The Marvel comic book universe is obviously full of powerful characters – of both the hero and villain variety – but it’s also absolutely littered with objects of incredible power. You may already be familiar with the comic books but, if it’s only the movies you’re familiar with, you’re probably not aware just how powerful some of them are.
The Infinity Stones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for instance, may be the ultimate sources of power in that continuity, but they’re substantially less powerful than their comic book counterparts and countless other objects in the comics – judging by what we’ve seen so far in the movies, at least. In the comics, there are objects that can grant characters truly godly powers, objects that can shape entire universes, realities and dimensions, objects that can hurt (or even kill) even the most powerful of divine beings, and objects that can protect their bearer from even the most potent and devastating of attacks.
Gauging the exact power levels of such objects isn’t the easiest task in the world, however. How, for example, do you compare a powerful magic item with a powerful cosmic item or a powerful piece of technology? Well, you do your best by looking at the on-panel feats of the items in question, comparing them rationally, and listing them in an article like this one – which is precisely what we’re doing. Here are the fifteen most powerful objects in the Marvel universe.
15. The Ebony Blade
The Ebony Blade is one of the most underrated and underestimated objects in Marvel. It is far from being “just a sword”, like some people think. Its defensive powers are incredible and it has the offensive power to hurt even the most powerful of opponents.
Defensively, it has done things like prevented opponents from phasing through it, blocked Wolverine’s adamantium claws, repelled Firelord’s cosmic blast, and turned a blast from Zeus himself back onto him (which hurt Zeus, for the record). Offensively, it slices through thick metal like a hot knife through butter, it has dispelled powerful magic barriers with ease, and it even broken a sword wielded by none other than the Beyonder. It is probably underestimated due to the fact that it is rarely wielded by powerful beings, but the fact is it can protect its wielder from almost any attack and is capable of hurting beings of the utmost power levels.
14. The Staff of One
The Staff of One is a reality-warping magical object that can pull off almost any feat imaginable. It is, however, limited by a few rules; it can only be activated by spoken words (and not by thoughts, for example), it can’t execute the same spell twice (so if you use it to turn yourself invisible, it won’t turn you or anyone else invisible again), and it has a mind of its own (so if it doesn’t want to perform a spell, it simply won’t).
Wielded mainly by Nico Minoru and, formerly, her mother Tina, some of the one-off feats it has to its name include erasing memories, sending people back to specific points in time, breaking the effects of mind-control powers, seeing the memories of another (deceased) person, removing a force field, and breaking opponents into pieces. In theory, however, it is capable of so much more, and it is said to have made Dormammu himself tremble.
13. The Tactigon
The Tactigon is a sentient alien weapon that bonds itself to the arm of its wielder. Classified as an “Omega-level weapon” by Earth’s governments, it has the ability to turn into whatever weapon the wearer needs to accomplish a mission, win a battle, or simply stay alive – and it doesn’t appear to have any limits in that regard.
It has been worn by characters such as Armory and the insane M.V.P. clone known as K.I.A. Its feats have ranged from things as simple as turning into a grappling hook to prevent its wielder from falling to their death, to providing its wielder with weapons as varied as blades, energy blasters (energy blasters powerful enough to bring down the Mandarin’s Ultimo robot, nonetheless) and venom injectors. It has also proven capable of hacking into computer systems when required to do so. Essentially, if an opponent has a weakness, the Tactigon will exploit it and defeat them with whatever is needed to do so.
12. The Quantum Bands
The Quantum Bands – worn most notably by Wendell Vaughn AKA Quasar – are essentially Marvel’s answer to DC’s Power Rings (as worn by Green Lanterns and their multi-coloured counterparts) so, if you’re familiar with those, you’re also inadvertently aware of what these things can do, regardless of whether you’re a Marvel reader or not.
These alien artifacts, which are worn on the wrists, grant the wielder abilities like complete energy absorption, the creation of energy constructs, teleportation, flight, and various forms of communication. Some of their most notable feats include creating a huge construct around planet Earth that detected anything incoming, turning an energy blast from Thanos into a fist-shaped construct that Quasar was able to then use offensively, draining power from the Soul Gem, draining power from a Watcher, making Quasar durable enough to take punches from beings as powerful as Watchers, completely protecting their wielders from mental assaults/takeover, and producing one-hundred megaton blasts.
Ah, Mjolnir. No list of powerful Marvel objects would be complete without the inclusion of Thor’s trusty war hammer. Everybody knows it’s powerful, but do you know just how powerful and versatile it actually is? Let us explain…
“Whosoever holds this hammer, if he/she be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” Mjolnir is what gives Thor all of his esoteric powers. Without it, he’s just a typically strong, durable Asgardian. With it, Thor has done things like manipulate weather on a large scale (not just thunder and lightning, incidentally), fly faster than the speed of light, absorbed and projected various types of energy (including absorbing the energy of a Null Bomb, which would otherwise have destroyed the entire galaxy), travelled between dimensions, travelled through time, created force fields, and tracked beings and objects through both time and space. Its most potent powers, however, are the God-blast and Anti-force – both of which are energy blasts that can decimate planets.
N.B. It should be noted that Stormbreaker – Beta Ray Bill’s weapon – is essentially identical in power to Mjolnir and takes its rightful place at joint-eleventh on this list (it’s simply not worth entering them as separate objects).
Gungnir is undoubtedly the vaguest entry on this list in terms of feats (which is quite odd, considering how prominent its wielder is), but the fact that it is Odin’s weapon of choice – and the fact it has been stated as being at least as powerful as Mjolnir – mean it’s impossible not to include it.
The powerful three-pronged spear, which is made of Uru – an indestructible Asgardian metal – has done things like destroy large towers with ease, and it returns to Odin’s hand when he mentally requests it does so, just like Mjolnir does with Thor. However, its most impressive feat is that it is used to channel Odin’s own energy – energy that has destroyed galaxies as a mere side effect of Odin’s battles in the past. It has also been Odin’s weapon of choice throughout his many lives, has survived his many battles with world-destroying beings like Galactus and Seth, and has even survived a number of Ragnaroks (Asgard itself being destroyed) in its lifespan. One of the many potential Gungnir origin stories is that it was forged by dwarves using the energy of the sun – it is undoubtedly an incredibly powerful weapon.
9. The Wand of Watoomb
The Wand of Watoomb is a powerful magical object, which was created by the godlike mystical deity and member of the Octessence known as Watoomb. The wand is used to enhance, multiply, gather, focus and redirect mystical energies, and grants the wielder powers than he/she didn’t previously have to boot.
The wand has done things like control the elements on a massive scale, absorbed various types of energy (including those as powerful as Scarlet Witch’s hex power), erected powerful magical shields, opened gateways to different dimensions and realities, allowed its wielder to remotely observe others through a magic window, mind-controlled beings en masse, created armies of monsters out of thing air, and removed Scarlet Witch’s soul from her body, while using her body as a remotely controlled doll with her powers vastly augmented. It also automatically makes non-magic users capable of combating sorcerers as powerful as Doctor Strange. Its only real downside is that it isn’t very durable and has quite easily been smashed by Spider-Man.
8. The Crimson Gem of Cyttorak
Like the Wand of Watoomb, the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak is a powerful magical object that was created by a godlike mystical entity who is also a member of the group known as the Octessence – in this case, Cyttorak. It’s a red jewel that gives anyone who touches it amazing powers – and those powers have varied from the simple to the exotic.
An example of the simple powers it gives people come in the form of those granted to Juggernaut. Contrary to popular belief, the Juggernaut is not a mutant – his powers come from exposure to the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak. He is super-strong (to the extent that he has punched through the very fabric of reality), incredibly durable and impossible to stop once he gets moving – but the gem has given so many more interesting powers than those to other characters. A young boy called Stevie is the best example of this. When Stevie had the gem, he could use it in more imaginative ways. He was able to animate a group of wax statues that possessed watered-down versions of the powers of the superheroes they resembled. He was also able to send a communication signal halfway around the continent. He even fired concussive force blasts that kept the Juggernaut himself at bay. The gem also contains the powerful spell known as the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak, which has been known to restrain even the likes of the Hulk.
7. The Evil Eye of Avalon
The Evil Eye of Avalon – sometimes referred to sans “Evil” – is a funnel-shaped magical object that grants its bearer phenomenal powers. Such is its level of power that it has even been sought after and wielded by characters as powerful as the Grandmaster, Krona and Dormammu (who was able to start merging Earth with his Dark Dimension when using it).
It does have its disadvantages, however – for one, it looks awful and, more disturbingly, if it is used for too long at its maximum power levels, it will explode with force equivalent to an atomic bomb and divide into six sections that will scatter to the four corners of Earth. However, the pros of the item far outweigh the cons. It can absorb and project energy, it can manipulate matter (including being able to create living beings out of non-living material), it can produce incredibly powerful force fields, it can shut down the powers of magical beings (such as those of Thor), it enables both temporal and dimensional travel, and it amplifies the existing powers of magic users.
6. The M’Kraan Crystal
The M’Kraan Crystal is undoubtedly the most obscure and outright weirdest object on this list – and it hasn’t exactly made many appearances in the comic books – but it’s undeniable that it possesses incredible power.
It’s described as being the nexus of all realities and “the end of all that is”, and it’s a doorway to a universe of neutron stars. This is due to the fact that it houses a city inside its enormously powerful force field and, at the centre of the city, there’s a glowing energy sphere that hosts a neutron galaxy. The sun of this neutron galaxy is a nexus point of all matter and antimatter of all the different realities in existence. The power inside the crystal isn’t used very often – it’s heavily guarded by the alien race known as the Shi’ar – but, if it was, it could potentially draw literally everything into a black hole, causing the entire universe to collapse.
5. The Twilight Sword
The Twilight Sword was created by Surtur – a fire demon who is native to the extra-dimensional realm of Muspelheim – and is used as his weapon of destruction. It is gigantic, just like Surtur himself (a mere shard of it was used as a sword by Beta Ray Bill), and it was forged in the heart of the Burning Galaxy which, in turn, resulted from exploding the home galaxy of the Korbinites – the species of Beta Ray Bill.
Its main purpose is to be lighted by the Eternal Flame and used by Surtur to bring Ragnarok upon the gods, as well as to recreate the universe itself when the end of time approaches. Also known as the Sword of Doom, the Twilight Sword can list the following amongst its feats; Destroying the Rainbow bridge, taking the hardest ever hit from Mjolnir without being damaged, saving Surtur from a blast from Thor that would have otherwise killed him, destroying a galaxy, and remaking the entire universe minus Asgard.
4. The Ultimate Nullifier
The Ultimate Nullifier is an object of unknown origin and unimaginable power that is kept aboard Taa II, the starbase of Galactus. It is a small, hand-held metallic device with no obvious visible functionality – but it is capable of eliminating anything from existence that the bearer chooses. It is actually powerful enough to destroy entire timelines, should its wielder be of sufficient intellect and power to use it in that way.
Its existence became evident when Uatu the Watcher broke his oath of non-interference to send the Human Torch to Taa II, in order for him to obtain the device when Galactus threatened the Earth for the first time. It is the only object in existence that is capable of inspiring genuine fear in Galactus – it could, after all, literally cause him to cease to exist – and Reed Richards threatened the Devourer of Worlds with it, which sent him running.
3. Cosmic Cubes
Created by the Beyonders from the unknown dimension of Beyond, Cosmic Cubes are powerful cube-shaped objects that store reality-altering energy inside them. They are able to rewrite reality and perform virtually any feat their master wills them to carry out. They’ve been sought after – and indeed obtained – by power-hungry characters like Thanos, Doctor Doom and Red Skull, which says it all really.
Feats performed by characters using a Cosmic Cube include Thanos becoming one with the universe itself, Doctor Doom and Red Skull using one to create their ideas of the perfect universe (which resulted in a number of universes stacking on top of each other, nearly causing the entire multiverse to collapse), the Badoon using one to enslave hundreds of Celestials, and Korvac recreating his universe dozens of times. Cosmic Cubes are, however, somewhat sentient, and have been known to not comply with their users’ wishes – which can prove problematic.
2. The Infinity Gauntlet
You weren’t expecting that, were you? However, the fact is, the Infinity Gauntlet – even when it’s completely filled with all six Infinity Gems, which could easily be considered to be separate items of magnificent power – is not the most powerful object in the Marvel universe. It is, however, undoubtedly incredibly powerful.
When worn by someone capable of handling the kind of reality-altering power contained in the six gems, the wearer can carry out any act he/she wishes to carry out. Thanos is, by far, the most prominent user of the gauntlet and his actions in the Infinity Gauntlet arc are prime examples of what it’s capable of. The Mad Titan became omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. He wiped out half of all life in the universe with a click of his fingers, he turned Wolverine’s adamantium-coated skeleton to mush, he turned Thor into glass, he defeated powerful abstract cosmic entities with ease (the likes of Galactus, the Stranger, the Titan Kronos, Epoch, the entities Love and Hate, two Celestials, Master Order and Lord Chaos, and Eternity combined couldn’t combat him) and became the living embodiment of the universe itself.
1. The Heart of the Universe
The Heart of the Universe is a nigh-indescribable object – an energy source – of infinite proportions and power. Simply put, possession of it makes the possessor the supreme being of the Marvel universe. It was, in fact, created by the Marvel universe’s utmost supreme being to correct an imbalance in the fundamental architecture of the Marvel universe.
Other items give you power, but this turns you into power. It actually makes you become power itself. Thanos – who, unsurprisingly, is the character most often seeking this object out – described it best, when he said that that even possessing the Infinity Gauntlet pales in comparison to possessing the Heart of the Universe. While he described possessing the Infinity Gauntlet as having external control, he said that possessing the Heart of the Universe was being the very fabric of existence in all its varied forms. The Mad Titan used it to absorb the entire Marvel multiverse – including creator beings like the Living Tribunal – before recreating the entire multiverse from nothing. That is a level of power never shown by any other object in Marvel history.