Endgame: 23 MCU Gods Who Could Actually Challenge Thanos
Ever since he made his debut in the 1973 issue of The Invincible Iron Man #55, Thanos has caused his fair share of destruction across the Marvel Universe. In both the comics and the MCU, the Mad Titan has succeeded in gathering all six Infinity Stones, which he uses to wipe out half of all life in the universe. But as detrimental as this may have been, it might surprise many to learn that Thanos is far from one of the most powerful characters floating around the comic book universe.
While Thanos may be strong enough to wield the Infinity Gauntlet, there are a number of gods and cosmic entities that could easily snap Thanos out of existence using nothing but their baseline powers. In fact, Thanos isn’t even a god himself, but rather an Eternal-Deviant hybrid who desperately wants to be worshiped as if he were a god. In the comics, it's often this lack of self-esteem that leads to Thanos's downfall – though we seriously doubt he'll make it that easy on the heroes in the upcoming Avengers: Endgame.
It's also unlikely that one of these cosmic powerhouses will swoop in and undo Thanos's actions in the movie, as we wouldn't want to see anyone but the already-established heroes bring about the defeat of the Mad Titan. But that doesn't mean these Marvel gods can't appear in future installments. In fact, a number of them have made their MCU debut, many of whom could have easily defeated Thanos if he didn't have the Infinity Stone.
Here are 25 Marvel Gods Who Could Actually Challenge Thanos.
Of course, we’ve seen what happens when Loki faced off against Thanos when he had just one of the Infinity Stones. The altercation resulted in Loki’s demise, and we have no idea if he’ll make it back to the MCU’s present day timeline. Of course, without an Infinity Stone, Loki could certainly give the Mad Titan a run for his money. Loki’s powers include everything from superhuman strength and speed to shape-shifting and telepathy. If he wasn't pressed for time, we have no doubt that Loki could hatch a formidable scheme to catch Thanos off guard.
While Thor may not be a master of manipulation like his brother, what he lacks in sleight of hand tricks he makes up for in raw power. Even when Thanos had the fully assembled gauntlet in Infinity War, Thor still almost defeated the Mad Titan using his new axe, Stormbreaker. But if both were stripped of their weapons, Thor seems like he would certainly have the leg up during a hand-to-hand fight. He is a god, after all, while Thanos hasn’t quite achieved god-status in either the MCU or the comics.
Hela has all the powers of an Asgardian god – already making her stronger than most Marvel characters. But she has a number of other attributes that give her an advantage over most of her people, Loki and Thor included. Hela has a pact with Mistress Death, which grants her additional magic abilities – including being able to travel to any of the Nine Realms in an instant while also being able to rip a soul from an individual's body. We’ve seen her shatter Mjolnir in an instant, so we can only imagine what would happen in a match between Hela and Thanos.
Maybe it’s no coincidence that Thanos waited for Odin to pass away before enacting his master plan. The All-Father was the mightiest of the Asgardians, whose physical and magical abilities were greater than those of Thor in every aspect. He was able to keep Hela at bay even during his later years and he prevented Ragnarok from taking place many times. But the All-Father is a lot more than sheer force, as Odin has won a number of battles thanks to his skills as a master strategist.
Chthon is an Elder God who was created billions of years ago when Demiurge decided to split his consciousness into multiple entities. One aspect of himself began to fixate on darkness and chaos, giving birth to the being known as Chthon. Chthon is a master of black magic, with powers so great that he could slay the other Elder Gods and feed off their energy. The demon eventually makes a pact to stay within his own pocket dimension – where he is basically invincible – though Chthon has still been known to wreak havoc in other realities.
Originally an Eternal of Earth, Kronos went on to achieve cosmic entity status during his early days in the comics. After his body was destroyed during an experiment gone wrong, Kronos became a formless being with near-infinite powers that rival that of Galactus. Therefore, it goes without saying that Kronos would easily triumph over Thanos during most fights. While Kronos’s body was indeed destroyed, the entity sometimes takes the form of a humanoid so that lesser beings can perceive him.
Based on the fire giant from Norse mythology, Surtur is a fire demon that commonly crosses paths with Thor in the comics. This cosmic-level threat has already made his appearance in the MCU, as Surtur is eventually unleashed on Asgard where he single-handedly brings about the destruction of the entire realm. He does so when he is brought into contact with the Eternal Flame, which greatly increases the demon’s powers. But even without it, a fight between Surtur and Thanos might be too close to call.
Bast is best known for being the Panther Goddess whose powers are synonymous with the Black Panther. But before she was ever being worshiped by the inhabitants of Wakanda, Bast was the child of Ra and a god to the Egyptians. She’s been known to overpower beings as strong as Mephitso while also being able to unite the tribes of Wakanda to rally against invading demons. Bast’s powers are great and mysterious, and this goddess would no doubt be a formidable opponent to Thanos. However, this is one deity that still seems to prefer to work through others.
While the Grandmaster comes off as more of a jokester in the MCU, the one from the comics is one of the oldest and more powerful beings in existence. He is an Elder of the Universe who retains power from the Big Bang. This is what allowed the Grandmaster to wield an Infinity Stone of his own, though he eventually loses it to Thanos in the lead up to The Infinity Gauntlet limited series. But the fact that the Grandmaster could even stand toe-to-toe with Thanos earns him a spot on this list.
While not technically a god in the comics, Ego the Living Planet still has enough power to put up a fight against many of the other entities on this list. The villain made his MCU debut in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, where the character's origins were changed to that of a Celestial. Here, it’s revealed that Ego has been planning to take over the universe with his Expansion plan. This no doubt would have made him a serious threat to Thanos, though Ego was eventually stopped thanks to his half-Celestial son.
A mystical entity with near-infinite powers, Dormammu has been described as one of the universe’s biggest threats by some mighty powerful heroes, including Doctor Strange and Odin. Unlike Thanos, who needs the Infinity Stones to bend reality to his will, Dormammu can achieve nearly the same effect on a whim. In his Dark Dimension, Dormammu controls all things, though it’s unknown how the entity would fair when released in another reality. Not to mention that while Dormammu can morph the physical world to his will, he doesn't seem to have mastery over time.
A favorite to take Thanos’s role as the next big bad in the MCU, Galactus is a cosmic entity who must literally consume planets to sustain his life-force – earning him the nickname Devourer of Worlds. He was formed at the creation of the universe, where he has been on a quest ever since to keep the balance between the other cosmic entities of Eternity and Death. He is so great that only a few can perceive his true form. While Thanos might be one of them, the Mad Titan might even struggle to hold his own against Galactus with the Infinity Stones.
11 Phoenix Force
Because the Phoenix Force often works through a host (most notably Jean Grey,) the full extent of this cosmic entity's powers remains unknown. That being said, Phoenix Force is still without a doubt one of the strongest entities in the Marvel Universe. Its ability to manipulate energy and matter, coupled with its cosmic awareness, has allowed a number of the Phoenix Force’s host to stand toe-to-toe with a number of other Marvel powerhouses, including the Beyonder. Of course, its powers are also limited by these hosts, which would really be the deciding factor in a fight against Thanos.
A popular foe of Thor and Hercules, Amatsu-Mikaboshi is a demonic god who was inspired by the Shinto religion native to Japan. Like many Shinto deities, Amatsu-Mikaboshi has incredible powers that put him on the level of beings like Zeus. Meanwhile, he enjoys a prolonged lifespan not unlike the Asgardians. But it’s the long list of Amatsu-Mikaboshi’s supernatural abilities that would make him a formidable foe to Thanos, especially his ability to travel to different realities and dimensions with nothing more than a thought.
Cyttorak is a demonic entity with nearly infinite magical powers. He was once worshiped on earth until he was banished to his own realm, known as the Crimson Cosmos. However, Cyttorak has loaned his abilities to a number of others throughout his time in the comics, including Doctor Strange and Juggernaut. The exact extent of his powers remains unknown, however, Cyttorak’s magical abilities are so great that he once created an entire race of his own, which he used to worship him. So at the very least, his god-complex would rival that of Thanos.
One of the more abstract characters in Marvel Comics, Eternity is the embodiment of all living beings in the universe. He often appears in his semi-human form when something threatens to reshape the universe as we know it. He has the ability to bend reality to his will, and since he is the living embodiment of all life, he knows everything that is going on at all times. While Eternity usually stays out of most conflicts, he has been known to take human form to aid those at times – including Doctor Strange, who is the first known human to contact Eternity.
One of the biggest differences between the Infinity Stones in the comics and in the MCU is their altered origins. In the movies, we’re led to believe that they are remnants left over following the creation of the universe. In the comics, however, they are all that is left of the entity known as Nemesis. When this cosmic being grew tired of existence, she shattered herself into the six stones. So while her powers have never been fully explored, we can only imagine they would be equivalent or greater to the powers held within the gems.
Much like its name suggests, Oblivion is another abstract entity whose at work in the background – pulling strings to alter things on a cosmic level. It’s quite possible that Oblivion is just another incarnation of Mistress Death, who is actually the reason that Thanos wants to obtain all six Infinity Stones in the comics. Here, he wipes out half of the universe to court the Mistress – though she seems barely impressed at all. Therefore, it’s very possible that Thanos is an agent of Oblivion without even realizing it.
While Oblivion and Mistress Death may be two sides of the same coin, the same could be said about Eternity and Infinity. While Infinity may not have quite as much notoriety as her “brother,” her powers are just as impressive. She seems to have a complete grasp over all of space, and due to her lack of a physical body, Infinity is literally everywhere at all times. In other words, she can do everything that Thanos wishes he could, though she doesn’t need the Infinity Gauntlet to make it happen.
Gaea was saving the world long before the Avengers ever decided to assemble. In fact, without this Elder God, there would be no life on Earth as we know it. Gaea was one of the first begins to come into existence after Demiurge divided his consciousness into multiple beings. She helped shape life on planet Earth, bringing about the extinction of the dinosaurs so human beings could evolve. She also helped defeat her “sibling” entities, who had taken to consuming each other to absorb more power for themselves.
3 The Beyonder
The Beyonder certainly doesn’t look like the type of being who could stand toe-to-toe with entities like the Living Tribunal, Infinity, and Oblivion. But looks can be deceiving when it comes to this cosmic powerhouse, as he has performed some of the most impressive feats in Marvel Comics. On a whim, the Beyonder once decided to corral all the heroes in the Marvel Universe and make them square off against each other on another planet. And when he’s in the Beyond Realm, this entities powers truly know no bounds.
2 The Living Tribunal
Unlike many of the other cosmic entities who can only exist in one universe at a time, the Living Tribunal watches over the Multiverse, ensuring that good and evil remain balanced across the entire spectrum of reality. This makes him undoubtedly one of the strongest beings in all of Marvel Comics, who could no doubt destroy Thanos in a split second. That being said, even the Mad Titan’s destruction of half of all living life in our universe may not have even made a blip on the Living Tribunal’s radar.
Could any other Marvel god have possibly taken the number one spot on this list? Much like his name implies, there is no being more powerful than the One-Above-All within the Marvel Universe. He is the reason that all life exists in the Multiverse and is the de facto leader of all the cosmic entities and gods who have ever been in existence. Inevitably, the One-Above-All rarely makes an appearance. Instead, he counts on the Living Tribunal to be his judge, jury, and executioner when the cosmic scales are put off balance.
So which Marvel god do you want to see square off against Thanos? Let us know!