In the world of comic books, especially with DC Comics, it’s hard to understand the distinction of character being a “god.” DC Comics aim for a very mythological feel for their heroes and villains, much more so than their grounded rival Marvel. When Superman is one of your headlining heroes, there’s nowhere else to go (in power level) other than up.
Despite the insane capabilities of Superman, in the main continuity the Last Son of Krypton isn’t technically a god. However, there are many heroes, villains and characters somewhere in between who do fall into the camp of being gods.
In DC Comics, the main gods of the universe are split between the Greek Pantheon from ancient myth and the New Gods, which are a pure DC Comics creation from the mind of comic icon Jack Kirby. However, there are still some stranglers who fall outside those two types.
This is not definitive list of every god in the DC Universe ranked. That list would have hundreds of entries. It’s also certainly not about ranking the godly characters from best to worst. In other words, Mister Miracle is one of the most interesting heroes in the DC Universe but he won't be found here. Scot Free was just shy of making the list.
The way to get onto this list is through raw power. It doesn't have to be physical strength, but it's certainly quantifiable. Scot Free doesn’t quite fit that description, even though he is a god.
So with those stipulations in mind, here are the 20 Most Powerful DC Gods, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest!
Since the Greek Gods are well established and prolific characters in the DC Universe that also means their famous off-spring are canon. While DC Comics has seen many of Zeus’ children pop in stories big and small, Hercules (or Herakles) is one of the more prominent and powerful.
The backstory of DC’s Hercules is largely same as the one from Greek myth. He’s the super strong and violent, son of Zeus who once defeated and imprisoned the Amazon Queen. However, DC went the extra mile with Hercules. They gave him a bit of redemption arc turning him into more a true hero, than the morally grey figure he is in myth.
However, even if Hercules is more of a hero than a violent maniac, he’s not that strong. He’s been defeated, quite easily, by many heroes and villains. He’s powerful but not too powerful.
Speaking of characters who have defeated Hercules, it's time for Grail to enter. In the current DC continuity Grail has killed Hercules.
The daughter of Darkseid and an Amazon Warrior, Grail is a combination of Old and New Gods. She has some of the powers of her terrifying father. At the same time, she was raised by an Amazon and learned to fight like one of their warriors.
Grail is agile, merciless and, in the hands of the right writer or artist, terribly scary. Grail even once managed to take out almost the entire Justice League in one big brawl.
However, Grail is way too over-confident for her own good. While Grail has skill, she can also be easily outmaneuvered. Grail’s greatest strength is in ambushing her opponents. If they’re prepared for her, she can be handled quite simply.
18 Rama Kushna
Rama Kushna is far from a well-known entity in DC but she can’t be forgotten. There’s some obvious Hindu influence with Rama but she is very much her own character in DC mythology. Rama Kushna has two primary associations, with the sacred land of Nanda Parbat and Deadman.
Rama Kushna is the guardian spirt of Nanda Parbat. Nanda Parbat is one of the most mystical and spiritual places in the DC Universe. It exists outside of time and is said to a place of healing and enlightenment. Rama watches over the city and has been responsible behind its protection from outside invaders.
Rama is not much of a fighter but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have powers at her disposal. She’s deeply connected to the pervading essence of karma that surrounds the universe and can tap into it. Still, Rama Kushna mainly acts through others, like Deadman, who she created.
Steppenwolf wasn’t made the main villain of Justice League for nothing. He might not be the most powerful god in the DC Pantheon and the CGI that brought him to life wasn’t the best. However, Steppenwolf isn’t exactly a wimp, on the big screen or in the comics.
Steppenwolf is a rather obscure character. However, in the New 52’s alternate universe of Earth-2, Steppenwolf, literally, destroyed the world. In this version of Earth-2, Steppenwolf managed to kill Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman.
He subsequently set himself as ruler of Earth-2. While his reign was short-lived, he was eventually killed by an evil Superman clone, he still accomplished it.
Steppenwolf is a little bit like the annoying little brother of the New Gods. Yet he proves even the least of them is a violent sociopath, capable of mayhem and murder.
M'Nagalah doesn’t have his origins in DC Comics. The character comes from the mind of Lovecraft, which explains why it’s a blob of tentacles, eyes and evil goo. DC did, however, take the Lovecraftian creature and offer their own sort of twist to it.
The origins and exact specifics of M'Nagalah are unknown. However, the creature is known as the God of Cancer with very good reason. M'Nagalah does have sentience but it’s really more of a living plague.
It can completely consume entire people or cities, slowly taking them over and corrupting them. It’s said to be older than life itself and is virtually immortal.
Yet it’s not invincible. Like real-life cancer, M'Nagalah can be beaten as it’s possible to resist against its control. It’s something that Swamp Thing and Atom have both managed to do when they encountered the toxic mass.
To any fan of The Teen Titans, X’Hal is very recognizable. Starfire shouts “X’Hal” more than almost anything else, whether she’s upset, surprised or even outraged. It’s not just exclamation, however, but a living goddess. X’Hal is revered by Starfire’s people and considered one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the DC Universe.
During The New Teen Titans series, the young superhero group encounter X’Hal in the flesh. Although the goddess is much more flawed and complicated than expected, she does live up to her powerful reputation.
X’Hal, due to being tortured for years, is a bit unstable. She can be loving and motherly but can also lash out with extreme rage. In her maniac states, X’Hal is tour de force of destruction and nothing can stand in her way. Unfortunately, for her ranking, these times are relatively few. Although, the universe is probably grateful.
14 Big Barda
Of the New Gods of Apokolips, Big Barda is one of the best characters. She was the leader of the Female Furies, a group of insatiable and powerful female New Gods who are serve Darkseid. However Barda fell in love with Scot Free, otherwise known as Mister Miracle, and became a force for good.
Barda is far superior in strength to husband, Scot, or many other heroes for that matter. She’s served in as member of the Justice League of America and the Birds of Prey. Barda is widely considered one of the best hand-to-hand and melee warriors in the DCU. It’s skills that are enhanced by her strength and reflexes as a New God.
Sadly, Big Barda is rather foolhardy. She’s not an idiot, by any means, but she has been known to be taken down in battle by more strategic opponents.
The Greek Gods of DC Comics are strong and revered. Most fall a little bit short of making this list because they tend to have very specific and narrow strengths. Hermes is a rare exception.
DC Comics has seen various versions of Hermes throughout the years. Sometimes he’s been the only male responsible for the birth of Wonder Woman. Other occasions, he’s been a trickster figure who looks like a bird. No matter the continuity, Hermes is always one of the more prevailing players in DC canon.
Hermes has incredible speed at his disposal being the fastest, by far, of all the gods. He can teleport anywhere at will with the use of his staff. He’s also an accomplished shapeshifter, can heal almost instantly and is virtually unkillable. Hermes’ greatest asset, though, is his mind being one of the most clever and creative gods. Although that can occasionally lead to dangerous arrogance.
12 Granny Goodness
Granny might not look or sound like much but to underestimate her is a huge mistake. She wasn’t always one of the New Gods. Granny began life as one of the “Lowlies” on Apokolips and was trained as a solider in Darkseid’s ranks. However, she wasn’t content to stay a grunt.
Due to vicious ruthlessness and ambition, Granny rose to the rank of New God. She became responsible for training and commanding vast and deadly armies. Granny Goodness ran the “orphanage” on Apokolips and is responsible for molding several young and vulnerable minds to her evil will.
Though Granny is an accomplished warrior, she rarely uses that skill. Granny has been defeated and killed in battle a far few times. Strangely, that’s more a strength than a weakness. No matter how violently Granny is struck down, she almost always crawls her way back to life, remaining nasty as ever.
The story of J’onn J’onz, the Martian Manhunter, has changed throughout the years. However, in his early days he was the sole survivor of a plague on Mars. The plague was given the title of H'ronmeer’s Curse but the god, H'ronmeer had very little to do with it.
H'ronmeer is the Martian God of Death but it was actually a Martian mutant who engineered the plague that killed Mars. H'ronmeer, while obviously associated with death, isn’t a violent entity.
In fact, he was responsible, in some ways, for saving J’onn from his eponymous “curse.” After J’onn came to Earth, H'ronmeer contacted him, hoping that the hero could bring peace to the lost souls of Mars.
H'ronmeer is a rather mysterious figure, mostly because he’s rarely been used since his first appearances in 1988. Yet the god exudes a sense of power and command in his brief but very important stints in the comics.
10 Swamp Thing
Few fans might think of him this way but Swamp Thing is technically a god in the DC Universe. He’s the avatar of The Green, the elemental force that connects all plant life in the DC Universe. Accordingly, Swamp Thing is one strangest but one of the possibly most threatening forces in the DCU.
Being intimately tied to all plant life, Swamp Thing is virtually immortal. He can regenerate and “resurrect” his body in all plant life.
This allows him to not only to be pretty much anywhere there’s plants but as long as there’s some form of vegetation he can never be completely eradicated. He’s also extraordinary strong and intelligent. He has has the abilities to astral project, possess people and create multiple versions of himself.
Swamp Thing does however suffer one big and readily available weakness. Any form of pollution is agony for Swamp Thing. Hurting The Green, in any form, results in a grievous wound.
The Greek God of War has been a longtime foe for Wonder Woman and he's a formidable one. While Ares has branched out and threatened more the main warrior from Themyscira, Ares is Diana’s archenemy. It’s a dishonorable distinction that’s well-earned.
As God of War, Ares has an unassailable drive for combat and destruction. While, depending on the writer, Ares has occasionally backed away from war usually he’s trying to scheme to get ahead. Ares is brutal and uncaring but also dangerously smart. He’s an agent of chaos but he’s not easily outwitted. With powers like mind control, necromancy, pyrokinesis and various magics, Ares never goes down without a fight.
Yet it is possible to beat him. There’s been several gods and heroes, who have used Ares’ arrogance against him. Ares is never completely gone but he can be slowed.
Many fans, even casual ones, know of Darkseid. Few are aware of his polar opposite, The Highfather. The Highfather isn’t the equal of Darkseid but he’s one of his long-lasting and most success enemies. Even though he’s sworn to defeat Darkseid, The Highfather isn’t necessarily “good.”
Highfather is the ruler of rival domain of Apokolips, New Genesis. Since birth he’s been at odds with his biological brother, Darkseid. Never quite as violent as Darkseid, The Highfather, whose real name is Izaya is a cold and calculating God. He’s a general, through and through, being concerned with the bottom line of stopping Darkseid at all costs.
Still, no matter how devoted The Highfather is to crushing his brother, he’s never really managed it. He’s gotten close but Darkseid has turned out to be too powerful or too vicious to truly defeat. Highfather’s not a push-over with but he does have his psuperiors.
Orion is the biological son of Darkseid but he was raised by The Highfather. From birth, Orion was groomed to defeat his real dad. Orion’s entire life was spent trying to control the inherent rage and madness within, given to him by his father. Orion didn’t gain perfect control, but he managed enough to become one of the most powerful warriors in the DC Universe.
Orion became so accomplished that he not only joined the JLA, he succeeded where many haven’t. The son of Darkseid once managed to kill his father and take over Apokolips. It wasn’t a permanent victory as Darkseid always comes back but Orion did rip out his own father’s heart.
This feat should make Orion higher on the list. However, when the DC Universe rebooted in the New 52, Orion was made much weaker. In current continuity, Orion is far less impressive. At best, he's an emotionally frat bro with inter-dimensional ride.
6 Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman has reached iconic status in DC Universe, and outside of it. Although Diana earned the title of the God of War in the New 52, it’s since been retconned. However, that’s not Diana’s only brush with godliness.
Before the New 52, Diana became the Goddess of Truth, which (honestly) is a better title for her than God(des) of War. Regardless, in current continuity Diana is the daughter of Zeus and the (essentially) immortal Queen Hippolyta. So, Diana does have serious deity cred.
It’s something that’s backed up with her long history of accomplishments and impressive powers. Among the Justice League, Diana’s all-around power level is second only to Superman. There’s been more than few instances where she’s bested him, too.
Diana is a master tactician and strategist. She’s been able to defeat a speedster, completely blind and she's the premiere melee fighter in the DC Universe. Yet Diana still can be bested by superior raw strength.
Obviously, DC wouldn’t include the Greek Gods without giving their king some serious firepower. The leader of the Greek Pantheon, Zeus has proven time and time again that he has earned his leader role. Zeus has far more at his disposal than simple thunder and lightning.
Zeus’ powers can be pulled from a vast list. He can control the weather and the air but he’s also capable of shapeshifting, creating new life and resurrecting the dead. Zeus has led his fellow gods into battle several times and gained their loyalty through charismatic leadership and/or brute force.
Zeus is not flawless, however. The DC Comics version of Zeus tends to be dangerous cocky. He’s not an intellectual powerhouse and is quickly seduced by his own emotions. A stronger and smarter force can outmaneuver Zeus, if given enough preparation.
One of Zeus’ betters is his very own daughter, Athena. Athena is, unquestionably, the most powerful god in DC’s Greek collection.
She manages to combine the best of nearly all the other Gods. She’s wise, measured and has insane physical strength at her disposal to back up that intellect. Athena is reportedly unbeatable in battle as no god, not even Ares, has been able to match her in single combat.
Athena is the primary patron of Wonder Woman. In fact, most of Wonder Woman’s strength and wisdom as a character comes from Athena. The goddess was instrumental in Wonder Woman’s creation (when she brought to life from clay). Even if Athena’s not involved directly with Wonder Woman’s birth, she has repeatedly lent Diana fractions of her strength.
If there’s one shining achievement in Athena’s resume though, it’s that she organized a peaceful (but complete) overthrow of Zeus, as the leader of Olympus.
Some cliches are true. Knowledge being power is one of them. No character in DC Comics better exemplifies this fact than New God, Metron.
A resident of New Genesis, Metron is considered one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Since Metron’s immortal and capable of time travel that essentially means he’s the number one genius of all eternity.
Metron has studied the world since the beginning of time. There’s no secret, weakness or power that is unknown to him. This is especially true when he’s sitting in his Mobius chair which stores all his knowledge.
While in the chair, Metron is invulnerable. There’s no way he can be defeated whilst sitting on his throne. However, it's possible to force Metron out of the chair. Once out of the comforting arms of his super recliner, Metron is about as weak as it is possible to be for a New God.
Darkseid (nearly) topping the list should come as no surprise. There’s scant few entities who even come close to Darkseid’s level of power. Darkseid is, to put it quite plainly, the most threatening baddie in the DC Universe.
Darkseid has many of the powers of other gods listed here. He is strong, durable and terrifyingly intelligent. The unique aspect of Darkseid is his Omega Effect. The Omega Effect isn't the source of all Darkseid’s power but it’s a deciding factor. The Omega Effect allows Darkseid to travel through time and space. It’s also responsible for his devastating Omega Beams which can totally disintegrate any people or objects they might hit.
Darkseid has been killed, several times. Yet he always rise from the ashes, usually more powerful and stronger than ever before. Nothing can keep Darkseid down. Apokolips will always fall back under his grasp.
Darkseid was the top banana when it comes to gods in the DC Universe. Very recently, that has changed. Neil Gaiman’s Morpheus was always apart of the larger umbrella of DC Comics, belonging their imprint Vertigo. As of the Dark Metal event, however, The God of Dreams is now fully integrated into the DC Universe.
The only threat to Morpheus is himself. Morpheus is an Endless. This means that no matter what, he'll exist as an entity. There’s no destroying him as long as one person dreams. He can only be hurt but only if he wants it to happen. Yet even if he is “killed,” Morpheus will simply be reborn as a new presence.
This invincible package contains literally unimaginable power. Morpheus, as God of Dreams, controls everything from nightmares to hallucinations. He has an opening into controlling every dreaming person’s mind. Darkseid, and everyone else, need to sleep with one eye open.
Who is the most powerful God in the DC Universe to you? Sound off in the comments!