Can Hulk Take on Superman the Man of Steel?

In light of the two wildly successful movies of late, fans of both major comic franchises have been asking each other and warring on forums across the reaches of cyberspace the only pertinent question when two veritable gods dominate the screen: who would win in a fight? We were privy to the Hulk’s awesome power in both the 2003 and the 2008 movies, in which the illimitable wrecking machine decided to smash until he could smash no more. Of course, although the film was successful financially, the reception for the first one was a bit mixed. The 2008 version starring actor Mark Ruffalo as the eponymous antihero was a little more successful financially.

The Man of Steel Has Landed

Predictably, when the Superman reboot came to the fore, starring new actor to the franchise Henry Cavill, it absolutely blew the Hulk away at the box office, tripling the Gamma Monster’s numbers. So the victory is resoundingly in the Man of Steel’s favor on this note; but that still leaves the question of who would take the W in a “real” fight.

Superman’s super-human abilities are the stuff of legends, and he is widely acknowledged as the first and greatest super hero. Known by the mild-mannered alter-ego of Clark Kent, this alien god comes with a treasure trove of powers: heat vision, super-breath, super speed, super-strength, atmospheric and interstellar flight, he’s virtually impervious to physical injury, and ice breath. These don’t even entail the full suite of his powers! Just the most used. Frankly, the Man of Steel has more weapons at his disposal than some super teams; and he is powered by the effectively limitless energy of our yellow star.

Before we move on to the Hulk, let’s not forget that Superman’s powers have been dialed down a bit from the Silver Age uber-god who inhaled entire solar systems and slapped away galaxies. His only rivals back then were celestial entities like Sky-Fathers and multiverse overseers. Hulk has no chance whatsoever against these incarnations of the Man of Steel, of course.

The Incredible Hulk, on the other hand, has some pretty formidable attributes of his own. A creature forged in the heart of a gamma bomb – which is the shortest range of light wavelengths – the unleashed psyche of nuclear scientist Dr. Bruce Banner is a fearsome green rage machine. The Hulk starts out with mega-strength, and it only gets worse from there if you make him angry. He’s been known to hold billion-ton mountains aloft to save his Avengers teammates, and even ripped the supposedly unbreakable metal adamantium during a bout with the X-Man Wolverine. Of course, to accomplish the latter feat, he was as angry as he’d ever been, second only to the battle with the psionic menace Onslaught.

As impressive as Hulk’s feats of strength have been, they take a decided back seat to Kal-El’s unbridled and seemingly limitless power. Superman has moved planets and shrugged off nuclear blasts. Superman vs Hulk would be a good battle because of the difficulty in putting Hulk down – due to his incredible healing factor – but Hulk has simply never quite faced anything like the Man from Krypton. His valor and honor aside, it is very difficult to imagine that Superman doesn’t have the power to actually kill the Hulk – though he’d never do it. With his superspeed, Hulk doesn’t even have a shot at landing a punch, and Superman’s invulnerability should be able to withstand it even if he did get hit.

Despite all the powers they have going for them, Hulk vs Superman probably really just comes down to who you like the most – who was your favorite childhood super hero. The real treat would be finally seeing how the comic book writers themselves would let a true battle play out – perhaps such a treat is in the works for the future.

Mike G Ohalia

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