ByEmily Browne, writer at
Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Everyone has their own opinions on who the best superhero is, it depends on many factors — who you grew up with, who looks the most awesome, who you think is the most powerful, who is the the best-equipped, etc. But has science just answered this question once and for all?

Students at the University of Leicester used scientific principals to examine who they believe to be the best superhero, based on how well-equipped they are, and who has the greatest chance of winning in a fight. Seven years of student-led research examined the pros and cons of superhero abilities, from The Flash's metabolism, Wolverine's healing process and Black Bolt's quasi-sonic scream. Using math they determined who, according to science, is the ultimate superhero.

University of Leicester Press Office
University of Leicester Press Office

A larger image of the above chart can be found here.

Who are the winners?

The findings proved that ruler of the Inhumans, Black Bolt, is likely the most destructive superhero, thanks to his planetary destruction. Thor, being a Norse God, is also a formidable force thanks to his high energy efficiency, while Wolverine and Mystique receive honorable mentions thanks to the uniqueness of their abilities.

Image: DC
Image: DC

However there can only be one winner, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it's the Man of Steel who walks away with the top prize. According to the findings, Superman's sheer variety of skills and incredible displays of power make him the best-equipped, and most powerful superhero, especially thanks to his Super Flare. The findings were released on Friday ahead of Superman Day, a pretty epic way to salute the son of Krypton. According to the paper:

Boasting a super-powered array of skills, Superman, if obeying the ‘Law of Energy Conservation’, could exhibit a calculated stored solar energy output of 7.07x105 Joules per second for his ‘Super Flare’ attack. It is also shown that the ‘Man of Steel’, in theory, could have higher density muscle tissue than the average human which could aid in several of his superhuman abilities.

Who are the losers?

It's a sad day for both the Ice Man and Gotham's Caped Crusader, who were named the 'most ill-equipped' superheroes. The paper determined that even though Batman's iconic cape is vital for gliding from location to location, he could reach speeds of up to 80km/ph — which would prove fatal if he tried to land in a hurry... Ouch.

Image: DC
Image: DC

According to the findings:

This inability to perform even the simplest of superhero feats suggest Batman would struggle to get off the ground, let alone save Gotham from the likes of The Joker and Bane.

Can the science be trusted?

As anyone who is into superheroes knows full well, no, it can not. The paper seeks to determine once and for all which superhero is best, but let's keep in mind that this study only took in to account the abilities of Superman, Wolverine, Mystique, Batman, The Flash, Thor, Iron Man, The Lizard, Spiderman, Ice Man, Silver Surfer and Black Bolt.

University of Leicester Press Office
University of Leicester Press Office

When you consider the sheer scope of Marvel, DC and beyond, there may be other superheroes that need to be taken into consideration. Where is Hulk? Captain America? Magneto? While there isn't much doubt that Superman is pretty damn powerful, does Batman really deserve this kind of scientific assassination?

Does this paper prove once and for all which superhero is the best?

Source: University of Leicester Press Office via


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