Guardians of the Galaxy are probably my favorite superhero team in the MCU and in Marvel Comics. Although we now know them as this goofy, quirky team of misfits, they’ve actually fought and defeated a plethora of serious, dangerous supervillains throughout their comic book history.
Seeing that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will include several more insanely powerful characters like Adam Warlock and the High Evolutionary pitted against the titular team, I’ve decided to revisit the comics and create this list. Here are the fifteen greatest Guardians of the Galaxy villains, ranked from worst to best.
Honorable mention: Taserface
Okay, this one’s a joke, but how could I not include the mighty Taserface on the list?! The fellow appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as a member of Yondu Udonta’s Ravager Clan. After Yondu and his clan were exiled by the Ravagers, Taserface led a mutiny against their Captain and took over as the captain.
The stupid fellow thought Taserface was a cool name, but he wasn’t the Captain for long. However, before his death, he managed to relay an emergency message to the Sovereign and revealed the location of the Guardians of the Galaxy, so I guess he at least made their lives a bit harder. Okay, on to the serious list now!
15. The Badoon
Throughout Marvel Comics, we’ve been introduced to numerous alien species and races, but probably none had more historical significance for the Guardians of the Galaxy than the Badoon. In fact, the Badoon were responsible for the formation of the first Guardians of the Galaxy team ever.
The Badoon first appeared in Silver Surfer #2 in 1968 and can easily be compared to the more well-known Skrull and Kree Empires. They have size, numbers, strength, and technology to be reckoned with, especially due to the fact that they operated in an alternate timeline in the future. They gave the Guardians a lot of trouble but weren’t the most powerful enemy they had ever faced.
Yup, you’ve read that right! Gamora is one of the most beloved, powerful, and well-known members of the Guardians of the Galaxy team. However, there was a storyline where she was a villain fighting against them – well, a villain from their perspective. And it was also a storyline where Gamora was likely at the peak of her powers.
In the 2018 Infinity Wars storyline, Gamora was somewhat forced to seek the Infinity Stones and alter reality to try and rebalance the Soul World residing within the Soul Stone. However, what she did had major implications for reality and on her team. Gamora created several merged creatures, such as Peet – a merge between Peter Quill and Groot.
13. J’Son of Spartax
We all know Ego the Living planet as Peter Quill’s biological father (he might be his father, but he ain’t his daddy!) from the MCU. However, that’s not the case in the comics, although Pete’s father is still an alien being. His name is J’Son of Spartax, the heir (and eventually the ruler) of the alien Spartai Empire.
Long story short, he proves to be a total douchebag and a recurring villain for the Guardians of the Galaxy. He abandoned poor Peter as a kid, and then, when Star-Lord found him in adulthood, he was just a bad guy kind of like Ego in the MCU, but with less power at his disposal.
This guy was actually insanely powerful but wasn’t as great as some other villains on this list. Thane was the son of Thanos, all with purple skin and Eternal physiology, giving him awesome superhuman strength, speed, and durability. He could also kill on touch or simply being close to someone.
Thane could also embed people in amber and only learned how to control that power later in his comic book stint. Thanos was looking to get rid of him but didn’t want to do the dirty work, so he kind of hooked the Guardians of the Galaxy into a scheme that pinned them against Thane. I’d actually love to see Thane in the MCU, but it basically has zero chance of happening.
11. Ronan The Accuser
Ronan the Accuser was the main executioner of the Kree empire, but although he fought the Guardians of the Galaxy numerous times in the comics, I’m focusing on the dude from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1.
Despite his outstanding power, and the fact that the guy wielded the Power Stone, he was eventually defeated with a dance-off. Exactly like in Footloose! Jokes aside, Ronan is a very powerful individual, but not on the levels of the top ten of this list – hence, the #11 spot suits him perfectly.
While Devondra perhaps wasn’t a direct adversary of the guardians of the Galaxy, she was the main reason and the culprit behind one of the team members turning on them and causing insane problems. Remember the story I shared about Gamora trying to alter reality to rebalance the Soul World?
Well, that happened because of Devondra. You see, Devondra is a powerful creature residing within the Soul World and has such powerful reality-altering abilities that she could create small alternate universes. Gamora tried using the Stones to fix Devondra’s damage but then arguably did even worse before things got better.
The Skrull Empire is an insanely powerful alien species of shape-shifters that can turn into virtually anyone. That power alone makes them incredibly dangerous, and they caused problems for virtually every Marvel superhero team, including Guardians of the Galaxy. But, their army leader, Super-Skrull, was absolutely the toughest and scariest of all the Skrulls.
His real name is Kl’rt, and his shapeshifting abilities included imitating the powers of those he shapeshifted into. He first appeared in Fantastic Four #18 but has since appeared in numerous GotG storylines. Believe it or not, he joined their ranks once as a member, not a villain, but we usually saw Super-Skrull as their enemy.
Seeing that the MCU is introducing us to the Secret Invasion very soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some form of Super-Skrill introduced as well.
8. Ego The Living Planet
In the comics, Ego the Living Planet wasn’t a Celestial, nor was he Peter Quill’s father. Although he also fought the guardians in the comics, we’ll focus on the version of Ego we saw in the MCU. We learn that he fathered hundreds of children across the universe, trying to create another Celestial being.
Ego gave Pete’s mother terminal cancer before eventually sending Yondu Udonta to abduct him from Earth. His powers were absolutely unfathomable, and if Peter Quill continued doing what his ‘father’ wanted to do, all life in the universe would become – Ego.
Luckily, Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy defeated him before it was too late, and not only did the Guardians get a new member in Mantis – but Star-Lord also got a sister, as we learned in the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special.
7. Magus Universal Church of Truth
If you read Marvel Comics extensively, you probably know who Magus is, as he was a recurring character in numerous storylines. His Universal Church of Truth is a group of religious zealots and fanatics that worship the Magus – an evil counterpart of Adam Warlock from the future that served a group of dark cosmic gods known as the Many-Angled Ones.
Guardians of the Galaxy actually fought the church to prevent them from resurrecting the Magus. Had they succeeded, the entire universe would be at risk because Magus – aka the dark Adam Warlock – was as powerful of a being as you can imagine.
We’ve seen some incredibly mighty cyborgs and androids in Marvel’s history (like, for instance, Ultron), but probably none come close to Korvac. Korvac was an incredibly powerful cyborg with unlimited learning capacity, and he basically became one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse by obtaining the Power Cosmic.
The Power Cosmic is a force that essentially powers the almighty Galactus, and Korvac obtained it by interacting with Galactus’ ship interface. Korvac became invulnerable and essentially omnipotent, and it took the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and other superheroes to join forces during The Korvac Saga to defeat the infamous god-like cyborg.
Annihilus is a well-known Marvel supervillain that comes from The Negative Zone. It’s an alternative dimension from which Annihilus emerged with a colossal army to invade the Marvel universe, and he caused havoc not just for the Guardians of the Galaxy, but the entire Marvel universe, shattering worlds, and even entire systems.
What made Annihilus so powerful was his Cosmic Control Rod. Without it, he wasn’t nearly as powerful, but with it, he could go up against the mightiest being in the cosmos, as he had unfathomable matter, energy, and reality-altering capabilities.
My guess is that the only reason why we haven’t seen him in the MCU is that Annihilus is sometimes just too overpowered, and it would be extremely difficult to make the character feasible within a movie narrative.
4. Adam Warlock
Adam Warlock was an artificial creation, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t one of Marvel’s most powerful cosmic characters. The High Evolutionary gave him incredible powers, but Adam Warlock’s true might lies in his connection and tethered to the Soul Stone. It gives Adam Warlock cosmic awareness and absolute control over life and death.
So, yeah, the limit to Adam’s powers lies only in the narrative a writer chooses. That being said, both Adam Warlock and the high Evolutionary are set for their MCU debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and I’m insanely excited to see the guy appear on the big screen.
Although he was often a villain in the comics, he was actually a hero even more often – even being a part of the Guardians of the Galaxy team for a while. When he was created, Adam Warlock rebelled against his creators, so perhaps the same will happen in the MCU, and Warlock becomes the ally of the Guardians instead of the movie’s secondary villain.
3. The High Evolutionary
The High Evolutionary will be the main villain of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 movie. However, the character was one of the most powerful supervillains in the history of Marvel comics, at least for a while.
He was only human, but the experiments on himself increased his mental capacity to the point of no return – beyond all limits, meaning he could figure out anything he ever thought of. He evolved and devolved species at will, became immortal, created beings that eventually became among the most powerful life forms in the universe…
I mean, there’s basically nothing the guy couldn’t do. And that guy fought the Guardians in the comics and is now set to fight them in the MCU. Man, I just can’t wait!
The Mad Titan is still one of Marvel’s most powerful and notorious supervillains. We all know him from the MCU and always think of him as super-powerful because of the Infinity Gauntlet. I mean, it’s true that he is at his most powerful when donning the Gauntlet – snapping his fingers to do literally whatever he wants – but Thanos is a beast without it as well!
His intelligence is on a super-genius level, even by Eternal standards. He did bionic experiments and enhancements on himself his entire life and studied science, magic, and the occult to become as powerful as one can be. His durability is insane, and his power levels make him one of the most powerful non-cosmic beings in the entire Marvel universe.
Guardians of the Galaxy fought him alongside other MCU heroes, but they’ve also met numerous times in the comics, too. However, what makes this matchup so personal is Gamora – a member of the Guardians and the assassin step-daughter of Thanos.
Last but not least, Galactus is absolutely one of the most powerful cosmic entities in Marvel comics. Well, depending on how well-fed he is. Galactus is known as the Devourer of Planets because he feeds on the Power Cosmic – a living force or energy that makes the entire universe and all its planets.
Galactus uses his matter and energy manipulation powers to turn planets into pure energy and then consumes them to gain power. Depending on how well-fed Galactus is, his powers grow to limitless levels.
Although Galactus isn’t necessarily a Guardians of the Galaxy villain, he is by far the greatest and most powerful villain they have ever faced.