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I Have Issues 25

The 20 Greatest Superman Fights

Part 1

Like everyone else I saw this.

It looks like even if the movie sucks the action is finally going to be accurate for a Superman fight! Something I and many other Superman fans have been dying to see as the best current Superman live action fight is from Superman 2 and is to say the least outdated. So in a four part series I am going to be showcasing 20 great Superman fights from the comics. Unlike the last times I did fight lists I am not going to be doing them in order of greatness. One reason is because everyone has their own opinions of what are the best fights and who am I to tell anyone they are wrong. The second reason is because it just gives me a headache. Thinking what should go where is just too many brain cells wasted on something that should be fun! So without further ado lets go to the cards!

Superman VS. The Kryptonian Super-Criminals ( Action Comics 846,851 and Action Comics annual 11, 2007-08)

Yes you read that right this battle took place over two years! 

That's just because Adam Kubert couldn't maintain his deadlines and the story had whole arcs in the middle of it. 

The criminals heat vision the hell out of the daily planet and just as Superman is pulling the jacket apart to reveal the S he is stomped from behind by Non, the brute of the three criminals. Being shoved through three buildings and into the ground of the park he rises up and punches Non. Non simply spits out a tooth and pushes Superman into the ground, holding him there for Zod. 

After a short conversation of Zod introducing himself, he punts Clark! Non flies in but is uppercut into the atmosphere as Zod goes into the test of strength with Kal son of Jor El. Suddenly countless space pods fall from the skies releasing even more Kryptonian criminals. Zod sends Kal into the Phantom Zone. 

After a time Superman finds his way back to the real world. Superman is shocked to find Metropolis has been left like an abandoned city with a faux crystal fortress of solitude created right in the middle. In this fortress the criminals have gathered Lois, Supergirl, Batman and various other heroes. 

Out-manned and outgunned, Superman finds Lex and request his help to defeat the criminals as Luthor is the expert on trying to kill Kryptonians. Luthor corrects Superman in that the hero will be helping him, not the other way around. Luthor has formed the Superman Revenge squad with Bizarro, Metallo and Parasite. He also has created red sun rifles to weaken Kryptonians and Green K rifles to kill them.

The U.S. Army is first up as they cruise into Metropolis and the Kyptonians go wild until Zod reaches the General and asks him for the total surrender of everyone on Earth (as if he could authorize something like that!) It’s then Supes comes in Rambo style with the Luthor rifles. The Revenge squad folows with Bizarro going toe to toe with Non and Metallo using Gold Kryptonite to take away some of the criminals powers sending them falling from the sky. 

In one of the greatest Lex moments he is attacked by a Kryptonian and uses a Kryptonite dust grenade to choke him up, he then fires a rifle to set the criminal on fire and then uses a single Kryptonite bullet to kill him. He then says, “So this is what it feels like to kill a Kryptonian. Feels Good.” 

Superman releases the rest of the heroes captured and together they work together to stop the criminals. 

Of course it ends up with Superman versus Zod above the streets of Metropolis where Kal proves that one on one Zod ain't shit compared to him. 

Superman VS. Darkseid (Action Comics 586, 1987)

This is another short but sweet one. I scoured my back issues for a proper throw down between these two and surprisingly couldn't find one. I even reread Final Crisis! Nope I still do not understand what the hell is going on in that story. It did have pretty pictures though! Anyway I was about to give up with the thought that maybe the reason I thought the two had a great brawl other than In the cartoons is because of this game.

Remember this one?

So I came across this story which is the first confrontation between post crisis Superman and Darkseid. Darkseid brings Supes to Apokolips via his eye blasts. On Apokolips Superman gets amnesia after battling some of the denizens of the hell planet and then is seduced (and gets busy!) with the rebel leader. The rebel leader known as Amazing Grace is actually a servant of Darkseid and uses the man of steel to put down the rebels and do battle with Orion and Lightray. In the end the New Gods use a mother box to return Superman’s memory and his costume to him.

Superman awakens from his amnesia and finds Darkseid’s eye blasts tracking him. 

Weaving all through the planet Superman finds and causes the beams to strike the Dictator himself. 

Darkseid survives his own blast and then pours it onto Superman but admits he needs time to recharge to get back to full strength. 

Supes has had enough and backhands the monster. A flurry of punches later and Darkseid sends the Kryptonian back to Earth via a mother box. 

The Deus Ex Machina, getting writers out of shit for thousands of years!

Superman vs. Thor (Avengers/JLA #2, 2003)

In the crossover that put more than a few comic fans into a nerd coma, we finally got to see the battle of the premier tough guys of their respective universes. Thor, Son of Odin God of Thunder vs Superman, Son of Jor-el the Man of Steel. In what could have had an entire issue devoted to it, 

We got a short but sweet fight.  Superman avoids the first Hammer blow and comes back with a swooping punch. Thor knocks Supes through a forest and Supes comes back with blazing heat vision. At first hurt by the blast Thor shrugs it off as he comes in for a deathblow with his Hammer. 

Thor strikes but Supes stops the hammer  with his hand and knocks Thor unconscious. 

Then the Avengers dog pile Superman and bludgeon/blast him into submission. Still it was finally settled, Superman is tougher then Thor, so put away your… but if Thor was the lord of Asgard he… no! shut it! Superman wins, Kurt Busiek said so!

And speaking of that Kurt Buseik fellow...

Superman vs Khyber (Superman 657-658, 2007)

In Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco’s awesome story Camelot Falls, we visit an alternate future where a supervillian named Khyber organizes the world’s villains into an all-out war with the heroes. 

Superman steps up to take Khyber down himself but Khyber uses nanotech poisons that sap away Superman’s powers and then throws the Man of Steel into the center of the Earth causing a huge explosion on the Earth that kills millions. 

Years later, Superman comes back his body cracked and burnt but pissed off as well. 

He flies Khyber above the Nuclear Winter in front of the Sun and beats the supervillian to within an inch of his life.

Superman VS. Muhammad Ali (Superman VS. Muhammad Ali One Shot, 1978)

So what happens when you put the Man of Steel in a boxing ring against “The Greatest” of all time? We’ll its certainly more exciting than when you put Ali against Antonio Inoki.

The fight is set up in order to determine who will be Earths champion. The fight also took place on a planet orbiting a red sun so Superman’s powers will not give him a competitive edge. 

Ali also trains Supes how to box which seems a little like a conflict of interest if you ask me. (I guess Joe Frazier was busy training Bugs Bunny to fight Bob Backlund or something?)

As expected it goes like this.

and this!
And ends up like this.

Still a cool moment in history as Superman comes across probably his worst beating until he meets Doomsday. But that is a fight for another time.

Help Peter David

By, J. Ryan Buck (

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Previous installments here


  1. This is great! I love these comic write-ups to keep me in the loop on history.

  2. Looking forward to part 2.

  3. Did superman ever fight the hulk?

  4. A couple times, it's coming up next week in part 2!

  5. Very well done by the way:)

  6. JLA/Avengers is one of my all-time favorite stories. I love Supes quoting Spinal Tap at the conclusion of the Thor fight.


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