So what comic book superheros/villains COULD Darth Vader beat?

The consensus in the Vader versus Doom thread seems to be that the battle will last only as long as it takes the king of Latveria to decide whether to murder the Sith-Lord or torture him for a while. That seems right to me; Vader may be badass in the Jedi’s world, but in the Marvel or DC Universes he’d have a hard time getting into Justice League Antarcrtica. Which brings me to the thread question: what super-hero or super-villain COULD Vader take? How would the battle go?

Just three rules:

  1. Let’s restrict ourselves to heroes & villains, not friends and lovers. I mean, obviously Jimmy Olsen’s only hope in this fight is to hit the signal watch before Doom chops his head off.
  2. One-on-one fights only, please.
  3. Assume that Vader is having the best day of his life, and the hero is having a typical day. Also assume that Star Wars was only a cult movie in the DCU and MU that only fanatics watched, and so neither he nor the character in question know anything about the other.

I’m going to assume that all mind-affecting Force powers don’t work on heroes or villains given their better-than-average mental fortitude.

Vader could take Dr. Octopus. Vader’s greater agility and tendency to cut off Octopus’s arms would give him the win, as long as he was crafty about it and fought defensively. Using the Force to push Octopus around would likewise give Vader an advantage.

I don’t know if Vader could take Spiderman. If Spidey could get Vader tangled in webs, it might be pretty tough, and I think that the spidey-sense would negate any force-based reflex advantages. That would be a fight I’d like to watch.

Archie and Jughead?

Prof X, if Vader’s Jedi mojo can resist Xavier’s powers.

Beast pretty easily, I think…but the smell of burnt fur will be terrible.

Wondering if a light saber can cut through an adamantite shield? Cap’s a better fighter, but if he bets on the shield holding and it doesn’t…

Not heroes. Not even remotely.

Appleciders, my first thought was Spidey versus Doom is a brief massacre, and it’s May Parker’s pseudo-son doing the massacring, since Vader isn’t very agile post limb-removal, and the spider-sense is pretty much equivalent to the Jedi’short-range precognition, if not better. But then I remembered my own stipulation that it’s Vader’s best day, which could be taken to mean before the cyborgification (but y’all can decide for yourselves what that means). If it’s Peter versus Anakin as the latter was immediately before the volcano duel, then it’s going to be a major fight.

I’d still lay odds on Peter, though. Unlike some heroes I can name, he’s not going to assume he’s invulnerable to the light sabre, so he’s going to avoid it as long as possible and remove it as quickly as he can. Vader will probably summon it back to his hand, true, but Peter will respond by hurling it two or three miles away, then throwing Vader a hundred yards in the other direction.

On the other hand, one guy Vader really doesn’t want to meet is Ghost Rider.

Here’s the thing. As Vader, he’s never shown being much of a badass in physical confrontations. Ok, he can intercept and deflect laser blasts with his hands. He can jump ~20 feet straight up from a standstill. He can force choke people(although he’s never used this on rapidly moving targets to the best of my knowledge). The youger Jedi, mostly from the prequels, show much more agility and flexibility. Darth Maul, for example, would put Spidey through his paces. Vader, pre-Mustafar, in all his youngling slaughtering glory may have done the same. Once he’s “more machine than man” he’s much diminished as a mano-a-mano fighter. He can take Luke because Luke is badly(and hurridly) trained. He hunted down the remaining Jedi and took them out with squads of troopers at his command, probably mainly employing his skills as a fighter pilot, which are formidable.

If there were many space-bound superheros I’d give Vader even odds as long as their ships were evenly matched. But in most of the bare knuckle brawls? Post Mustafar Vader just doesn’t have the chops. Or alternately he’s been chopped too much.


All of which is why I asked who he COULD beat. Vader’s biggest advantage is that light sabre strikes tend to be instantly disabling, if not lethal, so if he can get in a single blow he’s likely to win.

He might do well against Cyclops. But that’s IF he gets in that one blow. What seems more likely is that Cyke tries a standard blast which Vader easily deflects with his sword–whereupon Cyke either follows up with a wide angle beam or with a ricochet shot.

For the record, what Force abilities does Vader possess? There’s the choking bit, of course—can he just crush someone’s windpipe, instantly, if he wanted to, or was the job he did to Admiral Motti the fastest he could go?—and I seem to recall that he specifically couldn’t use “force lightning,” as it required biological limbs to wield. But after that, I’m drawin’ a blank.

There’s also the matter of piloting skills, I think. Even if he doesn’t have a customized TIE, he’s supposed to be a very capable fighter jock, isn’t he? So I’d guess he’d stand a fighting chance against the Blackhawks, if he could squeeze into a plane. :smiley:

He detached things off of bulkheads, and tossed them at Luke. So, he has some telekinetic abilities.

He deflected (or absorbed?) blaster bolts barehanded. Even Luke needs a lightsaber to do that.

He was able to detect certain other force users remotely (specifically, Luke and Obi-Wan). Interestingly, he doesn’t sense anything out of Leia. (He even pulls Leia’s true blood-heritage from Luke’s mind.)

He has some strength from his cyborg limbs. (He lifted, and held, a rebel trooper off his feet to choke him the conventional way.)

His suit may protect him from poisonous gas or sonic stuff, but that would not be supported by any movie canon, as far as I know.

Magneto and The Green Goblin… According to me… :dubious:

He seems like a perfect villain for the Teen Titans - big evil daddy figure and all…,

He’d hose any sword guys - Katana, Silver Samurai, etc.

So Vader’s basically a powerful telekinetic with mild telepathic powers, kick-ass fighting skills, and a powerful sword. While this power set wouldn’t make him anywhere near the most powerful figure in either the DC or Marvel universe, he would still defeat plenty of superheros and villains with these powers. He’d wipe out all of those “street level” heroes (Daredevil, Punisher, etc.), for example.

I suppose you could directly compare stats from RPGs for Vader vs. DC and MU characters, but I’m not sure they’ve been rated in the same games.

Lesse, Vader’s general characteristics:

Physically, is at least half-cybernetic (limbs) and dependent upon artificial life support (mainly lung damage). Stronger than human normal but not bend-steel-girders strong. Not particularly fast (have we ever seen him move faster than a brisk walk?) but excellent hand/arm reflexes.

Psionically, much more formidable. Has telekinesis, short-term prescience amounting to zero reaction time, flashes of precog and clairvoyance. Can sense psionically gifted people in his near vicinity. Has a broad and unspecific ability to sense “disturbances in the Force”. A somewhat weak and variable ESP ability (usually cannot directly “crack” people’s memories, or he wouldn’t need to interrogate them). Is so deeply into the “Dark Side” that non-evil psionics who look at his mind have to roll a check against Horror.

Weaponry: relies almost exclusively on his Light Saber, which can penetrate all but the most high-tech and resistant armor and force fields. Has access to standard hand-held beam weapons if he ever needed them. A very skilled fighter pilot where applicable.

Vader’s more of an assassin than a tank, his strength is in patiently seeking out and then targeting an opponent’s weak points. In a straight-up fight, I’d say Vader vs Spiderman is a pretty even match. Spidey could always turn tail and run but if he had confront Vader (say to rescue someone) it would be a pretty tough battle.

A cyborg vs. Magneto? Yeah, there’s a match that’d turn out well.

It would turn out extremely well–for Magneto. He’d have some nice tech to take apart and analyze the next time he was bored.

Quoth Oakminster:

Per Marvel canon, true adamantine is absolutely indestructible, and whatever it is that the Captain’s shield is made of, it’s even more so. There’s also something called “secondary adamantium”, which is cheaper, but can be damaged by the likes of a nuclear bomb.

Per Star Wars canon, a lightsabre can cut through a lot of things, but there are still some substances that they have a hard time against (remember Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon slowly cutting through the blast door), and a small handful of things that are completely impervious to lightsabre blades.

It seems pretty clear to me that the Captain’s shield and true adamantium would both definitely stop a lightsabre cold, and even secondary adamantium would probably be good enough.

Well the telekinesis is what’ll get you. If you can choke someone from across a room, that’ll end a helluva lot of battles. And if Yoda can lift a plane, Vader could certainly choke, say, Juggernaut or Colossus or whoever you choose.

There seems to be a general proximity limitation to the Force. That is to say, there’s nothing shown to imply you could be on one planet and influence the mind of someone millions of light years away (I’m thinking of the movies here, yawn @ every single ancillary book ever written)

So for those whose power seems to be UNencumbered by distance — Professor X, say… Vader might have more trouble.

But there’s no reason to think Vader couldn’t smite nearly anyone whose power is something OTHER than seemingly equally powerful mental gifts.

But Jedi/Sith never use their telekinesis intelligently. Aside from the force choke, which seems more like a method of execution than a battlefield tactic, they are extremely limited. “Make something fly in from the side and hit someone you’re fighting,” “make something heavy fall on someone,” “get a weapon which is out of reach,” “disarm an opponent”(very rare), and “push around some droids.” That’s about the extent of force user’s telekinesis. Think about it, if they had fine control over telekinesis. Why jump out a window and grab a floating droid instead of just pulling it back to you? Why fight someone when you can push their feet out from under them? Why throw a skull at a button to close the Rancor’s door when you could do it telekinetically? Why bother to use a lightsaber to deflect a blaster bolt when you could just have pushed their finger away from the trigger?

It’s pretty clear the telekinetic abilities of the Jedi don’t approach the fine control someone like Jean Grey or Magneto has.


Captain America’s shield is a made from a vibranium and an experimental iron alloy plus an unknown catalyst. Over the years it was mistakenly refered to as a vibranium/adamantium alloy. see:’s_shield#Circular_shield

Vibranium gets its indestructibility not from hardness/toughness like adamantium, but from a mysterious property to absorb shock/ kinetic energy. This is why Captain America can take blows from the Incredible Hulk on his shield without breaking every bone in his arm. It’s also why he can land on his shield when skydiving - instead of using a 'chute. Crazy stuff.

That said, Vader’s lightsaber gets its killing power not from kinetic energy but from its laser cutting like properties. There’s nothing in the movies to suggest that a lightsaber needs to be swung with any power to accomplish wounds and death. For example, in Phantom Menance, Qui-Gon Jin slowly sinks his lightsaber into a massive vault-style door horizontally and it melts the whole damn thing.

Perhaps the lightsaber is “hot” enough to destroy the Captain’s shield.

And that is the geekiest thing I will type in 2009.