TV & Movies

The 50 Most Powerful Characters In The Marvel Universe, Ranked

Spoiler: Thanos doesn't even make the top 40.

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Originally Published: 
The Avengers run into a fight in 'Avengers: Endgame.'
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

In the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thanos was the greatest threat to the universe. But in the wider world of the Marvel Comics, there are characters whose powers dwarf Thanos’ — quite a few of them, actually!

You may be surprised at some of the characters listed here. Perhaps the most unexpected thing about this list is the number of unrecognizable names on it. If you’re really into the movies or just a casual Marvel fan, you probably haven’t heard of a good number of these them, or perhaps have only seen pre-MCU versions of them onscreen. That’s because many of the more popular figures, such as Iron Man, are plenty powerful — but only on a planetary level. The comics are littered with characters who possess universal or even multiversal-level power, some of whom are literally responsible for running all of existence. We’re talking cosmic abstracts, primordial inter-dimensional beings, gods, and demons, but also more than a couple of jumped-up normal guys with way too much potential at their fingertips! So have a look at the below ranking of the 50 most powerful Marvel beings in the Marvel Universe, and see how many names ring a bell.

Some notes on the ranking: Obviously, this is largely subjective. Many of these characters are roughly equal in power, and most have not directly faced off against one another to prove who is more powerful. Criteria considered include established cosmic hierarchy, purported power levels, and feats — the latter to a somewhat lesser extent, as a character’s performance can vary greatly depending on who’s writing them at the time. Remember that the question of who would win in a fight is often answered by whose name is in the title of the book. The list also mainly deals with characters from the Prime Marvel Universe of Earth-616 rather than other realities.

Thor

Walt Disney Studios/Marvel Studios

The God of Thunder is unquestionably one of the most powerful conventional superheroes in the Marvel Universe, with his Asgardian physiology and godly birthright granting him some impressive abilities. Thor is physically one of the strongest characters in existence; he is nearly invulnerable to harm, and his hammer Mjolnir grants him control over the weather as well as access to massive amounts of destructive energy.

Scarlet Witch

Marvel Studios

Another familiar face, Wanda Maximoff is one of the few Earth-born characters to make this list. In her earliest depictions, she was shown to be a mutant with the ability to cast probability-altering hexes, but as time went on, Wanda’s power and influence grew. She now is recognized as a wielder of chaos magic and a formidable reality-warper (she once erased nearly all mutants from existence with just a thought), and she’s been revealed as the Nexus Being of Marvel’s prime reality, Earth-616, making her a key figure in the functioning of the universe.

Thomas Lightner

Thomas Lightner is one in a long line of scientists who gained powers via accidents that should have killed them. He became a living vortex, absorbing all light and energy in the manner of a black hole — and destroyed seven different universes in this manner, before finally trading powers with a child named Benjamin Jones, who undid the damage he caused. After Benjamin Jone took on his powers, Lightner became yet another Sorcerer Supreme. While he no longer holds that title, Lightner still retains magical abilities that put him on par with Doctor Strange, and goes by the alter ego Mysterium.

Doctor Strange

Walt Disney Pictures

Another Earthling (and MCU star), Doctor Strange holds the title of Sorcerer Supreme of Earth-616. As such, he’s a master of the mystic arts and one of the most powerful magic users in all of the Marvel Universe. His powers have varied greatly over the years and at times been difficult to define, but at his best, Strange can do almost anything. He frequently travels to other dimensions to do battle with ancient demons and cosmic beings, and has proven he can hang with just about anyone.

Mephisto

Let’s be clear: Mephisto isn’t the Devil. Sure, his name is half of Mephistopheles, a Faustian character who brokers deals on behalf of Hell; he’s an actual demon; and he’s got red skin and pointy teeth. He also rules over an extradimensional plane that’s literally called Hell! But — and this is important — Marvel Comics wants you to understand that Mephisto Isn’t the Devil. Got it? Moving on: While he’s in his dimension, Mephisto is arguably unbeatable — but even when he ventures outside he’s extremely formidable, boasting magical abilities, functional immortality, and reality-warping powers strong enough to create alternate universes. He also steals people’s souls, naturally.

Apocalypse

Generally considered the oldest mutant on Earth, Apocalypse began life as En Sabah Nur. He was born in ancient Egypt and abandoned due to his appearance, as he was one of the rare mutants whose mutations exhibited physical characteristics even in infancy. Apocalypse first appeared in the comics as a Darwinist villain for the X-Men; his “survival of the fittest” mantra was later revealed to be an all-encompassing drive to ensure that mutant-kind survived the judgment of the Celestials. In addition to immortality, superhuman strength, speed, and durability, Apocalypse is skilled in telepathy, having bested Jean Grey. On top of that, Celestial alterations to his mutant body have given him the abilities of shape-shifting, regeneration, and teleportation, as well as the ability to access and manipulate Celestial energy itself.

The Elders of the Universe

The Elders are a disparate group of extremely ancient aliens, each of whom is the last survivor of their own species. These immortals have been around since the Big Bang, and are among the oldest beings in the universe. Given their lineage, they have access to the Power Primordial, which is the leftover energy from the creation of the universe. Each Elder uses this power as they see fit, including two characters who’ve shown up in the MCU: The Collector (Benicio del Toro), who uses his power to obtain objects, and The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who uses it to organize high-stakes competitions.

Ego

While Kurt Russell brought a certain amount of charm to this character in the MCU, the comics version is far more brutal. An anthropomorphized living planet, Ego has complete control over his entire planetary surface. He can create life from his biological material and command it to do his bidding, and he eats other celestial bodies for fuel. He also has vast psionic powers that allow him to battle with cosmic entities and other powerful beings. As the sole member of his species, he’s technically an Elder of the Universe, but despite his MCU counterpart’s claims, he is not a Celestial (more on them later).

Thanos

Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Studios

That’s right: Thanos, the big bad of the Avengers movies, doesn’t even crack the top 40. If that sounds hard to believe, just wait until you see some of the heavy hitters appearing later in this list. Thanos is a mutant (not that kind) Eternal from Titan, a moon of Saturn, and he has incredible strength, durability, and powers of energy manipulation. His prowess alone makes him at least equal to someone like Thor, but what makes Thanos even tougher is his determination and cunning. Thanos has conquered the universe multiple times in the comics by gaining access to MacGuffins like the Infinity Gauntlet and the Heart of the Universe — and when he has those in his possession he is nigh-omnipotent, easily rocketing to the top 10 on this list.

Adam Warlock

Adam Warlock is basically Thanos’ mortal enemy, and these two have been going at it for decades. He was originally created by a team of scientists on Earth who were trying to build the perfect man — and ended up being a little too successful. Warlock became a cosmic being who has had to save the universe more than once. (An alternate-future evil version of him named Magus has also conquered the universe, but never mind that.) Warlock cannot die — at least not permanently — and his power is tied to the universe. This gives him cosmic awareness, magical powers, the ability to manipulate matter, and the capability to absorb and produce massive amounts of energy. He also is permanently bonded to an Infinity Stone, the Soul Gem, which grants further impressive abilities.

Zeus

In addition to the Norse gods, Marvel also taps into other pantheons — including that of the Greek gods — and imagines them as living, breathing characters. Sitting at the top of the Olympian hierarchy is Zeus. As one of the Skyfathers — the leaders of their respective pantheons — Zeus is a high-ranking cosmic being in the Marvel Universe. He possesses a high level of cosmic awareness, is absurdly strong and nearly impossible to hurt, and has vast magical abilities. (In Thor: Love and Thunder, Russell Crowe plays Zeus as a bumbling drunk to great comedic effect, but the Greek god is very different in the comics.)

Surtur

Marvel Studios

Surtur popped up in Thor: Ragnarok, and while he was nerfed in the beginning of the film by Thor, the climax of the movie showed the character’s true power. Surtur is a fire giant who rules over Muspelheim, one of the Nine Realms from Norse lore. He is the mortal enemy of Odin and Asgard, and is considered an equal to the Norse Skyfather. (Not only is he capable of destroying Asgard, he’s actually fated to, as seen in Thor: Ragnarok.) He is indescribably huge, made of living fire, and immortal.

Merlyn and Roma

The Merlyn (of Arthurian fame) and his daughter Roma are two immortal denizens of Otherworld, a sort of pocket dimension that sits between other dimensions. From Otherworld, they’ve both alternately acted as guardians of the entire multiverse. Unfortunately, though, they can be petty and are prone to quarreling with each other; often, they use Earth’s occupants as pawns in their game. In addition to serving as the Sorcerer Supreme for a time, Merlyn’s primary claim to fame is the creation of the Captain Britain Corps, a multidimensional corps of powered superheroes tasked with protecting the whole of the multiverse. For her part, Roma once resurrected the X-Men and then kept that fact secret, casting a spell upon them that prevented them from being detected by any sort of camera or other equipment.

Odin

While the Odin of the MCU is more of a side character (if expertly cast in Sir Anthony Hopkins), the comics version is a powerhouse. He is the leader of the Skyfathers and wields a considerable amount of power and influence in the cosmos. He has powers comparable to Zeus but is even stronger, and has shown the ability to hold his own against cosmic entities like Galactus in combat. Odin also has access to the Odinforce, an incredibly powerful source of magic that allows the Asgardian God to do almost anything.

Hela

While the Norse Goddess of Death is the sister of Thor and Loki in the MCU, the Earth-616 version of Hela is rumored to be Loki’s daughter, in keeping with the original Norse mythology. As an Asgardian, she possesses many of the same traits as Odin and Thor, including longevity and superhuman physical traits. In addition to these, Hela’s domain over the dead gives her additional skills, not the least of which is the ability to kill an immortal with a touch, or the power to hurl bolts of mystic energy that cause victims to rapidly age and then die. Her real power, though, is her longevity; when Ragnarok comes and the gods of Asgard all die, it’s Hela who comes to rule over them.

Knull

Knull exists as the dark counter to the Enigma Force (more on that below). A recent creation in Marvel Comics, Knull has spent much of known existence imprisoned beneath the symbiotes of the planet Klyntar, only recently escaping in an attempt to subjugate Earth during the King in Black event. Though Knull is a god of the dark, he’s distinct from the concept of darkness itself, which is embodied in Oblivion (also found later on this list). He’s also notable as the forger of the Necrosword, later wielded by Gorr the God Butcher, whom you may have seen in the recent Thor: Love and Thunder.

Enigma Force

You’d be forgiven for forgetting the Enigma Force exists, given that it’s only had a handful of appearances in the entire Marvel chronology. An ancient god of light, the Enigma Force is sworn to do battle against the forces of darkness, and to that end has at times granted what’s known as the Uni-Power to worthy heroes, turning them into the nigh-omnipotent Captain Universe. While this power is never permanent, it’s notable for the number of heroes who have wielded it, including Spider-Man, Daredevil, Silver Surfer, and potentially, You.

Dormammu

Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Dormammu is an extremely ancient and powerful magical being who is composed entirely of mystical energy. As such, his mastery over the mystic arts exceeds even that of Doctor Strange — even though Strange has used his cunning to defeat him on occasion, as in 2016’s Doctor Strange. Dormammu is Lord of the Dark Dimension, and like other extra-dimensional beings, he is most powerful (and nearly unbeatable) in his home dimension.

Zom

Ranking just slightly above Dormammu is yet another magical creature whom Doctor Strange often faces off against. One of the universe’s biggest threats, Zom is an extra-dimensional being who was created to destroy, but was so powerful that he had to be bound by a group of other extremely powerful beings — including Dormammu. He has put down numerous Marvel superheroes at once, and has only shown weakness against some of the most formidable cosmic abstracts.

Chthon

Chthon is one of the Elder Gods, and is arguably the strongest in their ranks. The Elder Gods (not to be confused with the Elders of the Universe) were the first intelligent beings on Earth, and they have access to considerable cosmic powers. Chthon’s power is so great that he is among the chief sources of magic in the universe (Scarlet Witch’s chaos magic powers derive from him), and he has some serious, universe-level reality-warping abilities. Like other extra-dimensional beings, he is most powerful in his home dimension, which he created for himself.

Cyttorak

Yet another extra-dimensional mystical being, Cyttorak resides in and lords over the Crimson Cosmos. There, he is omnipotent, and it’s unclear just how powerful he is outside it, as he is confined to his own dimension. Cyttorak’s influence is mostly seen through objects that give users just a drop of his power — like the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak that gives the X-Men villain Juggernaut his tremendous strength and invulnerability, and the Crimson Brand of Cyttorak, which Doctor Strange has used to greatly augment his abilities.

Shaper of Worlds

Cosmic cubes, sometimes called tesseracts (not to be confused with the Infinity Stone-fortified tesseract featured in the MCU) are immensely powerful devices that offer universal-level reality-altering powers. The Shaper of Worlds is an evolved version of the very first cosmic cube, which was created by the alien race known as the Skrulls. Shaper is capable of altering reality and creating illusions that are indistinguishable from real life, and he has even been shown to craft entire alternate realities.

Shuma-Gorath

Marvel Comics

Rounding out our list of mystical extra-dimensional beings is the granddaddy of them all, Shuma-Gorath. Arguably Doctor Strange’s greatest and most dangerous foe, Shuma-Gorath belongs to an incredibly powerful, multiverse-dwelling race known as the Many-Angled Ones. He is one of the oldest beings in the multiverse and rules over an empire consisting of hundreds of dimensions. Inside his domain, he is immortal and nigh-omnipotent, and his mystical powers are so vast that he is capable of destroying entire realities.

Jamie Braddock

The older brother of the more famous twins Brian and Betsy Braddock (the former and current Captains Britain, respectively), Jamie Braddock was once a racecar driver who became involved in illicit dealings. After being exposed as a criminal and coldly rebuffed by Brian, Jamie’s latent mutant abilities were awakened by a traumatic encounter with one of his criminal associates. Worse still, as his abilities to alter reality itself were awakened, he began to see life itself as a dream; because he believed that none of the people he encountered were “real,” he had little regard for their health or safety. This makes him incredibly dangerous, but it also keeps him from being a greater threat than he is. He’s so focused on the things immediately around him that he doesn’t consider what his power could do on a grander scale.

In-Betweener

In-Betweener is a cosmic abstract that was created to do the bidding of two other cosmic abstracts we’ll discuss later on, Lord Chaos and Master Order. As such, In-Betweener — who appears as a half-black and half-white being, split down the middle — represents both chaos and order equally, as well as basically all other diametrically opposed concepts (peace and violence, etc.). He possesses vast powers on a cosmic scale, but because of his dual nature, he has also been shown at times to be a more humble force.

Kronos

Another cosmic abstract, Kronos was once one of the Eternals — a race of immortal, super-powered earthlings who evolved from human beings after they were experimented on by an ancient and all-powerful alien race known as the Celestials. A lab test gone wrong ended up destroying Kronos’ body and scattering his particles across the universe. The event bound Kronos to time itself, and he is able to use his universe-spanning powers to affect and control the flow of time.

Uatu The Watcher

Uatu, sometimes simply called “The Watcher,” is the most prominent member of a mysterious race of beings called the Watchers. The Watchers are believed to be the oldest living beings in the universe, and are tasked with observing the universe, but not interfering. Uatu, however, has used his vast powers to interfere a ton over the years. He has access to untold amounts of cosmic energy, can read the mind of every being in the universe, and can travel anywhere instantly.

Korvac

While living in 31st century on Earth-691, Michael Korvac was transformed into a cyborg by an alien species called the Badoon, before being used by the Grandmaster in a scheme against Doctor Strange. Although he lost that battle, Korvac used the opportunity to analyze the Grandmaster’s power, and thus greatly increase his own. From there, he traveled from Earth-691 to Earth-616, where he found himself fighting both the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy in a bid to reshape Earth into a utopia. After slaying a number of heroes, Korvac finally realized the folly of his actions and died by suicide, resurrecting the heroes he’d slain in the process. While the idea of an adaptable cyborg is hardly unique in the pages of Marvel Comics, Korvac’s unique ability to scan and absorb virtually any energy source has allowed him to wield the powers of the Elders of the Universe as well as the Power Cosmic with impunity. Only his repeated (and voluntary) returns to the land of the dead have kept him from being a constant threat to the universe.

The Stranger

The Stranger is a cosmic entity that typically shows up alongside heavy hitters like Eternity, Galactus, Lord Chaos, and Master Order when major events are occurring in the universe. Mysterious and unknowable by design, and curious by nature, the Stranger is known for conducting experiments with his considerable cosmic power (the result of one such experiment was Ego the Living Planet). He has incalculable strength and psychic powers, as well as cosmic awareness that borders on omniscience.

Legion

Suzanne Tenner/FX

David Haller, better known as Legion (star of the FX series of the same name) is an Earth-born mutant, and one of the most powerful mutants ever. That’s due in part to his lineage, as Legion’s father is the powerful telepath Professor X, the founder of the X-Men. Legion’s powers may be limitless, but since they manifest through different personalities (he has Dissociative Identity Disorder), he’s never reached his full potential. Still, Legion has been shown to control minds, manipulate time, and alter reality, among dozens of other feats, so that’s a pretty good start.

Mister M

Though it might seem difficult to tell him apart from Jim Jaspers (below) — after all, they’re both reality-warpers who just look like some guy — Absolon Zebardyn Mercator, known more commonly as Mister M, has all of the restraint Jaspers lacks. While the feats Mister M is capable of are truly something (creating nuclear explosions, activating and deactivating mutants’ powers by changing their genetic code), he largely refuses to get involved in anything. Simply put, he understands how dangerous his powers are, and so he voluntarily removes himself from the playing field whenever there’s a conflict. Currently, he resides in Otherworld, where he keeps an entire empty domain to himself, building and rebuilding as he sees fit.

Jim Jaspers

While this list primarily focuses on Earth-616, and there is a 616 Jim Jaspers, we’d be remiss if we neglected to mention the original “Mad” Jim Jaspers of Earth-238. Both versions are nigh-omnipotent reality-warpers, but after successfully campaigning to outlaw superheroes, the original Jim Jaspers created The Fury, a virtually unstoppable, adaptable cyborg designed to kill every superpowered individual but himself. This later led to an inter-dimensional conflict known as the Jaspers Warp, where The Fury of Earth-238 gained the ability to travel between universes and attempted to kill the Jim Jaspers of Earth-616, nearly destroying the entire multiverse in the process.

The Celestials

The existence of the Celestials — a race of massive armored alien robots — predates the universe itself. For reasons known only to themselves, they have had a continued interest in mortal affairs; their ancient experiments on Earth created the Eternals, the Deviants, and the gene that led to mutants. Their access to cosmic energy is almost limitless and they’re nearly indestructible. While it’s true they spend most of their time standing around, occasionally they decide to pass judgement on worlds, and that’s usually when they end up facing off against the likes of the Avengers or the X-Men. In the MCU, the Celestials had a couple of quick cameos in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, but their true debut came with the release of Chloe Zhao’s Eternals.

Abraxas

If Eternity (below) is the embodiment of creation, Abraxas is his inverse. Abraxas was born at the same moment as Eternity, and embodies the primal forces of destruction. As an immortal, conceptual being of primal power, Abraxas is an eternal threat kept in check only by Eternity himself, who created a being within each universe to act as Abraxas’ captor and safeguard against his release. That being? Galactus, Devourer of Worlds.

Galactus

One of the most notorious Marvel villains in history — even if he isn’t technically evil — is Galactus. A cosmic abstract that is essential to keeping the universe in balance, Galactus must eat planets to sustain himself. Like the Celestials, he predates the current universe and is basically immortal. But Galactus is more powerful than a single Celestial, as he has unlimited access to the Power Cosmic, an awesome energy force that’s connected to everything in the universe. Galactus is able to use this power to do practically anything, and when he’s gotten in knock-down, drag-out fights with similarly-powered beings, the effects have rippled across all of reality.

Phoenix

20th Century Fox

The Phoenix Force is an immortal, ageless, abstract cosmic entity that represents all life in the universe. It has a nearly unlimited amount of cosmic power at its disposal, is connected to all psionic energy in the omniverse (which includes every multiverse, pocket dimension, etc.) that has or will ever exist, and has the ability to create or destroy wide swaths of the universe. In most of its comic book appearances, the Phoenix Force performs its feats through the use of a host, with its favorite host being Jean Grey, the powerful, telekinetic X-Men member.

Origin & Unbeing

Origin and Unbeing are yet further avatars of creation and destruction, although with a more specific, metafictional bent. Origin is the sentient force that creates significant events in the universe, and Unbeing is his opposite, seeking ever to undo his work. Among Origin’s claimed feats? Starting the cosmic storm that empowered the Fantastic Four, choosing which powers mutants will eventually manifest while they’re still in the womb, and pointing various aliens toward planet Earth — including the Asgardians, the Kree, the Skrull, and more.

Franklin Richards

Marvel Comics

As the son of Fantastic Four members Reed Richards and Sue Storm Richards, Franklin was always destined for great things, but few could have predicted that the kid would become one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse. Franklin is, in a word, overpowered. As a kid, he has shown the capability to restore a fractured reality and create entirely new universes, while a future adult version of the character displayed mastery over Galactus, battled and defeated multiple Celestials, and was considered an omniverse-level threat.

The Vishanti

Rather than a single being, the Vishanti is a triumvirate of three incredibly powerful mystical entities. Together, they are nearly omnipotent and arguably the most powerful magic users in the multiverse. They are made up of Oshtur, an Elder God; Hoggoth, an ancient alien mystical being; and Agamotto, Oshtur’s offspring and the original Sorcerer Supreme. The Vishanti frequently aid Doctor Strange in his quests and have shown themselves to be equal in power to at least some cosmic entities.

Mistress Love & Sire Hate

When it comes to feats, these two don’t really have a whole lot to show. But when it comes to reputation, well, that’s another story. The two cosmic abstracts are the embodiments of all of the love and hate in the multiverse, respectively, so you can imagine the amount of power that comes with that. In the cosmic hierarchy of the Marvel multiverse, Love and Hate are situated on the same level as the powerful Chaos and Order, and above such entities as Galactus and the Celestials. In other words, they’re extremely powerful, even if they don’t use their power often.

Lord Chaos & Master Order

Sitting evenly with Love and Hate on the ladder of cosmic power is this pair of inseparable abstracts. Though they have no physical form, they are the literal embodiments of chaos and order, which govern all things — and unlike Love and Hate, the Lord and Master have shown a willingness to get involved in the matters of the multiverse. They have tried to gain more power for themselves and created the In-Betweener, a powerful cosmic being in his own right, to do their bidding.

Demiurge

Demiurge — the sentient manifestation of Earth’s biosphere — is the power of Life itself on Earth, and it gave birth to what are known as the Elder Gods (distinct, mind you, from the Elders of the Universe). Of those Elder Gods, nearly all fell to corruption and infighting, and only four remain: Gaea, Oshtur, Set, and Chthon. A fifth, once known as Atum, was reborn as the Heliopolitan Sun god, Ra, which led to the formation of the Egyptian pantheon within the Marvel Comics.

Death

Another cosmic abstract, Death — sometimes called Mistress Death — is the literal embodiment of death. She has limitless cosmic power that allows her to manipulate time and reality, and she is immortal (if not technically actually alive). Every soul that dies comes under her control, and while she serves a key function in the universe, she has at times overstepped her bounds, most notably in the comics version of the Infinity Gauntlet saga. You see, it was her idea to wipe out half of all life in the universe to correct a cosmic imbalance, not Thanos’. He did it for her because he was in love with her (not judging).

Eternity & Infinity

Marvel Comics

Two more inseparable cosmic abstracts are Eternity and Infinity, who together encompass all that happens within the universe. Yes, you read that right. These are the literal concepts of reality and time, and they have unlimited power within this reality. They can manipulate and control anything that exists, which naturally makes them just absurdly powerful.

Oblivion

Yet another cosmic abstract, Oblivion is closely related to Death, Eternity, and Infinity, but there is evidence that Oblivion is more powerful than all of them. Oblivion is the manifestation of nothingness — the void. It existed before the multiverse and will exist after the multiverse dies. Its greatest desire is to see the end of all things, leaving it as the only thing there is. Oblivion has limitless destructive abilities, and has used avatars to carry out devastating feats. One avatar is Knull, the immortal King of the Symbiotes, while another is the Skyfather Amatsu-Mikaboshi, who became the Chaos King and destroyed around 98% of the multiverse with just a sliver of Oblivion’s power. That’s, uh, impressive stuff.

Molecule Man

We have made it to the final human being on the list, and what a feat to make it to the top five! Let’s get a round of applause for the planet Earth. Molecule Man was a scientist named Owen Reece who suffered a lab accident that imbued him with powers of molecular manipulation. As everything is made of molecules, he has complete control over all matter and energy that exists, and can quite literally do anything. Some cosmic entities fear him — and with good reason, as he is wildly unpredictable.

The Living Tribunal

The Living Tribunal is a multiversal being that sits atop the traditional cosmic hierarchy. Depicted as a towering golden humanoid with three faces looking in different directions, the Living Tribunal is omnipotent and is tasked with acting as the chief arbiter for the multiverse. On matters of great import, he will cast judgment on other beings in order to protect the balance of the multiverse. He has passed judgment on beings as powerful as Eternity without batting an eye, and his cosmic powers are essentially limitless across the multiverse.

The Beyonder

The Beyonder is an interesting character. So far, every figure discussed resides somewhere within the multiverse — but not the Beyonder. He comes from his own dimension located outside the multiverse, and he possesses complete omnipotence and can do anything. The character debuted in the 1980s storyline “Secret Wars,” in which he created a Battleworld where he pitted Earth’s heroes and villains against each other for his amusement. Recent ret-cons have revealed that the original Beyonder was merely a child of a race of Beyonders — a race so powerful that they were able to kill the Living Tribunal and had the capability to destroy the entire multiverse. Basically, Beyonders play by their own rules.

The One Below All

Marvel Comics

A newer character, having debuted just in 2018, The One Below All is the evil antithesis to the One Above All (more on that in a minute). It is the representation of all hate and destruction in the multiverse, and while it has no actual mind of its own, it seeks to become all there is. A portion of it exists within everyone, and its powers are limitless. The only thing keeping The One Below All from running roughshod over the multiverse is the fact that it is bound to the Below-Place, the lowest level of reality, by The One Above All.

The One Above All

The One Above All is basically the closest thing to the Western concept of a monotheistic deity in the Marvel Comics universe. It created the omniverse and everything in it — including the Beyonders and, presumably, the One Below All — and possesses complete omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, though it rarely intervenes in events. It has appeared in both male and female forms, but has most often been drawn to resemble Jack Kirby, the co-creator of many Marvel characters alongside Stan Lee. This suggests that The One Above All represents the Marvel writers themselves — the ones who truly decide what happens to the characters on the page.

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