www.cbr.com

Dangerous Minds: The 25 Smartest Characters In The Marvel Universe, Officially Ranked

When used correctly, intelligence can be a truly scary thing. Some of the most powerful people in the world are like that because they have the capacity for meticulous planning and great intelligence. The same thing can be said for characters in the comics. Except, because of the nature of the medium, comics tend to be far more fantastic with examples of intelligence, which in turn, makes these characters even more dangerous than anyone in the real world. We can dream, but it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be as smart as the characters near the top of this list.

So many characters in Marvel Comics are able to be involved in this world of gods and magic and superpowers simply because their intelligence and will outclass their opponents. Iron Man is one of Marvel's most powerful heroes because of his intelligence and affinity for technology, and Doctor Doom may be the greatest villain that the Marvel Universe faces because of his extreme intelligence and immovable determination. From genetic engineering to creating planetary superweapons, these people do the impossible as a part of their daily routine. With that being said, here’s our official ranking of the 25 most dangerous minds in the Marvel Universe.

25 RED GHOST

While he may not be the most well-known character, the Red Ghost was one of the Fantastic Four's first villains and has an's incredible intellect deserves to be recognized. Ivan Kragoff and his Super-Apes premiered in Fantastic Four #13 in 1963, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He was a Soviet rocket scientist who was determined to win the space race and claim the Moon in the name of Communism. He trained three apes to be his crew (instead of regular people) and shot himself into space. He put himself in the path of the cosmic storm that gave the Fantastic Four their superpowers because he correctly theorized that exposure to the storm would empower him. And on this day, the Red Ghost was born.

Red Ghost’s main power is the ability of intangibility, however his incredible intelligence may be more of a benefit than his powers. Kragoff is an expert in rocketry, engineering, genetics, robotics, physics, and hypnotism and he also possesses a Ph.D. in radiology. On top of that, he’s become somewhat of an expert at training simians due to the circumstances of his origin. He’s invented numerous weapons and machines that have aided him in his evil plans and was even considered smart enough to join Intelligencia, an organization of the smartest supervillains on the planet. This was a group that consisted of the Leader, M.O.D.O.K., and even Doctor Doom, so Kragoff is in good company.

24 NORMAN OSBORN

advertising

Unhinged, sociopathic, and far more lethal than one might give him credit for, Norman Osborn may just be Spider-Man’s archenemy. However, Osborn managed to go beyond a simple Spider-Man villain and became a Marvel Universe villain during the events of Dark Reign. Osborn was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man #14 in 1964. He’s a self-made man who created his own company, Oscorp Industries. However, greed caused him to oust his business partner and use his notes to try and perfect an experimental performance-enhancing drug. The chemical increased his physical and mental abilities at the cost of his sanity.

Osborn may be outclassed on this list, but his intelligence is more about application than just knowing facts.

Osborn may be the most cunning individual on the entire planet. Like Ultron, he is an incredible planner. But unlike Ultron, he has a businessman’s mindset, allowing him to play the long game. And also unlike Ultron, he’s human, which makes it easier for him to manipulate emotions and convince others to do what he wants. He’s essentially a slightly less- smart Lex Luthor. He’s successfully tormented Spider-Man for years. And during Dark Reign, he maneuvered himself into a position of power that essentially let him do whatever he pleased. He’s no slouch in science either. He was knowledgeable in chemistry and electrical engineering, even before the Goblin Formula gave him a genius level intellect in genetics, robotics, engineering, physics and applied chemistry.

23 SHURI

The Black Panther is a title that generally stays within the royal family and, because of that, it was inevitable that T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri, would eventually take on the mantle of Black Panther, even if it was temporary, and have her time in the spotlight. Shuri was created by Reginald Hudlin and John Romita Jr. and premiered in Black Panther vol. 4 #2 in 2005. In the 2018 MCU blockbuster, Black Panther, Shuri was shown to actually be the most intelligent person on Earth, even smarter than Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. She serves as Wakanda’s resident tech genius and is the brain behind some of the most advanced technology on Earth.

Shuri in the comics may not be quite the genius that her MCU counterpart is, but she does possess intelligence comparable to her brother, T’Challa. Shuri went through very similar training to T’Challa as she had to become the Black Panther once he was exiled from Wakanda. During this training, she also studied until she could be classified as a genius, though she has fewer feats of intelligence to display than her older brother. She has, however, proven to be a skilled tactician, commanding Wakanda’s army during her time as queen and using unconventional tactics to root out insurrectionists.

22 ARNIM ZOLA

advertising

Most of the people on this list made their name off of their mechanical inventions or their knowledge of any of the branches of physics, but Arnim Zola is different. He may be the world’s foremost expert in biological sciences. Zola premiered in Captain America #288 in 1977. He was created by Jack Kirby and served (chronologically at least) as one of the first evil geniuses and also as one of the first scientists to truly experiment with genetic engineering after he found data left behind by the ancient Deviants.

He fought Captain America during World War II and survived into now by putting his consciousness in a robot body.

Zola is an exceptional biochemist, best known for creating genetic experiments that can challenge superhumans such as Primus (a shapeshifting android), Doughboy (a mass of extremely malleable, living bioform), Man-Fish (a fish.. man) and Vermin (a man with rat-like abilities). He also has a talent for neurosciences, as he has shown an ability to transfer consciousnesses easily and his robotic body always possesses an ESP box which can control the minds of his creations and others, transfer minds, and attack them. His genius is a big part of why the Red Skull is so dangerous.

21 DOCTOR OCTOPUS

Doc Ock is one of the most recognizable mad scientists in the Marvel Universe. Doctor Otto Octavius premiered in The Amazing Spider-Man #3 in 1963, created by the classic team of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was the third villain Spider-Man has ever faced and has evolved into one of the most recognizable and devious villains in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. Only Norman Osborn could possibly challenge him for the mantle of Spider-Man’s archenemy. His scientific genius and the four mechanical arms on his back, that he has full control over, make him more than a match for Spider-Man, who always struggles to defeat Doctor Octopus.

Octavius is one of the leading experts in atomic physics and has a PhD. in nuclear science. His knowledge in radiation is so great that Mister Fantastic asked for his advice when Sue had complications with her pregnancy due to cosmic radiation. His expertise may be in physics, but he’s also a talented engineer and inventor. Doc Ock has invented a great number of devices over the years and seems to have a new one every time Spider-Man encounters him. His most triumphant device, however, was the one that switched his consciousness with that of Spider-Man’s. So while Octavius gained the strength and identity of his greatest foe, he stuck Peter in his old, dying body and Peter was actually unable to switch back, prompting Ock to keep the body and become the Superior Spider-Man.

20 ULTRON

advertising

Ultron has long been one of the Avengers’ greatest foes. Though he’s remarkably powerful, most of his strength comes from his incredible intelligence and planning. He was created by Roy Thomas and John Buscema and premiered in The Avengers #54 in 1968. In-universe, Ultron was invented by Hank Pym and modeled him after his own brain patterns. Ultron almost immediately developed an Oedipus complex and rebelled against his creator, eventually turning against the whole world as well. His first action against the world was to reform the Masters of Evil to take out the Avengers.

A super-robot created by one of the smartest men in the world definitely has a place on this list.

Ultron has consistently been a worldwide threat since his creation. He’s one of the Avengers’ greatest foes and a lot of that has to do with his ability to create nearly foolproof plans. He’s pushed the Avengers to their limits by engineering situations where they’re designed to fail at stopping him. And he does it better than many villains. Also, as a robot, he was created with the entire world’s knowledge at his disposal. He’s a skilled inventor as well, with his greatest creation being the synthezoid Vision who possesses sentience and was powerful enough to take on the Avengers in his first appearance.

19 ADAM BRASHEAR

What can’t this guy do? Adam Brashear, or Blue Marvel, is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. He’s able to trade blows with the likes of Thor and the Sentry. But unlike those two, he’s also a genius. Blue Marvel premiered in Adam: Legend of Blue Marvel in 2008, and was created by Kevin Grevioux. However, he’s been a hero since the 1960s. He was convinced to retire by the United States government once his costume was damaged in battle, and it was revealed that he was black.

After that, Brashear put his intelligence to good use and became a physics professor at the University of Maryland. But his intelligence can be used for things beyond teaching. Brashear possesses a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics and a Masters in Electrical Engineering, both from Cornell University. What he’s most well known for, however, is his expertise on the relatively unknown phenomenon of Anti-Matter, which is created via the interaction between the Negative Zone and the regular universe. He and his partner, Conner Sims, invented a Negative Reactor to create a stable portal to the Negative Zone and they planned to use this event horizon to draw on Anti-Matter. His knowledge of this phenomenon allowed him to defeat the more powerful Sims who gained incredible abilities in the same accident that gave Brashear his powers.

18 M.O.D.O.K.

advertising

When about 75% of your body is made up of a head, you’re bound to have a formidable intelligence. M.O.D.O.K premiered in Tales of Suspense #93 where he was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as a Captain America villain. He was originally born George Tarleton until mutagenic experimentations by A.I.M. turned him into the villainous M.O.D.O.K or Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing (initially, the "K" was a "C" that stood for Computing). A.I.M. planned to use Tarleton’s incredible intellect to study and improve the Cosmic Cube that they recently created but barely understood.

However, M.O.D.O.K. rebelled against his masters and took over A.I.M. for himself.

M.O.D.O.K was created to be intelligent. His mind is essentially a supercomputer, as he’s able to analyze large amounts of complex data, retain it seemingly forever, and perform complicated calculations instantaneously. He also possesses the ability to calculate the probability of events so effectively that he seems to know what people are going to do before they do it. However, M.O.D.O.K. does not possess any creativity beyond that of a normal person, making him easy to predict and counter if you’ve dealt with him before.

17 PROFESSOR XAVIER

If his powers were taken into consideration, Professor Charles Xavier would easily be near the top of this list. However, even without his powers, Xavier is still very intelligent. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and, obviously and made his first appearance in X-Men #1 in 1963. He is the person who plucked the original five X-Men out of their lives of fear and isolation and brought them to his school for mutants. From there, Xavier has been a fixture, not just for the X-Men but in the entire Marvel Universe.

Xavier has been acknowledged several times as the world’s foremost expert on mutations. Though he might not abuse his knowledge to the extent that Mister Sinister and the High Evolutionary do, he has learned all there is to learn about mutants. But he has knowledge of other fields as well, with applicable knowledge in life sciences, engineering, and psionics. He’s the person who invented Cerebro and has invented numerous devices that can enhance and regulate psionic abilities. On top of that, Xavier has proven to be a master strategist, as he’s shown to be able to deploy the X-Men in the most efficient way possible and develops long-term plans that rival those of Mister Sinister.

16 IRONHEART

advertising

Being a teenager is hard enough. But being smart enough to attend M.I.T. at the age of 11 and then invent your own Iron Man armor from scraps is a whole new level of difficult. But Riri Williams managed to do so and then eventually carved out a role for herself as the young hero: Ironheart. She was created in 2016’s Invincible Iron Man Vol. 2 #7 by Brian Michael Bendis. She is a tech prodigy whose intelligence created behavioral problems at a young age. However, that changed when she attended M.I.T. and, at the ripe old age of 15, constructed her own Iron Man armor after reverse engineering parts from Iron Man’s Mark 41 armor and stealing additional parts from on campus.

Riri is an incredibly bright young woman who was identified as a genius by the age of 11.

She may not have any degrees, but she’s a master engineer just like her mentor, Tony Stark. Her first Iron Man suit was built from outdated and subpar parts, yet she still managed to stop a truck with a single punch. Then, under the tutelage of an A.I Tony Stark, she developed the Ironheart armor which is powerful enough to punch out the Rhino. She’s so smart that she was able to create two viruses in combat situations and repair the Fantasticar in a few seconds. Ironheart has a bright future in the Marvel Universe as one of the premier scientific minds in the world.

15 SPIDER-MAN

As Marvel’s flagship character, almost everybody knows about Spider-Man. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider-Man, or Peter Parker, first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 when Lee wanted a hero who could crawl on walls. Spider-Man’s everyman approach proved popular and he eventually grew to be Marvel’s most definitive hero.

Everybody knows that Peter Parker was a science nerd that secretly dressed up as the smart-mouthed Spider-Man. Since his M.O. isn’t to use technology to solve every situation, people assume that he’s smart but not that smart. Quite simply, those people are wrong. Peter is a genius in numerous scientific disciplines and has had his intelligence acknowledged by some of the smartest men in the entire world. On top of that, he’s easily one of the most creative thinkers in Marvel Comics. Spider-Man is frequently outmatched by his foes: Sandman is as powerful as the amount of sand he has around him, Venom is stronger and faster than him with the added benefit of being able to hide from his Spider-Sense, Rhino can trade blows with the thing. However, Peter beats all of them on a daily basis because he’s able to combine scientific knowledge and quick thinking to create plans on the fly. He very rarely wins because of his raw strength.

14 BLACK PANTHER

advertising

People usually associate the Black Panther with stealth and martial arts skill. But the training to become the Black Panther includes striving for mental perfection in addition to physical perfection. T’Challa was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first premiered in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966. From there, T’Challa has quickly become one of the most important players in the Marvel Universe.

Combined with his physical skills, T'Challa's genius and quick-thinking make him an invaluable ally in any conflict.

T’Challa worked very hard for his intelligence, and Wakanda places a great emphasis on education. But on top of the world-class Wakandan education he received, T’Challa went out into the world and studied at Oxford University, earning a Ph.D. in Physics. He’s also a master engineer and inventor. His inventions include the Quinjet, Falcon’s new flight suit, a life raft to survive the Incursion and a planet-busting interdimensional bomb to name a few. He’s also been trained in tactics since he knew what plans were and now has access to all of the knowledge and experience of the previous Black Panthers. Eventually, his own studies took him to a realm beyond that of simple Earth sciences. By combining his knowledge of science and mysticism, T’Challa developed a brand new scientific discipline known as shadow physics which allows him to create shadow weapons that are very effective against vibranium, track vibranium at the quantum level and render vibranium inert.

13 AMADEUS CHO

Having a supercomputer for a brain ensures that you belong on a list like this. Amadeus Cho premiered in Amazing Fantasy #2 in 2005 and was created by Greg Pak and Takeshi Miyazawa. He participated in a genius contest as a young man one day. Once the person behind the contest found out how intelligent Cho truly was, he tried to kill him out of jealousy, which resulted in an explosion that killed his parents. After being forced to go on the run, he encounters the Hulk and is thrust into the world of superheroes and fantastic powers. But his incredible intelligence allows him to keep up.

Cho is most often referred to as the eighth smartest man in the world by other characters, but that ranking has been altered so much that it hardly seems accurate anymore. Cho’s greatest asset is his ability to recognize patterns and run mental calculations instantaneously, which is referred to as a "natural ability to identify the variables and quantum possibilities in any situation." He has often gotten by in superpowered battles via his skill in using this ability to run advanced calculations and use deductive reasoning to design plans and exploit weaknesses with the tools available to him, whether the tools are technological or environmental; he’s very resourceful. His encounter with the Greek Gods has led to many of them commenting that Cho is more intelligent than both Athena and Hephaestus who are both super-geniuses.

12 THE LEADER

advertising

Both Bruce Banner and Samuel Sterns are gamma ray-enhanced beings but while Banner became the musclebound creature known as the Incredible Hulk, Sterns went another route. A dose of gamma rays enhanced Sterns, but instead of the unfathomable strength of the Incredible Hulk, he gained the nearly unmatched intelligence of the Leader. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and premiered in 1964’s Tales to Astonish #62.

The Leader's greatest skill is his ability to recognize patterns and predict the probability of almost any event before it happens.

He has incredible intuition, pattern recognition skills, deductive reasoning and memory. The Leader has perfect recall, allowing him to remember every character trait a person may have and then he uses that knowledge to predict his opponent’s next moves and formulate plans that anticipate everything his opponent might try. On top of this remarkable ability, Sterns is also a genius in many scientific disciplines, but the most prominent ones are biochemistry, engineering and physics. He has invented numerous devices and robots to help him with his plans and he is particularly skilled at genetic engineering and manipulating and utilizing radiation. With a mind powerful enough to counter the Hulk’s strength, Sterns belongs high on this list.

11 BEAST

People like to leave the X-Men’s resident super genius out of the conversation of the smartest men in the world, but he deserves respect. Hank McCoy, or Beast, was a founding member of the X-Men, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, premiering in X-Men #1 in 1963. He actually didn’t start out with a blue fur that he’s so famous for, instead he initially looked totally human except for a pair of extra large feet. But even then, he was still an integral part of the team, serving as their resident genius as they faced off against threats like Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants.

McCoy might be referred to as a renaissance man, with knowledge in numerous fields, including literature, a favorite of his. Beast possesses Ph.D.s in biophysics and genetics. However, he’s also an electronics expert who regularly repairs Cerebro and upgrades the Danger Room. He also is knowledgeable enough in microbiology to develop a cure to the Legacy Virus from Moira McTaggert’s notes. Beyond that, he has a working knowledge of an extraordinary amount of scientific fields including theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, nanotechnology, anatomy and mechanical engineering. On top of that, he’s multilingual and knows more than most about literature, music, anthropology and other social sciences. As someone with as diverse a skillset as McCoy has, he may seem a little low, but it’s hard to put him above the entries in front of him.

10 MISTER SINISTER

advertising

Anybody who was considered the greatest scientific mind of his/her generation deserves to be on this list. Nathaniel Essex was, then just happened to also become one of the most recognizable villains in X-Men history. Essex, or Mister Sinister as he’s known, premiered in 1987’s The Uncanny X-Men #221. He was revealed as a major player behind the scenes who had been manipulating Cyclops’ life for many years. He was the one who created a clone of Jean Grey, known as Madelyne Pryor, for the sole reason of conceiving Scott’s child who eventually went on to become Cable. Sinister remained behind the scenes until the events of Inferno in which he confronted the X-Men and battled them and X-Factor.

Sinister lived through the 1830s and was regarded as one of the greatest scientific minds of his generation.

He had radical ideas about genetics and pursued them no matter what. This drew him and Apocalypse together where Essex was granted access to Celestial technology and empowered by Apocalypse. This allowed him to live for well over a century, accumulating knowledge and learning from the advanced Celestial technology. Mister Sinister emerged as one of the smartest men in history. He’s an expert in genetics, cloning, biology, physics and engineering. He can create clones on a whim, give people superpowers without a second thought and create machines that can do extraordinary things like negate or transfer mutant powers.

9 HANK PYM

If you can create something with the longevity and power of Ultron, you’re a shoo-in for this list. He may have his issues, but nobody can deny that Hank Pym is one of the most intelligent people on Earth. Henry “Hank” Pym premiered in 1962 in Tales to Astonish #27 as a scientist who discovers particles that compress his mass and allow him to shrink to the size of an ant. The story did well, so Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Larry Lieber, and Dick Ayers brought him back a few issues later as the Ant-Man. From there, Pym and his wife Janet van Dyne, or the Wasp, became founding members of the Avengers and helped them battle the machinations of Loki.

Though Pym might be most infamous for creating the nearly unstoppable Ultron, he’s actually much more well-known as the premiere biochemist in the world. Pym has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and nanotechnology and is an expert in quantum physics, robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence and entomology. He discovered Pym Particles and figured out how to use them to shrink himself, shrink others and shrink objects with no ill effects. His control over Pym Particles is so advanced that he can shrink or grow into different universes: the Microverse and Macroverse. On top of that, he developed a cybernetic helmet that allowed him to communicate with ants and other insects, he created the powerful Ultron, and he’s invented a number of useful gadgets to help him and the Avengers.

8 IRON MAN

advertising

Tony Stark may be the snarkiest man you’ve ever encountered but don’t cross him or his technology because he’s become one of the most formidable minds in the Marvel Universe. Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, premiered in 1963 in Tales of Suspense # 39, created by the dynamic duo of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. He was a founding member of the Avengers and has served in a leadership/mentorship role for much of his history. He is one of Marvel’s most important and recognizable characters but none of this would be possible without his incredible intellect.

Tony Stark is the world's premier mechanical and electrical engineer and is an expert in chemistry, computer science and physics.

He has a history as a weapons developer, but when he became a superhero, his creativity was able to shine through and he’s invented some of the most powerful and intriguing weapons to ever exist in the Marvel Universe’s history. Who else can create a weapon to disperse the Phoenix Force or crafted mythical weapons that allowed the Avengers to take on the Serpents (who were all comparable to Thor). Tony is also a quick-thinker who is able to use technology in creative ways to help him escape from situations that seem bleak. Tony Stark is considered one of the world’s smartest men and he is inarguably the world’s foremost tech genius and inventor.

7 BRUCE BANNER

Bruce Banner may turn into the raging Incredible Hulk when he gets angry, but he’s just as useful when he’s calm because of his incredible intelligence. Banner premiered in The Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. He (as the Incredible Hulk) was one of the first batch Marvel heroes and was a founding member of the Avengers. Banner gained powers after being accidentally bathed in gamma rays during the detonation of a gamma bomb which gave him the monstrous alter-ego known as the Incredible Hulk.

Though Banner’s big, green alter ego is more well-known, Banner, himself, has still been a major player in the wider Marvel Universe. He is the unchallenged expert in the field of gamma radiation, but his skill extends far beyond that one specialty. He is an expert in numerous fields including biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine, physiology and nuclear physics. On top of that, he’s shown capable of creating a technology called Bannertech that is on par with the technology used by Tony Stark and Victor von Doom in combat. He created a force-field-generator that took blows from numerous Hulk-level threats like Skaar and Juggernaut; a taser that sent Wolverine flying and knocked Skaar down; and a hologram generator that can create a convincing Galactus disguise him as others, to name a few of his inventions. He even had his intelligence recognized by Doctor Doom, and we all know how vain Doom is.

6 THANOS

advertising

The Mad Titan may be mad, but he’s certainly not dumb. Thanos has been an Avengers villain for quite a while and he’s only lasted that long because of his unique combination of strength and intelligence. Created by Jim Starlin, Thanos premiered in 1973’s  Iron Man #55 along with Drax the Destroyer. His quest for power to impress Mistress Death led him to battle the Avengers numerous times over his history.

Thanos' most famous exploit was in 1991's Infinity Gauntlet when he wiped out half of all life in the universe with a single snap.

People don’t credit Thanos enough for his intelligence. Maybe it’s because of his hulking figure. But regardless, Thanos is a super-genius, even by Eternals standards. He, like Ultron, is excellent at making plans that are only undone by his hubris, but he also has incredible scientific and tactical knowledge. Thanos designed the augmentations that made him the physically strongest Eternal to ever live; strong enough to battle Odin and stagger Galactus. His most famous invention, however, is his chair. Which sounds odd, but this is the fanciest chair in the universe. It’s capable to teleportation, space flight, force field projection, time travel, and interdimensional travel. His inventions far exceed anything found on Earth. On top of that, his tactical genius is virtually unmatched. He was able to defeat the Grandmaster, the literal King of Games, at a game in order to obtain the Mind Gem.

5 REED RICHARDS

As the leader of the adventurous Fantastic Four, Reed Richards has seen some incredible things and been in some dangerous situations. And, many times, the only thing that has gotten them out of these situations has been his prodigal intelligence. Reed Richards, or Mr. Fantastic, premiered in 1961’s Fantastic Four #1 and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as they had a desire to create a team of superheroes who are also a family. The Fantastic Four went on some truly incredible cosmic journeys as they tend to be labeled as explorers more than traditional superheroes. They are only able to do this and survive because of Mr. Fantastic’s incredible intellect.

Reed has stated before that the usefulness of his intelligence far outstrips the usefulness of his powers, and he’s not wrong. Reed was a child prodigy with a super-genius for a father. He was taking college-level courses when he was 14 and he graduated from M.I.T., California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Columbia University, and Empire State University by the time he was 20. Reed has been portrayed as the smartest man in the Marvel Universe for much of the Marvel’s history. He is an inspired physicist, theoretician, and inventor who has made breakthroughs in virtually all forms of science such as space travel, time travel, extra-dimensional travel, biochemistry, robotics, computers, synthetic polymers, communications, mutations, transportation, holography, energy generation, spectral analysis and even more. There seems to be almost nothing that Reed can’t do with his brain.

4 DOCTOR DOOM

advertising

Victor von Doom has done some awe-inspiring things with his intelligence. He may be one of the most arrogant characters in fiction, but he has the strength, will, and power to back it up. Doom was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and premiered in The Fantastic Four #5 in 1962.

Doom was created to be the archenemy of the Fantastic Four, but he's become so much more than that.

Doom’s intelligence is so vast that he’s done things that should be impossible. When the final Incursion was happening at the beginning of 2015’s Secret Wars, Doom was chosen along with Molecule Man and Doctor Strange to confront the Beyonder and try to stop him, and keep in mind that the Beyonder is virtually omnipotent. Not only was Doom able to devise a plan to kill him, but he also found out how to steal his power and become God Emperor Doom. And a case can be made for Reed Richards being as or more intelligent than Doom, but Doom has something that Reed doesn’t: magic. Doctor Doom is also an incredibly accomplished sorcerer, believed to be comparable in strength to Doctor Strange. So on top of his apocalyptic intelligence, diplomatic immunity and the resources of a small country, he also has vast mystical knowledge to draw on as well. It’s almost not fair.

3 VALERIA RICHARDS

For a long time, it’s been acknowledged that the title of the most intelligent man in the world was between Reed Richards and Victor von Doom. Then, Reed had a kid, and now that title may be in danger. Valeria Richards is the daughter of Reed Richards and Susan Storm. She was created by Chris Claremont and Salvador Larroca and premiered in Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #15 in 1999, hailing from an alternate timeline where she was the daughter of Susan Storm and Victor von Doom. She was born in her current form in Fantastic Four Vol. 3 #54.

Valeria’s powerless, but she doesn’t need them to have a bright future ahead of her. According to Reed, by the age of 3, Valeria already surpassed him in intelligence. An acknowledgment of this means that she’s going to develop an intelligence that will rival anything ever experienced before. She’s so smart that she felt the need to hide her intelligence after she calculated that it would cause a massive rift in the family 82 months into the future. Keep in mind that she did this while she was 3. She dropped the ruse, though, and has actually invented a very advanced toy that makes use of artificial intelligence that Reed and Franklin plan to sell to Disney.

2 LUNELLA LAFAYETTE

advertising

Lunella may not have a lot of feats, but when the company that created someone says that they’re the smartest in their world, you have to listen to the creators. Lunella Lafayette, or Moon Girl, is a nine-year-old girl with a red Tyrannosaurus Rex as a best friend. She was created in 2016’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos. In addition to Lunella’s incredible intelligence, she also possesses the Inhuman power to switch consciousnesses with Devil Dinosaur, her Tyrannosaurus Rex companion from the Savage Land. She’s only nine years old, but she’s already made an impression on the Marvel Universe, joining Daisy Johnson’s Secret Warriors, meeting Carol Danvers,and impressing Amadeus Cho.

Lunella has already invented some incredible devices with virtually no resources.

As we alluded to before, Lunella doesn’t have a lot of feats, but her biggest was her ability to solve a Banner B.O.X, or Brain Omnicompetence Examiner, in seconds. This was created by Bruce Banner to test intelligence and nobody in the entire world had been able to solve it up to that point, something pointed out by Amadeus Cho. She has invented numerous gadgets, including a battlesuit, that enable her to battle superhumans, she has a lab underneath the city and she built a craft that is able to traverse space. Since she did all of this with extremely limited resources, it's no wonder the Kree designated her a 100% threat to their empire.

1 HIGH EVOLUTIONARY

Being able to do the work of a god definitely makes you worthy of the number one pick. The High Evolutionary went down the path he did because he was inspired by Nathaniel Essex, better known as Mister Sinister. However, he took it even further than his inspiration, becoming a being that transcended humanity. Before he was the High Evolutionary, Herbert Edgar Wydham first appeared in The Mighty Thor #134 in 1966, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

The High Evolutionary isn’t just smart, he’s as smart as it is possible to be. He can and has evolved his own genome at will which has pushed his intelligence to levels previously thought unimaginable. When confronted by Galactus, he was deemed to be the opposite of Galactus: Galactus was the Devourer of worlds while the High Evolutionary was considered the World Builder. He can create life with no effort and then create whole worlds for that life. He can evolve and devolve lifeforms and manipulate or create matter,  including the armor he invented that made him functionally immortal. He once tried to end his existence by goading the Hulk, and even an enraged Hulk was unable to kill him. He is the universe’s leading geneticist and is extremely knowledgeable in biology, chemistry, medicine, physics, engineering, human psychology, computer science and cybernetics. Finally, his research and cosmic adventures have, at times, granted him a sort of extra-sensory awareness that allowed him to see cosmic beings even when they weren’t manifested.

advertising

More in Lists