Created by the legendary Stan Lee and Jack Kirby back in 1963, the Avengers have since become arguably the most recognizable superhero team on the planet. With the original team bringing together the likes of Wasp, Ant-Man, Iron Man, Thor and the Hulk, the Avengers’ modest team has since grown, playing host to well over a hundred heroes (and sometimes villains) over the course of its 55-year history. In fact, interest in the Avengers is currently at an all time high, with the release of Avengers: Infinity War not only usurping 2012’s The Avengers, but becoming the fourth highest grossing movie of all time.
With so much hype currently surrounding the franchise, it’s no surprise that fan discussion is once more turning to which Avengers are truly the most powerful, and which of those characters we’ve yet to see on screen. In the spirit of that, CBR thought it was about time we officially weighed in on the conversation, ranking the 25 most powerful Avengers ever to appear in the comics. In addition to names you’ll no doubt recognize, the list also contains some surprisingly obscure entries -- with many of the Avengers’ most powerful team members also being some of their least known.
Although Spider-Man is one of the world’s most beloved superheroes, he still seems to have a reputation as primarily a street-level hero. Sure, Spidey does spend his days patrolling New York City for bank robberies and muggings to foil, but given the amount of times the wall-crawler has saved the entire planet, he certainly deserves more respect than he gets -- especially from the Avengers themselves. In fact, Spidey was denied Avengers membership several times throughout his career, only joining the team in an official capacity decades after the team’s initial formation, which is really saying something given some of the frankly lame characters who’ve fought with the team.
Granted his powers from a radioactive spider bite, Peter Parker has the proportional strength of a spider, making him even stronger than most people realize. Able to lift around 10-15 tons on an average day, Spidey can lift up to an astonishing 25 tons in a pinch. In addition to this, Spider-Man has a long list of other powers too, including superhuman agility, reflexes, endurance, stamina and speed -- and that’s before taking into account his incredibly useful spider senses, impressive durability and accelerated healing. Perhaps Peter’s most underrated power however is his genius-level intellect, which allowed him to create the trusty web shooters that enable him to swing across the city and subdue the countless villains in his ever-expanding rogues gallery.
24 CAPTAIN AMERICA
Captain America may not have the most extensive set of superpowers on this list, but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the most formidable characters the Marvel Universe has to offer. A willing participant in the successful Super Soldier Program that gave him his powers, Steve Rogers is essentially the perfect human being, with his body reaching the peak level of human potential. Not only does this make Captain America insanely strong for someone not considered traditionally superpowered (he’s able to lift around 1200 lbs), but Cap is also fast, agile, durable, and recovers from injury much quicker than most.
With his near-indestructible vibranium shield at his disposal, Steve Rogers is a real force to be reckoned with. Able to absorb blows from the likes of Mjolnir, the shield can be used both defensively and offensively, and has even proven capable of cutting through Iron Man’s armor on occasion. It’s Captain America’s mental fortitude that sets him apart from pretty much every other character in Marvel Comics however, with his sheer tenacity and willpower allowing him to overcome pretty much any situation he’s put in. This, coupled with his many years of experience and combat mastery put Captain America firmly above many of his superpowered counterparts, with the character representing the absolute best of humanity.
23 LUKE CAGE
Captured and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit, Carl Lucas -- later known as Luke Cage -- willingly volunteered for a risky experiment led by Dr. Noah Burstein during his time in Seagate Prison. Based on the Super Soldier experiment that gave Captain America his powers, the experiment was sabotaged by the sadistic Officer Albert Rackham, who had a racist grudge against Cage. Instead of killing him as intended however, Luke found that his skin became completely impenetrable -- resistant to bullets, edged weapons, chemical attacks, extreme pressure and temperature -- while he also gained tremendous levels of superhuman strength.
Sitting in roughly the same category as some of Marvel’s heaviest hitters in terms of pure lifting power, Luke Cage’s strength and durability make him an incredibly effective warrior, able to dish out and soak up incredible amounts of damage without breaking a sweat. Cage is also a versatile fighter, cutting his teeth as a street brawler before training in other forms of combat, including several martial arts, with the help of his fellow heroes. These more disciplined fighting styles allow Cage to take even further advantage of his powers, enabling him to use his strength even more effectively. First appearing in 1972’s Luke Cage, Hero for Hire #1, Luke immediately established himself as a Marvel powerhouse, eventually joining several super-teams including the Avengers, the Defenders and the Thunderbolts.
Armed with nothing more than some metal claws and a potent healing factor, Wolverine is one of the most sought-after heroes in the Marvel Universe thanks to his unmatched skill, he's at one point served as an Avenger, an X-Man, a member of X-Force AND the headmaster of the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning all at once. Of course, while Wolverine’s powers may seem rudimentary at first, they actually make him one of Marvel’s most formidable fighters. While most characters with a healing factor still need a significant amount of time to recover, Wolverine’s physiology allows him to heal in a matter of seconds, enabling him to go toe-to-toe with even the deadliest beings in the Marvel Universe.
Additionally, Wolverine’s adamantium-coated skeleton make him nigh-on invulnerable to damage and enhance his strength greatly, allowing him to easily break metal restraints, wield huge concrete pillars as weapons and even snap the neck of a dinosaur. Adamantium also covers Wolverine’s claws, allowing him to slice through almost any substance like butter. What many may not realize about Logan however is the sheer skill he possesses as a warrior, easily sitting around the top of Marvel’s hierarchy of most talented hand-to-hand combatants. Utterly lethal in one of his famous berserker rages, Wolverine is equally deadly as a disciplined martial artist, mastering multiple forms of combat during his extended time in Japan.
For some reason it’s often easy to forget just how powerful Namor is in terms of pure strength, with many writers seemingly holding the character back from his true potential. Serving as the very first Marvel character to show their face in comic book form, Namor the Sub-Mariner first appeared way back in 1939’s Motion Picture Funnies Weekly #1 -- a full 23 years before the company would hit their stride with characters like Spider-Man and the Incredible Hulk. A hybrid of human mutant and Atlantean, Namor was always destined for greatness, eventually becoming the king of Atlantis.
Known for being one of Marvel’s most unlikable heroes, Namor is at the throats of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes about as much as he’s on their side, leading many to consider him an anti-hero. Tremendously strong under the water, Namor’s level of strength is amongst the highest in the Marvel Universe, able to go up against the likes of the Thing, Thor and even the Hulk in a slugfest. He’s even able to fly, which coupled with his strength, speed and durability makes him more than a match for most of his fellow Avengers. The only reason Namor isn’t even higher on this list is that his powers quickly diminish the longer he’s out of the water, giving him an easily exploitable weakness.
Making her debut appearance way back in 1970’s Avengers #83, Valkyrie once served as one of the Valkyrior, shield-maidens of Odin charged with determining the worthiness of fallen warriors for Valhalla, and is based on the Norse figure Brunnhilde. As an Asgardian, Valkyrie’s physical capabilities are not only superior to that of ordinary humans, but most other Asgardians, too, making her extremely strong, fast, agile and durable. She can also transport herself and others to and from the realm of the dead, an ability which also enables her to see a “deathglow” surrounding those about to die.
Valkyrie’s skills as a fighter are said to be unmatched amongst her own people -- with the possible exception of Lady Sif -- making her lethal with her magical sword, Dragonfang. Said to be created from the tooth of an extradimensional dragon by a mystical entity named Kahji-Da, Dragonfang is not only invulnerable to damage, but can also dispel several forms of magic, making it extremely handy on Valkyrie’s adventures. In addition to her sword, Valkyrie also has a winged horse named Aragorn, whose enhanced intelligence allows it to understand Valkyrie’s intentions in battle, making them a formidable pair. Serving primarily as a key member of the Defenders, Valkyrie later founded the Secret Avengers alongside Captain America, Beast, Ant-Man, Sharon Carter, Black Widow, Moon Knight and Nova.
After receiving a blood transfusion from her gamma irradiated cousin, Bruce Banner, following a life-threatening incident, Jennifer Walters acquired the powers of She-Hulk -- powers that are very similar to her cousin’s, with some slight variations. Quickly taking the Marvel Universe by storm, Jennifer Walters proved herself as so much more than just “the female Hulk”, first appearing in 1980’s Savage She-Hulk #1. Much like fellow superhero Daredevil, Jennifer is a highly accomplished lawyer by day, using her sharp legal mind to defend the rights of others -- particularly superpowered beings. Perhaps the busiest woman on the entire planet, Jennifer is not only a lawyer, but has also served as a member of the Avengers, the Defenders, Heroes for Hire, S.H.I.E.L.D., the Future Foundation, A-Force and even the Fantastic Four. Needless to say, She-Hulk’s talents are in high demand across the Marvel Universe.
Impossibly strong, She-Hulk’s powers work similarly to the Hulk’s, vastly increasing the angrier she gets. What separates Jennifer from her cousin however, is her ability to retain intelligence when she transforms, giving her much more control of She-Hulk despite being physically weaker than Bruce. Furthermore, She-Hulk has also received training from the likes of Gamora -- the deadliest woman in the Universe -- and Captain America, making her a highly skilled combatant.
While the Marvel Universe is filled with gods and deities from several different pantheons, there are few mythical characters as powerful as Ares. Initially appearing as a villain in 1966’s Thor #129, Ares’ status as the god of war means he lives for the battle, and he’s incredibly adept at it, too. Later opting to portray Ares in a more anti-heroic fashion, Marvel eventually had the character join the Avengers, where his strength, near-immortality, inexhaustibility and finely-honed skill in battle made him one of the team’s most unstoppable members.
With the exception of his father, Zeus, Ares is perhaps the most powerful of all 12 Olympians, with his strength and fighting ability allowing him to tackle the Marvel Universe’s most powerful beings, easily besting the likes of Skaar in terms of raw strength. Ares is also highly resistant to damage, able to shrug off Ultron’s lightning bolts, War Machine’s heavy weaponry, and even a nuclear blast in one instance. As well as being a capable fighter physically, Ares also appears to be a master of weaponry, employing several unique weapons to get the job done. These include his trusty axe -- which is able to slice through anything -- and several other mystical weapons, including a gun that fires bullets coated in Hydra blood, allowing him to damage his rival Hercules.
Despite being a demigod as opposed to a full-blooded Olympian like his half-brother and deadly rival Ares, Hercules is easily the strongest member of the Greek Pantheon. The son of Greek god Zeus and a mortal woman, Hercules was favored by his father due to his immense strength, sparking the bitter feud between himself and Ares. First appearing in Journey Into Mystery Annual #1, Hercules was introduced as a supporting character in Thor’s ongoing saga, before receiving a meatier role in the Marvel Universe after spending some time on several super-teams, including the Avengers, the Defenders, the Champions and the God Squad.
Much like his mythological counterpart, Hercules’ greatest asset is his ridiculous strength, which is said to be incalculable, though he’s generally considered roughly on par with the likes of Thor. Shown to be capable of easily laying a beatdown on powerful cosmic beings such as the Silver Surfer, Hercules has even managed to parry punches from the Hulk himself. Amongst his most impressive feats however, is the time he literally dragged the entirety of Manhattan Island single-handedly. Complimenting Hercules’ brawn is a variety of mythological equipment, including the chariot of Apollo, as well as the shield of Perseus, which can temporarily turn his enemies to stone. The most powerful weapon in Hercules’ arsenal though, is his Golden Mace, which is made of adamantine -- not to be confused with adamantium -- and is about as durable as Mjolnir.
Stumbling across a mysterious pair of trinkets known as the Quantum Bands during his time as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Wendell Vaughn was the only of his peers capable of using the weapons thanks to his easy-going nature. Successfully quelling a vicious attack by AIM upon first donning the bands, Wendell discovered he could create solid constructs out of pure energy. Deciding to become a superhero with his newfound powers, Wendell operated under the name Quasar and was eventually recruited by the cosmic entity Eon as the Protector of the Universe, unlocking the full potential of the Quantum Bands.
The bands allow Quasar to access the mysterious Quantum Zone and tap into its energy supply, enabling him to project blasts of heat and concussive force, as well as form constructs both simple and complex. These constructs can range anywhere from high-tech machinery to basic shields, which are durable enough to protect him from thermonuclear blasts and even an assault from Galactus. Quasar is also a master of energy manipulation, capable of draining opponents of energy before redirecting it. Using this ability, Quasar is even able to produce a 100-megaton blast, but usually opts for much less devastating methods. Wendell is also able to use the bands to teleport, create “Quantum Tripwires”, detect energy and access the entire electromagnetic spectrum, cementing him as one of the most overlooked Avengers in existence.
Although several characters have taken on the mantle of Nova over the years, Richard Rider remains the most beloved -- and most powerful -- incarnation of the character. Debuting in The Man Called Nova #1, Richard Rider is a young high school student unexpectedly chosen as the successor to Rhomann Dey – a member of the intergalactic law enforcement agency known as the Nova Corps. As a member of the agency, Rider is granted a portion of the Nova Force’s powers, which he uses to become the superhero known as Nova. Working his way up the ranks of the Nova Corps -- which goes from Corpsman to Centurion all the way up to head of the agency known as the Nova Prime -- Richard is eventually chosen as the highest-ranking official in the Corps, further enhancing his already impressive abilities.
As well as having the power of flight, massively enhanced durability and near-limitless strength at his most powerful, Nova can also absorb energy, subsequently releasing it as highly destructive beams or blasts and can even weaponize gravity itself. Able to fly at near-lightspeed as Nova Prime, Richard Rider is one of the cosmos’ most fierce protectors, which he eventually proves categorically by trapping both himself and Thanos inside the Cancerverse in a heroic sacrifice, although the sheer power of the Nova Force is later revealed to have given Richard a method of escape.
14 IRON MAN
Thanks to Iron Man’s status as one of the most powerful heroes in the MCU, the word “overpowered” is sometimes thrown around regarding the character, given that he’s essentially “just a man in a suit”. What many may not realize however is that Tony Stark is even more ridiculously overpowered in comic book form. First things first, let’s get the obvious out of the way -- Tony Stark is perhaps the greatest mind in the entire Marvel Universe. It’s what allows him to create whole new variations of the Iron Man armor on a whim, including suits as powerful as the “Phoenix Buster” which managed to split the Phoenix Force into five pieces during “Avengers vs. X-Men”, and enables him to outthink his opponents at every turn.
As for the suits themselves, they’re basically high-tech Swiss army knives, with their versatility and ever-changing abilities allowing Tony to tackle any issue he might come across. In addition to flight, super-speed and durability, the suits grant Tony incredible strength, with Iron Man shown to be capable of damaging the likes of Red Hulk with his blows. Throw his highly effective repulsor rays and array of complex gadgetry into the mix, and it becomes clear that Tony Stark wields some of the most overpowered technology in all of Marvel.
A key piece of the Avengers’ history, the colorful android known as the Vision is a being created by the robotic supervillain Ultron, who was in turn created by Ant-Man, and was first encountered by the Wasp in 1968’s The Avengers #57. Created with the purpose of serving Ultron in his crusade against the Avengers, Vision’s mind is based on the brain patterns of Wonder Man, making him very much human -- mentally speaking, at least. It’s because of this that Vision is eventually convinced to turn against his master, joining the Avengers and quickly becoming one of the team’s most iconic members.
Able to absorb and expel solar energy in the form of powerful blasts thanks to the gem in his head, Vision also appears to be capable of utilizing a variety of energies across the electromagnetic spectrum, including microwaves and infrared waves. As an android, Vision was also created to be extremely strong and durable, allowing him to duke it out with some of the heaviest hitters on the Avengers. His most notable power however, is the ability to control his own density, which has proven to be a surprisingly versatile superpower over the years. Allowing him to vastly increase his mass, Vision has used this power to become 10 times denser than depleted uranium, making him incredibly strong and impervious to most damage. In addition to this, Vision can also use his density control to fly, grow or shrink in size and even become completely intangible.
12 WONDER MAN
One of the Avengers’ more troubled team members, Simon Williams was initially introduced in an adversarial capacity way back in 1964’s The Avengers #9. The child of Sanford Williams, Simon inherited his father’s company Williams Innovations, running it into the ground with the help of competition from Stark Industries. What’s more, Simon is later arrested for embezzling funds from the company, giving him a bitter hatred of Iron Man that was then leveraged by the supervillain Baron Zemo in a plot against the Avengers. After being given powers by Zemo however, Simon soon betrays him, choosing instead to fight alongside the team he once fought against.
Powerful enough to be considered a threat to multiple Avengers at once, Wonder Man’s strength is said to be on par with Thor and possibly even Sentry. As a result of experiments by Zemo, Wonder Man is also imbued with ionic energy, giving him superhuman strength, stamina, speed, agility, flight and reflexes, as well as making him pretty much indestructible. Wonder Man can also absorb various forms of energy, including anti-matter, is able to project powerful energy blasts at will and can even exist as pure energy if he wishes. Perhaps the biggest quirk of his abilities however is that he doesn’t require food, water or even oxygen to survive, with his vast reserves of energy serving as sufficient sustenance.
11 RED HULK
A somewhat newer entry into Marvel’s ever-expanding roster of superheroes, Red Hulk initially surfaced around a decade ago in Hulk Vol. 2 #1, where his identity remained a mystery for quite some time. Eventually revealed to be General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross -- long-time enemy of both Bruce Banner and the Hulk -- the Red Hulk was created by the Intelligencia, a criminal organization led by MODOK, at the request of Ross, who hoped to empower himself in his war against the Hulk. Upon first appearing in the Marvel Universe, Red Hulk laid waste to several of Marvel’s strongest heroes, managing to defeat both Thor and the Hulk, even besting the Invisible Woman, Thundra, Storm, Black Widow, Hellcat, Tigra and Spider-Woman all at once -- quickly establishing him as one of the most formidable Marvel characters in existence, though he later took a more heroic turn, joining the Avengers.
While Red Hulk’s baseline strength is presumably greater than that of the Hulk, his strength doesn’t increase the angrier he gets in the same way as his green counterpart. Instead, Red Hulk emits heat that increases in intensity as his rage builds. This is Red Hulk’s greatest weakness, as his heat weakens him should his body temperature rise too high -- a fact that the Hulk has been able to exploit in the past. With that said, one of Red Hulk’s greatest assets is his mind -- maintaining the brilliant, calculating mind of General Ross in his Hulk form, making him a near-unstoppable mix of brains and brawn.
10 CAPTAIN MARVEL
Thanks to the hype surrounding next year’s long-awaited Captain Marvel movie, Carol Danvers’ popularity has skyrocketed over the past couple of years, despite being a much-loved character to begin with. Debuting in 1968’s Marvel Super-Heroes #13, Carol Danvers was once a member of the United States Air Force, accompanying the Kree hero Mar-Vell, the original Captain Marvel, on several adventures, before an explosive accident merged Carol’s human genes with Mar-Vell’s Kree genes. This essentially made Carol a Kree-human hybrid, resulting in the birth of one of Marvel’s mightiest cosmic heroes. Operating under several names over the course of her career, Carol Danvers has gone by Ms. Marvel, Warbird and Binary over the years, but is now the current Captain Marvel. Granted superhuman strength, endurance and speed, Carol is able to fly at six times the speed of sound, which combined with her strength makes her incredibly powerful.
Also one of Marvel’s most talented manipulators of energy, Carol can fire extremely potent blasts of explosive energy from her fingertips, and can also absorb most forms of energy to further augment her power, even using a nuclear blast in this capacity at one point. During her time as Binary, Carol gained the ability to access the energy from a “white hole”, enabling her to manipulate energy on a much more cosmic scale, letting her control gravity, light and electromagnetism. Although these powers eventually faded, remnants of these abilities are still shown to be present in Captain Marvel from time to time.
Often referred to as the Forgotten One, Gilgamesh’s heroic exploits have become so legendary over the millennia that he’s often been falsely identified as various heroes of myth, including Hercules and Gilgamesh -- hence the name. The character is amongst the strongest members of the hidden group of superpowered beings known as the Eternals, an ancient race of genetically-altered humans created by the Celestials, and alongside his teammates shields humanity from the blight of the vicious Deviants, though Gilgamesh has a particular penchant for protecting the people of Earth. Joining the Avengers in a time where their membership was at an all-time low, Gilgamesh was a relatively short-lived -- albeit absolutely vital -- member of the team.
While all Eternals are born with an inherent set of superhuman abilities including super-strength, Gilgamesh’s strength far exceeds that of his counterparts, making him one of the most physically powerful characters in all of Marvel, with strength comparable to that of Hercules, Thor and other godlike beings. As a result of countless millennia of training, Gilgamesh is also an extremely skilled hand-to-hand combatant, which coupled with his imperviousness to damage makes him one of Marvel’s most dangerous characters. As is the case with most other Eternals, Gilgamesh can also emit deadly beams of light, heat and physical force from his hands and eyes and can manipulate matter to a limited degree.
Another member of the extremely powerful Eternals, Sersi easily ranks as one of the group’s most overpowered members, and remains one of the most underrated characters in the Marvel Universe in terms of ability. Introduced in The Eternals #3, Sersi is tens of thousands of years old, coming into contact with Thor several times over the millennia. She officially joins Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in Avengers #314, partially due to her desire to protect humanity but also as a result of her fondness for Captain America.
Possessing the strength, speed, stamina, combat skill and invulnerability typical of the average Eternal, it’s said that the only way to kill Sersi for good is to scatter her atoms. Also similar to her fellow Eternals in her ability to fire cosmic blasts from her hands, Sersi is somewhat unique amongst her peers due to her strong telekinetic capabilities. What cements Sersi as one of Marvel’s most powerful heroes however is her incredible transmutation ability, allowing her to reshape matter at a molecular level. Considered a “fifth level adept” at transmutation -- which is also the highest possible level -- Sersi has used her power to turn a Deviant to rubber, give the Avengers gills and even disintegrate air, just to name a few of her amazing feats. It seems that she can even create sentient life, bringing stone statues to life and turning inanimate objects into various animals and creatures at will.
A character with several incarnations across the Multiverse, the origin of Hyperion depends heavily on the Universe he hails from, but they’re all ridiculously powerful nonetheless. Designed to be similar in nature to Superman, the Hyperion most closely associated with the Avengers hails from a recently destroyed Universe, with his memories being stored nonlinearly as light -- meaning he experiences the death of his home world constantly. It’s because of this that Hyperion hopes to create new memories in a better world, which serves as his primary reason for joining the Avengers.
One of the strongest beings in the Universe, Hyperion’s super-strength has enabled him to perform some seemingly impossible feats over the years, stopping a hurtling planet in its tracks and even holding apart two Universes for a brief period of time. As well as strength, durability and his famous “atomic vision”, Hyperion is also extremely fast, flying from Nevada to Sumatran and back in less than a minute. Some versions of the character can even use cosmic energy to boost their vitality, heal wounds and negate the effects of age. Perhaps Hyperion’s most shocking act came in Squadron Supreme #1 however, in which he manages to lift and destroy Atlantis, before taking Namor’s head clean off with a single blast of heat vision.
6 SCARLET WITCH
Earning her reputation as one of the most dangerous entities in the known Marvel Universe, Wanda Maximoff, better known as Scarlet Witch, has had something of a tumultuous career since her introduction in 1964’s The X-Men #4. The daughter of Magneto and sister of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch was initially recruited into the nefarious Brotherhood of Evil Mutants by her father, going up against the X-Men on several occasions. It was only upon joining the team of well-meaning mutants that the full scope of her powers became apparent however, serving as one of the most powerful characters the X-Men has ever seen.
Although Scarlet Witch’s powers were initially somewhat vague, referred to primarily as “hex powers” -- which allowed her to control random events to work in her favor –- Wanda’s powers later became more well defined and much more potent. Able to manipulate reality on a cosmic scale, the most famous use of Scarlet Witch’s ability is tied to the events of “House of M”, in which she erased 99% of mutantkind’s powers with a mere whisper after suffering a mental breakdown. Proving she’s able to change entire Universes on a whim -- or perhaps even create new ones entirely -- Scarlet Witch may have been closer to the top of this list in terms of raw power, but as it stands the volatility of Wanda’s abilities means she’s often unable to fully control them, despite being a seasoned member of the X-Men.
5 DOCTOR STRANGE
Appearing for the first time in the aptly titled Strange Tales #110, Dr. Stephen Strange is an arrogant surgeon who stumbles into the world of magic after a fateful car crash permanently damages his hands. Quickly becoming a master of the mystic arts under the tutelage of the Ancient One, Doctor Strange eventually becomes the Sorcerer Supreme following the death of his mentor. As the Universe’s foremost expert on mysticism, Doctor Strange, assisted by the trusty Book of Vishanti, is able to perform countless powerful spells that can affect the fabric of reality itself. Amongst the most powerful humans ever to exist, Strange has a spell for every occasion, even proving himself capable of besting cosmic entities like the In-Betweener and Adam Warlock in battle.
Although the character has been somewhat nerfed in the past few decades, that doesn’t stop Doctor Strange from being one of the Avengers’ most indispensable members. Able to manipulate time, project his consciousness across the astral plane and detect threats both mystical and physical, the Sorcerer Supreme has a certain level of omniscience thanks to his unmatched magic-wielding skills. Employing several mystical artifacts to help him along the way -- including the Eye of Agamotto and the Cloak of Levitation -- Doctor Strange is clearly one of Marvel’s MVPs, as was recently proved in Avengers: Infinity War.
4 BLUE MARVEL
Given his status as one of the most profoundly powerful heroes in the entire Marvel Multiverse, it’s strange that more people haven’t heard of Adam Brashear, better known as Blue Marvel. A decorated veteran, Cornell graduate and talented scientist, Adam received his powers in the '60s alongside his friend Conner Sims following a failed anti-matter experiment. Turning Conner into the bitter villain Anti-Man, the accident also transformed Adam into Blue Marvel -- one of the most powerful heroes the world has ever seen. Once Adam’s identity as an African-American was revealed however, the hero was forced into retirement due to the racism of the era.
Years later however, Blue Marvel would once again resume his role as a superhero in Age of Heroes #3, using his incredible set of powers to take on King Hyperion. In terms of raw strength, Blue Marvel is easily on the level of Thor and Hulk, able to move asteroids the size of Arkansas and even sending the Sentry into space with a single punch. Coupled with his enhanced reactions, speed, flight and near-invulnerability, Blue Marvel is almost impossible to take down. As if he wasn’t already overpowered enough, Adam also has vast energy and matter manipulation abilities, allowing him to harness anti-matter to create constructs and transmute matter at a molecular level -- a power he’s even able to use to heal his fellow teammates’ wounds.
Considered by many to be amongst the most powerful entities in the Universe, Robert Reynolds, aka the Sentry, is one of Marvel’s most complicated, and often frustrating, characters. More of a plot device than a fully fleshed out character in his own right, the true scale of Sentry’s abilities varies writer by writer, making his powers somewhat inconsistent. One of the many superheroes to get his powers from an attempted replication of the Super Soldier experiment, the chemicals used in the project reacted unexpectedly to the drugs in Robert’s system, resulting in him becoming the all-powerful Sentry.
Said to have the power of “one million exploding suns”, the Sentry has Hulk-level strength, transmutation powers, vast psionic abilities, can manipulate light and is even able to regenerate himself from mere molecules, making him essentially unkillable. Suffering from dissociative identity disorder however, Sentry’s evil alter-ego, the Void, is even more powerful than Sentry himself, easily destroying Asgard and casually dispatching dozens of the Universe’s most powerful characters during the events of “Siege”. With that said, Robert’s splintered mind is perhaps his greatest weakness, with the Hulk using this fact against him in “World War Hulk” to beat Sentry to a bloody pulp. Similarly, Thor was also able to defeat the Void thanks to a momentary interruption from Reynolds’ Sentry personality, giving Thor a window to deal a fatal blow to the entity.
Serving as the high-water mark for physical strength across the Marvel Universe, the Hulk is simply put, the strongest there is. Famously granted his powers following the explosion of an experimental gamma bomb, Bruce Banner was transformed into the terrifying Hulk in 1962’s The Incredible Hulk #1 and has remained one of Marvel’s most iconic heroes ever since. Feared across the Universe for his unbridled rage and earth-shattering strength, the Hulk may not possess the matter manipulation, energy projection or general versatility of other heroes on this list, but he remains one of Marvel’s most unstoppable heroes nonetheless.
Getting exponentially more powerful the angrier he gets, the Hulk’s strength is essentially limitless, resulting in some incredibly impressive feats over the years. As well as holding together a tectonic plate -- the weight of which totals around 4 quintillion tons -- the Hulk has even been able to damage the space-time continuum by literally punching through time. Able to lift entire stars and even halt Celestials in their tracks, there aren’t many Marvel characters as insanely overpowered as the Incredible Hulk. Serving as one of the Avengers’ founding members, the Hulk has had an on-again off-again relationship with the team over the years thanks to his volatile personality, but is still easily one of the heaviest hitters the team has ever seen.
Although the debate of who’s more powerful between Thor and the Hulk has raged for decades, Stan Lee has long stated that the introduction of Thor in Journey Into Mystery #83 was done with the intention of creating a character feasibly capable of challenging the Hulk. Boasting Hulk-level strength, Thor may not be quite as strong as his rival, but more than makes up for it with a whole host of other superpowers, ranking highly even amongst the vastly overpowered gods featured in Marvel Comics.
Granted immortality by the mysterious Apples of Idunn, Thor is also capable of travelling at lightspeed, manipulating weather (most notably lightning) and is an unmatched warrior due to millennia of experience. Further boosted by mystical Asgardian equipment, Thor’s Belt of Strength effectively doubles his power, while his famous hammer Mjolnir is one of the most powerful weapons in the Universe, allowing Thor to effectively channel his weather-based abilities, energy blasts and matter manipulation. Thor’s particularly impressive feats include escaping a black hole’s event horizon while carrying Red Hulk, ripping open dimensional portals with his bare hands, hitting so hard it was felt throughout time and knocking the Phoenix Force out cold. Keep in mind that he can do all of this without employing his God Blast, which is capable of destroying beings as powerful as Galactus, or becoming “Warrior’s Madness Thor” -- which supposedly increases his power tenfold, easily cementing Thor as the most powerful Avenger of all time.