By the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the titular superhero team and the Guardians of the Galaxy have been decimated, with many of their comrades lost to Thanos in his successful bid to wipe out half of all life in the galaxy. As the surviving heroes regroup in Avengers: Endgame for an inevitable rematch with the Mad Titan to undo their previous defeat, there remain a dozen Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes to potentially save the day.
With that in mind, below is a comprehensive power ranking of all the surviving MCU superheroes expected to make an appearance in Endgame and bring back their fallen friends to defeat Thanos once and for all.
One of the last surviving Guardians of the Galaxy, Rocket Raccoon is a crack marksman with virtually any gun and an ace pilot in his own right. The subject of painful experiments, Rocket has been fitted with cybernetics that make him deceptively stronger than his woodland appearance would suggest.
Despite this, without a gun or a spaceship, Rocket is largely a support character; take away his guns and the raccoon, while still formidable, ranks lowest on our list, offering little more than biting wisecracks in the face of adversity.
The most skilled marksman in the MCU, Clint Barton retired to spend more time with his growing family sometime after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, only to be pulled back into action for Captain America: Civil War. After cutting a deal with the government to be released from prison, Hawkeye retired once again, remaining out of action during Infinity War.
Based on the first trailer and leaked merchandising for Endgame, Clint takes on the alter ego Ronin, presumably after the loss of his family. The hero's marksmanship unaltered, Clint's new persona has him become more of a lethal martial artist, sporting more brutal weaponry. The character will likely have a very personal vendetta against Thanos in Endgame, which makes him more formidable but also more of a reckless liability.
The world's greatest super-spy, Natasha Romanov is one of the best hand-to-hand combatants on Earth, taking on both the Winter Soldier and a brainwashed Hawkeye prior to the events of Infinity War. Trained since childhood by the Russian government to be the ultimate covert operative, Black Widow was instrumental in exposing Hydra's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Despite possessing no discernible superpowers of her own, Natasha fought the Black Order to a standstill on two separate occasions in Infinity War, nearly killing Corvus Glaive in a battle in Scotland and assisting Scarlet Witch and Okoye in killing Proxima Midnight on the battlefield of Wakanda.
The adopted daughter of Thanos, Nebula was outfitted with cybernetic parts her entire life in an effort to put her on equal footing with her sister Gamora. This led to the one-time Guardians of the Galaxy villain to gain her own advanced strength and endurance, capable of fighting her sister in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 before reforming her wicked ways.
One of the few Guardians to survive the events of Infinity War, Nebula got the drop on her father several times, though she was ultimately unable to bring him down. Despite this, she remains a formidable figure in her own right and the hero with the most personal investment in the ongoing fight against Thanos, making her even more lethal.
A decorated Air Force pilot even before donning modified Iron Man armor, James Rhodes has taken on the moniker of both War Machine and the Iron Patriot as he fights for American interests. Fitted with more ordinance than conventional Iron Man armor, Rhodey was the one to subdue Scarlet Witch during the iconic airport fight in Captain America: Civil War with his sonic emitters after helping Tony take down Scott Lang.
As of Infinity War, the War Machine armor has not received the same nanotech upgrade as Iron Man, but with Tony Stark returning to Earth, this could change to help balance the odds in the heroes' favor. Additionally, there have been lingering rumors that War Machine will wield a devastating proton cannon in the film, straight from the character's appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes.
The one time Sentinel of Liberty is now a man without a country, but this has only served to harden Steve Rogers' already extraordinary resolve. Thanks to the Super Soldier serum, Steve is capable of amazing feats beyond those of even peak human performance with breathtaking speed and strength that have seen him more than hold his own against his super-powered counterparts.
Additionally, the serum made Steve one of the most adaptable people on Earth and a bonafide tactical genius. On paper, Captain America may not seem like the strongest Avenger, but he can outwit and outfight most of the characters in the MCU if given the opportunity. Even without his iconic vibranium shield, the Star-Spangled Avenger was able to give Thanos pause on the battlefield of Wakanda before the Mad Titan subdued him as he made his desperate, solitary stand.
The smallest Avenger is also one of the deceptively most powerful. Using Hank Pym's advanced technology, Scott Lang is able to change size on the fly, from a microscopic hero capable of entering the Quantum Realm to a giant-sized hero with vastly increased strength and endurance. While tiny, Scott's density increases, making him slightly stronger than he would normally be at regular size. His Giant Man form, meanwhile, allowed him to nearly take down the combined forces of Iron Man and War Machine all by himself in Captain America: Civil War.
Additionally, with the Quantum Realm reportedly playing a major role in Endgame, no surviving hero is more familiar with the microscopic universe and the potentially game-changing secrets it holds than Scott Lang. The tiniest Avenger and perennial underdog is likely to make one of the biggest impacts as the Avengers develop their new strategy against Thanos.
The last of Asgard's elite force of warrior women, Valkyrie's memorable appearance in Ragnarok revealed her as every inch Thor's equal in the field of combat. Supremely lethal with a variety of weapons, the Asgardian not only was able to single-handedly subdue Thor and Loki, but also was shown to be a sparring partner of sorts with the Hulk on Sakaar.
While Valkyrie was not seen at all in Infinity War, toy leaks have seemingly confirmed that she will make her return in Endgame, with actor Tessa Thompson claiming that the character did indeed survive the events of the previous film.
Labeled the "strongest Avenger" by the Tony Stark-programmed Quinjet, Hulk was the first character in Infinity War to fight Thanos directly, even holding his own... if only for a moment. Capable of feats of tremendous strength, Hulk leaves a trail of devastation in his wake whenever Bruce Banner makes his gamma-radiated transformation.
Following Banner's return to Earth at the beginning of Infinity War, however, it is clear that Bruce and the Hulk are no longer in sync, leading to severe performance issues. Because of this, the Jade Giant doesn't rank higher on this list, even with Banner's rage-fueled alter ego virtually guaranteed to make an appearance at some point during Endgame.
The self-described billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist, Tony Stark is one of the smartest minds in the MCU. Even without his armor, as seen in the original Iron Man film and Iron Man 3, Tony is a formidable force, able to fashion lethal weapons out of seemingly innocuous materials with his innovative and inventive smarts.
Of course, what makes Tony Stark able to stand amongst Earth's Mightiest Heroes in the field is his signature Iron Man armor, which received a significant upgrade in Infinity War. Now powered by bleeding edge nanotechnology, Tony can instantly have the latest version of the armor form around his entire body from a compartment on his chest. Once active, Tony can instinctively command the suit to adapt to different forms, including powerful repulsor cannons, a large shield and rocket boots propelling him faster than ever before. With this new armor, Tony was the first character in the MCU to draw blood from Thanos in single combat, which is no small feat.
Thor is one of the few characters in Infinity War who was able to stand toe-to-toe with Thanos and to fight the Mad Titan more than once and survive, especially while wielding his new weapon, Stormbreaker. The God of Thunder very nearly put down the villain before Thanos used the fully powered Infinity Gauntlet to enact his final plan and escape to parts unknown.
One of the strongest, most resilient characters in the MCU, Thor withstood the full brunt of a dying star to forge Stormbreaker, and he still survived. In addition to his strength, he has the ability to summon lightning, which he used to nearly subdue the Hulk in single combat during Thor: Ragnarok, if it were not for the intervention of the Grandmaster. Armed with Stormbreaker, Thor is capable of flight and channel his inherent electric energy through the ax to devastating effect. The ax itself gives him the ability to teleport vast distances thanks to it being able to access the Bifrost Bridge.
While Captain Marvel has yet to make her actual debut in the MCU, early footage and reports from her upcoming solo film indicate she will showcase a level of power previously unseen in the shared cinematic universe. This has been echoed by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige claiming that the cosmic superhero is "by far the strongest character" the MCU has seen to date.
Based on advance footage from Captain Marvel, the character possesses superhuman strength and endurance, including the ability to survive unimpeded in deep space, the ability to fly at incredible speeds and the to generate vast amounts of photonic energy, which she can emit in the form of powerful blasts. Additionally, Samuel L. Jackson has claimed that Carol Danvers is one of the few MCU characters capable of time travel, broadening her power set even further.
Avengers: Endgame will arrive on April 26. Directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, the film stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Chadwick Boseman, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.