I know that Marvel movies have kind of taken over the world over the past 10 years, but it’s still hard to believe they took off like they did. I’ve been a comic book fan my entire life, so seeing that these characters are an accepted part of the social culture is something I’m still not used to. Now, having said that, Batman is my favorite superhero and I’m one of the few defenders of the current DC movies.
I will admit that the Marvel movies did something unthinkable and made 10 years of movies leading up to Thanos in Infinity War! And Justice League was… well… it was a movie that they made and it went to theaters. I do consider Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to be one of the best superhero movies of all time; you read that right. Now, this list is going to focus on the characters in the current Marvel and DC movies and we’re going to talk about them from weakest to strongest.
I want this list to be about the actual character in the lore and not how well they were in their respective movie. So if a character is basically a God then they are going to be higher up the list than a normal human. I will say that just because someone is smaller and seems weaker, that’s not necessarily the case. Power comes in many forms when it comes to central characters in comics. Alright, let’s talk Marvel/DC characters!
Before we fully get into this list, I wanted to put a spoiler warning on here. I go into detail about things that happen in all these movies. Okay, enjoy!
25 Marvel: Ant-Man
I do want to say that I love the character of Ant-Man, especially how he’s portrayed by Paul Rudd in the movies. I just think of the people on this list he’s the weakest of the characters.
When he is Giant-Man he’s more powerful, but it’s just because he’s big.
His ability to shrink down at will does make him a handful in a fight, but it’s mainly the suit that’s doing it. I do think he’s going to play a big role in Avengers: Endgame though!
24 Marvel: Black Widow
Black Widow was first introduced in the MCU in Iron Man 2, and she’s been a central character in most movies since. I do think she is amazing in hand-to-hand combat, but she’s ultimately just a human.
Her real name is Natasha Romanova.
I do think Scarlett Johansson was the right choice to play her and am looking forward to seeing what her solo movie is going to be like. She is a very strong character, but I just didn’t feel like she was top 20.
23 Marvel: Iron Man
This is probably going to be the most controversial entry on here because of how low I have him, but I just think Iron Man isn’t that strong of a character compared to others. He’s very much Batman in that he’s just a rich dude, but at least Batman is a martial arts master. The moments when Tony is out of the suit he seems so weak and vulnerable. He is second in command of the Avengers, and rightfully so, and is on this list because of it. Plus, he’s a great character, and Iron Man 3 is the most underrated movie in the MCU!
22 Marvel: Black Panther
To me, this is where we start getting into the more powerful characters on this list! Panther is a king, has a suit made of vibranium, and is a master of hand-to-hand combat! He commands an entire army and is going to be responsible for the vibranium distribution in the future for the MCU. A big reason why I have Panther on here is because of his leadership, and because he was on the frontline in the attack on Wakanda in Infinity War, so he backs up his words with action.
21 DC: Cyborg
I’m going to be real here: I think Cyborg is kind of a lame character, but he’s so strong that he had to make this list! Not only does he have the ability to throw a car, but he can also hack into anything and control it.
He was a star football player before becoming Cyborg.
He showed his strength in Justice League, and that was honestly just a taste of what he can do. I hope we see more of him in future movies just because of the cool action scenes we could have with him!
20 DC: Lex Luthor
Lex is the perfect example of influence over pure strength. In Batman v Superman, he couldn’t fight Superman and he knew it, so he got Batman riled up and pit the two heroes against each other. Even when that didn’t work he made Doomsday, that ended up destroying Superman. We’ve only had a taste of what he can do in the DC movies, but gathering a team might be next. The last we saw him he was on a boat with Deathstroke, who is one of the big bads of the DC Universe.
19 Marvel: The Wasp
Yeah, I totally understand that Wasp has the same powers as Ant-Man, but after seeing Ant-Man and the Wasp it’s pretty obvious that she’s the stronger one of the two. She can handle herself outside of the suit, but when she is in it she can take on anyone in the MCU. An advantage she does have is having blasters with her suit. She does also have the advantage of her mom being the former Wasp, and in comic logic that means she has it in her blood!
18 DC: The Flash
We haven’t seen Flash much in the current DC movies, but I feel this is the right spot for him with what we have seen. Whatever strength he lacks physically, he makes up for with his super speed!
He was first introduced in BvS.
The scene saving the hostages in Justice League showed how powerful his speed is with helping secure them and also helping Wonder Woman. And as we saw at the end of the movie, he can keep up with the speed of Superman!
17 DC: Harley Quinn
As much as I love Harley as a character and as popular as she is, I can’t put her any higher up this list. She is a master manipulator and clinically insane, which makes her very dangerous! We’ve only seen her in Suicide Squad but she was arguably the star of that movie and is going to be in the Birds of Prey movie as well. Margot Robbie is the perfect Harley and I hope that we get to see a lot more of her as this character!
16 Marvel: Hawkeye/Ronin
Hawkeye has been part of the MCU since the first Thor movie, but never really connected with me until Age of Ultron. The scene when they all go to his house and we see his family is one of the best scenes in that movie. Yeah, I know, he’s just a dude that shoots arrows but hear me out. In the Avengers: Endgame trailer we see him transformed into Ronin, and he is going to be so angry in that movie. I wanted him in this spot because of who he is going to be in that movie; it’s going to be awesome!
15 DC: Steppenwolf
So now we’ve gotten to the big hitters of the list! Steppenwolf is the right-hand man of Darkseid and we got our introduction to him with Justice League and it took every member at full strength to take him down.
He should’ve had more screen time, but it’s whatever.
The times he is on screen we see his army, and when he meets the league early on he beats the crud out of them without Superman. It’s a shame he was used in this movie and not later, but he’s one of the strongest on-screen characters we’ve seen.
14 Marvel: Loki
I mean, do I even need to explain why Loki is on this list? He used Thanos’ army to attack NYC in Avengers, is a master of illusion, and literally took the identity of Odin and ruled Asgard! He’s actually a pretty weak person when it comes to throwing down, but can convince almost anyone to help him out. He basically betrayed Thor at every turn and paid for it in Infinity War. He’s one of the most interesting characters in the MCU and I’m hoping they work him back into the movies in an interesting way.
13 Marvel: Dr. Strange
I’ll fully admit that I underestimated Dr. Strange going into Infinity War, but man he has one of the coolest moments in the movie. He showed some skills in his own movie with the time manipulation, but the scene in Infinity War where he multiplies and traps Thanos was amazing!
His real name is Stephen Strange and he's a neurosurgeon.
It’ll be interesting to see how his powers are in Endgame since he doesn’t have the time stone anymore. He was the character to say the line endgame in Infinity War, so he had to be on this list!
12 DC: The Joker
You can’t have a list of comic characters and not have the Joker on it! I know this is unpopular but I thought Jared Leto’s Joker was interesting and different in Suicide Squad. I get not being into the tattoos and him being weirder than the other ones, but he looked cool and owned the screen when he was on it. Joker is not strong in a fight but is the leader of an entire crime division in Gotham and the biggest threat to Batman, and that’s power!
11 Marvel: Scarlet Witch
I get not agreeing with me about Scarlet Witch being this high on this list, but just hear me out. She can literally control minds, and when she gets into the head of the Hulk in Age of Ultron, he loses it and almost destroys a city!
Elizabeth Olson played her in the MCU movies.
There’s a scene in Infinity War where she lifts up one of the drillers and takes out a lot of the minions of Thanos and that’s amazing! I know I’m hyping her up but I really like her character and she’s one of the strongest characters in the MCU!
10 DC: Aquaman
Talk about a character that went from being the behind of everyone’s joke to being one of the top superheroes on the big screen! At this point, we have seen a decent amount of him and his power is pretty obvious! Not only does he have full control of the ocean but he is powerful on land as well. The ending of his movie shows how he can handle combat with his fight against Ocean Master. Not only is he strong, but is one of the coolest characters in the current DC movies!
9 Marvel: Spider-Man
Spider-Man is my second personal favorite character in comics history, so he had to crack the top ten! 2018 seemed like the year of Spider-Man with the PS4 game, Into the Spider-Verse, and him having that emotional scene at the end of Infinity War.
He’s just as strong as any heavy hitter in the MCU.
I know that he may be a kid, but he’s probably the fastest member of the Avengers and punches like Thor. I also think the current MCU Spider-Man is the best he’s ever been in a live action movie!
8 Marvel: Captain America
Just like with Dr. Strange, I was not a Captain America person until I saw him in the MCU movies and I get now why people like him so much. On the outside, he seems like a dork but he believes so much in what he does that it’s infectious. Not to mention he literally stopped a chopper with one hand in Civil War!
He got his powers from the Super Soldier program.
His leadership quality is just as strong as his physical strength and they’re both massive!
7 Marvel: Thor
You remember the scene in Infinity War when Thor shows up in Wakanda with Rocket Racoon and Groot… that’s power! He literally jumps in the air and slams his hammer down and takes out like 50 minions! He’s the god of thunder, can fly, and is so darn handsome! I think it could be argued that he’s the most powerful member of the Avengers and one of the top three in the MCU! They also made him legit funny in Ragnarok and going forward, and it fits him so well!
6 Marvel: The Hulk
Hulk and Thor have basically become the buddy cops of the MCU and they ended up back-to-back on my list because of it! It just feels right to have them next to each other. I consider Hulk to be the stronger of the two, but it goes back and forth. Hulk punched one of the space whales in the face in Avengers and beat the heck out of Loki! I remember it took me seeing that scene three times to realize what he was saying, because the audience was going nuts both times. Anyway, Hulk is very, very strong and only has five people above him in my opinion!
5 DC: Batman
I get that some will not agree with this, but I’m a Batman fanatic and feel he deserves to be in the top five on this list! He’s the best hand-to-hand fighter in comics and the scene where he beats the crud out of like 20 guys in that warehouse in BvS is your proof.
Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns was the inspiration for the current Batman.
Not only is he physically strong, but he has a gadget for everything and is always a step ahead of everyone. Plus he’s the one who put together the Justice League!
4 Marvel: Captain Marvel
Seeing that Captain Marvel hasn’t come out yet, we just have the trailers to go by and I still feel confident with her this high! The shots of her in space blowing up ships with her hands is a pretty good giveaway that she’s super powerful!
I do think she will be the reason that the Avengers take down Thanos, but I don’t think she’ll give the final blow. She seems like she will the most powerful MCU character outside of one.
3 DC: Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman might be the most powerful woman in comics, and in both the MCU and DC movies. She defeats the god of war in her movie and is pretty much a god! We saw her strength early on in the Doomsday fight in BvS where she technically handled him better than Superman and Batman. I think the main scene that shows who she is as a character is in Wonder Woman, when she walked on the battlefield and deflected the bullets with her wrists and shield! That’s an all-time scene for me!
2 DC: Superman
Well… Superman is near the top of a comic book character list based on strength… very surprising! In all seriousness, though, Henry Cavill is my favorite on-screen portrayal of the character. I appreciated the raw emotion he had in questioning himself in BvS. Him not seeing the bomb in the courthouse was an amazing character moment. Do I even need to talk about how strong he is? He has a line in BvS when he is fighting Batman and he says “If I wanted it, you’d be [deceased] already.” That pretty much sums up how powerful he is in the DC movies!
1 Marvel: Thanos
He wiped out half of the population on the planet with the snap of his fingers… do we need any more evidence that Thanos is number one? Granted, he needed all the infinity stones to do it, but still. Let’s be real, though, he was owning everyone before he got the stones.
Josh Brolin was the perfect choice to play him.
Another example of his strength is when he pulls the moon down from orbit and crashes it on Titan! Such an amazing image that I never thought I’d see in a movie!