Fans have been arguing about who the most powerful superhero is since the invention of comic books. It’s such a popular debate that it eventually made its way into franchises without any traditional superheroes, such as Star Wars and Power Rangers. But how does one measure power? Strength? Speed? Magic? What about intelligence or technology?
All these things and more were considered when we made this list of the most powerful characters from the biggest franchises. Our picks are sure to start an argument or two, and that’s okay. Arguing about who could beat who is half the fun of being a fan.
Marvel: The One Above All
Okay, here’s the deal: we wanted to put the Hulk or the Dark Phoenix here or, heck, even Squirrel Girl here—don’t laugh, she’s canonically beaten Thanos and Doctor Doom singlehandedly—but unfortunately, we couldn’t. It turns out the Marvel universe has a version of God, and as strong as the Hulk is, even he can’t throw down with God.
Known as The One Above All, Marvel’s version of God is the one who created the multiverse. Every planet, every galaxy, and every dimension all created by one supremely powerful being.
As fun as it would be to debate, it’s hard to argue against the literal personification of God being the most powerful character in the Marvel universe, superhero or otherwise.
DC: The Spectre
Much like Marvel, DC has a version of the Abrahamic God known as the Presence. While that would make him technically the strongest character in the DC universe, just putting “God” for each entry is boring. Not to mention, the Presence isn’t exactly much of a character; in fact, he’s more like a pres—well, you get the idea.
Instead, we decided to go with The Spectre as the most powerful superhero. More of a traditional cape-wearing figure, The Spectre is a mortal imbued with near-infinite power by the Presence and tasked with carrying out his vengeance across the DC multiverse.
The Spectre is so powerful he/she/or they—depending on the host—can take down not just current-day Superman but even the ridiculously OP Silver Age incarnation of The Man of Steel.
Star Wars: Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
Marvel and DC have superheroes and supervillains, and Star Wars has the Jedi and the Sith. Not an exact 1:1 comparison, but through the Force, Star Wars’ most powerful characters can achieve many of the same feats as superheroes. And when it comes to the most powerful Jedi or Sith, it has to be the Chosen One.
Palpatine and Yoda might seem more powerful, but neither is able to muster the constant stream of pure hatred and rage that flows from Darth Vader like water from a busted tap. Anakin was already on his way to becoming the most powerful Jedi in the order before he turned to the dark side, but after, he became something far more dangerous.
Living in constant physical pain from the burns that cover what remains of his body and forever broken inside after he accidentally killed the love of his life, Darth Vader survives and triumphs out of sheer spite.
Most practitioners of the dark side gain power by giving into their lust for power and their ambition. Vader’s power comes from the darkness inside him, from the swirling void of negative emotions that replaced his soul the day he took the title of Darth. There’s a reason Yoda himself never took Darth Vader on directly.
The Boys: Homelander
Whether we’re talking about the comics or the live-action series on Amazon Prime Video, the most powerful superhero from The Boys universe is Homelander, hands down. Homelander is part of the “Evil Superman” trope that also includes Omniman from Invincible. However, of all the Superman analogs out there, Homelander is easily the most vile.
Egotistical, mentally unstable, and more powerful than anyone else in the world with Compound V flowing through their veins, Homelander is barely kept in check by the Vought Corporation.
Should he ever decide that he’s through playing superhero—as he does at the end of The Boys comic run—nothing on Earth will be able to stop him.
Power Rangers: Tommy Oliver
Originally introduced in the first Power Rangers series as the Green Ranger, Tommy Oliver has gone on to star in four different iterations of the franchise, the one constant being that when it comes to color-coded martial arts teams, Tommy is the GOAT.
Oliver’s Green Ranger incarnation was already a force to be reckoned with, but when—much like Gandalf—he went white, Tommy became even more unstoppable.
Since then, Tommy has been a red Ranger on Power Rangers Zeo and Power Rangers Turbo, the black ranger on Power Rangers Dino Thunder, and eventually became a Master Morpher capable of switching between all of his previous forms at will.
Whether he’s piloting a giant dragon mech or utilizing his unparalleled Master Morpher abilities, Tommy Oliver is easily the most powerful superhero in the Power Rangers franchise.
The Incredibles: Jack Jack
The world of the Incredibles boasts a large number of super-powered individuals, but none more powerful than future superhero Jack Jack.
First introduced as an infant in 2004’s The Incredibles, Jack Jack seems like an ordinary baby until the very end of the movie when he turns into a red demon thing to escape the evil Syndrome. That was impressive enough, but it wasn’t until the sequel, 2018’s Incredibles 2, that Jack Jack’s powers really blossomed.
Over the film’s two-hour runtime, Jack Jack displays the ability to phase through solid objects, teleport, crawl up walls, duplicate himself, create electricity, and levitate—and that’s only a partial list!
While most of his abilities are played for laughs, the fact remains that Jack Jack is exponentially more powerful than anyone else in The Incredibles universe.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Michelangelo (The Last Ronin)
When arguing over which Ninja Turtle is the most powerful superhero in the TMNT universe, most fans are going to pick either Raphael or Leonardo.
In most iterations of the Heroes in a Half Shell, Donatello is portrayed as spending slightly less time honing his ninja skills than his two more competitive brothers, preferring instead to focus on technology. And then there’s Michelangelo.
Michelangelo, the videogame-playing, skateboard-riding, party dude, wouldn’t normally top anyone’s list. But then Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin came along and changed everything.
In the future world of The Last Ronin, all of the turtles have died except for Michelangelo. Now, as the titular last ronin, Michelangelo carries around his fallen brother’s weapons and wages a one-turtle war of revenge against the foes that brought down his brothers.
Thanks to the mutagen in his blood continuing to mutate him further, Michelangelo is now stronger and more resilient than he ever was when his brothers were still alive. That, in addition to all the wisdom and experience he’s accrued over the years, makes The Last Ronin incarnation of Michelangelo the most powerful turtle in TMNT history.