With Endgame approaching, here’s a look at who the heaviest hitter on the Avengers really is.
With Captain Marvel currently running roughshod over the domestic and global box office, it’s time to start prepping for the Endgame in April. With half the Avengers roster reduced to space dust, the remaining members, basically the original core cast, have to figure out how to restore the universe to its proper overpopulation.
So while we’re busy sifting through Captain Marvel’s Biggest WTF Questions, and deciphering what the end credits sequence means, let’s also rank all the official Avengers members based on their power.
Now, we’re taking a few things into consideration here. We’re looking at everything each hero brings to the table – as well as their actual mastery of said everything. Like, how well do they use their powers? How many times have they been owned? They could be more powerful than they might know, or they could have other issues preventing them from unleashing the full awesomeness of their abilities. Let’s dig in!
Note: This list is based on the MCU versions of these characters only.
HONORABLE MENTION: QUICKSILVER
No, Quicksilver never made it to an official Avengers welcoming ceremony, with all the cake and balloons that presumably accompany it, but he died saving an Avenger so let’s just give the snarky speester his due…ster. Hell, he never even made it to getting the name Quicksilver. Having his lightning fast abilities sure would have come in handy during Thanos’ invasion, but hindsight is 20/20. Good thing he sacrificed himself saving someone who didn’t even fight the Mad Titan. Pietro Maximoff was gone before we really got to know him, but at least his sister’s still around. Kind of messing up a bunch.
Look, even Hawkeye will tell you Hawkeye’s the paltriest Avenger. And how absurd it is that he’s out there shooting arrows at aliens. He’s super-skilled for sure, but considering the escalating threats surrounding the Earth these days, the little section of Venn Diagram that represents the usefulness of his pointy projectiles is shrinking fast. His new look for Endgame holds promise, but for right now his specialized skill set is a little too niche to knock off anyone notable.
Sam Wilson is a loyal Cap-tivist and formidable force, able to take to the skies and support his teammates with guns, bombs, and robo-birds. But his lack of overall armor and weaponry relegates him somewhat to being a slighter version of War Machine and Iron Man. It’s always good to have Falcon in your corner, but he’s still the guy you have doing occasional perimeter sweeps.
9: BLACK WIDOW
Black Widow is badass, there’s no denying this. And she’s the top of the line when it comes to “humans who aren’t super-soldiers, super-geniuses, or covered head-to-toe in battle armor.” Her combination of fighting skills, agility, resourcefulness, courage under pressure, and hidden tech trickery makes her one of the most capable crusaders on the playing field. She just, you know, can’t take to the skies and drop a sheet cake of bombs, covering said playing field in fiery explosions.
8: WAR MACHINE
While, understandably, not as at home inside his suit as Tony Stark, who invented the damn thing, Colonel James Rhodes has been dragging his heavily-armored butt all over the world to neutralize threats and thwart terrorism. He’s got a wide array of firepower that can rain hell down on you in a heartbeat… but he’s let the suit get the better of him on too many occasions though, lacking complete mastery of his casing, and eventually wound up paralyzed for his troubles. Rhodey’s big enough though to put all that aside and fight alongside Cap when Thanos and his army came a’ knocking.
He can’t fly, per se, but Peter Parker’s spider-endowed agility is out of this world. Bottom line: Spidey can move like no one else on the Avengers. And while he didn’t officially join the team until he was out in space, just a few hours before his decimation, he was offered the job a few months earlier. And every time his suit gets upgraded, from his high-tech Homecoming costume to the Iron Spider deal in Infinity War, he becomes even more of a damage-dealing dynamo.
6: IRON MAN
Due to the mind-blowing genius of Tony Stark, Iron Man has been an ever-evolving Avenger, shifting from welded and soldered-together parts to practically invisible nano-tech that can envelope Tony’s body in seconds. Iron Man has a thousand tricks up his sleeve and, in the heat of battle, always seems to have an aggressive answer to every critical question. Sure, Tony’s made his fair share of goofs, all in the name of trying to protect our world from cosmic invaders, and when push comes to shove he’s just a mortal man in a can, but his brain has practically been the MVP of the MCU since the start.
5: CAPTAIN AMERICA
This was a tough call, but since we’ve seen Cap and Iron Man actually square off – with a bit of Bucky Barnes in the middle – we’re giving Steve the edge over Tony for simply doing more with less. Granted, Steve’s “less” is being the one and only successful test subject of Dr. Erskine’s super-soldier serum – the glamorous goop that countless villains (and heroes, mind you) have tried to replicate over the years. Cap’s strength, stamina, leadership, and moral compass (which sometimes points due north at Bucky) present us with a complete package of pulverizing power and purpose. Steve’s heart is like Tony’s intellect: Both are each’s respective strength, for better or worse.
It’s never actually been settled, definitively, whether Hulk is stronger than Thor, but you could make the argument, given how much of Hulk’s power is tied to his rage, that he easily has the potential to be the strongest Avenger in terms of pure muscle and might. It’s just that – well – Hulk’s a lot. A LOT a lot. For Hulk to come out, a bunch of failsafes need to be in place. Not to mention that, most recently, Hulk’s decided that Hulk no want to come out. He’s the strongest team member, but he’s also, apparently, the most fickle.
Vision, a being basically born of the Mind Stone itself, with a mix tape of J.A.R.V.I.S. thrown in, is comprised of vibranium. He’s a heroic hodgepodge of superpowers who can, ultimately, decimate just about anyone in his path. From invulnerability to density manipulation to firing blasts from the Mind Stone stuck to his forehead, Vision’s a bastion of battle-ready brutality. However, it feels like we’ve only scratched the surface with him. Most of the time, he’s been bumming around Avengers HQ, trying to sort out who he is as a sentient creature. Vision’s journey has been mostly one of exploring humanity, not eviscerating enemies.
2: SCARLET WITCH
A strong case could be made for Wanda Maximoff being the most powerful Avenger. Her abilities, grafted to her from the Mind Stone, not only allow her to create energy blasts and force fields, but also toss people around with telekinesis. Oh, and did we mention she’s also a telepath who can manipulate your mind? That’s one hell of a Special Skills section on a resume. And kind of unfair when you consider that her late brother could only, like, run fast.
Now if only she could not kill a bunch of innocent people, inadvertently creating the Sokovia Accords, that would be fantastic. Wanda’s a prime example of an all-powerful being not being able to wield their power to the max. But, narratively, there’s a reason why she got dusted before Endgame. She’s one of the, if not THE, heaviest hitters.
“You guys are so screwed now!”
Thor’s had character flaws, family flaws, hair flaws, and an arc that’s involved him morphing from an arrogant meathead unworthy of wielding his own hammer to a mindful warrior who sacrifices all of Asgard to save his own people. But there’s also a reason why more than one MCU film has saved his introduction to the third act fight for last, creating a massive crowd-pleasing moment. Thor’s raw Asgardian power, durability, speed, and nifty knack for being able to create game-changing lightning charges out of thin air allow him to soar in from above and completely clear a battle field. Dude’s over a thousand years old and has bested Dark Elves, Frost Giants, galactic fire demons, and a plate of hard-earned, artery-clogging shawarma. He’s also withstood the heat of a dying star. Yeah, he’s a keeper.
Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.