The DCEU may not have attained the critical and popular success of the MCU, but seeing fan-favorite DC characters together on the big screen for the first time was a definite thrill for diehard fans and casual moviegoers alike.
Seeing the Justice League work in sync against Steppenwolf was just one of the highlights of the DCEU thus far, but perhaps the battle may have been shorter if their comic book counterparts had been fighting it? After all, comic book characters are usually more powerful than their on-screen counterparts, so here are 5 DCEU heroes who would be defeated by their comic counterparts and 5 that would win.
10 AQUAMAN: DCEU
For years, Aquaman’s been the running joke of the Justice League for the perceived lameness of his powers and his ability to communicate with sea life. Despite the best intentions of writers like Peter David and Grant Morrison to rectify that with some bonafide badass moments, the reputation has largely remained intact with the public.
That all changed when Jason Momoa took the role of DC’s King of the Seas. His large stature and imposing physique did much to increase Aquaman’s stock in the eyes of the general public, as did his physicality in the film. There’s no doubt the film version could beat the comic version soundly.
9 CYBORG: COMICS
The DCEU version of Cyborg borrows heavily from the New 52 version, in that his cybernetics originated from Apokolips. This differs from the traditional comics representation, in that they were part of his father, Silas Stone’s, scientific projects.
As the comics version has had much more time to learn about his systems and how to use them, he’d be able to defeat the film version easily, who doesn’t fully understand and can’t control the technological components of his body. Moreover, the comics version has had more experience fighting villains due to his time with the Teen Titans.
8 HARLEY QUINN: DCEU
Despite a lukewarm reception at the box office, Birds of Prey proved what fans already knew: Harley Quinn kicks butt. Split from the Joker at the beginning of the film, Harley didn’t wallow in self-pity for long, taking the fight to the Clown Prince of Crime by blowing up one of his buildings.
This is a far cry from the comics version, who’s been known to flip-flop on her feelings for Mister J quite frequently. At least in terms of emotional resilience, movie Harley’s got comics Harley beat.
7 SHAZAM: COMICS
Shazam’s secret identity has always been that of Billy Batson, an adolescent who must navigate the use of his wonderous powers in the fight against crime. However, as entertaining as the film Shazam! was, this version of the hero would lose in a battle with his comic counterpart.
For starters, the comics version has had more experience using his powers effectively, as well as fighting meta-humans. Also, the source of Shazam’s abilities is way more powerful in the comics, capable of expanding his repertoire on occasion as well as gaining aid from other mystical entities.
6 WONDER WOMAN: DCEU
Gal Godot’s Wonder Woman has proven the critical darling of the DCEU and for good reason: aside from being a stellar film with incredible performances, Godot has proven that female superheroes can draw audiences to their own successful films.
The DCEU’s version of the character has been operating as Wonder Woman since World War I, which gives her the experience and battle savvy to give the comics version a run for her money. Although the current comics version is no slouch in the experience department herself, the century of super-heroing the film version has gives her the edge.
5 THE FLASH: COMICS
Inexperience also plays a big role in determining which Flash would emerge victorious in a battle. Ezra Miller’s DCEU version is so green at being a superhero that he needed Grant Gustin to give him his code name in a multiversal crossover.
On the other hand, the comics’ Barry Allen is no slouch at universe-bending crossovers, having played pivotal roles in both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint. He’s also a master at using the Speed Force in a multitude of different and highly effective ways, so unless he’s fighting the comics Flash in a bar in Reykjavik, Miller’s version will lose this one decidedly.
4 THE ENCHANTRESS: DCEU
The Enchantress has traditionally been portrayed as a villain in the comics, but her association with the Suicide Squad has often relegated her to the role of anti-hero. Although she’s an extremely powerful sorceress in the comics, her power levels pale in comparison to her cinematic counterpart. A hair’s breadth from unleashing an evil that could have destroyed the entire Earth, the DCEU’s Enchantress runs mystical rings around her comics counterpart.
3 BATMAN: COMICS
There was much consternation regarding the DCEU’s portrayal of Batman; not so much in Ben Affleck’s performance but in the Dark Knight’s comfort in taking lives. His viciousness extended itself to an attempt on Superman’s life, as he felt the Man of Steel an existential threat to humanity.
Although the DCEU’s Batman prepared well for his battle with Superman, his propensity to let his feelings motivate his actions will be his downfall against his more logical and tactical comics counterpart. The comic book Batman would have no problem devising a way to take down Batfleck, and to note, without killing him.
2 MERA: DCEU
Her turn in the DCEU established the character as quite formidable, showing a novice Arthur Curry how to use his powers with finesse and introducing him to the intricacies of Atlantean culture and politics. Seasoned in combat and savvy in general, she’d be able to give her comics counterpart a good challenge and secure herself the win.
1 SUPERMAN: COMICS
The foundation stone of the DCEU, Henry Cavill’s Superman checked all the boxes for an onscreen representation of the Man of Steel. He was powerful yet unassuming, decisive yet gracious, and had the physique of a man who looked like bullets could bounce off his chest.
As epic as his portrayal of Superman was, he’d be in for defeat if he faced the comic book version. The Superman of the comics is a seasoned veteran in the superhero game and has access to a wealth of Kryptonian artifacts in his Fortress of Solitude that he could use to subdue DCEU Supes easily.
The DCEU heroes are strong, but would they be able to take on the comic versions of themselves?