If you are a fan of superheroes at any level, be it a super fan or casual moviegoer, you have almost certainly had an argument with some friends or strangers about who the best superhero is. Well, if science is to be believed, we now have an answer. According to a recently published academic study, Superman is the winner.
The study was done by students at the University of Leicester who recently published the results of their findings in honor of Superman day, which is June 12. The research was conducted by students of the university over the course of seven years in order to "use scientific principles to examine the feasibility of the powers behind renowned comic book superheroes." And according to their findings, Superman is the "best-equipped" superhero around.
"Seven years of student-led research into superheroes between 2009-2016 suggests Superman could be the best-equipped superhero of all, with a number of abilities including the 'Super Flare' attack and possession of high density muscle tissue."
The study looked at 12 different superheros from both the Marvel and DC camps of various power levels and popularity. The study looked at Superman, Wolverine, Thor, Mystique, The Flash, Black Bolt, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, The Lizard and Iceman. Superman ultimately came out on top but was followed very closely by Wolverine and Thor, according to a couple of charts that the university included in their study. The study highlighted some of the reasons that a few of these other heroes were near the top spot.
"Wolverine, Thor and Mystique are also in the upper-tier of superheroes, having accelerated regenerative abilities, high energy output and being capable of gene manipulation. Black Bolt is likely the single most destructive superhero based on a high energy output capable of resulting in planetary annihilation."
The study used many simple calculations to determine the feasibility and practicality of every hero's skill set and also looked at their weaknesses when weighed against their strengths. Though Thor did not come out on top, it is worth noting that the study was not able to find a weakness for the God of Thunder. Silver Surfer and Black Bolt also didn't have a weakness listed, but still ultimately lost out to the Man of Steel. As for how Batman faired? Well, even though he is popular and managed to beat Superman both on film and in the comics, that very likely wouldn't be the case in real life according to the study.
"Student calculations suggest the most ill-equipped superhero could be Batman, who would struggle to survive a landing after gliding due to the velocity of his movement."
Sorry Batman fans. In any case the study did take a very small sample size and left out an awful lot of very powerful heroes and villains such as Thanos, Galactus, Cable and Doctor Strange, just to name a few. Be sure to check out the charts from the study below. Do you agree with their findings or do you still think Batman could take Superman in a fight?