University of Leicester students spent 7 years using math and physics principles to answer "Who's the best-equipped superhero?" They've published a series of papers on the subject in the university's "Journal of Physics Special Topics" and "Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics." The answer? Superman, followed by Wolverine, Mystique and Thor. From the University of Leicester:
Whilst Black Bolt, ruler of the 'Inhumans', may be the most destructive of the superheroes (capable of planetary annihilation), the student work suggests that, based on the range of superpowers at his disposal and the only limiting factor seemingly being the planet's Sun, the 'Last Son of Krypton' Superman is likely to be the best equipped to win in an epic clash between all of the studied superheroes.
Boasting a super-powered array of skills, Superman, if obeying the 'Law of Energy Conservation', could exhibit a calculated stored solar energy output of 7.07×105 Joules per second for his 'Super Flare' attack. It is also shown that the 'Man of Steel', in theory, could have higher density muscle tissue than the average human which could aid in several of his superhuman abilities.
This incredible display of power makes Superman the number one candidate for 'most powerful superhero'.
Honourable mentions go out to X-Men duo Wolverine and Mystique who were close contenders for the title of world's finest in the student papers with their multitude of mutant abilities – including increased regenerative capacity and, in the case of Mystique, a mastery of gene manipulation to aid in disguise.
The superhero Thor, based off of the Norse god of the same name, would also be one of the most formidable superheroes, having high energy efficiency and explosive powers.
"Who's the best-equipped superhero? Student research settles 'superpower showdown'" (University of Leicester)