Unsurprisingly for a storytelling universe that began with a guy who was more powerful than a locomotive and could leap tall buildings in a single bound, the DC multiverse contains many of the most cosmically powerful characters you’ll find anywhere in comic book creation. Not to dismiss those heavyweights over at Marvel, but the hierarchy of power in the DC reality is such that there are beings out there that make the Justice League look like the Little League.
Yes, you won’t find any regular heroes on this list. While Superman might throw a punch harder than anyone and Batman is super-smart, in order to determine the real most powerful characters in the entire DC multiverse you have to draw your attention away from the defenders of Earth and examine those beings who have strength, influence, and ability on a much more cosmic, abstract, and in some cases divine scale. Although, spoilers, even God doesn’t land the top spot on this ranking…
15. Doctor Manhattan
Physicist Jon Osterman become Doctor Manhattan when he was atomized in a laboratory accident… only to reconstitute himself from scratch. As that suggests, the Watchmen character can alter himself at an molecular level; he’s able to shapeshift, duplicate, and requires no sustenance, shelter, or rest. He’s also cosmically and temporally aware of the world around him. In Doomsday Clock, Manhattan was even revealed to have rebooted the timeline of the DC universe, truly lifting him to godlike status.
14. The Endless
The Endless could fill half of this list themselves, but let’s group them together to give the rest of the DC multiverse a chance. Metaphysical embodiments of universal concepts, the Endless are a family of seven siblings with immense reality-commanding powers who are rulers of their own realms. The family tree includes Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Despair, Delirium, and Destruction. Having lived for at least 10 billion years, the Endless are among the oldest creatures in existence.
What makes Eclipso so powerful? Well, if you wanted to know who enacted the Wrath of God in the Old Testament, it’s this guy. Once the Spirit of Vengeance, Eclipso was responsible for Noah’s Flood before his obsession with revenge over vengeance (apparently there’s a distinction) led him to be removed from his duties by God and imprisoned in a black diamond called The Heart of Darkness, until he escaped in the modern age. As the primordial manifestation of the fury of the almighty, Eclipso eclipses the competition.
It’s not for nothing that Darkseid is one of DC’s most well-known villains. The tyrannical ruler of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid was once known as Prince Uxas before he claimed the uber-powerful Omega Force that turned his skin to stone. Thanks to the Omega Force, Darkseid can utilize the Omega Effect to unleash Omega Beams from his eyes which can kill and/or resurrect. As a New God, Darkseid is also nigh on immortal, of enhanced stretch on par with Superman’s, and is a master of telepathy, telekinesis, and psionic energy.
Superboy (sometimes Superman)-Prime is the ultimate incarnation of the Evil Superman trope. Hailing from Earth-Prime, a world in which superheroes are fictional (basically ours), Prime was originally an ally to the heroes in Crisis on Infinite Earths, after his own world was destroyed, but the time he spent in the “paradise” dimension that became his home warped his mind. Building himself a powersuit that imbues him with the abilities of the Anti-Monitor, Superboy-Prime became so strong he could literally punch the barriers of reality and make it anew, resetting continuity during Infinity Crisis
Guess who got Eclipso’s job as the Angel of Vengeance after God stuck him in a diamond? Yes, also known as Raguel or Aztar, the Spectre was once an angel who was part of Lucifer’s rebellion against the Presence, and as punishment God stripped him of his memories and made him the manifestation of his anger. As such, the immortal, all-powerful Spectre has virtually unlimited potential to reshape reality as he sees fit, upon declaring judgement on a situation or person. His only weakness is needing a human host to exist on the Earthly plane.
9. The World Forger
You’ve probably heard of the Anti-Monitor, but have you met his older brother, the World Forger? Also known as Alpheus, the World Forger is the first son of Perpetua — the creator of the DC multiverse; don’t worry, we’ll get to her in a bit — who was tasked with creating new universes out of the hopes and fears of those that inhabited his mother’s creation. Under the tyranny of Alpheus’ dragon, the bat-god Barbatos, the rest grew into the Dark Universe. Like his name tells us, the World Forger can literally create and wipe out universes at will. What have you done today?
The one thing that keeps the World Forger down a peg is that he was temporarily (you know, only for a few billion years) usurped by his former lackey Barbatos. Therefore, his younger, much nastier and more power-hungry, brother has to just rank above him. When it comes to pure power, Mobius the Anti-Monitor is the strongest of Perpetua’s children, certainly having the edge over his good twin, the Monitor aka Mar Novu. Having killed billions and destroyed worlds at will, taking down the Anti-Monitor is a tall task with his godlike strength and reality-warping powers.
History lesson! In the beginning, the Source of All Things — an aspect of the Presence — created the Hands, the phenomenally powerful beings who forged the various multiverses that make up the Omniverse on his behalf. Perpetua created the DC multiverse, meaning her powers within it are practically limitless. What’s more, thanks to her influence on her mommy’s boy of a son, the Anti-Monitor, she is the ultimate mastermind behind the many crises that have restructured the DC canon.
6. Michael Demiurgos
And yet before Perpetua and the Hands, before the existence of any other beings, there were born two brothers created by the Presence. The eldest was Michael Demiurgos, who was gifted the Demiurge power from his almighty father. This allowed him to create the totality of everything out of the nothingness that was there before. That said, although the raw power came from him, the infinite will required to bring the cosmos into existence derived from Michael twin brother, a certain fallen angel named Lucifer…
5. Lucifer Morningstar
Yes, Lucifer Morningstar is much more than just the Devil. Originally known as Samael before rebelling against his father and leading the War in Heaven, Lucifer is the other half of the equation that gave life to all Creation with his brother, Michael. While his twin has the greater physical strength and creative powers, Lucifer ranks higher due to his vast intellect and imagination that feeds into his ability to manipulate the matter of reality into anything he wants, including brand new universes.
4. Elaine Belloc
Say hello to Elaine Belloc, Lucifer’s niece and the daughter of Michael. On top of being the spawn of the very first angel, Elaine inherited all of her father’s abilities, including immortality, indestructability, and atomic manipulation. And yet what really lands her so high up this list is the fact that she actually preceded her dad and uncle in the pecking order and took over from her grandfather, the Presence, and assumed the throne of Heaven, becoming the most omnipotent being in all Creation in the process.
3. The Presence
The Presence goes by many names, The Source, The Voice, The Light, Yahweh, but essentially put the Presence is God, the ultimate intelligence behind both the DC multiverse and the wider Omniverse. His various children might’ve been the engineers of its creation, but the Presence was the architect. As a veiled, rarely seen being, the Presence isn’t the sort of character to get in a melee but, given that he created all that exists, it’s fair to say he must logically be the strongest, most powerful lifeform out there. And yet…
2. The Great Darkness
No, I’m not kidding, the Presence — literally the biblical God of many of humanity’s religions — is not the be-all-and-end-all of power in the DC multiverse. Because before there could be light, there was darkness. The very first thing to exist in creation was The Great Darkness. At first, it was so all-encompassing that the newborn Light couldn’t quash it, but eventually the Presence’s, um, presence grew and The Great Darkness fled, growing dormant. That is until the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths woke it up again.
1. The Overvoid
OK, so by now we know that Perpetua created the DC universe on behalf of the Presence, which was itself predated by The Great Darkness… but what was there before light or darkness? The answer is the Overvoid, aka the Overmonitor, the sentient void that existed not just before the DC multiverse but the entire Omniverse, of which the DC multiverse is just a fraction. The Overvoid is so mind-blowingly vast and unquantifiable that it doesn’t even have any kind of physical presence, as it is essentially the living paper upon which the entirety of existence is written.