The idea of gods has long been a mainstay in the Marvel Universe. Early in the company’s history, only a small handful of these characters even existed in Marvel continuity. Over the decades however, the amount of gods and cosmic entities populating the fictional universe seems to have skyrocketed, to the point it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all. This is likely a case of Marvel trying to one-up themselves in response to the perceived desire for higher-stakes storylines -- which would also explain how so many god-like characters have been given a significant boost in power over the years – but what exactly constitutes a god?
There are multiple different kinds of god in the Marvel Universe, from the traditional deities of various pantheons to demons to ethereal cosmic forces and everything in between. With the Marvel Cinematic Universe having dipped their toes in the water regarding the concept of gods, in both the Thor franchise as well as through Dormammu’s presence in Doctor Strange, it’s possible the studio will double down on the idea in Phase Four. Considering the universe is rumored to be taking a much more cosmic approach going forward, it makes sense that Marvel would begin to introduce increasingly powerful characters into continuity -- especially in the wake of powerhouses like Captain Marvel and Thanos. It’s hard to say exactly which gods are most likely to appear in phase four given the lack of god-specific rumors, but there’s definitely a list of characters fans would love to see the most, so here are 20 Marvel gods we want to see in Phase Four.
Son of Odin and half-brother to Thor, Balder is one of the most glaring omissions in the MCU’s depiction of Norse mythology, with his comic book counterpart standing out as one of the most powerful Asgardians in existence. With strength far superior to that of the average Asgardian, Balder is also able to move at the speed of light, making him one of the greatest warriors in the Marvel Universe.
Additionally, Balder can generate and manipulate light on occasion, and is also near-invulnerable within the confines of Asgard. Funnily enough, Balder was actually a part of the original script for 2011’s Thor movie, before being cut from the project completely for unknown reasons -- meaning there’s always a slight chance he could show up in the future.
Most famous for granting the mercenary Marc Spector with the powers that transformed him into the vigilante Moon Knight, Khonshu is perhaps unsurprisingly the Egyptian god of vengeance and the moon. Possessing a powerful albeit ill-defined set of mystical abilities, Khonshu also has the superhuman strength and durability associated with the other Heliopolitan Gods.
With Moon Knight remaining one of the MCU’s most widely-rumored characters to date, Khonshu’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe would be a great way to give fans the movie they’ve wanted for so long, while expanding the scope of the MCU’s world of gods.
18 MASTER ORDER & LORD CHAOS
While many of the gods in the Marvel Universe seem to appear at least somewhat human, those higher up in the cosmic hierarchy tend to be a little more abstract, and that’s exactly the case with Master Order and Lord Chaos.
Representing the opposing concepts of order and chaos, the two entities are constantly at odds with each other, while also somehow managing to keep themselves in balance -- even merging together to create the entity Logos at one point. Despite having near-omniscience and enormous levels of cosmic power however, Master Order and Lord Chaos are generally only called upon when a threat of cosmic proportions rears its head.
Perhaps most well known for salvaging the soul of Arthur Douglas and transforming him into Drax the Destroyer, Kronos’ history as a cosmic entity is a little more complex than his fellow gods’. Starting out life as one of the Eternals -- an ancient and incredibly powerful offshoot of humanity -- Kronos was accidentally atomized after a dangerous experiment went awry.
Luckily, Kronos is able to survive in astral form, with his vast powers only increasing over time. Wielding the Power Cosmic, Kronos is eventually accepted as a god by the universe’s other cosmic beings, even teaming up with his fellow gods in an attempt to thwart Thanos’ plans in the “Infinity Gauntlet” story.
Although he’s technically specified as a demon, Cyttorak is also considered a powerful deity, having been worshipped on Earth for millennia before being banished to the Crimson Cosmos, where he currently resides -- and rules.
With an undefined but extremely potent set of magical abilities, Cyttorak’s presence in the Marvel Universe is more often than not channelled through other characters and mystical artifacts, with Doctor Strange often tapping into his power using his spells. Most famously however, Cyttorak is the demon responsible for granting Juggernaut his abilities, making him an unstoppable force of nature. On the rare occasion he does appear in the flesh however, Cyttorak is an imposing presence, proving to be more than a match for many of Marvel’s most powerful heroes combined.
The king -- and by far most powerful -- of the Greek gods, Zeus is essentially the Odin of his respective pantheon, though he’s often cited to be far more formidable than the All-Father. With near-incalculable strength and speed, magical abilities and control over thunder and lightning, Zeus is a god you really don’t want to get on the wrong side of.
The father of many Olympians including Hercules, Ares, Artemis, Aphrodite and Dionysus, Zeus’ introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe could open up a whole new world of gods outside of Norse mythology, especially considering that Thor: Ragnarok essentially abandoned Asgard in favour of a more cosmic vibe.
14 CHAOS KING
Easily one of the most powerful entities in the entire Marvel Multiverse, Amatsu-Mikaboshi -- often referred to as the Chaos King -- is the Japanese god of evil, chaos and the stars, existing before creation itself. Boasting vast supernatural magical abilities and strength, the Chaos King once managed to defeat the entirety of almost every pantheon of gods in existence including the Olympians, even tearing the heart out of Zeus’ chest with considerable ease.
It’s Mikaboshi’s subjugation of the gods that eventually sparks the “Chaos War” storyline, which sees the universe’s remaining heroes attempt to stop the Chaos King’s plans to erase all of existence.
13 ETERNITY & INFINITY
Sitting near the very top of Marvel’s hierarchy of cosmic gods, Eternity and Infinity may be two separate physical entities, but it’s been suggested that they’re actually two sides of the same coin -- although Eternity has been much more prominently featured in canon than Infinity.
Representing the physical manifestation of their respective titles, Eternity and Infinity are amongst the most ancient forces in the universe, presiding over other cosmic beings such as Lord Chaos and Master Order. With almost limitless amounts of cosmic, universe-altering abilities, Eternity and Infinity are essentially both omnipotent and omniscient -- and their presence usually means the universe is in dire straits.
One of several demonic entities in Marvel connected to the devil himself, Mephisto has earned something of a bad name for himself thanks to his frustrating involvement in the much-maligned “One More Day” story arc in The Amazing Spider-Man. Despite this though, Mephisto is amongst the most insidiously cruel entities in the universe, enticing characters into making less-than-savory deals with him, usually at their own expense.
Based on the similarly named character from the Faust legend, Mephisto’s incredible magical abilities allow him to grant wishes at will through reality-warping -- a concept that would be really fun to see in the MCU, perhaps in a future Thor or Doctor Strange movie.
Amongst the hundreds of cosmic gods present in Marvel Comics, it’s become pretty commonplace for these entities to possess universe-ending levels of power. With that said, Abraxas’ destructive potential is on a whole other level.
The living embodiment of the multiversal destruction, Abraxas can destroy universes in the blink of an eye, distorting the walls of reality and breaking dimensional space. Although his reign of terror was kept at bay for millennia by Galactus, Abraxas was eventually freed and immediately embarked on a crusade to collapse the multiverse. He was eventually defeated by Reed Richards, who used the Ultimate Nullifier to destroy and subsequently rebuild reality, which was the only conceivable way to stop the villain.
A demonic entity and one of the Elder Gods alongside the likes of Gaea, Set and Oshtur, Chthon is billions of years old, and as such wields supreme levels of power. Unmatched in his use of black magic and reality warping, Chthon can take on multiple physical forms, at times appearing somewhat human and at other times becoming a gargantuan Lovecraftian monster, with the character taking heavy inspiration from the cosmic entity Cthulhu.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a great job of diversifying its films, creating space comedies, heist movies, political thrillers and coming-of-age movies, one thing we’ve yet to explore is cosmic horror -- and Chthon would be the perfect means of delving into this side of the MCU.
The offspring of Gaea and the sentient life force known as the Demiurge, Atum was birthed to help vanquish the corrupted demonic Elder Gods, more than living up to his nickname -- Atum the God Eater. Also known as the Primal Slayer, the Demogorge and the Egyptian god Ammon Ra, Atum consumes the energy of gods and demons, leaving their essence trapped inside the being.
His intentions outside of devouring these entities are somewhat unknown, since the God Eater doesn’t discriminate in who he chooses to snack on. He even swallowed Thor once, who eventually managed to free himself by striking the creature’s heart with Mjolnir.
8 THE LIVING TRIBUNAL
In a universe full to the brim with insanely powerful deities, abstract cosmic entities and multiple different pantheons, the Living Tribunal is one of the most unique cosmic beings in all of Marvel. Serving as the judge of the multiverse, the Living Tribunal uses its omnipotence to keep the cosmos in balance, acting as judge, jury and executioner for troublesome beings and planets -- even setting his vengeful sights on Earth at one point.
By default, this means the Living Tribunal is amongst the strongest entities in existence, equalled only by an Infinity Gauntlet-wielding Thanos and surpassed only by the One Above All.
While Odin and his son Thor have always been depicted as Asgard’s most formidable gods, there’s actually one Asgardian who’s said to be even more powerful than the father-son duo -- in fact, it seems that the older the Asgardian, the more overpowered they tend to be.
Bor Burison, the father of Odin, is not only far deadlier than his son, but has a villainous streak to match. Furious at Odin for creating mankind, Bor exacted terrible vengeance on the human race, leading in part to Odin’s eventual decision to abandon Bor after he’s turned to snow by a time-displaced Loki. He’s eventually freed however, and subsequently wreaks havoc on Earth, where he proves his superiority in a battle with Thor, even defeating the entire Dark Avengers team along the way.
6 THE ONE-ABOVE-ALL
The closest thing the Marvel Multiverse has to a singular God, the One-Above-All sits at the very top of the multiverse’s cosmic hierarchy, having created every single universe in existence. The sole superior of the all-powerful Living Tribunal, many of Marvel’s cosmic entities have attempted to articulate the sheer might of the One Above All, with Thor commenting that his strength cannot be comprehended, citing the entity as more powerful than all of the multiverse’s cosmic beings combined.
Fortunately, the One-Above-All appears to be a benevolent entity, though he tends to stay out of the multiverse’s affairs -- instead opting to act through other cosmic gods. On the rare occasion he is seen however, he tends to simply present himself as a golden humanoid figure, alternating between male and female.
Another popular character within the Marvel fanbase, Ares is the son of Zeus, brother of Hercules and the Greek god of war. Possessing a bitter envy of his brother due to his reputation as a beloved deity, Ares and Hercules have a serious case of sibling rivalry. Ares’ strength is so great that he can literally tear the fabric of time in pursuit of his enemies, making him a truly fearsome foe.
The character has also been painted as something of an anti-hero however, with Ares simply living for conflict, no matter the form it takes. Because of this, Norman Osborn was able to manipulate the god of war into joining his Dark Avengers team, something Ares would later regret heavily.
4 THE BEYONDER
First appearing in 1984’s Secret Wars #1, the Beyonder has been described as an “infinite-dimensional entity” and is assumed to be a humanoid manifestation of the Beyond Realm. Second in power to only the One-Above-All and the Living Tribunal, the Beyonder’s power is said to dwarf that of the entire multiverse combined.
Seeking to understand humanity, the Beyonder can often be found studying the denizens of Earth, even creating a planet known as Battleworld upon which he forces Marvel’s heroes and villains to fight endlessly. Though the full scope of his motives -- or origins, for that matter -- aren’t quite known yet, the Beyonder stands out as one of Marvel’s most intriguing cosmic beings.
Ominously referred to as the Lord of Chaos, Shuma-Gorath is another one of Marvel’s more Lovecraftian entities, serving as the dark ruler of Earth – and reportedly hundreds of other alternate realities – during prehistoric times.
While technically falling under the category of “demon”, Shuma-Gorath’s power far outweighs that of his kin, with the entity posing a very tangible threat to some of Marvel’s most ancient beings, including Death itself. While his gigantic, grotesque appearance may imply he’s a creature of sheer brawn, Shuma-Gorath’s immortality, invulnerability, proficiency in chaos magic and reality warping prowess make him more than a match for even the mightiest of Marvel’s gods.
Beginning his comic book career as a rather one-dimensional cosmic villain, Galactus has since transcended his status as a simple world eater and taken his place as one of the most significant beings in Marvel’s cosmic hierarchy.
Granted his immense power after merging with the Sentience of the Universe -- a force that existed before creation itself -- Galactus’ hunger for planets may be connected to his true purpose, to uphold the balance between the abstract beings Eternity and Death. In recent years, Galactus seems to have aided the heroes of the Marvel Universe as much as he’s fought against them, even becoming known as the Lifebringer as opposed to the Devourer of Worlds for a while.
Despite his status as a demigod rather than a fully-fledged deity, Hercules is amongst the strongest physical powerhouses in the universe, proving himself more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of Thor and the Hulk in a slugfest.
A consistently fun presence in the comics, Hercules is one of the most beloved gods in all of Marvel, so he’d be a natural fit for the MCU should Marvel decide to throw some other pantheons into the mix. Given the character’s deep history with the Avengers, rich lore and general popularity, it’d be great to see what Marvel Studios could do with the Lion of Olympus in the future.