Spider-Man and Superman are arguably the two most popular superheroes in their respective comics universes, Marvel and DC. However, they are completely different characters. Before being bit by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker was just a regular teenager, while Clark Kent gained powers as an alien on Earth. If they ever fought, though, who would win?
Superman would destroy Spider-Man in virtually any battle. His power levers are simply beyond Spidey, and he dominates in almost every category imaginable. The only way Spider-Man could win is if Superman is heavily weakened for some reason or if he can somehow get Kryptonite.
However, it would all depend on what you mean by winning. Perhaps incapacitating the opponent without ever starting a fight would be something Spidey could do in this situation, using his genius intellect instead of his muscles. Still, Supes is brilliant, too, so it’s hard to see Spidey outsmarting him that easily. Let’s see how they compare in all the major categories.
Strength & Speed
Spider-Man’s super-strength doesn’t appear to be that incredible at first. However, Parker revealed a couple of times that he’s actually holding back his power, trying to be good and not cause too much harm with his abilities.
We usually see Spidey around the 10-ton lifting range. But, when he’s not holding back, the guy lifted the entire Daily Bugle skyscraper over his head, showing what he’s capable of. Not a lot of heroes could do that, even when powered up.
Spider-Man is also incredibly quick. Peter can run and swing at incredibly fast rates for a human, but his mental quickness, reflexes, and reaction time are his greatest speed attributes, not top speed. Although he’s strong and fast, many characters are much stronger or faster.
On the other hand, there aren’t many characters in DC or Marvel that are stronger or faster than Superman.
Clark Kent is a Kryptonian, and in his native atmosphere, he would have almost none of the abilities he has on Earth. The presence of a yellow sun supercharges his cells with energy – the more time he spends on Earth, the more powerful he gets.
The limits of Superman’s strength are unknown. Supes can lift a mountain with almost no effort at his normal power level. In Superman #13, he used advanced technology and machines to try and determine his strength limits but failed. Failed to find the limit, that is; he bench-pressed the weight of the Earth for five straight days.
That’s him at a fairly normal power level. If we consider the strongest version, Superman Prime One Million, you couldn’t even measure how strong he is. Kal-El, in this instance, spent centuries supercharging in the Sun, becoming limitlessly powerful.
And, if we’re talking about speed, he’s around light-speed at his regular self. Supes Prime can go around a trillion times faster than light, transcending time, space, and any law of physics we ever thought we knew.
No matter how you twist or turn, superman destroys Spidey in both speed and strength.
Point: Superman (1:0) Spider-Man
People don’t give Spidey enough credit for his durability. He’s no slouch in that department, as Peter can take a beating and keep going. It’s not rare to see Spidey get stabbed, hit by the Hulk, or getting a building thrown at him – and yet, he keeps on coming.
Even when he’s pretty badly hurt, his indomitable will pushes forward, and Spidey edges out a victory against the odds more often than not. Peter is way more resilient than your average human when it comes to illnesses or drugs.
However, the fact remains – Spidey can get hurt, even from a hard punch. We saw him bleed countless times. Also, Parker still has human needs; food, sleep, water, and air. Spidey can drown, suffocate, and die in space without a special suit.
None of that is true for Superman. There’s no way of physically hurting him. Even if the strike is so hard that it blasts him miles away, it still won’t hurt him. He can survive in space seamlessly, and the only way to ever hurt Supes is using Kryptonite (which is almost impossible to find) or removing him from the yellow sun.
Even if Spidey could find a way to do so, it would still take a very long time for Superman to “power down.” Again, no matter how strong Spider-Man or his weapons get, Superman would brush it off like a mosquito bite.
Point: Superman (2:0) Spider-Man
Other Powers & Weaknesses
One of the main Spider-Man powers, apart from superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and agility, is his Spider-Sense. It allows Peter Parker to sense danger before it comes his way, granting Spidey a precognitive ability.
To add to it, he has a great healing factor, albeit not as great as, for instance, Wolverine’s or Deadpool’s. Spidey can heal a broken arm overnight, but he couldn’t grow a new one if he lost it.
One of Parker’s greatest powers, though, is his incredible intellect. He’s a very fast thinker and a unique, morally-sound problem-solver. Parker’s excellence in science and technology always helps the Friendly Neighborhood superhero find a way to defeat even the toughest opponents.
Finally, Peter’s got technology so advanced that it’s incredible. Either by using what Tony Stark made for him or creating his own stuff, Peter Parker’s tech is spectacular, from the suit to the weapons and gadgets.
Parker’s major weaknesses are human physiological needs and physical hurt – albeit the force behind the strike has to be incredible to hurt him. Parker is also susceptible to any mental or telepathic skills but more resilient than normal people.
Superman has a much more diverse set of superpowers, other than superhuman strength, speed, durability, invulnerability, and stamina. He also has various ocular powers, like x-ray, heat, infrared, laser, or microscopic vision, along with breath powers such as hurricane-blowing or freeze breath. Clark Kent can also fly, among other things.
As for his weaknesses, the only known two are Kryptonite – which is almost impossible to find – and removal from the yellow sun’s energy. Both don’t apply for the Superman Prime – he seemingly has no weaknesses.
Again, Supes destroys Spidey in this category, and it’s not even close.
Point: Superman (3:0) Spider-Man
I chose to include this category because Spider-Man is my favorite character, and I wanted him to at least get one point.
Spidey’s suit progresses over the years, becoming more and more an advantage for the web-slinger. The latest models are extremely high-tech, built with nanotechnology and giving Spidey some incredible features, like new weapons, massive protection, breathing underwater, in space, etc. The suit is a huge upgrade to his already powerful abilities.
On the other hand, Superman’s costume varied depending on the version. Some versions were made out of Kryptonian cloth, having the same durability as Supes himself, being almost indestructible. Other versions had it as a regular Earth-cloth costume around which Supes radiates a bio-electric aura, making it as invulnerable as himself.
Regardless of the version, the costume doesn’t grant Superman powers he doesn’t have without wearing it. Spidey’s suit enhances his power level drastically and has more features than Superman’s.
At least in this category, Spidey gets the point.
Point: Spider-Man (1:3) Superman
As weird as it may seem, Marvel and DC have done several crossovers in the past, and one of them was between Superman and Spider-Man. Supes got a major power deduction to make it more interesting, while Spidey got more powerful than usual.
Parker did a great job against Kent at first due to the more evenly-matched power levels. However, the moment Superman got his regular powers back, he let Spidey hit him with everything he had. Peter didn’t hurt Clark but rather broke both his hands.
At one point, Kal-El got angry and wanted to teach Spidey a lesson, so he swung to punch Spidey. However, he realized that one hard punch like that would literally kill the guy, so he pulled back mid-swing. Although the punch never made contact, the sheer wind from the swing made Spidey fly backward.
Simply put, Superman toyed around with Spidey, beating him without ever landing a punch. If that’s not a testament to how vastly uneven this matchup is, I don’t know what is.
Point: Superman (4:1) Spiderman
Spider-Man Vs. Superman: Who Would Win And Why?
There you have it, folks. As much as I love Spider-Man, this is just way too big of a pill to swallow. Superman takes a 4:1 win, and even the one point Spidey got doesn’t play much of a difference in the fight’s outcome.
Supes is stronger, faster, more durable, has more powers, and fewer weaknesses. Parker couldn’t even play the brain card here; as intelligent as he is, Kal-El is equally as brilliant, if not even more. No matter what he does or how much he tries, if Superman delivers one semi-strong punch, it’s game over.