Within the pages of comic books there are a multitude of powerful characters. Superheroes like Superman, the Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, and the Incredible Hulk are profoundly mighty; few mortals can hope to stand up against these top tier heroes. Even villains like Doomsday or Ultron make cosmic beings quake in their booties. Yet for all the powers these heroes and monsters possess, they hardly have what it takes to stand up to the gods of their respective universes.
The concept of gods is a tricky one, both in Marvel and DC, as usually many self-proclaimed gods, are just that: self-proclaimed. From the Asgardians to the New Gods, while lower realms and peoples might have worshiped them, they are more alien than god. Still, they have “god” in their name and that’s enough to earn a couple of them a spot on the upcoming list. There is a vast multitude of gods and nearly all of them are unstoppable cosmic entities. However, all gods are not created equal; some are vastly stronger than others. There are even deities who transcend the conventional description of gods as they defy conventional understanding. Here at CBR we’re looking at 16 of the most powerful deities in comics!
Alexander Aaron was the son of Marvel’s Ares, the God of War. Although his father tried raising him like a normal boy, having a living god as a parent removed any chances of a regular life. Only a child, his power already exceeds that of his father on multiple levels. The living God of Fear, most of Alexander’s powers are fear-based, as he has empathic fear generation, which allows Alex to make anyone see their worst fears by simply looking into their eyes.
He also has precognition, a nigh-genius level intellect, superhuman strength, and is a master swordsman, having been trained by the Chaos King himself. Already sporting tremendous power, the limits to his strength are unknown and its assumed he’ll only grow exponentially more powerful by the time he reaches adulthood.
15 THOR ODINSON
Thor Odinson, the God of Thunder, is easily one of the strongest beings walking around on two legs. When Odin and Gaea, the goddess of Earth, came together, the two immortal beings had Thor, designing him to be the strongest of all the other gods in Asgard. He would be their world’s protector. Thor was indeed powerful, with Superman-level strength, invulnerability, a kinship with the elements themselves, and boasted the ability to wield the mighty mystical hammer Mjoinir.
Capable of destroying planets, at the behest of Thor, Mjoinir can warp reality, control storm of staggering varieties, enable him to fly at light speed, teleport and do pretty much anything. While Mjoinir boosts Thor’s incredible strength, it serves as a conduit, as in extreme circumstances Thor can summon his elemental power without any aid. Truly, there are few mortals who can challenge the Thunder God.
While Marvel might have their version of Ares, the God of War, it is DC’s Ares, that stands high above his Marvel counterpart. One of Wonder Woman’s most iconic foes, defeating his physical form isn’t enough; he’s fueled by war and the evil in men’s hearts. So long as there’s violence, Ares will be there. Ares can teleport, uses necromancy, and has superhuman strength, mind control, energy projection, telepathy, and generally every other power out there.
When Wonder Woman became the God of War in the New 52, she grew even more powerful than the original Ares. Already sporting tremendous strength on her own, when she harnessed the God of War power, which added to her own, Wonder Woman was virtually unstoppable. Eventually, Wonder Woman relinquished the title, but the War God’s power is still forever out there and a mighty force.
Hela, as seen in the upcoming Thor: Ragnorak movie, is the Asgardian Goddess of Death. Feared by all who hear her name, when the Norns, the three Asgardian goddesses of fate prophesied she would be a great danger to all of Asgard, Odin sentenced her to rule over Hel. Since then, she’s made it a point to try and claim as many Asgardian souls as possible, most notably Thor’s.
While she’s capable of physically going toe-to-toe with the God of Thunder, that’s not what makes her so fearsome. Rather, it’s her awesome magic and everything she can do with it. Time travel, astral projection, and even firing bolts of power that can kill immortals, are all in her wheelhouse. Ultimately, it is her absolute control over life and death that makes her stand out among all the gods.
Highfather is leader of the New Gods of New Genesis in the Fourth World. One of the strongest beings in the universe, similar to Darkseid, his power is nearly unparalleled among mortals or corporal immortal beings. Highfather isn’t nearly as evil as Darkseid, serving as more of a caretaker of New Genesis. His power lies in the ability to communicate with the Source, a type of power that may or may not stem from or be God. His trademark staff acts as a conduit, able to tap into the Source and manifest its vast power.
The strongest of all the New Gods of New Genesis, the only beings capable of standing up to him are other gods like Zeus. Even then, Highfather can destroy entire planets, smash Green Lantern constructs, and can even transform lesser beings into New Gods.
One of the eldest and first New Gods, Darkseid is the tyrannical ruler of the war world Apokolips. Darkseid’s ultimate goal is to rule the universe and eliminate free will. In his never-ending quest to possess the dreaded Anti-life Equation, there are few lengths the New God won’t go to in order to make his dream a reality.
He’s conquered plenty of universes, as few can stand up to his wide array of powers. Armed with super strength, telekinesis, immortality, energy and mass manipulation, his Omega powers, and nearly countless others, there’s little he cannot do. Whenever Darkseid arrives on the scene, it’s typically a all-hands on deck scenario. Typically, only beings with Superman-level power and above are able to hold a candle to the New God. Even though he and Highfather are equal in strength, Darkseid is the far more vicious and deadly of the two.
Similar to Ares, the God of War, both Marvel and DC Comics have their own version of Zeus, and either version is frighteningly strong. Marvel’s Zeus is so powerful that the Mad Titan Thanos compared him in power only to Odin and Galactus. Both Zeus’ have ridiculous power sets, capable of lightning control, weather manipulation, time manipulation, super strength, immortality, and they each wield insane magic; DC’s Zeus is one of the most proficient magic users in the universe.
In fact, he can use magic to do virtually anything. Short of beings like Odin, or higher level gods like, well, God, Zeus, the Skyfather, can do practically anything he wishes. They both are the leaders of their respective Olympus and they both serve on Pantheons with the most powerful beings in the universe.
9 CUL BORSON
The brother to Odin, the All-Father, Cul Borson is otherwise known as the Serpent and is the living embodiment of fear. Incredibly powerful, he even kicked off the event "Fear Itself", in which Odin was so afraid of his own brother that he fled the Earth, along with the rest of his Asgardians, and prepared to raze the planet, after having spent years preparing for his brother’s return.
Cul is nearly as powerful as Odin, which means he can defeat almost anyone he encounters. He ripped apart Captain America’s shield, created a slew of magical hammers to empower various heroes and villains and turning them into his subjects, and is proficient in magic enough to teleport foes away, create his own Asgard, reanimate the dead, the even turn into a giant serpent.
The son of Bor and the Frost Giantess Bestia, Odin yearned to one-day usurp his father. Due to comic book hijinks, Loki time-travelled to the past and seemingly killed Bor by turning him into snow, which gave Odin the opportunity he needed. He and his two brothers claimed the throne as theirs, but Odin was able to absorb their power and turn it into the Odinpower or Odin Force.
Aside from the Elder Gods, Odin is more powerful than virtually any other being. He is said to have created Earth, entire galaxies and can destroy galaxies at a whim. He’s even stronger then Mephisto, the literal Devil. He’s fought Galactus to a standstill and even the dreaded Dormammu shirks at his power. It was even said that Odin’s death was so profound, that his death energies could be felt throughout the cosmos.
Bor Burison is the father of Odin and arguably the most powerful non-Elder God. Unlike his son, who has the Odinforce, the totality of several of Odin’s brothers, Bor’s might far exceeds it and then some. Bor can control the elements, shoot energy beams from his eyes, and is even physically stronger than Thor, the strongest Asgardian. Bor’s power is so great that with only a thought he can unleash massive cataclysms capable of destroying entire planets.
Like Thor, Bor can lift Mjonir and almost killed Thor with a single blow, even though the thunder god already had the Odin Force running through him. Bor’s only real weakness is his own arrogance in battle, which leads him to lower his defenses and leave him vulnerable.
Otherwise known as the God of the Sun and Devourer of Gods, Atum is the offspring of Gaea and the Demiurge. When Atum was born, he possessed the powers of the sun and set to attacking and killing Elder Gods. With each slain deity, he absorbed their power until he evolved into the Demogorge. He then moved on to kill all the demons in the universe except for Chthon and Set. Later, Atum merged with the sun and sired all of the Egpytian deities. It should also be noted that he’s the father of Bast, who is the guardian and patron god of Wakanda and the Black Panther.
While Atum is capable of killing Elder Gods, he can only do it in his Demogorge state. Still, even without this insane power-up, he’s more powerful than nearly any living being, but not as powerful as the senior Elder Gods.
Oshtur is an Elder Goddess and was born from Set and Chthon. The most powerful of all known Earth gods, one day she obsereved a blind child and this brought a tear to her eye. That tear rained down on the earth below and spawned Agamotto. Together with her son and Hoggoth, they formed the eternal Vishanti. She would then go on to create the Book of Vishanti.
Magic is literally her plaything; there is nothing she cannot do. Every other god that uses magic, Oshtur could take it all away or manipulate it at the drop of a hat. She’s omnipotent and the only being, outside from God, who can stand up her to evil brother Chthon, who alone presents a threat to the entire universe.
4 THE CHAOS KING
Arguably the most feared out of all the gods, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, otherwise known as the Chaos King, is also powerful beyond measure. While his past has ben retconned one or two times, the one constant is always his power. He is the embodiment of the darkness and the void that existed before creation. The only real threat to his power is the Elder Goddess Gaea, who was also the first living entity.
The Chaos King is less a physical entity and more a force of nature; his power is so profound, even gods like Odin and Zeus are powerless in his presence. During the "Chaos War", the Chaos King enslaved them, wrecked Olympus, and even took down Galactus. He then went on to destroy Hell, kill Satan, and was so scary, that even Death fled the Marvel Universe. In fact the Chaos King destroyed over 98% of the Multiverse.
Gaea is, for all intents and purposes, Mother Earth. She is completely infused with the planet itself and is responsible for the birth of a wide range of gods, Thor included. Furthermore, while Oshtur might be responsible for all the known magic in the universe, Gaea is considered the fountainhead of all life and creation in the Multiverse.
An Elder God, she is more powerful than any other gods who roam around Earth. Only she has the power to fully banish beings like Dormmamu and can even oppose Oblivion. Additionally, with no effort whatsoever, Gaea can and has halted the judgment of the Celestials, in turn making them reconsider their stance. The only beings who match Gaea or her raw power are her evil brother Set, Oshtur, and the Once Above All.
2 THE PRESENCE
DC Comics’ version of God, the Presence rarely appears, if only because it can do anything. Throughout DC Comics history, the Presence has taken multiple forms. There’s the Voice, which is the disembodied Voice of God, and the source of the Spectre’s powers. There’s the Hand, which was sighed at the first moment of universal creation, and the Presence itself commands all the angels.
The Presence is considered infinite and eternal and second only to the Primal Monitor, which is essentially the writer and/or the canvas and paper of whatever comic book he’s featured in. Ignoring that, the Presence is otherwise absolute in its power. While it can still be hurt or killed like most any other deity, the Presence will eventually come back.
1 THE ONE ABOVE ALL
The most powerful deity and cosmic entity in any comic book universe, the One Above All is the embodiment of the unknowable concept of the transcendent other. The One Above All is the one who jump-started reality as we know it. His omnipresence is beyond understanding. The One Above All created whatever rules govern the cosmos and the ethereal entities that run them.
With limitless power, he can often chooses not to interfere in matters, though he rarely reveals himself to individuals like Peter Parker and even appeared as Jack Kirby to the Fantastic Four. He is the anchor point for all of the power and magics that exist in the Multiverse. It’s rumored that the One Above All might be Stan Lee himself, as he’s capable of creating or destroying all reality should he so choose.
Which of these Gods scares you the most? Make sure to leave a comment!