Captain Marvel in the MCU was called upon when all hell broke loose to come and save the day. She is, indeed, one of the most powerful Avengers ever, capable of extraordinary feats when powered up with her energy-based powers. But is she really the strongest? I don’t mean the most powerful, but actually, physically, the strongest.
How much could Carol Danvers lift, bench press, curl, or squat, and how does it compare to other members of our favorite superhero team? We’ll dig through the comics to find out.
How much can Captain Marvel lift?
We don’t have any of the exact data in the MCU, seeing that Carol Danvers never actually had a lifting competition with anyone, per se. Even in the comics, we don’t really get specific numbers – at least not for most types of lifting that we’re trying to figure out here – but we do have some numbers that’ll allow us to work out the other numbers we need.
So, how much can Carol Danvers actually lift? Well, her strength levels varied over the years in the comics, going from being described to be as strong as ten Kree soldiers in ‘Ms. Marvel’ #5 (not that impressive, right?) to having her strength levels deemed unlimited in ‘X-Men: Spotlight’ on…’Starjammers’ #2 after becoming Binary.
You see, Carol Danvers has the unique power to absorb nearly limitless amounts of various energy and transform it into power. That power can be to augment her flight speed, energy blasts, or her physical strength.
This means the more energy Carol absorbs, the stronger she becomes. It was somewhat similar to the Hulk, who gets limitlessly stronger as he gets angrier. It was later toned down a bit for Carol, and she is not really in the same stratosphere as Thor or Hulk, but we’ll get there.
As Binary, Carol Danvers could lift approximately 200 tons or well over 400 000 lbs. Now, her base strength level – when she hasn’t absorbed a ton of external energy – is being able to lift over 100 tons. We know that thanks to ‘Avengers’ Vol. 8 #2, where Captain Marvel held the weight of a dead Celestial who fell to Earth.
That being said, in ‘Mighty Avengers’ #6, Carol was powered up after absorbing the energy of a nuclear explosion, boosting her strength so much that she was able to knock out Sentry – a guy whose powers make him nearly indestructible and nearly omnipotent.
For the sake of argument, we’ll say that Captain Marvel can lift approximately 100 tons when in a calm, non-boosted state, with the potential to go way higher than that – shooting at approximately 200+ tons.
How much can Captain Marvel bench press?
The closest thing we’ve seen to a bench press from Carol Danvers in the MCU (or the comics, for that matter) was effortlessly lifting an armored vehicle from on top of her while she was lying down on her back. Even if that vehicle weighed a hefty 5 tons, it still isn’t even close to what Carol could actually do.
Now, an average-to-intermediate female could lift about her body weight. Naturally, Carol Danvers can lift a lot more than that – about 100+ tons, that is – so we’ll take that 100 tons as a benchmark.
Bench presses are a bit tougher than a regular lift, so an intermediate female lifter should be able to lift about 75% of what she can lift. Considering that a calm Captain Marvel could lift 100 tons, I’d say she could probably bench press around 75 tons.
Again, this is playing the averages and taking a conservative approach to how much Captain Marvel could generally lift, so take it with a grain of salt, and don’t be surprised if somewhere along the line in the future, Marvel comes out with a much higher number.
How much can Captain Marvel bicep curl?
A bicep curl is a very tough exercise, even for experienced lifters. On average, a well-trained female lifter could do a single bicep curl with around 30% of what she could normally lift. Now, this approximation might be a bit high as it’s more inclined towards well-trained lifters, but hey – if Carol isn’t a well-trained lifter, who is?
So, if she could bicep curl approximately 30% of what she could lift, it’d mean that Captain Marvel could bicep curl right around 30 tons when in her calm, non-powered-up state. The number is likely even higher if Carol ought to absorb some energy before the curl.
How much can Captain Marvel squat?
Again, we don’t have the exact numbers for Captain Marvel’s squatting abilities, but we can make an educated guess based on some averages. So, an average, intermediate-level female can squat about 125% of what she could lift (or, better said, 125% of her body weight, but we’ll go for what she could lift due to Carol’s unfathomable lifting prowess).
So, if Carol Danvers could lift about 100 tons, it means she could, at an intermediate level, squat at least 125 tons. That’s a very conservative approximation, though, as some writers (and fans) have put Danvers in or near the same strength category as the Hulk (it’s preposterous to me, but people did believe that), and the Hulk once squatted and held up an entire mountain.
With how much force can Captain Marvel punch?
Finally, a number that we DO have from the comics – no conservative approximations!
After Captain Marvel lost her Binary form abilities, Hank Pym conducted tests to see how much of her strength and overall power she had retained. The results were astonishing, revealing that Carol had actually retained most of her strength, and it could be augmented even further by absorbing various forms of energy.
In Pym’s tests, she was able to strike with a staggering 92 tons of force, and as Hank said himself – that probably wasn’t near her upper limit. It was at her base power levels. Now, imagine if she was powered up with some energy absorption. No wonder she could blast through that Thanos’ spaceship as if it were a sheet of paper in ‘Endgame.’
Is Captain Marvel really the strongest Avenger?
If we are talking about the most powerful Avenger – especially in the MCU – then I’d say it’s arguably not even that much of a contest in Captain Marvel’s favor. However, if we’re talking strictly about the strongest – not the most powerful – Avenger, then Carol is not holding the number one spot.
She has already gone head-to-head against the Hulk in the comics in physical battles – and the Hulk simply pummeled her. And that’s not a knock on Captain Marvel – in the end, the Hulk literally is the strongest one there is, and his strength levels are literally unlimited. Carol is the more powerful individual when you account for their respective superpower sets, but the Hulk’s strength is unmatched.
I’d say the same in a matchup between Thor and Captain Marvel. Pit them up against one another, power set against power set, and they’d both give each other a run for their money. The winner would be very tough to determine.
However, pit them against each other in a physical, strength-only matchup, and Thor is simply superior. The guy actually fought the Hulk to a stand-still, moved Ygdrassil while he was weakened, and held the entire power of a star on his back… the list of his strength feats goes on.
So, Captain Marvel is likely the most powerful Avenger overall, but Thor and the Hulk are certainly the two strongest Avengers, with the Hulk taking the edge for that number one spot.
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