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Every Original Member, Ranked by Strength


Since launching in 2008 with Iron Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has introduced audiences to over 40 different superheroes across multiple franchises, varying in their strengths and powers. For comic book and action film fans alike, the unfolding of each individual story leading up to the inevitable assembling of the Avengers was unprecedented. During Marvel’s The Avengersaudiences witnessed the superheroes uniting, rather reluctantly, to defeat the Asgardian prince Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, who’s attempting to take over Earth by destroying New York City.

Throughout the Avengers franchise, jokes are made as to which Avenger is the strongest. Arguably one of the best scenes in the Avengers saga occurs in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the scene, the Avengers attempt to lift Thor’s hammer Mjölnir, but each of them who try, fail. Of course, for argument’s sake, lifting Mjölnir has more to do with being worthy than being strong. With the third installment of the Captain America franchise, audiences were treated to especially epic bouts. In Captain America: Civil War, there were two major key sequences: the airport battle, and the fight between Iron Man and Captain America. While Stan Lee famously said in a MarvelousTV YouTube video called “Stan’s Rants” that the writer determines who wins in a fight, comic book and film fans alike have several theories as to who is the strongest Avenger. Here’s our ranking.

Related: Best MCU Movie Shots That Recreated Comic Book Panels, Ranked

6 Hawkeye

While Hawkeye, aka Clint Barton, played by Jeremy Renner, is a highly skilled archer, when it comes to actual strength, he is still a human. While fans were given some incredible scenes of Hawkeye’s skill set in each film appearance as well as the Disney + show Hawkeye, he is rather limited in battle. Despite his athletic endurance, he still manages to be one of the most skilled Avengers. Those who have taken up any kind of sport are aware of the dedication to failure; Hawkeye probably hit the mark as much as any amateur or beginner did, but he persevered. Clint did not gain his skill set overnight. Even if he did, who else would shoot at invading alien ships without looking and still destroy it? While Hawkeye is one of the comic reliefs in the MCU franchise, compared to his teammates, his athletic ability unfortunately is no match for the other Avengers.


5 Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, played by Scarlett Johansson, is the most formidable spy in the franchise, giving even Nick Fury a run for his money. Like her best friend, Clint, Black Widow is a highly trained human. However, her endurance is much higher than Clint’s, as she can take on practically every Avenger. She is also the glue of the Avengers, despite being in the background to either Tony Stark or Captain America. In each film appearance, Black Widow is one of the first to protect or care for an injured teammate. From her first film appearance in director Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 audiences were rooting for this incredibly agile spy. After Marvel’s The Avengers, fans across Twitter and Tumblr were calling for a stand-alone film for the beloved Black Widow. In 2021, fans’ wishes were granted with the release of Black Widowwith Johansson reprising her role alongside a star-studded cast including Florence Pugh, David Harbor, and Rachel Weisz.


4 Iron Man

While Tony Stark’s Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr., wears many hats in the Avengers, his AI-operated suit does a majority of the work for him. Even in the first showdown against Captain America and Thor in Marvel’s The Avengers, he was flung around by Thor and left with minimal wounds. While Black Widow may be the glue of the Avengers, Tony Stark is the cornerstone of the team. After all, he was the first superhero to be recruited by Nick Fury despite his character flaws. While his suit makes him super, Iron Man becomes the first one to start the fight, often using his intellect to outsmart the enemy. In Avengers: Infinity War, Tony Stark’s Iron Man battles the genocidal Titan Thanos and survives a moon being thrown at him – thanks to his suit, no less! What makes Tony Stark the cornerstone of the Avengers is his stubborn ability to start the fight and eventually finish the fight, once and for all.


3 Captain America

Named The First Avenger by the MCU, Steve Rogers, aka Captain “Cap” America, played by Chris Evans, is the result of something out of science fiction. A frail adult with more illnesses than one can imagine is recruited by a German scientist to undergo experimental training to become the ultimate soldier to win World War II. While he uses a shield, most of his fighting skills are hand-to-hand combat. In Captain America: Civil War, the epic airport battle against Iron Man shows Cap going up against Peter Parker’s Spider-Man. While Captain America is able to win against Spider-Man and walk away, Spider-Man says that Iron Man gave him fighting tips against Cap. As the foundation of the Avengers, Captain America is often the one who finishes the battle after delivering the strategy to the rest of the team.

Related: Every Movie Scarlett Johansson & Chris Evans Starred in Together, Ranked

2 Hulk

While Edward Norton was the first Hulk to be part of the MCU franchise, Mark Ruffalo has carried on the mantle of Dr. Bruce Banner in an extraordinary fashion. The result of a failed experiment to replicate the Captain America serum, Dr. Banner became the Hulk when his heart rate became too elevated. When he is the Hulk, he becomes an indestructible force. According to Tony Stark, Bruce Banner is the “Strongest Avenger”, which is how he gains access to the quinjet in Thor: Ragnorak. Yet one of his most epic battles is against Tony Stark’s Veronica in Avengers: Age of Ultron. After being mind-controlled by the ultimate superhero Wanda Maximoff, the Hulk becomes uncontrollable, destroying a city and breaking out of a cage that he designed with Stark to protect others from himself. Much like Tony Stark, Bruce Banner is remarkable because of his intellect but without the Hulk, he is merely a man.


1 Thor

The only non-human on the team Thor wins the mantle of the Strongest Avenger because of his god-like strength, endurance, and ability to summon lighting. Unlike his teammates, Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, does not have a superhero name. While Stark’s nickname for Thor is Point Break, the team calls him Thor. Despite having one of the most heart-wrenching stories of the Avengers, Thor is the only Avenger to take on the Hulk in hand-to-hand combat. In the best battle of the Thor movies, Thor: Ragnarok has one of the funniest pre-battle lines, which was the fulfilled promise to a child, according to Yahoo Entertainment, and has Thor battling against the Hulk without Mjölnir. This is another reason Thor is the strongest Avenger: his power, like Captain America’s, comes from within. Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins, even says to Thor, “Are you Thor, God of Hammers? The hammer was meant to help harness your powers. ” Finally, Thor summoned the largest lightning bolt he could to attempt to beat his sister Hela. While Thor may be an intergalactic and formidable warrior, it’s his ability to control nature with his body and walk away from being treated like a ragdoll by the Hulk that makes him the strongest Avenger.



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