It’s an age-old question—or at least an 84-year-old question anyway—ever since Marvel was created, fans of the comic book company have wondered, who is Marvel’s strongest hero? With the likes of Captain America, Wolverine, the Hulk, and Thor running around, the competition is high, and it’s kind of a complicated question to figure out—especially with comic book rules constantly changing.
While Spider-Man isn’t always Marvel’s strongest hero, there have been times when he has been, like in Amazing Spider-Man #328, during the “Acts of Vengeance” when Spidey was strong enough to punch Hulk straight out of Earth’s atmosphere and into space.
In the vast Marvel Universe, where gods walk among mortals and monsters possess unparalleled strength, Spider-Man often finds himself overshadowed by his super-powered peers. Peter Parker might be able to lift 10 tons of weight, which, sure, allows him to swing a car over his head, but it’s not much compared to Thor’s godly might or the Hulk’s unfathomable strength.
However, while his strength might be mediocre in the superhero world, it’s Spider-Man’s determination and unwavering willpower that sets him apart from the rest and ensures he wins out against his enemies time and time again.
While powered by the Engima Force of Captain Universe, Spider-Man punched The Hulk so hard, he was sent into orbit.
One of Spider-Man’s most extraordinary moments came during the “Acts of Vengeance” storyline in the 1990s. Orchestrated by Loki, the scheme involved supervillains attacking heroes they weren’t accustomed to facing, aiming to exploit their unfamiliarity. Because the heroes weren’t used to fighting these unknown bad guys, they wouldn’t know their weaknesses, possibly giving an edge to the forces of evil.
Recognizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of this plot, the Enigma Force, a cosmic entity of limitless energy, chose Spider-Man as its champion. Tasked with stopping the Acts of Vengeance, Spidey was granted immense power akin to that of Captain Universe—a cosmic persona associated with god-like abilities.
However, at the time, Peter Parker was entangled in a scientific experiment involving unique forms of energy. When the Enigma Force bestowed its power upon him, Peter acquired the abilities of Captain Universe but not the corresponding costume or awareness of why he was suddenly so strong. Of course, the always fair-hearted Peter felt like his new abilities gave him an unfair advantage, which made him feel uncomfortably overpowered.
Acts of Vengeance centered on Spider-Man, but the storyline of villains switching off against different heroes is a fan favorite.
No longer was Spider-Man’s strength capped out at 10 tons. With the Enigma Force’s boost, the Web Slinger’s physical strength surged to unprecedented levels, surpassing even the mightiest heroes in the Marvel Universe.
Spider-Man’s enhanced abilities were put to the ultimate test when he confronted the formidable Gray Hulk, also known as “Joe Fixit.” In a bid to stop Spider-Man’s interference, the enigmatic Sebastian Shaw enlisted the Hulk’s services, paying him to take down Spider-Man and get him out of the way.
Spider-Man is normally no match for The Hulk, but with the Captain Universe powers, he easily overpowred “the strongest there is.”
With his newfound strength, however, the Hulk’s power was inconsequential to Spider-Man. However, when Spidey saw the Hulk messing around with a few kids in a junkyard, he worried for their safety and used all his strength to punch Hulk out of the way. This ended up sending the Hulk up, up, and away—out of Earth’s atmosphere and into orbit, leaving him circling the planet and only surviving because of his Hulk powers.
Not wanting to damage the Hulk permanently or kill him if he turned back into Bruce Banner, Spider-Man used his new abilities to fly up into space and save the Hulk, ending their battle in the typical kind-hearted Peter Parker fashion. Hulk was grateful to Peter for saving him and promised not to kill him (even if he could) as thanks. However, Peter didn’t get to keep his newfound abilities forever and eventually turned back into the 10-ton lifting Spider-Man soon after.