The Marvel universe is home to a lot of weird and wonderful weapons and devices. Some of these have appeared in movies based on the comic books for which Marvel first became famous, but a lot of unique items have yet to be translated onto the big screen.
But which of the many weapons, tools and artefacts in Marvel comics are the most powerful? Here are a few items from the comics that hold the most power, some of which have appeared or will make future appearances in the MCU, and some items which are so bizarre and strange that they’ve been left out of stories featuring the characters who most often make use of them.
Here are The 15 Most Powerful Objects in the Marvel Universe.
15. The Ultimate Nullifier
The Ultimate Nullifier is a handy little MacGuffin which was first introduced into comics during an attempt by Galactus to devour the world. In looking for some way to stop him, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four travelled to Galactus’ homeworld and discovered the tiny, handheld device that was used to scare Galactus away from Earth.
The Nullifier is described as ‘the universe’s most devastating weapon,’ despite being the size of an average smart phone. The device is capable of completely erasing any target from existence, although if the user’s will is not strong enough, they’ll be taken with it. As the device is used as a literal deus ex machina in the comics, it’s unsurprising that Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer left the Ultimate Nullifier out of its conclusion.
14. The Infinity Gauntlet
Probably the most well-known device on this list, the Infinity Gauntlet has appeared in numerous Marvel movies thus far, and the Infinity Gems have appeared in far more. In the comics, upon gaining control of the Gauntlet, the villainous Thanos used its power to erase half of all superheroes on Earth and began reshaping the universe before eventually being defeated and losing his power.
The Infinity Gems provide their owner with various powers, including the ability to control time, space, and reality. When the gems are combined within the Gauntlet they grant the user almost complete omnipotence – although no wielder of the full set of gems has ever managed to hold onto them for long.
13. The Mandarin’s Ten Rings
Appearing in the first Iron Man movie as the name of a terrorist cell, and appearing in Iron Man 3 as little more than costume decorations for Trevor Slattery, the Mandarin’s ten rings are far more potent in the comics.
Alien artefacts that ended up on Earth after a spaceship crash, each ring initially took a human host before all being collected by The Mandarin. Each ring has its own supernatural power, which range from being able to rearrange matter or creating vortexes to shooting lightning and releasing poisonous gasses. As such, the ten rings are far more of a threat in the comics than they’ve ever been in the movies.
12. The Black Vortex
The Black Vortex in and of itself isn’t a huge threat to the heroes of Marvel’s Earth – but its potent cosmic powers mean that it’s often the target of evil forces. The Vortex grants its user cosmic powers – essentially the power of gods – which makes it a very dangerous tool in the wrong hands. Many mortal beings are incapable of handling the power, and end up losing their humanity when their hearts are twisted by the power of the Vortex.
The X-Men and the Guardians of the Galaxy once temporarily used the power of the Black Vortex to fight against extra-terrestrial beings who were interested in stealing it. The heroes were ultimately able to control the power, but relinquished it at the first opportunity.
11. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak
While the Juggernaut of the X-Men universe, portrayed by soccer legend and all-around tough-guy Vinnie Jones, ultimately didn’t prove to be all that tough, his comic book counterpart is one of the most threatening and powerful characters in Marvel comics.
Granted the power of the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak, Juggernaut is essentially indestructible – only through penetrating his mind with psychic power can the Juggernaut be stopped, which is why he typically wears a helmet similar to Magneto’s. The gem which gives him his power is said to contain a ‘Crimson Cosmos’ – an entire dimension where time does not pass, making the gem a particularly powerful artefact indeed.
10. The Evil Eye of Avalon
Also known simply as the Evil Eye, this mystical object has the power to manipulate all forms of matter, as well as possessing time travel and dimension warping powers. The Evil Eye of Avalon is capable of disintegrating matter, destroying force fields, and firing large energy blasts.
The weapon is powerful enough to subdue gods such as Loki, is often sought after by Dormammu, the main adversary of Doctor Strange. A disagreement over its control has led to wars between the Avengers and the Defenders, although the item hasn’t now made an appearance in comics since the early 90s.
9. The Cosmic Cube
Not to be confused with the Tesseract of the first Avengers movie (which was ultimately revealed to be the Space Gem for use in the Infinity Gauntlet), the Cosmic Cube is another item which is often sought after by Thanos the Mad Titan.
Much like many items on this list, the Cosmic Cube grants the user the power to control all forms of matter and energy, and as such provide a source of almost unlimited power. The cube has gained a certain level of sentience over the years, and will choose to disregard orders from its user if it doesn’t agree with the planned use.
8. The Darkhold
Knowledge is the ultimate power! An ancient book of evil works and spells, the Darkhold can be used by the learner to absorb a great amount of dark magical knowledge. The teachings of the book were used to create the first vampires, and had a hand in the sinking of Atlantis.
The Darkhold is considered to be the opposite of the Book of the Vishanti, from which Doctor Strange gains his knowledge and powers. Its power has a corrupting influence over any who reads it, meaning that even if the spells are intended to be used for good, the user will soon become tainted by the evil power of the book.
7. The Staff of One
A weapon with almost unlimited power, the Staff of One comes with two major provisos: firstly, it can only be summoned when its user spills their own blood, and secondly, it is incapable of casting the same spell twice (hence its name).
In spite of its limited use, the Staff of One is said to be so powerful that powerful beings of the level of Doctor Strange’s adversary Dormammu is afraid of it. At one point in the comics, its primary user Nico Minoru used The Vision’s in-built thesaurus to cast a wide variety of spells, and with the right words the staff could be used to dramatically and irrevocably alter the fabric of the universe.
6. The Watcher’s Eye
On a secret base on the moon, an ancient being known as Uatu the Watcher kept watch on all of the notable events of planet Earth for many years. With so much knowledge about the history of the planet, and the secrets held by many of the heroes of Earth, it was inevitable that the Watcher would eventually become a target.
The Watcher’s knowledge and memories are stored within his eyes, thus when the Watcher was killed and his eyes removed, the heroes rushed to find the culprit. In doing so, the power of the Watcher’s eyes were unlocked, and many of the Marvel heroes discovered terrible secrets that had been kept hidden from them for years, such as the fact that the Human Torch’s tampering with experiments was responsible for Ben Grimm’s inability to transform back into a human from being the Thing, or the fact that the radioactive spider who bit Peter Parker also bit another person.
The Watcher’s eyes aren’t capable of destroying planets of rearranging the universe, but their knowledge of the history of the Earth and all of the Marvel superheroes make them a very powerful tool all the same.
5. The Tactigon
Considered an Omega-level threat (in other words, it’s really powerful), the Tactigon is an alien tool which has the power to turn into the ultimate weapon for fighting any foe. The Tactigon scans it opponent and matches its power to perfectly illuminate them, often through firing energy blasts.
The weapon is semi-permanently bonded to its host, and will transform in appearance depending on its needed use, making it a very hand weapon in a fight – and a very big problem if (and when) it falls into the wrong hands.
4. The Wand of Watoomb
As with many of the items on this list, the Wand of Watoomb is capable of channeling mystical energies to allow the user to control the elements and rearrange matter. In addition to this, the wand is able to be used to open portals to other dimensions and can heal the user when injured.
There are actually five wands of Watoomb in the Marvel universe, all of which originate from various other dimensions. At least one of these wands is in the possession of the Sorceror Supreme (typically Doctor Strange), but it’s not always known where the rest of them are.
3. The M’Kraan Crystal
The giant pink M’Kraan Crystal is considered by its creators to be ‘the end of all that is’, and the gem contains an entire crystal city inside its forcefield. At the center of this gem is a neutron galaxy which serves as the nexus point for all matter across all realities in existence.
In practice, the power of the M’Kraan Crystal isn’t used very often – it is heavily guarded by the Shi’ar, an alien race who often have dealings with the X-Men. Due to the fantastical nature of the gem, it’s very unlikely it’ll appear in the X-Men movie universe any time soon, which typically stays away from mystical or extra-terrestrial X-Men storylines.
2. The Casket of Ancient Winters
One item on this list that has appeared in a Marvel movie is the Casket of Ancient Winters – the Casket is central to the plot of the first Thor movie as its ice powers lead Loki to discover his true heritage as a Frost Giant.
In the comics, the Casket of Ancient Winters contains great wintery power. When used in war against Asgard it has proven enough to bring the entire Asgardian army to its knees and can even freeze the Frost Giants themselves.
1. The Heart of the Universe
This final item is generally considered to be the most powerful force in the Marvel universe, although it’s not appeared canonically in the main universe that the comics focus on – instead, its great power has been retconned to only definitely exist in an alternate universe where a version of Thanos used it to create multiple ultimate timelines and bring whole universes into existence.
It’s not known whether a version of the Heart of the Universe exists in the main Marvel comics universe, but it has been hinted at occasionally. Nevertheless, because its power is essentially an end-game for Thanos, it’s unlikely that it’ll appear again any time soon.
There certainly are a lot of powerful items throughout Marvel comics – often used as deus ex machinas or MacGuffins to drive the plot of stories, these items typically don’t get used much because comics get boring when characters can literally do anything they’d like. That hasn’t stopped various writers from coming up with more than a few super powerful weapons and other items over the years.
With a history as long and convoluted as that of the Marvel comics, some important items had to be left off this list. Which ones do you think should have been included? Which would you like to see in movies in the near future? Share your thoughts in the comments below.