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Why Captain Marvel Is No Longer The 'Strongest Avenger'

You had a good run, Danvers.

Marvel Studios head honcho Kevin Feige, who last year referred to Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) as the most powerful character in the MCU, changed his tune during a recent Q&A at the New York Film Academy. Taking her place is a character who might surprise you — unless you're a longtime reader of Marvel comics (via The News International).

Posed the question of who the strongest Marvel hero is following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Feige caused a stir among the assembled students with his response. "Well, I think it's interesting, if you look at Endgame, Wanda Maximoff was gonna kill Thanos," he said. "If he hadn't desperately... that's as scared as I've ever seen Thanos. And if he hadn't said, 'Decimate my entire team to get her off of me,' I think she would've done it."

The King Geek has a point. In all of the chaos of the final Endgame battle, one could be forgiven for missing the significance of the moment in which Wanda (Elizabeth Olsen) confronts Thanos — but rewatch that scene, and see if his statement doesn't ring true. The fight is decidedly not going in Thanos' favor before he directs his armies to "rain fire" with wanton disregard for whatever collateral damage his side might incur.

If it never seemed before as if Wanda were capable of taking out the Biggest Bad in MCU history all by her lonesome, well, she may not have been. It's not that Feige just forgot about Wanda when he named Captain Marvel the MCU's most powerful hero — it's that the Scarlet Witch's powers are increasing, and they will probably continue to do so.

Just how powerful will Scarlet Witch become?

If the character's history in the pages of Marvel comics is any indication, and we think it is, then Wanda's power level is right in the middle of ramping up from "insanely formidable" to "actually scary." At the peak of her abilities, her "hex bolts" — manifestations of the Chaos Magic that she wields — could cause an unbelievably wide range of effects. These include, but are not limited to: creating force fields, causing objects to explode or incinerate, energy manipulation, de-powering superhuman individuals, controlling or destabilizing matter at a molecular level, and temporarily negating the physical laws of nature.

In addition, Wanda is basically capable of manipulating the very laws of reality with her unparalleled power to affect probability. She has been described by no less an in-universe authority as Uatu the Watcher as a "Nexus Being" — essentially, the personification of the mainstream Marvel universe, Earth-616. Other known beings with this level of power (and there aren't many) include alternate universe versions of the time-traveling villain Kang the Conqueror, the insanely powerful mutant Franklin Richards (the son of the Fantastic Four's Reed Richards and Sue Storm), the wizard Merlin, X-Man Jean Grey, and Odin.

In the MCU, Wanda's power bump is likely directly connected to the death of her love, the Vision, as intense emotions cause her powers to, well, level up (just look at the devastation she caused after the death of her brother Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron). At this point, there's no telling how powerful she could become, and the implications for the MCU moving forward could be profound.

How will Scarlet Witch's increasing power affect the MCU?

Since it appears that Wanda will somehow be living in a '50s sitcom with a revived Vision in the upcoming Disney+ series WandaVisionit's pretty safe to say that her reality-warping abilities are now in full effect; it's been theorized that the grief-stricken Avenger may even have created a pocket universe in which she can live out this idealized fantasy. We also know that the series will lead directly into the feature film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will co-star Olsen and which sports an incredibly telling title.

We find it highly likely that Wanda's tinkering with reality will cause... trouble, of the sort that will necessitate interference by the Sorcerer Supreme. It sure sounds like the flick will see them journey to some pretty weird corners of the multiverse — perhaps even ones that are inhabited by heroes we haven't yet seen in the MCU. Or entire teams full of them.

Think about it: what better way to port over recently acquired properties such as the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four than to simply posit that they've been around this entire time, only in alternate universes? Wanda may be incredibly powerful, but she doesn't necessarily have complete control over her powers — and if her meddling happens to cause a few universes within the multiverse to collide, it could provide a pretty handy narrative device for introducing a few new players into the MCU.

We won't have to wait too long to see how Wanda's increasing power plays out. WandaVision is now expected to drop on Disney+ in late 2020, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will hit the big screen on May 7, 2021.