Strongest Marvel Villains, Ranked

Marvel is most well-known for its iconic superheroes, but, let’s face it, we’re all suckers for a great supervillain. Few of Marvel’s villains are villains for the mere sake of being evil. Most of the time, they have tragic backstories, have been greatly wronged by the hero who became their arch-nemesis, or are disillusioned with heroes, gods, or the universe as a whole. As a result, we tend to get villains who are sometimes even more complex and interesting than superheroes.

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Meanwhile, over the years, Marvel has created some villains whose power is simply unfathomable. Thanos, with the infinity stones, can wipe out half of the population in all galaxies with a snap of his fingers, Gorr the God Butcher can take down numerous gods with his Necrosword, and Galactus can destroy entire planets to sustain his life force. Marvel’s villains push the limits of our imaginations about how powerful one being or entity can be.

Of course, the majority of these villains can be stopped. Many have weaknesses, some can be persuaded to change their minds, and a few are simply human and can be wounded or even killed. However, there are also villains who can’t be taken out with a single blow. Many of them have used weapons, magic, or artifacts to make themselves virtually immortal and others have become cosmic entities that have risen to an entirely different plane of existence. Who is the strongest Marvel villain? Here are the strongest Marvel villains, ranked from pretty powerful to the most powerful.

10. Gorr the God Butcher

Christian Bale as Gorr in Thor 4, a creepy gray man holding the hood of his cloak

Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) lived on a planet with no name and placed his faith in the gods. However, when his people died off and his daughter died in his arms, he became bitter and jaded. He bonded with All-Black the Necrosword and set out on a mission to kill all of the gods. With his Necrosword, he can kill any god, even Asgardian gods. Gorr spends thousands of years traveling the galaxy and killing numerous gods, though this time period is sorter in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Gorr’s Necrosword gives him numerous powers, making him immortal and giving him superhuman strength, speed, flight, and durability. The Necrosword also gives him the ability to manipulate dark matter and to summon Berserkers constructed out of pure darkness. With his Necrosword, Gorr is nearly unstoppable. However, he doesn’t actually possess any superhuman abilities of his own. Without his sword, he can be easily defeated.

9. Ultron

Ultron trying to show off his butt, but having no butt

As a robot created by Hank Pym in the comics who became self-aware, Ultron (voiced by James Spader in Avengers: Age of Ultron) is a very unique and powerful supervillain. After becoming sentient, he rebelled against Pym and brainwashed him into forgetting Ultron ever existed. Then, he set about upgrading himself until he reached his most optimal level of power. Ultron is also largely composed of adamantium – a man-made steel alloy that is virtually indestructible.

In addition to being nearly indestructible, Ultron boasts superhuman strength, speed, and durability. He can fly, emit blasts, radiation, and beams, and boasts superhuman reflexes and stamina. Ultron is also a robot expert, allowing him to build numerous bodies for himself and to create armies of robots just like him. Meanwhile, his god complex and bitterness towards his creator make him an especially malicious foe. However, while he’s mostly made of adamantium, his inner circuitry is not. Through magic, shrinking, or other means, many heroes can attack his non-adamantium inner workings and bring an end to him.

8. En Sabah Nur (a.k.a. Apocalypse)


En Sabah Nur was one of the very first mutants. He was born thousands of years ago in Aqaba and was abandoned by his parents upon birth because of his grey skin and blue lips. However, he was saved by Baal and raised by Baal and his people, the Sandstormers. As a child, En Sabah Nur was a very kind and good-hearted youngest. When he is older, though, the death of Baal and rejection from a lover push him over the edge and allowed his full mutant powers to manifest. He takes on the moniker Apocalypse and spends thousands of years traveling Earth, convincing civilizations he is a god, and manipulating them into fighting wars.

In addition to being a powerful mutant with immortality, Apocalypse (played by Oscar Isaac in X-Men: Apocalypse) further enhanced his powers by merging himself with Celestial technology. He can manipulate his own molecular form and can generate almost any mutant power at will. Apocalypse also boasts superhuman strength, speed, durability, teleportation, telepathy, telekinesis, and energy manipulation powers. Even when defeated, he typically manages to regenerate. Still, he does have to rely on technology to enhance his skills and despite having incredible power, he’s no match for the likes of Celestials or cosmic entities.

7. Thanos

Thanos holds the infinity gauntlet in Avengers: Infinity War.

Thanos (Josh Brolin) is an Eternal-Deviant hybrid, who is one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe, when armed with his mighty Infinity Gauntlet. Even without the Gauntlet, though, this native of Titan is a force to be reckoned with. His Eternals heritage and Deviant gene means he has super strength, speed, durability, and is virtually immortal. He is a master strategist, is capable of telekinesis and telepathy, and is capable of absorbing enormous amounts of cosmic energy.

All of these traits are what made it possible for him wield the Infinity Gauntlet. The Infinity Gauntlet holds six of the Infinity Gems and when Thanos wears it, he becomes omnipotent. Using the Gauntlet, he succeeded in wiping out half of the entire population to prove his love to Mistress Death. In the Avengers movies, it’s because he worries about population and resources. Of course, he does rely on the Infinity Stones for most of his truly grand displays of power. Also, while unable to die of old age, he is also still susceptible to physical assaults.

6. Cyttorak

Cyttorak and Juggernaut in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Cyttorak is a powerful, mystical entity that powers the Juggernaut through the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. Cyttorak has existed as a deity for thousands of years and was once worshipped on Earth. However, unknown circumstances led to him being banished to the Crimson Cosmos. Seeking an avatar, he created the Crimson Gem and sent it to Earth. Anyone who touches it, transforms into the Juggernaut.

Cyttorak is one of the strongest magical beings in the Marvel universe. His magic is so powerful that even sorcerers like Doctor Strange invoke his name in their chants. Meanwhile, utilizing Cyttorak’s power transforms the Juggernaut into one of the most physically strong beings on Earth. Cyttorak can also animate inanimate objects and once created an entire race of elves out of magical energy. In the Crimson Cosmos, he is one of the most powerful entities in the Marvel universe. Like Dormmamu, though, his power is reduced outside of his dimension. Also, Cyttorak is a bit of a mysterious character in Marvel and his lack of appearances make his exact power level difficult to gauge.

5. Dark Phoenix


Even without the Phoenix Force, Jean Grey (played by Famke Janssen and Sophie Turner) was one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel universe. As an Omega-level telepath, combined with very powerful telekinetic and psionic abilities, Grey’s powers are nearly unlimited. When she acts as an avatar for the cosmic entity, Phoenix Force, her powers are even further magnified and also give her the additional power of matter manipulation, teleportation, immortality, and the ability to create and control cosmic fire.

When Mastermind tampers with Jean’s psyche, she breaks down her self-imposed barrier, unleashes her full powers, and names herself Dark Phoenix. As Dark Phoenix, she strikes down the X-Men and travels across the galaxy. To recharge, she consumes a D’Bari star, causing a supernova that kills every single civilian living on the planet orbiting the star. In the end, Jean chooses to disintegrate herself using an ancient Kree weapon. Her powers as Dark Phoenix were simply unmanageable and could’ve caused unlimited destruction. In the end, she was truly the only one could stop herself and her god-like powers.

4. Dormammu


As master of the dark arts and ruler of the Dark Dimension, few come close to the power level of the entity Dormammu (played by the flawless Mads Mikkelsen in Doctor Strange). Dormammu is a Faltine – an extra-dimension being born from pure Magic. Him and his twin sister, Umar, were unlike other Faltines, though, in that they craved matter instead of energy. The consumption of matter was seen as an obscene practice and their father, Sinifer, attempted to stop them. However, Dormammu and Umar killed him by transmuting him into matter. Driven from their home planet, the two ended up in the Dark Dimension. Dormammu quickly established himself as the ruler of the Dark Dimension and made Umar his subordinate.

As an interdimensional entity composed of pure mystic energy, there is virtually no limit to Dormammu’s power. He has superhuman strength, speed, and immortality. Dormammu also boasts the powers of matter manipulation, inter-dimensional transportation, time travel, energy projection, energy absorption, inter-dimensional astral projection, and regeneration. Additionally, his raw power and manipulation of magic is far greater than even the most skilled sorcerers, such as Doctor Strange or the Ancient One. However, Dormammu does have one glaring weakness – his powers are greatly weakened outside of the Dark Dimension. While he’s ruler of the Dark Dimension, he isn’t capable of being ruler of the universe.

3. Galactus

Galactus remains a force of evil in the Marvel universe.

As a cosmic entity and destroyer of numerous planets, few can even come close to the range of Galactus’ powers. Galactus was originally a space explorer named Galan from the planet Taa, in the pre-Big Bang universe. However, when a cosmic cataclysm destroy all life on his universe, he gets caught in the Big Crunch. Instead of dying, though, he bonds with Eternity and gestates in an egg for a billion years. He then emerges as Galactus, the physical embodiment of the cosmos. In order to sustain his immensely powerful being, he consumes numerous planets.

Galactus wields the Power Cosmic, which is a source of limitless god-like energy and power. The Power Cosmic allows Galactus to produce practically any effect he desires – matter transmutation, transportation, telepathy, interdimensional travel, telekinesis, and cosmic awareness. Galactus is immortal and has nearly limitless abilities. His power is so great, it is truly immeasurable. His only known weakness is that he must consume planets to sustain his energy and power, otherwise it could wane.

2. Ego the Living Planet

Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2

Before he was a living planet, Ego (played by Kurt Russell in the Guardians series) was a scientist by the name of Egros. He sought to save his planet from a mysterious cosmic being known as the Stranger. The Stranger conducted an experiment that caused Egros home planet’s sun to go nova. Egros was unable to save his people and the experiment caused him to merge with every living thing destroyed by the sun, thus, becoming Ego the Living Planet. Over time, he has launched numerous attacks on other planets and succeeded in destroying them.

Ego’s entire plant is alive and controlled by his conscious. He can transform the surface of his planet to mimic a face, can swallow humans or any beings on the surface of the planet, and produce giant tendrils to reach out into space. Ego also has psionic powers that rival that of Galactus. He can obliterate an entire starship, create humanoid beings from his planet and command them across interstellar distances, read minds, scan one’s biological structure, and bring out the consciousness in other planets. Meanwhile, he can also travel through hyperspace at enormous speeds. Ego has the power of an entire world at his disposal and is so powerful that him and Galactus have stalemated when fighting.

1. Beyonder

Beyonder in Marvel Comics
(Marvel Comics)

Beyonder is a cosmic entity whom was a member of an otherworldly ancient race known as the Beyonders. After observing Earth and it inhabitants, he concluded humans were incomplete and needed to be in an emotional state of desire to be complete. As a result, he abducted the heroes and villains of the Marvel universe and sent them to battle on another on planet called Battleworld as an experiment. Later, he tries to destroy the entire Marvel multiverse and is only narrowly stopped by an enormous group of Marvel superheroes.

Beyonder is, by far, the most powerful villain in the Marvel universe. He can manipulate and control matter, energy, and reality at a cosmic level beyond far greater than what other cosmic entities can do. He can warp reality to, in theory, simulate any power he wants. Beyonder was powerful enough to nearly destroy the multiverse and possesses power that is a million times greater than the power of the multiverse combined. He can wipe out an entire galaxy, create a universe out of his being, and swat Galactus away like a fly.

Of course, the character has been retconned in Marvel comics multiple times, with his newest version having significantly reduced powers. Even whittled down, though, he still maintains his reality manipulation powers at a cosmic level and is exceeded in power only by a select few cosmic entities. In newer versions, he’s still the most powerful villain in the Marvel universe. Meanwhile, in his original version, he’s the most powerful out of any character, good or bad, in the Marvel universe.

(featured image: Marvel)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.