Avengers: Infinity War totally changed the landscape of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as all of the MCU’s most powerful heroes joined together in an effort to stop Thanos’s mad plan … and not everybody made it. Infinity War changed the game so much that Inverse’s ranking of the most powerful characters in the MCU needed to be totally remade.
This list contains spoilers for every Marvel movie, including Avengers: Infinity War.
Inverse ranked the 10 most powerful heroes in the MCU last summer, prior to the release of Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, and Infinity War. Some of the heroes on that list got more or less powerful over the course of those three films, but there’s a bigger reason why the list needs to be updated. Six of the 10 characters on that original list are dead, mostly due to the events of Infinity War when Thanos turned half of the universe’s population into ash with just a snap of his fingers. (Odin, No. 8 on the old list, died in Ragnarok, while No. 7 Loki and No. 3 Vision were killed by Thanos’s hand).
Anyway, Thanos’s massacre opened up a bunch of news spots on the list. Let’s see who the most powerful characters are, among those who are left.
Note: Some characters have been marked with an asterisk, because it’s unknown if they are even still alive, as Infinity War didn’t show if they turned to ash or not. We’re going to assume they’re still alive if we didn’t see them die, but it’s possible that there should be even more vacancies on this list
10. Captain America
Jeez, Captain America is the tenth most powerful character in the MCU? Is that what we’re left with after Thanos cleared the board? Steve Rogers is a super-strong, super-fast, and super-descent human who has bested foes far more powerful than he is in a fight. He’s scrappy and tough, but he wouldn’t make the cut if half of the Avengers weren’t dead.
It appears that Ant-Man and the Wasp takes place before Infinity War, which means that Scott’s whereabouts during Thanos’s attack are unknown. If he wasn’t among the 50 percent of people who were turned to ash, Ant-Man still has the power to grow and shrink at will. The shrinking ability, honestly, is probably the more powerful of the two sizes. Getting big just makes him a bigger target.
It was unclear if Valkyrie was even alive following Thanos’s attack at the beginning of Infinity War, but we didn’t see her body, and Thor says Thanos only killed half his people. However, one of the film’s directors, Joe Russo, confirmed that she’s still alive and kicking in the MCU. That’s one badass Asgardian warrior who is still able to swing a sword.
7. Iron Man
Technology can only get you so far in the MCU, especially now that there are so many magical and cosmic forces with nearly unlimited power to contend with, but Tony Stark is so good at inventing gear that he’s earned the No. 7 spot on this list. His newest suit, in particular, can transform into almost anything he needs it to be in the blink of an eye.
6 (tie). Karl Mordo*
When we last saw Mordo, he had launched a campaign against magic following the evens of Doctor Strange. If Mordo’s still around, he’s an immensely powerful sorcerer with more experience than Doctor Strange and a mean streak.
6 (tie). Wong*
If Wong made it out of Infinity War, he’s quite possibly the most powerful magic-user alive (Mordo may or may not be more powerful. It’s hard to tell).
4. The Hulk
The Hulk placed fourth in the original ranking, but it’s possible he’s not quite as formidable. His brute strength is still powerful enough that he can out-muscle nearly anything, and Hulk does appear to be much smarter as of Thor: Ragnarok. However, we’ve seen the Hulk get beaten — twice. Once while fighting a super-charged Thor, and again when Thanos trounced him. Plus, the Hulk currently refuses to come forward when Bruce Banner tries to transform. For those reasons, the Hulk’s green grip on the No. 4 spot feels more tenuous than perhaps it ought to.
Thor seriously leveled-up in Ragnarok and Infinity War. Sure, he lost Mjolnir, but he gained the ability to fully harness his powers as the God of Thunder, and then in Infinity War he got a new weapon, Stormbreaker, an axe so powerful it could’ve killed Thanos had he aimed for the head. Thor almost single-handedly turned the tides of the big battle in Wakanda, that’s how powerful he is.
We’re assuming that Dormammu’s dimension is probably safe from the effects of the Infinity Stones, since he’s an entire plane of existence. Dormammu might’ve been bested in Doctor Strange, if only because he didn’t understand the concept of time, but he’s still alive, waiting for another chance to strike. But, he’s no longer No. 1 on the list.
Duh. Of course it’s Thanos. Last time we put together this list, Thanos didn’t get the top spot, mostly because he hadn’t really done anything that we could look at to accurately gauge his power. That changed with Infinity War when he proved that he’s stronger than the Hulk without any silly stones that can rewrite reality and kill trillions with a snap of his fingers. Then he got those stones and did exactly that.
It feels a little unfair to factor in possession of the Infinity Stones when ranking MCU characters by power, since they’re really just tools, but Thanos certainly earned them.