Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk, is considered by many to be the strongest hero on Earth. At the very least, the Hulk definitely thinks so, constantly yelling that “Hulk is the strongest one there is!”. With gamma-fueled strength, a healing factor, and his notorious ability for getting stronger the madder he becomes, fans generally believe the Hulk is unbeatable. The early days of Marvel definitely reinforced the idea; their two strongest heroes were the Hulk and Thor. Over the years, the Hulk’s strength has grown to the point where his footsteps create earthquakes. Writers have expanded on Hulk’s powers as they try and reach the upper levels of his strength; the Hulk always turns the tide of any battle.
Despite the power to lift mountains and crack planets, Marvel is chock full of beings stronger than the Hulk; some can turn him inside out with just a pinky. It’s not pleasant to think about, which is why Marvel likes to hide said characters away, letting fans believe Hulk really is the strongest one around. However, much to chagrin of Hulk fans around the world, today at CBR we’re looking at 15 characters stronger than the Hulk that Marvel would rather you not know exist.
15 ADAM WARLOCK
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. Refusing to follow his creators’ demands, he called himself Adam Warlock and used his powers for good. 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. Currently, he’s transformed into the new Living Tribunal and is second only to the One Above All.
In Infinity Revelation Adam Warlock bounces around time and meets the first Avengers team. Attacking him, Warlock practically flicks the Avengers away. He doesn’t even flinch at taking a simultaneous assault from both Thor and the Hulk. With zero effort, he manhandles the two heroes. The totality of the Avengers gets defeated in moments by a Warlock who wasn’t trying.
14 POWER PRINCESS
A member of the Squadron Supreme, Power Princess, or Zarda, is Marvel’s answer to Wonder Woman. Ridiculously powerful, she acquired her powers through Eternal engineering, transforming her into the strongest woman on the planet. She comes with a wide array of abilities, including heat vision, flight, super strength, super speed, and Zarda can also summon shields made out of unbreakable invisible material.
When she debuted in Marvel’s Ultimate Universe she proved more than a match for nearly any living being. One of her most infamous battles was when she fought the Ultimate Hulk. The battle wasn’t so much a fight as it was a thrashing. When Power Princess and the Hulk met, despite the Hulk’s best efforts, he could barely harm her. Zarda annihilated him, rendering him unconscious with minimal effort, nearly killing him in the process.
Genis-Vell was cloned from the DNA of the hero Mar-Vell, aka Captain Marvel, and implanted with false memories so to believe he was the son of the Eternal Starfox. Long story short, Genis-vell went quite mad and figured he’s murdered everyone. He even earned the moniker the Mad God, becoming feared in short order. Eventually he redeemed himself.
Genis-vell possessed more power than his father ever did, though he required his Nega-bands to utilize his maximum powers. At his peak, Genis-vell’s power set is frightening. He can time travel, manipulate reality and time, fire powerful energy blasts and absorb energy, is super strong, can raise the dead, and knows where he needs to be at any time. Nearly omnipotent, it’s believed he can control the photons of everything. While he might not beat the Hulk in arm-wrestling, Genis-Vell is capable of turning the green giant into atoms instantaneously.
12 SILVER SURFER
Time and again the Hulk has been thrust into cosmic battles or faced down beings of cosmic origin, and time again the Hulk struggles in the face of cosmically-powered opponents. The Silver Surfer, wielder of the Power Cosmic, has fought Hulk on numerous occasions and defeated him in nearly every instance.
Despite his gentle-looking frame, the Surfer is the host to immense power. With the Power Cosmic bestowed onto him by Galactus, the Silver Surfer is a Superman-level entity, but with a vaster array of powers. He can control gravity, rearrange molecules, creating something from nothing, time travel, is telekinetic, and has many, many more powers. He’s unquestionably one of Marvel’s mightiest heroes. Using the Power Cosmic, the Surfer has beat the Hulk without even touching him, applying the Power Cosmic to revert the Hulk back to Bruce Banner without the Surfer throwing a single punch.
11 CAPTAIN UNIVERSE
Firstly, Captain Universe is not an actual person, but rather the physical manifestation of the Uni-Power. The Uni-Power possesses individuals during a respective crisis and gives them the power to solve it. As a result, the power granted is astronomical, as the wielder becomes many times stronger than the Hulk, is capable of energy manipulation and projection, and nearly any other power the wielder can think of or needs at a certain moment.
When Spider-Man possessed the power, he punched the Hulk into space and when Sue Storm was imbued with the Uni Power, she effortlessly defeated the nigh-unbeatable Gladiator…the guy who’s survived attacks that have destroyed half a solar system. Even non-superpowered beings become ridiculously strong. The character William Nguyen was just a normal dude, but when he acquired the power, he hit the Juggernaut so hard that the latter’s helmet came right off and knocked him clean out.
A member of the Strontian species, Gladiator is the leader of the Shi’ar Imperial Guard and generally regarded as one of the universe’s strongest mortals. Essentially an analog of Superman, Gladiator possesses all the powers of the Man of Steel, and then some. His hyper violent nature also makes him deadlier than a great many other beings in his weight class.
The number of awe-inspiring feats Gladiator has committed is too long to list, but a few of them are that he’s flown across galaxies in seconds, punched Wonder Man to the center of a planet, kicked Thor’s hammer across a city (despite being unworthy to lift it), flown through suns, and even destroyed an entire planet with one punch. With all manner of sensory powers too, Gladiator’s only real weakness is his self-confidence, but he’s typically a braggart and completely confident in himself.
Galactus created Tyrant over a million years ago, but whereas Galactus destroyed planets for their nourishment, Tyrant was fueled by an unending lust for conquest and violence. Nearly on par with Galactus, with the emphasis being on the world “nearly”, Tyrant would rage against his creator and the two would fight multiple times. Each time, Tyrant walked away from the encounter, which speaks volumes to the profound power he wields. Tyrant is so strong he’s knocked out Gladiator, Beta Ray Bill, and even defeated Genis-Vell with zero trouble.
Among other things, he’s beaten the Silver Surfer and even forced Thanos to run away, horrified by his might. With a psionic control over all technology, Tyrant has amassed a nearly limitless army of robotic drones. Able to manipulate reality and do practically everything Galactus can, albeit on a smaller scale, the Hulk wouldn’t stand a chance.
Chthon is an Elder God and Archdemon who lives in a nether dimension next to the earthly plane of existence. Chthon’s power is responsible for every nasty supernatural creature; werewolves, vampires, and even witches. Occasionally, he’s portrayed as the Devil in the time before Judeo-Christian traditions. Whenever Chthon appears, it’s an all hands on deck situation. In The Mighty Avengers story arc "Earth’s Mightiest", the Elder God invades Earth and quickly takes over the planet.
Hank Pym and his Avengers battle the deity, along with the Hulk, yet they still barely hold their own. Only by scrambling up Chthon’s brainwaves do they win. Even so, at maximum power he is omnipotent and is the master of the most powerful and destructive forms of magic in existence. His mere presence was enough to kill Doctor Strange, and Eternity once likened Chthon to a cancer that threatens the whole universe.
7 SUN GOD
Born in another universe, Zoran, or Sun God as his world knows him by, is also the strongest being in his universe. A member of the Great Society, which is essentially an unabashed rip-off of the Justice League, Sun God and his team defeated an Incursion brought on by the Mapmakers. Immediately after they were forced to deal with the Illuminati, made up of Mr. Fantastic, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Beast, Black Bolt and Namor.
Upon meeting the heroes from Earth-616, it became clear the Great Society didn’t possess any means with which to stop another Incursion and only had “hope” in their arsenal. A planet needed to die so one could live. Namor starts the fight between the two groups, seeing the pointlessness of their debating. Throughout the fight, Sun God takes on the Hulk and beats him with just two shots.
The first character Marvel created as an answer to Superman, Hyperion allies himself with the Squadron Supreme and the Avengers and is considered one of the strongest super-humans in the entire Marvel Multiverse. Rescued by the Grandmaster after his planet was inadvertently destroyed by Genis-Vell, he was introduced as a villain.
Heralding from Earth-13034 and already possessing great power, when he arrived to Earth-616, he became even stronger, as Hyperion gains his power from the Sun and the Sun in this universe was less filtered. Hyperion’s powers are nearly identical to Superman. He has Atomic Vision, which can fire heat blasts of 12,000 degrees, and is so strong he’s lifted and thrown Atlantis on his own, held two universes apart, and slowed down a hurtling planet single-handed. His invulnerability is also such that he survived the destruction of two Earths colliding. Anything Hulk can do, Hyperion can do in spades.
One of the longest-tuning foes of the Fantastic Four, Annihilus comes from the planet Arthos and rules the Negative Zone with an iron fist. An insane nihilist, the he’s obsessed with discovering new ways to extend his lifespan. Alas, he sees virtually every living being outside the Negative Zone as a threat to this goal, so Annihilus forever plots ways to bring about the extinction of all life.
Using a wide array of ridiculously powerful technology, Annihilus engineered himself to be practically unstoppable. Kicking off the event "Annihilation", he nearly destroyed the universe; few mortal beings can oppose him and his army. Recently, Annihilus has grown even stronger. In the series Hulk vs. Thanos, Annihilus captured the Hulk, siphoned the chemical that allows Bruce Banner to transform, and injected himself with it. The new Hulked out Annihilus easily dwarfed the Hulk’s power, forcing him to flee, and then beat Thanos.
4 BLUE MARVEL
Adam Brashear served his country in the military, but then later discovered he had powers. After the revelation, Adam adopted the superhero alias the Blue Marvel and saved the country numerous times. He was forced into retirement by the government because of his tremendous power and for being black. He eventually came back, stronger than ever.
One of the, if not the, strongest hero on Earth, Blue Marvel received his powers thanks to getting mutated by radiation from the event horizon of the Negative Zone. Considered any Alpha-Level threat, which is designated for planet-destroying entities, Blue Marvel can manipulate all antimatter; one-gram contains the same energy as an atomic bomb. The limits to his power are unknown, but he’s defeated the Sentry with one punch and knocked out Ultimate Hulk with one punch. With no known weaknesses, Blue Marvel can do nearly anything he sets his mind to.
Described as a several billion-year-old abstract mystical entity, Cyttorak is a being of nigh limitless magical might. Dwelling in the Crimson Cosmos in the Outer Plane, a mere thought from Cyttorak is enough to negate 1/5 of the Phoenix Force as seen during the Avengers vs. X-Men story arc. Cyttorak is most famously known for using the Juggernaut as his avatar on Earth, bequeathing Cain Marko with incredible power.
One of the strongest villains to ever walk the planet, the Juggernaut’s power was only a fraction of Cyttorak’s might, but it’s been stated it’s enough to control the fabric of the Universe, were it used otherwise. Even Oblivion, one of Marvel’s mightiest abstract beings, cannot match up to Cyttorak. Also capable of creating life from nothing, while he’s not all-powerful, few beings in the entirety of Marvel can challenge him.
2 JAMIE BRADDOCK
The older brother to Brian Braddock, or Captain Britain, and the X-Men Psylocke, Jamie is so powerful that the abilities he wields have driven him insane. Visualizing reality as an infinite web, Jamie can manipulate and pull at these strings in whatever fashion he chooses. His quirky mannerisms combined with his high functioning reality warping powers make him impossibly dangerous.
Jamie is capable of reshaping anyone or anything he comes into contact with, molding them, literally to his will; this includes himself. He can control time, resurrect the dead, manipulate a person’s memories, and even teleport to other dimensions and realities. Practically resistant to physical injury, Jamie’s only real weakness, besides his fractured psyche, is that he needs solid substances to manipulate, as he can’t just create something out of nothing. Yet over the years, he’s started to overcome this restriction.
Supposedly harnessing the power of a million exploding suns (whatever that means), The Sentry is essentially Marvel’s dark version of Superman. After drinking an experimental super-solider formula, Bob Reynolds became the Sentry. All was not dandy, as the Void, the darker half of the Sentry, would occasionally manifest and create chaos. The Hulk fought the Void once, and had all his bones broken. In their second fight, Worldbreaker Hulk, the Hulk’s strongest form, fights the non-Void Sentry and still barely wins.
Later, after his tenure with the Avengers, he joined Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. During "Siege" the Sentry killed Ares, the God of War, destroyed Asgard, and then required a nuclear explosion, the combined assault of the Avengers, and Thor’s hammer Mjonir’s mightiest strikes before finally dying. Unleashed, the Sentry can perform reality and molecular manipulation, energy absorption and manipulation, and virtually every other power imaginable.
Which of these characters would you like to see thrash the Hulk? Let us know in the comments!