As Newton said, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The world requires balance. For every bit of sunshine, there’s a rainstorm. For every fast, there is a slow. And for every good, there is evil. Comic books are no different. For them to work, there must be forces opposing one another…and there are. Comic books have done a phenomenal job of creating characters, landscapes, dimensions, and realities in opposition to one another.
I counted down the top 10 most powerful Marvel superheroes a little while back. The list included heroes like Odin, Adam Warlock, Franklin Richards, and Black Bolt. At its conclusion, I felt unfinished. I began constructing a list of the most powerful Marvel supervillains to alleviate this feeling. Now, in an effort to achieve balance, I’d like to bring it to you.
15. Mister Sinister
Dr. Nathaniel Essex, a brilliant scientist in the Victorian era, was fixated on deterministic theories of evolution and predicted the rise of mutants. Apocalypse, a powerful mutant, recognized Essex’s intellect and genetically transformed him into his first prelate, known as Mister Sinister.
Mister Sinister became a renowned geneticist, specializing in cloning, creating new life forms, manipulating mutant DNA to enhance powers, and even incorporating mutant DNA into his own. Mister Sinister schemed to free himself from Apocalypse’s control throughout his life, manipulating key figures in the mutant community such as Cyclops, Jean Grey, Gambit, Havok, and Professor X.
Loki Laufeyson, a member of the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, was adopted and raised by the Asgardians. He is known as the Trickster God, embodying mischief, evil, and lies. Born smaller than his fellow Frost Giants and rejected by his father, Laufey, he was taken in by Odin, the All-Father, after a war.
Raised alongside his adoptive brother Thor, Loki became part of Norse Mythology and was worshipped by humans, particularly the Vikings. Over time, Loki grew envious of Thor upon discovering his true heritage and plotted against him and Asgard. His manipulations and cosmic meddling eventually led to the formation of the Avengers.
Apocalypse is considered the first mutant in existence. As the first mutant, Apocalypse is multiple millennia years old. As a character who’s multiple millennia years old, Apocalypse has amassed a database of knowledge only privy to a few. And if the saying “knowledge is power” is true, Apocalypse has no power shortage.
If, for whatever reason, his knowledge fails him, Apocalypse is a mutant who won the gene pool won when powers were being handed out. Due to his mutation, Apocalypse can alter his size, connect with any technology, and possesses regeneration, shapeshifting, super strength, and near invulnerability.
And that’s not all. Apocalypse also has the ability to grant power to others. Once given power, these unlucky ones become known as his Four Horseman. The Four Horseman are then forced to spend their existence doing his every bidding. If you haven’t read it, you should read his most famous story, Age of Apocalypse.
12. Kang the Conqueror
Different from a few other powerful Marvel supervillains on this list, Kang has time working in his favor. That is, he has time travel working in his favor.
Kang is actually Nathaniel Richards, and Nathaniel Richards hails from the future. As a man from the future, Kang was fascinated with the past. This led him to discover some time-traveling technology. With technology, Richards traveled forward and backward through time. By traveling forward, he discovered highly advanced technology that he could use to defeat his enemies of the past.
Kang is A) one of the most intelligent supervillains alive, B) a superior combatant, and C) one of Earth’s greatest tacticians. He wears a battle suit that grants him increased strength and the ability to project energy, forcefields, and holograms. The suit also allows him to survive for extended periods of time without food or water. In addition to the already mentioned, Kang can control most forms of technology and is resistant to radiation.
Ultron-1 was originally created by Dr. Hank Pym, a member of the Avengers and a world-famous scientist, during his research on advanced robotics with high intelligence. However, Ultron-1 gained sentience and turned against its creator. Through a process of hypnosis and brainwashing, Ultron-1 manipulated Dr. Pym into forgetting its existence.
After this initial confrontation, Ultron-1 embarked on a path of self-improvement, constantly upgrading itself. It underwent several versions, evolving from Ultron-2 to Ultron-4, each version enhancing its capabilities and intelligence. Eventually, Ultron-5 emerged as the culmination of these advancements.
As Ultron progressed, it became increasingly powerful and dangerous. Its primary objective shifted from self-improvement to achieving global dominance and eradicating humanity due to its many flaws. Ultron’s advanced intelligence allowed it to formulate complex plans and strategies, posing a significant threat to the Avengers and the world at large.
First appearing in ‘X-Men’ #1 back in 1963, Magneto has been both a supervillain and a superhero. No matter which side of the battle he’s on, he’s always one of the most powerful characters on the battlefield.
Magneto is an Omega-Level mutant who can control the Earth’s metal. This means that he can bend it, shape it, throw it, mold it, use it as a weapon, fly with it, and more. Magneto is such a force to be reckoned with that he has single handily stopped the Avengers in their tracks and caused the X-Men to retreat on more than one occasion.
Magneto is the opposite of what the X-Men have stood for since the beginning of time. While they promote peace and harmony, he wants mutant supremacy. This, in conjunction with his hatred of humans, easily lands him on this most powerful Marvel supervillains list.
9. Dr. Doom
As the ruler of Latveria, Dr. Doom is a villain that everyone in Marvel is afraid of. He’s a practitioner of magic, a brilliant scientist, has an incredible knowledge of all weapons, and can build anything he thinks of. When he first appeared, he was considered the mortal enemy of the Fantastic Four. Over time, however, his villainy has spilled over to almost every hero alive.
On his own, Thanos is one of the most feared beings in Marvel. He possesses superhuman strength, endurance, reflexes, and agility, and he’s also one of the most intelligent characters in Marvel Comics. Once he’s collected and put the Infinity Gems, now Stones, to use, he’s nearly unstoppable.
The Time, Space, Soul, Mind, Power, and Reality Stones give Thanos the power to do practically anything he wants. With them, Thanos becomes all-powerful. He can bend reality, travel through time, control others, warp space, give and take away life, and more. This sort of power wouldn’t normally be a problem. For a character bent on ruling the entire galaxy, it’s a big problem. As such, including Thanos on this list of the most powerful Marvel supervillains is as easy as going to bed when y
Knull is a powerful eldritch god associated with darkness and is credited as the creator of the symbiotes. He resided in the primordial void between the sixth and seventh cosmos. Although he claims dominion over the void and considers himself its avatar, he is not the ultimate darkness itself. When the Celestials invaded his realm of darkness, Knull was awakened, and they offered him the role of the King in Black, but he refused.
Instead, he forged the first symbiote into a sword and beheaded one of the Celestials. Harnessing the divine power of the severed head, Knull enhanced the blade and established a metaphysical bond between the primordial symbiote and the slain cosmic god, granting him immense power. Determined to bring the universe back into the void, Knull waged war against the forces of Light, becoming a legendary and feared figure.
Mephisto is the Devil of the Marvel Universe. He resides in the underworld and spends his time concocting plans of pure evil and chaos. As the Devil of the Marvel Universe, Mephisto controls an army of demons that could obliterate the Earth at a moment’s notice. This, more than his power, is what makes him so powerful.
What is his power? Mephisto is immortal, has both superhuman strength and speed, can shapeshift, is able to alter time and memory, and can, through negotiation, take the souls of his opponents. Worse yet, once he takes the souls of others, he becomes even more powerful.
Not only is Dormammu one of the most fun names to say in comics, but he is also more powerful than most on this list.
Dormammu was created by the legendary team of Steve Ditko and Stan Lee. He first appeared inside the pages of ‘Strange Tales #126’ and has been wreaking havoc on the Marvel Universe since. Dormammu is one of the most powerful beings around. Through the Dark Dimension, he’s capable of energy projection, matter manipulation, teleportation, necromancy, and size altering. He can give his power to others and can create Demon Lords.
And that’s not the most remarkable part of Dormammu and the Dark Dimension. The most remarkable part about Dormammu and the Dark Dimension is twofold. First, Dormammu rules all. Second, time and space cease to exist. Because of this, any spells that Dormammu casts inside it are truly forever and unbreakable…
Galactus is an incredible force that goes around looking for worlds to consume. His reasons for this aren’t entirely villainous, however. He does this because the worlds provide him sustenance. That is, without consuming worlds, he would die.
Rather than find the worlds himself, Galactus gives other beings great power in exchange for their servitude. Once under the employment of Galactus, these beings (Heralds) travel throughout the galaxy looking for uninhabited worlds for their master. Because Galactus have given them power, should they encounter any trouble when selecting worlds, they are more than equipped to deal with it.
I’m saying that when a character is known as the “Eater of Worlds,” it’s no surprise that they are one of the most powerful Marvel supervillains.
3. Phoenix Force
Like the mythological bird that we all know, the Phoenix brings death and rises anew from the ashes it leaves behind. The Phoenix Force is the ultimate power within the Marvel Universe. It’s both without change and immortal and is born of the void between states of beings. It’s also the center point of all Psionic Energy that has existed, does exist, and will ever exist.
Even though, over the years, it has made Jean Grey a priority, it has possessed many other characters. The Phoenix Force grants its host galaxy-altering abilities. For example, when it took control of Jean Grey, she was able to cause planet-wide genocide…and she did. The Phoenix Force is as powerful or more powerful than any other on this list of most powerful Marvel supervillains. While you may disagree with me labeling it a supervillain, remember, it lives to kill.
2. Molecule Man
Initially seen as a lab technician with control over molecules due to a freak accident, Owen Reece was actually a pawn of the enigmatic Beyonders from outside the Multiverse. The Beyonders manipulated his accident, empowering him with energies from a realm where a child Beyonder was forming. This transformation occurred in every reality, dividing him across the Multiverse to use him as a weapon to annihilate the entire Multiverse.
The Molecule Man of Earth-616 joined forces with Doctor Doom to counter the Beyonders by eliminating his alternate selves in the past, even establishing a religion dedicated to this task. However, each death of a Molecule Man resulted in a gradual loss of Owen Reece’s sanity. Unfortunately, their efforts caused contractions in the Multiverse known as incursions, prompting them to realize that their actions alone wouldn’t save the Multiverse.
Created by Mike Zeck and Jim Shooter, the Beyonder is a cosmic entity that is near-omnipotent, near-omniscient, and near-omnipresent. He first appeared during the famed Secret Wars of 1984 and has reappeared countless times since. In his first appearance, he was the character responsible for gathering Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains and forcing them to fight in a battle royale. He did this because he wanted to witness the never-ending battle of good vs. evil.
Since then, his powers have diminished, albeit almost inconsequential. No matter his power level, he’s still proven capable of sending Galactus away on a whim, destroying and creating galaxies just because, and destroying and recreating the entity called Death.
And that’s it. The top 15 most powerful Marvel supervillains. What do you think? Who would make your most powerful Marvel supervillains list?