10 Physically Strongest Marvel Characters

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In the Marvel universe there’s something called the “strength scale”, against which all heroes are measured and ranked in terms of their “raw physical strength.” At the upper end of this scale there are over a hundred heroes who supposedly possess an “incalculable” level of power. This of course makes ranking the top 10 strongest characters in the Marvel universe an exercise in futility, since there are at least two dozen heroes who are said be so strong it’s impossible to quantify their power in any meaningful way.

That said, here are 10 of those characters, in no particular order, to demonstrate how silly comics can get when writers and artists consistently have to one up each other in demonstrating how hard a given hero can punch something.

10. Armando Muñoz – AKA Darwin

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To quote his movie counterpart, Darwin is a mutant who “adapts to survive.” Simply put, his body will adapt instantaneously so that he won’t come to harm. Throw him into water and he’ll grow gills. Hit him with an axe and his body will turn into diamond with tiny middle fingers etched onto it. In situations when Darwin needs to suplex cars and punt cinderblocks into orbit, his body can similarly adapt to grant him superhuman strength, the limits of which are unknown. Hell, even the Marvel wiki merely states that “Darwin is as strong as he needs to be”. Suggesting that he could, theoretically, be as strong as he wants.

But Darwin can’t control his power, so it rarely works out this way. For example, when Darwin was fighting the Hulk, rather than adapting to grant him the ability to deliver thunderous, Randy Savage-esque elbow drops from the heavens, his body adapted the ability to teleport and transported him away from the fight. (World War Hulk: X-Men #3)

Greatest feat of strength:

During a fight with Hela, a literal god of Death with the ability to shatter titanium T-Rex skulls with a flick of her wrist, Darwin touched her and instead of instantly dying like everyone else, gained all of her powers and became a god of death himself. (X-Factor #212)

9. Godzilla – AKA King of the Monsters

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Before you rush of to check Google, yes, Godzilla is technically a Marvel character and he kicked some serious ass while Marvel had the rights to use his likeness in the ’70s. While he’s only appeared in handful of comics over the years, Godzilla was variously shown as being strong enough to lift entire buildings with ease, stop the Hulk by stomping on him, and match an early ’70s hair metal Thor in a test of strength when the pair both tried to push the Empire State Building (which weighs 365,000 tons) on top of one another (Godzilla, King of the Monsters #23). Why Godzilla didn’t just use his vast size to simply fall on Thor and crush him is proof to us that Godzilla just liked doing things the hard way.

Sadly since then, a bunch of the characters Godzilla fought have become exponentially stronger as time has gone on. As a result, many of his more impressive feats like punching highways to dust and backhanding Iron Man across a city block just don’t hold up to the more modern feats of brute strength from even third-tier heroes and villains.

Greatest feat of strength:

Suplexing an entire island filled with giant dinosaurs, including one he stabs in the face with his atomic fire breath, on the cover of the comic. ( Godzilla, King of the Monsters #22)

8. Adam Brashear – AKA Blue Marvel

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Saddled with a name that would invariably end up with him being “randomly” screened at 90% of American airports, Blue Marvel is a hero with a longer list of powers than Superman’s dog (not a typo). Along with being impervious to most damage and being able to somehow breathe in space, Blue Marvel is also sufficiently strong enough to nearly split the moon in two by punching it in the face. (Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #2)

Not good enough for you? Well then you certainly won’t be impressed by that time he also flew into space and dropkicked a meteor the size of an American state out of the Earth’s way, off panel. (Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1)

Greatest feat of strength:

While Blue Marvel has accomplished some truly astounding feats of strength over the years, our personal favorite is probably that one time he weathered a series of punches from a being claiming to have the power of “a million exploding suns” without being hurt. (Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #2)

7. Nezhno Abidemi – AKA Gentle

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Gentle is the superhero alias of Nezhno Abidemi, a young mutant who was sent from his home of Wakanda (a fictional African nation you might recall as being home to Iron Man pile driving Hulk through a building in Age of Ultron) to America, purely so that he could learn to control his ability to become infinitely buff at will.

That’s not hyperbole, by the way. Abidemi’s mutant power allows him to control his muscle mass, thereby increasing his strength exponentially. The ability is so powerful that Abidemi has his entire body coated in vibranium tattoos, a substance that is virtually indestructible and can absorb an almost infinite amount of energy, to stop himself from become too buff and killing himself. Technically, if Abidemi’s tattoos were to fail, he’d become the strongest being on the planet, before his body tore itself apart in an explosion of biceps and haymakers. (New X-Men vol. 2 #42)

But here’s the thing: every time Abidemi uses his power, he becomes slightly stronger, and it’s believed that his 22-inch pythons will eventually become too powerful for even vibranium to contain. This makes Gentle the only Marvel character who could potentially create deadly, supersonic shrapnel, by flexing.

Greatest feat of strength:

Literally the first time Gentle is ever seen using his powers he nearly explodes a demon’s face with a single backhand. (New X-Men #39). Prior to this, he’s portrayed as some weedy guy who meditates a lot, which only makes his explosive transformation into demon-smashing behemoth all the more awesome.

6. Cain Marko – AKA The Juggernaut

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Imbued with powers from the most metal sounding jewel in history, the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, the Juggernaut literally cannot be stopped once he starts hauling ass in a particular direction*. The Scarlet Gem of Shitake also grants the Juggernaut a plethora of less useful, secondary powers like invincibility and the need to never eat or poop while in motion. All of which makes him a great traveling companion.

Because the Juggernaut can only be slowed and never really stopped, there’s no amount of weight he can’t move as long as he gets a decent run up. This basically makes the Juggernaut the polar opposite of an action hero, in that he can make things explode by walking toward them. It also makes him the world’s best Michael Jackson tribute act because he can moonwalk through a mountain.

Greatest feat of strength:

We’re just going to say this as flatly as possible because it’s going to sound like we’re being hyperbolic anyway. The Juggernaut once delivered a double clothesline to reality itself when he tore through a dimensional barrier by running in a straight line. (New X-Men #39)

*Because we know someone will mention it, there is exactly one time that the Juggernaut was stopped, by the Hulk, channelling the powers of one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Aren’t comics awesome?

5. Onslaught – AKA Professor Magneto

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Onslaught is what happens when Professor X and Magneto decide to put on a pair of Potara earrings and combine their powers into a singular, unbelievably powerful entity. Birthed as a combination of Magneto’s rage and Professor X’s subconscious desire to use his power to its fullest extent, Onslaught possesses the powers of both of his creators and then some.

By utilizing the telekinetic powers of Professor X and the magnetokinetic powers of Magneto in tandem, Onslaught can lift objects weighing millions of tons with its mind and hit them with enough force to catapult them across a continent. One of Onslaught’s greatest feats, however, is the time he was able to, with nothing but sheer brute strength, rip the Reddish gem of Cydonia out of the Juggernaut’s chest, a feat that was long believed to be impossible, since the only person who’s ever been able to get that close to the Juggernaut’s chest without being body checked into a bloody paste was She-Hulk. (Uncanny X-Men #322)

Greatest feat of strength:

We’d probably have to say that one time Onslaught proved that he had sufficiently big mind-biceps to physically control the Hulk, giving him the Hulk’s powers by proxy. (Incredible Hulk #444)

4. The Phoenix Force – AKA Dark Phoenix

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Gifted with a limitless capacity for destruction, creation, and ass-whupping, the Phoenix Force can blink entire universes out of existence, defy physics, and manipulate matter on an infinite scale. As if being able to warp reality to its will wasn’t power enough, when the Phoenix Force bonds with a host, it also grants them the ability to move entire planets with a flick of the wrist. Because that’s fair.

How much a successfully bonded host can move isn’t known, though the Marvel wiki states the upper limit is probably somewhere in the “range of millions of megatons.” Which means that Brett Ratner could have ended the third X-Men movie with Famke Janssen roundhouse kicking a city block into Magneto, and it would have been more true to the comics.

Greatest feat of strength:

Come on, like we could say anything but the time the Phoenix Force evaporated an entire star just for the hell of it. (X-Men #135)

3. Thor Odinson –AKA The God of Thunder

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As you’d expect for a man whose secondary title is “The God of Strength” there’s very little Thor’s arms can’t accomplish. Over the decades he’s been a Marvel mainstay, Thor has punched someone so hard a nearby moon exploded, caved in the Silver Surfer’s face with an almighty, thunder-infused headbutt, and even once managed to cold cock the Phoenix Force. (AvX #4)

But Thor doesn’t just have a pair of skull-crushingly powerful biceps to fall back on in a fight. He also wields Mjolnir, an immeasurably heavy mallet forged from the heart of a dying star that he can control on a nanoscopic level. He also wears a belt called Megingjord, which literally doubles his strength. Because apparently a person with limitless strength needs something like that.

Greatest feat of strength:

We’re a little torn between the time Thor wrangled a giant snake 80 times bigger than the Earth from a floating space ship (Thor #327), or the time he pushed over the Leaning Tower of Pisa with his little finger just to show Loki that he could. (Journey Into Mystery #92)

2. Hercules – AKA The Lion of Olympus

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You have to hand it to the Marvel writers for creating a universe in which gods from two differing religions can coexist without people making a big deal about it. Like the Hercules of ancient myth, Marvel’s Hercules has been punch-murdering giant monsters since his first birthday (that’s not hyperbole, Hercules strangled a snake to death when he was still in his crib and the statues of it look amazing) and his godly physique is advanced enough to give him the strength to lift entire cities.

True to the myths his character is based on, Hercules has had no problem taking care of some of the literal heaviest hitters in Marvel canon up to and including Godzilla, who Hercules almost killed by throwing a bridge at him. (Godzilla #3) Hercules has also been seen filling in for Atlas by holding up all of existence on his broad, rippling shoulders like it ain’t no thing, so that Atlas could go steal some apples. (Herc #2)

Greatest feat of strength:

Without a doubt, it has to be the time he kicked about 70 trees into orbit, immediately after kicking another tree clean in half, if only because it paints Hercules as a man who really hates trees. (The Incredible Hercules #117)

1. Bruce Banner – AKA The Hulk

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To paraphrase Wolverine, fighting the Hulk is like trying to go toe-to-toe with a walking earthquake and being on the receiving end of one of his world destroying backhands is like being hit by a dumptruck filled with mercury.

To put it simply, there is no conceivable limit to the Hulk’s power as long as there’s something around to make him angry. The Hulk is unfazed by all forms of conventional damage and can heal any damage by flexing and screaming. Considering the Hulk is always flexing and screaming, that makes him pretty much invincible.

There are numerous characters in the Marvel universe who can easily destroy a planet, but the Hulk is possibly the only one who can accomplish this with nothing but punching. The Hulk is able to throw a singular punch with such a force, ferocity, and speed that he can destroy an entire planet by punching someone standing on it (Incredible Hulks #634), shatter the reality of an entire dimension, or even punch through time (Incredible Hulk #135). He also delivered a punch with such power that it literally lit up an entire universe (Incredible Hulk #126), and he once lifted a “150 billion ton mountain” to save virtually every hero in the Marvel universe, just because he could. (Secret Wars #4)

We know that there are technically stronger, more powerful beings in the Marvel universe, but how many of them can shatter arrows with their eyeballs?

Greatest feat of strength:

What, matching god himself by bringing light to an entire plane of existence with a punch wasn’t good enough for you? Here he is punching a deer. Not a super-powered omega level, god-deer, just a regular deer.

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6 Comments

  1. Everybody seems to forget but brings up tht the madder Hulk gets the stronger he gets…but..some people seem to overlook that it has been said in canon that Thor has unlimited strength as well…

  2. “By utilizing the telekinetic powers of Professor X and the magnetokinetic powers of Magneto in tandem, Onslaught can lift objects weighing millions of tons with its mind and hit them with enough force to catapult them across a continent”

    Since when did Professor X have telekinetic powers? He has vast telepathic powers but that is not the same at all.

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