Many characters have appeared in Marvel stories over the company's long and vibrant history. While each character has a rich backstory, and power levels can fluctuate drastically depending on who the writer is at the time, we wanted to answer one pivotal question: who is the most powerful Marvel character?
Depending on the timeline and which Earth you were on, the strongest character in Marvel could be a villain. At the same moment in time, on an alternate plane of existence, it could be a hero of unimaginable power.
18 Most Powerful Marvel Characters, Ranked
With so many unforgettable characters to choose from in the Marvel universe, how do you know where to start? We've compiled a list of the most powerful Marvel characters of all time, including heroes that exude justice and liberty as well as terrifying villains with an insatiable hunger to consume the cosmos. Here are the eighteen best Marvel characters, ranked:
The Incredible Hulk has been a part of the strongest Marvel heroes lineup for nearly 50 years, and the World Breaker Hulk has evolved into one of the most powerful characters in the genre. The Hulk's strength continues to astound audiences, as his achievements consistently outperform his past efforts.
When the Hulk declares himself to be the "strongest one there is," he’s got a good reason! The Hulk's super-strength is claimed to have no limit because he just becomes stronger as he gets enraged. Even at his happiest, he can lift a commercial airliner weighing about 100 tons.
While the Hulk's achievements push the boundaries of plausibility, comic books need readers to accept disbelief, and this fearsome brute accomplishes some pretty remarkable things. Perhaps the biggest achievement comes during Incredible Hulk: Heart of the Monster, when the Hulk consumes an excess of gamma radiation mixed with a new level of fury, almost destroying the eastern seaboard with just footfall and fending off the Celestial Exitar. He not only grows to monstrous dimensions, much beyond his already towering size, but he also bursts through the Dark Dimension's spatial boundaries.
However, what stops the Hulk from charting at the top of the list as the most powerful Marvel character is the fact that his rage needs to build up, and in that space of time, many others can "easily" take him out.
The Asgardian royal family members aren't gods in the traditional sense, but they're as close as you can get. Thor is so powerful that only his father and older sister (both of whom are deceased) could match him. He's not immortal, but he's close to invincible, given that he was able to withstand the power of a star.
Thor is most powerful when using an enchanted weapon fashioned on Nidavellir, like the hammer Mjolnir or the ax Stormbreaker, to harness his energies. He can, however, summon and harness pure lightning as the God of Thunder. This is amplified when he transforms into Rune King Thor, an all-powerful version of Thor who can access the Odinforce, a limitless reservoir of energy.
He was too powerless to help his people when his country was overthrown by his brother Loki. Thor, on the other hand, did not give up. To obtain wisdom, he traveled to Hildstaf, sacrificing both of his eyes and hanging himself on the World Tree. By doing so, he could see more than he had ever seen before, holding all knowledge and incredible power far beyond his father. He went out to end the Ragnarok cycle once and for all as Rune King Thor.
The next on our list of the strongest Marvel characters is a powerhouse name: Hercules. While many think Thor could triumph over the Olympian, we're ranking Hercules one step higher. Surprised? Don’t worry, we have a good reason. We've seen Thor and Hercules duel several times, and the two appear to be evenly matched most of the time. However, there are two major pieces of evidence that Hercules is indeed stronger than Thor.
Hercules and Thor battle in Thor: Blood Oath. While Thor delivers some powerful blows, Hercules counters with even more, eventually winning the fight by trapping Thor in a grip from which he cannot escape.
Additionally, while Thor carries a hammer that allows him to fly and boosts his weather control and a girdle that doubles his already immense strength, he will always be weaker than Hercules without his Asgardian technology.
Gladiator was previously the Praetor of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, the Shi'ar throne's most devoted servant. With the apparent deaths of Lilandra and Vulcan during the Shi'ar-Kree War, Kallark is promoted to the position of Majestor by a desperate Shi'ar populace.
Gladiator debuted as one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe since his debut in X-Men #107. He's a stalwart member of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard who's faced titans like The Thing, Rogue, Juggernaut, and even Thanos.
Gladiator's amazing strength, endurance, durability, speed, and flight result from his extraterrestrial biology. His editorial origin explains the character's humble assortment of powers: Gladiator was modeled on Superman. At the same time, the Imperial Guard is made up of heroes based on DC Comics' Justice League. Gladiator has blasted black holes apart in the past and endured full-force blows from Thor, Odin, and the Phoenix Force itself!
14. Squirrel Girl
In the Marvel Comics universe, fans have witnessed some really spectacular clashes between heroes and villains. There are numerous conflicts in Marvel Comics that have become famous, whether it's a one-on-one duel between the Hulk and Wolverine or a super-team like The Avengers fighting a galactic-ending menace like Thanos. Despite this, no hero has overcome the bulk of the Marvel Universe's most formidable foes. No one, that is, except Squirrel Girl.
Strength, speed, agility, and reflexes are all boosted in Squirrel Girl. She can execute standing high leaps of at least 30 feet and is a superhumanly agile acrobat who is talented at climbing trees. Small claws on each finger help her grip and climb, and they may also be used as weapons in hand-to-hand combat to some extent. Her right hand has a retractable knuckle spike that can slice wood and is bigger and more durable than her claws. Her incisors are so enormous that they can eat through solid wood. She possesses a bushy, semi-prehensile tail that is about six feet long and may be used to increase her sense of balance and obscure her opponents' eyes or wrap around herself for warmth or safety. The tail is extremely flexible and may be completely hidden behind ordinary clothing.
She can fluently speak with squirrels and guide their behavior, frequently ordering huge groups at once because of her ability to accurately replicate their vocalizations. She regularly employs a swarm of squirrels to confuse, disorient, or even assault her adversaries. Her furry companions are known for chewing through circuitry, wire, clothes, and other things, assaulting targets with their teeth and claws. These skills might not seem like she belongs on a list touting who is the strongest Marvel character, but if you look at the roster of enemies she's defeated, you'd be amazed.
Squirrel Girl has defeated the likes of Galactus, Korvac, and the Mad Titan, Thanos!
13. Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff, popularly known as the Scarlet Witch, is the twin sister of the speedster Quicksilver and a Romani Transian sorceress. The twins are orphans improved by the High Evolutionary at Mount Wundagore and were formerly thought to be Magneto's mutant progeny. In the form of "hexes," the Scarlet Witch became a conduit for chaos magic, allowing her to manipulate probability and distort reality.
Magneto freed the Scarlet Witch and her brother from an enraged crowd, and they joined the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to serve for Magneto's mutant supremacy mission. The twins eventually quit Magneto's group and joined the Avengers because they disagreed with his harsh tactics.
Wanda Maximoff, as the Scarlet Witch, is quickly establishing herself as the most powerful Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Other characters have hinted at it — some are impressed, some are suspicious — and she has proven it with her actions, most notably when she smashed Thanos' sword in Avengers: Endgame.
12. Hope Summers
After M-Day, Hope Summers was the first mutant to be born. Cable, her adoptive father, reared and trained her in the far future until she was ready to return to the present. Hope activated five new mutants shortly after her powers emerged, and later — when considerably boosted by the Phoenix Force — she activated a slew of new mutants all across the planet, putting an end to the effects of M-Day.
Hope, also known as a Pluripotent Echopraxia, is an omega-level mutant who can psychically recreate any superhuman power signatures nearby at their maximum capacity. Hope's complete power catalog is unknown. She does, however, create power levels that might be hazardous to humans and the environment.
Hope's eyes first see the Phoenix Force's firebird incarnation when she is only five months old. It completely manifests around Hope when she is in her teens, implying that Hope has a link to the primal cosmic force. Hope becomes untraceable by mutant-detecting technology after her initial discovery at birth. Inadvertently drew a tremendous amount of psychic energy from Rogue when still a newborn, with no apparent adverse effects from Rogue's psychic draining.
Hope joined a gang of resurrectionist mutants to bring back their fallen comrades when Professor Xavier created the mutant nation-state of Krakoa. They were known as The Five on Krakoa, where they were revered. Hope used her talents to enhance the abilities of the others in the group, and they were able to bring back once-dead mutants effectively.
Amatsu-Mikaboshi is a primordial entity that existed before there was any actual world. He was known in Japan as Amatsu-Mikaboshi, the shape-shifting god of evil. As the self-proclaimed Chaos King came close to achieving his cataclysmic ambitions, he would come into confrontation with numerous gods and goddesses from other mythology.
The spirit of Gaea and the Amatsu-Kami, humanoid creatures from a nearby pocket realm, began to form the Earth and fill it with the first people, endangering Mikaboshi's black emptiness. When the Amatsu-Kami became gods, Mikaboshi became outraged and battled the growing pantheon, only to be defeated and imprisoned in Yami, the Japanese realm of the dead, where he resided for ages.
At the same time, Hercules and his companions avoided an apocalypse engineered by members of the Greek pantheon. Mikaboshi continued to recruit to his army of captive deities until he set his sights on Earth as the final piece of his reality-conquering puzzle. He conquered the Cosmic Domain and the terrifying realm of the frightening dream lord Nightmare in the 'Chaos War' event, rendering many of Earth's mortal heroes comatose. Mikaboshi swiftly added the Underworld and its zombie troops to his entire army as his aim neared fulfillment with each conquest as his soldiers crushed team after team of Earth's last heroes. Mikaboshi eventually discarded his Shinto disguise and claimed his actual identity as the terrifying nightmare known as the Chaos King, revealing his name as he slew the deity, Zeus, for the second time.
If killing gods doesn't get you on a list of the most powerful Marvel characters, we don’t know what will.
Though David Haller is the son of the famed Charles Xavier, guardian and savior of mutants and humans alike, he has missed out on much of his father's loving care of so many young pupils over the years. David was never alone, luckily for him and tragically for practically everyone else on the planet.
In fact, David's mind contains tens of thousands of personas, and each one has its own set of powers (which are generally distinct). When a person suffers from dissociative identity disorder, they often experience total detachment from the person they grew to be. This separation might result in a total alteration in the person's appearance, voice, posture, and even gender when their alter or alters take over. On the other hand, David changes not only his personality but also his biology and physiology. What's more disturbing is that David's body contains thousands of distinct people.
While David’s ability to fit hundreds of people into his area is impressive, it isn't an illustration of what makes him so strong. What makes David so amazing is his capacity to produce new mutations inside himself on the spur of the moment, giving him new talents anytime he wants or needs them. David establishes a new identity to govern these powers to arrange them better. Anyone who has been following along will know that David is enormously strong, but he also possesses thousands of skills at his disposal.
Legion is an Omega Level mutant that can develop spontaneous mutations with various qualities. David generates a new persona (or sub-personality) to rule each of these new mutations due to his great powers, mental instability, or a mix of the two. He claimed to have "200 Omega-level split personalities" in his head.
Galactus, a God-like creature from the beginning of time, has always loomed large over the rest of the Marvel world. This cosmic entity is one of the most powerful Marvel characters, known for his appetite for consuming worlds.
Galactus' physical strength reaches unfathomable heights. He's taken heavy punches from some of Marvel's most powerful characters, including the Hulk and the Thing, yet barely flinches. Galactus has even survived planet-to-planet collisions and nuclear bombs. He's also impervious to all illnesses and poisons. Except for one exceedingly rare superweapon, practically nothing can harm him.
Galactus is a legendary being who is a true force of nature in the universe. His origins may be traced back to the Big Bang. Originally, he was Galan, a humanoid space traveler, who found the Cosmic Egg, the core of his universe's collapse. Galan sailed right into the Egg in a last-ditch attempt to save his world from extinction. Galan erupted from the Cosmic Egg as Galactus once the dust settled and a new cosmos began. Since then, his immortality powers have kept him alive. He remains virtually immortal as long as he continues to consume planets to sustain himself.
Kevin MacTaggert is the son of Moira MacTaggert, a mutant specialist, and Joe MacTaggert, a politician. The young man was a mutant who could alter reality. His powers burned up his body, and he needed fresh host bodies to survive. Moira imprisoned Kevin in a maximum-security cell within her mutant research facility on Muir Island due to the unpredictability of his abilities.
During a struggle between Magneto and the X-Men, the facility's security was breached, and they destroyed Kevin's cell. This caused the rest of his body to burn out, forcing him to find a new host. Kevin possessed a guy who came to damage Moira's laboratory and hid until he could get off the island. Later, he attempted to possess Phoenix and Polaris, but both failed. Kevin was able to flee the island in one of Multiple Man's duplicate bodies, and he embarked on a mission to find and claim his father's body.
Kevin succeeded in occupying his father's body, Joe, despite the X-timely Men's intervention, leaving a trail of discarded host corpses in his wake.
Proteus perpetually needs new host bodies since he is an omega-level mutant made entirely of psionic energy. His telepathic form is so strong that it burns out his own body and burns out the bodies of anybody he occupies in a matter of seconds, regardless of how powerful they are.
Possession is a part of existence for a creature like Proteus. Proteus, like a symbiote, cannot remain on the physical plane for lengthy periods without the help of a host body. Proteus is so powerful that he will continually burn through his victim's bodies, sometimes in minutes.
To make matters worse, as Proteus continues to take host bodies, he grows stronger with each ownership, making it much more difficult for the next host body to hold him.
Given enough time and effort, Proteus can achieve almost whatever he wants as an omega-level mutant with the capacity to alter reality.
Despite being an omega-level mutant with an undefined upper limit to his reality-warping talents, Proteus is not without flaws. One of his main weaknesses is his need for a constant supply for host bodies. In fact, Proteus' host body will burn up faster the more he uses his skills. That is not, however, his sole flaw. Metal, which may disrupt Proteus' energy fields, is also a threat. Lastly, while Proteus may appear to be a god-like figure, he is subject to an all-too-human weakness: gunshots.
7. Phoenix Force
The Phoenix Force is one of the earliest known cosmic entities, symbolizing the energies of creation and destruction and unborn life. It is supposed to precede darkness and be the fire that gave birth to everything.
The Phoenix Force manifests the main global force of life that is immortal, indestructible, and changeable. It was born out of the emptiness between states of existence. It is the nexus of all psychic energy that exists, has existed, and will exist in all realities of the Multiverse.
The Phoenix Force is one of the least understood, yet most feared entities in the world, with the ability to cut, regenerate, and destroy existence itself, which is part of the Phoenix's function: to burn away what doesn't work. The Phoenix's recent interventions show that "what doesn't work" is what has gotten static rather than naturally developing.
The Phoenix Force's dilemma is that it's difficult to define precisely what it is. Over the years, the Phoenix has been the subject of several retcons that have woven it into the Marvel Comics universe's ancient past.
The Phoenix tends to be drawn to a few chosen hosts – humans with incredible psychic abilities, which are, strangely enough, primarily women with red hair. It also favors Earth denizens, most likely due to the fact that it recognizes humanity's unique ability to adapt, change, and evolve. It mainly involves mutants, whom it sees as the human race's future; when the mutant race was on the point of extinction, Phoenix fire burned over the earth to rekindle the X-gene. The Phoenix incurs a cost every time it exerts itself; it takes psychic energy from elsewhere in the Multiverse, and the power it consumes prevents entire worlds from being born.
According to the Shi'ar, the Phoenix is prophesied to be “The End of All That Is” – the cosmic force that will spark the next Big Bang. Many races dread the Phoenix, rightfully so, for they are concerned that it will judge their planet and eat them. Others believe that the Phoenix's increased activity signifies that the cosmos is reaching its end.
The Sentry is one of Marvel's most divisive characters since his appearance in the early 2000s. Thanks to his immense power level and retroactive premise, the hero completely derailed the Marvel Universe's status quo.
The Sentry obtained his abilities thanks to a far more potent drug than the one used on Captain America, causing his molecules to exist an instant ahead of time. The most obvious expression of this is his incredible sheer strength, which allows him to fling around Galactus' cosmic-powered heralds and battle the Devourer of Worlds to a standstill.
The Sentry is impervious to most people's brute force attacks, but he is also immune to potentially lethal toxins like Spider-Woman's. He can regenerate any damage he receives and projects his consciousness and memories into the minds of others. He also possesses flying, eyesight, sensory talents, and a variety of other abilities such as energy manipulation and astral projection, making him a walking deus ex machina. These usually involve his doppelganger, The Void, who performs a malevolent act for every good deed The Sentry performs.
The character was essentially a plot device, leading to even more implausible explanations for why he couldn't simply stop a threat. Being another "Superman clone," it's no surprise to see the Sentry make the top ten in a list of most powerful Marvel characters.
Cyttorak is a mythical being with limitless mystical abilities. He was formerly adored on Earth before being banished to the Omniverse's outer-dimension known as Crimson Cosmos due to unclear events as his past is cloaked in secrecy.
Cyttorak is an ancient abstract magical being that ranges in age from millennia to billions of years old (according to wonder). He appears as one of his two recognized personalities. The first is a God-like element that provides power to sorcerers and strong magical beings. The second component, dubbed "His most destructive aspect," is a Demon-like entity that fuels Juggernaut.
Cyttorak is a colossal magical deity with omnipotent control over his Crimson Cosmos. Cyttorak's power has been awakened by powerful magic users such as Doctor Strange, The Ancient One, Dormammu, and Zom. Cyttorak's energies bestow near-infinite power and endurance on his avatar. The Vishanti urged Doctor Strange not to meddle with Cyttorak or any of his inventions at one time because the Vishanti were afraid of angering Cyttorak.
D'Spayre (a demon and Fear Lord) was elevated to a near-omnipotent state (reality warper), able to distort the cosmos by plundering Cyttorak's energies from Juggernaut. D'Spayre utilized his new reality-bending abilities to build a gateway to Oblivion and lower the Juggernaut to skeleton form at one point before being defeated by an infuriated Juggernaut.
Juggernaut possesses remarkable durability due to Cyttorak's sorcery, which kept him alive after being stripped to his bare bones.
Thanos is a name feared throughout the cosmos. Even among his people, the Eternals, Thanos' Deviant gene made him unique and exceptionally strong. Few people can match his knowledge, strength, or desire for power, as he has possessed the Cosmic Cube, the Infinity Gauntlet, and even the Universe's Heart.
Thanos inherited the Deviant gene from his mother. As a result, Thanos was transformed into a Titan's Mutant. He gained a purple, hide-like skin and strength and other physical talents that far outstripped those of the other Titans. This mutation also enhanced the abilities he was born with as an Eternal descendent. Thanos' skin evolved so that he could absorb cosmic energy on an atomic level and then use it as kinetic force via conscious decision as he grew to become the most powerful Titan.
The Infinity Gauntlet was the Holy Grail for Thanos, the ultimate item to be sought beyond all else. Despite having previously had the jewels, he claimed that he had no idea how to use them correctly. Thanos was the one who coined the term "Infinity Stones."
Omnipotence came with it: complete mastery over all aspects of time, space, power, reality, the mind, and the soul. The acquisition of great power signaled the start of a dark nightmare for the whole cosmos.
Thanos possesses extraordinary strength, endurance, reflexes, and agility due to his status as an Eternal. He is essentially indestructible, able to withstand extremes of heat, cold, energy, radiation, and toxins. Thanos is impervious to aging and sickness due to his genetic ancestry. Thanos' birth is approximately 4000 BC, as he is one of Mentor's eldest offspring. Even before Death "cursed" Thanos with immortality, he could endure endlessly without food or drink.
Thanos' skills were enhanced after Death revived him, giving him even more resistance and energy manipulation abilities. He is extremely powerful, and he is on a level with people like Odin. Thanos' powers have grown to uncharted heights, although they significantly improve his prior state.
The Beyonder came from the Beyond-realm, an endless dimension beyond the Marvel Multiverse that was the total of everything outside the Multiverse. It grew self-aware and evolved into a powerful entity.
When the Molecule Man earned his powers through an atomic accident, the Beyonder first became aware of our reality. This accident was so significant for all of existence that it penetrated through our universe to "his," allowing him to gaze through a pinhole. After a period of observation, he decided to start the first Secret Wars by teleporting several heroes and villains from Earth to fight each other.
From many planets and a Denver suburb, he built his own "Battleworld." He offered the victorious party anything they requested. Dr. Doom eventually took his power, and the Beyonder had to restore it. The Beyonder was still unsatisfied after studying and eventually engaging with humans.
He was more powerful than the rest of reality since he was the totality of a realm considerably larger than our own Multiverse. He had complete control over his destiny. The Beyonder planned to erase the Multiverse, obliterated Death, eviscerated multiple galaxies, and easily defeated powerful beings such as the Celestials. These feats make the Beyonder one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe.
2. Living Tribunal
The ultimate purpose of the Living Tribunal – the duty for which it was established – is to defend the infinite planets, to whom Earth is nothing more than a speck of dust. He protects the Multiverse from mystical imbalance and bridges the divide between death and eternity, order and chaos, and competing realities. All dimensions, every hazy netherworld that exists in time or space – as a substance or a fathomless emptiness – were delivered to the Living Tribunal's ongoing, deathless care. This was accomplished by the Marvel Multiverse's Supreme Being, also known as "the One-Above-All" by cosmic entities.
The Living Tribunal wields unfathomable power, capable of wiping out whole worlds. He is nearly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, with enough power to shade Oblivion. His three heads can see into the past, present, and future. He is a servant to his sole master, The One Above All, and has no free will.
The Living Tribunal is the Marvel Universe's second most powerful Marvel hero, taking a backseat only to the famous One-Above-All.
When it comes to Marvel characters ranked by power, there is one top contender who cannot be challenged. The One-Above-All is the Multiverse's supreme ruler and ultimate wellspring of love and goodness. They apparently seldom intervene in multiversal concerns since they stayed hidden even after the Prime Universe was destroyed, consenting to restore it with Thanos and an alternative Adam Warlock.
One-Above-All is capable of destroying the life they've created, appearing as the evil entity, the One-Below-All, to act as a counterforce to the growing life in the Multiverse that the One Above All generates so that they can create a clean slate. The One-Above-All is omnipotent (and seems to be all-powerful) and stands above all cosmic forces and abstract entities as the highest being inside the Multiverse.
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There are many unbelievably strong, larger-than-life characters to pick from in the Marvel Universe. Only a fraction of over 8,000 characters has made it onto the silver screen, leaving a long list of canon characters on the comic book pages. Who do you believe is the most powerful Marvel character? What about the weakest Marvel characters of all time?
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