bean with his telekinesis, healing himself and allowing him to move again. He offers Supes one, who flatly states "No." before destroying the bag with heat vision. He then states "I'm ending this, now." and he throws a punch at Goku.
However, Goku begins glowing yellow from the Super Saiyan transformation and catches his punch. Superman is confused as to what's going on, giving Goku the chance to hit him rapidly. Supes asks Goku what's going on, but Goku flies forward, faking Superman out and attacking him from behind. He exclaims "I am Son Goku! And I...AM A SUPER SAIYAN!" while hitting Superman up and onto the roof of what is actually the LexCorp building. Goku then fires a Kamehameha which destroys the LexCorp building. When the smoke settles, Superman is standing and looking up. He says "Huh, this might take a while", before dropping to his knees from a nearby piece of Kryptonite. Goku prepares to attack Superman, but notices he's suddenly in pain. Goku wonders if the rock is hurting Supes. Goku aims a volley and fires it...right at the Kryptonite. Supes wants to know why Goku would do that and Goku answers "I wanna beat you at your best. It's no fun if it's not fair." Supes thanks Goku, right as the latter kicks the former in the face. We see the two of them bouncing off each other as they fight across the city.
Goku wins the struggle and hits Superman to the ground before using the After Images on him. Superman just walks up to one and punches it in the face, not being affected by the illusion thanks to Torquasm-Ro. Goku gets ready for another attack, but before he can, Superman zooms to right behind Goku, leaving the other confused. Superman picks up a car and slams it down onto Goku, telling him to watch his blind spot next time, but Goku transforms to Super Saiyan 2. Superman's reaction: "Huh. Deja Vu." Goku unleashes a large amount of energy spheres, but Superman destroys them all with heat vision and then blasts Goku in the back with it. He picks up a lamppost and home runs Goku with it. While in mid-air, Goku pulls out the Power Pole in time to home run the lamppost that Superman apparently threw at Goku before he zooms over to Superman and starts hitting him with the magical object. While Superman tries to recover himself from the attack, Goku extends the power pole, slamming Superman into a building, before the martial artist runs over and hits Superman through a building. Goku asks "The game's not as fun when you're losing, is it?" Superman responds with "Game? You think this is a game? I haven't even begun to play." He flies off towards the sun. Goku senses where Superman is going, which seems to be somewhere where the sun is higher in the sky.
Goku teleports over to in front of where Superman will be using Instant Transmission and smacks Superman into the ground with the Power Pole. Goku swings the pole around in an attempt to side-swipe Superman, but Superman grabs the pole, slams Goku to the opposite side of him, rips the pole out of Goku's hands and hurls it towards the sky. Goku uses this opening to transform to Super Saiyan 3. Superman has an "Oh Great" moment right before Goku punches him in the face. Goku than rapidly kicks Superman in the face. While Superman is in mid-air, Goku uses this chance to grab Superman and use the Dragon Throw on him, hitting him into the ground multiple times before throwing him. Superman just comes back and starts rapidly punching Goku, who holds a defensive stance. Goku wonders what makes Superman so strong and attempts to read his mind, but Superman's psychic barriers keep Goku from doing so and leave him wide open to be attacked. Superman flies towards Goku. Goku attempts to use Solar Flare on Superman to blind him, but Superman seems more angry than he does hurt. Superman's response: "My turn!" he then blasts Goku with a huge beam of heat vision. However, soon the battlefield starts changing with small parts of negative space and clouds forming in the sky. Superman starts to get worried and we see Goku has gone into Super Saiyan 4. Superman states "Here we go again." Goku tells him "Nobody is stronger than Super Saiyan 4, my ultimate form!" Superman isn't impressed. "Ultimate form, huh? About time you ran out of hairstyles."
The two slowly rise into the air and fly towards each other, hitting each other blow for blow with the other countering. Goku, however, eventually gets the jump on Superman hitting him from above. Superman attempts to freeze Goku using his Arctic Breath, but it does little to Goku, who lands a hit on Superman. Goku is able to land a blast on Superman. Superman realizes he doesn't have much solar energy left and that he has to get above the dark clouds that have formed. When he flies up, Goku follows him, readying and firing a Kamehameha at Superman. Superman counters back with a large shot of heat vision. They become deadlocked in a Beam-O-War until Goku uses a Kaio-Ken and is finally able to overpower Superman and send him flying...right into the sun.
Goku thinks the fight is finally over, now back to his base form. But he is then able to sense Superman's energy, realizing that Superman is using the sun. Goku then uses the Sun's energy to create the Spirit Bomb, but the longer it takes to charge, the more sun energy Superman is absorbing. Superman finally emerges from the sun and Goku finally gets the Spirit Bomb at full power. Goku goes Super Saiyan and absorbs the Spirit Bomb into Ki energy and fires the blast towards Superman, who flies towards Goku to attack him. He gets through the Ki laser and eventually, the planet starts disintegrating. Goku goes into Super Saiyan 4 and launches one final attack using the Dragon Fist while Superman counters with the Infinite Mass Punch. The result completely destroys the earth and incinerates Goku in the process. Superman is then seen floating through space, and when the sunlight hits his face, Superman's eyes open. He then flies off to do who knows what while all that remains of Goku is one of his boots.
That's it! The most requested Death Battle has finally ended! Superman may not be as tenacious as Goku, but sometimes tenacity only prolongs the inevitable. Superman's insanely powerful. He can even patch up holes in reality with just his own static electricity! So time to clear up some things.
First, given that neither fighter knows the details about the other in a Death Battle, Goku would not understand Superman's connection to the sun, so he wouldn't think to teleport him to a planet with a red sun. Not to mention he wouldn't think there'd be a difference anyway given his lack of intelligence. Even if you did ignore those and say Goku did understand the difference and would teleport Superman, he'd run the risk of teleporting Supes to a planet with a blue star, which would only make things worse for Goku since Superman would get even more power. And if Goku blew up the sun, the resulting supernova would blast past mars and incinerate Goku while Superman would still be alive. So this fight comes down to who is stronger, faster and tougher. Let's start with Superman.
Superman's Strength: Superman once moved the planet around after hooking up with it like a tow truck with Green Lantern's help. The force needed to move an object 1% out of the sun's orbit is about .001 times the mass of the object. Earth's mass is recorded at about 6.6 Sextillion tons (6,600,000,000,000,000,000,000). This means that Superman's strength is 6.6 Quintillion tons (6,600,000,000,000,000,000). But since Superman's solar power can rise infinitely, this is far from his limit. At one point, Superman actually lifted 200 Quintillion tons (200,000,000,000,000,000,000).
Superman's Speed: While being timed by Max Lord, Superman flew to The Sun and back. That's a distance of 93,000,000 miles or 150,000,000,000 kilometers. It took him less than 2 minutes, meaning he flew at 5.9 billion mph (5,900,000,000) or 9.4 billion kmph (9,400,000,000). However, the whole time he was fighting Wonder Woman, meaning he must be able to go faster. According to Batman, he can fly at least 17 billion kmph (17,000,000,000).
Superman's Durability: Superman has survived multiple supernovas, each one with the force of at least 10 octillion megatons as stated with the Infinite Mass Punch earlier.
So Superman's feats and stats are easily measurable. Goku's, however, are not easily measurable. In fact it's hard to judge them. Not only does Dragon Ball heavily abuse cinematic time, but Goku's final adventures in Dragon Ball GT are incredibly inconsistent due to him transforming into a child. Since Ki depends on the physical body of the user, his child form likely couldn't handle his own Ki, causing his power to go into flux. So, like with Superman, we have to judge Goku in his prime, which was during the Z saga. The best, and most foolproof, way is to use what Wiz and Boomstick call the Gravity formula, built upon the fact that Saiyans increase their abilities based around the amount of gravity they train under. While in base form, Goku was able to lift just under 40 tons, which was equal to 586 times normal gravity. So, the formula is this: The stat for Goku in base form at 1x Earth's Gravity x 586 x Super Saiyan Multipliers = Goku's Maximum Potential.
Goku's Strength: So, using only that 40 tons Goku lifted, we multiply that times 4,000, meaning Goku's potential in Super Saiyan 4 is 160,000 tons, which is strong enough to lift a continent.
Goku's Speed: Right after training at 10 times Earth's Gravity on King Kai's planet in Heaven, Goku flew across Snake Way to get back to his friends. It took him 28 hours to do so, which is impressive given that it's 1,000,000 kilometers long or 621,371 miles...or at least it would be. Goku flew straight over Snake Way, which is filled with curves. So we need to find out how far he actually traveled. Well, by comparing Goku's height to a single spike, each curve can be measured. Then, you remove the distance each curve makes from the overall length. So Goku really flew 307,000 kilometers, or 191,000 miles. Meaning that Goku flew at a speed of 11,000 kmph or 6,800 mph. Still impressive though. Now, we divide that speed by ten and then plug it into the gravity formula and find out that Goku's top speed in Super Saiyan 4 is 2,574,000,000 kmph or 1,600,000,000 mph, which is 2.3x the speed of light.
Goku's Durability: We can determine Goku's durability through a bomb created by Dr. Gero, a mad scientist who created the bomb to kill Goku at 25 years old when he wasn't able to go Super Saiyan and when his maximum strength was Kaio-Ken times 4 against Vegeta's Galick Gun. Scans of the bomb show a TNT measurement of 657 at max. Bulma stated in the Japanese dub that it might just blow up the earth, so this might be in quadrillion megatons since it takes at least 53 quadrillion megatons to blow up the earth. So we divide 53 quadrillion megatons by 10 from increased gravity and then again by 4 due to the Kaio-Ken multiplier and then plug that into the gravity formula, making Goku's durability equal to 34.7 sextillion megatons.
Goku's Ki Output: Goku doesn't just rely on physical attacks. There's also his ki attacks. While it's nearly impossible to measure how much ki Goku can use, we can measure how much Ki Goku can fire in one shot at maximum. Goku's attacks don't force him backwards unless he wants them to. When firing directly upward, the ground beneath Goku's feet stays where it is. So, if we go by Newton's Third Law: Every Action has an equal and opposite reaction, this means Goku is able to launch ki with the same amount of force as his durability, which we just calculated thanks to Dr. Gero's bomb.
So, now that we have all the stats measured, let's take a side-by-side comparison.
Strength: Goku: 160,000 tons without ki. Superman: at least 6.6 quintillion tons.Speed: Goku: 2.5 billion kmph. Superman: at least 9.4 billion kmph.Durability: Goku: 34.7 sextillion megatons. Superman: at least 10 octillion megatons.
Not even a close one. Now we can continue to throw around feats and equations, but numbers can't measure the greatness of these characters. They're both ultimate heroes, solutions to the toughest of problems, and achievers of the impossible. The difference is in their character types. Goku has never meant to be invincible, but rather meant to overcome his own limits in order to solve the task at hand. Superman, however, is not a story of becoming stronger, but of accepting his heritage. After he has accepted his Kryptonian Side, that is when Superman is at his full potential, which is limitless thanks to the power of the sun. So what happens when you put a man with the ability to break limits against a man who has none? Well, only one has the limits to give everything that they have.
Goku vs. Superman contains examples of:
- Always Someone Better: As the post-match analysis dictates, Superman is this to Goku. As powerful as Goku is, Superman is in an entirely different league of his own.
- Beam-O-War: Goku's Kamehameha vs. Superman's heat vision. Goku wins the power struggle, but it knocks Superman into the sun, giving him the power boost he needs to win.
- Blood Knight: Goku clearly enjoys the challenge Superman is giving him, something that disturbs the Man of Steel.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: In the end, Superman dominates Goku in basically everything. Wiz best sums it upWizard:We can compare feats and throw equations around, but in the end, numbers cannot measure what Goku and Superman are capable of. They are both ultimate heroes, solutions to daunting problems, and achievers of the impossible. The difference is at the core of their character. Goku has never been invincible; he has very clear limits and must overcome those limits to solve the problems at hand. That's the whole point. On the other hand, Superman's story is not about the fight to become the best, but of an immigrant facing the challenge of home versus heritage. After accepting his alien side, Superman has reached his full potential, which under the endless power of the sun is essentially limitless. In short, Superman is as strong as he needs to be. So what happens when you pit a man with the power to break any limits against another who has no limits in the first place? Well, only one has limits to give at all.
- Enhanced Punch: The fight climaxes with Goku's Dragon Fist vs. Superman's Infinite Mass Punch, with the latter easily overpowering the former.
- Excuse Plot: Superman lampshades Goku's reason for fighting to the death. Goku thinks Superman will destroy the planet because he's an alien, despite Superman clearly being a good guy and Goku is also an alien.
- Hurl It into the Sun: Goku attempts to blast Superman into the sun with a Kamehameha. While he is able to do it, he realizes too late that not only does Superman survive, he gains power from absorbing solar radiation and being within the sun further amplifies his powers.
- Insane Troll Logic: Goku takes on Superman because since he is an alien, that means he will try to destroy Earth; conveniently ignoring Superman just saved an airliner and Goku is an alien as well.
- Irony: Goku challenges Superman to a fight because he thinks Superman will destroy Earth. Guess how the fight ends.
- Mythology Gag:
- Some of the attacks Superman uses against Goku were taken from his previous animated outings, such as:
- Punching someone through multiple buildings.
- Dodging an attack by moving to the side and slightly forwards while not changing his posture.
- Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs while flying in a circle around his target
- His opponent circling him in super speed only for him to intercept them with a simple punch.
- Goku also swung Superman around and threw him to the horizon, who comes back with a Meteor Move very much like the one in Justice League Unlimited.
- Also, Superman smashes a car on Goku at a 45 degree angle, front bumper first, a clear reference to Action Comics #1, Superman's first appearance.
- Goku's Punch Catch resembles the times he did it to Lord Slug and Broly.
- Some of the attacks Superman uses against Goku were taken from his previous animated outings, such as:
- Physical God: Superman and Goku are strong enough to take on gods in their respective universes.
- Pummel Duel: Inevitable, really.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Superman wins the fight against Goku at the cost of destroying the Earth.
- Reality Ensues: In his home series, Goku has only fought opponents that were just as obsessed with fighting as he was. When he comes across Superman, it's a different story. Not only does Superman refuse to fight, he even thinks Goku is insane for endangering the whole planet just for the sake of a fight. During the fight, Superman attempts to defeat his opponent non-lethally but Goku keeps escalating the struggle until Superman is forced off to take the kid gloves.
- Running Gag: One that isn't even from this series; the classic Team Four Star gag of "Kaio-ken!" "Kaio-what?" *punch*.
- Soldier vs. Warrior:
- Goku is the Warrior. He openly enjoys a good fight and trains himself to be strongest fighter he can be. He has always seen fighting as a way of self-improvement, only wants to fight opponents at their full strength and even compliments opponents who help him push himself harder. He doesn't take a fight seriously unless his enemy can stand up to him or has done something to piss him off, like threatening his friends and family. Goku is a good person and a hero, but his passion for fighting can cloud his better judgment.
- Superman is the Soldier. He fights not for himself, but to protect others. His first and foremost concern is to save people from danger; as such, he will attempt to disable his opponents in the quickest and most efficient way possible without killing them.note Superman only sees fighting as a form of protection and will only use his full power when he has no other choice.
- Take That!: Boomstick says that with all his powers, Superman might as well be invincible. Wiz disagrees... while showing footage from the much-maligned Superman 64.
- White-and-Grey Morality: Superman is just minding his own business while Goku barges in and asks for a fight after witnessing his power. Superman initially attempts to defeat Goku non-lethally but Goku's relentless determination escalates the fight.
- You're Insane!: Superman says this verbatim when Goku challenges him for no other reason than for a good fight.