And yes, I know what you’re thinking: “NOBODY CARES WHO WOULD WIN IN A MAKE BELIEVE FIGHT BETWEEN TWO CHARACTERS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE STOPPED READING ABOUT WHEN THEY WERE TEN” but my answer to that is shut up.
Anyway first lets list their abilities.
Energy Blasts (Superman from his eyes and Goku from his hands)
Superman’s abilities (other than listed above):
Invulnerability (though I don’t think that this should be counted since there are some entities, such as Doomsday, that have been able to cause Superman to bleed, without the use of kryptonite)
Goku’s Abilities (other than listed above):
Ability to sense a person’s “Ki”
Transformation (The ability to transform himself into a SSJ1, 2 and 3, I don’t count SSJ4 because that’s not in the manga and therefore not canon)
Goku has a list of various attacks that stem from his ability to control energy, i.e. the kamehama wave, etc, that I’m not gonna list here.
He can, according to John Byrne’s 1986 rewrite, barely survive a nuclear blast,
He also needs Air to breath (although in Infinite Crisis he appears to fly to Krypton without running out of air)
Goku is a Saiyan, and is weakened whenever someone touches his tail. However, his tail has been permanently removed (during the original Dragon ball) and since I’m not counting GT, Goku doesn’t have a tale.
He can, however, bleed much easier than superman.
As far as how powerful goku is, he’s seen pushing two mountains together at the end of the Buu saga, and since he defeated Buu, though only barely (however it is stated that he could easily have defeated Kid Buu, the most powerful form of Buu, at SSJ3 but chose not to, it is conceivable that he is more powerful than Kid Buu, who is stated at being able to destroy whole galaxies, and is seen destroying earth with little taxing, it is safe to assume that Goku can at least match this power) Therefore, Goku can, at the hight of his strength in SSJ3 mode, destroy an entire Galaxy, though due to his personality he would never resort to such a method.
As far as speed, Goku can travel at at least the speed of light, assuming that he is faster than Gotenks, who is said to have (in the manga) traveled around the world 9 times in one second.
So, the final tally as far as who’s abilities are stronger:
Speed: Superman, due to the fact that Superman is only barely slower than the Flash, who can easily travel several times the speed of light, and Superman is seen many times traveling faster than the speed of light In addition, while instant transmission is instantaneous (in the manga definition), it does take Goku a few moments to find the location he wishes to travel to, which might give an opponent an edge in a fight
Energy: Goku, simply because Superman can’t destroy a planet with beams from his eyes, let alone an entire galaxy
Super Strength: that’s a tough one, but I’m going to go with Superman just because I cant find any stated limit to his strength, I’ve seen him move planets in comics, whereas Goku has a bit of trouble moving mountains.
The tally is: Superman 2, Goku 1
Doesn’t look good for Goku. However, Goku is a martial artist, the greatest on his Earth. Superman, while strong, and supposedly being “trained” in Kryptonian Martial arts, is not the greatest Kryptonian martial artist, nor the greatest martial artist on earth. Conceivably goth Goku’s and Superman’s strengths are very near, as well as speed, in a hand to hand combat I’d give Goku the upper hand just because of his increased fighting skill, therefore, the tally now is:
The tally is: Superman 2, Goku 2
But lets take a look at the “energy” label. Superman’s only real energy ability comes from his eyes, he shoots lazer beams that, although can cut through many things, cannot cut through everything, i.e. Doomsday, and others. These blasts are not powerful enough to destroy planets, let alone galaxies. I would have to say that, given the near equal strength and speed, Goku would gain the upper-hand in the fight because of his plethora of energy based attacks and the stated destructive ability of said attacks. These should conceivably be enough to, if not destroy Superman, or even if they’re not enough to make him bleed (though I think Goku could make him bleed, since Goku’s energy is stronger than a ‘nuke by far, and Superman can “barely” survive a nuclear blast) they’d at least slow him down. That’s not looking good for old Kal L, since I’m giving the current score as
The tally is: Superman 2, Goku 3
Now, there has been some mention on other threads that Superman can survive the pressure of the sun, stating that he’s escaped from the center of Earth’s own sun. However, I wouldn’t’ take this as a measure of strength since the yellow sun is what fuels Kal L. However, in the Infinite Crisis story-line, Superman from Earth 1 and Superman from Earth 2 are shown flying through Krypton’s sun, which is red, while pushing Super-boy Prime through it. Assuming they did this at top speed, that’s still quite a feet considering that the sun is something around 333,000 or so Earth Gravities. However, I would like to note that during many fights in the DBZ universe, events that should take only a few minutes last two weeks. The only way this could be explained is that time is slowing down because the fighters are increasing their speed closer to that of the speed of light. As their speed increases, their density will also increase, and as density, so will the effect of gravity. Since this doesn’t seem to slow them down, I’m going to assume that, if Goku survived the center of the sun (which he could if he put an energy shield on, which he has in the past) he would have little problem escaping the sun’s gravity, as well as the fact that he did train in 100 times Earth Gravity and survive without his bones turning into soup (you may think I’m kidding with this, but I’m totally serious).
One last thing to note: Superman’s power is limited, IE there is a cap to the man’s power, even though this power may seem unsurpassable. Goku, however, is a Saiyan, and has the ability to double his strength each time he is injured to the point of near death. Therefore, if Superman defeated Goku the first time, it is unlikely that he would kill him (due to Superman’s oath never to kill, which he has only broken in killing Doomsday, though doomsday survived so that doesn’t even count). Therefore, Goku would come back again, fully healed and twice as strong as he had been the first time.
Now, if you have any more qualms, here’s a quote from Wizard Magazine’s article in Issue 133, depicting a fictional fight between Superman and Goku
“The wizard Babadi manipulates Goku into thinking an eighth Dragonball exists on a parallel Earth protected by an invincible Kryptonian. The Super Saiyan crosses over dimensions and finds the Man of Steel inspecting a LexCorp satellite. Goku introduces himself by throttling Superman into a nearby moon. Shaking it off, Supes dodges the next couple of lunges, but his mysterious foe’s martial arts prowess and teleportation ability allows him to land more blows. The Man of Steel proves to be able to absorb more punishment than the orange-clad bruiser, and surprises Goku with a couple of blasts of heat vision. Wanting to end the struggle, Goku rapidly teleports, landing a dozen blows to Supes in the span of a second. Not falling for the same trick, Superman’s super-vision detects a particle flux when Goku teleports, allowing him to anticipate where his foe will appear. As the Z Warrior winks out and reappears, Superman unleashes a haymaker, pounding Goku deep into the moon’s surface. The Man of Steel demands an explanation of this assault, but Goku amps up to Super-Saiyan mode and fires off a Kamehameha blast that fries Supes like a fish stick! Pressing his attack, a furious Goku unleashes a planet-destroying punch that hits a stunned Superman square in the “S” shield, knocking him clear off the moon and back toward Earth. Realizing the fall might kill the Kryptonian. Goku teleports and catches Superman before he goes splat. It is then that Goku senses there are no such Dragonballs on this Earth. Apologizing for his dishonor, Goku humbly begs for forgiveness before heading back to his own dimension to take out the lying Babidi. Puzzled at what had just happened, a woozy Superman collapses unconscious, awaiting medical treatment.”
Now, I have a few problems with this article, noting that Goku wouldn’t pick a fight with Superman without speaking to him first, and Goku can’t sense a Dragonball, but since this article isn’t written by anyone on the DBZ staff or Superman Staff, its not canon anyway.
At the end of this tirade, I’m going to have to still go with
The tally is: Superman 2, Goku 3
I’m willing to give Superman an edge because Goku has a nature of going into long, useless histrionics, during which time I believe Superman would take advantage of Goku’s relatively trusting nature to sucker punch he dude. But if I give Superman a point for this, I’m going to give Goku a point for the unlimited potential power of a Saiyan, as well as the fact that it is stated that Goku can survive the destruction of a planet easily (though requires air to breath, just as superman does) so the final tally will be
The FINAL tally is: Superman 3, Goku 4
There you have it folks, Goku beats Superman. In my opinion, Goku would do it easily, but in order to be relatively fair, Goku wins by only one point.
So there it is, Goku will defeat Superman, and is therefore the most powerful character in both the DBZ and DC universe.