Shared universes live and die on the diversity of the characters. Marvel and DC Comics are the two biggest kids on the comics block because there’s a character for everyone, from mere mortals in spandex whose only power is punching to godlike super0humans that can shrug off a nuclear warhead or two.
It’s hard enough to write stories with demigods who can punch anything into submission, so imagine how much harder it is to write stories featuring actual deities.
Above demigods like Superman and The Hulk are a tier of characters that are the actual gods and goddesses of their respective universes. More than just heavy hitters, these characters affect the actual reality of the worlds they inhabit.
Some are standalone “gods” that pretty much just hold the title and a little bit more power than the average mortal, while others can bend time, space, and life force itself to their will, warping the very fabric of existence.
Others still are practically xeroxed from the gods and goddesses from real-world history and religions, grabbing characters from the pantheons of ancient cultures like the Greeks or Hinduism. Whatever their origin story, the gods of the DC and Marvel Universes were not created equal.
It's time to see how they all measure up, so get ready for Marvel Vs DC: Every God Ranked From Weakest To Strongest.
20 Volstagg (Marvel)
As one of the few Asgardian characters in Marvel history not explicitly based on a character from Norse mythology, Volstagg was actually based in stature and personality on the Shakespearean character Falstaff.
His strength is rivaled only by his appetite, and though he’s a man of considerable girth, a lifetime of training and experience in glorious Asgardian combat has given him the knowledge of how to best use his size against foes.
He possesses the superhuman durability, stamina, and extreme longevity as the rest of his race, and recently wielded Thor’s hammer Mjolnir as the rage-filled War Thor, powerful enough to wipe out the entire realm of Muspelheim and all of its fire demons.
Only the last-minute intervention of current Thor Jane Foster stopped him from committing genocide against the fire realm.
19 Amora/Enchantress (Marvel)
As another Asgardian character created from whole cloth, Amora, aka Enchantress, is the Asgardian goddess of magic and sorcery. Although her physical strength and resilience is only average for a female Asgardian, her conjuring might is the most powerful in all of Asgard, with a massive arsenal of spells.
With the right enchantments and incantations, she can manipulate time, levitate, and disguise her appearance, and (weirdly enough) she also cries tears of diamond and gold.
She also has powerful abilities of attraction, and has focused the brunt of her abilities on enhancing her natural beauty and sway over men.
Thanks to her enchantments, a single kiss from her lips bends a man’s entire being to her will.
Amora is an incredibly powerful magician, but once her enchantments are broken by a fellow magic-user, she’s fairly useless in a fight.
18 Gog (DC)
As an ancient refugee, Gog was a member of the Old Gods who fled before they were destroyed and the New Gods such as Orion and Darkseid were created. Gog phased through the multiverse, listless, until he finally crash-landed on Earth in what later became the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Local tribes worshipped the dormant god until Gog was awoken in modern day, and began amassing followers for his healing abilities.
He attracted the attention of the Justice Society of America when he removed the threat of local guerrilla fighting by turning the soldiers into trees.
When he intended to do the same thing to fighters all over the Middle East, it caused a schism amongst the JSA members. Its remnants were forced to kill Gog when it was revealed that he was slowly tying himself into Earth’s life force, and would kill the entire planet if he ever left.
17 Rama Kushna (DC)
Enter the first god on this list who's part of a real-life pantheon. Rama Kushna was introduced in DC comics as a Hindu god and guardian of the sacred city of Nanda Parbat.
While fans of Arrow on the CW might know the city as the home of the League of Assassins, in the comics Nanda Parbat is a hidden city nestled in the mountains of Tibet.
It’s a place of healing and enlightenment where time moves differently than in the outside world. As a result, Rama Kushna isn’t much in a fight, but boasts transcendent cosmic awareness and the ability to empower avatars in the mortal plane.
She’s responsible for giving the deceased circus performer Boston Brand the power to inhabit and control the body of any living being as the superhero Deadman.
16 Bast (Marvel)
Like her DC counterpart Rama Kushna, Bast the Panther Goddess primarily works through the hands of others. An ancient and powerful deity and the primary god of the state religion of Wakanda, Bast is a member of the Ennead, inter-dimensional beings worshipped by the ancient Egyptians on Marvel’s Earth.
Bast is the child of Ra himself, the chief of the Enneads, and is the source of power for Wakanda’s chief protector, Black Panther.
The very first Black Panther, Bashenga, prayed to Bast 10,000 years ago for the power to defeat tribesmen that had been mutated by the arrival of a meteor of Vibranium in Wakanda.
Since then, every Black Panther has been granted their powers by Bast, and must prove themselves in her eyes before assuming the mantle.
15 Loki (Marvel)
As a breakout villain of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki is the son of the King Laufey and Queen Farbauti of the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. Abandoned by his people, Loki was adopted by the ruler of Asgard, Odin (more on him later in the list).
As he grew to adulthood, movie and comic Loki both resented the favoritism shown to Odin’s natural-born son Thor and the parents who had abandoned him.
He could never hope to match the raw strength, power, and bravery of Thor, which puts him lower on this list.
Since these were qualities that the Asgardians lauded, it also turned him into something of an outcast, but forced him to develop proclivities in sorcery, magic, and deception. Loki became a cunning and powerful trickster god with the ability to shapeshift and magical command to rival the most powerful sorceress in Asgard.
14 H’Ronmeer (DC)
Mars has gods too, at least in the DC Universe. H’Ronmeer is considered by most Martians to be the god of death who helps shepherd Martian souls to the afterlife after their physical body passes.
In this capacity, he’s actually enlisted the help of Martian Manhunter J’onn J’onzz. After H’Ronmeer restored his memories, J’onn was able to sever the psychic tether keeping the souls of massacred Martians tethered to their crimson homelands, and H’Ronmeer was able to usher them into a peaceful rest.
Other Martians consider him the god of fire as well, and in the current DC Universe H’Ronmeer is able to bestow control over “the living fire” unto a chosen avatar, much like other gods on this list can empower their own champions.
13 Hercules (Marvel)
Marvel also boasts a pantheon of Greek gods, just like DC, only they figure much less prominently than in DC’s mythology (it’s complicated).
Marvel managed to make a fun character out of the ones DC never really developed, Hercules, who’s been a member of the Avengers from time to time.
The son of Zeus and Alcmena is an expert in all manner of ancient weaponry, but it’s his brute strength that puts him on this list.
Hercules is the most powerful of all Olympians, with strength that has allowed him to stand toe-to-toe with the Hulk and even tow the entire city of Manhattan. Thanks to drinking the breastmilk of Hera as a baby, he’s also nigh-invulnerable and can shrug off bullets, missiles, and energy blasts.
12 Ammon-Ra (DC)
Another fictionalization of a real life deity, Ammon-Ra was the leader of the original Egyptian pantheon, worshipped by the ancients, and he has empowered many over the years with tremendous abilities of sorcery, magic, and elemental control.
In the 1950s of the DC universe, he granted extraordinary magical power to the sorcerer who became Doctor Fate, who went on to become arguably the most knowledgable and powerful magic user in the DC Universe.
Ammon-Ra is essentially a neutral presence in the DCU, but his champions have not always treaded a careful path.
His power and name are what give super villain Black Adam his great strength, and just a fraction of his power makes the arch-nemesis of Captain Marvel (also known as Shazam) a physical challenge for just about anybody in the DCU.
11 Orion (DC)
Orion and his father are like the dark mirror versions of Odin and Loki (more on them in a bit). His father Darkseid rules over the hellish planet of Apokolips, and gave Orion up as a baby in a trade of firstborn sons with the world of New Genesis to broker a peace between them.
Orion was raised by the Highfather of New Genesis who had given up his firstborn to Darkseid, and trained to control the seething anger he had inherited from his despotic father.
As a result of this focus and with the support of the other New Gods, he became a warrior feared and respected by both Apokolips and New Genesis, and a powerful ally for the heroes of Earth, especially the Justice League.
10 Ares (DC)
Now enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to his starring villainous turn in the Wonder Woman movie, Ares was a logical, classic choice for the first cinematic Wonder Woman villain. One of the Greek pantheon of gods, Ares was not content to sit in Olympus with his father Zeus. His whole schtick was hatred, chaos, and discord.
As a result of his earthly meddling and bloodshed, Aphrodite swore that her Amazons would save the world of humans from Ares’ warmongering through peace and love.
The reason why Ares isn’t higher on the list despite his invulnerability and superhuman traits is that he feeds off war as well.
When the world is at peace, his power wanes, hence his natural desire for combat, bloodshed, and savagery to overtake the mortal world.
9 Thor Odinson (Marvel)
As the most famous God in Marvel Comics, who is played by Chris Hemsworth in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor hails from Asgard, son of its king Odin and one of the Elder Gods of the universe, Gaea (more on them later).
Not only does he possess the raw strength, resilience, and longevity that come from being Asgardian, but his physical strength, stamina, and speed are also rivaled only by his own father in the realm.
He is both the Asgardian god of Thunder and Strength, boasting nearly limitless power and the ability to summon the thunder and lightning of a world at will.
He can manipulate weather, raise hurricane winds with his breath, and he’s the strongest and most physically durable of all of the Avengers. He also sports the most stylish cape.
8 Darkseid (DC)
The biggest physical heavy-hitter in the DC universe, Darkseid is the New God ruler of the hellish dystopian planet Apokolips. In addition to winning the annual Contest For Xtreme Dark Names award 48 years running, Darkseid has the resources of the entire planet at his disposal.
Should any foolish heroes make it through his legions of flying Parademons AND his generals, they still have to defeat the nigh-invulnerable and immortal Darkseid and his deadly Omega Beams. A grand total of three beings have been able to withstand them: Superman, Doomsday (who killed Superman), and Darkseid’s father Yuga Khan.
No other character has been more of a persistent threat to the physical DC universe, and Darkseid has dedicated the combined fearsome might of his planet to finding the Anti-Life Equation, a formula that would give him unchecked dominion over every living mind in the universe.
7 Zeus (DC)
Zeus was only briefly glimpsed in 2017’s Wonder Woman and Justice League, but in both the comics and the movies, he is the leader of the Greek pantheon of gods, and the father of Ares and Diana of Themyscira, aka Wonder Woman.
Zeus would be higher up on the list were it not for the fact that, like his son Ares, his powers can grow or wane.
While Ares feeds on chaos and war, Zeus must be sustained by worship, either direct or indirect.
However, at his height, Zeus is a fearsome deity to behold, invulnerable and immortal and capable of altering the weather, casting lightning bolts, and in some cases reviving the dead and creating life.
He can also alter his physical form to shapeshift into almost anything, which comes in handy whether you’re in a battle or trying to impregnate mortals (Greek mythology was weird, folks).
6 Odin Borson (Marvel)
As the King of Asgard and Lumberjack Beards, Odin has ruled his realm since the dawn of time, reincarnating, falling, and reincarnating much like the rest of the Asgardian pantheon.
He commands the tremendous strength, speed, and stamina that come with being Asgardian, but his strength is only rivaled by his son Thor.
His intelligence and wisdom outclasses his son’s, though, which comes from many eons of ruling and fighting for Asgard’s very survival.
More than that, he also wields The Odinforce, a tremendous source of magical energy. True, Thor can whip up a hurricane or a lightning storm while he’s pummeling you in the face, but the Odin Force lets his father perform incredible feats of energy manipulation.
He can teleport whole worlds across the universe with a thought, read minds from a galaxy away, and project tremendous force blasts or defensive shields.
5 Mephisto (Marvel)
Mephisto is like Satan Lite. He’s not actually the ruler of Hell, but he claims to be. He’s a demon, but they work a little differently in the Marvel universe, in that he doesn’t rule over one-half of the human afterlife.
Instead, old Phisty is an extradimensional entity who lords over a pocket dimension he calls “Hell”, complete with fire and flames and torment. His origins are unknown, as is his actual appearance, but he takes on the image of Satan in order to prey off of the fears of mortal humans.
He maxes out the scales on strength, intelligence, and magical power, and is capable of trapping humans in his pocket realm at will. Tremendous magical energy and pyrokinesis make him a terrifying foe to behold, and he’s created entirely new realities and timelines in the past by changing events in the past of the prime Marvel timeline.
4 Elder Gods (Marvel)
The Elder Gods may share a name with the ageless, terrible creatures of the Cthulu Mythos created by H.P. Lovecraft, but they’re considerably less tentacled and generally friendlier in the Marvel Universe.
They were spawned by the sentient biosphere of Earth itself, the Demiurge, as living embodiments of the life force of Earth.
Over the years, most of the Elder Gods descended into warfare and debauchery, until only two remained on Earth: Gaea, mother of Thor, and Oshtur.
Gaea acted through many aliases over the years, as Mother Earth, as Demeter, as a guardian of the earth and its life, while Oshtur traveled the universe before returning to earth as master and god of the astral plane and other realities.
Both have unimaginable powers of creation and dimensional manipulation, and protect Earth and its realms from their corrupted siblings Set and Chthon.
3 The Source (DC)
“The Source” is the imaginatively-named source of all existence, the nearly-limitless energy from which all life sprang forth from the universe.
It was created when the universe first sprang into existence billions of years ago, and echoed throughout the DC universe later as the Godwave.
This not only empowered the original New Gods like Orion but also may be connected to the rise of superpowers on Earth as its energy reverberated throughout the cosmos.
What makes The Source so powerful is that its near-limitless energy is sentient, with an infinite and unfathomable consciousness, and has been shown in the past to manipulate mortal agents for its goals. The Source Wall at the edge of the known multiverse keeps the power of The Source trapped within it.
2 Dormammu (Marvel)
Dormammu made an impressive debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s Doctor Strange as an incomprehensibly powerful god with sway over the entire Dark Dimension.
He was so powerful that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange couldn’t come close to defeating him in normal or magical combat. He could only force him into a stalemate through some clever time-loop trickery, and his comic book version is just as powerful, if not more so.
Dormammu almost destroyed the entire Marvel universe when attempting to merge it with his own Dark Dimension.
He’s comprised entirely of pure mystical energy, which makes him indestructible, immortal, and capable of time travel in the prime Marvel comic universe. Though he isn’t omniscient, and his powers are weakened in Earth or any dimension not his own, he’s still the most powerful force to be reckoned with in the Marvel universe.
1 The Presence (DC)
Comic books have always had a somewhat clumsy time trying to address religion in anything but the broadest allegorical terms, as anyone who’s seen Superman Return’s in-your-face Christ imagery can attest. That’s why most of the “gods” on this list are non-Judeo-Christian, and are either not worshipped anymore or made up.
Leave it to DC Comics to go for awkward broke and have God, the God, Yahweh, as an actual character and presence in their universe. He doesn't just appear as a disembodied narrator, either.
He is also referred to as The Presence, The Hand, or The Voice, and he has actually intervened in superhero battles and empowered characters as avatars.
Not only is The Presence the source of The Spectre’s powers, but he also resurrected the Justice Society of America at the behest of The Spectre’s prayers. An angel named Zauriel was even part of the Justice League of America during Grant Morrison’s run on the book.
Can you think of any other powerful Marvel or DC gods that we forgot? Let us know in the comments!