Overcoming overwhelming odds has always been part of being a superhero. Stories would be boring if heroes simply batted aside every adversary they faced. While in an ideal, real-world scenario that would be welcome, it doesn't make for compelling entertainment. This is why we're presented with villains like Thanos, Killmonger and Hela. These antagonists give us pause for thought on whether our heroes can win the day. Whether it is because the villain has a large amount of power or even have a more compelling motive than the hero given the right context, there needs to be a back in forth to get us invested. If a villain is particularly difficult to put away, it is all the more rewarding seeing them be toppled. As much as we require memorable heroes, we need memorable villains to play off them, and more often than not, memorable villains display incredible power.
There are, however, villains that are too powerful. Where we wouldn't want adversaries that are easily and quickly defeated, we also can't invest in a villain who simply pushes heroes aside too. Both extremes on opposite ends of the villain power scale don't make for great viewing. While heroes need awe inspiring odds to overcome, foregone conclusions on their defeat shouldn't be included in those odds. There is also the problem in the fact that if unfathomably powerful villains are defeated, it is rarely believable. There's a delicate balance for the right supervillain and when the right villain is slotted into a movie it can take it from good to great. CBR looks to the source material to find out which all-powerful villains are simply too strong to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
20 THE BUILDERS
The Builders are a collective of beings of several types including Caretakers, Alephs, Abyss and Ex Nihili. These beings are charged with ensuring the stability and cohesion of the universes. During the Infinity arc, however, they took a more sinister approach to their duties. Seeing that the multiverse was on the brink of total collapse, they sought to cull worlds and universes.
They wanted to remove all threats to the multiverse with surgical precision. With the ability to overcome the combined powers of the major galactic empires, they'd be a little overwhelming for the Avengers. Even when the Ex Nihili defected and joined the Avengers, they still were no match for the remaining Builder collective.
19 KING THANOS
At the far edge of the universe in a future very different to most, Thanos has won. It could be argued that Thanos won at the end of Infinity War, but in the comics his conquest knew no end. He set about defeating all major threats, instead of simply retreating to life a peaceful life after one crusade.
King Thanos has decimated Earth, made the Hulk his personal guard dog and has the ability to pluck his past self from the timestream. His obsession with offering his defeated foes in tribute to Mistress Death has pushed him to eliminating nearly all heroes throughout the galaxy.
18 KANG THE CONQUEROR
Time travel is a tricky plot device to use. It often causes more questions than it answers and the rules surrounding it are cloudy at best. So, having Kang the Conqueror as an antagonist would be a confusing and overpowered rollercoaster. Think of the use of the Time Stone but on a much grander scale.
Not only is he the master of time travel, but there's countless versions of Kang. Some versions are friendly, some are evil and others are Iron Lad. That's right, the resident Young Avenger is also Kang somehow. If he doesn't stomp out the Avengers with time manipulation, he might bamboozle them with his ability to be everywhere at once.
Michael Korvac was an insurmountable foe for the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. Grafted into a machine by the alien race, the Badoon, he was able to download data into himself from Galactus' ship. This data gave him access to many things including the Power Cosmic and the manipulation of the universe itself.
Not entirely stable with all this knowledge and power, he fought the Avengers and the Guardians, destroying them in waves with his incredible power. He realized the folly of his ways when his partner Carina lost faith in him, ending his own life. In his final act as an omnipotent beings, he restored the lives he'd taken.
Adam Warlock is an incredibly powerful being, and he's been teased for a while in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He was crucial in stopping Thanos' first jaunt with the Infinity Gauntlet in the comics, so he's the real deal. Adam Warlock is also a pretty good guy, purging himself of all evil when he himself held the Infinity Gauntlet.
The issue with that is, the malevolent forces he purges from himself were so powerful they formed an entire new being. That being is Magus, the founder of the Church of Universal Truth. Hell-bent on power and bringing in eldritch horrors from between the fabric of the multiverse that the Church of Universal Truth worships, he'd be an entirely new level of evil.
15 THE FINAL HOST
Celestials alone are very strong, colossal in size and have the ability to end planets on a whim. If a whole host of them arrives at once, it would be impossible for the Avengers to turn them away. The Final Host in particular saw Earth as a problem that needed to be solved permanently.
While Earth has survived encounters with hostile Celestial before, the conditions of each situation have been either very lucky or very circumstantial. Currently there are no Eternals to bargain on Earth's behalf and Robbie Reyes (who pushed back the Final Host in the comics) hasn't been seen in the MCU since his appearances in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
14 CUL BORSON
Thor has already survived Ragnarok, there is no guarantee he would survive another. That is exactly what Cul Borson would bring with him, should he ever be unleashed on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He can grant sinister Asgardian hammers to people, turning them into horrifyingly powerful agents of his will.
If his agents generate enough fear across the realms, Cul ascends into his final form, the Serpent. Similar to the World Serpent in Asgardian folklore, the creature is destined to claim Thor's life in their final confrontation. He also broke Cap's shield during Fear Itself, so he's not one to play around.
While not inherently evil, Kobik would be an adversary who could cause countless headaches for the Avengers. In the comics, Red Skull was able to influence the child-like being into doing his bidding. The living Cosmic Cube was able to alter reality itself to set in motion the events for Secret Empire.
Even reasoning with Kobik is hard, as it is just like reasoning with an actual child. Prone to flights of fancy and easily upset, the wrong word could cause damage to reality itself. Without any real motive behind her power, she'd be an extremely volatile and hard to approach antagonist.
Vulcan is one of the most powerful mutant villains the Marvel Comics Universe has ever witnessed. The third Summers brother, thought lost in the fateful accident that claimed their parents, has a disgusting amount of power. Feeling as though he was manipulated by Xavier, Vulcan once single-handedly defeated the X-Men, in what was an effortless display.
He then ran off into space, seemingly leaving the X-Men to their defeat. When he appeared next, he had taken over the entire Shi'ar empire, becoming their new emperor. He also managed to survive an almost full volley from Black Bolt's shout during his conflict with the Inhumans.
11 GOD-EMPEROR DOOM
Dr. Doom has had a couple of outings on the silver screen, which is to be expected when you're that important. Doom is one of Marvel's most iconic villains and he's earned that reputation. His scheming and marrying of science and the occult is an attention-grabbing concoction.
However, one incarnation of Doom would simply be too powerful for a movie. God-Emperor Doom, from Secret Wars, would be an excellent foil for a while, to be sure. His patchwork Battleworld would make for an interesting setting for a film. He himself, though, is far too powerful, managing to overcome Thanos, the Infinity Gauntlet and the Beyonders.
10 THE VOID
Bob Reynolds is yet to make his superhero debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as The Sentry. This may be a good thing, however, as he harbors a great and sinister power inside of him. The formula that gave him his immense Sentry powers also awakened a nefarious being inside of him called The Void. Bob battles to keep The Void back every day, it's part of the reason he rarely uses all of his power.
Seeking to destroy just about everything, the Void could take down just about anyone who stands in its way. The Avengers once stopped The Void as it was emerging from Reynolds, but it took all of Thor's power and a Helicarrier thrown at it to stop it.
Knull is responsible for the existence of symbiotes in the Marvel Comics Universe. He existed before the universe and prizes darkness above all. Knull liked having things his way before the cosmos sprang to life, the new light of the universe pushing him further into obscurity. He is also the creator of the overwhelmingly powerful All-Black Necrosword.
Knull didn't take kindly to being retired prematurely. Since then he formed the Klyntar race, seeking to use them to fight against all that is light. The Klyntar developed a defiant consciousness and rebelled against him, though. Seeing the dictatorial being as a threat to all light and life, they imprisoned him deep on their homeworld.
8 PHOENIX FIVE
The Phoenix has seen the silver screen before, but never on the scale of the Phoenix Five. The cosmic entity that so destructively incites the cycle of end and rebirth once possessed five avatars at once. What ensued was an omnipotent dictatorship that nearly subjugated planet Earth. Believing they were doing what was best for mutantkind, the Phoenix Five became more vain and authoritarian over time.
When Namor was defeated, his power was shared among the remaining four hosts. Now knowing that they could defeat one another to increase their power, infighting commenced until only Cyclops was left. In his madness, drunk on the power of the Phoenix, he decimated the Avengers, X-Men and ended the life of his former mentor, Charles Xavier.
7 HYDRA CAP
What makes Hydra Supreme Steve Rogers so powerful, is that he not only had infinite resources, but the trust of just about everyone. Using this against his friends and the world, he seized control of planet Earth. He had his claws in just about everything going on in the world, and erected an impenetrable forcefield around it.
With not even Cosmic heroes able to assist their trapped friends, Rogers brought the world under his rule. As he was still Steve Rogers in many ways, he was also found to still be worthy to life Thor's hammer. The last thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe needs is Steve using his influence for evil, especially after all he learned in Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Gorgon is a demonic martial artist, affiliated with both The Hand and Hydra. An extremely powerful mutant and fanatical leader of several contingents of both organizations he has allegiance to. He can turn people to stone with his gaze, an ability that can be blocked by him wearing sunglasses and other eyewear.
He was put down by Wolverine but was resurrected and enhanced by The Hand. Since his return his physical abilities have become immensely powerful and he possesses a potent healing factor. Not only is he trained in various martial arts, he can use psionic abilities to anticipate his opponents movements and fighting styles.
5 SHUMA GORATH
If all you knew of Shuma-Gorath was his brief appearance in the Marvel Vs. Capcom game series, you'd be forgiven for underestimating him. He inhabits a dimension where he has absolute power, power that translates into terror for everyone else's dimensions. Should the chaotic being lurch forth into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, untold pain and anguish would reign.
Usually someone Dr. Strange needs to worry about, the nefarious being has a knack for surviving just about anything. Thanos once came up against Shuma Gorath with his Infinity Gauntlet. Even with all of his power he couldn't eradicate the being, the best Thanos could do was Banish it to another realm where it was no longer his problem.
4 THE INHERITORS
The Inheritors are a scary bunch and an unrelenting group of adversaries. They hop around the multiverse consuming the life force of animalistic beings, that they refer to as "Totems." Over their conquests, they have found Spider-Totems to be the most powerful and the most delicious. Although they have preferences, they can consume just about any living being.
They are essentially energy vampires, capable of sustaining themselves for an infinite amount of time, given enough food. They've taken out some of the most powerful Spider-Men across the multiverse. Their grandfather, Solus, has even consumed a Spider-Man who was Captain Universe at the time.
Selene has been around for eons, she's seen everything from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to the present day. She is one of the few immortal beings on the planet Earth, able to extend her life force by consuming others. She is also the Black Queen of the Hellfire club, holding power in the influential circles of the world.
The added caveat with Selene is that, if she consumes enough living beings at the same time, she can ascend to godhood. An immortal, vampiric foe with influential ties in every country on planet Earth? Sounds like a never ending headache!
Stryfe is a clone of the veteran X-Force leader and "best friend" to Deadpool, Cable. Unlike his brother, he does not have a techno-organic virus eating away at his body. Cable, usually has to use a large portion of his power to suppress this virus from ravaging his body.
Stryfe doesn't have to worry about any of this, as he has a full bill of health. As he is in great condition, he has access to the full power of his psionic abilities. Stryfe has accomplished amazing feats including managing to put a permanent end to the almost invulnerable Deadpool.
1 MOLECULE MAN
Molecule Man is a tricky villain not only because he's unpredictable, but because he's infinitely powerful. As his name indicates, his powers are tied to molecules, which includes the control thereof. Someone with the control of the very matter in the universe would be an unstoppable opponent. He could disintegrate, rearrange or simply remove Avengers from existence.
He usually keeps to himself, however, as he is connected to the universe around him. This means he rarely has specific issues with people. He is so powerful, Doom recruited him to help him steal the power of the Beyonders and they succeeded in claiming it.