One of the more unique teams in Marvel comics, the Defenders have long been a staple of the comic book canon. Known as more of a "non-team" made up of individuals reluctant to team up, the Defenders have had a fluid roster over the years.
Not to be mistaken for the Marvel-Netflix street level reinterpretation of the team, the original Defenders in the comic books had some of the most powerful Marvel heroes on the team. Often dealing with mystical or cosmic world-ending threats, there are few enemies the Defenders cannot defeat when working together. Here are the top ten most powerful Defenders.
10 Luke Cage
Also known as Power Man, Luke Cage is one of the heavy hitters of the Marvel universe. Between his impervious skin and superhuman strength, he is one opponent you don't want to cross paths with.
Luke Cage first joined the Defenders in issue #17, and has continued to be an important member. He is the only member of the original comic book team that also appeared in Marvel/Netflix's new interpretation.
One of the fiercest warriors of Asgard, Valkyrie proved herself to be a valuable member of the Defenders. Her Asgardian strength, trusty Pegasus and mastery of sword fighting all make her a lethal combatant.
Although not a founding member, Valkyrie is one of the core members of the Defenders. She has continued to pop up in various interpretations of the team, and has always held a vital position among their ranks.
On one of Satan's journey to Earth, he met a woman and had a child. That child became Daimon Hellstrom. He decided to use his gifts not to follow in his father's footsteps, but rather to try to right the wrongs of his own heritage. Damion became an occult investigator, using his arcane abilities to contend with darker forces that only he was equipped to deal with.
Due to the supernatural nature of the enemies the Defenders typically face, Damion Hellstorm is a key member. It's not just his hellish abilities, but also his knowledge of the occult that makes him a great Defender.
Although often depicted as a street-level hero, Spider-Man is a powerhouse of Marvel comics. In terms of physical strength, he is one of the toughest heroes in all of Marvel. He often has to hold back to avoid killing the enemies he faces. Taking that mixed with his speed, agility, web shooting and spider-sense, he's got all the skills to be one of the best.
After the Defenders had been disbanded for some time, Doctor Strange founded a new version of the team dubbed the Secret Defenders. Spider-Man's stealth and wall-crawling abilities made him a key member of this covert squad.
The king of Atlantis, Namor, is essentially Marvel's Aquaman. In addition to super strength, speed, agility and durability this age-old character can also fly. Odd for a character that lives in the ocean, but it just seems to work. Namor is powerful enough to make Thanos bleed, which is more than can be said for most Marvel characters.
Namor is one of the founding Defenders. Although he reigns as the King of Atlantis, Namor most often likes to work alone, much like the other members of the team.
5 Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, is one of the most powerful heroes in the universe. What were originally thought to be simple "hex powers" developed over time into an ability to warp the fabric of reality. She could be considered number one on this list, if not for her inability to control these "gifts."
In terms of fighting mystical opponents, there are few heroes that are better to have on your side. Her ability to warp reality can be used effectively against otherworldly forces that don't belong in our dimension.
4 Ghost Rider
When Johnny Blaze decided to make a deal with the devil, it resulted in him being bonded to one of the most powerful creatures in the cosmos. Ghost Rider's abilities, deriving from the demon Zarathos, are almost unparalleled. Johnny's ability to use the full extent of these abilities has varied over time, but one fact remains constant: he's one of the best.
Much like Daimon Hellstrom, Ghost Rider is uniquely suited to fight the mystical opponents the Defenders are used to. Unlike Hellstorm, however, Ghost Rider uses his powers to burn their souls.
3 Doctor Strange
A master of the mystic arts, Doctor Strange has long reigned over the Marvel universe as Sorcerer Supreme. His dedication to his magic craft mixed with his high intelligence and determination have made him one of the most powerful people to ever join the defenders.
One of the founding members, it is Doctor Strange that most often finds himself the leader of the team. Due to the fact that they often face more mystical enemies, he is uniquely suited to lead the superhero squad into battle.
Although his power levels seem to change every few years, Hulk has always been one of the most physically strong creatures in the world. That strength, mixed with his incredible healing and nigh-immortality, ensures he's always a force to be reckoned with.
Another one of the founding members, Hulk remains the heavy hitter of the team. Although more commonly known as an Avenger, Banner always seemed to fit better with the Defenders. While the Avengers are Earth's mightiest heroes, the Defenders are made up of some of Earth's strongest, most shunned outcasts. Hulk knows what that's like.
1 Silver Surfer
When Galactus bestowed the Power Cosmic on Norrin Radd, he became the deity-like creature's new herald. Galactus is unmatched in his cosmic abilities, and the small fraction of that power that lies within Silver Surfer makes him the most powerful Defender there has ever been.
Although not a founding member, Silver Surfer was enlisted by Namor shortly after the team came together. Namor was smart enough to know they would need the help of one of Marvel's most powerful crusaders.