Ranking the 19 most powerful Marvel characters (2023)

Ranking the 19 most powerful Marvel characters (1)

TheMarvel Cinematic Universehas been in shambles since "Avengers: Endgame" eliminated many of its toughest players. Since then, thanks in part to COVID, the MCU hasn't come together as clearly as the retroactively named "Infinity Saga." So if you're here, it's probably because you're wondering the same thing as us - who are the most powerful characters right now?

That's a big question, but one we'll be happy to answer, definitely. Is that Doctor Strange? Thor? Kang the Conqueror? Wanda? Read on to find out for yourself. But keep in mind: all answers are final... at least until more movies come out.

Of course, the MCU's backstory stretches back billions of years, even ignoring the hit, which involves a lot of corpses. To keep things as manageable as possible, we're limiting this number to characters who are currently alive and have actually appeared outside of flashbacks or exposition.

Anyone from "Secret Invasion" coming in? With the latest MCU streaming on Disney+, let's get to it.

Ranking the 19 most powerful Marvel characters (2)

19. Hercules (and Greek gods)

As we saw in "Thor: Love and Thunder," Hercules is literally the heroic demigod of Greek mythology (OK, OK, the spelling isRoman). And his family is literally the full pantheon of Greek gods. And they're all considered top dogs among the MCU's humanoid deities.

If things go as in the comics, then the entire Greek pantheon (unlike the Asgardians) is immortal, and soon Hercules will become one of the most powerful avengers of all time. Pretty cool, especially since Marvel went all out with the casting and we're blessed with Russell Crowe as Zeus and Brett Goldstein as Hercules.

But so far we've only seen their venomously masculine (and in Jupiter's case, extremely drunk) attitude. So while we know they belong on this list, we have to rank them dead last until we see them in action.

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18. Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier

As Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow) explained before anyone realized it was indeed Bucky Barnes, “Most of the intelligence community doesn't believe he exists. Those who call him the Winter Soldier. he is credited with over 20 murders over the past 50 years."

That's a very strong resume. He's already super strong thanks to super soldier thanks to HYDRA, he also has a vibranium arm and, again thanks to this serum, he's very long lived and very hard to kill. No longer a brainwashed psycho killer, Bucky remains a dangerous adversary, easily the strongest of the remaining super-soldiers in the current MCU.

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17. Spider-Man

Tom Holland's Peter Parker can do everything Spider-Man can: climb walls, perform massive combat stunts and, of course, Peter Tingle who senses danger before it happens.

He is also incredibly strong, possibly the strongest living Spidey ever. In "Captain America: Civil War", he gave Captain America a run for his money during their one-on-one fight. He also stopped Bucky's arm with the vibranium in the middle, one handed, so easily that he paused to realize how beautiful that metal arm was. And let's not forget, in "Spider-Man: Homecoming," he survived literally tons of cement being dropped on him, then mustered up the strength to lift it off his body and run, still having the energy to stop the Vulture.

He's just a kid from Queens, but there's no denying how powerful Spider-Man is. Honestly, he doesn't even need that Iron Spider suit.

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16. Black Panther

Black Panther has been the protector of Wakanda for generations. And, thanks to Shuri's advancement, T'Challa's suit made him even more dangerous than he already was with the powers of the heart-shaped plant. But unfortunately, we lost this version of Black Panther.

That said, the new Black Panther is pretty amazing. Not only did Shuri manage to recreate her own heart-shaped plant, giving herself the powers of the Black Panther and thus ensuring that Wakanda would never again lose its protector for generations to come, she even managed to defeat Namor in battle despite being, on paper, a vastly superior fighter and super-being.

He is a more than worthy successor.

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15. Nebula

Nebula may not technically have a superauthorityHer own, but she's easily a match for most of what the MCU can throw at her - at least below the magical/terrestrial level. As he explained in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” as Thanos forced her and her adopted sister Gamora to compete in brutal sparring matches growing up. The loser would have a part of their body removed and replaced with machines. Gamora always won, and Nebula eventually became a deadly cyborg that was almost impossible to kill until now.

She continued to upgrade herself as well. We see in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” that her arm is now made of (we assume) nanotechnology that can transform into a bunch of things. One moment it's a weapon, the next it allows her to connect to various pieces of technology - including the entire spaceship.

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14. America Chavez

Look, if the Scarlet Witch is hunting you down in the multiverse to get her hands on your powers, that clearly means you're pretty powerful. This is the case of America Chavez.

America can open a portal and go to another dimension at will, and in fact, she is the only one who can make Wanda Maximoff see sense in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." It's obvious that defeating the Scarlet Witch is nearly impossible, but America is the only one who has managed to take her on in any form, and that's quite a feat.

However, America is still young and does not have much combat experience. She was just beginning to gain control of her powers at the end of "Multiverse of Madness". Her raw abilities alone would have put her higher in this order if we had more time to see her use them to her advantage. As he grows, he will almost certainly prove to be a key asset to Marvel's heroes.

For now, he needs more time to train in Kamar-Taj.

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13. Doll/Namor

K'uk'ulkan/Namor can fly, breathe air and water, survive the insane pressures of the ocean depths, and is extremely long-lived — plus he plays himverythe physically imposing Tenoch Huerta Mejía.

He is extremely powerful to the point that the people he leads see him as an almost divine figure. Although defeated in battle by Suri, this was a 100% underdog victory and no doubt when we next see King Talokan (MCU's Mesoamerican twist on Atlantis) he will prove more than a match for anyone who makes the mistake of trying him..

Lest we forget, he almost destroyed all of Wakanda simply by killing its queen. It's almost a miracle that Shuri was able to take him down.

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12. Wong

Wong appears to be on the list because he is the deadliest librarian in the world. Knowledge is a true superpower, folks. But he's also a master wizard, with incredible magical abilities, vast institutional information, and a clever, subtle sense of humor that essentially makes him the glue that holds the current version of the MCU together. Wait, that's great. Why is it not on this list anymore?

Because he is wiser and much, much more responsible with his powers than all the people before him. So much so that he would probably be offended if we put him where he should be. He's too busy correcting the mistakes everyone else is making to care about the situation. Wongers forever.

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11. Peter Quill / Star-Lord

Does Peter Quill really have superpowers? Not. When not on the surface of Planet Daddy Ego, Star-Lord cannot actually use the energy in his hands. All he really brings to the fight are his blueprints and weapons and the absolutely killer mix tapes his mom made for him.

The point is that hecankeep the infinity stone without it disappearing, thanks to it being part celestial. And that is certainly not a small thing. Enough, in any case, to put it almost in the top 10.

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10. Loki

Loki can hallucinate, fake his death multiple times, happily wield the power of the infinity stone, escape almost any situation, and even when he does die, cheats death through one of his time travel variants at a rate that exceeds 10 years of character development watching TV. Impressive stuff.

But no, his real superpower isplayed by Tom Hiddleston. The man is so good in the role that he took one of the most annoying villains in all of Marvel Comics history and turned him into everyone's second favorite character.

This is not a compliment. It's everyone'sotherfavorite because we all try too hard to look too cool that we care about him so much. Sure, we say "We're Groot," but in our hearts we all ache for Prison Bae from the MCU. Admit it, right now you're trying to rationalize Loki's constant betrayals.

Well, yes, that's Tom. Tom Hiddleston is the tenth most powerful character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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9. Bruce Banner/Hulk

"The Hulk is the strongest there is," goes the quote, and that's certainly true in the MCU. As Bruce Banner made clear, he is essentially immortal and strong enough to have spent years as an undefeated space gladiator. He went with Thor and even though Thor cleaned his watch he still put up a good fight. And of course, he dismissed Loki as a rag doll.

And these days, it's also finally balanced. After years spent doing everything he could - and always failing - to not turn into the Hulk, he was able to find a compromise between his rage and his intellect during the five-year "Infinity War" time-skip to become the "Merged Hulk". ” Which means that not only is he so strong that he can perform an Infinity Gauntlet hit and end up with only a broken arm, but he's also a genius who can repair and operate advanced spaceships.

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8. Jennifer Walters/Ona-Hulk

Don't @ us, you know we're right.

It took Bruce the better part of 15 years to finally figure out how to maintain control over his body and mind while in Hulk form. But aside from her first few Hulk-outs, Jennifer made italmost immediately from the jump. Why; Being her secondary superpowerto be a woman: She already had years of practice in controlling her anger simply as a condition of living in a sexist world.

Yes, she's not as physically strong in Hulk form as Bruce - but still. We'll see after a few years of active duty and Hulk training. But she's definitely more agile than him, she's never in danger of losing control of her senses, and oh, of course, She-Hulk can alter reality.

Just like her comic book counterpart, she is capable of breaking the fourth wall and literally rewriting her own history. He might not be able to hit as hard as Bruce, but he doesn't have to: he can break into Marvel's offices to talk to K.E.V.I.N. Instead of that.

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7. Thor

He's a god of thunder, is almost 90% muscle (and 10% excellent beard), channels lightning through his axe, Stormbreaker, and has killed many mundane threats in the 1500 or so years he's been alive. He almost killed a full Thanos. Thor is a villain.

So why isn't it on this list anymore? To be honest, his self-esteem issues and need for personal development really held him back, both as a person and as a warrior-slash-superhero. It wasn't until 2011, when he was temporarily exiled to Earth, that he began doing Doing The Work to become the well-rounded, self-actualized person he should be. And he continues to be derailed by personal failures. (But still hard, Thor, still hard).

Keep working on yourself Thor, you're almost there.

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6. Eternals

from Marvel"eternal"it's a movie you'll never forget, it's true, but the characters in it can't be counted out of this category. But since ranking them individually would require too much space and discussion, we'll simply call them one group here.

Let's do a quick overview of the Eternals' powers, shall we? Ikaris is actually Marvel's version of Superman. Cersei can transmute matter. Kingo can fire energy blasts from his hands. It's Gilgameshsuperpowerful (supposedly as powerful as the Greek gods). Phastos has the ability to create other cosmic technology. Totena is a warrior who can forge weapons from the cosmic energy within her. Sprite is a master of illusions. Makkari is probably faster than Pietro Maximoff ever was. Ajax can heal people. and Druig is a telepath, meaning he can communicate and understand the minds of others.

So yeah, the Eternals might not have gotten a good introduction to the MCU, but as a team, they'd probably give the Avengers a pretty fair run for their money.

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5. Stephen Strange/Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange has the insufferable arrogance of a man who insists that someone he met on Tinder call him "doctor," but also the insufferable arrogance of a man who knows him.worththat someone he met in Raya calls him "doctor".

Strange started out as one of the greatest surgeons in history. Then, after a car accident in which his arms were broken ended his medical career, he became a master of the mystical arts so quickly that he was promoted to Sorcerer Supreme beforeWong. He endured centuries of physical torture using the Time Stone to teach the cosmic monster what it means to be boring to save Earth. He then endured centuries of mental torture using the Time Stone to explore endless alternate histories to figure out how Thanos could be defeated.

Then he accidentally messed up the multiverse, fixed it, kind of messed it up again, and along the way gets damaged by dark magic enough to fix things, but not enough to become unfixable. Plus he now has that creepy third eye on his forehead. He's probably three spells away from turning into an actual living god, and it really says something about who else is left on this list that it's only five.

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4. Captain Marvel

It's been five years since Nick Fury summoned her before she turned to dust, and we still haven't seen any evidenceKevin Feige's Promisethat he "will be" the most powerful character in the MCU. "Captain Marvel" (2019) was mostly about arming herlazy needle fallsfigure out who she really is. And her role in "Avengers: Endgame" (2019) was reduced to a cameo that mostly served to show off her awesome, comically accurate short hair.

But Carol Danvers can fly. It can travel faster than light. It can survive in the vacuum of space without equipment. Her presence alone makes the film's soundtrack filled with songs that are orultimately uncomfortable,thematically stupid, thesomehow both at the same time.

Also, her powers come from the iridescent stone and she was able to do Thanos a fair jobhigh impact trainingduring the "Endgame" final battle. Sure, he lured her in, but only because he hit her with another iridescent stone. Because of this, it is impossible to justify her lower ranking on this list. Maybe next year"Miracles",will live up to the hype.

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2. Wanda Maximoff

Carol Danvers may have put up a decent - but brief - fight against Thanos, but Wanda Maximoff put him on the line. She could have, and probably would have crushed him during "Avengers: Endgame" if she hadn't ordered his followers to start kamikaze-bombing the ground near her.

Like Captain Marvel, Scarlet Witch got her powers from the Infinity Stone. She could manipulate reality, cast spells on entire cities, work remotely from home in other dimensions and, as she sheepishly reminded her fellow Avengers, "you know I can move things with my mind, right?" She was nearly unstoppable in battle, destroying Kamar-Taj from above in the frenzy of "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse."

In the end, the only person who managed to bring Wanda down was Wanda herself. She was the one who destroyed the Darkhold's version of the stone temple,seemingly sacrificing himself in the process.

Yes, we said this list would only include living characters. But we challenge you to prove that Wanda is not alive yet. "No body, no crime" is certainly in place until Marvel proves otherwise.

He could very easily return in future Marvel projects.

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1. Madisynn

Have some respect for Madisynn's name. Of course, he doesn't have "superpowers" or "advanced technology" or even "decent decision-making abilities." And yes, she's clearly not some amazing warrior.

But the woman survived the literal depths of hell simply because she was too drunk to care about the danger she was in. And that wasn't even her greatest feat - after escaping Hell by making a deal with a demon,easyturned Wong into her assistant.

Madisynn is our queen and we will not be taking any more questions at this time.


Ranking the 19 most powerful Marvel characters? ›

Hercules / Zeus

In fact, he is considered by many authorities to be the physically strongest character Marvel has ever created.

Who is the strongest Marvel character ever? ›

Hercules / Zeus

In fact, he is considered by many authorities to be the physically strongest character Marvel has ever created.

Who is number 1 in Marvel? ›

1 Spider-Man

Since then, Spider-Man has basically been Marvel's most popular character, selling comics and merchandise like no one else. Spider-Man's been a multimedia star for decades, with cartoons, a Japanese live action show, video games, movie, and more.

Who is powerful than eternity? ›

The Living Tribunal is omniversal and exists in every reality at once. The Living Tribunal is one of the most powerful being in the Marvel Universe, surpassing Galactus, Eternity, and Infinity. He can easily destroy or create universes or multiverses, capable of crossing through any dimension or universe.

Who is stronger than Thanos? ›

Kulan Gath surpasses Thanos as the ultimate bad guy, as seen when he not just defeated the Avengers but killed most of Earth's heroes in a shocking and terrifying display of this Conan the Barbarian villain's power. To add insult to injury, Kulan Gath ate them afterward.

Who can defeat one above all? ›

Nothing can ever beat The One Above All. Which probably answers the, “Will he appear in the MCU?” question. There would probably never ever be a reason why The One Above All would need to show himself within the MCU. Unless the entire universe was as the risk of being destroyed, it seems very unlikely.

Can Thanos beat Thor? ›

The winner of this fight would be Thanos based on his superior brute strength, and raw powers. However, if Thor uses some clever strategies, he could defeat the villain, especially since he has access to more powerful weapons and techniques.

Who is most loved Avenger? ›

#1 Iron Man

Played by Robert Downey Jr., Iron Man consistently ranks as one of the most popular characters, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—and for a good reason.

Who is the luckiest person in Marvel? ›

Relive some of Neena Thurman's most death-defying tales alongside the brand-new 'Domino: Hotshots' #1! Her name is Neena Thurman and she's the luckiest mutant in the entire Marvel Universe. Literally. Aside from being a skilled mercenary, Neena's mutation is that she's lucky almost all of the time.

Who is the top god in Marvel? ›

One Above All

He is the sole individual with power over the Living Tribunal, and when the original Tribunal passed away, he even built a new one. Even other gods, like Thor, who acknowledge the One Above All's role as the most powerful Marvel god, find the presence of the One Above All “humbling.”

Who is the strongest superhero of all time? ›

The Hulk

Bruce Banner found himself transformed into a monster known only as "Hulk." The details of the pair's symbiotic relationship might change, but at the end of the day, superhero comic books have one unbreakable rule: Hulk is the strongest one there is, and that's really all there is to it.

Is Kang stronger than Thanos? ›

Kang isn't physically stronger than Thanos, and if the two were to square up in a one-vs-one fight then the Titan would arguably win. However, Kang's knowledge of the multiverse means that would quite literally be several steps ahead of Thanos at all times. As a result, Kang wins this battle.

Who can defeat Thor? ›

Superheroes From Marvel Comics who can easily defeat Thor
  • Hercules.
  • Scarlet Witch.
  • Sentry.
  • Hulk.
  • Captain Marvel.
  • Ares.
  • Doctor Strange.
  • Phoenix Five.
Oct 27, 2022

Who is Marvel's most powerful villain? ›

Galactus (Marvel)

He can only sustain himself by consuming entire planets. Galactus's villainy and evil nature make him the strongest comic supervillain.


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