Summary

  • Marvel movies showcase a vast array of cosmic characters, from heroes to villains, each with unique abilities and power levels.
  • The MCU, with over 40 projects, is the primary home of Marvel’s cosmic characters, but they also appear outside the MCU in various forms.
  • From Captain Marvel to Galactus, cosmic beings in Marvel movies display a wide range of powers, from time-travel to world-devouring capabilities.

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Marvel movies feature a wide variety of cosmic characters, regardless of whether they’re part of the MCU or not. Not only are there heroes who operate beyond the confines of Earth alone, there are plenty of villains as well. To that end, one has to wonder who’s currently the most powerful cosmic being on the big screen.

The majority of cosmic Marvel characters can naturally be found within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, considering it currently boasts over 40 different projects (and more on the way). However, the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe has been explored outside the MCU as well. To that end, here are 12 of the most powerful Marvel cosmic characters, ranked from arguably the least to most powerful.

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12 Star-Lord, Celestial Hybrid

Guardians of the Galaxy

First appearing in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter Quill’s Star-Lord was introduced as a legendary outlaw. However, it was eventually revealed that while his mother was from Earth, his father was a cosmically-powered Celestial named Ego. To that end, Peter Quill temporarily had the abilities of a Celestial before ultimately giving up the power by destroying his father at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now, Star-Lord only has the power of a regular human, though Marvel’s What If…? did reveal how powerful Quill could have had his father found him as a child.

11 Adam Warlock, A Living Sovereign Weapon

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

adam warlock flying in gotg 3

Making his first full appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Adam Warlock was created by the Sovereign’s Ayesha to destroy the Guardians of the Galaxy. Having the ability to incapacitate the entire team while critically wounding Rocket Raccoon, Adam Warlock is certainly quite powerful and a cosmic force to be reckoned with. However, Warlock was awakened from his birthing pod far too early, meaning that he came into existence far more half-baked than intended. This means that Adam Warlock still has some growth and maturity to attain in the current MCU.

10 Captain Marvel, Powered By The Space Stone

Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel using her power to save the Kree in The Marvels

Imbued with the cosmic power of the Space Stone while serving as a test pilot for Project Pegasus, Carol Danvers’ Captain Marvel is one of the most powerful human superheroes in the MCU. Not only was she able to go toe-to-toe with Thanos during Avengers: Endgame, but she also displayed an impressive ability to restart Hala’s sun in 2023’s The Marvels. Thanks to her cosmic enhancements and altered physiology, Captain Marvel doesn’t appear to have any major weaknesses as one of the current MCU’s strongest Avengers.

9 Hela, The Goddess Of Death

Thor: Ragnarok

Dark Hela in Valkyrie's flashback in Thor Ragnarok

The firstborn daughter of Odin, Hela the Goddess of Death is incredibly powerful, matching and perhaps even surpassing the ability of her brother Thor. Not only can she summon a variety of weapons and armor at will, but her possession of the Eternal Flame allows her to resurrect fallen soldiers as seen in Thor: Ragnarok along with her large wolf Fenris. That said, it’s assumed that Hela was defeated by Surtur at the end of the third Thor movie.

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8 Kang The Conqueror, Time-Traveler and Multiversal Manipulator

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania

While Kang the Conqueror’s MCU future is uncertain, there’s no denying his impressive power through the ability to time-travel and the assembly of multiple variants across the multiverse known as the Council of Kangs. Having been teased by He Who Remains in Marvel’s Loki, Kang made his full debut in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, revealing his history with his fellow variants and their existence as a future threat of unified variants. Furthermore, Kang features a variety of energy-based weapons and various armor systems, ensuring that he would be a major force to be reckoned with against many cosmic beings.

7 Surtur, Bringer of Ragnarök

Thor: Ragnarok

The Crown Of Surtur (3)

Destined to bring about the destruction of an entire realm, not much is known about the MCU’s Surtur beyond the fact that he’s the Fire Demon lord of Musphelheim as he is in Norse legend. Nevertheless, Thor and Loki’s plan to defeat Hela came with the cost of losing Asgard, reviving Surtur whom the God of Thunder had recently defeated so that he could fulfill the prophecy to completely obliterate Asgard. To that end, having the ability to decimate an entire realm with his Twilight Sword easily makes Surtur one of the most powerful beings in the MCU cosmos.

6 Ego, A Rogue Celestial

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kurt Russell as Ego the Living Planet in the MCU

Star-Lord’s father Ego is somewhat strange in that he didn’t seem to be aware that other Celestials existed besides himself and had a purpose. Regardless, Ego’s ability to manipulate matter at will and extend his consciousness across the galaxy does make him quite powerful, even if he couldn’t fully bring about his Expansion without coopting the powers of his various children, having hoped that Peter would finally be the one to help his achieve his dark dream of becoming one with everything in existence. Regardless, the power and abilities that Ego possessed as a living planet are rather notable.

5 Thanos, Wielder of The Infinity Stones

Avengers: Infinity Wars and Avengers: Endgame

Thanos Custom MCU Image With Infinity Stones
Custom Image by Kevin Erdmann

The major culminating villain in the MCU’s Infinity Saga, Thanos was a brutal conqueror and leader of multiple alien armies even before he claimed the Infinity Stones as seen in Avengers: Infinity War. To that end, Thanos easily became one of the most powerful cosmic beings in the entire MCU when the Stones were in his possession, using them to erase half of all life in the universe. Ultimately, it took the entire combined might of the Avengers, their allies, and ultimately the Infinity Stones themselves to defeat the Mad Titan as seen in Avengers: Endgame.

4 The Phoenix Force, A Cosmic Force of Life and Death

Dark Phoenix

As seen in X-Men: The Last Stand and more recently in Fox’s Dark Phoenix, the Phoenix Force is an incredibly powerful cosmic being capable of bringing about beautiful rebirth while also causing massively destructive levels of death. In both X-Men movies, the Phoenix Force takes hold of the Xavier School’s Jean Grey, amplifying her power and making her incredibly dangerous to those around her. Believed to be the nexus of all psionic energy predating darkness itself, the Phoenix Force has been a continual threat and source of power in the comics’ Marvel Universe for years.

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3 Arishem The Judge

Eternals

Celestial Arishem judging Earth in Eternals

Unlike Ego, Arishem the Judge was partnered with other Celestials who brought about the Big Bang, supposedly initiating life itself in the MCU. Manipulating matter and various primordial energies, Arishem and his fellow Celestials are incredibly powerful, having created their own beings such as the Eternals and Deviants all over the universe. To that end, the influence of Arishem is vast, exerting his and the other Celestials’ will across the cosmos with no known beings capable of meaningfully opposing them aside from their Eternal creations who barely managed to prevent a Celestial’s birth (as seen in 2021’s Eternals).

2 Galactus The World Devourer

The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

As seen in Fox’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, a version of Marvel’s Galactus was the imminent threat heralded by Norrin Radd, his Silver Surfer whom he imbued with cosmic power. Although he was depicted as a giant space cloud rather than the giant armored man he’s depicted in the original comics, one can assume that Galactus’ abilities are the same. Likewise, it was only through the Silver Surfer and the power Galactus himself had granted him that the World Devourer was turned away from Earth in the Fantastic Four sequel.

Having the ability to consume entire worlds and arm his agents with his own cosmic power, the comics also confirm that Galactus has bested Celestials in the past. Conversely, it took multiple Celestials to bring Galactus down at one point in the comics’ Marvel Universe. Having existed in a previous universe before the creation of the current cosmos, Galactus is incredibly old and immensely powerful. One can only hope the same will be true when and if Galactus makes his way to the MCU with its Fantastic Four reboot.

1 Eternity, A Primordial Cosmic Entity In The MCU

Thor: Love and Thunder

Gorr the God Butcher wishing to Eternity in Thor Love and Thunder

Joined by Death, Entropy, Infinity, and more, Eternity is one of the primordial Cosmic Entities that’s been featured the most in the MCU. Associated with the Infinity Stones and the dawn of the universe, Eternity sits at its center, offering to grant the wish of whoever finds him first as seen in Thor: Love and Thunder where Gorr’s daughter Love is brought back to life by Eternity (along with new powers).

Free of any physical limitations, Eternity is the temporal representation of the universe with unlimited control of reality, as well as being nearly omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. As such, Enternity is undoubtedly one of the most powerful beings in the MCU seen thus far, if not the most powerful out of all the Marvel movies that have ever been produced.

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