The aliens of the Marvel Cinematic Universe cover each and every possibility you could imagine. Since our first exposure to aliens and alien technology in the early days of the MCU’s Phase One, knowledge of more and increasingly powerful beings have come to light. In Thor, we technically met the first aliens in the form of the Asgardians, even if they wouldn’t be classified as such until later. In 2012’s The Avengers, the Chitauri invaded New York. Then, in Guardians of the Galaxy and its sequel, the wide web of the universe was opened, and aliens from every corner of the comic books made their live-action debut.
As we venture forward and meet the Mad Titan in Avengers: Infinity War and the Skrulls in Captain Marvel, we can’t help but wonder: who is the strongest in the universe? From technology to culture and everything in between, each of these fighting forces has something over the other. For the sake of this ranking, we left out humans (though, maybe not Inhumans), since we knew for sure that Hulk would have something to say about this. Keep in mind, these are mostly ones we’ve at least seen in the films, not those merely mentioned. These are the alien races of the MCU, ranked from weakest to strongest.
For all intents and purposes, the Xandarians of the Marvel Cinematic Universe are not much more than just plain old humans. But that doesn’t mean they’re without power, and a handful of them being part of the Nova Corps proves that, even if the movies haven’t gone far enough with showing the full force of the galactic peacekeeping troupe.
Xandarians also sort of take the place of humans on this list, because to use the term “alien” in this context implies not from Earth.
That being said, we imagine the two would be awfully close to each other, except that regular humans might not hold up so well in a Kree-Human war. But hey, who knows? We’ve got Iron Men, Black Widows and Sorcerer Supremes.
Despite being a bit mindless, the Sakaarans are fairly resilient. In Guardians of the Galaxy, we see Korath the Pursuer and his crew of Sakaaran soldiers, and they reappear during the Battle of Xandar with Ronan and Korath laying siege to the planet. Well, until all of the Sakaarans are killed and Ronan is, well, also killed.
But we get an even better look at the alien race in Thor: Ragnarok, among many other kinds of galactic residents. But the Sakaarans themselves don’t have it easy, having to brave the harsh gladiatorial wasteland of Sakaar while the rich live in a bonafide golden palace. The Sakaarans are competent, at the very least, we’ll give them that. Oh, and then there’s Miek, one of the many scene-stealers from Ragnarok. But we all know he’s an outlier.
13. DARK ELVES
As an armed force, the Dark Elves were pretty fierce, and awfully terrifying. They appeared most prominently in Thor: The Dark World, and while their leader Malekith was sort of lost in translation, they were still haunting in every scene. And of course, we saw one in The Collector’s collection in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Compared to some of the other races in the MCU, the Dark Elves don’t seem like much of a threat, especially now that seemingly all but one of their race is extinct.
They had the benefit of a somewhat competent leader, at least until he was killed, and their gun-like technology seemed to pack a punch. We’ll just have to see if the Dark Elves make any sort of resurgence in future films.
12. FROST GIANTS
To talk about the Frost Giants in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’ll have to address the mischievous elephant in the room. Of course, we’re talking about Loki. And while his own abilities, whether inherited from Laufey or not, are incredible to say the least, we can’t really take them into direct consideration.
But that doesn’t mean Laufey and his crew of extremely large ice men don’t have something to say when it comes to power. Their ability to transmogrify ice to create makeshift weapons is quite literally deadly, and the showdown between the giants and Thor’s squad in Thor was only called off because Odin himself had to step in. Yeah, the Frost Giants and pretty tough, even if we haven’t really seen much of them since Thor.
The Chitauri in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were part of the reason why the original core Avengers team came together in the 2012 film. But aside from the mere shock of a full-scale alien invasion, the Chitauri themselves are actually pretty merciless. They are a hivemind army controlled from the deepest parts of space.
They also have everything from foot soldiers to mobile armadas and enormous space worms.
They brought some pretty wild damage to New York City in The Avengers, and their advanced technology changed the course of the weapon world, going on to appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Spider-Man: Homecoming. And while The Avengers did eventually take down the army, who knows what would have happened to Earth if they had failed?
Before we get started, we want to make it clear that this is absolutely a Korg appreciation post. Just kidding, even though Korg himself is one of the best parts of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the Kronans themselves, the race Korg hails from, are a sturdy bunch. And that’s not just because they appear to be made of actual rocks.
But Korg wasn’t the first of his kind we saw in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Kronans first appeared in the opening of Thor: The Dark World, where Thor takes out a big Kronan with a spiked club fairly easily. And sure, one could argue that this makes them weak, but could you go toe-to-toe with Thor and come out as anything less than a pile of rocks? We rest our case.
The Sovereign proved to be formidable foes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. All comedic relief aside, this technologically-advanced, genetically-engineered super race has the resources, organizations and drive to pretty much take over the entire galaxy. Or, at the very least, seek to perfect all of its imperfections through force. You know, like creating Adam Warlock.
And the Sovereign have a leg up on the competition in part because of their numbers.
Their ships can get in formation at the drop of a hat, and they proved to be awfully secretive in their employment of the Guardians of the Galaxy during the events of the film. Sure, you could blame it on Rocket, but that wouldn’t be much fun, now would it? We imagine once we see Adam Warlock, that the Sovereign could jump up a few spots on this list.
While we really only get the exposure of one Centaurian in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films — that one being Yondu Udonta — we get enough of a glimpse to see just how agile and quick-witted the alien race is. Utilizing the neigh soundless power of the Yaka arrows, the Centaurians could be versatile in their actions.
In Yondu’s case, this meant everything from smuggling stuff across the galaxy, being a space pirate and kidnapping a young Peter Quill from Earth. Like the Inhumans, the Centaurians were experimented upon and engineered by the Kree, but in everything from culture to abilities, they are totally different. Yondu’s use of the Yaka arrow was easily one of the most terrifying parts of his time in the Guardians films, even when he used it for “good.”
7. FLORA COLOSSUS
The Flora Colossus were once some of the most feared and mysterious beings in the Marvel Universe — until only Groot was left. And then, well, people are still pretty terrified of the guy. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’re not offered too much backstory on the Flora Colossus or Planet X aside from hints and easter eggs.
This means we have to infer about them based on Groot alone.
That being said, Groot is incredibly power, nigh invincible (given his ability to regenerate or sort of give birth to himself) and is way more intelligent than he can let on in a first impression. As a member of the Guardians (sans one deadliest assassin and one pseudo-Celestial) he’s definitely at the top of the pack. And as far as MCU aliens go, he’s pretty deadly.
Despite a lackluster showing in Marvel’s Inhumans television show on ABC, we have gotten more than a glimpse that the Marvel Cinematic Universe Inhumans are wildly powerful, and their abilities are almost impossible to track. Seriously, Terrigenesis can do anything from turn someone into a scaly reptile person, teleportation powers or just plain kill them.
The Inhumans in the MCU have been around for some time, with characters like Quake leading the pack in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the brief appearance of the Royal Family from Inhumans. There’s a lot to infer from the latter, but it goes to show that the Inhumans are a force to be reckoned with in the universe, even if their solo show was nothing to really get excited about.
For many races in the galaxy, like the Inhumans or Centaurians, the Kree are the ones who started it all. They were all over the galaxy, experimenting and engineering their own evolution, but as a people and as a force, they were some of the strongest in the galaxy.
Like Ronan the Accuser, a religious zealot hailing from the Kree Homeworld of Hala.
While we didn’t get too much of Lee Pace’s take on Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy, we got enough to see just how powerful these guys were. Even without the Power Stone, Ronan struck fear into those he judged. Now, let’s just hope we get to see a lot more of the Kree lore in next year’s Captain Marvel solo film.
The Asgardians were some of the first aliens we were introduced to in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, at a time when the films were a bit afraid to double down on magic and instead settled on advanced science — with context. But each of the Asgardians we’ve met, whether it’s Thor, Lady Sif, Valkyrie or Odin, has shown us an incredible amount of power, will and longevity.
And that’s just when they’re on Asgard. On Earth or Sakaar or wherever, the Asgardians are super-powered beings with incredible abilities. As far as alien races in the MCU go, it’s hard to find many tougher than the Asgardians without looking at things from an ultra cosmic level. The hammer of Thor, the Pegasus of Valkyrie or the throne of Odin — it’s all strong in nature.
OK, so we’re cheating a little bit here, but the point still stands. The Watchers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe are ominous beings. We don’t really see them use their powers in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and aside from being a glorified easter egg, their scene helps to hint that the more layered cosmic entities of the Marvel Universe are in the MCU.
And yeah, there was that theory that Stan Lee was actually a Watcher, and we sort of got something out of that in this little easter egg scene.
But as far as powerful beings go, those that can see everything and do nothing might have the toughest power of them all. Hey, maybe we’ll see Uatu show up somewhere down the line? “Original Sin,” anyone?
The Titans are dead. Well, all but one, and he’s coming for Earth. Thanos, the Mad Titan, is part of a regal race of beings from the planet Titan. Thanos was born with deformities, and was cast out by the society on the planet, and was unable to step in when a cataclysmic event wiped out basically his entire race. Of course, this only set him on a path of absolute death and destruction.
So Thanos harnessed that power of revenger in an attempt to literally court Death, and we’re going to see just how far he’s willing to go once Avengers: Infinity War finally hits theaters. With the power of the Infinity Stones, Thanos can warp reality, toss planets like baseballs and deliver one heck of a punch. Let’s just hope our favorite heroes aren’t on the receiving end of one.
Ah, Celestials. These beings are some of the strongest and willful beings in the entire Marvel Universe proper, and when we factor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s really not much stronger.
We caught our first glimpse of the enormous beings in Guardians of the Galaxy, during the Collector’s explanation of the Infinity Stones.
But the real kicker came in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, when we learn that not only was Peter Quill’s father the Celestial known as Ego the Living Planet, but Peter himself was a Celestial. Well, he’s a human-Celestial hybrid, but that counts for something. The weapons of these beings can wipe entire planets without any effort, and sometimes they are literally planets as well. If the Celestials run rampant, there’s only one force we want on the rival team. Galactus, anyone?
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