There are plenty of powerful beings in the DC universe, and some of them are godlike entities in their own right. Dr. Manhattan, although starting out as human, obtained powers that allowed him to become a nigh-omnipotent being. Meanwhile, Darkseid is one of the New Gods and is said to be the strongest out of all of them. So, if we were to pit Dr. Manhattan against Darkseid in a fight, who would win?
Dr. Manhattan would win in a fight against Darkseid because he is a universe-level threat, as opposed to Darkseid, who isn’t strong enough to threaten the entire DC universe. However, if we are talking about Darkseid’s true form, which exists beyond the multiverse, then Dr. Manhattan wouldn’t stand a chance.
While Darkseid has always been a thorn in the side of the Justice League, Dr. Manhattan is an entity that doesn’t concern himself with trivial affairs and would rather just observe the universe and some of the smallest and biggest events happening throughout the cosmos. Of course, Darkseid’s true form is an entirely different matter. So, let’s get into this battle in greater detail.
Dr. Manhattan has complete control over his own molecular structure, such that he can make his muscles as dense as possible no matter how small or big he may be. As such, he has displayed incredible feats of strength, such as easily hurling tanks. He was also able to lift planetary structures with ease. And that’s all because Dr. Manhattan can be as strong as he wants to be, depending on what the situation calls for.
Darkseid’s New God physiology allows him to have incredible strength that not a lot of beings in the DC universe are able to match. In fact, there have been a lot of times wherein he displayed strength that is more than a match for Superman as he sometimes trumps the Kryptonian’s own incredible strength. As such, we can say that Darkseid is actually just as strong or even stronger than Superman.
The fact that Dr. Manhattan has complete control over his molecular structure gives him an edge here because there seemingly is no limit in relation to how strong he wants to be. And that is why he takes this round over Darkseid, who is actually quite strong.
Manhattan 1, Darkseid 0
Powers and Abilities
Due to the cosmic powers that Dr. Manhattan possesses, he is nigh-omnipotent, and that means that he is seemingly capable of using his powers in any kind of situation to do whatever he wants to do. He can arrange or rearrange molecules at will so that he can create new constructs or destroy life itself. Through this, he is also capable of creating life and has been able to recreate an entire universe by altering reality, as he was the one who created the Prime Earth universe when he altered the Flash’s attempt to revert this universe to normal after the events of Flashpoint.
Darkseid’s powers come from the Omega Effect, which is a dark cosmic energy that allows him to produce the effects that he desires. He mostly uses the Omega Effect to create Omega Beams that are actually a lot more powerful than Superman’s own heat vision. The Omega Effect also allows Darkseid to fly, manipulate gravity to a certain degree, and use psychic powers at limited levels.
While it might be true that Darkseid’s Omega Effect makes him a powerful New God, Dr. Manhattan is as close to a true god as possible due to how he has nigh-omnipotence. As such, there is no doubt that he will take this round as well.
Manhattan 2, Darkseid 0
One of the effects of Dr. Manhattan’s nigh-omnipotence is his nigh-omniscience, which allows him to see the past, present, and future simultaneously. He is also aware of the fact that he also exists in multiple universes, and that was how he was able to merge the consciousness of all of these universes into one. And even before he became what he was, Dr. Manhattan used to be a genius scientist among humans.
Darkseid has always been one of the most cunning and intelligent villains in the DC universe, as he has always been a genius with an intellect that is said to be a hundred steps up the evolutionary ladder from humankind. That is why he is able to outthink normal humans and has the capacity to understand technologies and cosmic events that are beyond the understanding of normal humans. Darkseid also has cosmic awareness, which allows him to understand how the universe works and what is happening throughout the universe.
Despite the fact that Darkseid is exponentially smarter than normal humans and has cosmic awareness, Dr. Manhattan is just as smart and has nigh-omniscience.
Manhattan 3, Darkseid 0
As mentioned, Dr. Manhattan has complete control over his molecular structure and is able to alter it at will. That is why he can be as durable as he wants to be and is so invulnerable that he is able to walk on the surface of the sun without even getting burned. Dr. Manhattan can also recreate his own body by manipulating his molecular structure, and that’s why he is quite unkillable.
On top of the fact that he has the ability to match Superman’s strength, Darkseid is also just as durable or even more durable than the Man of Steel. Darkseid is basically invulnerable as he can survive some of the strongest attacks that the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman can muster up, although he can still get hurt. Nevertheless, he had survived the destruction of an entire planet and did not show any visible signs of damage when the Justice League ganged up on him.
Darkseid may be quite invulnerable, but he can still get hurt by Superman’s heat vision, which can reach more than 5,000 degrees Celsius. However, the surface of the sun is hotter than Superman’s heat vision but is unable to burn or hurt Dr. Manhattan.
Manhattan 4, Darkseid 0
The fact that Dr. Manhattan is so powerful is the reason why he never had to develop any true fighting skills. On top of that, he never had to use his abilities to fight crime and other evildoers throughout the universe too much, unlike the other characters of the DC universe. In that regard, he didn’t have a real reason to train as a fighter, especially when he could do almost anything he wanted with a single thought.
While we don’t often see him fighting because he would rather ask his lackeys to fight for him, Darkseid is actually an incredibly gifted fighter that can stand up to the best of them in hand-to-hand combat. He can match Superman’s own skills in battle and is also capable of fighting a skilled fighter like Wonder Woman on par. Darkseid may be strong and powerful, but he is also a great fighter.
This is actually a consolation prize on the part of Darkseid because, unlike Dr. Manhattan, he actually needed to develop fighting skills. Of course, Dr. Manhattan never needed to be as good of a fighter.
Manhattan 4, Darkseid 1
Dr. Manhattan vs. Darkseid: Who Wins?
The thing about Dr. Manhattan is that he is such a powerful entity that he is capable of threatening an entire universe. While Darkseid is actually incredibly powerful, he has never been a true threat to an entire universe because there are a lot more beings stronger than him. But the thing that fans need to remember is that the Darkseid we often see in the comics is but an avatar of the true Darkseid that exists beyond the universe. So, if we’re talking about the true form of Darkseid, he is an entirely different topic because he is a multiversal threat.