Who is the Most Powerful Marvel Character? The 30 Greatest Heroes and Villians, Ranked

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We all know about Thor, Thanos, and Hulk—but what about Squirrel Girl? Who's she? Is she a girl who looks like a squirrel or a girl who summons squirrels? Does she eat acorns for a living? Why is someone named Squirrel Girl on this list? Who is the most powerful Marvel character?

From notorious names that we've come to love (and hate) to lesser-known oddballs who have flown under the radar, Marvel has ranked up quite a bit of power under its belt of characters over the years. Broken up between the most powerful of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and of Marvel Comics, these next 25 characters hold their own with no problem. But when we pit them against each other, how do they stand up?

The Most Powerful Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters

14. The Thing

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Basically a wall of stone, The Thing is a formidable opponent simply upon first glance. Although he has a similar build to the Hulk and relies upon his pure brute strength as his main weapon, Hulk is much more unpredictable with his rage, which allows his strength to grow even further. The Thing is much more grounded, but while he has enhanced senses, his weaknesses lie within his lack of other strengths. Being a tank of force is great, but when it's the only thing you're relying on, it makes certain enemies tougher to handle.

While we know that The Thing hasn't appeared in an MCU film just yet, with a Fantastic Four movie on the way, as well as Mister Fantastic's cameo in Multiverse of Madness it's only a matter of time before he makes his debut.

13. Wolverine

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Made of impermeable skin and with the ability to heal himself, Wolverine is even more unstoppable with his retractable adamantium claws. A notable member of the X-Men, Wolverine is instantly recognizable as a hulking figure in yellow, and while he is a mutant superhero, he definitely has a dark side to him, which is shown in the sheer number of people he has killed over the years.

James Howlett, also known as Logan, became Wolverine after he saw his father, Thomas (who was also the groundskeeper), shoot and kill his step-father. This spurred the young James to develop his claws, killing his father.

12. Vision

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Ultron and Helen Cho created Vision from vibranium and the Mind Stone, giving this new synthezoid incredible powers. Although he was designed to become Ultron, Vision ended up being a standalone, living being capable of almost every superhuman ability along with a genius intellect.

Vision doesn't rely on any weapons and instead uses blasts of energy, body and skin manipulation, and strength to defeat enemies. However, if he ever needs to pick up Thor's hammer again, he's one of the few who can do so.

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While the Iron Man suit might be responsible for inflicting the insane amount of damage it's capable of harnessing, the man behind the suit is the true mastermind behind it all: Tony Stark. Portrayed by Robert Downey Jr. in the MCU, Iron Man is not only a powerful ally, but he's also one of the de facto leaders of the crew—a constant beacon in times of darkness.

Of course, mentally, the man has a super-genius intellect, which allows him to constantly be ahead of the game both with regard to the inventions he creates and on that battlefield. Physically in his suit, Iron Man is granted superhuman strength, can shoot out energy blasts, run and fly at extremely fast speeds, absorb energy, and defend against outside radiation or other biological attacks.

10. Doctor Strange

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A Master of the Mystic Arts, Doctor Strange is well-versed in sorcery, having once been the Sorcery Supreme himself. He can form shields and other energy blasts out of Eldrich Magic is capable of astral projection and implements a number of spells that have various effects on his enemies. On top of that, Doctor Strange can travel through portals created by Sling Rings, enabling him and others to switch back and forth from various dimensions of the Multiverse.

9. Captain Marvel

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Carol Danvers, better known as Captain Marvel, is quite the underrated Avenger, as she's basically a human rocket that can crush through almost anything in sight. After sustaining the impact of a massive explosion, the Tesseract's extraterrestrial powers in it became infused within her, allowing Captain Marvel to have superhuman strength and power.

She's also able to fly, create cosmic energy blasts, absorb the impacts of incredible forces, and create photon blasts. While some have argued that she's the most powerful Avenger (myself included), Hulk and Thor ultimately have such incredible brute strength that it would be tough for her to beat them in battle.

8. Hulk

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One of the most recognizable superheroes of all time, Hulk is defined by his Gamma radiation-powered strength, the power of which is determined by just how much rage he has stored up in his body. Though at heart he's a gentle giant, that doesn't stop him from being a formidable opponent to just about any enemy who comes his way. On top of his strength, he also had incredible leaping and healing abilities, self-regenerates, and is quickly adaptable to various environments.

7. Thor

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Although Thor and Hulk are neck-and-neck in the strength battle, where Thor truly wins is within his power control: Hulk is more volatile, which gives him less control over his abilities. Thor is a steady leader and only one of a few people who have the ability to lift his iconic hammer, Mjolnir, which is enchanted and able to absorb astronomical heights of energy. The son of Odin, King of Asgard, Thor was always bound to be fighting for justice, as he continues to do as a member of the Avengers.

6. Adam Warlock

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Set to make his first appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.3 where he'll be played by Will Poulter, Adam Warlock was created by a group of scientists, who quested to create the perfect human being. In the MCU, Adam Warlock will be created by Ayesha, the leader of the Sovereign race.

She hopes to use Adam to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy, who had betrayed her in the previous film.

In the comics, he has powers of superhuman strength, speed, agility, and durability. Oh, also he can fly, manipulate energy, manipulate matter, and is also a master of magic. It remains to be seen how powerful he will be in the MCU, but he will certainly be one of the heavy hitters.

5. Dormammu

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This dimension-surfing entity is feared by all—especially Doctor Strange, who's encountered the being on more than one occasion. Ruler of the Dark Dimension, Dormammu is able to astral project, use the highest degree of sorcery, can banish enemies from his dimension, time travel, regenerate, resurrect, teleport, and more. Basically, this entity can do practically anything you name, and that's on top of already possessing natural superhuman strength; however, being universally feared might be his greatest quality of all.

4. Thanos

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What? Did you put Thanos at number two? I know—but I have my reasons, the first being that without the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos' power definitely decreases. Thanos is able to project cosmic energy on his opponents, has superhuman strength, is telepathic, and is immortal (well, kind of). While Thanos has a long list of incredible powers and brute strength, there's definitely one person who could blast him out of the galaxy...

3. Professor X

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...and that's Professor X. While Thanos could physically crush him, Professor X beats Thanos out in the world of telepathy, which would stop the majority of physical attacks against him. Thanos also has telepathy, but not at the extremely advanced level as Professor X. The founder of the X-Men, Professor X's influence is spread far and wide, as he's crossed paths with quite a number of superheroes over the years.

On a more emotional side, he has a much purer soul than someone like Thanos; Professor X simply wants to bring peace and coexistence to the world. His goal is to have everyone be shown acceptance, regardless of being a mutant or not, as he's one himself. Professor X has an unending list of specific powers underneath the telepathy umbrella, including mind possession, mental shields, and psionic blasts. Basically, you don't want to be opposite Professor X in a fight.

2. The Celestials

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Older than the universe itself, the Celestials first appeared in Eternals and are responsible for the Big Bang. Their mission is to bring new members of their race into existence, and they accomplish this by bringing planets and races up to their apex and then allowing a Celestial to be created from the planet's core.

In Eternals, the Celestials nearly succeed in their mission to destroy Earth by creating a new member of their race. However, they are stopped by the team of Eternals at the film's climax.

1. The Scarlet Witch

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Although some claim that the Scarlet Witch shouldn't be counted as she uses sorcery and other forms of magic manipulation to fight, they're superpowers regardless of what type they are. An underrated Avenger, Wanda Maximoff is much stronger than she looks, with the abilities of telepathy, mental and energy manipulation, creating force fields, and telekinesis. What she can do with her powers is practically limitless; it just depends on the task at hand.

Following the events of Multiverse of Madness, it's clear that the only person that can stop the Scarlet Witch is herself. Her current status is uncertain but if we know one thing above Marvel it's that if you don't see a body, that person isn't quite dead.

The Most Powerful Marvel Comics Characters

16. Sub-Mariner

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Marvel Comics

A lesser-known superhero, the Sub-Mariner has gone by a number of names over the years, with his given name being Namor McKenzie. Being that he's part-merman and part-mutant, he calls on a number of different powers to complete his missions, which are all rooted in his innate superhuman abilities.

As he thrives underwater, the Sub-Mariner is able to survive both on and off the land, being able to live within below-freezing temperatures and having a vision that allows him to see straight through clouded waters. On top of that, he can absorb radiation, converse with underwater wildlife, control certain parts of the weather, and fly.

15. Molecule Man

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Formerly known as Owen Reece, Molecule Man basically follows his name right to the point. He's able to control molecules and energy with his mind, which is a result of radiation exposure, and uses this ability to create force fields, portals, and turn various forms of matter into completely different types by simply using his mind.

While these are all incredible powers, his weaknesses are imposed by himself, as he subconsciously nerfed some of his abilities, which sent him into a sort of mental spiral about the values of his powers.

14. The Silver Surfer

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Marvel Comics

Another extremely recognizable Marvel character, you can tell that the Silver Surfer is a bearer of good vibes just from one look at him. I mean, he's a metallic air surfer with a matching surfboard—what more could you want out of a superhero? Formally known as Norrin Radd, the Silver Surfer is able to navigate the galaxies without a spaceship—all he needs is himself. His other abilities include rearranging molecules, super speed, and of course, the Power Cosmic, which he received from Galactus.

13. Black Bolt

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Marvel Comics

Though his full name is Blackagar Boltagon, he goes by Black Bolt, which refers directly to his ability to harness electrons and use their energy for various forms of manipulation, defying gravity, and telepathy. Because high levels of dangerous, sonic energy emanate from his voice, he was kept in a soundproof chamber as a child, though later in life he learned to simply communicate through other means.

12. Super-Skrull

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We all know the shape-shifting Skrulls, but Super-Skrull is next-level. Kl'rt, the Super-Skrull, is insanely powerful, though his downfall is that he's a bit more sensitive to injuries and fatigue than a regular human is. Despite that, he's expertly combat trained and has a bit of mimicry up his sleeve, allowing him to take on all of the powers of those in the Fantastic Four but on a much higher level, given that he's a Super-Skrull.

11. Squirrel Girl

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Marvel Comics

Quite possibly one of the most underrated and forgotten superheroes, Squirrel Girl—also known as Doreen Green—is capable of a lot more than she gets credit for. And yes, she's exactly what she sounds like, with the power to transform herself into a massive squirrel. She has super-human strength and takes on all of the qualities of squirrels, though in much larger proportions. In addition to this, she has night vision, an impressive jaw strength/bite, fast healing capabilities, and squirrel-like agility. One of her largest feats is using her horde of squirrels to keep Maelstrom from eliminating the entire world—no biggie.

Oh, and she once beat Thanos all by herself. No big deal.

10. Doctor Doom

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Doctor Doom truly brings the heat as Supreme Leader of Latveria, utilizing a number of different mystical tools to help him defeat enemies. Donning an entirely metal suit, Doctor Doom is capable of traveling through multiple dimensions through portals, casting spells, and summoning dark creatures. A surprising note about Doctor Doom: he's very creative and artistic on the side, as he's able to create beautiful paintings and is an extremely talented piano player. Though he seems menacing on the outside, he's really just a big softie on the inside (or at least that's what I tell myself).

9. Magneto

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Max Eisenhardt, more well-known as Magneto, is an Omega-level mutant, long hailed as one of the most powerful of the bunch. As it's advertised in his name, Magneto has full control over the various types of magnetism within the galaxy, which he's able to manipulate for many uses in his travels and missions.

8. Phoenix

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Jean Grey—also known as Phoenix—was first able to harness the Phoenix Force in a near-death experience after using telepathy on her dying friend, Annie Richardson. Following another near-death instance on a space shuttle, the Phoenix Force appeared once again to save her life, except this time, the two joined and took on part of Grey's consciousness and her body as its own. With that, Grey became one of the most powerful superheroes given her newfound connection with the almighty Phoenix Force.

7. Galactus

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Marvel Comics

Though it's sometimes tough to get past the fact that Squidward as Krakatoa looks exactly like Galactus, I'd say that there are some pretty solid differences between the two characters. Weighing in at a low 18 tons and at a height of almost 30 feet, Galactus' stature alone is already off-putting, and that's without even mentioning his abilities.

Having been born as Galan and reborn as Galactus after being saved by the Phoenix Force, he harnessed all of the power that came with sustaining the collision of an entire universe. With that, he's practically unbeatable as he holds the Power Cosmic within him.

6. Zeus

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Ah, Zeus. Both a part of Greek mythology and the Marvel universe, it's no surprise that he's the supreme leader of the Olympians, holding complete control of the sky above. While there are certainly other Olympians, Zeus' powers are significantly heightened being that he's the almighty leader of the pack—well, aside from his son, Hercules, who is more powerful.

Zeus is capable of casting spells, using magic, shape-shifting, creating electric energy, flying, and has superhuman strength. Not only is he an insanely tough foe, but his defenses are next-level, as he's resistant to almost any type of damage, can heal himself through regeneration, and has extremely solid body tissue. Due to all of that, the man is immortal.

5. Hercules

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Even stronger than his father, Zeus, Hercules is not someone you want to mess around with. Because he's an Olympian-human hybrid, it brings him a bit more down to Earth as opposed to some of the other high and mighty Olympians. However, his powers make you forget that he's even partially human at all.

Hercules is most well-known for his wildly Godlike strength, which exceeds almost everyone in the universe. Like his father, Hercules is also immortal and can regenerate his own health, making him both an indestructible and insurmountable opponent.

4. The Beyonder

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Marvel Comics

The "man" behind the Secret Wars, The Beyonder is perhaps the most powerful villain in all of Marvel. Originally a member of a race also known as the Beyonders, he was brought to Earth accidentally and began observing our species.

Eventually, he created a planet known as Battleworld in which he forced heroes like the Avengers, X-Men, and Fantastic Four to do battle with villains like Doctor Doom and Galactus.

He possesses the power to create and destroy planets, alter the rules of physics, and even destroy the universe itself, all with a single thought.

3. Eternity

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Another almighty entity, Eternity has been in the spotlight quite a bit more lately as the being was featured in Thor: Love and Thunder. There are basically only two other entities stronger than Eternity (more on that later), meaning that this thing is prettttttty powerful.

A personification of both time itself and everything held inside the universe, Eternity's powers are genuinely limitless. Not only can the entity manipulate time, magic, energy, and reality, but it can transform itself into any currently-living being on Earth.

2. The Living Tribunal

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A three-faced being who presides over the entire multiverse, The Living Tribunal was created by the One Above All (who we'll get to in a second.) Not bound to a single universe, it oversees all and ensures that the entire multiverse is running smoothly. The MCU could have used him after Loki, Multiverse of Madness, and Spider-Man: No Way Home!

He predates the creation of all the universes and he has the ability to resolve conflicts between universes and prevent anyone from destroying existence itself.

1. The One Above All

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Marvel Comics

Without question, the One Above All is the most powerful character in all of Marvel Comics. How do we know this? Well, the One Above All is literally God.

The creator of every single being in existence, the One Above All is the ultimate force for good in all the multiverses. As they say, "I am all powerful but my only weapon is love."

On the flipside, the One Above All is also the One Below All (aka the Devil,) who serves as a necessary counterbalance to the One Above All.

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