By this point in Marvel’s history, almost everyone you can think of has been a member of the Avengers. Spider-Man? Check. Wolverine? Check. Even the likes of Norman Osborn has been an Avenger. He had to create his own evil version of the team to do it, but it still counts. With the list of Avengers almost encompassing the entirety of the Marvel Superhero universe, it can be tricky to filter out the trash from the treasure. Sure, Thor is awesome, but he’s stood next to Dr. Druid and the Swordsman, so how great can he really be?
Once in a while though, an Avenger comes along that’s a cut above the rest. People like Captain America or Squirrel Girl turn up and show the rest how it’s done (and before you say anything, Squirrel Girl beat Thanos. Let that sink in), but we’re looking beyond that. We’re talking about those rare cases where the being in question is so ridiculously overpowered, we have no idea why the bad guys even bother to show up. If you filled an Avengers roster with the following characters, there’d be no villain in the multiverse that could stand in your way.
15. WONDER MAN
Simon Williams gets a lot of abuse as an Avenger, and with good reason: he’s pretty terrible. We kid, but there’s no denying his popularity has had its fair share of issues through the years. His origins go all the way back to 1964 and Avengers #9, so he’s totally legit as members of Marvel’s premier super team go. There have just been huge swaths of stories where the writers don’t know what to do with him.
Wonder Man is a being of pure energy and as such, has powers to match, based on ionic energy, giving him super strength, flight, invulnerability: the usual suspects. What makes him overpowered, however, is that he’s a Hollywood star! Just kidding, it’s his nigh-invulnerability and all those other things we mentioned. He even died in his very first appearance and that didn’t slow him down, so you know he’s the real deal.
If your name is always followed by the words “The God of War,” it’s safe to say you’re pretty powerful. Ares is exactly who he claims to be, the Greek God of War who’s always craving his next battle. He originally started his comic book career as a villain, opposing such characters as Thor and Hercules, even fighting against the Avengers in his time.
Soon though, he proved that there was more to him than just being a shallow villain of the month, and joined the Avengers as one of their heaviest hitters. Much in the same way Worf joined the crew of the Enterprise, Ares was a man of honor that merely craved the thrill of battle, but when given orders and a team to surround him, he proved to be fiercely loyal. Until he joined Osborn’s Dark Avengers, but we don’t talk about that.
Soon to be the name on everyone’s lips, thanks to Tessa Thompson’s portrayal in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, Valkyrie is an Asgardian named Brunhilde, chosen by Odin to lead the Valkyrior: the female warriors on winged horseback, charged with returning the souls of fallen warriors to Valhalla. She’s had many human aliases throughout the years, but one of her hosts — Samantha Parrington — received the powers of the Valkyrie herself, just to make things that much more complicated.
Being an Asgardian, it’s obvious that Valkyrie is overpowered already: her status as a literal god means that she’s more than a match for most Avengers villains. Her superb fighting skills (especially with her sword) and her superior strength — even amongst her fellow Asgardians — give her a rock solid place on this list.
12. IRON MAN
Anthony Stark, the Invincible Iron Man, is way more overpowered than you may realize. Think about it: who has a super suit for literally any occasion, one that can achieve anything that the storyline requires, including going toe to toe with the Incredible Hulk multiple times? That’s right, the former arms dealer turned founding Avenger Tony Stark and his bottomless dollars that have somehow funded almost every Avenger team since their inception.
It’s not just the super suits though: as he’s fond of telling us, he’s also a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, which roughly translates to him not only being an overpowered Avenger but an overpowered human being. Plus, he’s died, come back to life and downloaded a backup copy of his brain so often, he might as well be immortal.
The Avengers may be compared to gods among men, but for some of the team members, that’s literally true. Hercules is the original superhuman: a Greek demigod that straddled the ancient world like a colossus (not the X-Man). His 12 labors were so legendary, we can still read about them thousands of years later, so when he joined the Avengers you better believe he was one of their heavy hitters.
Debuting in 1964’s Avengers #10, Hercules was seen to be one of Immortus’s henchmen, initially fighting against the Avengers. He rose to prominence, however, when he started making regular appearances in Journey into Mystery, going toe to toe with not only Thor but the Incredible Hulk. The fact that he’s still around after fighting those guys proves he’s the real deal.
Vision is having a renaissance as a Marvel hero. Writer Brian Bendis had him ripped apart by an enraged She-Hulk during the “Avengers: Disassembled” storyline, one that saw the end of the old Marvel Universe and the start of a whole new one. For a while, Vision wasn’t a part of any Avenger squad but in time he started making appearances again. Then, Avengers: Age of Ultron happened, and fans haven’t looked back.
His role in the 2015 sequel was pitch perfect and justified the love given to him by many fans. It also showcased just how powerful Ultron’s “child” really is. Super strength, intangibility, flight and shapeshifting are just some of his skills. His latest series by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta showed a nuanced, flawed and dangerous Vision too, all of which just proves that if you’re putting together an Avengers squad, you need him on your side.
9. RED HULK
For a while, there was only one contender for the crown of Strongest There Is, and it was Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk. When he spent some time on “Planet Hulk” and, enraged, returned to earth to wreak bloody revenge on the heroes that sent him off to space to begin with. However, he needed to be brought down, leaving room for someone else to claim his spot.
General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross — once a sworn enemy of Banner — became the very thing he’d spent his life fighting against when he became the Red Hulk. His real identity was kept a secret for a long time in the comics, but what he couldn’t keep hidden was his overpowered, Hulked out super strength. While the original Hulk would inevitably return, Red Hulk still deserves a place on this list.
8. CAPTAIN MARVEL
Carol Danvers had many aliases over the years, from Ms. Marvel to Warbird, to Binary, before settling on the mantle of Captain Marvel, passed down to her by the original Captain Marvel, the Kree Warrior Mar-Vell. Since then, she’s gone from strength to strength as a character and as an Avenger, leading multiple versions of the team in her time, including A-Force, Alpha Flight and The Ultimates.
Imbued with the powers of the original Captain Marvel by an exploding Psyche-Magnetron, Danvers has always had incredible superpowers, which include super strength and speed, flight and most importantly energy absorption and projection, which means anything you throw at her she can take and give it straight back to you. With a keen military mind and superb leadership skills, she’s as formidable as they come.
7. DR. STRANGE
When it comes to overpowered Avengers, it’s not all about strength. Stephen Strange is one of the biggest players in the Marvel arena for one simple fact, and it’s down to him being the Sorcerer Supreme. His mastery of the mystic arts has seen him be the “go-to” guy for the Avengers time and again, and the depth of magic he can pull from means that he’s usually got a spell for absolutely any Deus Ex Machina the story requires.
The Sanctum Sanctorum is always buzzing with the weird and wild magical goings on, but beyond those walls, Dr. Strange has traveled to every corner of the known universe. His experience with the Dark Arts means he’s overcome foes like Dormammu and Mephisto countless times, themselves ridiculously overpowered. While he’s not the strongest there is, his magical powers let him scoff at mere physical strength.
Like all good legacy characters, there have been multiple characters to take on the mantle of Quasar. The most recent was a woman named Avril Kincaid, but when most people talk of Quasar, they’re thinking of either Wendell Vaughn or Phyla-Vell. Either way, Quasar is one of Marvel’s more ridiculously overpowered cosmic heroes.
With powers such as energy manipulation, teleportation, flight and power over solid light constructs, being Quasar is no mean feat. Wendell Vaughn was the everyman agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. that fell into the powers almost by accident, whereas Phyla-Vell took up the role after Vaughn’s death at the hands of Annihilus. The powers of Quasar are governed by a pair of Quantum Bands, golden bracelets that the user wears, much like the Nega Bands worn by the original Captain Marvel.
Think of him as Marvel’s Superman, and you come close to understanding why Hyperion ranks so high on the list. He may not have the fame and household name of the Man of Steel, but his powerset is practically identical, making him a serious contender.
He originated as a member of the multiversal Squadron Sinister, collected by the Grandmaster to fight against the Avengers, and then later an alternate universe version of Hyperion was a member of the Squadron Supreme. There’s also the extremely overpowered King Hyperion of Earth 4023, but we won’t go there. More recently, Hyperion was pulled from his dimension to help Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers fight against the multiversal collapse that led to 2015’s Secret Wars event. Well, if you were fighting against the grand cosmic incursions of every multiversal version of earth, wouldn’t you want a Superman analog on your side?
The Odinson, the God of Thunder, The Astonishing, the Mighty Thor is a hard being to beat in combat. His Asgardian strength and durability place him in the higher echelon because he’s simply a god amongst mortals. His thunderous power over the elements and his trusty hammer Mjolnir by his side means there is hardly a being in the multiverse that can withstand the brute force of Thor.
There’s a reason why God Emperor Doom, when he remade the world, collected all the Thors in the multiverse to be his law enforcement. There’s also a reason why, in the far-flung future Asgard, only one god remains, and it’s the wielder of the Thor-Force: old King Thor. He’s beaten back god killers and unfathomable cosmic beings with his might, and when the Thunder God unleashes his true strength, there is barely a being alive to tell the tale.
3. SCARLET WITCH
Wanda Maximoff spent a lot of her life hiding her true potential. Debuting in X-Men #4, she soon moved over to the Avengers title and joined the second iteration of the team, formed by Captain America. Her and her brother Quicksilver — both children of Magneto — would flip between good guys and bad guys for years, but it wasn’t until the early ‘00s that her true power was revealed.
Wanda is able to channel Chaos Magics, and her reality warping abilities were turned against the Avengers (and the X-Men) when the loss of her children sent her mad, leading her to “disassemble” the Avengers, killing many prominent members, and decimating the mutant population with three simple, quiet words: “No more mutants”. On a good day she’s strong, but on a bad day, she’s nearly unbeatable.
Robert Reynolds is a relatively new Marvel character dressed up like a really old one. The Sentry miniseries from 2000 (written by Paul Jenkins, art by Jae Lee) told of a superhero that became so powerful, with such a catastrophic dark side, that the other heroes banded together to collectively wipe the memory of him from existence. Sentry had always been there, but none of us (including the readers) remembered him.
When Reynolds did return, he brought with him the cosmic threat that sent him into hiding to begin with: The Void. Later discovered to be the dark side of Sentry’s psyche, The Void was as overpowered as Sentry (basically another Superman analog) but without any moral boundaries. It took the combined strength of every Marvel hero to defeat him — twice — meaning that Sentry/Void is two halves of one seriously overpowered being.
Hulk is the strongest there is. Period. A creature fuelled by anger, the more you make him mad, the stronger he gets. The green goliath is the alter ego of the repressed gamma radiation scientist Bruce Banner, and while there have been countless examples over the years to prove it if you really want to know how strong he is, you only need to look to the “Planet Hulk” storyline.
Shot into space by a group of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Hulk crash lands on a planet, then rises up through gladiatorial combat to become their savior and king. Then, his shuttle explodes, killing his wife and newborn child. He saves the planet (by literally holding the tectonic plates together) then, enraged, returns to Earth to decimate every hero that stands in his way. He is the Warbringer. He is invincible. He is the strongest there is. He is Hulk.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments!
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