The cosmos was clearly affected in a major way after the results of Avengers: Infinity War. Spoiler alert, a lot of your favorite superheroes from the MCU vanished into the dust. Upon the snap of his finger, the Mad Titan took out some of the most beloved figures in Marvel Comics. It was a sad day and one that made it hard to sleep at night for some. Despite this, Thanos is by no means someone who will be done after this. He also will need to prevent heroes from trying to change the results. The question is, can they change it? We'll have to wait until next year for the MCU to answer that question. Unless you read ahead and have looked at Infinity Gauntlet. But shh, you know nothing! Right? Nothing!
The facts are clear when it comes to Thanos. He is one heck of a villain, and although he has somewhat of a good intention behind his actions he did not think through a lot of it. Too many people? Why not use the gauntlet to make endless supplies of food for the universe? We know, it's pretty surprising that no one spoke about this already in the movie. The fact is, Thanos is called the "Mad Titan" for a reason. He believes what he is doing is correct, but it's simply not. The question is, how do you stop him? Who can stop him?
In this list, we'll explore just that. We'll go over 5 heroes from the MCU that could defeat Thanos and will most likely face off with him in Avengers 4. We'll also go over 20 overall comic heroes who could defeat him too, and we're not just talkin' Marvel here. Enjoy!
25 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: NOVA
A number of people have defeated Thanos in the comics, but it's not like it was an easy job. Both Nova and Star-Lord found this out the hard way when they took the Mad Titan on. In the Thanos Imperative story-arc, both Star-Lord and Nova are having to defeat Thanos in a place called the Cancerverse. We know, it's not the best overall name. The idea is that they both are powerful enough to make sure Thanos cannot leave this place.
There is a hole to the outside that they must block. The two have to sacrifice themselves in the Cancerverse in order to do it. Obviously, Nova on his own is quite a tough guy. He is a skilled fighter who has enhanced strength, speed, and agility. He also has impressive durability which allows him to take a shot and keep coming back for more. Nova also has energy projection powers that can keep Thanos in one place if nothing else. Overall, Nova alone could beat Thanos. However, the more help used to beat him, the better.
24 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: CABLE
Cable is capable of sliding through time. This means even if he loses, he will know how to defeat Thanos the next time they face off with each other. However, this is not all he can do. Cable is the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey clone, Madelyne Pryer. He was able to get some of his mother's powers, such as her telekinesis and telepathy. (Thanos had these powers in the past too, but not in a special or significant way in the MCU).
His techno-organic virus, while it is partially something that is slowly able to take him over, helps him. Interestingly, it sort of enhances everything. He is super strong, fast, and agile. Like Nova, he has impressive durability. If he were to go to his fullest power, Thanos would never be able to beat him in just a one on one fight. Add in that he can manipulate objects around him and get into the mind of Thanos too...and you have a huge threat. Even if Thanos can find a way to beat Cable, he still has the tech to slide back in time and change the result.
23 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: ADAM WARLOCK
Adam Warlock will be coming to MCU eventually. Enough hints have been dropped about his appearance that a blind person could see this. However, he's not here just yet. When he does come, he could be an ideal helper to the Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers. He proved his abilities in the comics after a while, but never better than when he defeated Thanos. With the help of a few, Warlock was able to beat Thanos by mere intelligence. This alone should be considered tremendous.
Adam found in The Infinity Gauntlet story arc that he could sort of manipulate the Mad Titan by giving in a bit and complimenting him. He convinces Thanos that he is so incredibly powerful that he would not need some of the things the gauntlet provides him. He'd eventually, during this talk, give up some of his invulnerability. He uses this to this advantage and strategizes the entire attack that would defeat Thanos in this storyline. In fact, Adam put on the Infinity Gauntlet himself by the end of this.
22 SCARLET WITCH WILL FACE THANOS
He has taken her friends and love of her life away, and did it in the most terrible way possible. She won't forgive this. Thanos' days are numbered. We all know Scarlet Witch had to take out Vision so she could destroy the Mind Stone before Thanos could get it. She literally has to end the love of her life. Thanos makes her relive this with the Time Stone and then ends the Vision himself...taking the Mind Stone afterward.
Scarlet Witch is one of the most powerful characters in all of Marvel Comics. She can literally bend reality. Heck, she once ended all of mutant kind with the words "no more mutants." It's her chaos magic that could allow her to end the Mad Titan. No one can assume Wanda will sit back and not want to end Thanos herself. The thing is, she has to escape her own demise and come back from Lady Death's clutches to do it. That's possible for Scarlet Witch.
21 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: DC'S GREEN LANTERN
Our first DC superhero to make the list, Green Lantern certainly has the power to defeat Thanos. The question should not be IF he could defeat him, but rather, how badly? We know that they have a cosmic power that Thanos cannot defeat. Green Lantern's powers come from the Guardians of the Universe. They seem to be all-knowing, and since the ring is powered by them, they know just about all possible universal knowledge. They also made a ring that can do a lot to help any Green Lantern.
The ring can offer flight as well as allow the wearer to phase through certain objects, possess super strength, create various objects from pure energy, and use his ring as an energy conduit. Thanos has nothing but his gauntlet and super strength to combat this. The gauntlet can help him bend reality, take souls, and much more. However, his universal laws may not apply to a Lantern. Especially considering he's not in the same universe if we're being technical.
20 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: ROGUE
Rogue has seen a number of things happen to her character since she made her first appearance. Rogue's main power is the ability to absorb the abilities of others. Her power allows her to even absorb their memories, personality, and physical characteristics. The latter depends on how long she holds on. In the case of Magneto, she held long enough to attain the grey/white hair strip. Her power is quite useful against Thanos. If she were to touch him AT ALL, she can hold on and take his memories and his life force.
She could even end Thanos if she held on long enough. Literally, she could hold on long enough to take his life and absorb his powers for quite a while. Though Thanos is not stacked with powers and uses the gauntlet to do most of his damage, the power he does have would be easy to take. It would also be interesting to see if Rogue could absorb part of those stone powers while Thanos is in possession of them. Now that would be incredible.
19 CAPTAIN AMERICA WILL FACE THANOS
Captain America did at one point, in Avengers: Infinity War, face off with Thanos. It seems unlikely that given another chance he would not do so once more. The really weird thing is that Chris Evans, the man who plays Steve Rogers in the MCU, is done contractually with the MCU after Avengers 4. We know a Phase 4 Captain America solo film is going to be coming, however. Yet some believe Steve Rogers will be finished as Captain America with Avengers 4.
It would be easy to write him out of the MCU altogether with a fight to the end against Thanos. As of now, there does seem to be many set rumors that confirm that is possible. However, with a sea of scripts going around...one can never be too sure. Bucky Barns takes over the Captain America role after Rogers goes down in the comics. However, it seems unlikely Disney is going to want Evans to go away completely and could make him another character, such as Nomad. A fight with Thanos very well could lead us this direction for sure.
18 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: CHARLES XAVIER
Like Cable and others in the mutant universe, Charles Xavier has the ability to control the mind as well as things around him. The telepathy and telekinetic abilities are clearly useful, but what sets Xavier apart is his Omega-Level affiliation. An Omega-Level mutant is considered to be among the most powerful known to mutant kind. Interestingly, there are only a small number of them in comparison to the thousands of mutants known in the Marvel universe.
Xavier's ability to control minds and get inside the head of people will help him against Thanos. His high level of mutant power likely helps the most here. Xavier could get inside his head and control him into handing over the gauntlet and trapping himself. If there is anyone who could possibly affect Thanos without even as much as lifting a finger, it's Charles Xavier.
17 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: WONDER WOMAN
What does Thanos have that Wonder Woman doesn't? She's equally as strong as he is, if not more so. She can even fly, something Thanos simply cannot do. She also has bracelets that can block several attacks. Insider point, those bracelets actually help her control her power as they're basically power reducers. If she truly needed to show more power, she could always remove them. Another thing not considered is that, while Thanos considers himself something of a God...he's not.
Wonder Woman is actually a demi-god. That being said, only another God could end a God. Thanos could never take down Diana due to this. She could take the gauntlet away due to her speed and power, and he'd be a fraction of what he was against the Avengers. He could beat her down enough to escape, but that is the maximum we can expect from the Mad Titan. However, due to her tremendous durability and power it seems unlikely Thanos can do much.
16 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: ODIN
Sticking with the theme of Gods, Odin can be considered one of the most powerful among them. Odin is basically something similar to the Christian or Jewish God. Clearly, his power is immense. In fact, Odin has even fought Thanos before in the comics and even defeated him. If the MCU brought Odin back to life (which could happen in the time travel thing we've heard about), we could see this fight happen.
Odin fought Thanos in the Warlock and the Infinity Watch #25 comic. In an interesting note, we never truly saw Odin's true power tested before this. We saw instances of his extreme ability, but nothing major. The two fight in what seems like a never-ending battle. Finally, Odin comes out on top and is so bent on destroying Thanos before being convinced to show him mercy.
15 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: KA-ZAR
Ka-Zar is one of the more unique people in the Marvel Universe, but one that has come across Thanos in the past. In fact, he'd do so in the Ka-Zar Volume 2, #7-11 comic, in a pretty interesting fashion. The story-arc revolves around Ka-Zar deciding whether or not to preserve his homeland or eliminate Thanos. This is clearly an easy choice for some, but not for others. Ka-Zar knows Thanos has come to take the Terraformer from the Savage Land and he must stop him from doing this. Ka-Zar has also managed to get a family in recent time.
He must also consider them on top of this. He knows that a fight with Thanos can be useful, so he does this and even hurls him into a volcano. Eventually realizing he has to give up, he lures Thanos to the Terraformer. Knowing the Mad Titan will want to get there anyway, he takes the bait. Ka-Zar then calls in an airstrike from S.H.I.E.L.D. and both he as well as Thanos are blown up at the site. The land remains unharmed after this, so Ka-Zar saves the land he loves but he makes the ultimate sacrifice to do it.
14 NEBULA WILL FACE THANOS
Nebula has a lot of anger built within her and every single bit of it can be considered present as a result of Thanos. As one of the daughters of Thanos, he would tear parts of her body off and replace it with machine parts every time she lost a match up to Gamora or failed him. It was literal torture, so no one could blame her for initially hating Gamora. However, she develops a love for her adopted sister in recent stories but Thanos then went to sacrifice Gamora for the Soul Stone. You could say Nebula is ticked off even more than she already was, so it seems incredibly likely Nebula will fight Thanos in Avengers 4.
Nebula actually happens to be the person in the Infinity Gauntlet storyline that helps stop everything. She takes the gauntlet off of him and changes everything back. This means we're likely to see something at least somewhat similar in Avengers 4. Obviously, we won't see anything exact, as Nebula had help in her endeavor to take the gauntlet from people not part of the MCU. However, it makes sense to believe Nebula will fight the Mad Titan at some point and be a catalyst that helps end him.
13 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: SQUIRREL GIRL
Squirrel Girl is an amazing character that belongs in the MCU. She's quite popular and often overlooked despite her abilities. A lot of people saw what she was capable of when she went up against Thanos and beat him, in something most thought to be surprising. People usually tend to think Squirrel Girl only talks to squirrels and has some similar abilities to them. However, that is not exactly the case. While she can talk to the animal for which she gets her name and does have a tail like them, she's more than that.
She has superhuman agility, strength, and senses. She has retractable knuckle spikes and razor sharp claws. It's not a wonder that Thanos underestimated her in the Great Lakes Avengers X-Mas #1 story-arc. With help from The Watcher and Great Lakes Avengers, she takes on a number of crazy trees and Modok. As she takes on Thanos, the result could is quite a surprising battle. No one expects Squirrel Girl to get her hand raised in a fight with the Mad Titan, but it actually happened. It can even happen again.
12 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: JEAN GREY/PHOENIX
When it comes down to it, one of the most powerful characters in all of Marvel Comics will always be Jean Grey when she possesses her extreme abilities along with The Phoenix Force behind her. The Phoenix on its own is an extreme power that once blew up an entire planet. While there have been cases of Thanos knowing and using telepathy and telekinesis, he is nowhere close to as skilled in this department as Jean Grey. Alone, Jean has the power here to likely equal Charles Xavier's Omega-Mutant level qualification.
If we added The Phoenix, it would almost be unfair. We have a potential Omega-Level telepath who could do damage on her own. Now we're adding The Phoenix to this? This is an almost God-like presence that has taken over a few people, but usually Jean, in the comics. However, no matter who is affiliated with the force...it's always able to do significant damage. In a fight with Thanos, we do not feel it would be close.
11 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: SENTRY
Robert Reynolds (Sentry) is a very compelling and interesting character. His original power comes from the same super soldier serum used to create Captain America. It'd be modified by Weapon X, however. Interestingly, Sentry a sentient life force that's from another universe. He is a mere refugee of Earth. The serum would help in the adjustment to this one. This life force was incredibly gifted. Though the extent of his power is not truly known, we do know of a number of powers he has shown a consistency in exposing.
He has superhuman strength, speed, and stamina. He also has an incredible healing factor, enhanced senses, light manipulation, psionic powers, transmutation, intangibility, and more. Not to mention, he can fly. He once fought Galactus to a stalemate, nearly shredded a female Ultron to pieces, and broke Doctor Doom's shield. There are several with God-like power...or some sort of incredible cosmic ability. However, Sentry could be considered one of the best among them. Thanos has no chance against him.
10 THOR WILL FACE THANOS
In an almost obvious turn of events, it appears that we're for certain going to see Thor go up against Thanos in Avengers 4. We know that he was forced to develop a weapon in Avengers: Infinity War that was set to help him end the Mad Titan. He was close to accomplishing this too. However, due to the gauntlet, it seemed like it would be too difficult to expect the weapon to work. Thor is a God-like figure similar to that of Wonder Woman. Due to this, when he comes to matching power and durability, Thor is certainly on par with Thanos.
What will give him the edge is the "God-Killer" weapon he was able to get his hands on in the Infinity War movie. Several ideas from the Thor #25 comic can be seen in the Infinity War film. At least, for Thor's role in the saga. Such as the weapon being made being prime among them. In this comic, it was Thor who came out victorious. If by chance we go with the angle set up in that very comic, it'll be Thor who puts an end to Thanos. However, he did need help from the Illumination Stone, Map of All-Ending, Chalice of Ruin, and tears from the Asgardian Godness known as Tarene. That was without Thanos possing the Infinity Stones too.
9 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: THE FLASH
Often forgotten about The Flash is that while he can run fast, he is more than just a fast runner. His body can heal very quickly too. The average injury that may take some months to recover from may take Barry Allen a mere few hours. It's incredible to see the durability he has. Plus due to the high speeds he gets to, he has to have by science a relatively tough body with tough skin quite literally. He can also add power to his hits by adding speed to them. Thanos might be quick himself, but he's by no means ever going to be as quick as The Flash.
What is also quite apparent is that The Flash may not even need to do much to defeat Thanos. He could, in theory, move fast enough to take Thanos' gauntlet off. He could also add in several shots before Thanos knows what is even going on. Another thing Flash brings to the table is his ability to travel back in time. If he knows Thanos will win, the best course of action would be time travel. He could then gather up all the stones before anyone knew they were missing. Then give them to the Avengers to destroy. In a straight up fight, he could hold his own. However, it's what The Flash could do around the fight that makes him so useful.
8 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: SILVER SURFER
While people like Galactus once defeated Thanos, most would see this as an expected situation. This cosmic being has power for days. However, a former scout of his known as the Silver Surfer also possessed extreme abilities on his own. Surfer is has had his battles with people like Thor, the Fantastic Four, Hulk, and many more. When we're talking about Silver Surfer, we're discussing one of the most powerful characters in Marvel. The cosmic powers possessed are pretty major. He has superhuman strength, speed, and durability.
In addition, he can manipulate matter and energy. This allows him to send projections of energy and absorb it, as well as cast illusions. He can obviously fly, but he also possesses something known as "cosmic senses." This means he likely knows something will happen before it does or can evaluate something far better than most. Basically, he knows when a danger is present or coming and how to escape or defeat it. He is also invulnerable on a major scale. The question is not IF the Silver Surfer can defeat Thanos, it's how badly he'll do it.
7 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: WOLVERINE
One of the most beloved and popular Marvel characters of all time is Wolverine. He has something many have dreamed of attaining: the ability to heal. From the average paper cut all the way to severe injuries like being stabbed in the heart, Wolverine can heal from it. Wolverine also has an adamantium skeleton, coming from one of the most indestructible metals on Earth(within the Marvel Universe). That said, he can use claws affected by this metal to do horrific damage to people. Add in his healing power, and it's pretty hard for any villain to defeat the man.
There happens to be a story where Wolverine actually beats Thanos. It comes from a story-arc called What If? Newer Fantastic Four. It's hypothetical the entire way, so it's not a canon story of what "did" happen but rather what "could" occur. Basically, Wolverine gets close to Thanos and befriends him. Just when he becomes a trusted advisor, he jumps at Thanos and cuts his arm right off with the gauntlet attached. In theory, because that is what this technically happens to be, it could actually work. That said, we cannot hate the idea and can point to a place Wolverine kinda beat Thanos.
6 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: SUPERMAN
DC Comics' most prized superhero has to be Superman, right? To be honest, Superman faces off with a lot of big-time villains consistently. He has defeated the vastly intelligent Brainiac and Lex Luthor. He has defeated the powerful monster known as Doomsday. However, it is his fight against the New Gods and specifically Darkseid that shows his true power. Of course, we know what Superman can do by now. He can fly, and he has super strength, speed, agility, hearing, eyesight, etc. Not to mention X-Ray vision!
While Thanos could likely just need to possess Kryptonite in order to harm Superman....there is a bit of a hole in that theory. It would need to come from the universe he calls home. As Kryptonite from another universe will not harm him, which is the same for all Kryptonians. That said, Thanos would have to go into the DC world and find it only on Earth-1. This could be hard to do. Now it's one on one without a weakness for the Man of Steel. We're pretty sure since the only other weakness of magic won't be in play for Thanos, Superman will end up the victor here.
5 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: SPIDER-WOMAN
While Spider-Man is obviously more popular than Spider-Woman and has even gone up against Thanos and defeated him, if we had to pick someone from the Spiders...we're going Jessica Drew. A lot of people would question this. Why not Spider-Man? Simple, Spider-Woman is better. Jessica goes through an experiment to save her life. Her father, a skilled man in this world, made the serum to save her using various spiders. It turns out that many of those spiders had abilities, which Jessica then began to possess. While she has super strength, speed, agility, durability, and senses like her male counterpart, she has a lot more too.
In addition to wall-crawling like Spidey, she also has super-flexibility, venom blasts, pheromone secretion, and self-propelled glide. On top of this, she is a tremendous martial artist, acrobat, and spy. She also has a regenerative healing factor, similar to that of Wolverine or Deadpool. This also allows her to be telepathically resistant and not be affected by disease, chemicals, or weather. When considering a person who "might" do well against Thanos...Jessica Drew fits very well. Far more than Spider-Man.
4 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: FANTASTIC FOUR
We fully know we're kind of cheating by bringing the Fantastic Four into this. Very few are better than Marvel's First Family at taking on cosmic threats. They even attained their powers through the cosmos, if you will. We're also cheating because it is a team and not one person. However, one cannot deny their success rate as a team. They have been able to defeat a Herold version of Silver Surfer and the all-powerful Galactus in the past. Thanos lost to Galactus before, so the theory of connectivity tells us the Fantastic Four could beat Thanos.
Reed Richards might be the smartest man on the planet and has a nearly indestructible body that is tough to harm. Sue Storm has the ability to create force fields and project energy as well as become invisible. Johnny Storm can become a firey death storm, and go supernova. He alone could defeat Thanos this way. The Thing regularly spars with The Hulk, so power is immense here. Combined with incredible durability. The group, together, could likely beat anyone. Marvel's First Family would not break a sweat taking down Thanos. After all, they've defeated tougher.
3 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: VENOM
Regardless of if we're talking about simply Venom or Agent Venom, it's pretty clear this symbiote can go up against some of the best. Agent Venom regularly worked alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy and took on cosmic threats regularly. Venom is not from Earth himself, as it's from a race of symbiotes of infinite types on a far-off planet. The power the symbiote has upon gaining a host is very impressive. Venom can be much more powerful if his host has power beforehand. However, isolated, Venom has super strength, durability, and stamina.
In addition, the symbiote has genetic memory, wall-crawling, web generation, constituent-matter generation/manipulation, camouflage, and spider-sense abilities. This is on top of its ability to heal rapidly and have minor telepathy. Thanos won't know what hit him whenever he comes across Venom. It seems that this symbiote is a hard thing to take down simply isolated. Lord help Thanos if the host it takes has already established powers.
2 COULD GO UP AGAINST THANOS: DEADPOOL
Deadpool is an amazing character in Marvel Comics. He is technically a rip-off and joke against DC's Deathstroke. However, Marvel accidentally created a masterpiece. Wade Wilson managed to develop impressive mutant abilities, the biggest being his regeneration healing power. You could cut his head off and it'll grow a body seemingly. Thanos and Deadpool go back a long way, and they both despise each other. Like Thanos, Deadpool is in love with Lady Death.
In the Deadpool vs Thanos story-arc, this explored extensively. Deadpool sets a trap by pretty much luring Thanos into beating himself. Though Wade does a great job of simply being himself. He once even talked Thanos into submission. Overall, Deadpool's impressive skills as a fighter are useful to him. His powers give him extra speed and agility, and he can time travel or teleport a bit due to future technology supplied to him by Cable. Thanos could never truly beat Deadpool, very few can.
1 CAPTAIN MARVEL WILL FACE THANOS
Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel after a mentor of hers, Mar-Vell, passes. She has a lot of her power from the Kree. The Kree have incredible technology and power. Barring the Skrull, their biggest enemy, they might be the most feared alien group in the universe. Thanos commands an incredible army and comes off as unbeatable in his own right. The original Captain Marvel faced off with and beat Thanos. That said, there is already a blueprint for Carol to do this. She is also one of the most powerful heroes in the universe, without question.
She has superhuman strength, endurance, stamina, and durability. Not to mention her ability to fly and project as well as absorb energy. That said, any attack on her by Thanos can help her develop energy power to use against him. Carol brings her will, and the ability to never stop until the job is done to this franchise. She is an impressive leader who commands respect, but her biggest skill isn't in a power. It may likely be her mind and tactical genius. Thanos cannot plan for her.