Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe who are familiar with the comics may be scratching their heads over the entire decision to run with the Infinity Gauntlet saga, which is what the Infinity War film will likely be loosely based upon. Though this arc is considered one of the most epic sagas in Marvel history, some of the major players in the saga haven't even been introduced in the MCU.
While Adam Warlock, Silver Surfer and other key characters may show up late in the film or even in the second part of Infinity War, it's odd that the story that involves them so heavily hasn't even mentioned them just yet.
As we've seen in the past, some already-introduced characters could simply take the places of these missing heroes. Could Stephen Strange serve as Adam Warlock? It's weird but sure, why not. Stranger substitutions have been made.
When you take a look at the overall cast, you can pinpoint which characters are likely to be the most powerful against Thanos as well as which ones were pretty much thrown in to achieve that "Look at how many superheroes can fit on screen together!" effect.
From the best of the best to the worst of the worst (in terms of this arc, anyway), here are the 8 Most Powerful (And 7 Worthless) Heroes In Infinity War.
15 Powerful: Drax the Destroyer
Drax the Destroyer definitely has the will and the strength to take on Thanos, making him one of the most powerful heroes in the upcoming Infinity War.
In the comics, he pretty much exists to destroy Thanos. Drax used to be a human named Arthur Douglas, but after his family was murdered by Thanos, Kronos molded the perfect Frankenstein monster out of Drax's spirit and a powerful body to kill none other than the grandson of Kronos, Thanos.
Not only do Drax's intense powers and desire to see Thanos destroyed make him an asset to the team, but he's had a history of serving on the Infinity Watch, which means that he's also in charge of one of the gems. Also? He's punched a hole straight through Thanos.
Of course, Drax did once swallow his gem, but this list isn't about the cleverest members of the team...
14 Worthless: Black Widow
At any other moment in time, you could find us vehemently arguing against the words "worthless" and "Black Widow" when it comes to Natasha Romanova, but she really doesn't have anything to do in this war save for standing in as one of the many faces of Marvel, creating one of those epic posters everybody loves.
There's nothing in her repertoire that makes her a threat to Thanos, she doesn't have much to do with the Infinity Gems at all, and she doesn't even have much at stake in this battle-- or, at least, nothing more than any other general character.
A Black Widow movie? Yes, that would still be nice, but it won't have anything to do with this story. Other than that, she's usually far from worthless, even when she's playing on the side of evil.
13 Powerful: The Hulk
Everybody wants a Hulk on their side. Tony Stark said it himself: "We have a Hulk."
Aside from the obvious features that make Bruce Banner one of the most powerful allies to have on your team, there was that time in the Marvel Super Heroes game where Thanos pretty much begged the Hulk to kill him. The game was based on the Infinity Gauntlet arc, and given how many retcons most long-standing comics endure, there's really no wonder why the game had a bunch of different ways to win, and one of those options was to simply deny Thanos death and run off to have a honeymoon with Betty Ross if you play as the Hulk.
Of course, the game also lets Thanos live out his days as a farmer or Psylocke win the day, and neither of those is about to happen in the upcoming film... right? At any rate, if the Hulk is repressing Banner as is indicated in the Thor: Ragnarok trailers, giving "Mr. Hyde" more control over his faculties, he's bound to be even a larger force with which to reckon.
12 Worthless: Groot
Sure, he's adorable, he has his uses, and we all want his little plastic dancing bobble-head on our desks, but Groot really doesn't have much power to wield against Thanos.
While Groot has discovered and protected the Power Stone in the past, he doesn't have any other big roles during the Infinity Gauntlet story. Telekinesis, space travel, and a vocabulary of three words can all come in handy for various purposes, but the Infinity War is likely not going to be the time or place for any of Groot's special abilities.
That said, most people would probably look forward to seeing him in battle, and like Hawkeye, he will surely continue to help his friends that are more invested in (and more likely to have a larger role) in the war.
11 Powerful: Gamora
She was raised to be Thanos' own private assassin and the most deadly woman in the universe, and those two facts alone make Gamora one of the most powerful heroes in the entire Marvel universe, let alone a single movie.
Thanos has wronged her so badly so many times, but he's also served as her father figure, making their relationship a more complicated one. Who better to take Thanos down than the one person trained to anticipate what he'll do to an enemy?
Between the Mind Gem and the Time Gem, Gamora has a history with the Infinity Watch (of which Thanos himself is also a member), the entire Gauntlet story, and Adam Warlock - who may not be in this film but will likely appear down the road in the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie.
Gamora stands as one of the most powerful and resourceful heroes in the film and it will be interesting to witness how much that history is utilized, especially when she's starring next to the higher-billed characters in Infinity War.
10 Worthless: Hawkeye
To some, Hawkeye is pretty much usually worthless. While he has his value in a fight, on a bad day he's a glorified Robin Hood with a lousier attitude. Hawkeye's family and partnership with Black Widow make him both more relatable and likable, and Matt Fraction's comics run established Clint Barton as a lovable loser. On a cosmic scale? Hawkeye just cannot match up to his superpowered counterparts.
In Infinity War, we shouldn't expect Hawkeye to have a big role to play at all, but he may have some cool scenes. Between him and another twenty heroes or so, there are bound to be some gratuitous action sequences that are there for the coolness factor alone, and while that doesn't further the plot much it's always fun to watch.
Eye candy isn't always about sex appeal; sometimes it's about a colorful fight with special effects and all of your favorite superheroes.
9 Powerful: Thor
Aside from the events of Thor: Ragnarok leading up to the Infinity War, it would make sense to consider Thor as one of the heavy hitters here. He's got god-like powers and he's associated with the gauntlet itself if for no other reason than the fact that the right-handed gauntlet was seen in Odin's trophy room.
Thanos is in possession of the left, so where does that leave a thunder god? In a gauntlet custody battle where the pair is only connected for the holidays? Not quite, but Thor will still likely have a stronger role than most heroes, at least during the first film.
The question is, will he remain as powerful without all the hair? Only time will tell. From footage screened at SDCC, we do know that Thor will meet up with the Guardians of the Galaxy in Infinity War, so that will help set the stage for the war.
8 Worthless: Spider-Man
If the MCU is pointing in the Infinity Gauntlet direction as they have hinted, Spider-Man is just another face within the battle. Maybe he'll have a quip or two to deliver but otherwise he's a non-essential character in the fight against Thanos.
He's one of the many to die in the comics, when Thanos rises to power during the saga, but have no fear: he is brought back with everyone else, as Marvel pretty much had to do if it didn't want to start from scratch all over again.
That said, if the Avengers & the Infinity Gauntlet story arc is used instead, Spidey could be considered one of the the most powerful heroes in the cast. While movie makers have been known to muddle different retcons and arcs together to make weird, blended Marvel media, it's more likely that the first scenario will occur in Infinity War.
7 Powerful: Doctor Strange
Not only is Doctor Strange arguably one of the most powerful characters appearing in the Infinity War - he is also the MCU's major magic user. Without the inclusion of key magical power players from the comics that may or may not arrive during the second film, he may end up being used as the sorcerer who stands toe to toe with Thanos.
The Infinity Gauntlet saga is prominently featured in the Doctor Strange comics and Strange himself was protector of the Soul Gem. He's also the sworn protector of the planet against all mystical and magical threats, which includes the Infinity Gauntlet.
If Adam Warlock, a sorcerer who is instrumental in the fight against Thanos in the comics, is completely absent from the films, it's likely that Doctor Strange will fill in the role. It won't be the first or last time a character has subbed in for the sake of expediency and cost. If that's the case, then Strange could potentially be the most powerful among the heroes.
6 Worthless: Vision
We could easily assume that Vision is doomed in the first Infinity War movie. Like Groot, he does hold something essential for the mission: he is in possession of an essential element that makes the Infinity Gauntlet function in the first place. It is implied that the Mind Stone is what makes Vision, who started out as Tony Stark's robotic "butler" Jarvis in the films, able to live and breathe.
However, Paul Bettany, who plays Vision, says that we shouldn't count him as dead just yet. Who knows? Maybe he and Scarlet Witch will have little half-android babies sometime in the future, making his death less imminent.
Either way, as powerful as he is as a character, he isn't an essential part of Team Stop Thanos.
5 Powerful: Scarlet Witch
It stands to reason that the person who has the ability to wipe out all mutantkind as we know it would also be one of the most powerful heroes on a mission to save the universe. Wanda's just not always in full control of her powers, and the issue with Scarlet Witch is whether or not she will actually be utilized as such a power player in the movie.
As compelling as her powers of telekinesis and hypnosis seem in the previous movies, they are not nearly up to the caliber we've witnessed in the comic books as of yet, and if her track record continues, she could easily be flipped to the "worthless" side of the list.
We do know that Wanda manifests Thor's vision of the Infinity Stones completing the Infinity Gauntlet, and there are fan theories that make Wanda the master of all of the stones, once she has full control of her powers. She very well could be used in a similar fashion to Jean Grey's role in X-Men: Apocalypse.
4 Worthless: Falcon
Here's another great character who is impressive in other capacities but completely unnecessary in the fight against Thanos. Falcon is a fantastic teammate who, like the other heroes that rely on tech, is instrumental in a fair fight but may not be as much help when dealing with supernatural beings.
Falcon doesn't have role in the Infinity Gauntlet comic arc, but given that the X-Men, who actually do have roles in the story, will be MIA from the film, plenty of characters will be plucked from other corners of Marvel to fill in the war gaps.
That said, there's something about Falcon that could make him one of the most powerful characters: the fact that he does take on the Captain America role from Steve in the comics. Should this happen sooner rather than later (or at all, given that plenty of people are rooting for the Winter Soldier to take up the mantle next), it would still technically be Captain America and not Falcon that leads the fray.
3 Powerful: Nebula
For Doctor Who fans, the fact that Karen Gillan plays Nebula is enough to make her one of the most badass characters in the Infinity War, but Amy Pond likely wouldn't stand much of a chance against Thanos. It's his other daughter (or granddaughter, in the comics), Nebula, who stands the best fighting chance at destroying him. Of the characters appearing in the film, Nebula has been the closest to actually besting Thanos.
When Nebula took the Gauntlet from the body of Thanos during the Infinity Gauntlet arc and became all-powerful on her own, it made for a gripping twist that flipped the entire story. This scenario could very well happen during the first Infinity War film, and it would make sense to build up the first film around defeating Thanos only to have a new force to reckon with during the second movie.
Another spoiler alert: Nebula's actions forced Thanos to join the powers of good to help take her down, so that, too, is a possibility.
2 Worthless: Ant Man
As cool as it is to have a teeny, tiny superhero that can help you enter small places and take on science and tech aspects of the job, Ant-Man doesn't really have a place in this story line, either. He may have a scene or two but he will likely exist within the Infinity War as just another filler character for epic battle scene fodder. His scenes will just have to be pretty close-up to count!
Photos have depicted Ant-Man on set with Doctor Strange, but if Strange is filling in for Warlock, who was the team leader in the Infinity Gauntlet arc, it could simply mean that he's directing his troops. Given that Ant-Man and The Wasp is also in the works, it's pretty unlikely that we'll see Scott Lang killed off during the war, at least.
1 Powerful: Captain America
If Infinity War does center around the comics, Steve may be the last man standing as he was during the Infinity Gauntlet arc. While his powers may not seem to be all that cosmic, his history in the comic has demonstrated that he may indeed be the one with the power to stand against Thanos along with the heroes who defeat him, many of whom, as we know, have yet to be introduced in the MCU. Could he be the biggest red herring in the franchise right now?
Since the cinematic Powers That Be often replace a role with another just to keep the cast list down, it's fully possible that Cap, Nebula, and Doctor Strange could be the trio who manage to get Thanos under control. If readers remember, Thanos wants to be reigned in, and that's really all the hope the universe has. Of course, they could also take the story into an entirely different direction, so we'll just have to wait and see.
Who are you betting on to be the most important players in Avengers: Infinity War? Let us know in the comments!