“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes and heroines found themselves united against a common threat. On that day, the Avengers were born — to fight the foes no single superhero could withstand!’
That is the famous quote that appeared on the opening pages of Marvel’s Avengers comic from the 1970s to the present. Unlike their comic book counterparts, the MCU’s Avengers have never been a full-time team. Yet both the comic book and the live-action Avengers teams came together to face Loki and other villains that they wouldn’t have been able to beat alone. But the Avengers are not created equal, and some are mightier than others.
Before we update our rankings of the most powerful members of the MCU’s Avengers, we want to give a shout-out to the Avengers’ founder, Nick Fury, who will sorely miss his team in this summer’s Disney+ event series, Secret Invasion. However, if Fury fails to repel the invasion, we have faith that the Avengers will eventually save the planet.
Groot may be just a tree, but he’s a pretty powerful tree. As we’ve seen throughout his appearances in the MCU, Groot can grow his limbs and break them off, and by using this ability, he can create both defensive shields and highly effective weapons.
Without Groot, Stormbreaker wouldn’t exist, and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy would all be dead. While we’ve gotten a sense of what Groot can do, it seems like there’s more power yet to be mined from within him that could earn him an even higher spot on this list.
Ant-Man is objectively a superhero, but it’s the quantum technology that his suit is based on that ultimately allows the Avengers to unlock time travel. His ability to enter the Quantum Realm, coupled with the ultra-strength he gets from becoming really small, makes him a surprisingly powerful Avenger.
All of that is true even before we get into the fact that he’s also capable of becoming a literal giant. As Giant-Man, he was able to take on Kang the Conqueror’s forces and overthrow his whole empire in Quantumania. He still has some weaknesses, but if you were building out a superhero army, you’d almost certainly want Ant-Man to be on your team.
The original Wasp, Janet van Dyne, was one of the founding members of the Avengers. In the MCU, Janet’s daughter, Hope van Dyne, didn’t get to join the team until late in the third act of Avengers: Endgame. Regardless, Hope quickly proved herself in battle and even fought side by side with all of the other female Avengers.
It’s true that aside from flight, the Wasp’s powers are essentially the same as Ant-Man’s shrinking and growing abilities. The thing that gives Hope the edge over Scott is that she is much better at utilizing her powers than he is, and she has unshakable confidence that the current Ant-Man lacks. They make a great team, but Hope’s natural ability makes her a better asset for the Avengers, especially since many of the team’s more powerful characters are either dead or no longer active Avengers.
Black Panther is a lot like Captain America but with better technology, a badass royal family, and a country that’s the most technologically advanced in the MCU continuity. On his own, T’Challa is a powerful warrior with enhanced speed and strength. With the help of his sister Shuri, though, he becomes even stronger than that.
His suit allows him to absorb the energy from the blows that he is attacked with, and then rebound them on his opponents. Thanks to that ability, and the fact that his suit is basically impregnable, Black Panther is a tougher opponent than he may seem to be if you only look at his power set.
The amazing thing about Nebula in the MCU is that the movies redeemed a comic book character who was an unrepentant villain. It wasn’t until Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that Nebula showed any hint of heroism, but she fully embraced the light in Avengers: Infinity War before joining the team in Avengers: Endgame. By the time Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 came around, Nebula had not only redeemed herself, but she took on a leadership position at Knowhere and displayed personal growth while showing a true emotional connection to her team.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 also revealed that Nebula has undergone some serious cybernetic upgrades since Thor: Love and Thunder. Her internal weapons, including an arm cannon, could rival Iron Man. And she has also proven to be resilient against injuries that would have been fatal for almost anyone else.
As the protégé of Tony Stark, Spider-Man has acquired a lot of high-tech suits that he’s used against his many adversaries. Most notably, his Iron Spider suit helped him square off against Thanos and Doc Ock. However, Peter Parker proved in Homecoming that he was able to be a hero without the aid of such equipment by taking down the Vulture.
His enhanced strength has allowed him to rival the likes of Captain America and the Winter Soldier, and the fury he unleashed on the Green Goblin showed how much power he was holding back. His remarkable intelligence has also helped him outsmart and overpower Doctor Strange. But what really gives him an edge is his Spider-Sense, which warns him of surrounding threats both visible and invisible. The fact that this body could sense and avoid danger when his soul was separated from it is pretty amazing.
As a recipient of the Super Soldier Serum, Steve Rogers unlocked his body’s true potential and became one of the Earth’s strongest and fastest heroes. But when he’s armed with his vibranium shield, Captain America is able to withstand even some of the powerful attacks, including one from Thor’s hammer.
Despite ranking relatively low in terms of strength in the Avengers, Cap was able to defeat Iron Man in battle. He could have killed him if he wanted to but chose to spare him because of his pure and noble heart. And it was this that made him worthy of wielding Mjölnir, allowing him to reach the height of his power when he fought and nearly defeated Thanos
If Vision really took advantage of all of his power, he might have wound up higher. As it is though, Vision has an Infinity Stone in his forehead and access to the entirety of human knowledge, and still manages to get himself damaged by one of Thanos’s henchmen.
At other times, though, Vision’s powers have been essential. It was Vision who ultimately defeated Ultron, and we also know that he’s one of the few characters in the story who can wield Mjölnir. He may not be as strong as it seems like he should be, but he’s no weakling either.
In addition to being basically unkillable, Hulk is also very strong, and when Bruce Banner is able to control him, he’s also very smart. That combination makes Hulk an essential member of the Avengers, even if he spends much of the early movies flying off the handle and doing at least as much harm as he does good.
He may not be able to take down Thanos, but against most other opponents, the Hulk is more than enough to ultimately emerge victorious.
Tony Stark did figure out time travel, and that certainly counts for something. In addition to being one of the most brilliant minds on the planet, though, Iron Man also has the benefit of the kind of technology that allows him to battle against much stronger opponents.
He doesn’t beat Thanos, but he comes shockingly close for a mere mortal with a fancy suit of armor. Iron Man is just a regular, super-intelligent guy who faces intergalactic threats regularly. Thankfully, that massive intellect is often enough to level the playing field.
Even after he loses the time stone, Doctor Strange is still immensely powerful. His skills as a sorcerer make him a tough opponent, which is why the villains he faces off against are so often an order of magnitude stronger than anyone else’s.
Thanos may be the biggest bad he’s gone up against, and while he couldn’t defeat him outright, he got pretty close, even after Thanos was already wielding four of the six stones.
Blessed with the powers and long life of a god, Thor was undoubtedly the most powerful member of the initial version of the Avengers. Not only can he fly and transport between worlds, but he was also the only one capable of taking down Thanos, even after he had assembled all six Infinity Stones.
Thor’s power only continues to grow, and while he often needs a weapon to channel it into, that definitely isn’t always the case. Whether he’s armed or not, Thor is a force to be reckoned with, and his arrival is more than enough to turn the tide of basically any battle.
Captain Marvel’s immense power makes her hard to reckon with, which is one of the reasons her appearances in the MCU have been so limited to date. Unlike Scarlet Witch and some of the other heroes on this list, Carol Danvers managed to bring her powers to full bloom in her first movie, and has since spent most of her time off-world helping other planets.
When she does show up to the big fights, though, she changes the game. She doesn’t get the chance to, but it seems like she could plausibly beat Thanos, and her arrival in Endgame fundamentally turns the tide of that fight.
By the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Wanda is so powerful that she’s basically the only one capable of destroying herself. Wanda’s powers only grow and grow over the course of her time in the MCU. She’s capable of taking over and brainwashing an entire town, or taking on an entire army of sorcerers without much issue.
Even before Wanda turned bad, though, she was one of the only heroes who held a candle to Thanos’ power, so much so that Thanos had to call in a distraction in order to save himself from her.
You can stream all of the MCU movies and TV shows on Disney+.
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