Throughout the decades, different heroes have assembled for various Marvel teams—the X-Men, Young Avengers, Runaways, S.H.I.E.L.D. But if you’re creating your dream team of epic all-stars, you’d want a few heavy-hitters at the starting line.
That’s why we’ve compiled a shortlist of the strongest Marvel heroes. We’re talking about the power-punching mega-hitters, the smashers who could take the strongest Marvel villains in an arm-wrestling competition and still have time to punch out a few enemy missiles.
To inspire your superteam daydreams, check out this list of the top five strongest Marvel superheroes.
Disclaimer: Though Marvel comics has introduced a multitude of universes, here we’re selecting heroes from good ol’ Earth-616, the prime universe of the comic and cinematic worlds.
#1 The Incredible Hulk
Who is the strongest Marvel superhero? Comic enthusiasts around the globe have more or less conceded that this green rage machine can outpunch almost anything that stands in his way. The Hulk is the counterpart to Bruce Banner, a nuclear physicist who suffered exposure to gamma radiation. When Banner experiences emotional distress, he transforms into his colossal green likeness with superhuman strength.
You might recall an iconic moment in Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first Avengers film when Banner tells Steve Rodgers, “I’m always angry,” before turning to destroy the Leviathan with one earth-shattering hit.
Beyond that, here are a couple more reasons why this powerful character has snatched the top spot on our list, as well as a spot in the best Marvel characters of all time:
- Five known versions of Hulk represent the powers and super strength of his various emotive states. Rumor has it there’s even a Hulk version capable of destroying an entire planet with just a few blows. In one storyline, the force of his fist tears apart the Marvel Universe.
- He’s earned a multi-car pile-up of notable defeats, including Silver Surfer, The Leviathan, Juggernaut, and Century.
Thor is a mainstay of the heavy-lifters of Marvel studios. His hammer, Mjolnir, a tool that can harness weather energy (and a great Marvel gift idea), enhances his powers in the early comics and remains his loyal companion throughout the series. Though, Thor’s other-worldly physical abilities predate his powerful tool. In his youth, he even wrestled with Hercules.
Like the Hulk, the named God of Thunder often lets his emotions get the best of him. These top two contenders have battled each other occasionally—almost always to no clear conclusion.
Among those who have fallen victim to this formidable opponent, you’ll find:
Thor’s dependence on the added force of his trusty weapon is the only fact that leads us to tip the scales and bump him down to number two.
#3 Captain Marvel
If we account for more than pure strength, Captain Marvel may reign as one of Marvel comic’s most powerful heroes. Her abilities originate with the Tesseract (yes, the one from Avengers and Captain America). The Tesseract contains one of the Infinity Stone, a source of infinite energy that predates the universe.
While working as a U.S. Airforce Pilot on a S.H.I.E.L.D project, Captain Marvel—then Carol Danvers—was caught in a Tesseract-sourced explosion, embuing her with raw power. Her abilities include:
- Destructive photon blasts that send entire star fleets running (looking at you, Ronan)
Kinetic energy absorption
In multiple storylines, Danvers takes on a host of the Avengers in some epic power matchups. However, our favorite Captain Marvel MCU scene has to be in Avengers: Endgame when she’s the first to rain punches down on Thanos.
She-Hulk, Vox, and Moonstone are among her most notable defeats—though we doubt they’ll be the last.
This is a lightning-hot take, but hear us out. What’s stronger than the weather? True, there are a few ways to manifest a cosmic hit in the Marvel Universe. If we’re talking old-fashioned breakage, however, a Category 1 hurricane conjured on the spot can do some damage.
If you’re still not convinced by this choice, maybe these power-packed tidbits will change your mind:
- Marvel officially classified Storm as an Omega-level hero in 2019, which means her upper power limit is undefinable.
- In one Marvel/DC crossover, she proves her might by defeating Wonder Woman.
- Wielding wind and lightning, her ability to sense the world as a series of atmospheric energies allows her to bend the laws of physics and increase her force ten-fold.
- Her thunderous super strength has brought opponents like Cyclops, Magneto, and Callisto humbly to their knees.
Her raw power wound up leading to an arc in which Munroe was worshiped as a goddess.
She dated Wolverine. If you can navigate a relationship with that atom bomb of raw emotional wreckage and adamantium, you make this list.
#5 Black Panther
Though not exactly superhuman, Black Panther is caught between the limits of human and superhuman ability when the Panther Goddess Bast blesses him. After ascending to his father’s throne and assuming the Black Panther moniker, he’s also exposed to an ancient herb that grants him enhanced strength.
The physical might of our fifth most powerful marvel character and contender for top ten Marvel movies of all time, is perhaps a less assuming trait when paired with killer agility, speed, and worldly wisdom. However, the King of Wakanda is allegedly stronger than Captain America.
Side note, he was also named King of the Dead and can absorb the strength and energies of spirits past?
What can we say? Don’t mess with the King.
Round Robin with CultureFly: Rank Your Marvel Heroes
The Marvel Universe(s) know no bounds when packing a punch. If Stan Lee’s clan of Marvel superheroes didn’t invent the WHAM! POW!, they certainly defined it.
To keep up with those epic throw-downs, subscribe to receive CultureFly’s Marvel collector boxes quarterly. Excited about the strongest marvel heroes we’ve highlighted here? The new Black Panther box might convince you we’ve nailed it. Have your own rankings in mind? If you can’t pick your top contender, the Avengers box might help you better pit hero against hero.
Whatever you decide, each Culturefly Nerd Box is curated with unique merch and collectibles to fuel your planet-slam-punching imaginings through even the thickest of traffic jams.
- Marvel. Storm. https://www.marvel.com/characters/storm/in-comics
- Marvel. Hulk. https://www.marvel.com/characters/hulk-bruce-banner
- Britannica. Black Panther. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Black-Panther-comic-book-character
- Marvel Fandom. Strength Scale. https://marvel.fandom.com/Strength_Scale
- CBR. The 25 Strongest Marvel Superheros, Officially Ranked. https://www.cbr.com/strongest-marvel-superheroes/