Shazam! vs. Superman: Who Would Win the Ultimate DC Matchup?

Earth’s Mightiest Mortal vs. The World’s Greatest Super Hero. Who would win in a fight? It’s a battle that’s raged on for 80 years, a question that every writer wants to take a crack at. It seems that Shazam and Superman can hardly cross over without fighting each other, whether it’s in DC Comics or in their animated series. With the upcoming DCU reboot, it’s certainly possible we could even see it in the DC Cinematic Universe (one day).

We’re going to make a bold statement: Shazam has a distinct advantage in this showdown.

First, let’s unpack the competition to figure out who would win the fight and, most importantly, why they would win. We’ll go over their origins, their powers, and their history with each other before the final decision is made. Take cover! Things are about to get very action-packed.

Shazam’s Origin and Powers


In the original comics, Billy Batson was a child with a pure heart, and thus he earned the powers of Shazam! But the newer version of Billy Batson is not naturally pure of heart. He is constantly fighting for it.

Billy Batson was a 15 year old boy whose parents abandoned him. He was a troublesome child who went through multiple foster homes. Finally, he was adopted into a family with five other foster siblings, each becoming a new part of his family. When Black Adam’s evil magic was released from an ancient tomb, the Wizard of the Rock of Eternity began his quest to find a child who was “pure of heart.”

While all others failed the test, Billy Batson convinced the Wizard that perfectly good people don’t exist. The world is too complicated. No one is perfect. It was in that moment that the Wizard saw the “embers of good” within the boy, and he granted him the powers of Shazam! In time, Billy Batson learned to be pure of heart. He had the voices of the gods in his head, guiding him toward true selflessness and compassion.


Just by muttering the name of his alter ego, Billy Batson can become Earth’s Mightiest Hero, Shazam! Lightning breaks through the clouds and with it, Batson is engulfed in a magical energy that immediately transforms him into Shazam, imbued with the magical powers of six gods:

  • The Wisdom of Solomon, with the extraordinary mental powers of perfect recall, the ability to speak any language, understand any science, and a wisdom far beyond his years
  • The Strength of Hercules, enough to move stars and planets
  • The Stamina of Atlas, rendering him truly immortal in the form of Shazam with no need for air, food, or any other sustenance
  • The Power of Zeus, including his trademark magical thunderbolt, resistance against magic, and even interdimensional time travel
  • The Courage of Achilles, giving him near invulnerability and indomitable will
  • The Speed of Mercury, allowing him to run and fly at speeds comparable to The Flash

His powers don’t end there. He can also grant powers to others, usually members of his adopted family who also have a pure heart. Granting powers to others does not weaken his powers. It seems that his abilities come from a limitless magical source. With the Stamina of Atlas, Shazam never tires and only grows in strength.


Shazam truly doesn’t seem to have a weakness.

But Billy Batson? He’s literally a child. A human child. If, somehow, someway, Shazam was coerced into turning back into Billy Batson? Well, then anyone can defeat him. Though he still has a pure heart, and he’s even tried to beat up Black Adam despite being a scrawny 12 year old, he’s only human. And a rather immature one at that.

Superman’s Origin and Powers


Born on a distant and doomed planet called Krypton, Kal-El was shipped off across the galaxy with the hopes that he would be raised by a kind and loving family. And he was. Clark Kent had a quaint and calm childhood in Smallville.

He had no superhero mentors, nor role models, but he learned slowly but surely how to harness and control the powers granted to him by Earth’s Yellow Sun. Trial and error, as well as his upbringing helped him learn to be truly good, and fight for all the people of Earth, no matter where they were from. Eventually, he would move to Metropolis and become a journalist for the Daily Planet, as well as saving the world as Superman one day at a time.

Superman truly is the World’s Greatest Hero. He can fly around the world in less than a blink, and saves the day with a handsome wink. There’s no one quite as iconic as The Man of Steel.


Superman has no specific powers of his own. He simply has Kryptonian physiology. Under a yellow sun, his cells are supercharged with energy that can be expended in a multitude of ways like super strength, speed, and durability. Plus, he has flight, super vision, super hearing, X-ray vision, wind breath, ice breath, laser vision, and more.


Superman’s most well-known weakness is Kryptonite, a rare green radioactive rock. Kryptonite can piece his impenetrable skin, and it can even kill him if he’s near it too long.

But Superman does have another weakness: magic! Magic is just as poisonous to him as Kryptonite, and no amount of willpower on Superman’s part can remedy that. In the fight between Shazam and Superman, magic will certainly come into play!

So … who would win between Shazam and Superman?

Shazam always does what he feels is right, and not just by his standards. His morality is guided by the Wisdom of Solomon. Often, when Superman is out of line, there are very few people who have the ability to stand up to him — and not just physically! Billy Batson is one of the few people with a will and a moral compass strong enough to know when Superman has crossed a line.

This is shown multiple times, through multiple mediums. Take, for example, the Justice League Unlimited episode “Clash.” In the episode, Superman’s archenemy Lex Luthor uses Kryptonite to create a free power generator for 30,000 people. Superman has gotten to the point where he refuses to trust Lex Luthor.

On the other hand, Shazam insists that everyone can change, and everyone deserves a second chance. Rather than talk it out further, they go toe to toe, destroying the entirety of the new city that Lex Corp. paid for and built, including the generator. For most of the fight, Shazam is winning without using the full extent of his powers because of his deep respect for Superman. While Superman ultimately wins, it’s only because he’s able to cover Batson’s mouth.

Don’t Say the Magic Word

It seems that they were evenly matched. Despite having the Wisdom of Solomon, Superman can certainly think a bit quicker than Shazam. But even that will only get him so far. In fact, in Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come graphic novel, Shazam was brainwashed by Lex Luthor. Superman was the only hero in the entire Justice League even remotely strong enough to defeat him — but just barely. When Shazam shouts his own name to bring down magical lightning, he becomes Billy Batson for a moment. Before he can turn back into Shazam, Superman covers Batson’s mouth. That seems to be the only way to defeat him.

Often, Shazam is not using the full extent of his power. So imagine if Shazam granted his family his powers, and they fought alongside him. Each of them wielding the power of the gods, and Batson himself in full control and awareness of his abilities. By drawing on magic, one of Superman’s two true weaknesses, they could bombard him with all of their might. Thanks to the power of Atlas, Shazam never tires. On the other hand, eventually even Superman slows down. Recently, Shazam’s lightning only transforms him when Billy wants it to do so. Now, Superman’s only tactic is useless.

Shazam vs. Superman: The Final Decision

In truth, neither of them would ever really best the other. Both heroes have too strict of a moral code. They always fight to a standstill. One way or another, they both have too much respect for life and for each other to truly figure out who would win.

However, even under a yellow sun, magic has proven it can keep extraordinary power in check.

Who do you think would win in a fight between these two DC powerhouses? Vote below and then share your thoughts with other DC fans in our Local Comics Society Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!