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What if: Son Goku v. Kal-El


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Now before you roll your eyes at me, hear me out. :lookaround:


I know I have seen this debate many times in message boards all over the internet, but I have never once participated in one of these topics for the simple reason that people who do respond to them are often ... belligerent and biased to exaggerated lengths. In saying so, there's no point in debating with people who simply want to put in their two cents and walk away as if they've already won the "argument."


Anyway, this thread is for fun and while some of you may think it a waste of time, please remember ... It's just for conversation. I would rather discuss it among a group of people in a place I enjoy then leave it as open forum with no meaningful insight from those that participate.


Okay, on to the characters:




We all know these two graphic novel giants -- they need no introduction.


Moving on, the main issue I feel most people overlook in debates over these two characters is consistency.


What I mean is, Superman has had various "incarnations" of his character throughout his career as a Comic-book hero -- whether its from depictions of him in alternate realities or from "reboots" in the DC universe that rewrite his character's powers and feats (which have happened several times) -- he lacks a consistent background to use for a theoretical battle waged on "stats." That said, people often choose to "cherry-pick" the numerous accomplishments he has displayed from these different versions of him (such as the Silver-Age Superman sneezing away a Solar System), which is simply unreliable for the sake of consistency. The only comparable example for Goku would be his different Super-Saiyan forms which can still be considered consistent as there has only ever been maybe ... two versions of him that I can think of; the primary one and the one in Future Trunks' alternate reality where all the Z Fighters have died.


Another point of contention is how Superman has also been depicted by different writers and their choice of conflicting story elements and plot devices that are, logically, unreliable as well ... whether it's because they get their science wrong or for simple exaggeration, the inconsistency is always a factor. For imagination's sake, let's stick with his latest, New 52 incarnation ... although I cannot say there is a reasonable source out there that depicts this version of him in a way that is reliable either. The various wiki's out there state his powers and abilities but they are not defined by set versions of him (and there are many) but simply based on what the comics have shown he is capable of. The same cannot be said for Goku, who for most of his manga career has been written by his creator -- even though people dispute GT as canon -- Akira Toriyama oversaw the anime production despite the series source material not directly related to a Manga. Regardless, with the new Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods movie out that takes place between the last DBZ saga/arc and GT, depicting an even stronger version of Goku than Super Saiyan 4 and Toriyama's direct involvement in its production, it's safe to say there isn't a lot of inconsistency with his character.


What I would like to focus on in this debate/conversation is what we can rely on:

  • For Superman, that would be his weaknesses which are a few; 1) Kryptonite will kill him, if not immediately then quickly enough to turn him into a sick shell of himself; 2) Mystical/magical attacks hurt him (i.e. a normal bullet would bounce off him, a magic bullet would make him bleed if not puncture a hole); 3) Finally -- the most important factor -- his dependency on yellow solar radiation.
  • Goku's weaknesses are; 1) his Saiyan tail ... which he himself cuts off anyway.

Alright, I could go on and list each of their respective powers and abilities, trying to break this battle down to one of numbers -- which I started off with but soon saw no reason for -- and instead wanted a topic based on reasonable arguments. I would want people not to overestimate and exaggerate for argument's sake so let's be reasonable, shall we?


My reasoning for why Goku would win is simply because Superman's powers and abilities are temporary -- if not for the fact that that his physiology is empowered by the yellow sun in our Solar System, he would be a normal humanoid being. Red sun radiation actually causes him pain, and being away from our sun will revert him back to a normal state. Goku's powers and abilities are inherently his and this remains true whether he is on this planet or one across the galaxy, a different realm, and even in death.


What's your opinion on this subject?

Edited by veristic
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would have to go with Goku, simply enough as Kal-El and Goku can both fly all that goku would really have to do is get superman to follow him to another planet. Sure superman can shoot lasers at him, goku can shoot energy right back. Superman is only invincible in the presence of the sun whereas Goku may not be invincible but uses his own strength. Not borrowed strength.

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I would have to go with the Man Of Steel. His only weakness being no sun. Goku needs to eat Senzu Beans after his energy is depleted and Superman's energy never depleted unless he is around kryptonite or no Sun.

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Interesting mention about the Senzu beans Jitway. That's why I said his dependency on Yellow Solar energy is his flaw; remove that and he is not "super."


Here's how Goku would win:

Dragon Ball wiki states: Instant Transmission (瞬間移動, Shunkan Idō; lit. "Instantaneous Movement", also translated as "Teleportation") is a technique for traveling long distances instantly. This action is usually accompanied by the user placing his index and middle fingers on his forehead to help him concentrate, though if extra time is taken the technique can be performed without this aid.


That said, Goku would simply need to find the ki signature of someone living on a planet in the solar system of a Red Sun, use this technique on himself and Superman to relocate there (which can transport himself and others even light years away), and Superman's true "power" or lack-there-of will be revealed. For all his speed and ability, Superman cannot travel light years even at his best speed.


Considering how popular this topic has been online, I'm surprised more people haven't done fan-made depictions more seriously. The best to date I believe is the ScrewAttack Death Battle they staged with actual 3D models of both of them fighting it out and background info on stats etc., but again ... they too were unreliably biased with Superman.


Here's to our youth!



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I know this is an older post, but I stumbled upon something that proves Goku would beat Superman.




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