Let’s face it – the Marvel Universe is a very dangerous place. It’s filled with all sorts of powerful supervillains who can do anything from rob a bank to chow down on the multiverse for breakfast – god help us when they get to lunch.
As Avengers: Infinity War will no doubt prove to those who haven't read the comics, the Mad Titan known as Thanos is undoubtedly one the most terrifying of a terrifying bunch. The MCU’s decision to make the death-loving demi-god Thanos a focal point for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is testament to that. But what about all the other baddies lying in wait across the broader Marvel pantheon?
Believe it or not, there’s plenty of nemeses our favorite superheroes could face who are even tougher than the cosmic purple monster. Who will the Avengers face off against once they take Thanos down?
Here are 15 Marvel Villains Who Are WAY More Powerful Than Thanos.
Do we even have to say it? This guy Galactus – he’s as old as the universe! And he eats planets. That’s all he's done, for billions of years now. He flies around space in a giant metal soccer ball (years before the Star Wars Death Star) and chomps down on entire worlds. Oh, and sometimes fight the Fantastic Four.
Galactus has been described as a “force of nature” by Thor’s powerful dad, Odin. So going up against him is like taking on… physics. Good luck with that!
This dude is so powerful, he creates heralds like Silver Surfer, Firelord, Terrax – all tough enough to take on plenty of earth’s mightiest. And like Thanos, he wears a weird purple outfit. In fashion, they are more like equals.
The Devil? Well, Mephisto is definitely a Prince of Darkness in the Marvel Universe, but there others too. It all gets pretty confusing, but suffice to say, he is the personification of all evil, he does lord over a hellish realm full of demons, and he is pretty unstoppable.
Mephisto is a really rotten dude who has a lot of power over space and time. He's even able to change past events to rewrite history, as we found out in the infamous Spider-Man story, “One More Day” which effectively erased the matrimony of Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson (needless to say, fans weren’t happy with that one).
Mephisto can’t really die, and even though everybody from Doctor Strange to the Hulk has fought him to a stalemate at times, it seems like that’s more at his whim than because anybody can actually beat him.
We don’t care what anyone says – the Beyonder is one of the goofiest supervillains ever. Originally dreamed up as an excuse for all the Marvel superheroes to fight each other for no good reason in the Secret Wars series, what he is and what he can do has gotten way out of hand.
Basically, the Beyonder is the sum total of a multiverse. Not just a universe – a whole freaking bunch of them. And he’s pretty much omnipotent. In fact, his whole race runs around creating universes. Thanos can do a lot of things, but creating a whole bunch of universes isn’t on his resume. Beyonder: 1, Thanos: 0.
There has been a retconned version where he’s actually an Inhuman/mutant hybrid - maybe that version Thanos could take.
Okay, so we already know that Galactus eats planets, but he’s also pretty much a regular fella otherwise. He even wore shorts back in the day! The Phoenix Force levels up from there. This cosmic baddie actually runs around sucking down entire stars like they were Big Gulps.
Originating in the pages of the X-Men, and soon to hit the big screen with X-Men: Dark Phoenix, this all-consuming consciousness was initially hosted by Jean Grey, but has seduced a whole lot of other hosts – even Professor X.
Unlike Galactus, the Phoenix isn’t serving a higher purpose; it’s just a glutton. The more stars the Phoenix eats, the more it wants. Its ultimate expression would consume the universe itself – which is where Thanos happens to live – so yeah, the Titan would just be another meal like the rest of us.
Does Dormammu count as another Marvel Universe “devil?” Well, he does fit the bill in many ways. Pure evil, rules his own realm, commands an army of mindless demons – check. He’s easily Dr. Strange’s toughest nemesis, and commands top-level mystical energies that can unravel the fabric of reality. Like all evil Marvel gods, he’s got his sites set on remaking the universe in his own image, and has come close to getting the job done many a time. Thanos taking Dormammu on mano-amano would be an interesting matchup, but at the end of the day, the fire-headed overlord of the Dark Dimension would win that arm wrestling contest.
10. Doctor Doom
Arguably the greatest supervillain of all time, the Fantastic Four’s most dangerous enemy is a force to be reckoned with. Doctor Doom is sort of an evil mash-up of Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Stephen Strange, with an unmatched intellect, unbeatable grasp of tech, and access to mystical powers.
Besides time travel, campaigns of universal conquest, and superior manipulation skills, Doom has successfully stolen the power cosmic from the Silver Surfer, taken the Beyonder’s powers, and even sent Franklin Richards to hell. In short, he’s driven, brilliant and endlessly resourceful. He always figures out how to do the impossible. And that would include taking out Thanos.
Guys – this is Death. As in dead as a doornail Death. As in Final Destination Death. Nobody is stopping this lady (the gender assigned to her in the Marvel Universe) and she will be around so long as there is life.
We all know that Thanos is deeply in love with this diva of demise - so much so that he once used the Infinity Gauntlet to sacrifice half of all life in the universe just to score some points with her. To the two of them, 50% of living things were basically a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.
The thing is, while Death rarely takes on Marvel heroes directly, she is always manipulating Thanos into going on galaxy-spanning murder sprees on her behalf. If one day, she wants the whole of creation gone, she can get her on-again, off-again boyfriend to do the job and while Thanos can be beaten, Death surely cannot.
8. The In-Betweener
The Marvel Universe has a pretty wide field of seemingly omnipotent old-god cosmic figures whose very existence is deeply woven into the nature of the universe itself. And some of them are really big jerks.
The self-serving In-Betweener is one of the bigger of those jerks. Personifying the nature of duality, he’s supposed to be an agent for yet another set of elder gods, Lord Chaos and Master Order. But more often than not, he moonlights in his own schemes. He’s tried to ensure that Adam Warlock would evolve in Magus, an alternative future-self who’s pure evil. And one time, he tried to take over Galactus’ job as universal planet eater.
Yeah, Thanos is tough, but against the living cosmic Othello cookie, maybe not so much.
Remember we said that Marvel kind of has a lot of devils? Well, the Asgardians have their own version of a fiery underlord. Thebeastly Surtur is pretty much actually made of pure primeval evil fire. In fact, his whole realm – Muspelheim (which sounds suspiciously like “Mephisto” by the way) – is made of evil fire, as are his massive army of demons.
Surtur’s whole reason for being is to climb out of his pit, grab a giant sword, light it on fire, and use it to set the entire universe ablaze, just burn the whole thing down (which is basically what Thor: Ragnarok is all about). Mr. Hot-Stuff has also fought Odin to a standstill, trashed Asgard, and come close on multiple occasions to winning the Best Arsonist Ever award. If Thanos tried to take on this flaming super-demon, he’d be toast.
In life, you start as a child, grow into adulthood, and then merge with future tech to become a cyborg and finally bloom into an unstoppable cosmic god. At least that’s how it went for a guy named Michael Korvac.
This time-travelling utopia-seeker went through some pretty serious evolution from being merely human. Getting upgraded from a genius tech dude to a powerful sentient machine, Korvac uses his version of Google Analytics to steal secrets from the Elder Gods and even Galactus himself. So besides being super-strong, super-smart, and super-determined, he’s also got the Power Cosmic, making him as unbeatable as Galactus – thus making Thanos a pushover by comparison.
A member of a Japanese pantheon of gods, Mikaboshi is an entirely different kind of powerhouse. While not much of a bruiser, his access to seemingly unlimited amounts of supernatural energy reserves makes him a formidable foe for any hero or villain. He actually attacked all of Olympus, coming very close to taking out Hercules, Ares, and even Zeus himself. He was later chosen to be part of a god-level hit squad when the patron deities of the Skrull Empire got out of hand.
Mikaboshi is no slouch and certainly outmatches Thanos. And since he’s also a lord of the dead, living in the land of the dead – who knows? Thanos could even end up worshipping him!
He’s big. He’s ugly and he has kicked Thor’s butt. He’s also beaten Asgard down, pretty much single-handedly.
This is a monster which describes itself as the hatred of a billion-billion beings from another planet – basically every anger management case from an entire race of aliens. And his version of road rage is to grab that gain sword in Asgard and destroy everything (yes, the same sword Surtur is always after). While Thor has been able to hold Mangog back, it takes Odin to dispatch this seriously hostile extraterrestrial.
We are pretty sure that if this dude can take out the hosts of Asgard, he can pretty much deck Thanos. And, oh, so long as there is hatred in the universe, he can’t ever die. Good luck with that!
Another cosmic god-like entity floating around the Marvel Universe, the easiest way to think of Abraxas is as a sort of deity made of antimatter. As the living embodiment of universal destruction, it turns out that the entire reason that Galactus came into being in the first place was to keep this guy from blowing up the whole show. If you need a space-cop that powerful to keep the mean streets of reality safe for the rest of us, it’s safe to say, this is one bad man. Or entity.
Can he take down Thanos? Since Abraxas has unlimited power and gone face to face with Eternity itself, we say, yeah, he can take the Mad Titan down without breaking a sweat. If he sweats, that is.
Why just settle on one space god here or another space god there, when the Celestials are a whole danged race of space gods? And they also happen to be Godzilla-sized space gods.
Born way back when the universe started, these towering humanoid figures are basically cosmic rebels determined to thwart the original order set down by the Creator; pretty much responsible for starting that whole life-death-evolution thing. They plant themselves as eggs on planets, wait billions of years to see how it evolves, then judge whether it gets to survive or not. A thumbs-down means – boom! – planet destroyed.
As much of a schemer and cosmic manipulator as Thanos may be, he’s got several eons of catching up to do to match the Celestials.
1. Franklin Richards
Talk about unstable molecules! Easily one of the most out-there characters in the Marvel Universe, the eldest child of Mr. Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, Franklin Richards was not only born an incredibly powerful mutant, but also inherited some of those Fantastic Four cosmic rays from his parents.
So what are his powers? Well… almost anything. After all, this is a kid who created an entire universe out of boredom without even trying.
Like all children, he doesn’t know his own strength. One time, he got so out of control, his big-brained daddy had to shut down his brain and turn him into a vegetable. Another time, he basically made himself into god and had to be talked out of becoming the Supreme Being. And in the alternate-timeline Earth X epic, Franklin became Galactus!
Is he a villain? Not in the normal sense, although he sure does come close to universe-killing a lot. Tougher than Thanos? Whatever this kid’s ultimate powers are, they’re already way off the Thanos scale. He could be a good babysitter for Franklin, though.
What other Marvel villains could take down Thanos? Let us know in the comments!