Captain America vs Superman

Is Captain America vs Superman a dream match, or a nightmare? Both are comic book icons that stand as beacons of freedom and hope, and everyone loves watching two characters with similar themes battle it out regardless of any mismatches in “power level.” This being the case, let’s take a look at the strengths, weaknesses, powers, and abilities of Captain American and Superman, and see how a battle between these two superheroes would play out in a fair one-on-one fight.

Captain America (Steve Rogers) Biography

Captain america

Steve Rogers was born to Irish American immigrants on July 4th, 1922, and wouldn’t make it to adulthood before both died. Thanks to the Great Depression, Steve grew up poor, sickly, and frail. Despite his difficult childhood, he maintained a strong sense of duty and honor. He also became intensely patriotic thanks to his teacher Edna Crosley who told Steve that America was the greatest nation on Earth and that it gave more rights to its citizens than any other country. She also taught him that as a US citizen it was his job to protect the country.

During the events of World War 2, Steve witnessed footage of Germany running wild in Europe, and Japan doing the same in China and Korea. Greatly disturbed by this, Steve would attempt to enlist in the military but be rejected due to his frailty. However, General Chester Philips would overhear Steve’s earnest desire to fight for his country, and sign him up for the super-secret super-soldier program. As a part of this program, he was given the Super-Soldier Serum that transformed him into a genetically perfect human being. Unfortunately, the creator of the serum never wrote the formula down and was assassinated almost immediately after it was used making Cap one of a kind.

Trained by the military in everything from hand-to-hand combat to flying airplanes, Steve was given the codename Captain America. His first missions would involve him performing counter-terrorism actions against the infamous Nazi agent Red Skull who would become his mortal enemy. Despite his loyalty to the US, Steve was still subject to a secret mind-control process that rewrote his memories on the off chance he was captured and interrogated. Eventually, he would get his real memories back, and be involved in an incident that left him frozen in ice until he was freed in the modern age by the Avengers.

Though Captain America is an intensely patriotic individual, he believes in standing for what’s right above all else, even if it means going against the US. This is seen most prominently when he opposed the Superhuman Registration Act in the Civil War storyline because he believed it infringed on personal freedoms. Ultimately, Captain America would turn himself in for prosecution only to be assassinated before the trial – but not really because of some wacky time travel/reality-warping stuff that happened thanks to the Red Skull. Fortunately, Cap would be restored and continue to fight for what he believes in.

Superman (Clark Kent) Biography

superman

Superman was born Kal-El to Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van on Krypton, a planet with advanced technology. Realizing that the end of their planet was near, Kal’s parents put him in a space pod and sent him to Earth. On Earth, Kal would be found by Martha and Johnathan Kent and would be named Clark Kent. Clark would have a relatively normal childhood until his powers manifested during his early teenage years. Adopting the moniker “Super Boy” he would use his powers for good before eventually taking the name Superman.

As an adult, Clark would move to Metropolis and work as a reporter for the Daily Planet. There he would meet and fall in love with the award-winning journalist Lois Lane. They would eventually marry and have a child.

As a superhero, Clark would oftentimes find himself battling god-like beings such as Brainiac and Darkseid. He would also frequently join forces with other superheroes such as Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Arrow. In one notable storyline, a monstrous creature named Doomsday attacked the Earth and defeated all the other superheroes. Superman was forced to face the beast alone, and though he defeated it, died in the process. Or so everyone thought. Turns out he was just in a “healing coma” and was able to make a full recovery.

Like Captain America, Superman would originally start out as a believer in “truth, justice, and the American way” but would eventually expand his belief system to focus more on doing good for the world as a whole. In one storyline he even renounced his US citizenship, which is not quite as controversial as it may seem when you consider the fact that Kal is a literal illegal alien that was never officially granted citizenship in the first place. In any case, Superman continues to defend the Earth from threats that no other hero can face, and like Cap, will always stand up for what he believes is right.

Captain America: Powres & Abilities

After being given the potent Supre Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers was hyper-evolved into the pinnacle of human existence. As the finest physical example of humanity, Captain America possesses a wide range of powers and abilities, here’s a quick list:

  • Peak human strength
  • Peak human durability
  • Peak human speed
  • Peak human agility
  • Peak human reflexes
  • Peak human stamina
  • Peak human healing
  • Peak human mental processing
  • Peak human senses
  • Advanced longevity
  • Master martial artist
  • Master tactician/stratigist
  • Master shield fighter
  • Master acrobat
  • Expert marksman
  • Expert melee weapons user
  • Expert computer hacking skills
  • Expert driver/pilot
  • Vibranium/Proto-Adamantium shield
  • Bullet proof uniform
  • Utility belt
  • Indominable will
  • Multilingual
  • Professional sketch artist

Most notable here is of course Cap’s physical attributes. Being the perfect human makes him practically superhuman compared to normal people. In fact, Captain America is so strong that he can lift over 800 pounds, and so fast that he can run a 40-yard dash in only 3.82 seconds. Add to this Cap’s advanced mental processing and his incredible martial arts skills, and you have an extremely formidable fighter able to take on multiple opponents at once.

Captain America also carries more gear than most people realize. In his utility belt, he has a first aid kit, smoke bombs, grenades, industrial-strength cables, lockpicks, and more. However, Cap’s most iconic piece of gear is his shield. Made of a combination of vibraninum and proto-adamantium, it is virtually indestructible and can tank just about any attack. Cap can also throw his shield, giving him a powerful ranged attack. And, thanks to his enhanced brain, he can calculate the specific angles needed to hit multiple targets and have his shield return to him.

Superman: Powers & Abilities

Given a massive power boost by the Earth’s yellow sun thanks to his Kryptonian DNA, Superman is a virtual god compared to normal humans. This being the case, he has a huge list of powers and abilities. Here’s a look:

  • Superhuman strength
  • Superhuman durability
  • Superhuman reflexes/agility
  • Superhuman speed
  • Superhuman stamina
  • Superhuman senses
  • Flight
  • Heat vision
  • Solar energy absorption
  • Cosmic energy absorption
  • Super breath
  • Infrared vision
  • X-ray vision
  • Interstellar travel
  • Self-sustaining
  • Genius level intellect
  • Expert martial artist
  • Indominable will
  • Leadership skills
  • Journalism/investigative skills

The core of Superman’s powers is his god-like physical attributes. His strength, speed, durability, and stamina are so great that he can fight evenly with actual gods in the DC Universe. And while Superman may seem like a simple brawler, he is actually an expert martial artist that can use various forms when needed such as boxing, jujitsu, krav maga, and wrestling.

Superman also has other handy skills such as heat vision, x-ray vision, flight, and the ability to survive in space. This gives him an excellent range of tactical options in fights since many of his powers work exceptionally well together.

The last thing that should be mentioned is Superman’s incredible durability. Given enough solar energy, he’s virtually indestructible. This is thanks to his incredibly dense molecules and supercharged bioelectric aura. Even opponents that can match Superman in all other categories have trouble taking him down just because of how tough the guy is.

Captain America: Weaknesses

The primary weakness of Captain America is that all of his physical attributes are peak human, not superhuman. This may make him seem superhuman compared to normal people, but against a foe with actual super strength or speed, Cap will have his work cut out for him and will need to use all his tactical and strategic mastery to win.

Another weakness of Captain America is that despite his belief in standing up for what you think is right, he is very stubborn and set in his ways. This can lead to conflicts with other superheroes since Captain America is inflexible in his beliefs. Despite this, most other heroes in the Marvel Universe consider Cap a role model and respect him even if they feel they must go against him.

Superman: Weaknesses

The most well-known weakness of Superman is of course Kryptonite. This substance weakens Superman in a manner similar to radiation poisoning. Speaking of which, Superman can actually be harmed by other forms of radiation as well.

Another big weakness of Superman’s is magic. Since magical attacks ignore the laws of science they also tend to ignore Superman’s god-like durability as well. When battling magic casters Superman must always be on his toes since the right spell at the right time could be his undoing.

Telepathy is another weakness of Superman that he must be wary of. While he has mastered certain Kryptonian martial arts that help make him resistant to mental attacks, very powerful telepaths can harm his mind, or even mind control him in some cases.

Lastly is the fact that Superman must rely on solar energy from a yellow sun to use his powers. Separated from yellow sun radiation, or having it forcibly drained out of him, will leave Superman severely weakened and vulnerable to attack.

Superman vs Captain America: Who Would Win in a Fight?

Okay, let’s just get to the point right off the bat. In a fair one-on-one battle, there is no way that Captain America could ever defeat Superman. The Man of Steel simply outclasses Cap in every conceivable way. Even if Cap tried to use Kryptonite, it likely wouldn’t work since Superman has defeated foes who have attempted to use it on him before. So, let’s make this interesting and speculate on how Superman could defeat Captain America without killing him since that’s likely how this would play out.

The first and most obvious way that Superman could defeat Cap without straight-up murdering him would be to use his superhuman speed to get in close and give him a tap to render him unconscious. Quick, clean, and easy.

If Superman was feeling a bit lazy and cruel, he could use his heat vision to take down Captain America. Now, keep in mind that Cap’s shield would likely block Superman’s eye beams, but that shield can only cover so much of his body. Being a smart fellow, Cap would likely use it to cover his vitals, such as his head and chest area, leaving his legs exposed. This would allow Superman to blast his legs off if he felt like being a jerk about it. And if he felt like being gross, he could literally spit at supersonic speeds to take Cap’s legs off. Nasty, but effective.

Let’s not forget that Superman can fly too. Even though Cap can throw his shield great distances, Superman could just kite him from the air, making it impossible for Cap to attack him. He could then just take him out with his eye beams as we just went over.

So Superman wins a fair fight, no questions asked. But, what about a not-so-fair fight? Could Cap pull this off? Maybe. Thanks to Captain America’s status as a superhero icon, he could likely assemble a team of heroes capable of taking advantage of Superman’s weaknesses, such as the spell caster Dr. Strange, and the telepath Charles Xavier. Captain Marvel might even be able to drain Superman’s solar energy with her energy manipulating powers, weakening him enough for Cap to take him down personally. That said, Superman has many allies as well, so Cap’s team would have to wrap this up quickly before help arrives.

In the end, Superman is the big winner of this thought experiment. However, both heroes are still winners in the hearts and minds of the comic book community and beyond thanks to their purity, selflessness, and commitment to making the world a better place for everyone.

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