It’s been eight years since Iron Man made his debut and kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this weekend’s release of Captain America: Civil War marks the 13th release in the franchise. During that time we’ve seen a ton of mystical artifacts and doomsday devices, and there are of course several superheroes defined by their weapons (like Daredevil and his billy clubs and Spider-Man and his webbing), but which of these objects are the most powerful?
We’ve already discussed the most powerful items of the Marvel comic world, but we thought we’d take a crack at what we’ve seen so far in the live-action world. Here are the 15 Most Powerful Objects in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Keep in mind, this list does not include sentient beings such as Ultron or Vision, despite the argument that could be made for their inclusion. Also, minor-medium strength SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War lie ahead.
15. Hawkeye’s Bow
Clint Barton, better known as the Avenger Hawkeye, is an expert marksmen that could probably take out a room full of armed soldiers with a nerf gun, but it never hurts to have a good weapon at your side — and Hawkeye’s bow is one of the best. The bow’s recurve design allows him to fire it rapidly without losing too much power. But the best thing about the bow might actually be the quiver, which holds all of his nifty trick arrows. In addition to the standard pointed variety, Hawkeye carries numerous arrows with special attributes, such as an explosive arrow, a taser, and a melter which, as the name implies, is capable of melting through most objects.
He’s even used the bow in hand-t0-hand combat on occasion (to varying degrees of success). Luckily, his bow got a bit of an upgrade in Civil War, otherwise, his brief skirmish with Black Panther might not have gone so well.
Hawkeye might be just a guy with a bow and arrow, but his complete mastery of it (coupled with its varying abilities) make it one of the best weapons in the MCU. Who knows, maybe Barton and his bow could be starring in their very own Netflix series in the very near future?
14. Berserker Staff
Thanks to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we know that centuries ago, Asgard sent an army to Earth to fight in an unknown war. After the war was won, one of those soldiers decided to stay on Earth. He left behind his life of war and shattered the Berserker Staff into three pieces, hiding it away until it was eventually rediscovered centuries later.
The Staff has the ability to grant its wielder superhuman strength, along with an overwhelming sense of rage and hatred. The strength, along with the rage, tend to fade fairly quickly once the wielder has put the Staff down, but it can have long-term mental effects on humans due to being forced to confront all of their pent-up anger.
Basically, the staff turns the person wielding it into a declawed Wolverine.
13. War Machine Armor
Lt. James Rhodes’ War Machine armor is a heavily modified version of Iron Man’s Mark II armor. The biggest difference between the two is that War Machine’s armor was designed specifically for military use, so its weapons systems received several upgrades, including a sonic cannon and laser guided missiles. Despite its impressive arsenal and the enhanced strength it gives its wearer, the War Machine armor does have one major weakness in that, as demonstrated during Iron Man 3, it is vulnerable to extreme heat. During the battle with Extremis, Rhodes was actually forced to eject from the suit due to risk of it overheating and harming him. That one flaw aside, the War Machine armor is still an impressive weapon in its own right.
It can’t quite withstand a direct attack from the Vision, unfortunately, as we learned this past weekend in Civil War.
12. The Monolith
Originally humans (at least in the MCU), the Inhumans were the products of a genetic experiment by a group of rogue Kree, that resulted in the beings being given various superpowers. The main Kree faction felt the Inhumans were too dangerous and created a weapon to destroy them. The Monolith has the ability to destroy any Inhuman that comes in contact with it, making its use disastrous in the wrong hands.
Aside from killing Inhumans, the Monolith serves another useful function. It can act as a portal, transporting people across space to the planet Marveth. Whether the Monolith was conceived as a weapon against the Inhumans first with the teleporting being a side effect, or vice-versa, has never been fully explained. It’s possible that it was created to do both tasks.
Perhaps the Monolith is to blame for the apparent death of the Inhumans movie?
11. The Winter Solider’s Arm
Falling from a speeding train can really ruin your day. Just ask Bucky Barnes who, after falling from a train during WWII, was captured by the Soviets and turned into the deadly assassin known as the Winter Soldier. Due to his injuries, Bucky’s left arm was replaced with a bionic one that, in addition to looking awesome, grants him superhuman strength.
How strong does it make him, exactly? Well we don’t know know the limits of his strength, but in Winter Solider, Bucky was able to catch Captain America’s shield and thrown it back hard enough to make Cap fall back a few feet. Later on in the movie, Bucky was able to use his arm to briefly overpower Captain America despite the super-soldier serum coursing through his veins.
10. Pym Particles
Created by physicist Hank Pym, Pym Particles allow their man (or woman) using them to shrink down to a size of an insect, which makes them great for stealth and infiltration work such as the heist in Ant-Man. The Pym Particles don’t merely shrink their user, but also enhances their natural strength, essentially turning them into living bullets. Ant-Man has also created Pym Particle-enabled discs, with each disc being powered by either a red or blue variant of the Pym Particles. The ones powered by the red Pym Particles shrink their target, whereas the blue ones enlarge their target.
9. Black Hole Grenades
Used by the Dark Elf forces in Thor: The Dark World, these small objects are capable of creating miniature black holes when they’re detonated. Since we’ve only seen them used in a single movie, we don’t have too much information on just how strong the black holes are. Based on what we have seen though, they appear to simply wipe everything, within their blast radius, out of existence
Despite their obvious destructive power, these grenades do have one major weakness, in that their range is very limited. The blast radius seems to be confined to a few feet, with anything outside of that range remaining unaffected by the blast.
8. Hulkbuster Armor
Just about every Iron Man suit to date has made for a highly formidable weapon, and for the sake of simplicity, we’ve chosen to simply include the strongest one to date.
Since his debut in 1963, Tony Stark has created a lot of different variations of his iconic Iron Man armor, including one created from a Symbiote and another designed to fight the all-powerful Phoenix. In the MCU, he hasn’t designed quite that many suits, but he still has plenty to go around. The most powerful of them, as far as we’ve seen, is the Hulkbuster armor.
Designed with the help of Bruce Banner himself, this armor makes Tony’s previous creations look like toys in comparison. Powered by eleven arc reactors, this suit is capable of matching the Hulk blow for blow and firing repulsor beams strong enough to knock the Hulk flat, for a few seconds at least.
7. Yaka Arrow
Yondu Udonta is the leader of the Ravagers and former mentor to Peter Quill, aka Star Lord. Yondo’s weapon of choice is the Yaka arrow, a deadly arrow which Yondo used in Guardians of the Galaxy to take out an entire squadron of Sakaaran soldiers — along with their ship — in a single, graceful maneuver.
The arrow is controlled via Yondo’s whistling which might make it seem kind of a silly, but it actually gives the user a lot of control over the arrows, as changes in tune can cause it to rapidly change direction or stop in mid-air. The inherent silliness of whistling aside, the Yaka arrow is definitely something Hawkeye should consider adding to his quiver.
6. Terrigen Crystals
Another relic of the Kree’s experiment on the Inhumans, the diviner was first discovered in WWII. Due to to the fact that it kills most non-Inhumans who touch it, the diviner was originally believed, by S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra, to be some kind of doomsday weapon. It was later revealed to be something very different.
The diviner actually contains Terrigen crystals, which, when shattered, release the Terrigen mists that awaken the dormant powers of the Inhumans. The Diviner’s were originally designed to be used in Kree temples such as the one Skye discovered in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but later generations of Inhumans found a way to use the crystals in other locations.
The mists, of course, aren’t a very welcome sight for ordinary humans, has they turn them into statues that tend to crumble into dust. If you ever run into these mists, pray that you’re secretely an Inhuman.
5. Captain America’s Shield
Forged from the alien metal, Vibranium, Captain America’s shield is capable of absorbing and storing energy, which actually strengthens it over time. This nigh-indestructibility was put to the test when Cap used his shield to block a blow from Thor’s all-powerful hammer, Mjolnir (glimpsed above). Merely blocking a blow wouldn’t do Cap any good if he was pounded into the ground by the Thunder God in the process, but luckily, the Vibranium in the shield allows it to absorb most of the kinetic energy, leaving Cap unmoved no matter what’s thrown at him.
Aside from the occasional use of a gun, the shield is the only weapon Captain America carries into battle when facing down Nazi cults or alien invaders, which might seem like an odd choice since shields are traditionally defensive in nature. Over the years, Cap has mastered using his shield as an offensive weapon, and often hurls it at his opponents. His superhuman senses allows him to throw the shield with perfect accuracy, and shield’s design allows it to ricochet off multiple objects without losing any velocity.
It also has it’s own song, in case you were wondering.
4. The Eye of Agamotto
We don’t know very much about the MCU’s take on the Eye of Agamotto, and probably won’t learn much until Doctor Strange is released later this year, but we do know it’s playing an important role in the upcoming movie.
In the comics, the Eye is one of the most powerful mystical artifacts on the planet — and a symbol of the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. Exactly what the Eye will do in the MCU is unknown, but Kevin Feige has stated that the Eye is extremely powerful and will be able to manipulate probabilities, similar to the Scarlet Witch’s power in the comics, and even “screw around with time.” That last bit about time is of particular interest, seeing as how the Time Stone is one of the two Infinity Gems we haven’t seen and Marvel has a habit of using solo movies to reveal the Infinity Stones. Regardless of whether the Eye turns out to hold an Infinity Stone, it is still one of the most powerful objects in existence.
The hammer Mjolnir is one of the most powerful weapons in the MCU, allowing Thor to control the weather, fly and, of course, hit stuff really really hard. The full extent of Mjolnir’s powers (in the MCU) are unknown, but Thor was able to use it to destroy the Bifrost Bridge and the Destroyer in his first solo adventure.
In the comics, Mjolnir gives Thor control over all the weather, such as creating hail storms as well as the more common use of summoning lightning, but so far, Thor hasn’t displayed that level of command over his superweapon. Still, as shown during the invasion in Avengers, the lightning alone can be wielded to devastating effect.
Mjolnir is an enchanted weapon, one that (usually) Thor alone can pick up and wield, though Vision was revealed to be worthy back in Age of Ultron.
2. The Insight Helicarriers
The second generation of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier first introduced in the Avengers, the Insight Helicarriers were much larger and featured weaponry far more dangerous than their predecessors. In addition to their advanced weapons systems, the Insight Helicarriers also featured advanced cloaking technology that rendered them all but invisible.
What makes the three Insight Helicarriers truly impressive, however, is Project Insight, a system that was designed by the World Security Council to detect and eliminate threats before they could occur. Unfortunately, since HYDRA had taken control of S.H.I.E.L.D., that target list included the Avengers and upwards of 200,000 other people, who would have been killed instantly had the system gone online. Luckily, Captain America and his allies were able to sabotage the targeting system, forcing the three helicarriers to fire on one another and destroy each other.
1. The Infinity Stones
The most powerful object in the MCU, the Infinity Gauntlet grants the wearer nigh-omnipotence when fully assembled. We won’t see the full power of the six Infinity Stones until Infinity War, but we have seen glimpses of their power through the MCU.
The first was with the Tesseract, which Red Skull used to create super weapons during WWII and was later used by Loki to summon his Chitauri army. Of course, Loki also possessed a second Infinity Stone in the Mind Stone, contained within his scepter, which he used to control Hawkeye and others. In Thor: The Dark World, we were introduced to the Reality Stone, in the form of the Aether, which Malekith used in an attempt to cover the universe in darkness. Most recently, in Guardians of the Galaxy, we saw the Power Stone wielded by Ronan the Accuser. The exact details of the Power Stone’s abilities haven’t been shown, but Ronan claimed it could destroy an entire planet.
Whenever Thanos does manage to gather together all six stones and fully assemble the Infinity Gauntlet, he can put an end to all existence with a snap of his fingers, making this superweapon far and away the MCU’s most powerful object.
Which MCU item were you taken aback by? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments.