It’s hard to think about DC’s most powerful villains without your mind wandering toward the god of evil and tyrannical ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid. Over his long comic book history, Darkseid has come up against some of the strongest superheroes and entities in the DC universe, and he has proven himself to be quite the menace. Even the mightiest of villains, however, have their weaknesses, and in today’s post, we’re going to bring you 15 characters that could beat Darkseid in a fair fight and put an end to his reign of terror.
1. The Spectre
We start our list with one of the characters that have been widely regarded as among the most powerful in the DC universe. The Spectre is an embodiment of god’s wrath. He is tasked with punishing the wicked and uses a wide range of unimaginable abilities to carry out his duties. The Spectre is capable of reality warping and energy manipulation, shapeshifting, and was granted superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes by the gods themselves. However, most of Spectre’s power lies in his divine judgment powers, where he is able to purge the souls of the guilty.
The Spectre and Darkseid fought in the comics before, and even though it was considered to be a stalemate, The Spectre was capable of incapacitating Darkseid, at least for a short time. Spectre’s most potent ability, divine judgment, does not work against Darkseid, however, but likewise, Darkseid has nothing to throw at Spectre to even slow him down.
2. The Phantom Stranger
The Phantom Stranger has a wide array of mystical powers and abilities, as mysterious almost as his persona. He can shapeshift, he can manipulate energy to an extreme extent, and he is capable of regenerating quickly and drastically. In fact, his healing factor is so great he can even bring various characters back from the dead. He is also capable of using astral projections and teleportation and is able to predict the future to an extent.
Phantom Stranger’s immortality, his command over the non-material realm, and his ability to predict Darkseid’s moves and strategies would make this a more than a fair fight.
Anti-Monitor is a counterpart of Monitor and an entity designated with control of the antimatter throughout the universe. Anti-Monitor is so supremely powerful that if he wills it, he is capable of destroying the universe. Anti-Monitor and Darkseid fought in the comics before, with Anti-Monitor by large being the more powerful of the two.
His gargantuan size, unlimited strength, and the fact that he is nearly-indestructible places Anti-Monitor right at the top of the list of DC’s most powerful entities. There’s nothing in Darkseid’s arsenal that can threaten Anti-Monitor’s superior energy-manipulating powers, power absorption capable of sucking in whole universes, and reality-warping abilities.
4. Highfather Izaya
As a New God armed with the powerful Life-Equation, Highfather Izaya has everything at his disposal to counter and ultimately overwhelm Darkseid. His connection to the Source is simply on a completely another level when compared to Darkseid’s. Highfather Izaya has reality alteration, cosmic abilities, superhuman strength, and immortality, among other powers, at his disposal, which makes him a perfect counter to Darkseid.
Orion managed to defeat Darkseid a couple of times in the comics. He is usually depicted as being at the same level, or even above Darkseid, when it comes to powers and abilities. Orion is Darkseid’s son, and his heritage grants him superhuman physiology and berserker’s rage, which further enhances his inherited powers. However, Orion struggled with his rage and malice but ultimately managed to put them under control with the help of Highfather Izaya.
Like Izaya, Lightray is likewise considered to be a New God. Lightray and Darkseid clashed many times in the comics, and it eventually always turns out in a sort of a stalemate. And while Lightray never managed to steamroll Darkseid, he clearly has enough powers and abilities to offer him a fair and equal fight. Lightray is immortal. He has superhuman strength and stamina, he is powerful enough to emit potent energy blasts, and if needed, he can resort to using Mother Boxes and Boom-Tubes.
7. Wonder Woman
Usually, Wonder Woman is nowhere near Darkseid in terms of powers and abilities, but there was an instance in the comics where he managed to take him down by the force of non-other than love. Wonder Woman used the last atoms of her being to summon the strength of the Old Gods and her family to take him down. Even though it usually ends fairly badly for Wonder Woman, it’s clear from this example she does have what it takes to take him down if she wills it enough.
Batman was always regarded to be among the smartest heroes in the DC universe, and his unparalleled mental abilities allowed him to defeat Darkseid several times through sheer force of will and ingenuity. Granted, he was on some occasions backed by Justice League, and he can never stand up to Darkseid through his raw physical powers.
Batman, on the hand, has something to counter Darkseid’s numerous advantages in straight-up combat. He has his tactical-oriented mind and his more superb preparation through which he managed to take down some of the most powerful entities in the DC universe in general.
9. The Flash
This wasn’t as clear-cut a victory as we would like since Flash had to utilize some extreme measures to finally defeat the tyrannical ruler of Apokolips. Flash has to merge with the embodiment of Death and had to become the so-called Black Racer which Anti-Monitor, likewise, decided to utilize in his favor leading to an altogether different mess. Black Races is among the strongest versions of Flash ever created. He is immortal, gifted with superior speed, strength, and durability, and has one peculiar ability to create every superpower imaginably and bestow it upon himself.
10. Martian Manhunter
Martian Manhunter is many times more powerful than Superman. It’s just facts. It’s not so far-fetched that he would be able to take down Darkseid in a fight. Martian Manhunter has unique Martian physiology that allows him to withstand the harshest punishments and most extreme environments. He is able to shapeshift and manipulate his own size.
He can phase, turn invisible, regenerate and heal from the most drastic of injuries. Among his plethora of superhuman powers and abilities are likewise the capacity to create illusions, to possess entities, project his astral form, use mind-control of weak entities, and he can create various weapons from energy and other types of matter. With everything said, Martian Manhunter is no joke and is easily able to take down Darkseid.
It’s impossible to make a list of characters that can take down Darkseid without mentioning Superman since Superman was a thorn in Darkseid’s side forever. Even though Superman never managed to take down Darkseid on his own, he is always backed by the rest of his Justice League team members in his strongest form. He just might be able to. Superman has the durability to match Darkseid’s as he is practically indestructible, he also has vastly potent heat-vision, and his unrivaled intelligence might allow him to think of a way to take him down.
Aquaman was terribly underappreciated as a character. The real truth behind this aquatic god is that he can be counted among the mightiest Earth’s protectors. He proved this numerous times, but one instance, in particular, can be counted as among his most impressive feats. Aquaman used his powerful Trident to take Darkseid’s eye and subsequently cut him off from the source of one of his most potent powers, his Omega Beams. Darkseid was rendered many times weaker than his usual self due to this and proved to be an easy target for Aquaman.
To be fair, Doomsday’s unique physiology places him on the list of the toughest entities in the DC universe. Doomsday doesn’t have any fancy tech at his disposal or reality-altering powers, and Darkseid can easily outsmart him due to Doomsday’s relatively primitive and simple mind. Doomsday, however, has something more powerful at his disposal. He can outlast Darkseid. Doomsday can ultimately return from any form of death. He requires no sustenance and the only threat to him generally is entropy. Darkseid might think of a million ways to get rid of Doomsday for a time. He will always return.
We had Anti-Monitor on this list, and it’s time to mention Anti-Monitor’s counterpart, Monitors. They have near-unlimited powers at their disposal. They have cosmic awareness, can summon powerful weapons out of nothing, and have genius intellect. Based on this short description of Monitors’ powers, it’s safe to say that Darkseid might struggle against such a powerful entity. Darkseid might be a genius himself, but it’s hard to come up against the vast cumulated knowledge of an entire universe.
15. The Presence
Of course, we left the mightiest DC entity for the end. What can be said about Presence’s vast powers and abilities that we haven’t mentioned before? The Presence is capable of taking down Darkseid with a snap of his fingers in a blink of an eye without shedding a drop of blood. As a creator of everything, The Presence counters even the most severe form of Darkseid, and no amount of weaponized Anti-life equation would allow him to escape the unflinching gaze of the Creator himself.