Marvel is host to no shortage of powerful characters, with that are godlike in their abilities, while others are actual gods. There are the Celestials, impossibly the strong beings who essentially created the universe, as well as deities from several real-world mythologies.
Greek myth, Norse myth, Egyptian myth-- they all kind of collide with one another in the Marvel Universe. Since even gods are not all powerful, some of these characters are stronger than others. Some of them are demigods, with a human side that gives them as much weakness as it does inner strength.
When stacked up against each other, even the most powerful and immortal Marvel characters can vastly overpower one another. For that reason, it’s interesting to put all of Marvel’s most powerful gods together to see who comes out on top. The results can no doubt be unexpected.
For the purposes of this list, we’re looking at characters who hail from mythology as well as cosmic gods and Celestials who all share that same nigh-indestructible level of power.
Here are the 18 Most Powerful Marvel Gods, Ranked.
As the child of Ra, eldest of the Ennead, Bast is an incredibly powerful Egyptian goddess. Bast, the panther god, oversaw the formation of Wakanda when the tribespeople prayed to her as they believed that the vibranium that came to their land in a meteorite was a gift from the gods.
She also oversaw the creation of the Black Panther, a mantle passed from generation to generation over 10,000 years down to the present day.
Bast is incredibly powerful, but her power has limits and she often only uses this power by transferring it to others, either via possession or in the form of an avatar like the Black Panther.
She has overcome some of the strongest magical beings, though, including the likes of the Shadow King and Mephisto, both of which pose incredible threat to the mortals of the Marvel Universe.
As demigod-- a child of both Zeus and a mortal woman-- Hercules also wears the mantle of Avenger, having been a longtime mainstay of the team. He is incredibly strong, but his strength is his only real asset.
As a member of the team, he provides muscle and the occasional godly wisdom. There are few characters he couldn’t best in a physical brawl, but there are other areas in which he might come up short. Essentially, it’s the human side of Hercules that keeps him from being higher up on this list.
He does have his weaknesses, as he’s proven from time to time. For a god, he’s gotten taken down hard on a few occasions. His strength is inarguable, but compared to some of the other Marvel deities out there, he doesn’t really stack up against them quite as well. That's nothing to sell his incredible physical prowess short, though.
When it comes to muscle, he's one of the most powerful Marvel characters, easily.
In stark contrast to Hercules, Loki has an array of magical talents that make him an incredibly formidable threat, but he doesn’t have much in the way of imposing physical strength.
Because of this, he doesn’t rank high on the list. Loki’s not about being all-powerful. In fact, if he was, his character wouldn’t have much motivation as it is the quest for power that has fueled him for so long. Wanting the throne and desiring to rule, he ultimately wants to be noticed and become more popular than his brother.
Loki’s magical abilities and his gift for illusion are great, but his strongest asset will always be his cunning ability to think, talk or manipulate himself out of any given situation. That’s what makes him a force to be reckoned with and such a longstanding thorn in Thor’s side.
With those talents in mind, he's easily one of the most manipulative Marvel villains and has earned his reputation as a trickster well. Even when he's not always a villain, he's always operating with his own self-interest in mind.
Heimdall is a character who never really gets his due credit. He is a wise and incredibly strong Asgardian and his one innate strength is a power most would kill for: he can see every living soul in the universe.
If he concentrates, he can know where anyone is and what they are doing. Heimdall literally sees all— one of the most defining traits of a god. In Thor: Ragnarok, the character is finally given a little more to do as he leads a revolution to overthrow the death goddess Hela.
Still, displays of brute strength aren’t generally his forte, but when he is called to action he has proven himself as an incredibly powerful fighter. Heimdall may not always be recognized or celebrated for his talents, but they are many, and he is without a doubt a force to be reckoned with.
Originally one of the immortal Eternals, Kronos is also the grandfather of Thanos and creator of Drax the Destroyer, who he designed for the sole purpose of destroying his treacherous grandson.
Having lost his own body in an accident years ago, Kronos continues to exist more or less as a spirit in astral form. Much like Obi Wan’s famous line in Star Wars, though, being struck down only made Kronos more powerful as his powers are amplified without the burden of a physical form.
Kronos often appears in a giant, humanoid form so that lesser beings will be able to perceive him, as he is basically an abstract entity. Kronos is not all-powerful, though, as he has been imprisoned and manipulated often, in addition to the fact that he once accidentally destroyed his own body.
One of the strongest heroes in the Marvel Universe, Thor is a legendary god. He is incredibly strong on his own, but when coupled with the power of his hammer Mjolnir he can be next-to-impossible to defeat.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that he has never been beaten. It happens more often than he would surely like to admit. Thor’s possession of Mjolnir and his gifts stemming from being the god of thunder are what place him higher on the list than a demigod like Hercules.
Their level of physical strength might be similar, but Thor ultimately has more powers with more inventive applications that can often help him gain the upper hand in a fight. Even after losing Mjolnir and the mantle of Thor to Jane Foster, Thor Odinson proved himself to be an incredibly strong warrior.
Nothing in the universe is more powerful than death. It is the one thing that cannot be overcome. While Hela is not the physical embodiment of death, she is the goddess of it, or was at least appointed to be such by Odin.
In the comics, she is not his daughter as she is in Thor: Ragnarok. Instead, she is actually the child of Loki, though her father was a different incarnation who died in a previous Ragnarok, implied to be the end of the actual Norse gods as we know them.
That makes Hela a relic leftover from actual Norse myth, rather than the Marvel reinterpretation of it. She has proven herself a force to be reckoned with, winning several of her battles with Thor and always at the very least presenting herself as a threat that the god of thunder takes very, very seriously.
Odin’s father, Thor’s grandfather, Bor is a cornerstone of Norse mythology. He was the one who first fought to bring peace to the realms, and more than that, he was one of the gods who was present at the creation of the universe itself.
Although Bor was a god of great strength, he was not as powerful as his son. Bor fell in battle against the Frost Giants, manipulated by what would be revealed to be a present-day Loki, twistedly traveling back in time to create himself and ensure his place in Asgard and his right to the throne.
In most Marvel stories and even much of Norse mythology itself, Bor is a figurehead. He is a character who represents what came before, but has never been given that much spotlight to really test just how much power he might have had during the height of his rule.
Amatsu-Mikaboshi is also known as the chaos king, as well as a Japanese god of evil. He is a frequent enemy of Thor and Hercules and is a being of immense power.
Mikaboshi existed billions of years ago, back when the Earth was nothing more than a primordial void. He watched as the Amatsu-Kami were birthed by the elder Gods of Earth, watched as these other beings came into his land and came to be worshipped as the gods of Japan by the developing people of Earth.
He became a longstanding enemy of the Kami. Commanding an army of the undead, he fights to possess the Grasscutter sword which, for Japanese deities, is the equal of Asgard’s Mjolnir.
Mikaboshi was assumed to be slain in battle during Secret Invasion when he surprisingly aligned himself with Hercules’ God Squad, but only returned more powerful than ever to attempt to bring Earth back to the days of primordial darkness in Chaos War.
Ego the Living Planet is one of the oldest sentient things in the universe. After coming to consciousness as a formless thing in the vastness of space, he formed a planetary surface to protect himself.
Although, he also once told Thor that he was the result of a scientist merging with a planet when that planet’s sun went supernova, so his origin— ironically enough— might not be set in stone.
Ego began absorbing whatever came into his orbit in order to make himself stronger. Spacecraft, moons, other planets-- he essentially ate them all, eventually gaining enough confidence from his newfound size and strength to plan an interstellar conquest.
Humiliated by his defeat by Thor, Ego renounced his plans immediately. Traditionally, he is not always seen as a villain, though he has been driven mad by other characters and forced to lash out on multiple occasions.
Technically a god, Galactus was the first world-threatening entity that united the Marvel heroes in their early days. Long before the Infinity War or even the Kree/Skrull War, there was Galactus showing up to consume the Earth only to be stopped by the Fantastic Four in the story that truly cemented their place as some of the most important and necessary heroes of the Earth.
Galactus isn’t just imposing because of his size. He has shown his immense power on a number of occasions, convincing his heralds to aid him in a quest of destruction in order to spare their home worlds and loved ones.
His one defining trait is that he destroys entire worlds just so that he can survive, but his real power will always be his imposing presence, which he has historically used to make just about anyone do whatever he wanted.
Known as the Demogorge and the God-Eater, Atum is a strong and imposing Egyptian deity. Atum did not come about this demonic appearance naturally, instead, it was something he was cursed with after slaying all of the demons in Egypt and ridding them from the Earth.
Atum is not inherently evil, but his destruction of evil left him physically transformed.
He became the Demogorge once again when Set, the god of chaos and evil, launched a dinosaur invasion against Earth’s rising mammal population. Atum and Set continued their battle for another million years before Set eventually retreated to his own dimension while Atum returned to the sun.
While Atum has many of the powers of other Marvel gods, he is better at the vast majority of them than most, especially when operating at peak power levels.
As the Greek king of the gods, Zeus is still in essence the god of thunder, more notable than Thor primarily because of his status on Mount Olympus. He is also known for fathering many, many demigods, from Hercules to Perseus and so many more.
Zeus’ level of power is extremely high. He’s one of the few nearly all-powerful gods to occasionally have a warrior’s spirit and not be afraid to use his powers for awesome displays.
On one level, Zeus’s abilities as a god are kind of frightening as even though he is supposed to be a wise leader, he has often used his powers for childish displays and has never really shown the responsibility that should be necessary for a king of the gods to adhere to.
King and All-father of Asgard, Odin and Thor have not always seen eye-to-eye, so to speak, but there has always been a respect between them.
Odin can be brash, even cruel, but he is a wise king which is the most important trait for a ruler of his status. He has been a warlord in the past and knows when to use his power, as well as when not to.
Being wise has never stopped him from leaping into battle and proving his incredible level of power, though. As much as he thinks about the betterment of his people, he has often done incredibly brutal and ruthless things for the sake of them.
Odin is a character driven by tactical thinking, but not necessarily by conscience, and that can make him even more powerful in the long run.
Egyptian god of evil and chaos, Set (or Seth) is in some ways the ultimate embodiment of evil itself. He does not represent the darkness before the Earth, as Mikaboshi does, but rather the darkness that sprung about as soon as human beings began to do terrible things to one another. That’s what makes him terrifying.
He speaks to the innate cruelty and desire to do evil inside of every person and personifies that, even exploiting it for his own benefit.
In addition to being incredibly manipulative, Set is able to control armies of the dead, once even seizing control of a horde of dinosaurs to attempt to wipe out all mammal life on Earth, as the dinosaurs were the source of his power at that time.
Even being beaten by Atum, Set has come back to Earth to wreak havoc many times, taking as much glee in mischief as Loki, but also taking the time to truly relish in the evil of his horrific deeds.
Destined to bring about Ragnarok, Surtur the fire demon is one of the strongest and most evil threats in all of Norse mythology.
He looks like the traditional depiction of the Devil, a horned, red creature wielding a pitchfork, but on a massive, massive scale. Even just visually, Surtur is one of the most intimidating villains in the Marvel Universe.
In the Thor: Ragnarok, Surtur was even presented as a threat that could only be delayed, but could not actually be defeated. That’s a rare thing for Marvel movies, which often take a more cut-and-dry approach to their villains.
It’s because of the incredible threat that Surtur represents that fans were so excited to see him depicted on film in the first place.
Gaea, goddess of the Earth itself, is one of the few deities in Marvel mythology to cross between separate mythologies— almost taking the place of a singular God.
She has infused her essence into all living beings and is the embodiment of life and growth. Gaea plays almost equal parts in Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology as it is depicted historically in the Marvel Universe. She is even revealed to be the biological mother of Thor.
Her power lies in life and renewal, and that power remains pretty much unwavering as long as there is still life. If things continue to thrive, she functions as normal.
Gaea is not a fighter and never really presents herself as such. She operates on a much larger, cosmic scale, balancing the life of the entire universe on her shoulders.
In contrast to Gaea, the Goddess of the Earth, there is Death. Death cannot be defeated, even if many in the Marvel canon have temporarily avoided or even returned from it. Death is constant and unwavering.
Unlike DC’s personification of Death, Marvel’s version does not have a healthy outlook or understand the cosmic good of what she’s doing. Marvel’s Death ultimately seeks the Death of the entire universe. She does not represent the life cycle, only the endgame of a cosmos completely devoid of life.
Thanos seeks to court her love by attempting to bring her this, kicking off the Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War storylines that are no so famous and beloved.
It is unlikely, but still possible, that the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War will see Thanos with the same motivation for seeking the gems as his comic book counterpart. Death’s affection was also courted— with temporarily more success— by the antihero Deadpool.
Can you think of any other powerful Marvel gods who we forgot to mention? Sound off in the comments!