I don't honestly remember if I've posted this before, but I couldn't find it in the backlogs.
This is an exact reprint of a 1993 Wizard article, word for word... so if you don't like it, take it up with Wizard.
Let me know if you guys agree or disagree and maybe we can have a discussion about it. :-)
WIZARD'S TOP 10 TOUGHEST SUPERHEROES
It's the one debate that's been raging for over 50 years: "My favorite superhero can kick your favorite's @#$%&!" And there's never been a clear-cut answer. Until now.
What WIZARD has done is gathered up all the superheros in comic-dom, pitted them against one-another and determined not only who the top 10 most powerful superheros are, but how they placed on that top 10 list as well.
Our criteria for placement was as follows:
1. Only superheros allowed. No supervillians or ridiculously cosmic beings of a higher "universal" order (like Galactus, Highfather, Neron or Mephisto) allowed. And ...
2. This was treated as a no-holds-barred, do-or-die contest. Each character is giving it his all in the battles we've set before them.
With that said, meet the #10 man on the list ...
HIS DEAL: Caught in the heart of a gamma bomb explosion, genius scientist Dr. Robert Bruce Banner finds himself transformed into a 7-foot, one-ton green behemoth with near-unlimited strength, rapid tissue-regenerative powers and nigh-inexhaustible stamina.
WHY HE'S #10: "Hulk smash! ...and that's about it. Yeah, he may possess Banner's keen scientific mind and the ruthless cunning of Mr. Fixit, but on this list of supermen, warrior women and Norse gods, the Hulk's muscle just aint enough to overcome the #10 slot.
HIS DEAL: Trapped in an experimental nuclear reactor, high school student Ronnie Raymond and Prof. Martin Stein gained the ability to merge into the superhero Firestorm, a being with the ability to alter his own molecular density and the molecular configuration of all inanimate matter.
WHY HE'S #9: Ronnie's a young turk who's easily distracted, even with Stein playing the brainy scientist. While the Hulk's limited powers are something Ronnie could handle, any of the more varied attacks from the really diversified guys on this list would clean Ronnie's clock.
VS. HULK: One heavy-duty adamantium prison cell whipped up outta nowhere, and the Hulk is outta the fight in five seconds flat.
PROFESSOR X (#8)
HIS DEAL: Born a mutant, Prof. X is the world's most powerful telepath. Despite being wheelchair-bound, he can read minds and wipe minds clean.
WHY HE'S #8: While the good professor may possess the most powerful melon on Earth, his frail body would prove too much a liability against the powerhouses on this list.
VS. HULK: No contest. Prof. X would sense ol' Green-genes' thoughts from a mile away, and after having zero success trying to reason with him, turn ol' Jade Jaws into a green vegtable.
VS. FIRESTORM: Before Firestorm could think of a way to nix him, Prof. X. would "hear" his thoughts and force Stein and Raymond to seperate into their powerless civilian personas.
HIS DEAL: Making a deal with the devil, government assassin Al Simmons was resurrected with a price: finite magical powers capable of nearly any feat imaginable but, when exhausted, will drag him back to Hell to lead its forces against Heaven.
WHY HE'S #7: His fear of using his finite powers against the titans on this list would give his opponents an opportunity to get a second shot in --- which, against this crowd, would be one shot too many.
VS. HULK: Spawn has lost body parts in the past without sweating it too much, so while the greenskin goliath may punch an arm or two off, Spawny-guy here can take the punishment and blast the big guy to atoms.
VS. FIRESTORM: Though they have similar powers, Spawn has the edge in that he can also create things outta nothing. Bound by common physics, Firestorm wouldn't have aprayer against a guy who has the powers of hell behind him.
VS. PROF. X: When Chuck probes a disturbing alienish mind, he gets all disoriented -- and they don't come more disturbing than resurrected government hitmen/generals-in-training for Satan's war against Heaven. The second Charlie taps into Al's noggin, BAM! the Professor'd be stunned for a few seconds and that's all Al'd need to leave Chuck a stain in a wheelchair.
DR. STRANGE (#6)
HIS DEAL: As our dimension's Sorcerer Supreme, Steven Strange stands as the first and last line of defense against all magic-based menaces that threaten our dimension.
WHY HE'S #6: While he's beaten cosmic menaces to save the universe countless times, Doc Strange is only human with limited stamina, speed and reflexes.
VS. HULK: He's beaten the Hulk before (Hulk #300), and he'd do it again. Teleporting him to another dimension, forcing him to sleep, making the Hulk believe he's already won the fight and getting him to walk away ... the list goes on and on.
VS. FIRESTORM: Know how Spawn's mystical powers would overwhelm Firestorm? Doc's spellcasting would do it the same way. Just faster.
VS. PROF. X: Wouldn't Prof. X see him coming? Not when Dr. Strange steps out of a side dimension with a host of spells at the ready, kiboshing the Professor before he had time to spin his wheelchair around.
VS. SPAWN: Two things tip it in Doc's favor. First, he's been around a lot longer, traveled to countless dimensions with varied battlegrounds and has forgotten more mystic battles than Spawn's ever experienced. Secondly, while Spawn is cautious with his power, the Doc would just cut loose.
HIS DEAL: Wally West taps into the Speed Force, a universal force that gives him the ability to run, think and react at near-lightspeed.
WHY HE'S #5: It's next to impossible to react to this guy's attack. You're not going to see him coming, and by the time you realize he's there, he's already hit you a hundred times over.
VS. HULK: The Flash would just vibrate through the Hulk and , ewww, make him explode.
VS. FIRESTORM: For all his powers, Ronnie'd have no time to react to the Flash or even turn intangible. Flash would be all over this guy like white on rice.
VS. PROF. X: Knowing the Flash is one-tenth of a nanosecond away from clocking you isn't going to do you much good. Bye-bye, Chuck.
VS. SPAWN: 99 percent of Spawn's foes are just big hulking guys relying on raw power. The flash represents a foe unlike anything ol' Spawny-guy has ever faced, whereas Wally has dealt with magic-based foes before. This fight's over without Al ever knowing who clobbered him.
VS. DR. STRANGE: Same deal as Spawn. Doc Strange isn't going to know hitting him and isn't going to stay conscious long enough to find out.
WONDER WOMAN (#4)
HER DEAL: Spawned by Greek goddesses on the paradise island of Themyscira, Dianan is an immortal Amazon granted flight, incredible strength, speed, wisdom, and beauty.
WHY SHE'S #4: Raised an an Amazon warrior, Wonder Woman isn't just some muscle-bound brawler--- she's a highly skilled warrior who knows how to spot an enemy's weakness and exploit it.
VS. HULK: While the two are pretty evenly matched strength-wise, Diana gets the advantage with speed. flight and warrior skills. As cagey and sharp as the Hulk is, he isn't as skilled in tactical combat.
VS. FIRESTORM: Like Flash, Diana'd use superspeed to land one quick punch. And when you're as strong as the Hulk, that's about all you need.
VS. PROF. X: After countless battles of wills through fighting the Greek gods' magic and bending people to her will through her magic lasso, we see Wonder Woman being grabbed by Chuck telepathically. But a sluggish Diana either grabs the Prof with her lasso and commands him to stop or just hits him with some loose debris. Either scenario takes Charlie outta the fight.
VS. SPAWN: She could take the eraly hits Spawn would probably nail her with, but she wouldn't be hit by that many. Fueled by speed, strength and warrior know-how, Spawn goes down for the count.
VS. DR. STRANGE: Wonder Woman is based in magic, so while Doc is busy unsuccessfully trying to mess with her on that front (no way is he undoing the work of the Greek gods), Diana's superspeed has her on him from all fronts battering his shields with near-Superman-level strength. With that kind of onslaught, she's bound to tag him once, which is all she needs.
VS. FLASH: We see Diana hammered relentlessly by hundreds of blows from the as-good-as-invisible Flash. But between her nigh-invulnerability, superspeed and canny fighting prowess, she'd eventually detect a pattern in the Flash's attack and stun him with a glancing blow. Long enough for Diana to finish the job and then collapse.
HIS DEAL: Rocketed from the exploding planet Krypton, Clark Kent grew to adulthood on Earth to learn that this planet's yellow sun and weaker gravity gave him near-invulnerability strength, speed, stamina, hearing, etc. Calling himself Superman, he now fights the never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way!
WHY HE'S #3: This guy's name pretty much says it all. We've already see the power the Flash has as his command with superspeed, so when you mix in superstrength, heat vision, invulnerability and the other dozen powers at Supes' command, he becomes fairly unbeatable.
VS. HULK: We actually saw this already in Marvel vs. DC #3, which saw Supes coming out on top. While the Hulk can stand toe-to-toe in strength, Big Blue's superspeed, flight and heat vision put him over the top.
VS. FIRESTORM: While Supes would be in trouble if Firestorm got a bead on him (Firestorm once trapped Supes in a kryptonite bubble back in Fury of Firestorm #4), Supes' speed has him getting the drop on Ronnie, and ending the fight before it ever begins.
VS. PROF. X: Though Supes wouldn't take Chuck down as fast as the Flash did, it would only be by a half-second or so.
VS. SPAWN: For those of you not in the know, magic (along with kryptonite) is one of the few things that really cripples Supes. Good thing Supes' Flash-like speed lets him get in close to Spawn and take him down with a super-punch before Al even knows what hit him.
VS. DR. STRANGE: We see Supes having a lot more trouble with Doc than with Spawn, simply because Doc's a sorcery veteran. But even if he bounced off an initial deflective shield, no way can Doc get a bead on him for a direct attack. A superspeed delivered punch or zap of heat visionwraps up the flight in under a minute.
VS. FLASH: Yeah, the Flash is faster, but Supes ain't no slouch in the speed department, either, giving Wally only slight edge. Plus, like WW, Supes can take anything the Flash can dish out and eventually land a knock-out blow.
VS. WONDER WOMAN: Now this would be a cool fight! Fairly evenly matched with flight, strength and speed, Supes is still just a little tougher, a little faster and just a tad stronger. Diana would eventually tire, whileSupes is a living solar battery with enough power reserves to be the one (barely) standing at the end of the battle.
HIS DEAL: The actual Norse God of Thunder, Thor possesses "normal" Asgardian attributes including immorality, superstrength and nigh-invulnerability. He is armed with Mjolnir, the mystical war hammer capable of opening passageways through space and time, blocking all sorts of energy blasts and bending the elements to its master's will.
WHY HE'S #2: This guy is a Norse god warrior, trained and skilled in the art of battle. And he's been doing it for countless ages. Give him a magical hammer and the power over the elements, and he's unbeatable. Almost.
VS. HULK: The Hulk may be as tough and as strong as Thor, but Goldilock's got 'im beat in the skill department, seeing as how he's been fighting gods, armies, trolls and wizards for over a millennium. It might mean a couple days bed rest afterward, but Thor wins the belt in this bout.
VS. FIRESTORM: Surprised by the sheer force of the storm and unexpected lightening bursts. Firestorm loses his concentration and becomes tangible. Yeah, he wouldn't be beaten by the storm, but one shot from Mjolnir would knock the Nuclear Man senseless.
VS. PROF. X: Pushing himself to the limits in his search for the mind behind the storm buffeting the mansion (Mjolnir's magic at work), Prof. X detects Thor's presence seconds before Thor clobbers him into unconsciousness.
VS. SPAWN: Puh-lease! Thor's already faced down all sorts of demonic magic types like Hela (Asgard's ruler of Hel), so while Spawn may take some time to wear down, trapping him in the middle of a hurricane, hailing a blitzkrieg of lightening bolts on 'im and pounding him with Mjolnir would leave Al a pile of pulpy necroplasm.
VS. DR. STRANGE: Magic? No problema! You gotta remember that Thor's trusty hammer Mjolnir can handle any magic tossed Thor's way. Doc might as well be weaving a blanket instead of a spell, 'cause Thor'd make him say "good night".
VS. FLASH: Similiar to his bout with Wonder Woman, the Flash would get in some good shots against the Thunder God... but if it's one thing Thor has shown, it's that he can take punishment. Between the monstrous storm that'd spring up out of nowhere, dodging lightening bolts and whirlinghammers, the Flash would eventually be tagged and, well that'd be that.
VS. WONDER WOMAN: The collest fight on this whole list!!! Two super-strong, super-tough warriors battling it out with sheer power and skills in a battle that would leave both warriors horrifically wounded and completely exhausted... with Thor the last one standing. He's just tougher, with a billion more lifetimes of battle-experience beneath his belt.
VS. SUPERMAN: While Supes has the edge in speed and flight (Thor gets pulled by his hammer; he doesn't really fly.), once again Thor's warrior training and combat experience would give him the edge he needs to have more of his blows connect, eventually laying the Kryptonian flat. It's all in the name: Super-*Man*; Thor, *God* of Thunder.
SILVER SURFER (#1)
HIS DEAL: As the former herald of the world-devourer Galactus, Norrin Radd possesses he "power cosmic," an energy source capable of almost any feat imaginable, making him one of the most powerful beings in the cosmos.
WHY HE'S #1: The Surfer is the fringe character that seperates humanity from the omnipotence of Galactus or Eternity, making himtops on our list. His power cosmic is so powerful that it's not a matter of what the Surfer can do, it's what he can't. Matter-manipulation, the power reserves of stars, traveling at lightspeed ... he may even be able to create life. He's truely in a power class of his own.
VS. HULK: The Hulk may be physically stronger than the Surfer, but c'mon, our boy Norrin would never let the Hulk get near him. He'd zip up on the Hulk at near-lightspeed, unleash just a fraction of the power cosmic and, when the Hulk came to at the bottom of the smoking crater a couple days later, the Surfer'd be done kicking the crap out of the rest of the heros on this list.
VS. FIRESTORM: No contest. Whatever Ronnie can do, Norrin can undo. With the skill and far greater matter-manipulation power at his command, Firestorm rates a two-panel fight at best.
VS. PROF. X: Yeah, you guessed it, between the Surfer's incomprehensible speed and indomitable will, Prof. X may give the Surfer a run for his money in chess, but not in combat.
VS. SPAWN: The Surfer's faced down Mephisto, Marvel's version of Satan, so a Satan-flunkie like Spawn ain't gonna do much that the Surfer hasn't overcome before.
VS. DR. STRANGE: Dr. Strange is a human conduit of magic with human frailties, while the Surfer can stand at the center of a super-nova without breaking a sweat. It might take a couple of hours, but Strange would burn himself out trying to dent the Surfer.
VS. FLASH: Sorry, the SUrfer is faster than the Flash, with the power of the universe at his command. Once you take away his speed, Wally is just a guy. G'night, Wally.
VS. WONDER WOMAN: Diana may be a better fight, but the Surfer is faster, tougher and more powerful. Ten bucks says Wonder Woman's bracelets aren't up to deflecting the power cosmic.
VS. SUPERMAN: While Supes might land a couple of blows as the Surfer is trying to talk to him, our bald buddy Norrin could either hammer Supes into submission with the power cosmic or suck all the solar energy out of him with his energy manipulation powers.
VS. THOR: Surfer's power cosmic is fairly evenly matched with Mjolnir (whose magical properies aren't affected by the universe's laws of physics), which would absorb/deflect Surfer's power for a while. While Surfer couldn't do much physical damage to Thor, Thor would hammer the Surfer unconscious ... if he could hit'em. And even though Mjolnir could block Surfer's powerful blasts, some would eventually land. As the battle progressed, more and more of the Surfer's blows would connect until one super-blast of the power cosmic would put the Odinson down for the count. And the worst part? The Surfer, one of the most noble spirits in the universe, would search the rubble after the fight, grab Mjolnir and head off to Disneyworld.