Fanboys enjoy the thrill of the debate as much as they do the actual content of which they side. Meanwhile, the University of Leicester wanted an answer, not an opinion. They wanted to get to the bottom of who’s on top, so they used the greatest superpower of all—science!

After evaluating both Marvel and DC, they settled on a ranked list.

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

But they didn’t just do this for fun on a lunch break. They were aware of how juicy of a story this was, so they were insanely thorough. The whole project took seven freakin’ years (2009-2016). They want so far down the rabbit hole they practically built a network of knowledge, exploring powers, limitations, and weaknesses.

For an example of said thoroughness, here’s an excerpt of the team evaluating Batman and how (what seem to be) his strengths could actually prove otherwise.

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.

Yet while there’s serious academic work you can barrel through, they offered up a few easy-to-review charts.

Read the incredibly super fun academic work here.

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