The first Guardians of the Galaxy film introduced the Celestials to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and needless to say, lots got lost in translation. The Celestials in Marvel Comics are some of the oldest, most powerful entities in the universe. Their numbers used to span in the billions, but had their race decimated after a war with a mysterious race known as the Aspirants. To some, they are literal space gods. To others, they are just plain awesome.
The Celestials wield the Power Cosmic and their abilities are almost limitless. Even though they’re some of the most incredibly powerful entities ever to exist, they’re not the most powerful. Yes, when it comes to power, there are those even the mighty Celestials have to bow to. There are always bigger fish in the sea and these 15 characters way more powerful than the Celestials are so big the sea can barely contain them.
15. THE PHOENIX FORCE
The Phoenix Force was shown in several of the X-Men movies as a manifestation of Jean Grey’s power. Although Jean Grey (a.k.a. Marvel Girl) is a powerful telepath, the Phoenix Force is much more complex and way stronger than one might think. The Phoenix Force is actually one of the oldest known cosmic entities in the universe. It is the nexus of all psionic energy which currently exists, has existed, or will exist in all realities.
Given all of the raw power at its disposal, it can destroy (as well as create) parts of the universe. The Phoenix Force has utilized hosts, one of the most notable being Jean Grey. When the Phoenix became the Dark Phoenix, it devoured the energies of the D’Bari Star System and annihilated five billion inhabitants in the process. Eventually the Phoenix Force took Scott Summers as a host, but both were killed by God Doom, someone who we will visit on our list later on.
14. REED RICHARDS
On this list, we have a variety of extra-dimensional powerhouses, so how does Reed Richards, a puny human from Earth, make the cut? Before you say it’s a bit of a stretch (pun intended), Reed Richards is probably the smartest person on Earth. If you need to stop a purse snatcher, you call Spider-Man or Daredevil. If an abstract entity intent on consuming the Earth is approaching you at light speed, signal Reed of the Fantastic Four. Mister Fantastic has Ph.D.s in Mathematics, Physics and Engineering. With enough prep time, Reed could come up with an invention that could stop one or all of the Celestials.
Three alternate reality Reed Richards came together and made the Interdimensional Council of Reeds, which was a collection of, you guessed it, Reed Richards from different timelines. They operated out of interdimensional space and actually fought the Celestials who wanted some of the technology the Reeds were using. Reed Richards in the Ultimate Universe was a villain named the Maker, so thank goodness Reed is on our side, because evil Reed, with his incredibly dangerous intellect, could enslave the human race with the push of a button.
13. APOCALYPSE TWINS
The Apocalypse Twins get their name from the supervillain Apocalypse but are actually the children of Warren Worthington III, a.k.a. Archangel. Apocalypse used his genetic engineering to transform Worthington into his current form from when he was just the Angel, so technically he’s kind of their grandfather. Uriel and Eimin Worthington both have the power of flight just like their father. They both also have (probably thanks to their adoptive father, the time manipulating Kang) limited ability to control time.
The Twins got ahold of the Jarnbjorn, a Dwarven-forged battle axe that Thor himself used before swinging around Mjolnir. It was blessed with his own blood, making it even more powerful. The Apocalypse Twins got ahold of the axe and used it to take down a Celestial. Eventually, they were killed by the mutant Sunfire, but their Horsemen recovered their bodies. They may be resurrected soon to not only get their revenge on the X-Men, but also to kill more Celestials as well.
The Godkiller armor was created by a race called the Aspirants specifically to eradicate the Celestials. Not one, not some, but all of them. The Godkiller was stored in a Dyson Sphere (one of those giant spheres that contain a star) for thousands of years. In order to pilot the armor, you need to be a genetic match. Tony Stark erroneously thought he was the one to mount the Godkiller armor and take on the Celestials, only to, in a very comic book fashion, find out his true origin (he’s not actually a Stark; but that’s a whole other story).
This leads Tony to finding the real genetic match: his brother Arno who was genetically engineered by Howard Stark and a sentient Rigellian robot that goes by the name Recorder 451. The Godkiller is a giant suit as big as a Celestial covered in black and gold, and kind of looks like something Tony would design. But is Tony Stark even capable of designing something with enough destructive power to kill Celestials by the billions?
11. LORD CHAOS AND MASTER ORDER
The Marvel Universe is filled with abstract entities that represent universal concepts. Death is manifested as a cloaked skeleton that can actually take away your ability to die (just ask Deadpool). Love is embodied in the entity known as Mistress Love, a blonde woman who is wearing what appears to be a dress purchased from Nordstrom. Lord Chaos and Master Order embody the concepts that their names imply. The two were born along with the other abstract cosmic entities during the Big Bang.
Often the duo uses a servant by the name of the In-Betweener, who spends less time maintaining universal balance and more time scheming to bring universal insanity to all life. Makes sense, right? Master Order is manifested as a bald white guy (Professor X, you’re not double-dipping, are you?) and Lord Chaos looks like a mangled purple skeleton head that swallowed the universe. Considering that they are the manifestations of Chaos and Order, this allows them to do almost anything they want on a galactic scale. They even claim to have manipulated events to allow the creation of Spider-Man.
When Galactus died, a number of things happened. A lot of people were happy that their planet was no longer in danger of being eaten (because Galactus eating planets is kind of his thing), but without the Devourer of Worlds around, he couldn’t do one of his secondary tasks, which was to keep the entity Abraxas in check. Abraxas had near-limitless cosmic power, which means traveling through space and time was not a big deal for him. With all that power, you think he would get a better-fitting outfit instead of sporting a very loose toga covering his light green skin.
Abraxas went to other dimensions and got his sweet revenge by killing those Galactuses (Galacti? Galactopodes?) with reckless abandon. The Fantastic Four had to go old-school and look for the weapon that originally stopped Galactus in his tracks: The Ultimate Nullifier. The Nullifier not only deletes you from existence, it also goes through time and deletes any trace of you ever being around. In the end, to defeat Abraxas they had to the Ultimate Nullifier on the entire universe. If you have to take out the entire universe to kill Abraxas, then odds are he definitely has the power to beat a Celestial.
9. THE HORDE
I’m no Reed Richards, but I know if you want to cancel something out, you expose it to its opposite, right? You got fire? Put it out with some water. You fighting Magneto? Hit him in the head with a wooden bat. Not exactly an opposite but it still should work. If you’re looking to fight entities as powerful as the Celestials, you’re going to need anti-Celestials. Look no further than the Horde. They are considered the opposites of the Celestials and are instruments of an entity referred to as The Fulcrum, who quite literally may be as powerful as you can get in the Marvel Comics Universe.
Their first appearance was in the last issue of Neil Gaiman’s Eternals. They are the “locusts” of the universe (and even somewhat resemble giant space wasps) and are drawn to Earth because of a renegade Celestial named Tiamut, also known as the Dreaming Celestial. We’re all not fans of the “Galactus cloud” from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, but this is one formidable swarm the Celestials should avoid.
8. THE GOBLIN FORCE
The Goblin Force is very similar in power and concept to the Phoenix Force. The Celestials actually fought the Goblin Force and in the end could not defeat it, only contain it. The Goblin Force, similar to Galactus, has an insatiable hunger and can absorb cosmic energy, which is why the Celestials can’t mount much of a defense against it. Once energy is absorbed, it’s added to the Goblin Force’s own strength, making it exponentially stronger.
The Goblin Force can destroy whole planets with either its destructive telekinesis or its equally impressive concussive force blasts. The entity can teleport itself across the galaxy as well as through time. If its ability to handle unbelievable amounts of cosmic energy wasn’t destructive enough, the Goblin Force is also an incredibly powerful spell caster. Name a power and it basically has it on an omega level. The Goblin Force is like the gumbo of superpowers: name an ingredient and it’s in there. Also similar to the Phoenix Force, the Goblin Force wants a host as a conduit. Just as the Phoenix Force chose Jean Grey, the Goblin Force chose Madeline Pryor, transforming her into the Goblin Queen during an event called “Inferno.”
7. FRANKLIN RICHARDS
If you’re the son of Reed Richards and Sue Storm, you’re expected to do great things. I’m not talking going to Harvard and becoming a Supreme Court Judge levels of great, I’m talking mold the very fabric of space and time in the Marvel Comics Universe great. Franklin is a mutant way past Omega-Level, which means mutants like Professor X and Magneto eat his dust (or whatever else Franklin wants them to eat).
A “small” example of his power was when he created a pocket universe and resurrected the heroes that died while fighting Onslaught. He even used his power to resurrect Galactus after he died. Two Celestials, Ashema the Listener and Nezarr the Calculator evaluated Franklin to see if he could be a new member of the Celestial Host. In an alternate future, Franklin takes on two Celestials and destroys them in physical combat. Potentially, young Franklin Richards can become the most powerful mutant on Earth.
6. MOLECULE MAN
Although Owen Reese started out as a villain known as the Molecule Man, he was instrumental in repairing the damage that God Doom had done during the Secret Wars. At one point, he could only manipulate non-organic matter, but he eventually obtained limitless powers. With the help of Doctor Doom, he in fact found out that his powers to manipulate all matter was engineered by the Beyonders to eventually set him up as a living bomb that would destroy the known universe.
Other versions of Molecule Man in other universes had the same destructive potential. Besides total destruction, Owen was the one that not only helped God Doom create Battleworld, but also he helped Reed Richards recreate the multiverse. Reese exists in each new universe not as the ultimate bomb, but as a reality anchor. Yes, The Molecule Man definitely sounds like someone that can take on the Celestials and live to tell the tale.
5. THE LIVING TRIBUNAL
The Living Tribunal has one job: to safeguard the multiverse by maintaining balance. In an alternate reality, the half-man, half-robot, all-around menace named Korvac devastated the Earth, and The Tribunal sealed it off. The Tribunal also told Adam Warlock that the hero could not possess the Infinity Gauntlet and forced him to split the gems amongst the members of the Infinity Watch.
The Living Tribunal is a massively large humanoid with a golden body, a spotlight in the middle of his chest, and a head with three faces that floats over his shoulders. Its front face represents equity, and the other two faces, usually partially hooded, represent necessity and revenge. All three voices must agree on a case before the Tribunal can intervene, making them the Supreme Court of the multiverse. Although they attempt to maintain balance, the universe has been destroyed and reshaped numerous times by powerful entities.
4. THE BEYONDER
Where to begin with the Beyonder? If you’re familiar with his introduction from the 80s, you know him by his sweet long, wavy David Hasselhoff-ian hair that had a hint of mullet to it. The Beyonder is the sum total of an entire multiverse. He literally can do anything. In fact, in the first Secret Wars (not the newest one where the Marvel Comics Universe was reset) the Beyonder teleported a variety of heroes and villains to a planet he made called Battleworld and had them fight it out… for reasons.
Beyonders can create whole universes as well as destroy them. The Beyonders planned to activate universe-destroying bombs (in the form of Molecule Man) simultaneously across every reality to witness the destruction of the Multiverse because, again, for reasons. Creatures that plan destructions of whole planes of reality should prove to be more than a match for the Celestials. Next up: The Beyonder vs. a stylist.
3. GOD DOOM
Doctor Doom is all about power grabs. Not only does he wear a very complex suit of armor and not only does he have a superior intellect and genius that rivals (but doesn’t exceed; don’t tell that to him) Reed Richards’, he also utilizes magic and is a considerable sorcerer. Throughout his history, he has gone out of his way to steal powers and abilities from his rivals and even allies. He’s robbed Silver Surfer of his cosmic power and even robbed the Beyonder of his formidable abilities.
His biggest accomplishment resulted in a massive reboot of the entire Marvel Universe after a final battle with the Beyonders. Dr, Strange said that he couldn’t shoulder the burden of reconstructing the universe, but Doom happily stepped up to the plate. He reshaped Earth into his own personal paradise where Victor Von Doom was (naturally) the God Emperor. Reality was further manipulated when he made The Thor Corps, a police force that consisted of Thors from different realities. He was so strong that Black Panther wearing the Infinity Gauntlet held his own against Doom for maybe a few minutes, and that’s being generous.
The next time you feel bad about eating that extra slice of pizza or having that extra scoop of ice cream, think about Galactus. Galactus eats whole planets. He doesn’t consume it like Matter Eater Lad in the Legion of Super-Heroes comics would (and thank goodness because that would be gross), he uses giant complex machinery to sap the energy from a planet before it’s destroyed. Galactus devoured four (count ’em, four) planets and took on four Mad Celestials, destroying one of them in the process.
Galactus’s real name is Galan from the planet Taa, which existed in a universe that predates the Big Bang, making him the first (and oldest) living entity in the universe. He wields a type of energy called the Power Cosmic and imbues his heralds with it so they can find suitable planets for him to consume. For a guy that eats planets, you can expect his base of operations to be pretty boss as well. He operates out of a “ship” called the Taa II, a Mobius-strip-shaped vessel the size of a solar system.
1. THANOS (WIELDING INFINITY GAUNTLET)
Everyone is excited for the Avengers: Infinity War when all of the Marvel Comics Universe heroes will face off against Thanos. The movies have been setting up the existence of six very powerful objects called the Infinity Stones. In Marvel Comics, the mad Titan Thanos went on the Thanos Quest to collect all six stones (at the time, all six were referred to as soul gems, then retitled into Infinity Gems). The Soul, Time, Space, Mind, Reality, and Power gems, once in his possession, were placed onto his gauntlet and gave him control over virtually everything.
With ultimate power at his disposal, what was his first act? In an effort to impress Death, Thanos, with a snap of his fingers, killed off literally half the universe’s population. All of Earth’s heroes banded together to fight Thanos and after they were easily dispatched, every cosmic entity in the universe came to stop him. Thanos simultaneously fought all of them off only to later lose the gauntlet to his daughter, Nebula. With this much power, it will be interesting to see how the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other heroes will band together to stop him!
Can you think of anyone who can take down a Celestial? Let us know who in the comments!