DC powerhouses. These are the words that come to mind when we consider Shazam and Superman, two of the greatest characters to ever grace comic book pages. Superman is a Kryptonian whose unique physiology grants him supernatural powers when he’s exposed to a yellow sun. On the other hand, Shazam is a young boy named Billy Batson who was mystically empowered by Gods to receive incredible powers. Shazam and Superman’s powers are somewhat similar but who’s more powerful? Who would win in a fight between them?
Shazam would win in a fight against Superman, but it would be a close call. Shazam is faster and more durable than Superman while Superman is stronger and more intelligent. However, what would very likely hand Shazam the victory is Superman’s weakness to magic, which Shazam excels at.
This article will analyze both Shazam and Superman’s powers and abilities, pitting the two heroes against each other to determine who’d be the likely victor if they ever fought. So, keep reading for this and much more.
In my humble opinion, I think magic would play a crucial part in a fight between Shazam and Superman. Let me explain.
Billy Batson was given his powers by a wizard who ordered him to call out the name “Shazam” and he was struck by lightning giving him limitless powers and abilities.
The power of Zeus allows Shazam to cast various mystical spells. At first, he wasn’t good at using this particular power. However, after learning how to cast precise spells from the Book of Champions, he became quite adept at it. He now has a better understanding and control of magic.
As most avid fans know, one of Superman’s greatest weaknesses is magic, but not in the literal sense of the word. Magic isn’t so much of a weakness, more like something he doesn’t have any special defense against the effects of magic. In his comic book history, magic usually stomps Superman as he’s always at a loss for what to do.
So, in a fight between Shazam and Superman, Shazam could cast spells to give himself an edge. We’ve seen this before in the miniseries Kingdom Come where Shazam calls down his magic lightning to strike and hurt Superman repeatedly. If used effectively, these lightning strikes would be enough to hand Shazam the victory.
Point: Shazam (1:0) Superman
Thanks to the power of Achilles and Zeus, Shazam is one of Marvel’s most indestructible beings. He is virtually invulnerable to all types of physical injury. His resistance to physical injuries has been described to be at par with beings like Superman, however, without the weaknesses.
This means Shazam is one of the hardest DC characters to take down. Arguably, he’s only vulnerable to the lightning bolt that transforms him. Superman displayed this in Kingdom Come when he grabbed Shazam and let his own lightning bolt strike him.
On the other hand, Superman is an equally challenging opponent to defeat thanks to his nigh invulnerability. Even some of DC’s other powerhouses have found it hard to physically injure the Man of Steel, as he is so aptly named.
However, Superman isn’t completely invulnerable. For one, green Kryptonite weakens him greatly and if he’s exposed to it for too long, he could die. Secondly, Superman’s powers come from the yellow sun. Without exposure to a yellow sun, his powers would diminish making him just as vulnerable as an average human. There’s also the issue of his vulnerability to magic, as earlier discussed.
So, this round goes to Shazam.
Point: Shazam (2:0) Superman
Shazam gets his intelligence thanks to the wisdom of Solomon. Solomon was the third king of united Israel and in the Bible, he is blessed by God with supernatural wisdom the like of which is unimaginable. Thanks to the blessings of Solomon, Shazam has instant access to a wide array of knowledge.
This also grants Shazam superhuman clairvoyance allowing him to turn disadvantages into advantages and providing him with counsel in times of need. It also grants him perfect memory and knowledge of war tactics.
Superman is no slouch when it comes to intellect. The yellow sun also grants him a genius-level intellect as was evidenced by the way his dog Krypto became intelligent under the yellow sun. Superman also has the mental ability to filter out the information his enhanced senses receive and focus on a single detail. He can also absorb large amounts of information rapidly without forgetting.
This round is tight but I’ll have to give it to Superman because Billy Batson is still but a child so he’s bound to think and act as one despite having the wisdom of Solomon.
Point: Shazam (2:1) Superman
Shazam is one of the strongest characters in the DC Universe. This is thanks to the blessings of Hercules which grants him incredible superhuman strength. He was once able to stalemate Superman while arm wrestling and also matched Eclipso-possessed Superman. He’s also matched Wonder Woman in strength and though he never does it, could surely juggle planets.
Superman, on the other hand, is best known for his superhuman strength. His level of strength varies throughout his history in the comics. When he debuted in Action Comics #1, he was strong enough to lift a car. However, by the Silver age (1956-1970ish) he could move planets and lift the equivalent of 2 million tons.
These insane powers were reduced greatly during 1985’s Crisis on Infinite Earths. Nowadays, Superman’s strength is usually dependent on how much yellow solar radiation his cells absorb. He can’t lift planets, but he still has superhuman strength.
Though Shazam could use some form of mystical spell to cancel out Superman’s strength (I think), I have to give this round to Superman lest I face the wrath of Superman fans out there!
Point: Shazam (2:2) Superman
Shazam possesses superhuman speed by channeling the power of the messenger god of Greek mythology, Mercury. While on Earth, he can effortlessly achieve speeds exceeding Mach 10 when moving or flying. This is not his limit though. The speed of Mercury also allows him to move at speeds greater than the speed of light.
Like his strength, Superman’s superhuman speed has transformed over the years. Golden Age Superman was depicted as being faster than an express train. Silver Age Superman’s speed was even crazier. He could move faster than the speed of light, with several accounts showing him flying through space to distant galaxies. He could also travel back in time as is shown when he travels to the 30th Century. Modern Era Superman had a power reduction that limits him from moving at speeds greater than that of light.
Currently, Shazam is faster than Superman so he wins this round.
Point: Shazam (3:2) Superman
Shazam vs. Superman: Who Wins?
To the chagrin of most Superman fans, I must say Shazam would win. Listen, I’m a Supes fan myself, but the evidence is right in front of our eyes. Shazam is more invulnerable and faster than the Man of Steel. True, Superman is stronger and more intelligent, but there’s also the fact that Superman is vulnerable to magic while Shazam is a master spell caster. It would be an incredibly close fight but I think Superman’s weakness to magic would be his undoing in this match-up.