If you could be any Marvel character, which could you be?
Would you be the most attractive, the one with the most interesting back story, or the most powerful? Yes, power would be cool!
We have put together a list of the 30 most powerful characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranked from least to most powerful.
Sorry fans of the TV shows, we haven’t been able to include those characters this time around. We also haven’t included X-Men characters since the list would need to have 100 spaces! Just core MCU characters.
Clint Barton is a human playing with the big boys as Hawkeye. Clearly, he has elite training and can do things with a bow and arrow that are very impressive. But he is not super-powered.
But that fact means that he is often overlooked by the enemies of the team. Consequently, he is the one who can get things done in secret. He is a stealth asset willing to work in the shadows.
He has a big heart, but he is not as self-sacrificing as some of the other Avengers. But this is because, unlike many of them, he has something to lose in the form of his family.
The thing about Ant-Man is that the person who occupies the suit is not innately powerful. All the power is in the suit. And, while the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym, created the suit, its current occupier, Scott Lang, did not.
But does that mean that just anyone could be Ant-Man? Well, yes and no. While theoretically anyone can use the suit, it takes courage and a sense of adventure to shrink yourself down to microscopic Quantum Realm size without knowing if you’ll be able to return.
While Scott Lang might not be the most serious of people, he is naturally inclined to help others. He tends to jump in without thinking about the consequences for himself. That could be where his real power lies.
Sam Wilson as Falcon uses his military knowledge and a winged super-suit to help the people nearest and dearest to him, plus occasionally take part in saving the world. But he is mortal, so must rely on tactics rather than force.
When Sam takes over as Captain America, he does so without the aid of a super serum. He is fitter and stronger than most humans due to hard work, but he does not have the superhero edge.
But this might make Sam even more impressive. He has to take more risks, and he does not receive the same adulation and support as his predecessor. He’s fighting an uphill battle, but he never gives up.
27. Yelena Belova
Yelena is one of the many girls who were taken as children and trained to be widows’ ruthless assassins. She is trained in martial arts and stealth operations, as well as espionage and manipulation.
While Natasha Romanoff seems to have received some medical enhancements that Yelena did not, Yelena is more than able to hold her own when in hand-to-hand combat with her “sister”.
While she has learned to be ruthless and make difficult choices, she is guided by a strong heart.
Drax doesn’t come across as particularly intelligent because he must always say the exact truth and what is on his mind. But this means that others will often underestimate just what he is capable of.
He is more than just a skilled fighter. Drax was specifically created by the Titan god Kronos to kill Thanos, which is why he is known as Drax the Destroyer.
He has superhuman endurance, durability, and strength, and he is single-minded in his mission. While this means he is more of a doer than a planner, he can never be coerced or convinced to stop.
Groot, while he may have a small vocabulary, is a hyper-intelligent, tree-like creature from a species called Flora Colossus.
But while he may look like a tree, he is made of more than wood. This is why he was able to grow himself into a protective ball to save his friends when they crash-landed on a planet. He also sweeps enemies aside on more than one occasion.
But more than that, Groot has a level of immortality. He was able to rebirth himself from a sapling that survived from a previous version of himself. He is a little like a plant-based Dr Who.
Nebula is a member of the Kree race who was adopted by Thanos as one of his daughters. Already a strong race to start with, Thanos set about training her and making technological enhancements to her to make her the ideal fighter and assassin.
She is relentless and hard-working because Thanos always put her in opposition to her adopted sister Gamora. When she lost, he would take away a real part of her and add new tech to try and make her stronger.
This experience gave Nebula the ability to never give up, even on the brink of death. That effort and determination can make all the difference when it comes to a fight for the universe.
23. Black Widow
While Black Widow does not have superpowers, she was trained from childhood to fight and manipulate, so for her, it is as easy as breathing. She may also have a few medical enhancements.
Her history of being exploited to perform assassinations means that she is also motivated to make up for what she perceives as her past crimes.
If she does have a superpower, it is her ability to be empathetic without becoming emotional.
This makes her the ideal person to recruit others. She convinced Bruce Banner to lend his formidable power to the Avengers.
While Natasha Romanoff might not show the scientific intellectual knowledge of some of the others on the team, her instincts always seem to point her in the right direction. She knows what needs to be done, and does it, no matter the sacrifice.
Gamora is another adopted daughter of the god Thanos, but she was not enhanced with technology. But she does possess greater than average strength, stamina, and agility. Enough to beat her sister Nebula on all occasions.
She was relentlessly trained by Thanos and may have received enhancements from sources that are unclear. But she is able to lift an entire ship’s cannon above her head and fire it without looking like it is hard work.
One of her other assets is her closeness to Thanos. This means that she understands the mind of a madman, who lives by their own logic. Therefore, she can plan better than most.
Mantis is an orphan who was raised by Ego alongside a race of telepathic and sentient plants. He taught her martial arts and telepathic and empathy abilities.
She has enhanced agility, super-fast healing, can telepathically communicate with some races, and can sense the emotional vibrations of others.
She can also control the emotions of others. Her main job was to keep Ego on an emotionally even level. That was until she was recruited to join the Guardians of the Galaxy.
20. Red Skull
Red Skull, previously the German military commander Johann Schmidt, was the result of early attempts to make a super soldier, like Captain America. But the formula had an unexpected impact on his appearance. It does make it hard for him to blend in.
But as well as superhuman abilities, the Red Skull has cunning, intelligence, and ruthlessness. This makes him one of the first real supervillains.
He was also not truly defeated on earth. Rather he was transported off the plant by the Tesseract. There he seems to have taken on a new existence as a guide. But who knows if he will return.
19. Winter Soldier
Bucky Barnes is another hero that was created with a super serum, making him the Winter Soldier.
While he was originally brainwashed and unable to control his own actions, once he is able to throw this off, he becomes a powerful super-soldier.
But in addition to his enhanced body, he also has a special metal arm to replace one that he lost during the war. This gives him an additional fighting asset.
Barnes is also driven by a need to make up for the crimes he committed while brainwashed, which gives him a strong determination to do good in the world.
Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker as Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can. That means elaborate acrobatics, speed and strength, plus shooting webs from his hands to swing around town or capture bad guys.
Peter also has his famous Spidey sense that lets him know when things aren’t right and grants him lightning-fast reflexes. It may also explain his constant wit while battling bad guys.
Peter stands out as a superhero who can deliver the goods without having to be the size of a small tank. But he does have incredibly muscle tone in the Spidey suit.
17. Jane Foster
When we first meet Jane Foster in the Thor movies she is just a normal mortal woman with above-average intelligence. But there had to be more to Jane since Thor’s Hammer chose her when it was looking for a new owner.
With the hammer, Jane got all of Thor’s strength and abilities, including the power to create and throw lightning bolts at her enemies. She shows much greater control of the hammer than anyone else who has tried to wield it, including Thor himself.
But unlike Thor, Jane is mortal, so she can only hold onto the mantle of the god for a limited period of time. But what will happen after she ascends to Valhalla, only time will tell.
16. Iron Man
Tony Stark is one of those superheroes who relies on a suit and technology for his power. But unlike others, he made those things himself, and he is constantly looking to improve his capabilities, so it is his brain that gives him an edge.
Iron Man is never just the muscle. He is a natural leader and a planner, plus he was able to crack time travel in a few hours with a little help from his friends.
He isn’t limited by the vision of others, which is why he can create an army of iron men.
But as Stark himself says, even without the suit, he is Iron Man. It is his iron will that makes him the hero that you want at your side in a tight pinch.
15. Black Panther
T’Challa is the king of the sovereign nation of Wakanda. This means that he has the power and technology of the whole nation behind him, giving him a serious edge in any kind of conflict.
But he also has the power of the panther given to him by a special herb that he is allowed to eat as king and leader. It gives him enhanced speed, agility, and strength needed to protect his people.
Plus his scientists came up with a cool suit that can grab and store kinetic energy, which he can then release in powerful blasts at his foes.
Read more: Adamantium vs Vibranium: Which Is Strongest?
14. Ancient One
The Ancient One is the original master of magic who teaches Stephen Strange the arts that allow him to become the formidable Doctor Strange.
She is a master of magic and a skilled martial artist able to take on enemies in both the mortal and the astral planes.
Her challenge is that while she has the ability to fight, she often chooses not to, preferring the pacifist life of a teacher.
When we first meet Peter Quill, the self-styled Star-Lord, he seems like just a regular guy who happened to get beamed up into out of space so that he could fly ships and get cool weapons and technology. He’s just a space cowboy.
But when in the first Guardians of the Galaxy when he is able to hold onto an infinity stone for even a few seconds without being destroyed, it becomes apparent that there is something different about this guy.
It turns out that his father is the celestial being Ego and that he is actually a living planet. But even as only half a celestial being, Peter is able to defeat his father. So, his human DNA seems pretty potent as well.
Vision was created when Tony Stark’s AI, known as J.A.R.V.I.S., had to create a physical body to help fight Ultron, who was attempting to create an indestructible body for himself.
His being is based on the Mind Stone, one of the infinity stones, which is also a great source of strength for him. It allows him to fly and fire powerful beams of energy as needed.
Vision struggles to understand humanity sometimes but believes that they are fundamentally good and worth saving. Created to serve, this continues to be part of his character as an independent living and breathing creature.
Bruce Banner and his alter ego the Hulk seem to have the best of both worlds with a sharp intellect, good at problem-solving, and a brawny body that seems to have no limits when it comes to strength.
Hulk’s only limit is just how angry he can get.
The Hulk we meet in the first few movies lacks power because he is unable to combine his brain and his brawn. But by Avengers: Endgame Banner seems to have found an equilibrium between the two and we meet Smart Hulk.
But Smart Hulk is not as strong as the earlier Hulk because he is better able to control his rage and anger.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the superhero that you want by your side in a battle, Smart Hulk wins hands down.
Brunnhilde, better known as Valkyrie, is another of the Aesir gods, so she has their strength and immortality and is from one of the most powerful races of beings in existence.
Specially trained as a protector of the realm, Valkyrie is a master of the sword and other forms of combat. She is even able to beat the Hulk in a fight.
When Thor abandons his responsibilities, it is Valkyrie who becomes the new leader of the Aesir gods. She must be incredibly powerful to be accepted in the role, which in turn grants great power.
In the very first Avengers movie, Loki managed to give the whole Avengers team a pretty difficult time. A frost giant raised with gods, he’s immortal and capable of a lot of magic and trickery that give him an edge.
Loki is a shapeshifter and a master manipulator, which lets him be in the right place at the right time. He is also able to control an infinity stone, which we know can destroy mortal beings.
This trickster thrives because he knows how to make allies and when to change sides. He is ruthless, but with a heart, which makes him unpredictable. A huge asset when planning world domination.
Yet another Asgardian, Hela is one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel universe. She helped her father Odin conquer the nine with Mjolnir, as its original wielder, before he cast her out for representing too great of a threat.
But, while it may have taken centuries, even the power of Odin could not hold her, and she broke out of the prison that he created.
She draws her power directly from Asgard and can materialize weapons out of thin air to attack her enemies. She also has the power to create an army of the undead.
7. Captain America
Steve Rogers became Captain America after he was given the super-soldier formula and vita rays to give him superhuman strength, agility, stamina, and more.
But Steve already had the makings of a hero before his transformation. He was selfless and desperate to serve and even threw his tiny frame on what he thought was a live grenade to try and protect others.
This is why he gets higher up on the list than he would for his powers alone.
It is this character and not just his superhuman strength that makes him a hero. His vibranium shield that he uses for defense and as a weapon is also pretty cool.
6. Captain Marvel
The Marvel Cinematic Universe does not yet seem to have explored the limits of Captain Marvel’s, a.k.a. Carol Danvers’ powers.
When we meet her in Marvel and Avengers: Infinity War she is still discovering her powers and building her confidence.
By the time Captain Marvel returns in Avengers: Endgame she has been out saving the universe and her powers are on a whole new level.
Among other things, she can control gravity and light, and she can manipulate and absorb radiation and magic.
It is the arrival of Captain Marvel that gives the Avengers an edge the second time that they face Thanos. She is able to prevent him from snapping his fingers, allowing Iron Man to use the Infinity Gauntlet to defeat Thanos and his army.
5. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange’s power is more in the mind than the muscles, and that was true before he found his superhero calling and was surgeon Dr Stephen Strange.
Unlike many superheroes who seem to have come across their power by accident, Doctor Strange actively sought his out and studied for it. This means that he has a greater understanding of what he is capable of, and places greater value in his gifts.
As a Sorcerer Supreme, he is a master of magic able to do things like levitate, teleport, time travel, travel between dimensions, and astral project. He can mess with the fabric of reality.
Thor is not your run-of-the-mill superhero, he’s a god, which means he is immortal. This gives him a pretty big edge in the superhero power stakes.
He is also incredibly strong, capable of destroying entire planets, and perhaps more importantly, adamantium – sorry Wolverine.
Most often when we meet Thor in the movies he has been handicapped in some way, whether it is his father teaching him a lesson, his ex-girlfriend taking his hammer, or depression after losing to Thanos. This is essential or the bad guys would just be defeated too quickly.
But a full-strength Thor, which is also at full confidence and has his enchanted hammer Mjolnir in hand is a force to be reckoned with.
3. Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff, the mutant known as Scarlet Witch, is one of the few X-Men mutants that appear in the main Marvel Cinematic Universe. While the origins and source of her power is not explained in the movies, her capabilities are immense.
She can fly, produce energy blasts, perform telekinesis and telepathy, cast spells, and even destroy one of the Infinity stones (if only temporarily).
She can also change the fabric of existence, as she does in WandaVision when she resurrects Vision and creates an alternative reality for the pair.
Scarlet Witch is immensely powerful because she doesn’t seem to be limited to a single sphere of activity. It seems like the only limit to what she can do is what she can conceive and believe.
Thanos is a Titan, making him bigger and stronger than most other beings in the universe, even before he gets his hands on all of the infinity stones and their power.
Before getting the stones, he could fly, had superhuman strength, could throw energy beams, and was known for his genius intellect. With the stones, he could detect and control souls, manipulate time, and warp reality.
While the Avengers defeated him in the end by using his own Infinity Gauntlet against him, this was only after he threw an entire planet at the team.
Odin, the king of the Aesir gods, is the most powerful character in the Marvel universe. By the time we meet him in the movies, he’s already semi-retired. But before this, he had already conquered the nine realms of his universe.
Odin can absorb the powers of the other already powerful Aesir gods to give himself a major power boost, and he can also strip the powers of the other gods, as he does to Thor in the first Thor film.
What sets Odin apart is also that he knows when his time is up, and he should pass on the mantle to his children.
While he remains powerful, he recognizes that the world around him is changing and that it is time for fresh blood and new ideas. That kind of wisdom comes with a lot of value.
What do you think of our rankings? Do you agree? Who do you think is the most powerful Marvel character?
Want to know which Marvel character you are most like? Find out the MBTI personality types of the most popular Marvel characters.
Read more: 30 Strongest Marvel MCU Villains Ranked
Thursday 1st of September 2022
I tuned out when I saw Peter Quill above Iron Man and The Ancient One
Monday 20th of June 2022
Finally a nice list only from the MCU and comprising villains. However, I think you forgot about villains such as Black order or dark elves, who would beat some of these characters.
Sunday 28th of August 2022
@Ondřej, i agree