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The Most Powerful Non-Avenger MCU Characters, Ranked

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has established itself as a massive, intricate setting populated by more superheroes than you can shake a stick at made from Groot's arm. What's more, thanks to a plethora of Disney+ shows, the setting has become swollen enough to burst, opening up into an even more massive multiverse populated by further heroes. Though the MCU's early phases placed Marvel flagship team the Avengers front and center, in a post-"Endgame" vacuum, all this new space and all these new characters have begun to grapple for the spotlight.

Even though they aren't Avengers, the new additions to the MCU are no slouches. Some are powerful and important enough that they could become — and in some cases, already have become — game-changers to both the MCU's multiverse and the franchise's overarching narrative. In fact, a few of these non-Avenger heroes are the reason the multiverse exists in the first place.

From gods to wizards, cosmic mistakes to monsters, and super-geniuses to super-children, the ever-expanding MCU roster is also becoming ever-stronger. In the multiversal wars to come, these heroes are bringing bigger guns than their predecessors — especially when one of those guns was a bow and arrow (sorry, both Hawkeyes). Below, a ranking of the MCU's most powerful non-Avenger denizens.

20. Moon Knight

Ranking Moon Knight (Oscar Isaac) on any objective scale is a near-impossible task, given the character's unparalleled fluidity and unpredictability. It's a task you would have to be deranged to take on, like the character himself at so many points.

What sets Moon Knight a cut above so many of his peers is his potential. His many traits that seem at first to be limitations are actually the reasons he's an almost limitless force for good. Due to his dissociative identity disorder, Moon Knight's "real" identity is really three (that are known thus far): Marc Spector, Steven Grant, and Jake Lockley. Their constant jockeying for control pulls the hero in multiple directions, but it also gives him access to three unique skill sets — and moral compasses, which can be invaluable when making tough calls.

Likewise, Moon Knight's servitude to the deity Khonshu as his avatar seems restrictive when the god flexes his superhuman will, making the hero offers he (sometimes literally) can't refuse. But that sense of restriction melts away when viewers can see teases of the hero's true capabilities, like in the finale episode of "Moon Knight." He's a character to watch in future MCU phases for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the chance to see the Fist of Khonshu finally punch Kang and whoever else may threaten the peace of the Moon Knight.

19. Ms. Marvel

Though she's one of the newest and youngest additions to the universe, Iman Vellani's Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel), is also one of its brightest stars, rapidly on the rise. Not only is the character a fan favorite in the Marvel comics with a history of teaming up with practically every major hero under the sun, but she's also been almost immediately established in the MCU as a part of something far greater than just herself.

Of course, it's increasingly impossible to mention Ms. Marvel without also mentioning the other Marvels, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris). A link exists between the powers of all three women, one that hints at their collective connection to a stronger underlying force in the universe.

Even when you disregard Khan's connections, both personal and power-related, to the nigh-almighty Captain Marvel(s), the young heroine is a force to be reckoned with. In her series "Ms. Marvel," Khan demonstrates the exceptionally versatile ability to manipulate hard light, allowing her to create essentially anything she can imagine from thin air. Though the extent of her creations has thus far been simple shields, platforms, and oversized fists, the sky is the limit for Khan's hard light power — and her apparently mutant-generated abilities to change size and shape at will are yet another awesome adaptable tool in Khan's stylish red belt.

18. Ironheart

When it comes to new MCU heroes and their inevitable comparisons to heroes past, there can be some dramatically big shoes to fill. In the case of Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart (and played by Dominique Thorne), the shoes she is looking to fill are actually boots, and they're pretty famously made of iron (well, as their wearer once revealed, it's actually a gold-titanium alloy). Of course, those boots belonged to Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and only the brightest young mind in the fields of robotics, electrical engineering, and aeronautics (and at least a dozen other major sciences) could ever hope to invent something able to withstand the legendary Avenger's legacy. Enter: Williams.

Even before she first appeared on screen in "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," her genius already changed the landscape of the MCU. The functional vibranium detector, created by Williams as a simple school project, had already begun a conflict between the U.S. and Wakanda and even caused the emergence of the long-hidden civilization of the Talokanil. All this before she had even appeared, let alone created her Ironheart armor.

Based on its functionality in the third act of "Wakanda Forever," the Ironheart armor seems every bit as powerful as Stark's Ironman armor, suggesting that her intelligence is every bit as advanced as that of Stark. If that's the case, Marvel fans should be ready for her discoveries to fundamentally change the MCU in the same way that Stark's did — and he's the man who figured out time travel.

17. Gamora

You don't get the nickname "The Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy" without earning it, and most likely earning it a few times over. There are an awful lot of other tough MCU women vying for the title (whether intentionally or not), and to beat them all, Gamora (Zoe Saldana) must have provided a genuinely frightening amount of evidence for her case. The warrior also has another major asset, independent of her physical prowess or deeds but bolstering it dramatically: With the old, loving Gamora dead, the sole version now is still every bit the ruthless, death-dealing assassin that Thanos trained her to be.

Adopted by Thanos at a young age, Gamora has spent almost the entirety of her life either training to kill or actively killing. The Gamora audiences grew close to as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy is gone, sacrificed for the Soul Stone, and in her place is the living weapon — all of the ability, none of the compassion. In her every appearance, she has demonstrated her speed, endurance, tactical thinking, and skill with weaponry, and in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" she wielded her inhuman strength (and a starship cannon) against Nebula (Karen Gillan); in other words, Gamora is the whole package.

16. Monica Rambeau

With the release of "The Marvels," it's becoming official: Rambeau is one of the MCU's most versatile, all-around powerhouses. Like her Marvel comics counterpart, Rambeau has the ability to control and even become any form of energy. She's as adaptable and powerful as it gets, and fans have only seen the briefest glimpse of her true power in the MCU.

In the comics, Rambeau has gone by Spectrum, Photon, Pulsar, and even Captain Marvel — a title she lived up to through her strength and heroism. Just as her powers and titles varied, so too did her team affiliations. She's been a part of the Ultimates, (the criminally underutilized) Nextwave, and even multiple Avengers lineups. The MCU version, however, is still discovering her phenomenal cosmic powers and remains a non-Avenger, though if the team were aware of her, you can bet they would begin the recruitment process.

In the comics, Rambeau has proven she can fly, fight, lead her own squads, and even — as she once casually revealed to Vision — is technically immortal. Because she's made of energy, which cannot be destroyed, neither can she. That means that Rambeau, no matter which title she has at the time, may end up the last MCU hero standing when all is said and done.

15. Love

When viewers last saw Love (India Rose Hemsworth) at the end of "Thor: Love and Thunder," she was barely an adolescent, having only just been reincarnated by the magic of Eternity. Even before her death and rebirth, she was only a few years old, making her by far the youngest superhero to join the MCU. Even at such a young age, however, Love is easily one of the strongest heroes in the MCU, and in time, could very well become its most powerful ever.

In such a short time, Love has been granted more power than almost anyone. She was reborn as a child of both Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) and Eternity, giving her one of the most elite pedigrees in the MCU. When combined with her training from Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Love is a child with the raw power and burgeoning talent to rival most of the MCU's major heroes.

In her brief appearance, Love revealed a lot about her ability: she shot some form of optic beams and wielded Stormbreaker in battle as if she were three times as tall. Perhaps more telling than either of those, however, is the fact that Thor evidently trusts the young girl to fight alongside him against armies of foes, placing Love in rarified company.

14. Eros/Starfox

Introduced in a post-credits scene at the end of "Eternals," and only appearing for a few fleeting seconds, Eros, also known as Starfox, is about as far from the MCU spotlight as anyone — perhaps the only thing keep him in the public's mind is that he's portrayed by Harry Styles. Nonetheless, his introduction (by Pip the Troll, as voiced by Patton Oswalt) should say a great deal about the type of power coursing through his veins: "The royal prince of Titan, brother of Thanos."

If that weren't enough, Starfox himself goes on to add, "pleasure to make your acquaintance, my fellow Eternals." A Prince of Eternals and a brother of the universal scourge Thanos, Starfox is an obvious superpower from his genetics and upbringing alone. He's more than that, however, and his official power rankings from Marvel.com make it clear.

In the comics, Starfox is a cut above many of his Eternal peers, with an ability to fly fast enough to travel between worlds on his own. More importantly, Starfox has the ability to psychically alter the brains of those around him, stimulating their pleasure centers. With that power, he can talk his way through almost any situation and gain almost anything he desires — a handy trait in a universe chock full of cosmically powerful artifacts.

13. America Chavez

It takes a uniquely potent skillset to bring Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) to blows, and only America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) has that power. Specifically, the young heroine has the power to punch holes through the multiverse, an ability almost entirely unique and of infinite value.

Imagine stepping through a portal onto a world with plentiful doomsday weapons with which to arm yourself, a world full of eager superheroes ready to follow you back through and aid you, or a world full of cosmic rays which can turn you into a Captain Marvel-esque superpower in an instant. For everyone besides Chavez, they can only imagine such feats, but for her, it's just her standard power in action. As another hypothetical — which are limitless when you can freely travel the entire multiverse — imagine if Chavez had been on Earth the second Thanos arrived and opened a portal at his feet that led to a universe comprised entirely of black hole-level crushing gravity. Half of the universe would owe her their lives.

As silly as it may sound to play the what-if game when trying to accurately compare powers, the very nature of Chavez's powers make what-ifs her reality. That's why Chavez is one of the most powerful MCU heroes; Avenger or not, she's utterly unlimited.

12. Valkyrie

It's a classic story, one told again and again throughout history: A peerless warrior defeats a great enemy and ascends to the throne, only to find that the crown doesn't suit them quite as well as the blade did. Unfortunately for Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), she's another warrior cursed with a crown, and it's keeping Marvel fans from seeing the true extent of her godly power unleashed. Furthermore, her story has been almost nothing but alternating tragedy and bureaucracy thus far in the MCU, and it's kept that power hidden for almost the entire time. But there is a reason Thor wanted to be a Valkyrie when he grew up, just as there's a reason the Valkyries are still remembered as some of the fiercest warriors in the universe.

Unlike so many other MCU characters, Valkyrie is a new creation for the big screen — at least, this version. There is a character known as Valkyrie in the comics (more commonly known as Brunnhilde), but Thompson's version is an entirely separate character. One of the most important assets they both share is Dragonfang, a sword with the ability to cut through almost any material, magical or otherwise. Unlike Brunnhilde, however, Thompson's Valkyrie doesn't seem as beholden to archaic codes of honor, meaning she's far more likely to use Dragonfang to deadly effect when necessary.

11. Thena

It's all too easy to forget, or even purposefully ignore, the Eternals as members of the MCU's superhero roster, especially given the film's lukewarm reception from fans and positively frigid response from critics. Yet the gods are among us in the MCU, and some of them are powerful enough to make the Avengers look like minor-leaguers. One such power is Thena (Angelina Jolie), the Eternal who inspired the myth of Athena and gained the nickname "The Warrior Eternal" — no small feat when compared to a race of immortal, superhero protectors.

When the original Avengers formed, two of them, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) made the cut due to their weapons and tactical mastery, and another two (at least in part) for their innate strength and endurance, namely Thor and Captain "I can do this all day" America (Chris Evans). Thena, on the other hand, is every bit the weapons master as any Avengers and then some, and boasts near-immortality and overall enhanced physiology to boot. Altogether, her powers allowed her, and her alone, to kill the prime deviant Kro, and temporarily fend off Ikaris (Richard Madden). Probably the most significant piece of evidence pointing to Thena's almost unrivaled ability is Marvel producer Nate Moore's suggestion that Thena could prove a match for Captain Marvel in her binary form.

10. Wong

Wong (Benedict Wong) is everywhere, and with good reason. The actor described Phase Four as "Phase Wong" due to the unprecedented amount of appearances he made in the film block, yet no matter how many times he appears, fans never seem to tire of the actor or character. Not only is Wongers (as Madisynn dubbed him in "She-Hulk") a beloved fan-favorite, but he's also the reigning Sorcerer Supreme and Master of Kamar-Taj. When it comes to magical power on Earth, at least the conventional methods, Wong is the top dog, and that makes him one of the 616 Dimension's biggest guns.

One memorable scene in "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" showed Wong trouncing Abomination in a one-on-one fight, which transitively proved Wong's superior combat effectiveness to the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). If that's not enough, viewers have seen Wong chop the arm off of Cull Obsidian in "Infinity War," fend off Gargantos and the Scarlet Witch in "Multiverse of Madness," and rescue She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) from demons in her show of the same name. 

Though he hasn't shown as much willingness to draw power from dark magic as Stephen Strange, that may end up a point in Wong's favor — magical mastery without allegiances to and vendettas with dark powers is almost certainly the safer and more reliable life path.

9. Sylvie Laufeydottir

With the series "Loki," the MCU opened into the incomprehensibly vast multiverse as it now exists. With that unraveling came the introduction of variants — the extra-universal analogs for characters — and the variant of the hour is Sylvie Laufeydottir (Sophia Di Martino). Sylvie is another universe's Loki (Tom Hiddleston), which should already suggest her formidability, but she also has a number of assets the 616 Loki doesn't, not least of which is that she has already killed a variant of Kang (Jonathan Majors).

Although Sylvie is Asgardian royalty in the same way that Loki is, with all the godly strength and longevity that comes with it, her upbringing affected her differently. As Hiddleston once put it, she's filled with a blind "grievance and anger" that allows her, or perhaps forces her, to take steps the other Loki wouldn't. That's what enabled her to escape and battle the TVA for so long and that's what caused her to kill He Who Remains. For all the experience with Thor and the rest that Loki has, Sylvie was still able to duel Loki to a draw, establishing her as dangerous as a god who once held back the combined Avengers.

8. Sersi

Despite all the power and prowess wielded by Eternals like Ikaris and Thena, it was Sersi (Gemma Chan) who was chosen to lead them all as the Prime Eternal. While yes, a large part of that decision came as a result of her compassion, drive, and natural affinity for leadership, it was also a product of her almost impossibly powerful ability to transmute matter at will.

As if the average suite of Eternal powers — the package that includes near-immortality, super strength, speed, stamina, and the rest — wasn't enough, Sersi is a walking, talking philosopher's stone, able to transform any substance into any other, even living material. MCU viewers have already seen wars begun over substances like vibranium and uru (from which the Infinity Gauntlet was made), and for Sersi, such things are merely byproducts of her will. 

This already makes her one of the most important beings in the galaxy, more than valuable enough to launch wars for her services alone, but she can also produce gold, nuclear fuel, and whatever else she can imagine. What's more, she surprised even herself by demonstrating the ability to turn a Deviant foe into a tree, implying Sersi can transmute life just the same as inorganic material. She's a living factory, capable of creating food, fuel, or living weapons on a whim, which is a downright scary amount of power — and one the MCU is fortunate to have in benevolent hands.

7. Man-Thing

He hasn't had very long to shine in the MCU, merely a few scattered minutes in "Werewolf by Night," but Man-Thing is a literal force of nature and sooner or later, the greater MCU is bound to see his strength, for better or worse.

The Man-Thing is a sometimes sentient mass of vegetative matter and muck, able to take nearly any form and reconstitute himself from any material around him. When it comes to powers, he essentially runs the gamut, due in no small part to his combined scientific/magic genesis. His official power ranking on Marvel.com places his endurance at a full seven out of seven, a number reserved for beings like the Hulk and Odin.

Man-Thing also has an accolade that only a handful of characters in the MCU can claim; evidently, he's one of the few to claim the spot as the Champion of Sakaar. His mastery in the arena was even enough to earn a colossal statue of his face on the planet, specifically on the side of the Grandmaster's Palace — placing Man-Thing in the same league as heavy hitters like Beta Ray Bill, Ares, and the Hulk.

6. She-Hulk

Admittedly, it's pretty hard for any Hulk to not sit near the top of a relevant "most powerful" list. If they didn't make it, it's a safe bet that their crippling lack of self-control and lapses in cognizance are to blame. Luckily for Jennifer Walters, the Sensational She-Hulk, she has neither problem, as she was able to bring her Hulk form under control almost immediately and completely, controlling when she changes and remaining the same whip-smart attorney when she does. For that reason, Walters' simultaneous combination of Hulk-level strength and above-average intellect, she's one of the MCU's best and brightest.

Her comic book counterpart is listed on Marvel.com as one of the strongest there is, and from demonstrations in her series "She-Hulk," the MCU version seems to be the same. When trained by Banner, she was able to match and even beat a number of his tasks in rapid form, years faster than Banner himself was able to accomplish.

Though her strength and endurance are obviously top-tier, it's also worth noting She-Hulk's other, perhaps less obviously useful power: her ability to see the fourth wall. In this, she stands alone in the MCU (until "Deadpool 3," most likely), and when taken at face value, it does grant her the unique ability to sense and even change entire aspects of her own reality. As much as it may be in jest, that is otherwise an ability only reserved for multiversal powers like the Scarlet Witch.

5. Shang-Chi

Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) stands out in the MCU, not only as one of its most powerful superheroes but also as one of its strongest contenders for an overall lead character going into future phases, which from a more meta perspective, grants him a rare and invaluable power to survive and overcome almost anything.

Even with his narrative gifts aside, Shang-Chi is one of Earth's strongest protectors. The comic book version, and so far seemingly the MCU version as well, exists at the absolute peak of human combat ability. The comic book Shang-Chi is a master of every martial art and hand-to-hand weapon, and in his movie, Liu's version has already demonstrated a sizable fraction of this mastery — with added time, he'll almost certainly demonstrate more.

On top of his martial arts prowess, or perhaps partially because of it, Shang-Chi is also the wielder and master of the Ten Rings, a set of artifacts that empower him with superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and an untold amount of energy projection. By manipulating the rings and the prodigious magic therein, Shang-Chi was able to destroy the ancient, titanic Dweller in Darkness with a single energy burst. The magic was enough to be detected by Wong and the other Masters of the Mystic Arts, an MCU first.

4. Black Panther

Sadly, King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is gone, but as his replacement as ruler and Black Panther, Shuri (Letitia Wright) may be even more capable. Similar to She-Hulk's edge over her cousin residing in her improved balance between brains and brawn (at least more often), Shuri brings a genius intellect to the role of the Black Panther that, frankly, T'Challa just couldn't.

Able to create a number of super-suits, reverse-engineer the powers of the Heart-Shaped Herb, help create the Ironheart armor, and countless other scientific and engineering achievements — as well as mocking Stark and Banner's engineering of Vision in "Infinity War" — Shuri is clearly one of the smartest people on Earth. On top of that, she ingested the Heart-Shaped Herb and visited the Ancestral Plane, granting her all the inhuman physical prowess of the Black Panther, as depicted previously to be a match for Captain America. Even further, she's developed for herself one of the most advanced suits on the planet, one that enhances her every ability, absorbs damage for her, and allows her to generate energy pulses on command. In other words, Shuri as the Black Panther has the combined abilities and skills of most of the original Avengers lineup by herself, and with her exceptional mind, that power can only increase.

3. Clea

With the possible exception of Starfox, no rank-worthy hero has had less screen time than Clea (Charlize Theron), but given the character's significance in the comics and momentous MCU introduction, she is virtually guaranteed to show Phases Five and beyond a new brand of mystical mastery.

For those unfamiliar with the comics, Clea is currently the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, succeeding Strange after his death. Unlike Strange, however, she's not merely a human with a knowledge of magic — she's actually half Faltine, a race of beings made of pure magic, whose most famous exemplar besides Clea is the Dread Dormammu himself. That's no coincidence, either, as the dark lord is actually Clea's uncle, her mother's brother. Also unlike Strange, her dual heritage has enabled her to act as the Sorcerer Supreme for both Earth and the Dark Dimension, and that double duty is not a job that just anyone could maintain.

As a sorcerer, she's almost as learned and practiced as Strange (if not more so), but she edges him out in the versatility of her magical power due to an ability to draw magic from two separate dimensions at once. Her future in the MCU is still unknown, but one thing is for sure: It won't be boring.

2. Doctor Strange

Perhaps the most surprising thing about Doctor Strange finding his way onto a list of the most powerful non-Avengers is the fact that he still, after all that he's been through, isn't an Avenger. Despite fighting alongside the Avengers in multiple confrontations against Thanos, Strange never quite joined the team. Even when stuck in space with only Iron Man and Spider-Man, the former made the latter an Avenger, but neglected to do the same for Strange. Regardless of how and why, Strange remains a free agent, and he also remains one of the most powerful beings in the multiverse.

There isn't enough time in the day to list all of Strange's many powers and accolades, but to skim a few highlights: He is one of the few trusted to wield an Infinity Stone (and the dangerous Time Stone, no less), he is formerly the Sorcerer Supreme, he successfully defeated the Scarlet Witch, and his willingness to exploit dark magic for his own needs makes him stronger than any of his peers — the current Sorcerer Supreme Wong included. Viewers have even seen Strange break the Multiverse apart and put it back together again, and with upcoming phases moving towards "Avengers: Secret Wars," he may have to repeat that feat.

1. Loki

It may be a controversial pick but that only makes it more fitting; the absolute most powerful non-Avenger hero in the MCU is the Asgardian agent of chaos himself, Loki Laufeyson. Not only is he not an Avenger, but he was the first Avengers-specific villain. And not only is he powerful, but he's also potentially exponentially more powerful than any of his competition — a fact upcoming phases are likely to prove.

Loki is Asgardian royalty, putting him roughly equivalent to the likes of Thor and Valkyrie. He was trained by Frigga in magic and has proven himself an exceptional sorcerer (and in the comics, he was even the Sorcerer Supreme for a time). He's an excellent hand-to-hand combatant, able to trounce Captain America in "Avengers." He's a master manipulator, possibly the best, able to talk his way into or out of almost anything. He has wielded both the Space Stone and Mind Stone at once, a feat that Ebony Maw claims no other being but Thanos has ever accomplished.

Beyond any of his other powers, skills, and accomplishments, however, Loki's number one asset is his mind. Currently, Loki is one of the only beings aware of the TVA, the multiverse, its creation, destruction, and recreation, and the many variants of Kang. As the post-credits scene of "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" made it clear, Loki is on the hunt for Kangs, making him the MCU's best, most unlikely hope for survival.