Son Goku, the protagonist of the Dragon Ball franchise, has steadily grown a universal reputation as one of the most powerful fictional characters ever created. Fans of the series have watched as Goku’s overcome numerous trials, continuing to grow in power while expanding his own arsenal of special techniques. We’ve seen him grow from a boy to a man and eventually, a god.
For a lot of people, Dragon Ball was their introduction to the world of eastern animation and all the crazy super-powered battles it has to offer. After watching Goku take on villains like Frieza or Majin Buu, it’s easy to start questioning if there’s any character out there who could take on the Saiyan from earth. A lot of people will adamantly state that there is no one who could beat Goku. Dragon Ball is often placed in a league of its own, full of untouchable characters that are led by Goku himself. This however, is not the case.
Western comics has several powerhouses as well. Many of these heroes are strong enough to even give our boy Goku a run for his money. In fact, there are a handful of heroes who could absolutely wreck him. On the other hand, there are a bunch who wouldn’t even be allowed to breathe the same air as Goku after he shows them how weak they are. To prove that this god can bleed, here’s a list of 20 heroes that would bring the pain to Goku along with 10 who would be forced to kiss his feet.
30 Strong: Cosmic Spider
What happens when you mix some of the most powerful energy in the universe with our favorite web-slinger? After a lab experiment imbues Peter Parker with Uni-Power, an energy used to create Captain Universe, Peter becomes Cosmic Spider-Man. This upgrade doesn’t make him a little tougher than the average spider. We’re talking strong enough to punch the Hulk all the way into space in one hit. Cosmic Spider-Man was even able to fly up into space just to bring him back down to earth afterward.
He can shoot energy beams, rearrange matter to create just about anything he wants, move faster than the speed of light, and sense literally any energy in the world thanks to his cosmic spider-sense. Oh yeah, he also never needs to eat or sleep and can’t be injured so he’s essentially Spider-God. Bow down, Goku.
29 Strong: The Silver-Age Superhero
Like many others, I am and will always be a firm believer that Goku would be able to win in a fight against the last son of Krypton. Having said that, Silver-Age Superman is on an entirely unfair level of powerful. Originally, DC really made a push for their poster boy Superman to be the strongest superhero and it often resulted in some crazy (and silly) feats.
This Superman is so strong that he was able to chain together an entire string of planets and pull them along space.
He once super-sneezed away an entire solar system. His brain works so fast that he can remember literally everything he ever experiences in perfect detail. The list goes on when it comes to Silver Age Superman. If Goku ever hopes to win this one, he’d better use those Dragon Balls to wish for a big chunk of kryptonite.
28 Weak: The Unseeing Acrobat
I love Daredevil as much as the next guy, especially after watching the Netflix series. It’s because I love him so much, however, that I’d beg him not to go up against Goku. Goku has been tossing cars and surviving bullets to the head since he was a child. After training with all of the greatest martial artists in the universe, it’s almost unfair to have these two in the arena with each other. I’m not even sure Daredevil could lay a hand on Goku at the start of Dragon Ball, let alone at the end. Daredevil has survived against some pretty heavy hitters in the Marvel universe and I can respect that but when it comes to fighting Goku, this Devil should stick to Hell’s Kitchen.
27 Strong: The Man Who Survived The Universe
There’s no way Goku could ever hope to beat a man so strong that he could survive two universes colliding with one another. Hyperion is basically a super-powered version of Superman. Sent to earth as a baby, the sole survivor of a race known as the Eternals, Hyperion was raised under the name Marcus Milton. Sounds like a familiar story, doesn’t it?
When it comes to powers, Hyperion has it all. Strength, speed, flight, super healing. He’s even got his own version of heat vision known as atomic vision. There is no beating Hyperion. After his universe collided with another, nothing was left except him, floating in the void. Not even Goku’s universal spirit bomb would be a match against this guy.
26 Strong: The God Of Thunder
Thor is awesome. We’re not talking about the MCU version of Thor (Who is awesome in his own right), we’re talking about Earth 616 Thor. He’s an unstoppable beast.
What makes Thor such a powerful force is his mastery over the Odinforce as well as him taking on the title of Rune King.
This gives us a Thor unlike any we’ve ever seen before. In addition to all his classic powers, Rune King Thor is just about omnipotent. He can manipulate space-time, bend reality to his will, control minds, and use telepathy. He was able to endure the wrath of gods in the past but now he’s on a whole other level. Goku may be a Super Saiyan God but that won’t be nearly enough for this king.
25 Weak: The Original Webslinger
Cosmic Spider-Man may be able to wreck Goku in an instant but when you take away those oh-so-awesome Uni-Powers, the tide shifts completely in Goku’s favor. The original version of Spider-Man is considered by many to be the face of Marvel but that doesn’t make him anywhere near the title of Marvel’s strongest. Compared to a monster like Goku, Spider-Man is outclassed in nearly every way. Goku is leagues ahead of him in terms of raw strength and speed.
Not even Spidey’s healing factor is going to save him from the pain Goku will inevitably bring.
The one prayer that Spidey can hope for is that his webbing is strong enough to hold Goku until he can think of a plan, or at least give him time to run away!
24 Strong: The Last Green Martian
People tend to underestimate Martian Manhunter. This is a huge mistake that could potentially cost someone like Goku, everything.
You may not know it, but J’onn J’onzz has quite the arsenal at his disposal for him to be a major threat. Alongside the classic powers of flight, super strength, speed, and endurance, Martian Manhunter also has the powers to control minds and become COMPLETELY intangible. That power alone can put a stop to pretty much anything Goku could do. For all Goku’s strength is worth, it won’t mean anything if he can’t hit his opponent. Even his reliable energy-based attacks would go right through J’onn. Although, he might not even need to become intangible to win when he can read all of Goku’s thoughts.
Goku had better master Ultra Instinct if he hopes to stand a chance against this alien.
23 Strong: The Mind-Controlling Professor
Regardless of who would win this battle, the fact that it would be fast is certain. Although Martian Manhunter’s telepathic abilities are more than enough to take down Goku, Professor X is just overkill. Charles Xavier is one of, if not THE, strongest telepaths in all of the Marvel universe. At the age of 12, he was already able to hear the thoughts of every person on earth. While most heroes build gadgets to enhance their abilities, Professor X needed one just to tone them down.
With no physical abilities, you might think for a moment that this wheelchair-bound hero could be at a disadvantage against such a trained martial artist. The one you should be praying for, however, is Goku.
With a mere thought, Professor X would have Goku on his knees in tears.
22 Weak: Smashed Into The Fourth Wall
Compared to a lot of heroes, Deadpool is usually considered a force to be reckoned with. In fact, Deadpool’s so strong that he cleaned through the entire Marvel universe, twice.
Still, Deadpool isn’t invulnerable even with his immortality. Goku’s no stranger to taking on the living-deceased and as far as Deadpool’s arsenal goes, he’d be extremely lucky if he can make Goku flinch. Guns stopped being a problem for Goku at the tender age of ten. Deadpool may love to go “Bang Bang” against his opponents, but he’ll only be wasting ammo against someone as strong as Goku. Goku’s also no stranger to blades, catching Trunks’ sword with only a finger.
Deadpool’s going to have to do some major fourth wall breaking if he wants to avoid Goku obliterating him.
21 Strong: The Void Sentry
The super soldier formula was the key to creating Captain America but when it comes to Sentry, the experimental serum worked wonders.
Like Hyperion, Sentry is basically Marvel’s equivalent to Superman. As expected, this means the Sentry has all the powers necessary for the task of kicking Goku’s behind. There’s one major problem that dashes any hopes Goku could ever have of beating Sentry in a fight and that’s the fact that he’s immortal. That’s right, no physical or energy-based attacks can ever finish off Sentry. As of now, the only way to do any real damage to Sentry is to attack his very soul, something Goku has no way of doing for (for now, at least). Sorry Goku, this guy is just out of your league.
20 Strong: The Scarlet Speedster
Despite what the anime would have you believe with all its filler; Dragon Ball characters are fast. Like, super fast. Normal humans can rarely even see their fights, let alone be able to follow them with their eyes alone. Still, neither Goku nor any of his allies can match the ridiculous speeds of The Flash.
For a guy who can only run fast, Flash has been able to pull off some insanely over the top feats.
He’s been able to run so quickly that he could essentially fly. If that isn’t impressive enough, there’s also the fact that he can run fast enough to create a vortex that suffocates his enemies. I haven’t even mentioned all the times he's run through time or between dimensions.
Goku can’t catch what he can’t see.
19 Weak: Tougher Than Steel
With or without his abilities, Wolverine’s greatest strength is his unyielding resilience. Wolverine is without a doubt, a fan favorite of the X-Men series and with very good reason. He has a healing factor so effective that even he was left with nothing but bones, he still managed to revive completely. Adamantium may not exist in the world of Dragon Ball, but there’s a good chance that even Goku could be hurt by it.
Despite all of this, the fact remains that Goku can dish more than what Wolverine can take. Wolverine lacks superhuman strengths and while he is quick, he isn’t the fastest hero around. Adamantium is strong but it isn’t going to be any help when his opponent is so fast that he can’t even see him.
18 Strong: The Strontian Gladiator
Here’s an alien that makes Saiyans look extremely docile.
The Strontian Kallark trained alongside his fellow Strontians so that he could earn the title of Gladiator. I’m sure you can guess what word Strontian derives from without much effort, giving you a pretty good idea of what this guy’s all about.
Outside of heat vision, Gladiator doesn’t have many actual powers. That’s what makes him all the stronger of an opponent for Goku. Gladiator relies solely on his strength to do damage and he’s really good at showing it. He’s so strong that not even Hyperion can take him down. Gladiator’s even been seen tearing apart black holes. There would be no tricks to this fight, just a savage beat down and a victorious Gladiator.
17 Strong: The Sky Rider
Outside of more hardcore comic fans, not many people know exactly what the Silver Surfer is capable of (that movie certainly didn’t help). Don’t be fooled though, this guy packs serious heat.
Born Norrin Radd on the planet Zenn-La, Radd became the Silver Surfer in order to serve Galactus in agreement that he spare his home planet. If you know anything about Marvel, you can guess that serving as Galactus’ right hand would mean that you’re unbelievably strong. The Silver Surfer can absorb and manipulate energy to give him life and extra power. He has so much power that he can even match Thanos and hurt Thor when he’s at his best. Hey may not be a hand-to-hand expert like Goku but as an invulnerable immortal with cosmic energy, he really doesn’t need to be.
16 Weak: Arrows Pointing To Defeat
To a lot of people, Green Arrow is looked at as nothing more than a knockoff of the great Batman and technically, they aren’t wrong.
Green Arrow was designed specifically to follow the trend that Batman started, except with a bow and arrows to replace the iconic Batarang. It worked well and Green Arrow has done well at establishing himself as a unique hero. However, it’ll take a lot more than a quiver full of arrows to faze Goku in any way. At the end of the day, arrows can never fly fast enough without looking like they’re moving in slow motion to a trained Saiyan warrior. Oliver Queen is going to have to create something far better than a punching glove arrow to stand in this fight.
15 Strong: The Master Of Magic
Goku has a great battle sense. He’s able to pick up on different fighting styles and techniques with relative ease. Magic, however, isn’t exactly something within Goku’s realm of understanding.
As the Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange is no pushover in the field of magic. He’s even gone as far as being able to fight gods successfully on his own. What really solidifies him a spot above Goku though, is that Doctor Strange was able to defeat the entire Justice League on his own…sort of. In a fight against Justice League knockoffs, known as the Great Society, Doctor Strange summoned a giant tentacle monster strong enough to destroy the equivalents to Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Doctor Fate. It was a sight to behold and confirms that should Goku ever decide to take Doctor Strange on, the results will likely be the same.
14 Strong: The Doctor Is In
Speaking of Doctor Fate, he’s another magician who could absolutely crush Goku into dust.
More powerful than even Doctor Strange, Doctor Fate is an actual god.
As the Lord of Order, Doctor Fate can perform feats Goku hasn’t even come close to reaching yet. He’s able to outrace the Big Bang, moving far faster than Flash or even Superman. Fate has even been able to keep an entire universe from collapsing along with defeating two multiverse threatening opponents. When it comes to DC Comics, magic is on an entirely different level from what we see anywhere else.
The worst part? Some would say that Doctor Fate isn’t even the strongest sorcerer in DC’s universe! If this guy’s the appetizer, Goku still has a long road ahead of him.
13 Weak: The Energy Drainer
With the way that Rogue’s powers are described, it’s almost hard to believe that she wouldn’t be the perfect match to take down Goku but it’s true.
Rogue has the ability to drain the energy away from any being she touches.
For a mostly close-up fighter like Goku, it seems like the perfect opportunity for her to grab on. The only problem with this plan is Rogue’s own limitations. Her body can only handle so much before she overloads and with Goku’s near limitless amount of energy, It won’t be long until Rogue blows her top.
The only way for Rogue to drain Goku without immediately taking herself out would be to drain Goku’s energy at an extremely low pace. At that point though, Rogue would come off as more of a mosquito on Goku’s arm.
12 Strong: Made In Manhattan
We’ve got one last Doctor who’s proven to be more than capable of curb-stomping Goku.
Before DC’s latest reboot transformed him into a major antagonist, Doctor Manhattan was a proud member of the Crimebusters. He’s got a pretty unique set of powers on him as well, ones that Goku really isn’t equipped to handle. Doctor Manhattan can see through time, even traveling through it at will. As if that isn’t threatening enough, he’s even able to alter and create new realities!
Manhattan has the advantage of not really being human at all. He can physically alter his form, teleport at will, and make use of telekinesis.
Oh, there’s also the fact that his body is constantly emitting levels of ultraviolet radiation. They call him Doctor Manhattan for a reason after all.
11 Strong: A Vision Of Defeat
Vision was created with the defeat of Ultron in mind but I doubt even Tony Stark imagined he’d create a being stronger than even the most famous Saiyan.
Intelligence has never been Goku’s strong suit and unfortunately for him, Vision has it in spades thanks to the supercomputer brain he was programmed with. Even If Goku were somehow able to get in a shot before Vision calculated a proper evasive move, it wouldn’t do much good when Vision’s got a constantly self-repairing body made of nanites.
If Goku hopes to stand even a sliver of a chance, he’d better not challenge Vision during the day either. Thanks to the solar jewel on his head, Vision is constantly absorbing power from the sun.
This type of Android is a lot more powerful than what Goku is used to.
10 Weak: A Not So Spooky Knight
A recent rule in DC is that Batman always wins. He’s always got some sort of contingency plan that earns him victory against even the strongest foes. Not even Superman has been able to beat him.
Fans also love to believe that Batman could never lose. The constant reasoning is that with enough prep time, Batman can figure out a way to beat ANYONE. It’s a nice idea and when it comes to a lot of the different characters out there, I’d agree. The theory doesn’t hold up nearly as well when up against Goku. Superman has a weakness with kryptonite but Goku has no such weakness.
There’s no angle to figure out when it comes to beating Goku. The only answers are to become something more than human, something Batman can unfortunately never do.
9 Strong: Beaten Blue
If I wanted to be lazy, I could simply bring up the fact this guy has matched up evenly against Sentry and defeated Hyperion to end this discussion altogether.
Blue Marvel is a hero so powerful, the government forced him to retire from heroics after getting scared of just how strong he was. With the power of anti-matter, even a task such as moving a meteor the size of a state is something he can do without even trying. Like many on this list, he’s also indestructible. He’s even managed to survive a hydrogen bomb blowing up in his hands without being fazed.
The true force of Blue Marvel comes from his ability to manipulate anti-matter, being able to shoot blasts of it along with rearranging the photons within someone’s body.
Can Goku even try defending against that?
8 Strong: Shazam’d!
Although it’s hard to imagine something more embarrassing than Goku being beaten by a little boy, here we are.
By saying the word “Shazam," a young Billy Batson is quickly transformed into the magic-imbued grown-up version of himself. He’s basically every small child’s fantasy OC they thought up when they were eight and knowing that, you can imagine the world of hurt Goku’s in for. Tougher than Superman, fast enough to move at limitless speed, Shazam has it all. Beyond all that, he’s, of course, got some of the world most powerful magic which he channels through the gods.
Oh yeah, he can also teleport wherever he needs to and he’s immortal. Truly, Shazam is the most powerful OC to exist and Goku’s going to have to deal with it.
7 Weak: The Pride Of America
Steve Rogers has done a lot for his country, more than most could ever hope to accomplish. The super-soldier serum is really only a part of what makes him so “super."
Time and time again, Captain America has proven that the formula used for him isn’t what makes him a hero. Even against “improved” super-soldiers, Cap has still managed to come out on top. It’s always been his heart that pulls him through some very over-the-top situations. He does, however, still have his limits and unfortunately, they fall far shorter than Goku. At the end of the day, Cap isn’t above a mere human even if he is performing at peak performance. His shield may be unbreakable, but Captain America isn’t.
We thank you for your service, Captain.
6 Strong: The Controller Of Chaos
Scarlet Witch could possibly be one of the most terrifying opponents for Goku to fight. Her main ability is chaos magic. What is chaos magic, you ask? Well, it’s the power to manipulate and warp reality at will. Its power is amplified thanks to a demon by the name of Chthon (as if a power like that needs amplifying). Scarlet Witch’s powers are so great, even she’s barely in control of them half the time.
Keeping her in check even proved to be difficult for the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Doctor Strange.
One simple hex spell from her is all it takes to negatively affect your life in a huge way. In a fight, you definitely want to keep things like luck in your favor but that might not be possible for Goku this time.
5 Strong: The Phoenix Rises
Poor Goku and his soon-to-be-destroyed mind. As if Professor X wasn’t more than enough for our small-minded simian, Jean Grey will make him absolutely bite the dust.
Potentially the strongest of the mutants, Jean Grey possesses the same telepathic abilities as Professor X. What makes her even more fearsome is that her range of abilities go far beyond what X can do. Jean is able to alter emotions, control actions, erase and alter memories, personalities, etc. When it comes down to it, she changes just about everything that makes a person who they are and that’s beyond scary.
The icing on the cake, however, is the fact that Jean Grey is also one with the Phoenix Force. This gives her even more power, granting her immortality, the ability to resurrect herself and power over time and space. Goku will either have to live with his loss or forget that he was even fighting in the first place.
4 Weak: Half-Man, Half-Machine
Victor Stone, Aka Cyborg has been generating a lot more buzz since appearing in the latest live-action Justice League movie. After an accident destroyed his human body, he was remade with a whole bunch of cybernetic enhancements.
Unfortunately, none of those enhancements would be enough to stop Goku from tearing him to pieces. At his best, Cyborg is strong enough to toss a truck. Compared to Goku, that’s really not even a noteworthy feat. It’s sad to think about but if Goku punched Cyborg even once, his shiny robot body would be broken.
Besides, Goku has been handling robots as early as Android 8. Even against Android’s 17 and 18, Cyborg would be less than likely to survive. Cyborg isn’t ready to fight with the big bots.
3 Strong: Marvel Before Her
If Goku were to go up against Captain Marvel, some of his greatest techniques may be what cost him this battle.
Carol Danvers gained superhuman abilities during a space expedition, resulting in her becoming the hero known as Ms. Marvel aka Captain Marvel. She’s got all the usual speed and durability boosts to make her a tough customer against Goku but her main advantage comes from her ability to absorb and reuse energy. Absorbing enough energy from Goku would give her at least triple the output in power that she needs, more than enough to put Goku down.
Marvel can also make use of flash precognition and hyper-cosmic awareness, allowing her to sense and predict exactly what her opponent will do before they do it. It sounds like Captain Marvel mastered Ultra Instinct far before Goku did.
2 Strong: Attack Of The Squirrels
I don’t really understand it but Squirrel Girl doesn’t lose. Ever.
She’s super strong, can leap several stories high, and she has a big bushy tail. Every superhero either wants to be her or be with her, just ask Wolverine.
Seriously though, despite being introduced as an obvious joke character, she has such an amazing fight record that I wouldn’t be all that surprised if she managed to take out Goku with a group of squirrels. She’s already managed to take down some of Marvel’s most famous threats this way. Not even the mighty Thanos was able to fend off a group of rabid squirrels.
We may never know the full extent of her powers since she’s eternally stuck as the Avenger’s babysitter.
Still, don’t mess with Squirrel Girl.
1 Weak: Green With Envy
Green Lantern is one of the Justice Leagues’ most iconic members. He’s battled and defeated Superman in the past so it would be hard to blame you if you expected him to be stronger than Goku as well. The problem with Green Lantern is the number of weaknesses he has.
Speed is a huge factor when it comes to a fight and in this case, it’s one of the deciding factors.
In the time it would take the Green Lantern to create anything with his lantern ring, Goku could take the ring right off his hand. What’s worse, Goku could track down and destroy the OA in minutes while any Green Lantern would be powerless to stop him and especially powerless afterward.
Goku would quickly make this the Lantern’s darkest night.