Fans spent years envisioning how battles with these characters would play out and can now see it on the big screen.
For some fans, this raises even more questions. One fan questioned how powerful the Avengers are and pointed out it’s displayed somewhat inconsistently in the films. Let’s take a deeper dive into how the movies deal with which Avengers (and other MCU characters) are the most powerful.
Who are the most powerful characters in the MCU?
Certainly, Thanos has to rank as one of the most powerful single characters in the MCU. That’s why you see him annihilate Hulk in a one-on-one fight to begin Avengers: Infinity War.
It’s a great piece of visual storytelling by the Russo Brothers. It immediately alerts the audience that this is the Avengers’ most formidable foe, as no other villain had been able to manhandle Hulk so effortlessly prior to that.
But what about Captain Marvel? Infused with the power of the Kree, she too has insanely high power levels. It’s unclear if she’s more or less powerful than Thanos, but both are incredibly strong.
As far as the Avengers go, they’re all obviously strong in their own ways. Captain America has the super-soldier serum running through his veins. Thor is a Norse god. Tony Stark has an advanced suit of armor. Hulk has the power of intensely powerful gamma rays making him nearly unstoppable.
How to judge the MCU characters in terms of power and fighting ability
To ascertain which members of the Avengers (or their foes) are most powerful, there are a number of sources to draw from. Fans can turn to the comics. The problem here is that there is literally decades’ worth of source material to draw from. There are also multiple timelines and continuities that sometimes contradict each other.
It’s difficult to assess how the characters rank in terms of their ability to fight. The best way to judge them is to compare them when they engage in combat together onscreen in the MCU. But for some MCU fans, that gets a little murky.
The inconsistency of the Avengers power levels in the MCU
As one MCU fan on Reddit pointed out, there are some inconsistencies in how the Marvel superheroes and supervillains stack up against each other in their one-on-one duels:
“Iron Man can put up a terrific fight against Thanos with infinity stones yet 2014 Thanos with measly armor and sword beat a uber powered duel wielding stormbreaker/mjolnir Thor and captain america all at the same time despite Thor being able to survive the power of a star yet a headbutt from Thanos is enough to knock him out.
Captain america, an enhanced HUMAN, survives a punch from an angry Thanos without a cracked skull and captain marvel is so strong that she destroyed the entire damn spaceship but Thanos is able to throw her like an apple. WTF”
So what explains this type of inconsistency? It all comes down to storytelling and circumstances. For each conflict in the story, a result is needed that will drive the action forward and make sense. At different points, characters are dealing with changing circumstances that may impact their power levels at any given point in time.
If you look at Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Thanos has varying levels of capability depending on what’s happening in the story at the time. At the end of Infinity War, Thor defeats Thanos easily but it’s after Thanos is weary from combat. A fresh Thanos from a different timeline in Endgame is a much better fighter.
The ultimate answer for MCU fans looking to address the question? Accept that inconsistencies can happen from time to time due to these fights happening at evolving points within the story.