With the popularity of films like The Avengers and X-Men gaining further recognition for Marvel heroes, characters that were previously unknown to the mainstream have quickly become household names. And while some of Marvel’s most powerful superheroes have already made appearances in the Cinematic Universe, there are many other heavy hitters that have yet to make the jump to the big screen. Marvel power levels can get kind of out control, with a number of characters who are practically (or actually) gods at this point. With that in mind, here are 19 of the most insanely overpowered superheroes to ever grace Marvel comic book pages, ranked from weakest to strongest.
Even though it feels like Wolverine seems to get his butt handed to him on the regular, the most popular member of the X-Men makes up for it in being absurdly durable. Now, you might be thinking that a character with a healing factor, superior senses, and an adamantium skeleton with death-dealing claws is formidable, sure, but not necessarily overpowered and you would be correct … if not for the fact that Wolverine’s abilities have been stretched to nigh-invincible levels over the years. For one thing, Wolverine can survive any type of man-made weaponry, including atomic bombs. At one point, Logan had his skin literally destroyed by a nuclear explosion, but was somehow able to regenerate it all back and walk away.
Perhaps Wolverine’s stubborn refusal to die has something to do with the pact he made with Azrael, the angel of death, who promised the mutant that he could return to the land of the living if he proved victorious against him in a one-on-one battle. That pact has since been scrapped in the current canon, but Wolverine’s popularity has also helped make him stronger than he really should be, as he regularly defeats enemies who on paper should be able to make quick work of him. Moral of the story: it pays to be the face of an entire franchise.
Deadpool, aka Wade Wilson, gets a bit of a pass for his many wildly powerful abilities because he’s not really supposed to be taken seriously as a character to begin with, but that doesn’t mean he’s not overpowered. Much like Wolverine, Deadpool also enjoys the benefits of having a healing factor, but the Merc with the Mouth’s makes Logan’s look relatively useless in comparison. Deadpool not only enjoys the usual benefits associated with having a healing factor — immunity to toxins, fast-healing wounds, decelerated aging — but in his particular case, everything is dialed to 11.
He’s practically immortal, for one thing, as he’s not only able to go centuries looking and feeling pretty much exactly the same, but can survive just about anything. No gunshot or stab wound is too much for Wade Wilson, who is able to grow entire limbs back in a matter of hours, including his own head. Just think about that for a second: Deadpool had his entire head smashed in at one point by the Hulk and was able to grow it back, brain and all.
As if that weren’t enough, Deadpool’s mastery of both projectible-based and melee weapons make him a nearly-invincible combatant and he also has an immunity to telepathic assaults on top of it all, meaning no one is able to penetrate his mind. In other words, Deadpool is like the cockroach of the Marvel universe, which is a label that he would surely relish.
17. Professor X
Although Professor Charles Xavier and Superman are vastly different in terms of physical characteristics and abilities, they do share at least one characteristic in that they both regularly have to be taken out of commission so that other characters around them actually have something to do. In the case of Professor X, this is because his psychic abilities are so powerful that he could destroy the minds of nearly everyone on Earth if he wanted to. Admittedly, he would have to do this with the aid of his Cerebro machine but even on his own, Professor X is a force to be reckoned with.
Freezing an entire room of people, rendering someone a brain-dead vegetable, and putting thoughts into the minds of groups of people are just a few of the epic displays of power the good professor has demonstrated over the years, and unless you happen to be wearing a helmet like Magneto’s, there’s really no way to defend yourself against any of it. Really, the only reason Professor X needs the other X-Men is because most of the time, writers find a way to remove him from the equation (a trope that also extends to pretty much every X-Men movie, by the way) and because it would be pretty boring to watch a guy with the most powerful mind in the world effortlessly defeat every challenge thrown his way.
16. Nate Grey (X-Man)
An alternate version of Cable and the son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey in an alternate reality dystopia, Nate Grey, aka X-Man, is thought to be the world’s most powerful telekinetic. Genetically-modified from birth by Mr. Sinister, Nate was designed from the get-go to be ridiculously overpowered, as his powers would eventually cause him to burn-out. At his peak, Nate was able to master teleportation, telepathy, psychometry, precognition, astral projection and of course, telekinesis.
His telekinesis was strong enough to flatten an entire city and even mess with the Earth’s magnetic field (eat your heart out Magneto). At full-strength, he’s said to be on par power-wise with the Phoenix. As already mentioned, the only thing that really prevents Nate Grey from being so overpowered as to destabilize the entire Marvel Universe is that he’s designed to expire … and also only exists in the “Age of Apocalypse” reality.
Another alternate reality offspring, Skaar is the son of The Hulk and the extraterrestrial Caiera in the “Planet Hulk” storyline. Basically, Skaar has all the abilities of his dad but is somehow even more powerful, and also inherits abilities from his mother, including the ability to draw power from the planet in order to harden his body against attacks. The most prominent display of his power is arguably when he was able to crack the Juggernaut’s armor and sending him flying into the outer atmosphere with one punch, something that even The Hulk failed to do. He has also survived blasts from the Power Cosmic (more on that confusing power source later) and falls from outer space.
14. Doctor Strange
Doctor Strange, aka Stephen Strange, aka the Sorcerer Supreme, is the most powerful sorcerer in the world and his abilities rival that of the Scarlet Witch, but with even greater control due to his many years of study and training. Unlike other characters on this list, such as Deadpool and Wolverine, Doctor Strange’s power levels have been gradually reduced in recent years to make him less overpowered but at one point, his abilities were off the charts.
For instance, there was a point where Strange’s telepathic abilities rivaled that of the aforementioned Charles Xavier and X-Man, and much like the former, there have been times where Strange has been sidelined so as to not immediately solve a conflict. During the Civil War storyline, Strange made the decision not to interfere in the hopes that the situation would be resolved peacefully, even though The Watcher observed that he could have ended the conflict without breaking a sweat, implying that the sorcerer is more powerful than all of Earth’s heroes combined.
13. David Haller/Legion
David Haller, aka Legion, is the son of Professor Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller and although he’s portrayed as more of an antihero in the comics, his more heroic status in the superb FX television series arguably qualifies him for placement on this list. Legion’s powers are multi-faceted and complex, but he’s ultimately considered to be one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe. The problem is that since he suffers from multiple personality disorder, Legion is often not in control of his abilities, which holds him back from being considered all-powerful.
Based on whichever personality is in control of David, his powers can vary greatly. Some of the individual powers that he’s possessed over the years include telepathy, the ability to absorb other peoples’ minds, super speed, flight, X-ray vision, super strength, and sonic scream, among many others. Basically, Legion is the jack of all trades, master of none of the mutant world, but when he’s in control, he is nearly unstoppable.
Ruler of Asgard and said to be the strongest of all Asgardians, including his son Thor, Odin can manipulate magic for a variety of purposes. He can augment his size and strength, fire energy blasts, and use a wide variety of magical enchantments and artifacts. He can also channel the powers of all the Asgardians into himself to greatly enhance all his powers. He’s basically like a God on steroids.
Gladiator is part of an alien whose race known as the Strontians. Strontians have incredible longevity and possess many physical attributes which make them superior to the human race. More so, some Strontians are selected to undergo a process called the “Gladiator procedure,” which was a prerequisite for being inducted in the Strontian race’s Imperial Guard. Kallark (aka Gladiator) is the last of his race to have undergone the process, possibly making him the most powerful Strontian in history, and one of the physically strongest beings in the entire Marvel Universe.
As an Olympian God and the son of Zeus, Hercules arguably possesses the greatest natural strength in the Marvel Universe. He’s capable of lifting thousands of tons with ease and has many times proven himself to be on the same level as Thor and the Hulk. He once effortlessly caught a punch thrown by the Sentry despite Sentry’s extreme power levels, and he’s even able to withstand a full force blow from Thor’s hammer Mjolnir without sustaining injury. His most remarkable moment, however, was when he stepped in for Atlas and shouldered the entire weight of the heavens (thought to be many times the weight of the Earth). Though it was only for a few hours, that’s exactly the type of action that merits an “overpowered” label.
9. Scarlet Witch
The Scarlet Witch is the daughter of Magneto and belonged to the second generation of Avengers. After being kidnapped and brought to another world by the transdimensional warrior Arkon, her teammates were forced to rescue her and she soon fell in love with her android teammate the Vision. Despite her brother Quicksilver’s misgivings about her having a relationship with a robot, she and Vision eventually married and had “children.”
The Scarlet Witch’s powers are perhaps the strangest of any Marvel superhero. Originally, she was said to have the ability to manipulate probability. Although she still retains this ability, over the years her powers have evolved to the point where she can now manipulate reality at will. That makes her insanely powerful and extremely dangerous, as was evidenced in the House of M story arc when Wanda launched an assault on her fellow Avengers after being driven insane by the the loss of her “children” and the continued use of her reality-altering abilities. After speaking to Quicksilver she completely remakes the world in Magneto’s image with mutants as the world leaders. In addition, with just a few words she left millions of mutants powerless by eliminating their X-genes.
Though her physical strength isn’t anywhere close to some of the other entries on this list, the Scarlet Witch’s ability to reshape reality has made her one of the biggest game changers, and wild cards, in the Marvel Universe.
8. Franklin Richards
Being one of only a handful of mutants classified as Omega-level, Franklin Richards has the ability to warp reality on a much more massive scale than the Scarlet Witch. It’s said that his powers surpass even those of the Celestials—a star-faring race of 2,000 foot tall armor-clad beings possessing untold cosmic abilities.
When nearly all of the non-mutant superheroes were supposedly killed by Onslaught, it was Franklin who saved them by creating a new universe for them to survive in. There are even some theories that point to Franklin Richards as the actual controller of the Marvel Universe. However, despite being the most powerful mutant to ever exist, it’s Franklin’s inability to gain full control over his seemingly limitless potential that keeps him from topping this list.
Gabriel Summers (aka Vulcan) is another rare Omega-level mutant and the brother of Scott Summers (aka Cyclops). He has the ability to manipulate and absorb all forms of energy, including magic, and has been known to take on the likes of entire superhero squads such as the X-Men, the Starjammers, and the Inhumans (complete with Black Bolt). He was even once the Emperor of the formidable Shi’ar Empire.
Though he hasn’t been heard from in a while and is thought to have perished in a massive explosion that tore a hole in the fabric of space and time, his true status in the Marvel Universe is still unknown.
6. The Phoenix
When Rachel Summers is possessed by the Phoenix Force, she becomes the living embodiment of one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Destroying planets and even entire star systems is child’s play for the Phoenix Force. But perhaps that most impressive demonstration of overpowered abilities came during a confrontation with Galactus in which the Phoenix was easily able to defeat the “devourer of worlds” by simply disrupting his feeding process. Anyone who can single-handedly take down Galactus is definitely overpowered. However, since the power of the Phoenix is fleeting, there are other characters who could ultimately be considered more powerful in the long run.
5. Black Bolt
A lot of the Marvel characters who use sonic powers, like Songbird and Banshee, are considered pretty lame because all they seem to do is fly around and provide a mild distraction to enemies. But Black Bolt’s voice carries with it an Earth-shattering force. With barely a whisper he can level a city, awaken dormant volcanoes, and shake entire continents apart. If he were to cut loose with a hypersonic shout, it’s said that the force generated would be enough to destroy the entire planet. Fortunately, due to the extreme and constant threat posed by his voice, Black Bolt has undergone rigorous mental training to restrain himself from accidentally letting slip the slightest sound—even while unconscious.
Described as a superhero with the power of a million exploding suns, Sentry was imbued with his abilities after taking a secret formula concocted by an enigmatic professor. But most of the super serums in the Marvel Universe grant conventional powers like superhuman strength and endurance. How could the Sentry become so overpowered by just drinking some liquid that was lying about?
Sentry has demonstrated the powers of flight, super strength, super speed, invulnerability, agility and energy manipulation. He’s also proven he has powerful psychic abilities, as he once used them to wipe his existence from the minds of every living being on Earth.
Sentry is, in fact, so powerful that, while he was with the Avengers, the writers would constantly be coming up with reasons for him to be absent when the fighting starts because they knew that, if he was present, he would be able to easily end almost any conflict in an instant. When even the House of Ideas can’t come up with threats big enough for him to tackle, you know he’s overpowered.
3. The Hulk
Ok, this one’s a no-brainer. Having nigh invulnerability and limitless strength definitely makes the Hulk pretty overpowered. His strength is so great that he’s been a danger to citizens and superheroes alike on numerous occasions. The best example of this occurred during the World War Hulk storyline in which a council of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe came to the decision that blasting the Hulk into space was the only way to neutralize the threat he poses to everyone around him.
Some of the Hulk’s amazing feats of strength include punching enemies into space, bending adamantium alloy, picking up entire castles, throwing an Infinity Gem through the core of a planet, breaking out of a pure diamond prison, and holding up a 150 billion ton mountain all by himself. But perhaps his most impressive display of strength occurred in Marvel Comics Presents #52. In it, three young aliens are playing a game in outer space and inadvertently knock an asteroid twice the size of Earth into a collision course with it. Assisted by an anti-magnetic jet pack, the Hulk launches into space and destroys the asteroid with a single punch.
And when it comes to trying to stop the Hulk almost nothing has proven effective. Repulser blasts, invisible force fields, mystical powers…none of it works. Hawkeye’s arrows can’t even pierce his freakin’ eyeballs for Pete’s sake. He’s truly an indestructible, unstoppable force. Even the few times something has managed to inflict damage on him he heals almost as fast as Wolverine, so it doesn’t even matter. Which is why the Incredible Hulk is incredibly overpowered.
Any character who can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk has to be at least a little overpowered. But Thor is super overpowered. Wielding the mythical Norse hammer Mjolnir, Thor has a massive catalog of powers that make him virtually unstoppable in any given situation. He can fly at incredible speeds, he’s got superhuman durability and stamina, he can control weather and summon lightning bolts, he can even break spells and open interdimensional portals. To top it all off, his strength also rivals that of the Hulk. Sure, the Hulk might have held up an entire mountain, but Thor once lifted the Midgard Serpent—said to weigh the equivalent of half the Earth—and tossed it right into space. So, you see, it’s not just the fact that Thor has all these powers that makes him so overpowered, it’s how much force and mastery he has with each of them.
There are lots of Marvel characters who have super strength or powers that let them break spells; some, like Storm can even control the weather. But most of those characters need to exert a lot of effort to use their abilities and they still pale in comparison to Thor, who seems to be able to use all those powers simultaneously without so much as breaking a sweat. Oh, and did we mention he can also use his hammer to channel something called the “Godforce” that’s powerful enough to kill even immortal beings? Ya, it’s his immortal life-force which is more powerful than the mystical properties of Mjolnir. It’s what allows him to remain overpowered even without his hammer.
Thor’s powers might make sense on Asgard when he’s surrounded by other almighty Gods and Goddesses, but even as one of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” he’s way too overpowered.
1. Silver Surfer
The Silver Surfer began life as Norrin Radd, a humanoid alien from the planet Zenn-La. When the world devouring supervillain Galactus threatened to destroy his planet, Radd made the agreement to become the villain’s herald, searching out other planets for him to consume. Galactus infused Radd with the Power Cosmic, which is what transformed him into the Silver Surfer.
What’s the Power Cosmic? Well, basically it’s a collection of cosmic energies that permeate throughout the universe that the Silver Surfer can control. And it lets him do just about anything. He can augment his strength to incalculable levels and make his body almost indestructible. He can navigate space and dimensional barriers. He can fly at near-limitless speeds on his cosmic surf board, entering hyperspace when he exceeds the speed of light. On occasions, he’s even proven himself capable of time travel. He doen’t require food, drink, air or sleep, and is sustained entirely by converting matter into energy. He is immune to temperature extremes and most radiation, and can survive in the vacuum of space. He can analyze and manipulate matter and energy, restructuring or animating it at will. He can heal mortal wounds, and has shown to be capable of evolving organic life on a planet wide scale. He can cast illusions, absorb and fire energy blasts, manipulate gravity, and phase through solid matter. His senses enable him to detect objects and energies light years away, and to perceive matter and energy in subatomic detail; he can even see through time, and, with concentration, achieve limited perception of past and future events in his general vicinity. To top it all off, the Silver Surfer has even demonstrated limited telepathic abilities, and has proven able to influence human emotions and sensations.
When it comes to having an over abundance of overpowered superpowers, there’s really no topping the Silver Surfer. He might have started out as a slave to Galactus, but, over time, he’s managed to evolve his cosmic abilities far beyond what was originally intended.