I believe that Superman is necessarily stronger than either Thor or Wonder Woman. If Thor was equally strong, then having a weapon like a hammer would easily make him the favorite, especially if the hammer is magical. Picture you vs. a clone of you, with your clone being given a baseball bat to use against you. Who do you think is going to win every time? In order to make it an even battle, Superman would really HAVE to have an edge in strength. Otherwise, it shouldn't be much of a contest.
Ditto with Wonder Woman. J states that Wonder Woman is about as strong as Superman, but far more skilled. If that's the case, Superman should NOT be the top dog in DC - Wonder Woman should. Picture you vs. a clone of you, with your clone being trained in dozens of martial arts for his entire life and given body armor and a whip. The untrained version of you couldn't possibly be considered more powerful.
So I hold that Superman is the strongest among the DC heroes, and Hulk is the strongest among the Marvel heroes because it's the only way they would be able to stay competitive against some of the other characters with more gear or special abilities.
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> > > > Nevertheless, we know from JLA v. Avengers that Thor is roughly equal to Supes, and that Herc is roughly equal to Thor. To the extent WW is as strong as Supes, she's as strong as Thor and Herc.
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> > > Can I just point out that actually Thor w/hammer is as 'strong' as Superman, take that hammer out of the JLAvengers fight and i think he'd have lasted all of two minutes.
> > > Ditto Wonder Woman was seen to be stronger/superior to Herc, he ends up on the floor unable to break her grip - it's not as if he put himself there now is it...
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> > > ...And Now back to work.
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> > Except that Thor has repeatedly eschewed his hammer during battle with the Hulk, and come out no worse the wear for it. Indeed, if I recall correctly, he didn't use his hammer to any effect during his battle with Supes, and still almost beat him.
> Well considering from what we saw his very first (attempted) blow against superman was with the Hammer I must disagree with you. Like wise Seeing Superman sent hurtling thru the Forest like a rocket & trailed by lightning FX, a hammer spinning Thor in hot pursuit, is indicative of major Hammer usage. To Cap it all his final move is to put everything into one hoped for finishing blow from a charged mjolnir... Seems like he definitly needed the Hammer in this fight, To me anyway.