Superman Is the Best Superhero (According to This Study, Anyway)
Who is the best superhero? It’s a question that’s long existed without an objective answer, but one exhaustive, seven-year study claims that there is a definitive answer. So the next time you’re locked into an argument with a fellow comic book fan, you can feel free to whip out this scientific research to prove your point.
Students at the University of Leicester (via Gizmodo) conducted a study from 2009 to 2016 to determine which superhero is objectively the best. The results were based on various powers, including energy output and efficiency, ability to travel safely, regenerative abilities and the durability of their accessories. They also took weaknesses — like the potential to harm themselves or others — into account, and the results may not surprise some of the more devoted comic book fans among you.
According to their research, Superman is the “best-equipped” superhero, owing to his increased muscle tissue on Earth and his ability to unleash a Super Flare with an energy output of 7.07x105 Joules per second. Wolverine, Thor and Mystique also ranked pretty high on the list thanks to regenerative, energy and gene manipulation abilities, respectively. Black Bolt of Marvel’s Inhumans received a special note for being the most destructive superhero, capable of wiping out entire planets with his energy output.
As for the worst superhero? You may not like the answer: Batman. Despite his utility belt and various gadgets, the results of the study determined that the Dark Knight is the most “ill-equipped” hero — mostly because he wouldn’t “survive a landing after gliding due to the velocity of his movement.” Basically, Batman is the worst because he can’t fly and he sucks at falling.
Strangely, the only female superhero on the list is Mystique. It’s unclear exactly how the students determined which heroes would participate in the study, though it is noted that the results were released to coincide with DC’s Superman Day on June 12 (is there anything that doesn’t have an official day?). Perhaps they were each told to choose one hero, or maybe there was additional research to narrow the field, but it seems like Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Jean Grey and Supergirl would have ranked pretty high in the research if they had been included.