One of Marvel Comics’ strongest and more feared villains, Thanos is a cosmically powered juggernaut. The would-be destroyer of the universe and romantic partner of Death, Thanos seeks to end all who stand in his way. Born from the species known as the Eternals, Thanos was an anomaly to his people. A mutant of sorts, he was born with the deviant gene, which not only made his physiology unique, but also granted him with powers far above anything his people were known for. From his early days, Thanos was infatuated with Mistress Death, the embodiment of Death in the Marvel Universe. Constantly worshipping her, he once killed after the sentient life in the universe just to appease her.
Over the course of his life, Thanos acquired more strength, nearly wiped out his own people, and then moved on to acquire the Infinity Gauntlet. That’s where his legend truly began. Now the stuff of nightmares, few mortals could hope to challenge him. However, despite all his amazing abilities, without the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos is powerless before a myriad of cosmic entities. And today at CBR we’re looking at 15 cosmic beings in Marvel Comics who are more powerful than Thanos, the Mad Titan.
Galactus is known as the Devourer of Worlds, which isn’t a cute nickname his friends gave him. Before he was the fabled Galactus, he was from the planet Taa. But then a little something called the Big Bang happened and destroyed his entire reality. After surviving the universe-destroying incident, he was rendered the last of his kind. Galactus now hungers for sustenance.
Unfortunately for the universe, he gains said sustenance by eating planets. Capable of devouring entire worlds, he wields the Power Cosmic and uses it to do whatever he need or desires. If there’s a power you can think of, Galactus possesses it, including reshaping reality, creating wormholes, and destroying planets; even looking upon him is enough to drive some folks mad. Completely impervious to most weapons, few beings or objects in creation can hurt him.
15 MOLECULE MAN
Owen Reese started out as something of a B-list villain to the Fantastic Four. That changed. In short order, the Molecule Man became one of the most dangerous beings ever. Hindered only by some psychological issues, once he got over those, he became a living god. With the help of Doctor Doom, he unlocked the ability to manipulate all matter and it was revealed that Owen was actually engineered by the Beyonders to eventually set him up as a living bomb that would destroy the universe.
While the Molecule Man can destroy universes at a whim, he can create them too, as seen when he not only helped God Doom create Battleworld, but when he helped Reed Richards recreate the multiverse. Currently, Owen is living in a pocket universe of his own making and is feared by even Galactus.
14 MASTER ORDER AND LORD CHAOS
Born along each other, accompanied by every other cosmic entity floating about in the Marvel Universe, Lord Chaos and Master Order embody the very concepts their names imply. The Marvel Universe is filled with abstract entities that represent universal concepts. Death is manifested as a cloaked skeleton that can take away your ability to die, Love is embodied in the entity known as Mistress Love, a blonde woman with a rather ridiculous fashion sense.
Cosmic beings of their order rarely get involved in events, which is why the duo uses their servant the In-Betweener, though he spends his time usually plotting to bring universal insanity to all life. As the actual manifestations of Chaos and Order, they can to do almost anything they want on a galactic scale.
13 THE BEYONDER
The Beyonder’s history is about as insane as comics can allow. If you’re familiar with his introduction from the '80s, you know him by his gnarly white tracksuit and his David Hasselhoff hair. To make things easy, the Beyonder is the sum total of the entire multiverse. He literally can do anything. Insanely powerful, he started the first "Secret Wars" for reasons yet undetermined.
Heroes and villains quake in his presence, but to make matters worse, the Beyonder is only one of many. In fact, there’s an entire race of Beyonders and they too can create whole universes as well as destroy them. They created the Molecule Man as a universe-destroying bomb so as to destroy every reality just so they could witness the destruction of the Multiverse…because they could? Truly, few beings in comics can stand up to their power.
12 ONE ABOVE ALL
Who earns the spot as the most powerful entity in all of comics? Why, that honor goes to the One Above All. Effectively God, or perhaps even Stan Lee himself, the One Above All is the embodiment of the unknowable concept of the transcendent other. The One Above All is the one who jump-started reality as we know it. His omnipresence is beyond understanding. The One Above All created any rules that exist and any rules that other cosmic entities follow.
With limitless power, its usually chooses not to interfere in situations. Rarely however, the One Above All has shown itself to individuals like Fantastic Four while in the guise of Jack Kirby. He is the anchor point for all of the power and magics that exist in the Multiverse. Even if Thanos possessed the Infinity Gauntlet, the One Above All would likely laugh and turn the blasted thing off.
11 THE INFINITES
The Infinites are a group of three abstract beings with power beyond even Eternity’s. They travel along the Multiverse and realign the energies of each Universe they come upon in a way they consider harmonious. Unfortunately, this usually resulted in the destruction of planets and even galaxies. Their servants/avatars, known as The Walkers, are the literal size of planets and would melt down worlds to create the resources necessary to build massive ring-shaped devices that the Infinites would then use to literally pull universes into realignment. Their power is virtually limitless and they have never been defeated as such.
When the Avengers approached the Infinite, the heroes didn’t defeat them, but instead reasoned with them, making the Infinite realize their plans would obliterate countless worlds. The Infinites had never considered such things before, as universes and planets are generally too far beneath their notice.
10 THE CHAOS KING
Thanos is certainly powerful, but he’s still nothing next to the most feared god, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, otherwise known as the Chaos King. While his past has ben retconned one or two times, the one constant is his power. The Chaos King is the embodiment of the darkness that existed before creation. The threats to his power are far and few between and only include the likes of Elder Goddess Gaea.
The Chaos King is less a physical entity and more a primal force. Gods like Odin and Zeus are powerless before him. During the Chaos War, the Chaos King enslaved them, wrecked Olympus, beat Galactus, destroyed Hell, and was so scary that Death fled the Marvel Universe. The Chaos King proceeded to destroy over 98% of the Multiverse, which is leagues above Thanos killing 50% of living beings in the universe.
Oblivion is one of the cornerstones of existence and shares a close relationship with Death. They are very similar in nature, as Oblivion is the embodiment of non-existence and nothingness. Formed after the creation of the universe, Oblivion, along with his “siblings”, Infinity, Death, and Eternity were “born”. While Oblivion is constantly opposed to Infinity, he seems to get along rather well with Death.
He lives in a realm known as the Outer Void. True to his nature, Oblivion has tried time and again to destroy the Universe and pervade non-existence. He even once attempted to use Maelstrom as his avatar to disrupt a black hole so it would consume all matter, but this plot was thankfully stopped by his polar opposite, Infinity. When all is said and done, Oblivion is more powerful than any of his brethren.
Eternity and his “sister” Infinity, are the nigh-inseparable personifications of reality. While their siblings Death and Oblivion crave the end of all things, they are the composite opposite to their negatives. Eternity rarely gets involved in universal fights, as few are even close to his pay grade as it were. Still, he became involved during the Infinity War and actually played a large role in defeating the Magus. Eternity is neigh omniscient and omnipresent.
It’s often depicted that the universe resides inside him. He exists in all places simultaneously and at all times, though he typically chooses an avatar to communicate within the physical realm. Eternity can alter space, matter, and energy around him to achieve virtually any effect he desires. Thanos couldn’t come close to taking him on, especially since the Titan literally lives inside him.
Genis-Vell was cloned from the DNA of the hero Mar-Vell, aka Captain Marvel, and implanted with false memories. If there’s one truth in the Marvel Universe, it’s that cloning never goes well. True to form, Genis-Vell went insane and decided it was in everyone’s best interest if they all just died. He even earned the moniker the Mad God! Eventually he redeemed himself by becoming a member of the Thunderbolts.
Genis-vell possessed more power than his father ever did, though he needed to use his Nega-bands to utilize his full powers. At his peak, Genis-Vell’s power set is just absurd. He can time travel, manipulate reality and time, fire powerful energy blasts and absorb energy, is super strong, can perform necromancy, and has incredible cosmic awareness; he knows where he needs to be at any time. Nearly omnipotent, it was even theorized he could control the photons of everything.
6 THE LIVING TRIBUNAL
While Adam Warlock might be the current Living Tribunal, there was a Living Tribunal before him and his abilities were just as nauseatingly powerful. The Living Tribunal, despite his vast powers, doesn’t get too involved in the affairs of the universe, or multiverse, as his job is to safeguard the multiverse by maintaining balance. How he does this is dealer’s choice, as he’s second only to the One Above All, and is bound to the One Above All’s wishes.
The Living Tribunal is supplied with nearly limitless power, capable of wiping out entire realities. The Living Tribunal’s head has three faces that float 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 in a situation.
5 THE PHOENIX FORCE
The Phoenix Force is notorious for making grown men cry; civilizations throughout the universe fear the massive burning cosmic bird, and for good reason. The Phoenix Force is not only one of the oldest cosmic entities in the universe, but it’s the nexus of all psionic energy from the past, present, and future within all realities.
Harnessing tremendous power, those who become its host can do nearly anything they can imagine. The Phoenix Force can destroy (as well as create) parts of the universe. Jean Grey is the most notable host of the Phoenix Force and when she acquired the power, she went a little mad, destroyed a planet, and tried to kill the X-Men. The only reason she failed was due to a moment of clarity and she committed suicide. When Cyclops and several other X-Men were possessed, they tried taking over the world and Cyclops killed Professor X.
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 their race was decimated after a war with a mysterious race known as the Aspirants. To some, they are literal space gods. The Celestials wield the Power Cosmic and their abilities are almost limitless. Their appearance usually heralds forthcoming destruction, as they have a tendency to blow up planets.
Even beings like Odin and the Phoenix Force find themselves having to go all out just to slow one down. One of Thor’s highest-ranking moments is when he used the God Blast on a Celestial. The God Blast which harnesses all of Thor’s life force and channels all of Mjonir’s power -- you know, the hammer capable of destroying planets. Despite all this, the Celestial only twitched.
An Egyptian pharaoh, the Celestial Order decreed that Akhenaten receive a massive amount of power from the Heart of the Universe. To no one’s surprise, it didn’t end well. Though he left Earth, he eventually came back and posed a threat to the universe. Beings like Odin and Thanos became involved, as the totality of the Avengers, Defenders, the X-Men, the Silver Surfer, and even Doctor Doom all united to defeat him.
It was a tall order as Akhenaten boasted incredible abilities like reality manipulation, time travel, super strength, dimensional manipulation, and matter absorption. It really seemed like he couldn’t be stopped as he killed most of the world’s heroes and many of the gods. Only through time travel did Thanos save the day, by going back in time and destroying the aliens who gave the pharaoh his power, restoring the timeline and all its heroes.
The son of Bor and the Frost Giantess Bestia, Odin hoped to one-day usurp his father. When a time-travelling Loki killed Bor, Odin used the opening. He and his two brothers claimed the throne as theirs, and Odin craftily absorbed their power and turned it into the Odinpower or Odin Force.
Aside from the Elder Gods, Odin is more powerful than virtually any other human-like being. He is said to have created Earth, entire galaxies, and can destroy galaxies at a whim. He’s even stronger than Mephisto. He’s fought Galactus to a standstill and even Dormammu is weary of his power. Yes, he’s fought Thanos on occasion and even though the Mad Titan held his own for a minute or two, once Odin became serious, Thanos was groveling at the god’s feet.
1 ADAM WARLOCK
A synthetic being created by scientists to become the perfect human specimen and rule the Earth, Adam Warlock’s power stands leagues above nearly everyone and everything in creation. Thankfully, he rebelled against his creators, calling himself Adam Warlock rather than Him. While he initially was on the tier of Thor’s strength, Adam Warlock’s power is now such that he can do anything the plot demands.
Adam is constantly evolving and the more he changes, the more his power grows. Currently, he’s been imbued with the power of Eternity and Infinity and has transformed into the new Living Tribunal. Even Thanos is afraid of Warlock’s abilities, realizing even his own power is nothing in comparison. With literally every power-set at his beck and call, Adam Warlock’s power is second only to the One Above All.
Which of these characters would you be afraid? Let us know in the comments!