Compiling a list of the most powerful heroes in the “Superhero” film genre was tasking, to say the least. How do we quantify powers that are completely dissimilar? Who would win in a fight between character X and character Y? We can only speculate (and speculate we shall) but we must only explore these characters as they have appeared on film. We will also only list powers and abilities they have been shown to have.
One could argue that money, skill and insanity are superpowers but unfortunately for this list, Batman and Iron Man are out. Wonder Woman didn’t make the cut because her potential remains to be seen. Several supporting characters have been left out along with characters who blur the line between hero and villain. Choosing ten was tricky because the debate is inherently endless but the I’ve been told that LISTS are what the kids on the interwebs want these days and so if you had the question, who’s the strongest superhero, here’s the list of top most powerful superheroes in movies.
Wade Wilson/Deadpool has a healing factor similar to that of Wolverine. He can sustain massive injuries and even regrow limbs that have been severed. It is suggested that he can survive decapitation (although this article only deals with his portrayal in “DEADPOOL” (2016) as everyone (including Deadpool, himself) would like to forget about his first appearance in “X-Men: Origins Wolverine.” His fighting style is also heavily unpredictable due to his spontaneous nature and lack of sanity. Although he does not possess claws or an adamantium coated skeleton, he is still highly dangerous. He carries two katanas which are his primary weapons but is also skilled with an array of firearms.
Deadpool’s signature “superpower” is that of heightened awareness. Deadpool is fully aware that he is a character in a movie, often addressing the audience directly by breaking the “fourth wall.” This is carried over from the comics where he was also aware of his fictional nature. He is immune to all human diseases as he is riddled with cancer that, while never cured, is kept at bay constantly by his healing factor.
9. Scarlet Witch
Wanda Maximoff has demonstrated the ability to invade people’s minds and induce horrifying visions. She can create blasts of energy and manipulate force fields. She demoralized most of the Avengers in “Age of Ultron” with the hallucinations she inflicted on them. She has been shown to contain huge explosive blasts within her force fields although struggling with this lead to massive casualties in “Captain America: Civil War.” She was able to increase Vision’s mass to the point where he became heavy enough for gravity to pull him into the earth’s crust, temporarily incapacitating him. The true limits of her powers remain unknown but she has shown in a quick amount of time as an Avenger that she is a force to be reckoned with. She also appears to have put Vision (Who isn’t human and doesn’t understand emotion) in the “friend zone” which is pretty impressive.
8. Professor X
Charles Xavier is a mortal man. He not only possess no superhuman strength but he is paralyzed from the waist down. What makes him so powerful is his brain. Xavier is a telepath who can read and control other people’s minds. He has been seen “freezing” large groups of people in their place using only his thoughts. He can control the thoughts and actions of anyone he is linked to (including other mutants) although he tries not to do this because of ethical issues.
In the films we have seen that while using Cerebro, he can inflict tremendous pain onto anyone on earth and said to be capable of killing them. Magneto tried to exploit this in X2 but was foiled. It is also suggested in ‘Logan’ that he was responsible for killing several people, albeit accidentally. When controlling other mutants, he also controls their powers, making the true limits of his power unmeasurable. An Oxford University professor, he’s also like….. wicked smart.
Vision is made of an advanced form of Vibranium which has been genetically engineered by Ultron. He is completely unaffected by blows of brute force. He has been shown to completely repel being struck and also has the power to become intangible, phasing directly through solid objects. Basically if you punch him, you either break your hand or swing right through him. He appears to be able to connect to every electronic device on earth, even locking Ultron out of the same network just by touching him. Ultron initially created Vision as an upgraded body for himself before Tony Stark and Bruce Banner intercepted the body and combined it with the AI, JARVIS. Vision’s abilities are enhanced by the infinity gem known as the “mind stone.” Vision can shoot destructive blasts directly from the stone which is fixed to his forehead. He was also shown to be worthy of wielding Thor’s hammer immediately after being “born,” thus gaining the Avengers’ trust.
Paradoxically, he demonstrates noticeable naivety in social situations and a general confusion when it comes to human interactions. This is notable because the AI JARVIS was fairly witty and would even banter with Tony Stark in conversation, even utilizing sarcasm. The Vision was also responsible for James Rhoads’ injuries because he was “distracted” by Wanda Maximoff, concerned for her well-being. He does not seem incapable of love. Even with all of his power, Hawkeye was able to stall him with arrows that emitted an electric field so…… that’s something.
James Howlett AKA Logan AKA Wolverine is a mutant who has an advanced healing factor and superhuman strength and agility. He heals instantly from large and small wounds although with extreme trauma, he can be slowed down significantly. Hugh Jackman’s version of the character has displayed surviving burns from a nuclear bomb, instantly regenerating muscle tissue and even surviving bullet wounds to the brain. His skeleton is (sometimes) coated with the (supposedly) indestructible metal adamantium. Various incarnations in the comics (and on film) make it hard just to approximate the extent of his powers but it has been said that one must decapitate him (kind of tough with that whole indestructible skeleton thing) and remove his head from the vicinity of his body immediately, in order to kill him. The extent of injury he can survive is speculative. Although able to withstand massive injuries, his mutation does not prevent him from experiencing pain. He is weakened and/or immobilized when encountering mutants who can control metal like Magneto.
Wolverine’s bone claws are able to cut through several materials like flesh and bone but when they are coated with adamantium, their cutting power is increased to the point where they can cut through all other metals, brick, stone and various other hard materials. His endurance, strength and agility are all heavily increased by his mutation. All five of his senses are far superior to those of regular humans. Wolverine also has the reflexes and instincts of a wild predator, something he constantly struggles to contain when working with others. When overcome with stress he will respond by going into an animalistic rage where his instincts take over, resulting in massive casualties. His mutation also heals psychological damage, enabling Wolverine to cope with the violent memories of his past. He is shown to have been alive since before 1845 and has participated in the every American military conflict since the civil war.
5. Dr. Strange
Dr. Stephen Strange is a sorcerer who can create portals to travel immense distances in an instant. He has a vast knowledge of spells and can manipulate the fabric of reality. He has the ability to travel between dimensional and astral planes giving him access to the multiverse. If the multiverse is infinite, Strange’s powers may have the potential to be limitless. As Sorcerer Supreme, he commands an infinity gem called the “time stone”. This allows him to control the flow of time. He utilized this power to defeat Dormammu, a parasitic, cosmic being that has the power to consume entire worlds. Strange created a time loop to incapacitate Dormammu (ad infinitum) until the cosmic being begged to be released. He beat a super demon in a staring contest by annoying him…… I would consider that to be a super power in and of itself. He also possesses the cloak of levitation which enables him to fly. In the 2016 film, the cloak appears to be sentient, perhaps even possessing free will as it was seen aiding Strange in hand to hand combat. He also has a savant level recall on everything about popular music which I think deserves a bonus point.
The Hulk has superhuman strength that is fueled by his rage. He has seen a few different portrayals on film so the extent of his powers is undefined. He can withstand heavy artillery and automatic weapons. His punch leveled a leviathan, stopping it dead during the battle of New York. He is able to leap enormous distances and his brute force strength increases with his rage. In “The Avengers,” Bruce Banner reiterates that he attempted suicide with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head but was foiled when the Hulk “spit it out.” It is uncertain what it would take to kill the Hulk at this point as he seems to be able to withstand all damage he has suffered although he has not faced off with nuclear explosions or cosmic encounters that could be seen very soon. He is shown to be susceptible to telepaths like Wanda Maximoff where he becomes completely rudderless. Due to the nature of his powers he is not in danger of being controlled but by being manipulated. He also manages to find insanely durable pants.
Thor is an Asgardian. His lifespan lasts for several thousand years. The earthly legends of the Norse god of the same name were inspired by him. He is shown to possess enough strength to take on the Hulk in hand to hand combat. He also possess Mjolnir, a hammer that carries with it, tremendous power that can summon the elements. The hammer can be wielded only by those who are considered “worthy” and will come to its owner when beckoned. In “The Avengers” Thor was able to put a dent in Iron Man’s helmet simply by headbutting him. His hammer carries massive destructive capabilities as we have seen it destroy the bifrost rainbow bridge at the end of ‘Thor,’ obliterate a rock monster instantly in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ and summon enough lightning to strike down several leviathans during the battle of New York. Thor spins the hammer around at high-speed which enables him to fly for some reason. Mjolnir cannot be “lifted” by anyone who is unworthy and yet it will happily sit on a coffee table, rest on a wall hanger and has been said to do fine with elevators.
Superman (born Kal-El) is from the fictional planet, Krypton. His powers come from his Kryptonian DNA reacting to Earth’s yellow sun. He has superhuman strength, speed and agility. He has the power of flight, with no apparent source of propulsion, being able to soar through the sky at supersonic speeds. He has the ability to shoot powerful lasers directly from his eyes and exhale pressurized, cold air from his lungs, allowing him to “freeze” items instantly. He is weakened severely by exposure to kryptonite, radioactive mineral fragments left over from the explosion of Krypton. The effects of kryptonite have varied throughout his film history. He has been rendered almost catatonic by exposure to a small amount of it while in other appearances has been able to lift a continent (riddled with kryptonite) out of earth’s atmosphere and into the sun. The sun allows him to heal from severe injury like exposure to a nuclear blast. He can survive without food or air in the vacuüm of space and it appears that the sun’s radiation alone is enough to sustain him indefinitely.
Exposure to the atmosphere inside General Zod’s ship (which recreates that of Krypton) caused him to react the way he would with kryptonite. Tear gas infused with kryptonite left him weakened to near human levels, to the point where Batman was able to dominate him in combat. Doomsday’s protruding spike was able to kill him by stabbing him in the heart (although it is suggested that he will return in Justice League meaning he isn’t really “dead” or perhaps has the power of resurrection) although this was an act of self-sacrifice. The extent of his strength in unknown in the current DCEU films.
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1. Dr. Manhattan
Dr Jonathan Otserman (A.K.A. Dr. Manhattan) possesses the power to create tremendous amounts of energy. He appears to be physically invincible and thus there is no confirmed way to “kill” him. He is able to see through past and present simultaneously, giving him the ability to predict the future. The parameters of this are not clear and are suggested to be beyond human understanding. He has claimed to have “walked on the surface of the sun” and can teleport himself (and others) vast, cosmic distances (at least as far as Mars) instantly. He can manipulate matter at a subatomic level to the point where he can vapourize enemies and destroy massive structures with instantly. He was vulnerable enough to become distracted to Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias’ master plan but although outwitted, he still remained invulnerable to physical damage. It has been speculated that he has the power to create life. He offsets his amazing abilities by being a complete dick.
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