Since the debut of X-men in 2000 by 20th Century Fox, superhero movies and TV shows have become very lucrative for producers. In adapting many of the comic book storylines for film and TV, an issue which has surely surfaced is the unrealistic nature of many of the classic comic book characters. That is, not unrealistic in that they have the ability to fly, see through walls, or have various other superpowers; but unrealistic in that many of these characters are so vastly powerful in comparison to even their superpowered cohorts. While these overpowered heroes may provide us with a sense of wonder in their superhuman abilities, them being so intensely more powerful than the surrounding characters certainly does not provide for a compelling story. As such, below we have managed to create a list of the 15 Most Overpowered Superheroes.
For the most part, this list follows two main guidelines. First, I have attempted to exclude any obscure characters who are not well known even in the comic book community. Secondly, as the name suggests, this list is limited to superheroes. Thus, minimal characters such as The Beyonder, and prevalent though diabolic characters such as the famous foe of the Fantastic Four, Galactus, have been excluded.
Additionally, I have tried to include some variety on this list, allowing for characters who are overpowered in a unique way to be placed slightly higher than what might be expected. This list is by no means meant to be exhaustive, however, the characters listed below exemplify to me the cardinal sin of an overpowered hero.
Out of all the heroes on this list, Wolverine is the one I had the most qualms about including. Obviously the guy’s a serious bad ass. He has an almost indestructible adamantium skeleton, retractable razor-sharp claws of the same metal and is one of the toughest S.O.B.’s to ever grace a comic book.
Despite these significant abilities, Wolverine’s powers just don’t seem to fit with the other overpowered heroes on this list. I eventually decided on Wolverine making the cut, however, because of his amazing rejuvenation abilities. Wolverine can not only heal himself from inflicted wounds, but his mutant abilities help him to even avoid the ravages of time. The guy survived an atomic bomb for Pete’s sake. All these things together let Wolverine slip into this list at #15.
14. Black Panther
For Black Panther let’s begin with the basics. The hero of Wakanda is imbued with super strength, super speed, animal-like agility, and a suite and claws made from vibranium. However, the aspect of the Black Panther character which places him on this list of overpowered superheroes is his political authority.
T’Chaka (the Panther’s real name) is the crown prince, and later king, of the fictional kingdom of Wakanda. This political standing gives him certain advantages which are almost unrivaled in the superhero community. This includes bodyguards, knowledge of top level secrets, and monetary clout which all add to the Panther’s aura of invincibility. It is this political clout, combined with T’Chaka’s superhero abilities that place him high on this list.
Rogue of the X-Men finds herself on this list largely due to the multiplicity of her abilities. Rogue has the power to take the abilities of other mutants (while at the same time draining their life force) by physically touching them. This means that she can duplicate the abilities of any powerful higher on this list, as well as various others not on this list. Rogue, however, finds herself below those mutants, as well as other heroes, for two reasons.
Firstly, since Rogues abilities are always changing, she doesn’t always have a mastery of the powers she absorbs. Secondly, she can only absorb one power at a time, and it must be done by touching another mutant. These two limitations are all that prevent Rogue and this fantastic ability from being listed higher.
12. The Vision
Previously a virtual unknown to those outside the comic scene, Vision has gained some notoriety lately with his appearance in recent Avengers and Captain America films. Despite his relative obscurity, he is undoubtedly one of the most overpowered heroes in the Marvel universe.
Not only is the Vision gifted with your typical superhuman abilities, (super strength, speed, endurance, etc.) he also has his own unique abilities which rightfully place him on this list. For instance, the solar jewel on his forehead allows him to discharge powerful beams of infrared and microwave radiation to take down his enemies. Additionally, the Vision has the ability to change his density allowing him to fly and even phase through solid objects. When these abilities are added to his incredible invulnerability status, it is clear that Marvel’s Vision deserves a spot in our rankings.
11. The Flash
For a character who gets roughed up as much as the Flash does, it seems strange to find him on this list. While Flash is able to use his incredible super speed in a variety of creative ways, most of them aren’t so impressive as to land him on this list. The exception to this, of course, being his ability to time travel.
That’s right, the Flash can run so fast that he literally rips the space-time continuum, allowing him to travel back in time. As anyone familiar with time travel movies/shows would probably guess, the use of time travel rarely works out for Flash. However, the ability to change history places the Flash solidly on this list at #11.
10. Scarlet Witch
Scarlet Witch is unique on this list in that her overpoweredness has developed over the life of her comic book fame. Originally part of a semi-nefarious duo with her brother Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch was initially a simple sorceress, capable of creating “hex-spheres” causing a molecular disturbance. This allowed her to do things such as create extreme heat out of seemingly nothing or stop the movement of airborne objects (force fields).
As the popularity of this heroine has risen, so has her superpowered abilities. At her peak, Scarlet Witch was able to create entire armies out of thin air, and alter reality in a variety of other incredible ways. The ability to literally change the world around her places Scarlet Witch at #10 on this list.
If you are going to make a list of overpowered superheroes, you should probably include the caped crusader who is literally a god. The abilities of the Marvel Thor character derive heavily from the greatest hero in Norse mythology so, naturally, the guy is slightly overpowered.
Thor not only has your typical superhero tough guy powers; super strength, agility, the ability to fly, but he can also summon lightning and control the mystical dwarf-built hammer Mjölnir. Combine these with his immortal roots and the fact that he has been gaining battle experience for eons and you have one overpowered avenger.
Though only #8, this spot for Supergirl is more of a preview of the top half of the list. Gifted with all the same powers of her famous cousin, Kara simply lacks the control to be higher on this list. However, this hasn’t stopped her from mixing it up, and typically getting the better end of, most of the top heroes and villains of the D.C. Universe.
Though not as refined as her boy scout cousin, the sense of pure emotion which surrounds Supergirl provides another layer to her character making her unpredictable at times and that much more dangerous. While Supergirl finds herself again in the shadow of that other big S superhero, she can hold solace in the fact that she is one of only 4 women to grace this list of overpowered superheroes.
7. The Incredible Hulk
If your vision of overpowered immediately conjures up physical attributes, then Bruce Banner’s alter-ego The Incredible Hulk should be very high on your list. The Hulk’s brute strength is legendary in the Marvel Universe and he has delivered beatdowns to countless of the world’s greatest heroes and villains.
For evidence of Hulk’s immense strength, look no further than the fact that he was able to lift Thor’s mystical hammer Mjölnir by brute strength alone, despite not being “worthy.” Hulk’s incredible physical strength puts him squarely at #7 on this list of overpowered heroes.
6. The Green Lantern
Anyone who has seen the 2011 Green Lantern film will likely tell you that it is an atrocity. The plot is predictable, the villain sympathetic, and the Green Lantern costume sparkly and downright ridiculous. However, one thing the film did do a good job of espousing is that the Green Lantern and his power ring are only limited by the imagination of the Lantern. That is, the more creative and original the Lantern is in using his ring’s already substantial power, the more powerful he becomes. Over the years we’ve seen the lantern use this ability to make himself fly, summon a protective force-field, and even create a giant hammer to smite his enemies. Seems pretty overpowered to me.
5. Professor Xavier
I initially had qualms about putting a character so high on this list with such minimal physical attributes, however the incredible psychic abilities of Charles Xavier more than warrant his inclusion in the #5 spot. Not only is the Professor able to read the thoughts of others and project his own thoughts into their mind for a radius of more than 250 miles, he is able to use his psychic abilities to actually control the actions of another person.
Those who are familiar with the X-men storyline know that this is a central concept of the comic. Even Magneto’s trademark helmet was created as a result of Xavier’s extremely powerful psychic ability. Analyzing these abilities, added to the incredible things the Professor is able to do when connected to Cerebro, (a machine found in the bowels of Xavier’s school which amplifies his already powerful psychic abilities) it’s easy to see why the leader of the X-men deserves a place on this list. Even if he can’t physically kick your ass.
4. The Silver Surfer
Growing up as a small child playing various superhero games, I always wanted to be the Silver Surfer. He was super shiny and rode around on a flying surfboard, so he is obviously the most powerful, right?
Strangely, this notion is not too far from the truth. The top warrior of an alien planet, originally forced to serve the villain Galactus, the Surfer is one of the most overpowered beings in the Marvel Universe, hero or villain. For starters, he is able to build his strength to almost incalculable levels and he is nearly indestructible.
If this weren’t enough, the warrior previously known as Norrin Radd (can we also take a minute to appreciate the fact that the surfer superhero’s alien last name is Radd?) has many secondary powers which only augment his strength. For example, in the comics, he has shown the ability to fly at incredible speeds, is immune to radiation/temperature extremes, can heal other organisms, and even has limited telepathic and time-travel abilities.
3. Molecule Man
So I may be treading the line of my superhero, not super-villain rule here, but to not include Owen Reece, AKA Molecule Man, on a list of overpowered superheroes would be a major oversight.
The Marvel Character page lists for the powers of Molecule Man the ability to control all power and energy. I didn’t major in physics but I’m pretty sure that’s everything.
Throughout the comics, this grants Reece the power to alter reality, bend time, and basically do whatever he can imagine. Despite his seemingly absolute power, his significant character flaws keep him from finding himself at the pinnacle of this list.
A self-professed Mama’s boy, Reece’s insecurities often plague his life and prevent him from reaching the full potential of his powers. Despite this, the sheer magnitude of his raw power is enough to place him in the top tier of this list.
2. The Phoenix: X-Men
For those of you who are not familiar with The Phoenix, she is the superpowered psychic alter-ego of X-Men member Jean Grey. The storyline goes that an adolescent Jean Grey was so powerful that Professor Xavier created a mental block in her young mind to hinder the growth of her abilities. This would later prove disastrous when Grey breaks through said mental block, becoming The Phoenix, and wreaks havoc on the X-men and the world at large.
Basically, The Phoenix is able to use her tremendous psychic abilities along with the telekinetic ability to move objects with her mind. Think of it as a cross between Professor Xavier and Magneto, on steroids. In fact, The Phoenix was so powerful that I doubt whether she could have been a valuable character in the comics were it not for her more stable, and much less powerful alter-ego, Jean Grey.
The epitome of overpoweredness, the Superman character has been a staple of DC Comics for over 50 years. You know the shtick, faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap small buildings in a single bound, the ultimate hero of the DC universe.
Equipped with X-ray vision, heat vision, freeze breath, and an imperviousness to everything aside from an obscure alien rock, Superman is the character your little brother would always pick in every fighting game growing up.
Even in the famed “Death of Superman” comic, Superman ultimately fights to a draw with an unstoppable monster (Doomsday) which had just single-handedly defeated all the other members of the Justice League.
Due to his laundry list of powers and achievements, coupled with his prominence in the superhero community, Superman tops our list of most overpowered superheroes.