DC’s Justice League has not quite shared the fame or fortune of Marvel’s Avengers in recent years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve some love. The comics are great, and while the DC movies, save for the recent The Suicide Squad, are not quite up to par with the age of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight films at the moment, the shows on the CW and on HBO Max have been killer. At any rate, Superman and company have always been a symbol of justice and moral upstanding, and the Justice League is an offshoot of that. So, let’s take a look at some of the most powerful members of the JL, and see what they have to offer.
7) Captain Atom
Captain Atom, a.k.a. Captain Nathaniel Adam of America’s Air Force, was framed for a serious felony and sentenced to death. Luckily for him, he was given the option to participate in a top-secret experiment instead. The test was a bit more than he bargained for, unfortunately, as he was put inside an alien spacecraft which was subsequently nuked by an atom bomb. Much like Watchmen‘s Dr. Manhattan, it seemed he was reduced to dust, but he somehow learned to reintegrate his atoms into a human form (with the ship’s metal surface permanently bonded to him). It only took eighteen years to learn that magic trick. Other than his incredibly durable exterior, he has the power to manipulate the quantum field, and has a generous amount of super-strength. Other than that, he can perceive cell phone and radio waves with his brain and inspect molecules without the need of a microscope. Even handier, he requires neither food, nor water, nor air, and he is nigh-indestructible. He can absorb energy and blast baddies with it, he can fly, create force fields, and he can even transmute material matter. He is nearly invincible save for one vulnerability: over-use of his powers weakens him. Oh, one other thing – he becomes more powerful with age. Don’t we all.
6) Wonder Woman
Relatively recently (in the comics), Wonder Woman has been identified as the daughter of Zeus and the God of War. Those are some pretty big stripes on her suit. She has super strength, super speed, and the power of flight. Further, she has unsurpassed fighting abilities and training that make her a master of all melee weapons. Equipped with magical equipment, her bracelets can deflect bullets, and her lasso of truth does just about what you’d expect when an opponent is caught in it. Wonder Woman has resistances to magic and temperature that surpass those of Superman. In DC Comics’ Post-Crisis universe, Wonder Woman’s abilities have been upgraded to include the power of Ares, the strength of Demeter, the speed of Hermes, and the wisdom of Athena.
Well, you thought he’d be number one on the list, but you were wrong. While Superman, an alien from Krypton sent to Earth as a baby before his home planet exploded, is incredibly powerful, he’s not all that. Still, Earth’s yellow sun gives him superhuman strength, speed, near invulnerability, flight, and vision capable of laser-like heat, x-ray, telescopic, microscopic, and infra-red inspection. Oh, he also has super hearing and freeze-breath. There have been a few other abilities manifested over the years, including the generation of solar flares and reversal of time via super-fast flight causing the Earth to spin counter to its orbit. One of his few weaknesses, other than magic, is the element known as kryptonite, which can weaken him to sub-human strength and even kill him.
4) Power Girl
Power Girl is a force to be reckoned with. She is actually an older, more experienced version of Supergirl from a different dimension. Supergirl herself has been shown on occasion to be stronger than her cousin, Superman, specifically when she bested Ultra Man (Superman’s evil alter-ego) with little trouble. But we can’t have two versions of the same person on this list, and Power Girl has a few tricks up her sleeve that Supergirl lacks. Like all Kryptonians, Power Girl has super strength, near invulnerability, flight, super speed, super hearing, freeze-breath, and all of those neat vision tricks listed above for Superman. However, and this is key, Power Girl has no weakness to kryptonite. Technically, this makes her more formidable than both Superman and Supergirl.
Billy Batson, a 12-year-old boy, had the uncanny luck to run into the wizard Shazam, who gifted him with the ability to transform into a superhuman grown-up by mentioning the old codger’s name. The name itself is an acronym describing the hero’s powers: S for Solomon’s wisdom, which is deep and profound, H for Hercules’s strength, which can move an entire planet, A for Atlas’s stamina, giving him near invulnerability for greatly extended periods of time, Z for Zeus’s power, giving him lightning-casting ability, A for Achilles’s bravery, rendering him immune to fear or despair, and M for Mercury’s speed, making him a very fast boy indeed. After the whole New 52 mess, he was given even more powers, including the Source Manipulation of Zonuz, the Strength of S’ivaa, the Boldness of Ate, the Fires of H’romneer, the Lightning of Mamaragan, and the Compassion of Anapel. Oh, and he can fly too. He’s been shown to have the ability to best even Superman in a fight. He is vulnerable to lightning and magic though.
2) Martian Manhunter
Superman himself called this man, “the most powerful being on the face of the Earth.” Now that is one solid stamp of approval. J’onn J’onzz, as he is known on Earth, can do just about anything the Kryptonians can do, including super strength, super durability, flight, and heat vision. But he also has super healing and heightened extrasensory perception. Most significantly, he is the most gifted telepath on the planet, and can even perform a bit of telekinesis. Did I mention he can manipulate his cells, allowing him to become intangible, phase through solid objects, and shape-shift? He can even make his composition denser than Superman’s, making him a more-than-worthy fight for the Man of Steel. His one weakness, sadly, is fire.
1) Doctor Fate
You may not have heard of this fella, because he makes his rounds through the Justice League sparingly. But he is one heavy hitter, worthy of top ranks on this list. Quite a few different people have taken on the mantle of Doctor Fate, but what’s important here is his power set, not his identity. All of his abilities stem from the magical amulet, helmet and cloak of an ancient sorcerer named Nabu. While his standard fare includes superhuman strength, invulnerability, magic, flight, telepathy, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis, he’s pretty much omnipotent and can do whatever he wants. He can travel to or send others to alternate dimensions, bring the dead back to life, mind control people, de-atomize armies, you name it… He can change the very fabric of reality if he feels like it. This is a guy who could make even Superman soil his red undies.
Lilly is still shocked Marvel introduced chaos theory.
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