The famous image of a comic book superhero may look like a circus strongman in tights and a cape, but muscles aren't the only way to be powerful. Sometimes, the answer lies in magic, science-fiction, or an alien world. The question being: how does a comic book character become the most powerful in the world?
Here are Screen Rant's 10 Most Powerful Superheroes From Marvel and DC.
Modern comic fans may know Captain America like the back of their hand, but it's another Marvel super-soldier who takes the cake. The being known as Sentry is absolutely one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, which means fans should all know him, even if he hasn't appeared on film. Said to hold the power of "a million exploding suns," strong enough to fight the Hulk to a standstill, and blessed with telepathy, immortality, and even the ability to resurrect the dead, there isn't much Sentry can't do. In fact, he may be one of the truly invincible characters in Marvel's entire universe.
There's no shortage of psychics in Marvel's catalogue, so being the best of them is saying something. That honor probably goes to Jean Grey, the fifth member of the original X-Men. The live-action movies only scratched the surface of Jean's powers, since her decades in print have shown her do just about anything a mind can achieve: mind-reading, mind control, telekinetic barriers, force fields, you name it.
And that's even before she unlocks full access to the cosmic Phoenix Force - it may make her a bit more villainous, but the power it grants over the universe as a whole is testament to Jean's dedication and focus.
When Cyclops sent his son into the future for protection, he never imagined that full-grown powerhouse that would return. With a techno-organic virus turning him into a cyborg tank, completely with robotic arm and eye, Christopher Summers took the name of Cable, and made time travel his stomping grounds. As the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey, he has the telekinetic and psychic powers to be hoped for. But add in futuristic upgrades, superhuman strength and reflexes, and a style that's just too badass to be killed, and Marvel's baddest have all failed to pushed Cable around. The only one who's come close? That would have to be Deadpool.
We know what you'e thinking: it's Superman who has to be DC's strongest hero, right? Not necessarily. Superman was first, but with updates and imitators came some serious upgrades. Take Shazam, formerly known as Captain Marvel. All the powers, all the strength, all the speed and invulnerability of Superman, but drawn straight from the magical gods of the ancient world. That basically means that the champion of the old gods can go toe-to-toe with Superman, and actually hurt him (since the Man of Steel, like most alien villains, is vulnerable to magic). Not to mention being fast enough to challenge The Flash, and not needing to eat or sleep while in his superhero form. Something almost no other heroes can claim.
He may be best known as a Justice League member, but make no mistake: when you combine the best parts of Batman and Superman, you get a hero who might be as cool as J'onn J'onzz. Based on superpowers alone, he's as powerful as they come: psychic, telekinetic, able to fly, and use nearly all of Superman's special attacks. While also able to phase through solid objects, and give the Dark Knight competition when it comes to detective skills.
As one of the most famous superhero identites who actually consist of two men in a single form, Firestorm, the Nuclear Man draws his powers from experimental physics as a whole. He may not have the name recognition of other Leaguers, but his appearance on The CW has helped gain some cred. As far as his powers go, he is able to manipulate all inorganic matter in the universe. Transmute stone into gold, turn a nuclear bomb into a cake, or absorb the blast of a nuclear weapon are just a regular weekday for this hero, even if it's only the voice of the scientist in his head that's giving him direction.
Her power might not be as immediately gratifying as Cyclops', but Ororo Munroe's mastery of nature makes her one of the most determined Omega-Level Mutants ever written.
It isn't just the weather, either: the comics have shown Storm doing everything from changing humidity in the air around the world, launching concentrated lightning strikes, hailstorms, gusts of hurricane wind capable of granting her flight, and Storm is one movie heroine who deserves a far better role than she got.
We couldn't leave the Man of Steel out in the cold, since he's easily DC's biggest icon, and a representative of comics as a whole. By now, nobody needs to be told how his alien skin renders him bulletproof to most attacks - except magical - or how he flies from one emergency to the next. But no matter how busy or convoluted his stories have been over the years, it's hard to argue the charm of a Greek demigod like Superman in our midst.
It might sound like running really fast would get old quickly, but Barry Allen's comic book powers are on another level. When you have the superhuman speed to casually stroll past almost-frozen people beside you, it's hard to think of a superpower that couldn't just be faked using the same strategy. But that was before Barry Allen realized he had the speed to travel to distant worlds, or even back in time. And for all the muscles and alien physiology to choose from, a hero who can rewrite time in the blink of an eye is as powerful as they come.
Imagine if Harry Potter was a grown man, and well-trained in martial arts? Now picture it a whole lot cooler, and you've got a rough idea of why Doctor Stephen Strange is basically just that. Having learned the ways of mystic magic, martial arts, and claimed the title of 'Sorcerer Supreme' for himself, it's true that Strange relies on amulets and symbols for power, not his powers or mutation. But he's been referred to as the most powerful human on Earth - so magic wands, necklaces, or orbs aside, Strange is the heavyweight hitter of Marvels' supernatural side. Here's hoping that he makes a big splash in Marvel's big screen continuity soon.
Those are some of the most powerful superheroes from Marvel and DC that we love, but which ones have we missed? Let us know in the comments, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more video like this one.