Superheroes are strangely divisive entities. While comic book characters have strong fanbases and have the potential to create billions of dollars in the movie business, many fans are starkly divided between which comic book company they identify with; some fans are loyal to DC comics, while others are team Marvel. As such, many fierce debates have come to fruition over the years regarding which heroes are the toughest. Could the Hulk take down Superman if it came down to it? Whose tech is more impressive, Iron Man or Cyborg? What about if Ant-Man and Atom got into a fight? Well now it appears we have the answer to which super powered individuals are the most qualified for facing danger, with statistics to back it up.

Students at the University of Leicester (via CRS) have apparently spent seven years studying superheroes, and how well their unique abilities would fare in the real world. After taking every possible factor in account, the top heroes were tallied, which include both DC and Marvel properties. The list, in order, is as follows:

1) Superman

2) Wolverine

3) Mystique

4) Thor

5) The Flash

6) Spider-Man

7) Batman

8) The Lizard

9) Iron Man

10) Silver Surfer

Pretty surprising results, right? I'm sure all the Batman fans right now are losing their minds, but let's examine how the University of Leicester got to their controversial conclusion.

All of the heroes powers, limitations, and weaknesses were taken into account in the study. For example, we know that Batman is a brilliant strategist, martial artist, and has all those wonderful toys. However, it turns out that some of Batman's gadgets might actually be very dangerous to the Dark Knight. In the University's press release they said the following about Bats.

Though his cape proves to be a vital utility when gliding in comic and media depictions, the student-led research suggests that when gliding Batman reaches velocities of around 80km/hr -- which could be fatal upon landing. This inability to perform even the simplest of superhero feats suggest Batman would struggle to get off the ground, let alone save Gotham from the likes of The Joker and Bane.

That's pretty cold. I've always been a massive Batman fan, so this statement is basically going against everything I've ever believed in.

Of course, no one was surprised to see that Superman was the most powerful hero in the bunch. The Kryptonian has more super powers than you can shake a stick at including near invulnerability, strength, flight, heat and x-ray vision, and ice breath. Basically all he needs to be at tip-top shape is the Sun, which ain't going nowhere anytime soon. And he's got that solar flare things going on where he can basically become a walking explosion.

Overall, the study is pretty fascinating stuff, and it definitely yielded some surprising results (good for you, Mystique). In addition to the press release, you can read the super power pro and con list here.

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