Marvel Comics has been publishing books containing fantastical characters for decades. Every year, new characters are introduced and their power levels tend to increase as time goes by. It didn’t take Marvel long to jump from its superhero format into the cosmos with the creation of characters including Galactus, Eternity and many others who are considered gods. Don’t worry, we will get to what makes a character a god in a moment, but even though these characters are in some ways deities, many of them have been beaten… badly. It doesn’t necessarily take a god to beat a god either, many mortals have accomplished the feat.
For this list, we do need to delve into what makes a Marvel character a god. Over the years, the publisher has played a little fast and loose with the definition. If a character is immensely powerful and seemingly invincible, they are not necessarily a god — we are focusing primarily on the difference between an immortal and a mortal. So, if someone were to, say, pick up an item capable of making them immortal for a brief period of time, they don’t technically qualify as a god for this list. Now that we got that out of the way, here are 15 Marvel Mortals Who Defeated A God.
15. SENTRY – ARES
If you are unfamiliar with the character Sentry, he is the Marvel version of what Superman’s power might look like, if he were on some sort of Kryptonian steroids his entire life. He is said to possess the “power of one million exploding suns” though he is somewhat hampered by severe agoraphobia and his dark side called The Void. During the Siege event, Ares found himself battling Ares one-on-one in Asgard.
Ares is the Greek God of War who was suddenly attacked by Sentry after vowing to kill Norman Osborn. In an instant, The Void takes over and with very little effort, he bifurcates the God of War, literally ripping him in half. Everyone surrounding Sentry stares on in horror at the sudden and unexpected carnage. Superheroes usually just beat each other up, making his actions somewhat out of the norm. Sentry’s death is ranked as one of the most horrible deaths in Marvel Comics.
14. DOCTOR DOOM – ANKHENATEN
Doctor Doom is an incredibly powerful man, but nobody in the world (besides him) believes he is a god. Thankfully, it was his ruthlessness that helped him to defeat Ankhenaten during the Marvel: The End crossover event. The event centered on the rise of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh who was abducted by the Cosmic Order in 1334 BCE. The Cosmic Order sought to create a human powerful enough to force peace onto the universe by turning him into a god, but Akhenaten had other ideas.
He returned to Earth after a a couple thousand years and went about destroying everyone in his return to power. Everyone teamed up to defeat him, including Thanos, but it was ultimately Dr. Doom who was able to finish him off after Thanos accessed the source of his power for himself leaving Akhenaten weakened. It was a team effort, but Doom finished him off.
13. DEADPOOL – THOR
Deadpool is one of those characters you can’t keep down. He can regenerate from anything and, given his tenacity at accomplishing whatever he has set out to do, there is little anyone could do to stop him. Enter the story appropriately titled, Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe, written by Cullen Bunn and penciled by Dalibor Talajic in 2012. Deadpool goes on the killing spree to top all killing sprees by first taking out the Fantastic Four, Doctor Doom and, why not, Howard the Duck.
In the story, he kills pretty much everyone and doesn’t limit himself to just one god, but we decided to focus on Thor for this entry. In their battle, he manages to get a Pym Particle on Mjolnir after Thor throws it at him. The result is a gigantic version of the unstoppable hammer returning to the God of Thunder, who is utterly crushed by it.
12. BLACK BOLT – APOCALYPSE
Black Bolt is disturbingly powerful, given that a mere whisper by the Inhuman could topple a city. He almost never uses his power because of its destructive capabilities, but has been known to raise his voice from time-to-time whenever the need arose. The confrontation occurred in Black Panther #7, written by Reginald Hudlin and penciled by Trevor Hairsine in 2005. Apocalypse was rampaging through Wakanda, which is never a good idea for people who enjoy life. A favor is called in and Black Bolt makes his appearance.
After lifting some debris on his mad rampage, he comes face to face with the leader of the Inhumans and only manages to say his name in recognition before BB says something. Before you light up the comments, we know Apocalypse doesn’t hold the typical deity definition, but his immortality and slew of powers place him at a god-like level, and his worship as such is inarguable.
11. WONDER MAN – THOR
Wonder Man is one of those characters who began as a bad guy, but eventually leaned towards the side of good and became an Avenger. It happens all the time in comics, which allows for some rather heroic buddies to begin their relationship as enemies. Wonder Man and Thor engaged in a battle back in The Avengers #9, written by Stan Lee and penciled by Don Heck in 1964.
At the time, Wonder Man was a member of the Masters of Evil, who were engaged in battle with the Avengers. While they were trading blows, Wonder Man gets the best of Thor and knocks the Asgardian into a giant hole. While he didn’t knock Thor out, he did manage to take him out of the fight for a bit and has bragged about the time he beat the God of Thunder ever since.
10. MAGNETO – APOCALYPSE
Magneto is one of the most powerful mutants on the planet being classified as an Omega-Level Mutant. His ability to manipulate the magnetic fields around him has been shown to include stopping bullets, levitating himself, blocking energy attacks and manipulating metals within the Earth on a global scale. He is immensely powerful and has been a villain and an antihero throughout his time in the comics and films.
Apocalypse, while also an Omega-Level Mutant, sits a bit higher on the power-scale due to his immortality and ability to transfer his consciousness into another body. During the Age of Apocalypse Event, the two mutants square off for a final battle. Magneto focuses all of his rage and energy on his enemy and literally tears him apart. He was also instrumental in defeating him in the 2016 film, X-Men: Apocalypse, but he had some help.
9. REED RICHARDS – GALACTUS
In Marvel Comics, you can’t get much smarter than Reed Richards. He isn’t just able to stretch his body and turn into a ball, this guy can create just about anything imaginable. When the planet Earth was being threatened by the cosmic being known as Galactus in Fantastic Four #48-50, not even Richard’s genius could come up with a way to defeat the World Devourer. In a desperate move, he and his team were able to convince Galactus’ herald, the Silver Surfer and Uatu, the Watcher to help.
With the Surfer’s assistance, Johnny Storm, aka the Human Torch, was able to retrieve the Ultimate Nullifier. The device was capable of destroying anything, even Galactus. The cosmic being relented from his attack on Earth and left the planet defeated. Galactus has been thwarted many times, but this first defeat at the hands of the Fantastic Four was the best and most memorable.
8. NICK FURY – OATU: THE WATCHER
If it’s anything, Original Sin is a convoluted storyline that revealed many interesting secrets of the Marvel Universe. It’s not the easiest story to break down, but it boils down to this: someone robbed Uatu the Watcher of one of his eyes and Nick Fury traveled to the Moon to save him. In his role as the Man on the Wall, Fury learns of all the death and destruction he has caused in his role as protector of the Earth.
Fury and Uatu come to a confrontation after the Watcher says “It’s time for someone else to watch” before raising his hands in attack. Fury raises his weapon and shoots Uatu in the head, killing him. He then removes his remaining eye and ends up confronting the entirety of the Avengers. Fury ends up (seemingly) dying, leaving nothing but secrets and distrust left remaining among the heroes.
7. THANOS – MARVEL COSMIC ENTITIES
Thanos, on his own, is one of the most powerful antagonists in the Marvel Universe, but he isn’t a god. It isn’t until the Infinity Gauntlet event that his powers not only achieve, but exceed the levels of godhood and he comes into confrontation with the entire universe. With the Gauntlet, Thanos has the power to recreate all of time and space. When the heroes fail to stop him, the gods step up.
The battle between Thanos and the cosmic beings of the Marvel Universe is incredible, but short. They are almost immediately subjugated to his will until he takes the place of Eternity. Unfortunately, for the Mad Titan, he loses his powers completely when his glove is removed by Nebula. Thanos was, in a manner of speaking, a god in name only, so his victory is short-lived.
6. HULK – LOKI
The Incredible Hulk is easily one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. The angrier he gets, the stronger he becomes and this guy is little more than a walking, talking rage monster. In The Avengers, the team comes together to battle the threat brought to Earth by Loki: the Chitauri. As most of the heroes engage in battle with the alien warriors across New York City, the Hulk finds himself in the penthouse of one Tony Stark alongside a guest: Loki.
This is it… the final battle we had waited for the entire film. Loki berates the Hulk and exclaims, “I am a god” before the Hulk grabs him and pummels him onto the ground again and again like a little rag doll. Hulk walks away saying his only real line in the movie, “Puny god,” before we are treated to Loki’s broken and shattered body.
5. FRANKLIN RICHARDS – MAD CELESTIALS
Franklin Richards is the son of Reed Richards and Susan Storm. He was born a mutant with some rather interesting powers. Franklin is an Omega-Level Mutant… well, he may as well be THE Omega-Level Mutant thanks to his ability to manipulate reality to suit his whims. He can do whatever the writers want him to do, making him something of a walking talking deus ex machina. While his powers are pretty much immeasurable, he is not a god… but he has beaten one or two in his time.
In the Future Foundation storyline, Franklin battles the Mad Celestials of Earth-4820. The battle goes on for a while before the (now aged to adulthood) Franklin pulls his powers from his younger self into his chest and destroys all of the Mad Celestials.
4. ULTIMATE RICK JONES – GALACTUS
The Earth-616 version of Rick Jones is a regular guy who was instrumental in Bruce Banner becoming the Hulk. In Earth-1610, which is the Ultimate Universe, things are a little different. He is a Herald of the Watchers and has been given immense powers. He became Nova and then finally, Captain Marvel. It was with his additional powers gained by taking on the mantle of Captain Marvel that he was able to confront Galactus.
The two met in battle when Rick went to Hala, a Kree planet under attack by the World Devourer. Captain Mahr Vell bequeaths his armor to Jones who takes it in battle Against Galactus. Because the armor was also a weapon designed to defeat Galactus, Jones nearly destroys him. His blast nearly blew him in half and severely weakened him.
3. RED HULK – THE GRANDMASTER
Back when Jeff Loeb was running things in the Hulkiverse, he introduced a crimson version of the character who not only possessed the powers and strength of the Hulk, he carried a big gun to boot. It was eventually revealed that Red Hulk was none other than General Thunderbolt Ross, the man who would stop at nothing to defeat his longtime nemesis.
Grandmaster was an ancient cosmic being capable of great power. He was an Elder of the Universe and he spent his time manipulating others. He set up a contest between the Offenders and the Defenders with the green and red Hulks in their respective teams. As the battle comes to an end, Red Hulk beats the Grandmaster to death because he simply does not like being manipulated.
2. DOCTOR STRANGE – DORMAMMU
In the Doctor Strange film released in 2016, the titular hero battled Dormammu by letting himself be killed time and time again. While that doesn’t seem like a way to defeat a being like Dormammu, he ultimately won out in their contest. Strange forced Dormammu’s hand by trapping him in a time-loop and while he may have derived pleasure in killing Strange, ultimately, he would get a bit bored. Even with the cinematic defeat, Doctor Strange and Dormammu have battled more times than we care to count in the comics.
Doctor Strange’s purpose as the Master of the Mystic Arts is to keep Dormammu at bay in his dimension, where he is far more powerful than in Strange’s. Throughout their 60+ years of publication, Dormammu has been thwarted by his nemesis whenever he attempts to take over the Marvel Universe.
1. SQUIRREL GIRL – GALACTUS
Squirrel Girl is a rather unique character in the Marvel Universe. She possesses the ability to talk to squirrels… that’s about it, but that hasn’t kept her from taking on some of the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe. In Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1-4, written by Ryan North and penciled by Erica Henderson, Galactus has set his sights once again on Earth. Green uses her army of Squirrels to borrow some Iron Man armor so she can fly to the Moon to meet her cosmic foe.
Green demands a meeting with Galactus, who agrees. The two get to talking and she mentions she took down Thanos, which Galactus appreciates given his disdain for the Mad Titan. She offers up a different planet full of nuts he can enjoy and he agrees to move on away from Earth. They may not have come to blows, but she defeated him nonetheless.
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