Superman’s fight against an army of mechanical monsters in the Fleischer Superman cartoons is a standout action scene that showcases his superhuman strength.
The brief but intense battle between Superman and his doppelgänger, Bizarro, in Superman & Lois demonstrates Superman’s approach to fighting new opponents.
Superman’s fight with Henry Miller, an American neo-nazi, in Superman & Lois highlights his unwavering strength and shows his commitment to protect innocent civilians.

Throughout his selection of DC film and TV adaptations, Superman has been in numerous fight scenes, with 10 melees distinguishing themselves as particularly exciting. Since his 1938 comic debut, Superman’s adventures have been renowned for their action sequences, which complement the heavily allegorical qualities of the Superman mythos and Superman himself. Co-creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster intended Superman to be, among other things, an incorruptible hero whose physical abilities are as unbeatable as his morals. In his earliest stories, Superman would contend with realistic evils, from corrupt entities to organized crime and white supremacist groups, but his adventures soon pitted him against fantastic foes who could credibly trade punches with him.

Similar to some Marvel superheroes like Spider-Man and Iron Man, sheer fighting skills are, more often than not, unnecessary for Superman to beat most opponents, even if their strength is comparable to his. Even many live-action iterations of Superman lack formal combat training, as Clark Kent’s Kryptonian physiology, which is enhanced by Earth’s yellow sun and the gravity and atmospherics of Earth itself, grant him almost incalculable strength, speed, reflexes, durability, and enhanced cognitive abilities, in addition to numerous other superpowers. Still, this does not prevent Superman from having compelling fight scenes throughout his screen adaptations, with the following 10 scenes being his best.

Related: Superman: How Powerful Each Movie Version Of The Character Is

10 Superman Vs The Mechanical Monsters (Fleischer Superman Cartoons)

The iconic Fleischer Superman cartoons have had a strong influence on DC’s animated adaptations and even the comics themselves. Not only did the cartoons inspire the Batman and Superman animated shows in the 1990s, but they even gave Superman his famous ability to fly in the comics and all subsequent adaptations. The second Fleischer short, titled “The Mechanical Monsters,” includes the best action scene in the series, pitting Superman against an army of the titular robots. Despite enduring an onslaught of strikes from their fists and flamethrowers, Superman endures, destroying the robots with his superhuman strength.

9 Superman Vs Bizarro (Superman & Lois)

The Arrowverse’s Superman & Lois introduced its own version of the classic Superman villain Bizarro in season 2. This iteration takes inspiration from Bizarro’s Silver Age incarnation, establishing him as a doppelgänger of Superman from an “inverse” version of Earth (Bizarro World). In the episode “Girl… You’ll Be A Woman, Soon,” Bizarro and Superman battle, with Superman using minimal force to subdue his counterpart. When he realizes that Bizarro is every bit as powerful as he is, Superman takes their fight to the Shuster Mines and, armed with X-Kryptonite, beats Bizarro unconscious. The fight is brief, intense, and an excellent demonstration of Superman’s approach to fighting new opponents.

Related: Superman: Legacy: Release Date, Plot Details & Everything We Know

8 Superman Vs Henry Miller (Superman & Lois)

Superman is, intrinsically, a metaphor for American Jewish immigrants and their descendants at the turn of the century, with Jerry Seigel and Joe Shuster both being Jewish creators with strong anti-fascist ideals. Naturally, some of Superman’s villains are nazis and other white supremacists, with Heinrich Melch – also known as Henry Miller or Atom-Man – being one example. Henry Miller is reimagined as an American neo-nazi in Superman & Lois, and his fight with Superman in the episode “Closer” is one of the best in the series. Despite Miller receiving superpowers, Superman is unphased by his opponent, taking the quick and brutal fight as far away from civilians as possible.

7 Superman Vs Darkseid (Justice League Unlimited)

The DC Animated Universe’s version of Superman was partially inspired by John Byrne’s Modern Age Superman comics, depicting a more vulnerable Superman who had a degree of difficulty performing certain feats of strength. In the series finale of Justice League Unlimited, however, Superman retroactively reveals that he has been holding back his true strength all along. In a final grudge match with his bitter rival, Darkseid, Superman delivers a now-famous speech about “cutting loose” and makes short work of the Apokoliptian warlord with little effort, forcing Darkseid to resort to incapacitating Superman with an advanced Apokoliptian weapon out of desperation.

6 Superman Vs Lex Luthor (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies)

Superman and Lex Luthor’s clashes are typically not physical, but Superman’s pre-Crisis comics gave his greatest enemy the means to fight him in hand-to-hand combat. Lex Luthor developed an advanced armored and weapons-laden suit that makes his strength and durability comparable to Superman’s. The suit has appeared in numerous Superman adaptations, including Superman/Batman: Public Enemies. In a film already packed with fight scenes, the movie saved its best for last, pitting Superman against Lex Luthor, with the latter’s suit giving him the upper hand at first. When Batman seemingly sacrifices himself to stop Luthor’s plot, however, Superman “cuts loose” again, explosively and methodically overpowering Luthor and disabling his suit.

Related: 8 Must-Have Requirements For The New Superman Costume In James Gunn’s DC Reboot

5 Superman Vs General Zod, Ursa, & Non (Superman II)

The classic Superman films from the 1970s and 1980s are beloved by filmgoers as well as accurate representations of Superman’s pre-Crisis incarnation in the Silver and Bronze Ages. Superman’s battles with General Zod, Ursa, and Non in Superman II bring these eras to life, with a highly destructive melee between Superman and the Kryptonian criminals taking place in Metropolis. While Superman cannot overpower them in this clash, he outwits them in their next engagement in the Fortress of Solitude, tricking them into extinguishing their powers.

4 Superman Vs Batman (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gradually develops a rivalry between its iterations of Superman and Batman who, ultimately, are being manipulated by Lex Luthor. When Batman’s paranoia and Superman’s desperation to save his mother bring them to fisticuffs, the result is a brutal and destructive fight, with Batman using advanced armor and a supply of Kryptonite to weaken Superman. The physical fight is won by Batman, who overpowers the radiation-sick Superman and nearly kills him. The ideological fight, however, is a clear win for Superman, who holds back from using his true strength and, with Lois Lane’s help, convinces Batman to recognize Superman’s altruism and end his near-turn to villainy.

3 Superman Vs Faora & Nam-Ek (Man of Steel)

Superman’s first fight scene in 2013’s action-packed Man of Steel pits him against the nefarious General Zod’s two best soldiers, the skilled Faora and the hulking Nam-Ek. Superman is somewhat outmatched in the fight, lacking fighting experience and still struggling to use his full strength. To make matters worse, the US Military attacks both parties, thinking that Superman is just another hostile. Thanks to Superman’s prolonged and complete exposure to Earth’s sun and atmosphere, however, he prevailed against Faora and Nam-Ek, who retreated. The US Military, meanwhile, finally recognized Superman as an ally at the end of the fight.

2 Superman Vs Steppenwolf (Zack Snyder’s Justice League)

Following his death in Dawn of Justice, Superman is resurrected in Zack Snyder’s Justice League. With a black, regenerative, variation of his classic blue suit, Superman’s strength returns and he arrives in Pozharnov to assist his beleaguered friends. Steppenwolf, an Apokoliptian herald of Darkseid, has already proven deadly enough to overpower Amazons, Atlanteans, and much of the Justice League itself, yet the resurrected and regenerating Superman makes short work of him in their brief fight. Saving Cyborg’s life, Superman unleashed a spectacular display of his powers, creating an opening for Wonder Woman and Aquaman to join him in defeating Steppenwolf, with Wonder Woman landing the final, decisive, strike.

1 Superman Vs General Zod (Man Of Steel)

At the end of Man of Steel, Superman chooses Earth and humanity over Krypton, destroying the Fortress of Solitude’s Genesis Chamber and preventing General Zod from terraforming the planet. This leaves Zod with no purpose left but that of a savage revenge against humanity and Superman. Still holding back his strength, Superman is viciously beaten by Zod in a destructive brawl that destroys numerous buildings and kills many Metropolis citizens. Superman does all he can to subdue Zod, but the fight ends with the General attempting to immolate a family, leading Superman to kill Zod. The fight is ferocious, with its destructive side effects emphasizing the intensity of the battle, while still remaining decidedly character-driven, making it the best Superman fight scene on film or TV.

Key Release Dates

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Joker: Folie a Deux

Superman: Legacy

The Batman – Part II

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