Back during the '60s when Stan Lee and his colleagues were creating classic Marvel character after classic Marvel character, Spider-Man stood apart from the rest. It wasn't because Spider-Man shot webs or crawled walls though. Rather, unlike the members of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, Peter Parker was just a kid. As a 15-year-old, he had to juggle his superhero duties with those of any other high schooler. Nowadays, it isn't so rare to see superhuman teens. In fact, in the past decade or so, Marvel's produced super-kid after super-kid, each one seemingly more powerful than the last.
You'll find them in batches of new X-Men, and other young teams such as the Young Avengers, Runaways, and Champions. In 2018, superpowered youth is no longer an exception but is on the verge of becoming the rule. They're the sons and daughters of those characters who emerged during the '60s, as well as totally new characters ready to make a name for themselves. And these kids aren't just special because of their young age. They're among the most powerful characters in the MU. Among them, you'll find Omega Level Mutants, super-geniuses, and heir apparents. Several of them have earned Avengers membership before their 18th birthday. Others have taken on the legacy of classic heroes, embracing the challenge of living up to those who've come before them. A case can be made that one of them has more potential than any other character in Marvel history. Here are 25 of the most powerful kids in the Marvel Universe.
25 WOLVERINE (LAURA KINNEY)
Wolverine, alternatively known as X-23, was introduced as the savage female clone of the original Wolverine in NYX #3. Her creators at the Weapon X program trained her to become a world-class assassin and when she first met Logan she bested the X-man in combat.
From there, she gradually took to the heroic path -- to the relief of those she's fought alongside. In the years since, she's played a critical part on an X-Force squad, overcame a demonically-possessed Logan, and has taken up the mantle of Wolverine in Logan's absence.
24 SPIDER-MAN (MILES MORALES)
Miles Morales, formerly the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, continued to prove himself as one of Marvel's top young heroes upon entering the 616 following Secret Wars. What makes Miles so tough? He's got all of Peter Parker's abilities -- and then some.
Namely, Miles can control and manipulate the electricity in his body, allowing him to generate powerful electrical blasts. It's also been said by the Ultimate Norman Osborn that Miles may be immortal due to the injection that gave him his powers. In other words, he has a lot of time to grow. Who knows how powerful he can become?
23 VALERIA RICHARDS
Valeria Richards, the daughter of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, is already one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. While only six years old, her mind can rival that of her father's. It's hard to guess just how intelligent she'll end up becoming.
And, as made evident by the high-intellect of many of Marvel's top players, intelligence equals power in the Marvel Universe. The question is, to what end will Valeria use her intelligence? In recent years, she's grown closer to her villainous uncle, Doctor Doom, possibly foreshadowing a dark turn in the future.
22 SQUIRREL GIRL
Squirrel Girl is not one to be underestimated. Despite her cartoonish gimmick, she repeatedly overcomes tremendous obstacles and squeaks out wins against Marvel's most powerful characters. Simply listing some of her wins would be enough to silence any doubt of her power.
She once went on a win streak against the likes of Thanos, M.O.D.O.K., and Terrax. Other achievements of hers include beating Maelstrom, Abomination, and Doctor Doom. At this rate, it's conceivable to think that Squirrel Girl could figure out a way to beat virtually anybody.
21 VICTOR MANCHA
Victor Mancha, aka Victron, is one of the many offsprings of Ultron. After the Runaways discovered a possible dark future involving a villainous Mancha, the team caught up with the young man in hopes of changing his trajectory. Mancha found a way to liberate himself from Ultron's programming, and he joined the Runaways.
As a half-human and half-robot, Mancha shares many of Ultron's abilities such as self-repair, accelerated information processing, and superhuman durability. Although Mancha has thus far fought for good, it remains to be seen if the future that includes his evil self will become manifest.
20 MS. MARVEL
With Carol Danvers having become the new Captain Marvel, the mantle of Ms. Marvel was left open. Kamala Khan, a young girl empowered by the Terrigen Mists, embraced the challenge. Khan's primary power is the ability to stretch, enlarge, shrink, or morph her entire body, or parts of it, but she also possesses an impressive healing factor that renders bullets harmless.
In her brief history, she's already proved to be a more than capable successor to Carol Danvers -- made most evident by her having attained Avengers membership after impressing Iron Man in a battle against Warbringer.
Hulking is the half-Skree, half-Skrull founding member of the Young Avengers. As the son of Captain Mar-Vell, Hulkling's incredible power comes as no surprise. His impressive powerset includes the ability to lift up to 100 tons, withstand blasts at point-blank range, sprout wings, and shapeshift to take nearly any form imaginable.
He's used these abilities to great effect thus far in the Marvel Universe. He and his allies have defeated an interdimensional parasite known as Mother, taken out the Celestial Destroyer, and have beaten Doctor Doom, among other achievements.
Wiccan is another founding member of the Young Avengers who recently graduated to fight on the New Avengers. The origin of Wiccan's powers is complicated, although it's been confirmed that he's the reincarnated son of Scarlet Witch.
His unique set of powers include the ability to warp reality, cast spells to teleport himself across vast distances, levitate objects with his mind, and conjure everyday objects from nothing. As with Scarlet Witch, the full potential of his power is a frightening prospect even to his closest allies.
17 MOON GIRL
Like Valeria Richards, Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl, has a super-genius intellect despite her young age. In fact, Amadeus Cho concluded that Lunella is the smartest person on the planet after she easily completed a special competence, which Bruce Banner couldn't even finish.
In addition to her stunning intellect, Lunella possesses the ability to trader her consciousness with that of Devil Dinosaur. This deadly combo makes Moon Girl one of the most powerful young heroes in the Marvel Universe, and one destined for great things in the future.
After being sucked to into a small black hole, Greg Willis was gifted with superhuman capabilities. Willis, who'd go by the name Gravity, could manipulate gravity, allowing him to do all sorts of things. Gravity could increase or decrease the weight of an object, shoot concussive blasts, and levitate objects.
During Beyond!, Gravity held a dying planet together long enough for his allies to escape. Although Gravity died in the process, he was resurrected as more powerful than ever. In fact, the cosmic entity Epoch claimed that he was one of the most powerful beings in the cosmos.
15 NICO MINORU
After discovering that her parents were up to no good, Nico Minoru fled from home alongside several other super-powered teens, forming the Runaways. Nico would go onto discover that her parents were evil wizards, their sorcery fueled by the suffering of others. Nico herself long had the potential for magic but was only able to bring her abilities forth after formal training.
Her mastery of magic allows her to fly, transport, and levitate objects with her mind. She's used these abilities to great success, recently landing a spot on A-Force alongside the most powerful women in the Marvel Universe.
Speed was recruited by the Young Avengers after Kree sentries had taken Hulkling captive. As his name suggests, Speed is a speedster. He can run at least at supersonic speed (and maybe beyond), vibrate the molecules within objects, leading to an explosion, and process information at high speeds.
Speed once raced Quicksilver, and although the elder speedster beat him by a small distance, the performance showed promise for Speed's future. At the time he met Quicksilver, he was playing a pivotal role in the rescue of Scarlett Witch from Latveria.
13 POWER MAN
Victor Alvarez became Luke Cage's successor as Power Man in Shadowland: Power Man #1. After a run-in with Bullseye, Alvarez acquired the ability to absorb chi from his environment, and manipulate it at will. He can use the chi to enhance his strength, create force fields, and heal at an accelerated rate.
Since his 2010 debut, Power Man has made an impact everywhere he's been. He's had stints on the Young Avengers and New Avengers but has recently opted to return to where he grew up and protect his home neighborhood in New York.
Jonas, aka the (second) Vision, debuted as a member of the Young Avengers during their conflict with Kang the Conqueror. Designed by Iron Lad with the help of his superior technology, Jonas is in many ways an upgrade on the original Vision. Among his various abilities, Jonas can shapeshift, allowing him to take on various guises, time-travel, and generate concussive blasts.
Unfortunately, Jonas abruptly met his end in Avengers: The Children's Crusade #9, when he brushed up against a power-hungry Iron Lad. However, nothing lasts forever in comics.
11 STEPFORD CUCKOOS
The Stepford Cuckoos, aka the Three-In-One, are a trio (although there were originally five) of genetically engineered clones of Emma Frost. The Cuckoos possess a telepathic hive mind that is stronger the closer they are to one another. Among their collective powers is the ability to scan the minds of others, restore memories, astral projection, and telepathic tracking.
They're powerful enough to have once been deemed worthy by the Phoenix Force. During their brief stint as avatars of the Phoenix, their power was at an all-time high.
10 KID LOKI
After being obliterated by the Void during Seige, Loki was born again. He was reincarnated in the form of a young boy with no memories of his previous life. Despite having lost most of his power, Kid Loki remained impressive enough. The young sorcerer had a good handle on the mystic arts, a healing factor, and superhuman strength.
Since his rebirth, Kid Loki has been in constant conflict with himself, trying to decide where his allegiance lies. This inner conflict was only exacerbated when the consciousness of the old Loki reawakened and vied for a spot in Kid Loki's body.
9 MARVEL BOY
Noh-Varr, aka Marvel Boy, is a Kree Warrior infused with insect DNA. Though he hails from a far away universe, Marvel Boy arrived in the 616 after his ship was shot down, leading to his decision to stay as that Earth's protector. As with many of his Kree relatives, Marvel Boy is equipped with an impressive array of abilities.
What separates him from other Kree, is the cockroach DNA and nanotechnology in his system. These allow him to wall-crawl and use his fingernails as grenades or poison.
Illyana Rasputina, the younger sister of Colossus, hasn't had it easy since she took up the codename Magik in New Mutants (Vol. 1) #14. She's been plagued by demons and possessed by them on numerous occasions. But, ultimately, it's a testament to Magik's power that she's able to come out on the side of good each time.
As the sorceress supreme of the limbo dimension, Magik has access to an assortment of magical abilities, including the ability to create psionic shields to prevent her mind from being scanned, teleport across space and time, and manifest mystical armor.
7 NOVA (SAM ALEXANDER)
After Sam Alexander filled in his father's shoes as the new Nova, he immediately became one of the most powerful young heroes in all of Marvel. Through the Nova Helmet, Sam has access to the Nova Force, allowing him to fly at speeds beyond lightspeed, generate energy blasts, and lift massive objects.
Sam has utilized the Nova Force to take on some of Marvel's heaviest hitters, including Beta Ray Bill and the High Evolutionary. Recently, he's joined other teenage heroes to form the Champions, after becoming disillusioned with the ways of the older heroes.
6 QUENTIN QUIRE
Since his debut in New X-Men #134, Quentin Quire has straddled the line between good and evil -- which is not good for the X-Men. Why? Quire is an Omega Level Mutant, capable of incredible feats of telepathy. His telepathic abilities - -such as mind control, illusion manifestation, memory wiping -- can range over vast distances.
When the X-Men and many other mutants were stationed at the island known as Utopia, he attempted to take the entire populace. Luckily, he seems to be on the side of the angels as of late and will debut as a member of the new West Coast Avengers soon.
Genesis, formerly known as Kid Apocalypse, is the closen of a young version of Apocalypse. While Genesis attended the Jean Grey school, the time-traveling cyborg Deathlok once said that Genesis would either grow to become the world's greatest hero or villain.
Which course the young mutant ended up taking would depend on Wolverine's leadership. Some of this vast potential has already been explored, such as when Genesis went toe to toe with Warren Worthington when he'd become the new Apocalypse.
4 KID GLADIATOR
Kid Gladiator, son of Gladiator (who's often referred to as Marvel's Superman), has shown promise of living up to his parentage since his debut in Wolverine and The X-Men #1. Like his father, Kid Gladiator possesses super strength, impressive speed, and invulnerability among other abilities.
Though young, he's already proven himself in battle. While going to school at the Academy of Guardians, he entered into a conflict with the Builders. He fought aside the Avengers and proved to be a considerable asset in the war.
3 HOPE SUMMERS
In the wake of M-day, the event that wiped out most of the mutant population, all eyes were on Hope Summers to save the mutant race. Hope is an Omega Level Mutant with a variety of astounding powers. Namely, Hope was responsible for activating the latent X-gene in some of the population, ensuring the preservation of mutant-kind.
Hope can also mimic the powers of other mutants, making her similar to Rogue in this respect. Hope has grown a lot since being born the savior of the mutant race; the young Summers has recently taken a leadership role on X-Force.
2 AMERICA CHAVEZ
When America Chavez was first introduced in Vengeance #1 as a member of the Teen Brigade, there was no mistaking her tremendous power-level. After absorbing power from the cosmic entity known as the demiurge, America acquired the ability to break interdimensional barriers, allowing her to traverse the multiverse at will.
That along with her indestructible body, ability to travel faster than light, and cosmic awareness, make her one of the most formidable young heroes in the MU. Although she's currently a member of the Ultimates, we wouldn't be surprised to see her join the Avengers soon.
1 FRANKLIN RICHARDS
Franklin Richards is the first child of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman -- and is quite possibly the most powerful mutant in the universe. The Celestials have declared him to have a beyond omega power level. Although the bulk of his powers is still latent, we caught a glimpse of his capabilities when his future self once popped up.
Adult Franklin was able to create pocket universes with ease, bend Galactus to his will, and alter the molecular structure of objects -- among countless other abilities.