How many Marvel Superheroes are there? Marvel Comics has been captivating readers for decades with its extensive roster of superheroes. From iconic characters like Spider-Man and Iron Man to lesser-known heroes like Moon Knight and Squirrel Girl, the Marvel Universe is teeming with a diverse range of crime-fighters, mutants, and intergalactic warriors. If you’ve ever wondered just how many Marvel heroes exist in total, you’re about to embark on an epic journey through this rich and expansive comic book universe
How many Marvel Superheroes are there?
Marvel has a massive catalog of characters in its comic book history – somewhere around the range of 8000 staple characters, and exponentially more if you count ancillary, one-offs, and multiverse versions of folks. Only a small fraction of these have been introduced to the big and small screens, so many in the larger public know little about the expansively populated universe encompassed by the Marvel brand.
While we have seen quite a few extremely powerful heroes and villains in live-action, the vast majority of the most potent Marvel entities haven’t made their way off the comic book page yet. And so, we present you with the 20 most powerful Marvel characters, ranked according to utility of abilities.
It should be noted, though, that for the sake of not boring readers with a bunch of unknown names and Lovecraftian space monsters, Eternals, Celestials, and cosmic beings have been left off the list. And when I say cosmic beings, I mean true cosmic beings, not aliens or Earth-born spacefarers, so let’s not hit the Twitter comments with our superior Marvel prowess all at once. We’re well aware that your nerd knowledge is infallible.
Kang the Conquerer
Kang, the Conqueror, is the only character on this list deprived of superpowers. That alone should be a statement of how dangerous a man can be when fueled by knowledge, tech, and determination. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for 1964’s Avengers #8, Kang is a recurring thorn on the Earth’s Mightiest Defenders’ side, attacking when they least expect. That’s because Kang can freely travel through time, gathering wondrous weapons and tactical information about his enemies.
Kang is a brilliant engineer, a master politician, and has trained himself to become as skilled in combat as a human can be. Add that the technology coming from the 40th century, and Kang is ready to take down gods and heroes from every age.
And if he’s not enough to take down the Avengers, Kang can always call for reinforcements from different timelines, as his multiple Variants can work together for a common goal. It’s no wonder Marvel Studios chose Kang as a replacement for Thanos during the “Multiverse Saga,” as he’s one of the most deadly enemies Earth’s heroes ever faced.
Hulk / Red Hulk / Skaar
Everyone should know the Hulk by now. He is what happens when Dr. Bruce Banner gets mad. Basically, he turns into a giant, green, unstoppable monster that destroys everything in his path. This characteristic took hold of the good doctor when he was exposed to an experimental gamma bomb detonation, causing him to absorb massive amounts of gamma radiation.
Ever since, the Hulk has taken over Bruce Banner’s body when he sees red, turning him from a brilliant, but fragile scientist into a giant green rage monster with the intelligence of a toddler.
The angrier the Hulk gets, the stronger he becomes. The Hulk has displayed on many occasions a nearly invincible exterior, and strength that can match almost the best the Marvel universe has to offer. Strength-wise, he is beyond class 100 strength (strong enough to press 100 tons). This dude’s destroyed meteors the size of Earth with his fists. He’s got skills.
Regarding Red Hulk, this was an extreme act taken by General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross to deal with the Hulk when all other measures had failed. Assisted by AIM and the Intelligencia, experimentation resulted in the birth of Ross’s Red Hulk form. While his formidability against the regular Hulk is still in question, Red Hulk has a few advantages over Bruce Banner’s transformative state. General Ross can shift forms at will instead of having to get angry.
He also retains the entirety of his intelligence and memories when he goes red. Also, unlike the Hulk, Red Hulk’s anger only makes him burn hotter, rather than get stronger. This can be seen as a strength or a weakness, depending on the situation. But if he gets hot enough, Red Hulk will lose consciousness. However, he can get stronger in a different way.
You see, Red Hulk absorbs energy, and the more he absorbs, the stronger he gets. And if he absorbs enough, he will eventually explode, causing damage to everyone within a certain radius.
And then comes Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, created by Stan Lee and John Buscema for 1980’s Savage She-Hulk #1. She might not be the strongest Hulk regarding raw force, but she can do something other Hulks don’t even dream about: she can smash the fourth wall.
As brilliantly represented by the Disney+ She-Hulk series, Jennifer (played by Tatiana Maslany) can escape the story frame, discuss with writers, and change the course of her own story. If that’s not overpowered, we don’t know what else is.
Finally, we have Skaar, Hulk’s son, who just got introduced into the MCU by She-Hulk. Created by Greg Pak and John Romita Jr. for 2007’s World War Hulk #5, Skaar inherits all the powers from his father AND his mother, Caiera the Oldstrong.
That means Skaar has access to the Old Power of the Shadow People, allowing him to manipulate stone and lava. Imagine how strong the Hulk is. Now, imagine the Hulk riding in a wave of deadly magma, and you’ll have Skaar. We can’t wait to see how Skaar will be portrayed in the MCU.
Cosmic Pantheon (Infinity, Oblivion, Death, Eternity)
Created either as the universe came into existence or even before it, Marvel’s cosmic pantheon of abstract entities represents concepts that are difficult for the human mind to grasp. While Eternity and Infinity are forces of creation and expansion, Death and Oblivion counterbalance their power by ruling over destruction.
The four beings are the personification of all creation and all destruction, making their power immeasurable. While individual beings might have the ability to destroy entire universes, Marvel’s cosmic pantheon represents the universe itself, stripped of human flaws and focused on the perpetuation of the concepts they represent. The first cosmic entity, Death, was created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon for 1941’s Marvel Mystery Comics #21.
After that, Eternity was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for 1965’s Strange Tales #138, Oblivion by J.M. DeMatteis and Alan Kupperberg for 1984’s Iceman #1, and Infinity by Lee and John Buscema for 1991’s Quasar #24. The cosmic pantheon represents the most powerful beings in any universe, but when the Multiverse comes into play, they are no longer at the top of the food chain.
Any ranking of the most powerful character in any media might be subjective and shift according to the reader’s perception. But in Marvel Comics’ case, there is an objective first place. Introduced in Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s 2004’s Fantastic Four #511, the One-Above-All is the Marvel Comics version of God, a being who’s omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
While many beings can alter the very fabric of reality, the One-Above-All is the fabric of reality itself, being responsible for creating not only the Multiverse but also the Omniverse – that means the Beyonder’s reality, the DC Universe, the galaxy from Star Wars, and basically everything you can think of.
The One-Above-All can also be seen as a representation of the human mind, the ultimate power when it comes to Marvel Comics or any other fictional universe. That’s because, while different storylines might show heroes and villains defeating each other, independent of their power scale, that can only happen because a writer first imagined these epic duels. There is no stronger force than creation itself, and in Marvel Comics, this force is represented by the One-Above-All.
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