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5 most intelligent MCU characters, ranked

The MCU is filled with smart characters. The characters who have superpowers often also have the smarts to build their own suits or complementary pieces of technology, and there are several characters who are known chiefly for their intelligence.

While these characters have a dazzling array of powers, it’s often their smarts that get them out of tough situations. Amid this lineup of smart characters, there are a few MCU heroes who rise to the top. These are the five smartest characters in the MCU, ranked.

5. Bruce Banner

Marvel Studios

Bruce is so low on this list only because the MCU is so full of smarties. The perfect complement to Tony’s smarts, Bruce is willing to collaborate on pretty much everything, and it turns out that he often makes the ultimate solutions much more elegant.

It’s true, of course, that Bruce could not crack time travel by himself, but he does get fairly close, and it’s the combination of Bruce and Tony that ultimately gets them there. Tony may edge Bruce out on this list, but there are also plenty of problems that neither one of them could solve.

4. Vision

Marvel Studios

Literally the physical embodiment of a massive neural network, Vision consistently proves himself to be one of the smartest characters in the MCU. He’s insightful in personal interactions and applies himself to many of the most serious problems the Avengers have to face.

Chiefly, though, Vision is much more concerned with philosophical and metaphysical problems than his fellow Avengers. He truly thinks things through and makes carefully calibrated decisions as a result.

3. Tony Stark

Tony builds his Iron Man suit in Iron Man 2. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Tony is the original Avenger, and he has enough smarts to build a giant metal suit out a bunch of scraps in a cave. From there, he continued to evolve his technology, and in spite of his total lack of powers, he managed to compete with some of the most powerful beings in the universe. That alone should make Tony worthy of this list. On top of that, though, he solves time travel and beats Thanos, not by outfighting him, but by outthinking him. He’s brilliant, and the anchor the Avengers are built around.

2. Shuri

Marvel Studios

In a single scene in Infinity War, Shuri proves that she’s smarter than Bruce, and the rest of her work proves that she’s got the edge over Tony more generally. Of course, it helps that she grew up in a virtual tech utopia.

But Shuri would be one of the smartest people in the MCU regardless of where she’s from. She may not be able to solve the problem of her brother’s death, but basically anything else you want her to design, she’s capable of. She may make some rash decisions, but when it comes to tech, there’s almost no one better.

1. Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon points in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Rocket famously said that Tony Stark was only smart for Earth, and he’s proven time and time again that he’s the smartest character in the MCU. He can think his way out of almost every problem, create a gadget out of basically anything, and is now the official leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Rocket may not have been instrumental to the time travel plot in Endgame, but they probably should have looped him in. Instead, he was hanging out in space, protecting everyone that was not on Earth.

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Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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