The Marvel Universe has a wealth of incredibly powerful, larger-than-life characters to choose from. A few, however, stand head and shoulders above the rest. Their incredible powers are incalculable and far beyond comprehension. Here is our list of the most powerful characters in the entire Marvel comic book universe. Hint: It’s not Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, Thanos (The Mad Titan) or Black Bolt.
The Most Powerful Marvel Comics Characters
Emperor Vulcan (also known as Gabriel Summers, the brother of Scott Summers) is an omega level mutant who has the ability to manipulate all forms of energy, including magic, at will. Once the Emperor of the Shi’ar Empire, Vulcan has even fought against the X-men, Inhumans and Starjammers simultaneously. According to his creator, Ed Brubaker, Vulcan has control over seven elements (fire, earth, electricity, wind, water, darkness, and light).
The son of the Hulk in an alternate reality, Skaar possesses even greater strength than his father. With a single punch, he once cracked the armour of the Juggernaut and sent him into the outer atmosphere. He has also survived falls from outer space and has a healing factor superior to Wolverine.
Odin, the father of Thor and the strongest of all Asgardians, is an immortal that can manipulate magic for a variety of effects. The King of Asgard also has the ability to absorb the powers of all the Asgardians into himself to greatly augment his already formidable powers.
Over 3000 years old, Hercules, the son of Zeus, is considered the physically strongest character in the entire Marvel universe. He is stronger than both Thor and Hulk, and once pulled the entire island of Manhattan which weighed 99,000,000,000 tons. Aside from his great strength, Hercules is able to withstand cosmic blasts from Nova and is able to survive in space unaided.
The Grandmaster is an eternal, ancient being that cannot die, has supernatural physical characteristics and the ability to bring the dead back to life. He is also vastly intelligent and powerful.
Known as the Devourer of Worlds, Galactus eats entire planets and has unlimited cosmic power and knowledge. He also possesses technology that works with his biology and is perceived as the species of whoever is looking at him. For example, a human would see him in human form.
Not to be confused by his son, Adam Warlock, Magus’ power is comparable to that of Galactus. He can become virtually any substance, any size, shape and colour – enhanced shape-shifting. He is immortal and can also teleport, but his powers tend to fluctuate based on the form he takes. At his most powerful, he’s able to split a star in two.
Mikaboshi, the Japanese god of evil and chaos, is an abstract being greater than Odin. His incredible powers include immortality, reality manipulation, stealth, super strength, healing, endurance, shape-shifting, and more.
Cyttorak is a powerful deity and possibly the strongest magical being in all of the Marvel universe. He is often the source of the elite magicians of the universe, including Doctor Strange. He is omnipotent within his Crimson Cosmos.
6. Phoenix Force
Phoenix Force is a powerful cosmic entity and the prime universal force of life that takes on various hosts, most frequently Jean Grey, Rachel Grey, Emma Frost and even Professor X. It single-handedly defeated Galactus. It can absorb energy, including the life-force of a being or the energy of a sun.
5. Franklin Richards
One of the rare omega-level mutants, Franklin Richards, the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, has the ability to warp reality and control the fundamental forces of the universe. It is said that his power equals that of the Celestials. He first appeared in Fantastic Four Annual #6 (1968) and is quite possibly the strongest mutant to ever exist. As far as powerful mutants go, he is at the top of the list.
First appearing in Strange Tales #138, Eternity, the twin brother of Infinity and the sibling of Death and Oblivion, is the very embodiment of time. Greater than Galactus, he can manipulate space, time, and reality.
3. Living Tribunal
Created by Stan Lee, Marie Severin and Herb Trimpe, The Living Tribunal is so powerful that even Thanos with the Infinity Gauntlet dares not to engage him in combat. His power is absolutely limitless and he is able to erase entire realities from existence. However, The Living Tribunal has died fighting Beyonder before.
A near omnipotent and vastly powerful entity, Beyonder first appeared in Secret Wars #1. He is so strong that all the Marvel abstracts, celestials, supreme cosmic beings, and The Living Tribunal are at his mercy. He is second only to One-Above-All.
One-Above-All, who first appeared in Doctor Strange #13, is the most powerful and the most mysterious character in the Marvel multiverse. He is believed to represent the creators of Marvel and has taken the form of Jack Kirby. The One-Above-All is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
The Most Powerful Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters
The MCU and the Marvel comics universe are very different. While we’ve explored who the most powerful Marvel characters are, the MCU list would differ. So, let’s take a look at who the most powerful Marvel characters in the MCU are.
When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it has introduced some heavy hitters and major strikers. It might not always follow the same rules as the comics (or version of the characters), but it also features a formidable list of the most powerful Marvel characters—even without the X-Men and the Fantastic Four at present. Here are our top five picks:
5. Captain America
Power isn’t only about pure physical strength but also heart. While Steve Rogers might not have the size of Hulk or the mutant powers of some other characters, the Super Soldier serum combined with his iron will ensure that he can hold his own in any fight.
Seriously, this is the guy who faced off against Thanos twice and didn’t get destroyed. When the fight or flight response kicks in, Cap always channels the former. He doesn’t back down from anyone—no matter how big or otherworldly you are. And that makes him powerful beyond belief.
Look, you don’t just get called the God of Thunder for burping really loudly. While Thor’s first few films in the MCU didn’t really show just how powerful he is, his OP level was revealed in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War.
When Thor arrived in Wakanda, you knew that the real MVP had arrived. It doesn’t matter if he wields Stormbreaker or Mjölnir, because his power comes from deep within his veins. With him on your team, you’re practically guaranteed a head start.
3. Scarlet Witch
To be fair, the MCU hasn’t really shown what Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) is all about yet. In the comics, she’s undoubtedly one of the most powerful Marvel mutant characters around and considered OP. However, WandaVision and the trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness hints at what she’s truly capable of—and it’s terrifying.
Forget about the levitation and energy blasts for a second, because it’s her telepathy and magical powers that are her biggest weapons. If she can make you believe you’re in a different reality—without the use of any Infinity Stone—she’s able to disarm and dismantle just about any hero or villain around. And they wouldn’t even know it.
2. Captain Marvel
Before Brie Larson’s hate club gets wind of this article, let’s state the facts here: Captain Marvel possesses cosmic powers, energy manipulation, energy absorption, superhuman strength and she can fly. She’s basically Green Lantern, Superman, Bishop and the Phoenix all packed into one superhero, and easily one of the most powerful Marvel characters in the MCU.
Realistically, Thor is perhaps the only Avenger who can go toe-to-toe with her in combat and live to tell the tale. The rest of the squad? They might as well wave the white flag when Carol Danvers is mad, because they’ll be toast.
Put it this way, it took all of Earth’s mightiest heroes (and their friends) to take down Thanos. He changed an entire timeline single-handedly, something that Fox struggled to do with its X-Men movies for almost 20 years! While some people might argue that he’s only powerful when he wields the Infinity Gauntlet, he showcased that he’s capable of holding back a whole team of Avengers on his own.
Plus, who could ever forget how he frightened Hulk and sent him cowering for safety after he handed out a brutal beating to the green bean. Face it, in a one-on-one fight, Thanos is unbeatable in the MCU.
The Most Powerful Marvel Characters Coming To The MCU
The ever-expanding world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe already has a respectable roster of some of the most emblematic characters from comic book history. However, with the MCU’s Phase Four going galactic, the door is open for some of the most powerful Marvel characters or entities to ever be put on paper to make their big-screen debuts.
In this list, we’ll take a look at fifteen of the most powerful Marvel characters that are yet to appear in the MCU.
15. Captain Universe
Unlike most of the powerful Marvel characters in this list, Captain Universe is not a single character within the Marvel comics universe. Instead, there have been multiple versions of the characters, as the identity – and its powers – are passed from host to host, kind of like Venom or DC’s Green Lantern.
Virtually invincible, whoever dons the Captain Universe suit will find themselves with amplified superhuman capabilities. Other than the usual Superman-like powers, the wielder of Captain Universes abilities also receives a power comparable only to the Infinity Gems, becoming invincible in their host dimension.
Based on the mightiest of Greek heroes, Marvel’s Hercules was a staple of the Silver Age of Comic Books. Before the book’s delved into pseudoscientific storylines, legendary superhumans were a valuable source of inspiration for comic book writers. Case in point, Hercules and his constant state as an Avenger.
The hero is pretty much a comic book version of Heracles – at least until 2015 came along. Having sacrificed his powers to save the Earth, the only way the Olympian could recover his abilities was through science. Now, Hercules has become a supernatural version of the Punisher, using a combination of supernatural strength and assault weapons to help those in need.
Don’t be surprised to read the news that this powerful Marvel character has been cast in the MCU.
13. Michael Korvac
Usually just called Korvac, Michael Korvac began his life as a throwaway character for Marvel’s Defenders. However, Korvac has been gaining infamy in the Marvel comics universe thanks to his drastic means and his status as one of Marvel’s first anti-villains.
Born in an alternate reality, Korvac is considered a “Machine God” by most heroes in the comics. Ever since he was fused with a specialized supercomputer, Korvac can draw energy from almost any source, which allows him to grow to any size he desires.
12. Beta Ray Bill
“I may not be a native son of the realm eternal, but the power in my hammer comes from Odin himself. So Beta Ray Bill fights for Asgard! On this day and all the tomorrows!” — Beta Ray Bill
While at first glance it would be easy to confuse Beta Ray Bill with “Thor with a horse face,” this Bronze Age hero is so much more than a simple Thor recolour. After a brief rivalry with the Asgardian god of thunder, Bill and Thor formed a formidable alliance, both wielding their respective thundering hammers.
Besides wielding Stormbreaker, Beta Ray Bill also possesses a myriad of other powers thanks to his technologically-advanced cyborg body. Even though he hasn’t made his MCU debut, a giant bust of Beta Ray Bill can be seen as one of the Champions of Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok.
11. Marvel Boy
Also known as the Uranian, Marvel Boy’s first appearance happened all the way back in 1950. Created by Stan Lee and Russ Heath, Marvel Boy powers are inspired by the fascinating – and terrifying – world of nuclear weaponry.
Traumatized by the loss of his family at the hands of the Nazis, Robert Grayson is transported to Uranus, where the Uranian Eternals grant him a set of Uranian clothes to turn him into Marvel Boy. Eventually becoming the strongest man to ever inhabit Uranus, Grayson returned to Earth, where he used his powers for the greater good.
10. Silver Surfer
One of the most iconic superhumans of classic Marvel comics, the legendary Silver Surfer hasn’t received the recognition he deserves in films. Originally an astronomer from the planet Zenn-La, the Silver Surfer gave up his identity to serve Galactus the Devourer and save his people.
The Surfer was given a new silver body and a space surfboard that allows him to travel faster than light. Though he was originally considered one of the bad guys, the Silver Surfer came to terms with his noble spirit and finally betrayed Galactus thanks to the Fantastic Four.
“–Wade is still way too old for me. So to the future Marvel writer who tries to hook us up someday – because I know one of you pervs is gonna try it – Ya Nasty!” – Gwenpool
Imagine if a real-life person with vast knowledge of the Marvel universe was suddenly transported into the realm of comic books. That’s just what happened to Gwendolyn Poole, who takes on the name of Gwenpool in the comics.
Not only does Gwenpool know the secret identities and weaknesses of virtually every Marvel character, but she also has shown reality-altering powers that come from her knowledge of comic book logic. She’s essentially a supernatural entity in the Marvel comic books, having defeated some of the publication’s most feared villains by herself.
8. Fin Fang Foom
“Worm! I shall roast you like a pig in an iron kettle!” – Fin Fang Foom
The world of Marvel comics is just as magical as any classic fantasy novel, and Fin Fang Foom is the perfect example of that. A massive hulking dragon, this creature actually predates most of the heroes of the Marvel universe, as it was first printed in the pre-superhero era of comic books.
Retconned into being an alien for modern audiences, Foom is able to modify his stature and has access to a vast assortment of weapons from his home planet. Though he hasn’t appeared in the MCU yet, the presence of Shang-Chi could lead to his debut in live-action form.
Don’t let MODOK’s funny appearance deceive you: this giant talking head is one of the Marvel comic book universe’s most powerful and feared villains. His name is an acronym that stands for Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing – so you know he means business.
Other than his advanced weaponry and insatiable bloodlust, MODOK is also a mastermind tactician and relentless villain, having crossed paths with many heroes in the Marvel comic books universe. Recently, an improved version of the powerful character, called MODOK Superior, has become Gwenpool’s archnemesis.
The Beyonder is more than a mere character in the Marvel Multiverse – in a sense, he is a multiverse. A cosmic entity that’s comprised of the sum total of an entire multiverse simply known as the “Beyond,” the Beyonder has been making life miserable for the Marvel universe ever since 1984’s Secret Wars event.
Beginning as a powerful yet shapeless force, Beyonder eventually became human to understand the species. He has since been partially demoted from his status as the most powerful being in existence to be just a power level under the Living Tribunal and some of the Celestials.
5. Namor the Sub-Mariner
While not immensely powerful, Namor the Sub-Mariner is one of the most important Marvel characters (or villains) that’s ever existed. In his first appearance, Namor was seen as a villain and an enemy of the entire human species.
Ever since then, Marvel Comics’ first superhuman has appeared in some of the publication’s most iconic moments. Though he has never reached the status of someone like Spider-Man, Namor remains one of the most influential characters in the Marvel universe, so his omission from the MCU is baffling, to say the least.
The leader of the Nova Corps, Richard Rider has appeared in his own comic books ever since 1976’s The Man Called Nova #1. A champion of the planet Xandar and the leader of a select group of elite warriors, Rider was selected as the wielder of an extensive dose of Nova Force.
As a result, Nova excels in terms of raw power over the rest of the Corps. His appearance in the MCU was heavily hinted at during the first Guardians of the Galaxy when the Corps made their debut.
3. Franklin Richards
“I was the Impossible Boy who could dream the future. I was a god.” – Franklin Richards
The son of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, Franklin Richards, aka Powerhouse is one of the strongest characters in the entire Marvel universe. Capable of bending the laws of reality to his will, Franklin’s powers are feared even by the Celestials themselves, who consider him to be on par with the godly Celestial Host.
He once created an entire pocket universe and has been baffling most of the Marvel universe ever since. His introduction to the MCU could come at a much later date, seeing as the rest of the Fantastic Four still hasn’t made its proper debut in the cinematic universe. But mark our words, Richards is one of the most powerful Marvel characters and certainly the most powerful mutant.
2. Adam Warlock
“Humanity will fight and die for control over a couple of stones. We will never be free of their burden.” – Adam Warlock
A frequent friend and foe of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Adam Warlock uses his cosmic powers for superhuman feats that transcend the realms of reality. Using the powers of the Soul Gem, Adam is virtually immortal, as Death can’t claim his soul. He also has the power to resurrect the dead and to open wormholes.
The wait might not be too long before we see Warlock in the MCU: he was teased in the after-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. It has also been disclosed that Will Poulter will play Adam Warlock (one of the most powerful Marvel characters) in the MCU.
“Galactus is and ever will be.” – Silver Surfer
The Devourer of Worlds himself, one of Marvel’s most powerful characters, was created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in Fantastic Four #48. Depending on the comic, Galactus has been seen as the ultimate hero or a tragic hero. He became a close friend of Franklin Richards after battling some evil Celestials and has found in him a true friend and lifelong companion.
Galactus is the physical embodiment of the cosmos, created at the same time as the universe itself. Each species sees Galactus as something they can comprehend, hence why he usually appears as a giant man. He made his live-action debut in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but he has yet to make it to the MCU.
Stronger than Hulk, En Sabah Nur (one of the first mutants ever born) was conceived in ancient Egypt and has multiple abilities, including telepathy, telekinesis, and shapeshifting. Combining his gifts with the technology he discovered in Rama Tut’s tomb and a Celestial spaceship, Apocalypse (a popular X-Men villain) soon became one of the most powerful beings on Earth.
Owen Reese became Molecule Man after a freak accident involving an atomically powered device. With the ability to control molecules, he is able to manipulate everything in the entire universe. Using his incredible abilities, he is able to transmute objects or beings on the atomic or subatomic level. Uatu (the Watcher) once proclaimed Molecule Man as the most powerful being in the Marvel universe.
God Emperor Doom
Empowered by an enslaved Molecule Man, Doctor Doom became God Emperor Doom, the ruler of Battleworld. He was so powerful that he was even able to murder a Phoenix-powered Cyclops, rip out Thanos’ skeleton and even defeat an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Black Panther.
While it doesn’t always seem like it, Professor Charles Xavier is actually one of the most powerful Marvel characters. With the ability to read minds, control minds and even perform astral projection, the leader of the X-Men earned his place at the top. Of course, there are variants of Professor X more powerful than the Earth-616 version. He is abilities beyond just telepathic powers.
Norrin Radd (aka Silver Surfer) gets his powers from the Power Cosmic – granting him superhuman strength, endurance, senses and the ability to absorb and manipulate the universe’s ambient energy. He is able to time travel and enter different dimensions. He saved his homeworld from the planet devourer, Galactus, by serving as his herald. He is definitely one of the most powerful heroes.