Whenever one’s talking about Superman, one has to be ready to declare him the strongest, whatever category we’re dealing with. This applies even to the “regular” Superman, but DC Comics has, throughout the years, given some amazingly powerful alternative versions of Superman that have both scared and amazed us.
One of these iterations is the so-called Cosmic Armor Superman, a Thought Robot created by the Monitors to find Mandrakk.
Cosmic Armor Superman is one of the strongest characters ever to have appeared in the comics and certainly the most powerful iteration of Superman ever. He was a thought robot formed by merging the New Earth Superman and Ultraman to battle Mandrakk, which he successfully did before being separated into two characters by the Monitors.
In this article, we are going to tell you everything you need to know about Superman’s cosmic armor and the thought robot that came into existence once Superman and Ultraman were combined by the Monitors. You’re going to find out this character’s powers and abilities, but also just how strong he is within the scope of the DC fictional universe.
What or Who Is Cosmic Armor Superman?
Cosmic Armor Superman is a thought robot composed of the New Earth Superman and Ultraman. It was created by the Monitors to fight and defeat Mandrakk the Dark Monitor, who wanted to erase all of life. Now, this doesn’t reveal much about this character, which is why we have decided to give you the complete story in several paragraphs, as it was presented in Final Crisis: Superman Beyond, written by Grant Morrison in 2008/2009.
The story of how Cosmic Armor Superman was created started when a man with a Monitor-style haircut defeats a colossus who has been styled on Superman. The Monitor-creature is happy to hear the sound of Superman’s failure. At the same time, Clark Kent sits by his wife’s bed at the Metropolis Memorial Hospital. When he realizes that he would give “anything” to save her, time stops and he is visited by Monitor Zillo Valla, who offers him a pact – if Superman helps him, she will save Lois’ life.
If he refuses, all existence is destroyed. Superman accepts.
In Zillo Valla’s ship, the Ultima Thule, Superman meets Overman (from Earth-10), Captain Marvel (from Earth-5), and Captain Adam (from Earth-4). When the Ultima Thule is attacked, Superman sees The Bleed and the arteries between universes. As they fly, Superman sees Echo of Midnight, a colossal ship with death ray eyes.
The ship is attacked by Ultraman (from the Antimatter Universe). As they step into the reality of Earth-6, Echo of Midnight dies and begins to crash. Desperate to save lives, Zillo Valla asks the heroes to lead the destroyer to Universe 51’s terrestrial cemetery.
While Overman takes Zillo Valla to the infirmary and Captain Adam logs into the navigation computer, Superman, Ultraman, and Captain Marvel fight to keep the monster in the air. As the Ultima Thule traverses the multiverse, it dives into an unknown world of ruined cities and epic craters.
There, Ultraman begins to argue with the other heroes, especially Captain Adam, who must take medication to suppress his quantum senses in order to have a normal conversation. They discover that the world is not empty – on the contrary, it is home to a diverse and bizarre court of forgotten heroes, led by Merryman, the King of Limbo.
Nothing happens in Limbo, and if they stay here long enough, they will lose their memories and, in turn, be forgotten by their worlds. However, Superman feels the urge to explore and finds the “Library of Limbo” which contains an unreadable book with an infinite number of pages.
When Superman and Captain Marvel realize it should have some information on how to get him out of here, they try to get it to board the ship. Instead, the book tells them the story of how the Monitors came to be, revealing the prophecy of Mandrakk, who is bound to destroy all of existence.
Back in Limbo, the end of the story shocks the two heroes and transforms Captain Marvel into Billy Batson. All Billy can access is a fragment of Solomon’s wisdom that tells him that “what is most despised will save the most loved”.
He brings him back to the ship and meets the Court of Limbo, who concludes that if something can happen, anything can happen and try to escape Limbo with the Ultima Thule. However, they are trapped and Superman is forced to leave them behind as they pound the entrance portal.
In addition to Billy’s loss of power, Captain Adam’s quantum senses come into play, making him incomprehensible. Upon entering Zillo Valla’s room, they discover that she has been revived by sucking Overman’s blood. This act is in vain, for Mandrakk the Dark Monitor controlled Echo of Midnight, and has a greater weapon at his command.
Looking outside, they see the arrival of the colossal machine which shatters the sky of Limbo – and Ultraman, who is holding the infinite book and shouting that Evil will ultimately win.
As it was revealed, Ultraman was driven mad by Mandrakk’s corrupting power, sparking a battle between the people of Limbo. Billy Batson and Overman listen to Monitor Zillo Valla warn of Mandrakk’s awakening. Overman tries to kill the Monitor, but Billy convinces him to spare Zillo and heed her warning.
Impressed by Billy’s wisdom, Zillo reminds him of the magic word with which he accesses his powers. Captain Marvel returns just in time to stop Ultraman from touching Superman and destroying both of them. Superman tells Captain Marvel to take the Ultima Thule and return to the Multiverse, while Captain Atom informs Superman of his new understanding of reality: two creatures of different natures are actually symmetries.
When combined, they can become a new creature, a robot powered by opposing essences. Superman agrees to test Captain Atom’s theory in exchange for a drop of blood he needs to save Lois’ life. Captain Atom combines Ultraman, the hate crime, and Superman, the selfless act, and sends them to a higher realm of existence: Nil, the house of the Monitors.
The combined form of Superman and Ultraman is a unit of pure thought, a cosmic thought robot created by Monitor Dax Novu against the falling darkness. Due to his stronger willpower, Superman gains absolute control over his fused form. Upon arriving in the Nil, Superman is greeted by Monitor Weeja Dell, Nix Uotan’s lover, who leads him to Monitors Castle.
Superman finally understands the secret of the multiverse: the monitors are actually celestial parasites!
They are vampire deities who have emptied “happiness” and feed on the Bleed for food. The monitors only caught Dax Novu because he showed them their true colors. Mandrakk launches his final attack and Superman flies to confront him. The fight is fierce and Mandrakk mocks Superman with the impending death of his wife.
Zillo Valla inspires Superman to never give up by reminding him of his history as the son of Krypton. Mandrakk furiously kills Zillo, but realizes with heartbreak that the woman he killed was his former lover. With renewed vigor, Superman attacks Mandrakk and throws him into the endless abyss that surrounds the Nil, never to return.
After his enemy is defeated, Superman comes across a huge gravestone and writes a few words on it, later revealed to be “To be continued”. Seconds later, Superman’s cosmic robot form is dismantled, and Superman and Ultraman are separated and sent back to Limbo, where Superman, Captain Marvel, and Overman destroy Mandrakk’s army and save the people of Limbo.
Meanwhile, Ultraman is found by Rox Ogama, a Monitor banned for supporting Mandrakk’s actions. After his master’s defeat, Ogama inherited his vampiric energies and became the new Mandrakk who transformed Ultraman into his new vampire Superman. Mandrakk is plotting an act of dark revenge on Superman.
In the meantime, Clark has returned to his world, and time passes. The Monitors thought they were the only ones able to stop the Bleed, but they were wrong. Superman has stopped the Bleed in his own body and hands it to Lois with a kiss.
Moments later, Lois wakes up and hugs her husband. She remembers Superman’s adventure as a fantastic dream to write down and share with the world. Clark leaves to continue the good fight, but not before telling Lois he can’t wait to hear her story.
Is Cosmic Armor Superman Actually Superman?
Well, although it might not seem like it, Cosmic Armor Superman actually is the New Earth Superman that merged with Ultraman and became a thought robot. This might not seem as completely plausible, but within the framework of Grant Morrison’s story – it actually worked. The New Earth version of Superman was the official one at the time but is now part of an alternative setting.
How Strong Is Cosmic Armor Superman?
To determine Cosmic Armor Superman’s full potential would be impossible. This is why we have opted to give you an insight into his known powers; we say known because he only appeared in one issue of a one-shot comic book and has never been seen again (nor will he, seeing how ridiculously overpowered he is). He was a useful plot device, but that is pretty much it.
Made up of pure thoughts, Cosmic Armor Superman reacts to the strength and power of the opponent and increases his own in order to always overcome any danger. He can recover from damage and manipulate his body to do his job better, and not only will he become more resilient, but he will grow even bigger in the face of immense threats.
He also has a spatial and transdimensional awareness that allows him to fend off dimensional and intriguing manipulations that would attempt to erase him from existence (and yet, he was not able to stop his own dismantlement by the Monitors). His strength and speed are beyond anything imaginable and are not limited by the limitations of other beings across the multiverse, which also makes it possible to literally hold Limbo himself in his hand.
These strengths are not all associated with weaknesses, as Cosmic Armor Superman is designed to respond to all threats to himself and the Multiversal and to eliminate them and prevail in one way or another.
Who Can Beat Cosmic Armor Superman?
Well, since Cosmic Armor Superman appeared only once and in that story, he trashed his opposition, it is quite difficult to stipulate whom he could or could not defeat in the long run. The character is just so ridiculously overpowered that he probably won’t be making any further appearances soon.
We know he is above the power of a Monitor, which is terrifying even without any further explanation. But, the Monitors are certainly not the most powerful beings in DC Universe. How would Cosmic Armor Superman do in a fight against Darkseid’s True Form, the Presence, or Doctor Manhattan? We don’t think he would be able to win.
Cosmic Armor Superman is a thought robot and is, as such, dependant on his “creators” and somewhat limited by them, which was evidenced when the Monitors simply “dismantled” him. Plus, he has, so far, been shown to exist in only one microverse and it is debatable whether he could even exist somewhere else. Characters such as the three mentioned above do not have such limitations.
Is Cosmic Armor Superman More Powerful than the Presence?
Cosmic Armor Superman may be powerful, but not powerful enough to defeat the Presence, which is DC’s most powerful deity.
Is Cosmic Armor Superman Omnipotent?
Cosmic Armor Superman is probably not omnipotent as he is a result of the thought processes of the Monitors and as such, he was dependent on them. They easily “dismantled” him once he fulfilled his task, thus illustrating that he isn’t omnipotent. He is overpowered and even ridiculous at times, but he is not like Doctor Manhattan or the Presence, who are truly omnipotent.