The Marvel and DC Universes are teeming with all manner of fantastic creatures: aliens, elves, wizards, mermaids… and, of course, gods. Lots and lots of gods. In addition to looting ancient mythologies for characters and plot ideas, each company has created plenty of original deities. Both DC and Marvel have entire pantheons of their own gods roaming around, from benevolent figures like the Eternals, to ambiguous entities like the Titans of Myth, to downright evil figures like the Gods of Darkness. They all kick butt, to be sure. But some gods are just inherently kick-butt-ier than others. So, which ones are which? More specifically, which of Marvel's gods could beat up DC's gods, and which of Marvel's gods would sent off with their tails between their legs? That's what we are here to find out.
Much of this list will be gleeful speculation, of course. While there have been a few DC/Marvel crossovers over the years, these are still relatively rare, and even more rarely does a crossover's focus turn to a god vs. god battle. We simply don't have a lot of definitive proof one way or the other. But isn't it more fun that way anyway? After all, why let a comic book company tell you what to think when you can let us tell you what to think instead? So here it is: the definitive, completely inarguable list of which Marvel gods could put DC's to shame and which would be laughed right out of the DC Universe.
20 STRONGER: THE UNIMIND
The Eternals are a race of superpowered humans who were often mistaken for gods by early civilizations. Individually, each is a force to be reckoned with. But when the chips are down and a real power boost is required, the Eternals have a formidable ace up their sleeves: the Unimind.
When trouble strikes, all of the Eternals gather together under the direction of their leader, Zuras. By partaking in a special ceremony, they can combine their forces into a single, giant brain called the Unimind. In this form, the Eternals can travel great distances and absorb information at super-superhuman speed.
19 WEAKER: HERCULES
This is a rare case where we have actual, conclusive evidence of how a Marvel god would fair against a DC god. In JLA/Avengers, Hercules travels to the DC Universe to retrieve a potent ancient artifact. Wonder Woman mistakes him for DC’s Hercules, who attacked her mother years before, and Amazons aren’t exactly the “forgive and forget” sort.
Wondy spends the next couple of pages whaling on Herc, intent on giving him what she thinks he deserves. The host of Asgardians that accompanied him to the DC Universe can only watch helplessly from the sidelines as Wonder Woman puts Hercules in a stranglehold that not even the apparent strongest god in history can break.
18 STRONGER: HELA
While a common prerequisite of godhood is immortality, there are some gods, most notably the Asgardians, whose lives can come to an end under certain circumstances. That's what makes Hela, who reigns over the afterlife, so darn powerful.
When someone expires, their spirit journeys to Hela's domain and stays there. But what if someone's life is snuffed out before their time and the other gods decree that their spirit should return to the land of the living? Too bad, that soul is Hela's now. If anyone wants to fight her about it, they'd better bring an army and a whole lot of luck.
17 WEAKER: MAKKARI
Makkari, whose name was mispronounced “Mercury” by the ancient Romans, is the swiftest of the Eternals. But compared to the other Eternals, his abilities seem to fall short. In Eternals #15, he drove his spaceship right into the Hulk's waiting fists. Two issues later, when he and his fellow Eternal, Ikaris, are forced to fight each other, Ikaris only loses because he's too busy successfully shaking off the mind control.
As a fun side note, despite speed being his greatest asset, Makkari was once bested in a race by a mysterious speedster from an alternate universe with a name that sounded like “Buried Alien.” So apparently you don't even need a DC god to beat him; you just need the Flash.
16 STRONGER: AGAMOTTO
When the goddess Oshtur decided she wanted a child, she created Agamotto. She might regret that now, as Agamotto went from being Earth's first Sorcerer Supreme to being the most potent magical foe that Earth has ever faced. Not even heavy hitters like Dormammu want to tangle with this naughty godling.
Fortunately for humanity's continued existence, Agamotto left behind several extremely effective magical artifacts, including the Eye of Agamotto. The good guys can and have used them to put Agamotto, however temporarily, in his place. In fact, they might be the only things that can knock Agamotto for a loop.
15 WEAKER: THANOS
Sure, when he's got the Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos can do whatever he wants. But when he loses control over that -- as he always, inevitably does -- what does Thanos really have going for him? An unrequited crush on a deity far mightier than he? Mommy issues? That weird chin? Please.
Meanwhile, look at his DC counterpart and predecessor, Darkseid. The vilest of the New Gods, he is the dictator of Apokalips, where the inhabitants either submit to his will or suffer brutal elimination. Aside from a few blips here and there, Darkseid has kept the kind of lifelong stranglehold on power that Thanos can only dream of.
14 STRONGER: DEMOGORGE
This god's name literally means "god eater," so right off the bat, you know you're dealing with a being of immense power. The Demogorge began life as Atum, who traveled the world slaying demons. That sounds pretty awesome, but the more demons Atum defeated, the more of their energy he absorbed, until he finally became the monstrous, god-eating Demogorge.
A god's only chance of avoiding being on the menu is to be so nauseatingly pure of heart that the Demogorge starts to feel bad and releases their power back to them. This happened to Thor in Thor Annual #14 and probably no one else.
13 WEAKER: TIGER GOD
White Tiger is a legacy hero who uses the Amulets of Power to gain superior martial arts skills, but that power truly comes from Tiger God, who is imprisoned within the amulets and must do whatever the current White Tiger tells him. We know this because Tiger God was freed from the Amulets in New Avengers #7, at which point he chewed out White Tiger but good.
Any god who can be so thoroughly controlled by regular humans is not one who is likely to intimidate too many other gods, DC or otherwise. Heck, we're betting Beast Boy could take him down.
12 STRONGER: THE CELESTIALS
The Celestials are a group of mysterious alien beings whose job is to keep watch over Earth's progress. If humanity meets their expectations, they'll allow the planet to continue on. But should humanity fail their inscrutable tests, it's bye-bye, Mother Earth.
Even Marvel's other gods are wary of the Celestials and realize that they are are completely at their mercy. An attempt by Odin, Zeus and Vishnu to confront the Celestials ended with all three of them backing off in a hurry. So it's a good bet that the Celestials would give DC's gods a run for their money, too.
11 WEAKER: THE WARRIORS THREE
Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing and Volstagg the Voluminous, collectively known as the Warriors Three, have been Thor’s best friends for ages. But although each is an accomplished warrior in his own right, they frequently meet defeat, usually right before Thor comes charging in to prove he’s the strongest by saving the day himself -- and that’s not even getting into their fate in Thor: Ragnarok.
As alluded to elsewhere in this article, the Warriors Three took a brief trip to the DC Universe to help find the Eternity Book. They bore witness to Hercules’ thrashing, but they were no help against his angry opponent, Wonder Woman.
10 STRONGER: APOCALYPSE
Not technically a god, though anyone who says that to his face probably won't live long enough to regret it. En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse, is an ancient mutant of incalculable strength who was mistaken for and worshiped as a deity. All that adoration apparently went to his head, as he now believes the world is his to rule.
And he actually did manage to take over the world once. In the run-up to "Age of Apocalypse," he took advantage of a spat between Charles Xavier and his future son, Legion, to conquer the planet. Under his rule, Earth became utterly unrecognizable and a whole lot scarier.
9 WEAKER: ARES
Ares, the Greco-Roman god of war, has a simple but effective modus operandi. He manipulates humanity into hating and fighting with each other, and then he gains strength from the subsequent violence and bloodshed. This holds true for both DC's and Marvel's versions of this timeless character.
So what makes Marvel's Ares such easy prey for DC's? Character development, mostly. DC has built up their Ares into a powerhouse villain who is even a match for one of their mightiest heroines, Wonder Woman, both in the comics and in film. Marvel's Ares just can't match that level of street cred.
8 STRONGER: BAST
Black Panther is certainly one of Marvel’s most impressive heroes. His combination of wealth, intelligence, technological know-how and cat-like skills have made him a force to be reckoned with. But you know who is even more impressive than him? Bast, the cat god that all prospective Black Panthers must appeal to before receiving their powers. She is also sometimes called the Panther God, for obvious reasons.
If a Black Panther doesn’t act as he should, Bast is more than happy to take his power away until he’s learned his lesson. But she has also come to his defense more than once, like when Mephisto tried to barter for Black Panther's soul.
7 WEAKER: ZEUS
Marvel's depiction of Zeus isn't exactly weak per se. He is, after all, the ruler of Olympus, and the other Greek gods very rarely dare to question him, but in terms of raw power, he often seems a little anemic. More than once, he and the other Olympians fell victim to Ares' evil plot of the week and required Hercules to save them.
Now DC Zeus, on the other hand, not only has the Olympians under his thumb, he frequently uses his powers to intimidate them into staying there. He once ripped out another god's heart just for giving Wonder Woman advice.
6 STRONGER: THOR
Thor is among the toughest of the Asgardians, and he is more than a match for most of DC’s gods as well. In Marvel vs. DC #2, he defeats DC’s Captain Marvel, who possesses the abilities of multiple gods, including Hercules, Zeus and Mercury.
Later, in JLA/Avengers, Superman wields Mjolnir and proclaims that he has “never felt” such power before, and this is from a guy who can bench press a building. Of course, Superman also knocked Thor on his godly behind earlier in the story. But it took him far more effort than usual, and Supes admits that Thor was his toughest opponent to date.
5 WEAKER: HORUS
Horus is the son of Osiris and Isis, the leaders of the Egyptian pantheon of gods. He is stated to be their greatest champion, much as Thor is the greatest champion of the Norse gods. That's unfortunate, as Horus clearly can't compete with the God of Thunder or even with his own brother, Seth.
As recounted in Thor #240, Horus suffered an epic defeat that resulted in Seth destroying ancient Egypt. Horus' excuse is that Seth used "base treachery" to win. But a win is a win, and Horus and his parents spent the next few millennia trapped in a pyramid.
4 WEAKER: BALDER
In one of the most famous Norse myths, Balder is a perfectly perfect god beloved by everybody... except Loki. Never one to work through his feelings in a healthy way, Loki seeks out some mistletoe, the only thing that Balder is vulnerable to. He then tricks another god, Hoder, into throwing a mistletoe-tipped spear at Balder, thus sending Mr. Goody Two Shoes on a one-way trip to the afterlife.
In conclusion, Balder is a loyal friend and a brave warrior who can shrug off blows from even the sturdiest weapons and the toughest blows. But mistletoe exists in the DC Universe too, so we wouldn't want to take bets on his chances against anyone with basic botanical knowledge.
3 STRONGER: THE COMPOSITE BEING
In Avengers #329, the Avengers are attacked by the clumsily named Tetrachs of Entropy, who believe the Avengers helped their enemies escape banishment. Even godly members Thor and Sersi are no match for these self-proclaimed "forces of the universe". The Avengers are saved by the Composite Being, an immortal of indeterminate gender and fantastic power.
The Composite Being curbs the Tetrachs' magic with a mere thought. They could probably wipe the Tetrachs out of existence if they felt like it, but they prefer certain other aspects of godhood. The Composite Being sails off for planets unknown in search of an adoring populace to worship them, allowing/forcing the Avengers to defeat the weakened Tetrarchs on their own.
2 WEAKER: MORIDUN
Moridun, a Cthulhu-like being from a previous universe, is summoned to the modern world by an evil Reed Richards. Unbeknownst to the New Avengers, Moridun possesses one of their number, Wiccan, through whom he is able to all but take over the world in a not-so-distant dystopian future.
But never fear: Wiccan's boyfriend, Hulkling, is on hand to encourage Wiccan to fight Moridun's influence. This allows Wiccan to, essentially, perform an exorcism on himself. So as long as a DC god has at least one person who loves them and is willing to offer encouragement during battle -- which we’re pretty sure is all of them -- Moridun shouldn’t pose much of a problem.
1 STRONGER: GOD
In Fantastic Four #511, Reed, Sue and Johnny make a pit stop in the afterlife to pick up their buddy, Ben. While there, they pay a visit to the big guy himself, God. He erases the scarring from Mr. Fantastic's face -- literally, with an eraser -- and restores the Thing to life. He sends the Four on their way with the promise of an ultimately happy future.
And who is God in the Marvel Universe, you ask? Well, he looks a whole lot like Jack Kirby, who created or co-created practically the entire Marvel Universe and a healthy chunk of the DC Universe too. And really, has anyone ever held more power over DC's and Marvel's gods than the King of Comics?